For Mike Knox, facing Bully Ray at NWA 74 is a clash that is years in the making.
In an interview with WrestleZone, Knox recalled his issues with Ray, which date back to the beginning of his time in WWE. He also looked back on how he didn’t mesh with Ray, even when they were in the same stable in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling.
“When I said that I loved the business, I was a fan of Bully too,” said Knox. “The old-school ECW Bully, they were all crazy. I was a fan, big fan. They had their big run in WWE, big fan. Then I got called up. He’s kinda a dick, man. [Laughs] You know what I mean? He’s just like New York, like a stereotype, almost. He’s loud, he’s abrasive, he’s aggressive. He was like that in the locker rooms. He would eat some people up now, he would eat them up. People were nervous, they were scared to meet him. They were scared to do business with him. He was tough to do business with. So we came into IMPACT together, and I was like, alright, man. We’re a team now. If you got a problem with me, man, then you have a problem. I am not a hated man, shoot-wise. So it’s like, if I feel weird about you, if I don’t like you, business aside, personally, if I don’t like you, there’s something wrong with you. I can’t be the only one that feels that way.
“I figure, we’re gonna bond, we’re gonna do this thing, we got this biker deal, like cool. I’ve just been off TV for a while, so I was fresh, ready to rock and roll. They put us in our own little deal. Bam, everybody’s in there but him. The whole guy like Stock and Brisco, and Garrett, Anderson, we’re all in there. These guys are all my friends, we all came up together. Some of us go back 20 years. I love these guys. D-Von was way cooler than I thought he was ever gonna be. We rode together a bunch of times doing the house shows and stuff at IMPACT. Bully was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t trying to help take guys under their wing. He had his own deal, he had his own agenda, and that’s what he did. After that, whenever I left IMPACT with all that noise, I never thought I was gonna work again. I didn’t think I was gonna wrestle no more.”
However, Knox has returned to the business because he remains passionate about it. He expressed is excitement for NWA 74 and also expressed his doubt about the idea that Ray has changed. Regardless, he stated that he’s going to beat Bully at his own game when they face off in a Tables Match.
“There’s just something different about going in there and going to battle with somebody,” said Knox. “I can’t wait. I cannot wait [for NWA 74]. I said I’m getting old. So is he. It’s not the same as it was before. He’s not at the top of his game anymore. He’s a good guy now. He’s a babyface. He’s in the radio, saying how good everybody’s doing and he’s got his little school, and he’s training the kids coming up. You know, you don’t change that much as a person. Tiger can’t change its stripes. Fool me once, fool me twice kinda thing. I’m gonna take him out at his own game.”
When previewing the bout, the powerhouse noted that he doesn’t know if Ray can still do his old moves, but he’ll be ready for them just the same. He also vowed to take his time when he beats Ray up.
“I’m completely focused on Bully,” said Knox. “I’m watching his old stuff, which I don’t know if he can do it, what he used to do. But if he can, I’m ready for it. Doing that, getting myself in shape. I feel like I’m in as good a shape as I’ve been in in 15 years. My body feels great, my mind’s right, I’m thinking right. Bully’s in trouble. Bully’s in trouble. He thought the first one was bad, I’m gonna whoop that ass. It ain’t gonna be fast, either. I’m gonna whoop his butt.”
Looking ahead to the bout, Knox made it clear that it will be personal, and it has been a long time coming.
“I’m looking at Bull, it’s a little bit personal,” Knox said. “I just don’t like the guy. So it’s gonna be St. Louis, end of the month. We’ve been waiting for years for this. This didn’t just come up.”
Knox also emphasized that he likes slamming people through tables, and he wait to do it to Ray again.
“I was sitting there in my head, I was thinking about how fun it is to throw people through tables,” Knox said. “I should have been doing this the whole time. I love throwing people through there. That first one [with Bully] was good. It was really fun. I can’t wait to do it again.”
NWA 74 will be held at The Chase in St. Louis on August 27 & 28. More information is available here.
RELATED: Caprice Coleman Previews Facing Colby Corino At NWA 74, Calls It An Honor To Be In The Ring