Here are notes from today's TNA Slammiversary conference call with TNA World Champion Bully Ray.
The call started at 1:30 PM ET.
They hype the new Impact start time of 9PM ET tomorrow night.
Bully is asked about being the guy in a singles role for the company, and he says he takes the pressure and turns it into his performances. He has been in high profile matches before, but now has to take into account that it is all on him to deliver a performance. There are no breaks like when he was in a tag team. He puts over Sting and says it is the biggest match of his singles career, and also one of the biggest of his overall career. He is proud to main event Slammiversary.
He is asked about how satisfied he is in his role and is asked if the Shield is a copycat. He doesn't think they are a copycat, and feels that both companies deliver very different products. He feels TNA delivers something for everyone, and doesn't worry about WWE, because they do what they do. He is proud of what he has accomplished, he worked hard and is happy with the Aces and 8s angle.
He is asked about being a world champion and says that it was actually never a goal of his. When he got into wrestling, he was always a huge tag team wrestling fan first. His earliest memories are of tag team wrestling. He wanted to be a tag team guy and be as successful as he could be. He wanted to go down with the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express and so on. He and Devon may not be the best of all time, but he will say that they are the most successful tag team that ever lived. He and Devon have done what no other team have done. But now, they saw the time to go into singles careers and to try and see if they could succeed as singles.
When asked about evolving into a singles performer and world champion, he says that when he went into singles, his goal was to see how close he could get to the original version of him without doing what he did at times in ECW. He wanted to be in your face and edgy. He will put his character against anyone as far as being hated goes. He didn't have a goal to be champion at first, but when he saw the reactions after matches with guys like AJ and other great workers, he says it helped the character grow. But in ways it is not a character, it is him with the volume turned up.
As far as freedom on the mic, TNA gives him a lot of freedom and he enjoys that. They allow performers to be who they think they should be and that is why they have such great talent. People emotionally invest in them. To be able to say what he wants and how he wants allows him to succeed.
On reinventing himself physically, he says he had to do it to make the character fresh and new. He had the in ring skill, but had to make the visual change. He always wanted to be in the shape he is in, and feels he is a good athlete, but the cosmetic change had to be made. He thinks that the reinvention got people to take notice during his run; he feels great and looks great.
He enjoys being able to do interviews like this and speaking for TNA, because it moves the company forward. He thinks Slammiversary will be a great show, and that the roster will deliver. This locker room is the best cross section of wrestlers in the world.
When asked about TNA touring the UK, and his baby face run during the last tour, he says that it was his idea to do all of the Hogan mannerisms. The people responded, and he only does stuff in the ring to get some kind of reaction. He learned this from Vince McMahon, do not do what you think is entertaining, do what the fans will react too. As far as the Team 3D Academy, they run an old school academy. Old school rules, new school tools. They teach the foundation of respect of the business, and then they teach then the new school way to make it in wrestling today. He adds that some schools are operated by guys that have no right to run a school, so they do things the right way to give these guys the best foundation possible.
On being the guy in TNA, it is cool and never thought about it all that much. He busted ass and knew it could happen. But this is a company and not one guy can carry the company in this day and age, they have to work together, and once again puts over the talent of the locker room. If wrestling was a buffet, by the way Tommy Dreamer is fat, they offer the best buffet out there.
On TNA guys that are the future, Magnus and Rock Star Spud. Magnus is the total package and is a future world champion. Spud has the it factor, and has a ton to offer.
On comparing Heyman, Vince and Dixie; he has learned more from wrestling from Paul and Vince. They are pure and best wrestling minds of all time. Paul Heyman molded him, and he got to work side by side with him, and puts over Heyman's mic skills. Going from Paul to Vince is like going from Vader to the emperor, as he learned even more from him. Vince taught him so much, and then Dixie has been a great boss because she runs it on a personal level. She taught him things that he couldn't learn from the others due to her different approach. He has nothing bad to say about any of them.
When asked about tag team wrestling he says there is none, because it is almost extinct. He puts over bad Influence and Aries and Roode, but it doesn't feel the same as it used too. Bad Influence are great, but without other teams, you cannot build a real division. He wishes he could be more positive, but WWE & TNA have to put on a better effort to make it come back.
On his baby face run, he is asked if he could have a big run as a face like he is now as a heel. He says he is not sure he could get the full emotional investment to be a to tier face again. It could be done, but it would take a lot of time. Being liked sucks, being hated is so much cooler. He loves being hated.
In regards to stables never properly ending, he is asked about the Aces and 8s angle and says that it is a work in progress, and as long as he... (Continues on next page)