Ring of Honor’s sold-out Global Wars tour this past week had a number of memorable moments, but none were more emotional than Bully Ray’s announcement that his in-ring career has likely come to an end.
Proclaiming that at this point in his life he needs to focus on his health, Bully Ray, 46, said goodbye to the fans, who responded with a standing ovation in appreciation for what the rugged superstar has given them throughout his 26-year career.
Bully Ray’s resume speaks for itself. As one half of the Dudley Boyz, one of the most famous and decorated tag teams in wrestling history, he and his brother D-Von won more than 20 championships, including nine WWE Tag Team Titles, eight ECW Tag Team Titles, two IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles and one WCW Tag Team Title.
He also won several singles championships. Bully Ray’s final title reign was as a member of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions with the Briscoe Brothers. In addition to all those titles, Bully Ray also was responsible for putting countless wrestlers and wrestling personalities through tables — sometimes tables that were engulfed in flames.
As a member of the bespectacled Dudley Boyz in ECW in the 1990s, Bully Ray embodied the passion and hardcore style of the renegade promotion. Beyond his formidable skills inside the ring, Bully Ray had the ability to incite ECW’s rabid crowds to a near riot simply with his words.
After he and D-Von moved on to WWE, they truly became international superstars. Thanks to the Dudleys, the phrase “get the tables” has forever become part of the pro wrestling vernacular.
Having competed all over the world against virtually every major competitor in the sport, Bully Ray made his ROH debut with a surprise appearance at Manhattan Mayhem in Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom this past March. He made an immediate impact by putting Bullet Club’s Adam Cole through a table before announcing to the frenzied crowd that he had signed with ROH.
“I came to Ring of Honor because I genuinely want to,” he told the fans. “When I retire, I want to be able to say that I fought for Ring of Honor.”
Unfortunately, Bully Ray’s retirement has come much sooner than he anticipated. That doesn’t mean that he will be disappearing from ROH, however.
“I’m still under contract to Ring of Honor,” Bully Ray said during an appearance on Busted Open Radio earlier this week. “I actually will be at Ring of Honor on Friday for [Philadelphia Excellence] down at the ECW Arena. … I’ll be doing an autograph signing. I’ll be meeting fans. Honestly, I plan on being at the front door. The minute they open the doors at the ECW Arena, I am going to do my best to shake everybody’s hand that walks into the ECW Arena that night for Ring of Honor. That way, I can look everybody in the eye and tell them thank you.”
“… Hopefully I can stay out on the road with Ring of Honor and I can do some meet and greets and help some of the guys in the back. … I’d like to do whatever I can to move a company forward that I truly believe in. I don’t just say this; Ring of Honor is a special company.”
And Bully Ray is a special performer. We at ROHWrestling.com join wrestling fans around in the world in saying:
”Thank you, Bully.”
The following video takes a look at the WWE cameras following Kurt Angle to chronicle his in-ring return at WWE TLC last night, which was his first WWE match in 11 years: