Current co-host of Busted Open on Sirius XM and accomplished wrestling legend Bully Ray joined fellow wrestling legends Gerald Brisco and JBL for an episode of Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw.
During the interview, Bubba speaks on whether he has interest in working for WWE in a backstage role as an agent or producer. He notes that despite Vince McMahon himself telling Bubba there is a spot for him if he wants one, he doesn’t know if he’d like the job.
“Vince has offered me the position in the past,” notes Bubba. “He has told me, ‘When you’re ready, I’d love to have you here as a producer’. I don’t think the job is the same job that it used to be when [Brisco] were a producer or an agent. I believe the producers and agents now just kind of carry the marching orders of creative to the boys, and I don’t think the boys have as much input into things these days. I do consider myself creative. If I don’t feel like that creativity can be put to work for the guys and the gals putting their matches together, then I kind of feel stifled. I would try it one day.
Bubba then goes on to ask JBL what his experience was like as an agent. JBL notes he tried it and did not enjoy it, and elaborates as to why.
“No,” JBL quickly answers. “I tried it for a few months and didn’t really enjoy it. You’re trying to explain things [that are] the best, that you feel are in the interest of the performers. They have so many different ideas. The ones I dealt with, some of them were awesome, absolutely awesome. I think who was awesome was Roman Reigns. That was before everything that was before he main evented all those WrestleMania’s. I just thought, ‘This guy is really smart’.”
Speaking further about the creative restrictions in WWE, Bubba admits that he felt creatively stifled when he and D-Von returned to WWE in 2015. He notes that the lack of freedom was very much apparent when he returned, and that he would sometimes butt heads with agents.
“When D-Von and I left in 2006, I remember what WWE was like,” recalls Bubba. “When we went back in 2015, I remember feeling so stifled as a performer. Because you had to run almost everything by the agent, and being told that two guys don’t bump and feed for a comeback anymore, or that you can’t do this behind the ref’s back. Everything that worked in the Attitude Era that made all of us a lot of money, now you couldn’t do anymore. And there was not really a good reason why they didn’t want it done anymore. It’s just that they’d not want it done.
“I remember dealing with an agent one time where I came up with something different and I felt passionate about it. I asked my agent to please go run it by Vince. My agent said, ‘Okay, I will’. Then I followed my agent for an hour, he never spoke with Vince, then he came back and said, ‘Yeah, Vince doesn’t want to do that’. I lose all the respect in the world for you. I would much rather you tell me to my face, ‘You know what, Bubba? I don’t want to talk with Vince right now. You go do it’.”
During the interview, Bubba is asked what generation he considers to have the best tag teams. He says that every era has some amazing teams and so many unique aspects to offer. But, he notes that Attitude Era tag teams were the most popular.
“Can we agree that the tag teams of the Attitude Era made more money and sold out more arenas than any other tag teams ever had?” asks Bubba. “Not any one particular team, but all of us combined.”
Later in the interview Bubba discusses being involved with the Hardy Boys and Edge & Christian in their memorable feud. He goes on to reveal the moment he knew they all had something special.
“WrestleMania 2000 was actually the three-team ladder match that a lot of people actually confuse with TLC 1,” tells Bubba. “It was just a ladder match in which we did decide to incorporate tables and chairs. We knew going into the match the three teams had chemistry. Sometimes it’s just difficult to find one tag team you chemistry with. . . There was something unique about those three teams.
“Edge and Christian had had their ladder match at No Mercy in ’99. Then the Hardy Boyz and us had a tables match at Royal Rumble 2000. Then all three teams kind of came together for that triangle ladder match at WrestleMania 2000 in Anaheim and it was when that match had ended we knew, ‘Wow, we think that was special’.”
Bubba then recalls talking with Michael Hayes and Tom Prichard about the match. It was this conversation that resulted in the match known as Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.
“We’re just talking about it like ‘Wow, that really went well’,” remembers Bully. “Michael says, ‘I loved the way you incorporated the chairs and the tables, too’. I think I said this, I’m not sure, I said, ‘Yeah, if we ever did that again we could call it TLC’. And then I was thinking to myself, ‘That was so stupid, why did I even say it?’ And after that it was kind of off to the races for all three teams.”
Bubba also recalls feeling very passionate about having both the Hardy Boys and Edge & Christian join the Dudleys on stage for their WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Bubba was adamant that this may be the last time they were all on the same stage together.
“It was very important for us also, when we got the call for the Hall of Fame,” tells Bubba. “Because me and D-Von had become so synonymous with Matt and Jeff, and Edge and Christian. Whenever the cameras on, [me and D-Von’s] egos are full blast, just like anyone should. But when the cameras are off, our egos are in check and we’re ultra humble and very thankful for everything. And we know that without these other guys, our rise to the top wouldn’t have been what it had been. So it was important for us to have all four of those guys on stage with us because I felt that might be the last time that fans got to see the six of us at the same place, at the same time.”
A producer told Bubba that Vince may not go for the idea. Bubba told the producer that if he didn’t want to talk to Vince, then Bubba would. Eventually Bubba spoke with Vince and gave him three demands for the induction.
“[Vince] goes, ‘What do you want to do?’” recalls Bubba. “I told him, ‘This, this, and this’. He said, ‘Do you have to do all of them?’ I said, ‘Yes’. [Vince asks], ‘Can you get it in done in nine minutes?’ I said, ‘No, it’s going to take twenty, but I’ll give you an entertaining twenty’. [Vince] goes, ‘Okay’. That was it. I just wanted those six guys to be together one last time.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.