Sam Roberts Wrestling Show
Release Date: June 15, 2017
Guest: Bully Ray
Recap by: Matthew Wilkinson
- Bully Ray blames Dixie Carter for TNA’s failings.
- Bully believes he and Matt Hardy kept TNA alive in the last five years.
- Bully thinks there are major comparisons between ROH and ECW.
- Bully was pleased with his last WWE run.
- Sam believes New Japan need to add storylines to their product.
- Sam will be part of the Money in the Bank Kick-Off show.
Subjects Covered (with timestamps)
05:15-Bully Ray Interview
06:40-Bully Ray on joining ROH
30:30-Latest WWE run
40:30-ROH’s growing pains
51:20-Adam Cole leaving ROH
55:12-End of Interview
64:25-State of Wrestling
64:40-Omega vs. Okada II
86:30-Money in the Bank
113:30- End of show
Sam Roberts welcomes everyone to the show and says it has been a fun week leading into Money in the Bank and following a big New Japan show.
He says this will be the first time he has spoken to Bully Ray on the podcast since before he last returned to WWE. Sam says nobody expected to see Bully Ray in Ring Of Honor but thinks he has been doing great work.
Sam says he wanted to put this interview up a few weeks ago and said the interview quality was poor due to technical issues. Because of that, he asked Bully Ray to interview him again (which is great dedication to quality) and Bully agreed (which is equally as brilliant for him to do twice).
Bully Ray Interview
Sam kicks off the interview saying how this is the second time they’re conducting this interview and he says it is good to see Bully Ray back.
Bully Ray on ROH
Sam tells Bully that he didn’t think he would ever see him in ROH. Bully agreed and added that most people felt that way and the only person who thought it would happen was himself.
Bully says he has been a fan of ROH from the day it started. He believes the company came to life to fill the void that ECW left behind and stated how many stars have come out of ROH naming C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Samoa Joe.
Bully Ray thought that this character would be a good fit for ROH. Bully says he is going to try and put the younger talent over which Sam links to what Terry Funk once did.
Bully says they are already all great in the ring, but wants to help them tell stories better and says he has warmed up to the roster and will try watching any match that talent asks him to.
Sam asks Bully how he has realized that it’s time to focus on helping the talent and not just raising the Bully Ray name. He states that it was an easy decision as that is where he is at in his career.
Bully does believe if he went fully into the character he could still be a World Champion and tell stories that ROH has never seen before. But he isn’t looking to do that.
Bully states that whilst he is enjoying the six man tag work that he is doing he would like to have some singles matches with people like Jay Lethal and Will Ospreay.
Bully believes the clash of styles between himself and Ospreay would be brilliant and is confident that he could get under people’s skin and make fans excited about the match. He thinks in the last twenty years not many people have had more heel heat than him.
Bully says he agrees with Randy Orton’s comments in the sense that wrestlers should work smarter. But he says he understands the other side as the ROH style is the ECW style, you have to get yourself over.
Bully says that the issue between himself and Randy Orton was dealt with immediately as Randy sent him a text to resolve the situation.
He says the thing about talent who has moved up from ROH, such as A.J. Styles, now understand the art of storytelling.
Sam asks how TNA didn’t make things work when they had the roster that is now working in WWE and ROH and making money. Bully turns the question and Sam blames the owners and Bully agrees with them, saying they had zero ideas.
Bully lists people who were involved in TNA such as Sting and Kurt Angle as well as how good the Knockout division was, which he believes is where the women’s revolution began.
Bully says they never knew how to catch lightning in a bottle. He stated certain guys caught lightning in a bottle for them and said the top guys were him and Matt Hardy but TNA’s owners couldn’t make them work.
Bully says he could tell you about the deplorable business decisions they made and said those mistakes always came from management. He said Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff had nothing but TNA’s interest in mind.
Bully says competing against Raw was a stupid decision and makes Sam Roberts say it was Dixie Carter, agreeing that it was her fault.
Bully states he never had money problems with TNA and said that is down to the talent, they should handle it better by using lawyers and not social media.
Bully tells a story he has never discussed before. He says he was at Doc Gallows’ wedding and Matt Hardy was also there, and it was the first time he had seen him in a while.
He suggested doing one more match with him and Bully suggested it to the company and they had their series and helped get the Wolves over and then Broken Matt happened. He believes a Dudley and a Hardy kept the company afloat for over five years.
Sam asks Bully if his latest WWE run was to help younger talent. He claims he was told to specifically help New Day and the Wyatts.
He says him and D-Von tried to do everything they could to help those talent in the way people did for them back in the day. He said that last year was fun for them and even though some fans wanted more that was the deal they returned for.
Sam asks if he left with them as better teams and Bully believes that he did. He says that Vince McMahon has always taken care of them and says they are very close.
Bully says he suggested a storyline where they turned on Tommy Dreamer during their feud with the Wyatts and that he would build the Dudleys by beating Dreamer and his teams of former ECW guys.
He felt he could have beaten them all, building them up without sacrificing WWE guys which could then beat them when they had heat. However, Vince felt the WWE Universe wouldn’t have the same investment in Dreamer that the Philadelphia crowd would have.
Bully said the most intimidating thing about Vince is his door. He says he has seen the toughest men head to the door and be scared of it. He says the one thing Vince doesn’t like is people bugging him when he is eating.
Sam asks what Bully thinks Vince’s thoughts on ECW were and he believes he has full respect for what they achieved. He believes Vince saw the change in wrestling towards the more edgy product and that’s when Vince invested in it.
ROH’s growing pains
Sam talks about the production team did not fully capture Marty Scurll’s moment of joining Bullet Club, Bully agreed but said it’s growing pains.
He goes on to say that ROH should analyze and slowly make the changes needed to get better. Bully said he got with the cameramen and the production truck for his entrance from the crowd, but that is because of his veteran knowledge.
Bully said that is unlike what happened in TNA where he believes people just didn’t care when he was at the company. Bully says in life, communication is key.
Bully believes that WWE are a well-oiled machine and that there are very few mistakes and when there are mistakes, you answer to Vince. He said, you know when you’ve messed up he will be the first and last face that you will see, which he thinks is a good thing.
Bully gives a personal story about when they attacked Right To Censor and said they went five minutes over time. He said before he got one foot behind the curtain and he was face to face with Vince and he told him if he ever went five minutes over on his show again; it had better had be as good as that segment was.
Adam Cole leaving ROH
Sam moves the conversation on by asking Bully if he is upset that Adam Cole has left ROH. He says from a selfish point of view he is sad he has gone because he would love to have worked a match as he knows he can tear the house down with him.
For business reasons, he wants him to make the best decision and become a millionaire as this is a business and the idea is to make more money and climb the ladder of success.
This wraps up the conversation and Sam says the good news is this interview was better than the one that didn’t work.
End of Interview
Sam said one of the only things they didn’t discuss in this interview was Bully Ray’s character going to WWE, which he said nearly happened but couldn’t due to the negative thoughts on ‘bully.’
Sam says the wrestling world was talking about Omega vs Okada and says that WWE is aware of everything that is going on in the wrestling world.
Sam says he is working out if there will be another live show during SummerSlam week and tells people to tweet him if they are interested.
State of Wrestling –Omega vs Okada
Sam says he was watching the match and it got the world talking. Sam briefly went on a tangent (which was funny) about the term ‘internet wrestling fans’ and claims that doesn’t exist anymore as everyone has the internet.
Back to the match and Sam says it was incredible. He says they are not overrated or overhyped because they gave a five hour show a dedicated 45 minute match. He says the question remains as to where New Japan falls in the ranking of wrestling company’s and threats to WWE.
He says that New Japan is certainly focusing on expanding to the United States. The fact they are creating a United States Championship and the amount of talent invading NJPW such as Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes shows that.
Despite this, Sam doesn’t think they can threaten WWE yet. He states his wife isn’t a wrestling fan, but she loves the sports entertainment part of it and likes the storylines and entrances. This is what he thinks WWE is king at.
Sam tells a story of how he took his wife to an ROH show where Daniel Bryan faced Nigel McGuinness and for the first time she said she enjoyed an actual match. This proves to Sam that casual fans will still enjoy a good quality match a may make them tune in.
Yet he thinks storyline is king and this is where New Japan could struggle and feels this is where they still need to develop. Sam says stories such as Titus Brand make seeing the same match bearable because a new chapter is being told, that is the power of storylines.
Sam uses NXT as an example how there is fantastic wrestling and good quality stars but there needs to be storylines, which is why the brand is doing so well.
Sam thinks that New Japan should be compared to NXT rather than the main roster and says characters and storylines are still key.
Moving on to this weeks WWE topics and Sam announces he will be on the Money in the Bank Kick-Off show.
Money in the Bank
Sam says he thinks this Sunday has a pretty great card. He hopes the WWE Championship match will be a farewell to that story and hopes that Jinder leaves with the title and should be reintroduced into the roster.
Sam also thinks whoever wins the Money in the Bank shouldn’t be focusing on the champion, because they can get them whenever they want. He hopes the winner will snatch it at the last minute allowing them to feud over who should have won, whilst there is a separate championship feud.
In terms of the Tag Team Championships, Sam would like to see The Usos win the titles. He wants the story to be that the original Smackdown guys prove they are tougher and thinks New Day can win down the road as they still make strong champions.
He thinks the Money in the Bank matches should never be won by people who can get a title shot anyway, using John Cena as the example. He also thinks a bad guy is a better holder of the briefcase (which I agree with), using Seth Rollins and The Miz as examples as good winners.
On the flipside of that, he doesn’t think they can have both winners as bad guys because the psychology should be different, but he felt that way about the title matches at Extreme Rules.
Before he gets into the ladder match, Sam admits he is worried that Lana will win the Women’s Championship, even though he doesn’t want her to win.
Sam sees Charlotte and Becky Lynch as ladder match wrestlers but doesn’t see Natalya as one. His pick to win the match is Carmella as it will add a new dynamic to her relationship with James Ellsworth and it fits with her character.
He believes Carmella doesn’t have the in-ring pedigree that the other wrestlers in the match have which is why this win could boost her. In terms of the male match his two contenders are Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn.
Sam thinks Corbin winning would be very similar to Carmella’s win so his pick to win is Sami Zayn.
Sam said he struggled with Raw this week and that it was not better than Smackdown. He felt there was one good moment and then a couple of things sprinkled in that he enjoyed.
The Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar segment was perfection in Sam’s eyes and almost made him forget the PPV is called Great Balls of Fire. He likes the Titus Brand stories as they are fun, but other than that he wasn’t impressed.
The fact they built a 2 out of 3 falls match all show that ended the way it did was ridiculous and he is sick of seeing them do the same thing with Bray Wyatt, cutting the promo and losing a big match.
He guesses that they are writing Roman Reigns off Battleground and says he was disappointed by Raw as he had hoped they would go crazy and put together a good show to end the ratings discussion. Sam thinks that people are not trying with Raw and doesn’t know whether it’s the performers or the writers.
He thinks the John Cena free agent storyline is interesting and thinks that when we hit SummerSlam they will be on fire again. Sam mentions how most businesses they take time off in the Summer, but WWE does that at this time of year instead.
Sam says he appreciates everyone listening to the podcast this week which brings an end to the show for this week.
Another really enjoyable episode from Sam. The fact he recorded the interview with Bully Ray a second time shows real dedication to his audience which should be respected and the interview was very insightful. Bully Ray is one of the greatest minds in wrestling and his thoughts on TNA and ROH were very interesting and he told some fun stories about WWE. Sam got the mix just right in terms of discussing WWE and other companies and issues with Bully. It was good to hear Sam discuss New Japan in detail as well which is something different as well as his usual WWE thoughts.
About the Writer
Matthew Wilkinson is from Bradford, England. He’s been a fan since the late 90’s with the Attitude Era and was then heavily invested again through the rise of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. He can be found on Twitter at @MC_Wilkinson1
For more, check out last week’s episode of Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with Cody Rhodes.