TNA World Champion Bully Ray joined Doug Mortman and Dave Lagreca on SiriusXM's Busted Open. You can hear Busted Open on Sports Zone; SiriusXM 92 and on the app. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
Whether Bound For Glory is the biggest pay-per-view in TNA history: "I don't know, is it? When we go out there as wrestlers and we see seats in the arena not full, it worries us also but all we can do is go out there and deliver the best possible in-ring product we can. Once we go through that curtain, that's when our jobs really start. I'm not the promoter of TNA, I don't work in the front office of TNA, I'm not responsible for the advertising of TNA, I'm not responsible for the product awareness of TNA, that's where TNA needs to grow and move forward as a company with bringing their product to the masses so people will want to come to the shows. Yes, there are empty seats but still if you concentrate on the in-ring product and you concentrate on what you see, it's still entertaining."
Coming into his prime: "No. I never think that far ahead. Not that I take things day-to-day, my success in the wrestling business never really shocked me. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I always knew that I was going to be successful and be part of one of the greatest tag teams and this and that, I just knew that I loved professional wrestling so much that I would have enough passion to make myself successful. I would have enough passion to do this for a long time and I'm going on my twenty second year now in the business. I'm proud of myself getting into the shape that I have got into, I'm proud of myself for doing something that not a lot of other guys can do which is come out of a tag team and have a successful singles career. I'm also proud of my ability to go in there which just about anybody on the roster and have a great match, great fight, a great speaking segment and proud for being able to entertain people for this long. I'm only stepping on the gas half way. I have so much more that I can bring to the table but it's a different world we live in and its different time with wrestling and sports-entertainment these days. I think I can go further, I can be a lot more physical. There are a lot of things that I can do and I try to wait until the right time to do them. From the newest kid on the block to the guys that have been there forever and I have said this before, TNA has the best locker room in pro wrestling, best bunch of pro wrestlers slash sports entertainers out there. These guys are capable of so much. You want icons? We got (Hulk) Hogan and Sting. You want guys that are still in their prime? You can go with me or Jeff Hardy or Kurt Angle and then you got the work horses. The guys that carried the company from TV to house shows like A.J. Styles, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Gunner, (Frank) Kazarian, (Christopher)Daniels. You have the hottest women in the business that can wrestle. You got great X-Division stars. Anything you are looking for, you can find it."
How can TNA improve its standing in the wrestling industry: "I have my opinion on that. I know as a wrestling fan what I would like to see TNA become. It's strictly my opinion. I think the professional wrestling world is primed and ready for a more edgy product. An in your face, very realistic brand of pro wrestling. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying ECW all over again. It's not what I mean. However, I am talking about bringing in bits and pieces of the greatest eras of pro wrestling. The NWA in the 80's, ECW in the late 90's, Attitude Era, the best times of TNA. Let's cut and paste from the best times and let's incorporate that into our product now, because I think people want a more mature product."
Should TNA re-sign Hulk Hogan: "I would like to see Hulk stay with TNA. Two reasons: First for selfish reasons, I want to get him in the ring in the worst way, and kick him in his face. Secondly, Hulk is a great ambassador for pro wrestling and he can be a great ambassador for TNA. Do I see Hulk on TV every single week? No. Do I see Hulk in major storylines? No. But I think there is a place for the Babe Ruth in our industry. There is a place in the locker room as a part of this company. Mainstream media loves Hulk Hogan. You start saying Hulk's name, people get interested. So I definitely think he would be a great person to keep around for those reasons. For the amount of money Hulk makes, he brings a lot of exposure. People are going to sit back and say "wait the ratings haven't gone any higher and there is low attendance at house shows". That's not Hulk Hogan's fault, that's product awareness. That's where I think our money can be spent a little better. Only in my opinion and my opinion comes from being behind the scenes at all the companies that I have wrestled in. Product awareness is number one. You can build a better mousetrap but if no one knows you have it, nobody is going to buy it. So I think if TNA can get their brand to the masses better, that's when you will see the real change."
His thoughts on the current Aces and Eights angle: "This has been the hand that was dealt. This is the way it is. I look at this situation like I look at any other situation in this business. You have two choices, you can fold or you can play it to the max. No matter what the situation is, I'm going to play it and I'm going to play it to win. What you see is me, Knux and Garrett. Everybody has been talking about how the Aces and Eights are folding. There is trouble in the Aces and Eights. They are imploding from within. Maybe that's what I want you to think. Maybe on Sunday you're going to see something completely different. I can make you believe what you want to believe. That is one of my gifts. Everybody thinks they know what's going on. Everybody knows how the story is going to end. Everybody thinks they have seen the last of Aces and Eights. I would call the cable company and order Bound For Glory because you just might be shocked at what you see."
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