tommy dreamer bully ray
Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling

Tommy Dreamer Opens Up About His Relationship With Bully Ray

Tommy Dreamer discusses his relationship with Bully Ray.

The two stars have been working together for nearly 30 years, dating back to their time in ECW. This history includes their runs in WWE, their past work in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, and their current on-screen rivalry in the company. The duo are also part of the Busted Open team. Their feud will continue at IMPACT Rebellion, where they will captain opposing teams in a Hardcore War match.

Speaking with WrestleZone managing editor Bill Pritchard, Dreamer was asked whether he feels a sense of trust comfort in working with Ray, given their lengthy history together, despite their on-screen feud. Dreamer cited their work together on Busted Open and noted that their relationship is strained. He also referenced Ray’s past by saying he doesn’t have “the best history” behind the scenes.

“Bully knows how to push people’s buttons,” Dreamer said. “The hardest part is I have to work with him on a radio show every single frigging Thursday, sometimes more. Bully and I’s relationship is, to put it nicely, strained. This goes back. We used to joke about it, like we would travel with each other, and if people heard how we spoke to each other, they think we frigging hate each other. And lately we’ve been on the side of really, really disagreeing with each other. Straight up, Bully has a history. Bully has a history in IMPACT Wrestling, and it’s not the best history.

“I’m talking, business wise, behind the scenes. These are for other people’s stories to tell, but in the short time that he was there, he was — and I’m responsible for him. I brought him in for Bound for Glory, thought it was going to be a cool moment, nice ECW moment with myself [and] Rhino. The guy goes out and wins it, and it’s like, ‘okay, cool.’ I joke with him. At first I was like, ‘He becomes like a Gollum when he gets closer, like the Lord of the Rings, where he turns. I felt personally, him versus Josh Alexander would have been an amazing story of here’s the guy, former world champion, Hall of Famer, taking on Josh Alexander in that same type of TLC matchup, with ladders and chairs and everything and would have just been a really, really good promotable advertised match. Then it went the other route that it did.”

Dreamer continued by stating that Bully is what his name is, as he’s a bully who throws throws things he does for people in their faces. He pointed to the way Ray reminded him that he helped get him into both WWE and IMPACT.

“I also say, he’s exactly what his name is, and always has been,” Dreamer said “He is a bully. He likes to throw in people’s faces things that he’s done for them, which, ‘Great.’ He did get me my job in on Busted Open, but then it is kind of like, ‘okay, but then you have to keep your spot by your body of work.’ He’s also like, ‘I also brought you to IMPACT Wrestling when it was the first time when you had come here a long, long time ago. And I also brought you when I was in WWE,’ and I’m like, ‘okay, cool. How many times are you going to keep reminding someone that you did something?’ But it’s also like, cool. When we went and feuded with the Wyatts, you kind of needed me, as well as, it helped you.

The veteran then recalled how he brought Ray into the wrestling business in the first place back in ECW.

“If I could go full circle, I was the one who brought him into the wrestling business. I don’t ever throw that in his face. And that was in ECW. I worked with him on an indie and I thought he was a good wrestler. He showed up one night and I went to Paul [Heyman] because we were looking for someone to get chokeslammed by 911. I said, ‘That kid will do a great chokeslam.’ He was hired on the same day that Steve Austin debuted in ECW, and then he had a spot.

“Then when he failed, and he failed miserably in the middle of the ring, against Jimmy Backlund, Jimmy Del Rey. Had to rethink about how are we going to get this guy who was a comedy act, how are we going to get him back to where he was? I knew D-Von because D-Von was trained by the same trainer I was trained. Helped put them together. Do I ever throw that in his face? So all that that you accomplished maybe wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have myself in your corner. But yet, he wants to throw stuff in my face. Forget about on the air, because I don’t know if you’re a sports fan, ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’ were very, very famous. They stopped talking. During commercial breaks, we don’t really even speak.”

Dreamer went on to describe how he and Ray argued after Tommy was the first person to do a cutter off a ladder, and Bully later took credit for doing so. He then explained how Ray crossed the line by bringing up his mom while she was in the hospital.

“The other part, and this is kind of how he is. I was the first person to do a cutter off a ladder, did it to Justin Credible, Stairway to Hell,” Dreamer said. “A couple of months later, he’s getting ready for his match at the Astrodome. He tells me he wants to do it. And back then, out of respect, you would, ‘hey, blah, blah, blah. I want to [pay tribute].’ I was like, ‘Cool, man, do it. Take care.’ He said this on the air that he’s the first person ever to do a cutter. And I’m like, ‘Dude, you literally called me and asked [if you could have permission to do it.]’ [Bubba said] ‘I didn’t.’

“Bubba, yes, you did. ‘No, I didn’t.’ Cool, I go back and I show him when [ECW] Heat Wave was when I did it to Justin. I go, ‘Dude, I did it five months before you. Here’s the documented proof.’ If you’re friends with a person, [you say], ‘Dude, I’m sorry. I totally forgot,’ or, ‘Oh, my gosh. I really thought, I was the first person did this. I’m sorry.’ You were wrong or ‘Wow, I just misspoke.’ This is when we were friends. Then he also went, ‘We don’t have scripts.’ He said some stuff about my mom. My mom literally was fighting for her life in the hospital and when she had a stroke, he said, ‘I don’t care about your mom.’ He’s been to my house, I’ve been to his house. There’s things you don’t cross.”

For another example, Dreamer recalled how Ray threw an alcoholic beverage on Darren McCarthy, a recovering alcoholic, when the NHL legend did some work with IMPACT. He noted that Ray didn’t apologize, whereas saying he’s sorry would have been the professional thing to do. Dreamer then revealed that Ray has had strained relationships with IMPACT Wrestling President Scott D’Amore and stars like Mickie James, Jordynne Grace, Josh Alexander, and others. He also stated that their bosses at Busted Open have told them that they can’t talk about what they’re doing in IMPACT because it’s affecting the show.

“Recently, he just threw an alcoholic beverage on Darren McCarty,” Ray said. “Darren McCarty is a recovering addict. And there’s no ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ and yeah, we have a great match and all that stuff happens, but you can’t live life without ramifications, or apologize. It’s called being a professional. ‘Dude, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ Then let’s go out. But no, it’s Bully’s way or the highway.

“He’s had a strained relationship with the boss, Scott Damore. He’s had a strained relationship with Mickie James. A strained relationship with Jordynne Grace, Josh Alexander, Josh’s wife. All these things that happened in, I’d want to say he came in and what October, and he pisses off a lot of people. He plays ball in the beginning, once he gets in and then what? Again, it’s Bully’s world and there’s no ramifications or apologies. Trust me, we have to deal with it to the point where for my other job on Busted Open, management called us in and said you cannot talk about your stuff going on in IMPACT because it’s affecting the show. So, either shape up or we have to replace one of you or both of you, or switch it to days. But yet when we’re analyzing wrestling like we’re supposed to do, we’re pretty good at it. Which sucks because he’s so frigging opinionated, but it’s only like his way, and that’s wrong.”

IMPACT Rebellion takes place on Sunday, April 16 and it is available for purchase on FITE.

Watch our full interview with Tommy Dreamer below: