Bully Ray Dudley Talks G1 Supercard, Advice For Talent, Comparing ROH and ECW

Bully Ray Dudley was a recent guest on Interactive Wrestling Radio with host James Walsh to talk all things pro-wrestling. In his interview, Dudley compares the upcoming G1 Supercard to an old ECW event, Barely Legal, and explains how Ring of Honor has continued carrying the ECW spirit due to the company’s work ethic and passion. He also gives advice to younger talent, talks performing at MSG, and more. Highlights are below.

On the heel/face dynamic in the modern era:
“I think it is very important to have the heel / face dynamic in wrestling. It is one of the main foundations of the pro wrestling industry. It has worked from day one. I think it can continue going forward. I don’t like my wrestling to be gray. I like my athletes, my performers, my wrestlers to have a clear cut emotion and emotional investment. I want to love somebody or hate somebody. I don’t believe there is anybody in the wrestling business in the entire world who is better at being hated than me.”
On why New York fans are different from all other:
“New York City is the capital of the world in my opinion. Obviously, Madison Square Garden is the arena of arenas. That is why they call it the Mecca! And, the New York City fan base, when it comes to professional wrestling, has always been extremely loyal and passionate. When you talk about the best wrestling fans in the world, New York fans are right up there with Philadelphia fans and Chicago fans. You know, when you perform in front of a New York crowd, that you had better bring your A game because they are not afraid to show you how they feel.”
On working MSG as a singles competitor:
“To my knowledge, this is my first time wrestling at Madison Square Garden as a singles wrestler and this is definitively the first time Bully Ray has ever wrestled at Madison Square Garden. As far as Bully Ray competing at Madison Square Garden, it is a bucket list thing that I only added to the bucket list recently when I saw there was going to be an event at Madison Square Garden. With all of the great Ring of Honor talent and with all of the great New Japan talent, I wasn’t guaranteed a spot on the card. So, I did what I had to do story telling wise, character wise, wrestling wise, performing wise to earn myself a spot. I’m proud of myself to be able to do that. It is a big deal to me because I created the Bully Ray character. Nobody created it for me. I’m the one that moved the Bully Ray character forward. I’m talking about when I originally created it in TNA. This was my creation. When you have your own original creation in the wrestling business and when you can bring your own creation to a show like the G1 Supercard and when you can bring your own creation to an arena like Madison Square Garden, it is a really good sense of accomplishment.”
On not growing complacent:
“I have entirely too much fun in the professional wrestling business to ever grow complacent. There are so many stories left to be told and I love coming up with these new stories. I also love coming up with these stories that have been told a hundred times over but I get to tell them in a new way. Especially these days where heels are afraid to get heat. I basically have no fear in the wrestling business. So, I can do things that no one else is doing right now. That alone allows me to never become complacent.”
On ROH being the new era ECW:
“I think one of the most fun things for me is Ring of Honor, for me, is basically full circle of my career. Ring of Honor IS ECW. RIng of Honor was created because ECW went out of business. The work ethic, the passion, the drive in Ring of Honor is something I can understand and relate to because that is what we did in ECW. So, I feel that my career has come full circle and I am in a company that I belong in.”
On people being skeptical when he joined ROH:
“A lot of people were like, “Oh no, this isn’t going to work out” and they gave a variety of reasons why it wasn’t going to work out. It is for those exact reasons that it has worked out. Because Ring of Honor doesn’t have a guy like me. In any wrestling company, you need a variety. You can’t just have wrestling match after wrestling match after wrestling match. You need some story telling. After all, this is the story telling business. I would never want to take away from what Ring of Honor is doing because those guys do what they do entirely too damn well. I just want to add another aspect to Ring of Honor that other guys might not be as qualified to do.”
On advice for the talent making their MSG debut:
“I’ve given two pieces of advice. Number one is when you go through that curtain, take a moment to smell the roses. Take it all in! Stand there, look out into the crowd, realize that you are performing in Madison Square Garden, and realize that you belong there. And, give yourself a mental pat on the back. Because if you’re on that card and you’re standing in that arena, you’ve earned it! So, take time to give yourself some credit for your accomplishments. I think, sometimes, in the wrestling business, things get a little too negative at times and we don’t take the time to tell one another how proud we are of each other. But, we can take the time to appreciate our own moments. So, for everybody who hasn’t performed there before – From Okada and Tanahashi to the Cheeseburgers of the world. Take time to smell the roses! The second thing I told them is to be prepared for an uncontrollable shot of adrenaline. That adrenaline rush is so intense that it will overcome you and you will black out for a second. It is very easy for that adrenaline rush to take over your mind so much that you don’t even remember what happens. It is a pretty crappy feeling to not remember what happens especially if you’re performing in Madison Square Garden!”
On comparing G1 Supercard to ECW’s debut PPV Barely Legal:
“I believe the energy is the same. Obviously, the guys and the gals have changed a lot in how they conduct themselves in a locker room, or as professionals, or as personally. I think it is more controlled passion, controlled energy. I think everyone is chomping at the bit to go out there. In ECW, we were like caged animals who couldn’t wait to get out there and show the world who we were. Everyone already knows who ROH and New Japan are. Now it is just time to go into the Garden and steal the weekend. ECW being on pay per view was such a big deal because these rebels, these rogues, these guys and gals that were kicked to the curb were finally able, as Paul (Heyman) said, to get to the dance. Pay per view for ECW was the dance and Madison Square Garden for the Ring of Honor locker room and in the New Japan locker room is the dance.”
On any surprises at G1 Supercard:
“I will leave you with this and this is really open ended. Just because Juice Robinson accepted the open challenge doesn’t mean that other guys can’t still also answer the open challenge!”

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