Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels did it. Scott Steiner and Booker T as well.
Transitioning from tag team success to singles action poses quite the challenge
Can an established tag team wrestler, conquering the tag team world for 14 years, become a success on the singles scene?
Bully Ray is answering that question by making a statement with TNA Impact Wrestling.
Bully Ray, formerly Bubba Ray Dudley of Dudley Boys fame, is the TNA Wrestling champion, and he will main event (as a singles’ champion) the company’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory, on Sunday, Oct. 20 from the Viejas Arena in San Diego.
Bully Ray battles AJ Styles for the belt to conclude a fun-filled, action-packed Bound for Glory Weekend.
“I’m going to Bound for Glory to retain my world heavyweight championship, tear the house down and give the people one of the most hard hitting, exciting matches ever,” Bully said during a TNA conference call.
“Every time I go into that ring, whether I’m talking or fighting or wrestling, I always go out there to steal the show, and if you’re going steal the show, AJ Styles is a [heck] of a guy to have in there to fight. He’s a [heck] of a competitor. He’s a great athlete. He’s a great wrestler. He can stand there and go toe-to-toe with you.
“It’s going to be a great match. It’s going to be entertaining. It’s going to be hard hitting, and I’m going to retain my world title.”
• TNA handed the ball to Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam and Styles to name a few, and now the ball is in Bully Ray’s hands.
The emotions when the company decided to do that?
“I was in shock,” Bully said. “I go out there, and I know what I’m capable of doing. We did it in ECW. We did it in WWE. We did it in TNA. We did it in Japan. We’ve done it all over the world. The only difference now was I was going to do it on my own.
“When I broke away from D-Von and invented Bully Ray, I knew that I could be successful. I knew that there wasn’t anything to hold me back. I knew what worked in the past for me, and I said to myself, ‘If I stick to the plan, if I reinvent myself, if I get into great shape, and I offer up a persona that is so disgusting and hated and gets under so many people’s skin -- and the tone of my voice and the venom that I spit -- if I just do me, it’s gonna work,’ and it has.
“TNA, obviously, took notice, and they gave me an opportunity to go out there and shine.”
• Successful throughout the world, The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray and D-Von) won tag team gold in WWE, WWF, WCW, TNA, ECW, the NWA and Japan’s IWGP. They are recognized as 23-time World tag team champions, making them the most decorated tag team in history. They will take it to the extreme in (and out of) the ring, famously known for using tables in their matches, occasionally to drive their opponent through one with their finishing move, aptly title the Dudley Death Drop.
After proving themselves in ECW and conquering WWE, they signed with TNA, becoming Team 3D.
With 14 years of tag team achievements behind them, they split, focusing on singles wrestling.
“I was a part of the most successful tag team in wrestling for almost 15 years, and when that ran its course, when there was no other team nor territory left to conquer, me and D-Von went our separate ways, and in just under three years, I was able to become the [TNA] champion, and I am going to main event Bound for Glory.