The latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has provided some possible reason why WWE may not sign Bully Ray. The former WWE Tag Team champ, then known as Bubba Ray Dudley, Bully Ray has left TNA Wrestling, the company that established him as a singles superstar. Upon his departure from the company, many wondered if he, or the Dudley Boyz as a team would return to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Dave Meltzer states that there are many detouring factors for WWE when looking at bringing Bully Ray back to the company. Many believe that WWE executives are not interested in bringing him back, or they may have made plays at him over the last few years while he was doing his best heel work for TNA. Devon, the other half of the Dudley Boyz, was available a year ago, and WWE never made an attempt to sign him, likely due to their worth to the company being seen as only existing as a tag team.
Other reasons why WWE may not want to bring back Bully Ray would be because of the way certain superstars in the back feel about him. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion and current “top guy” Randy Orton revealed back in 2008 that he cannot stand Bully Ray. In an interview with UK’s The Sun, Orton said,
“I never liked him. I never liked what he did because he only thought of himself. In the match my foot was broken, it was his fault. Bubba Dudley is the most out of shape, fat, non-work-ethic-having person I knew. And you had a bad taste in your mouth when you met him.”
Meltzer goes on to say that his age may also be a red flag for WWE, although he is in the best shape of his life and has been producing the best work he’s ever done over the last few years in TNA. Being 43, he certainly wouldn’t be the oldest guy on the main roster. He’s almost the exact same age as Big Show, who recently signed a contract extension that will keep him in the ring until 2018.
Bully Ray and Devon both could serve as great tag team mentors to those in WWE developmental, but many of the positions for NXT trainers and coaches have been filled and WWE is reportedly in a “no hire” zone, outside of new talent, due to budget cuts. Never say never, but it may be a while before we see the return of Bubba Ray Dudley, and/or the Dudley Boyz, to WWE.
I will say, he’s done a LOT of maturing as a singles star over the last 3-4 years. I think he could be an asset. The Dudley Boyz are also one of my favorite tag teams of all time, so I’d love to see them at least make a special appearance soon.