This Thursday TNA IMPACT! will be presenting a televised wedding between Brooke Hogan the daughter of wrestling icon and TNA executive Hulk Hogan and the rebellious Bully Ray. The Hulkster and Ray have been at odds over the romance, and things heated on last week’s IMPACT! when Ray got on one knee and popped the question to Brooke. Hulk is furious while Brooke and Bully get ready to tie knot, all while the dangerous Aces & Eights faction is trying to destroy TNA from every possible angle. AS this war between TNA and the Aces & Eights rages on, wrestling fans can now tune in for a love story between Brooke and Bully Ray.
In an Examiner.com Exclusive, we went right to the source and ask former TNA World Tag Team Champion Bully Ray about everything going down this Thursday on IMPACT. To make this interview even more special, Pro Wrestling Examiner used questions provided by you, our loyal Examiner readers!
This interview below covers Ray and Brooke’s wedding plus we get insight into his successful jump into a singles career after his time in Team 3D , and his aspirations of becoming the next TNA World Champion. You can listen to unedited 18 minute interview for free at this link.
So tell us how this romance between Brooke and yourself came together and grew into this wedding that fans can tune in for this week on IMPACT?
Bully Ray: “The crazy part of the whole situation started three months ago when Hogan and I were at each other’s throats, Hogan would not trust me when I would come down to help with the Aces and Eights thing. I stood by Sting’s side at Bound For Glory, he really treated me like an ass! He just kept turning his nose up to me.”
Ray goes on to explain that Brooke Hogan approached him backstage at Universal Studios and surprised the 23-time Tag Team Champion with an apology on her father’s behalf. Brooke attributed the trouble Ray was getting from the TNA boss to outside issues in Hogan’s well-documented personal life. Ray then said one thing lead to another, with conversation over Brooke’s music career, their similar passions in life, and a romantic relationship blossomed. The feeling was so real to a roughneck wrestler like Bully Ray that he “knew it was right.” and had to make it official. Ray proposed to Brooke on IMPACT last week, and felt there should be no time to waste, setting the date for the ceremony for this Thursday live on Spike TV.
So the TNA fans are certainly speculating about where this issue is going end up between Hulk, Brooke, and Bully Ray. So we had to ask do you understand the gravity of what you are doing by marrying the boss’s daughter?
BR: “I have been doing this for 21 years now, I understand what I am doing. I don’t look at Brooke as the daughter of Hulk Hogan. It has been going to well, not to move forward.”
Some are speculating that you are ‘playing the cards’ in the political game of Pro Wrestling to get ahead in TNA. So we have to know is this true love between Brooke and yourself?
BR: “It’s not playing the cards at all. It has been real easy getting along with Brooke. We just click, and get along so nicely with likes, it’s really about me and her."
Are you going to change your last name to ‘Hogan’ now that you are marrying into wrestling royalty?
BR: “Ah no, I would never change my last name to Hogan! I already told Brooke if she wants to hyphenate her last name, I would be totally cool with that.”
Recently in the last year or so, you have really transitioned into a strong singles career in TNA after having a very established tag team with Devon in Team 3D. You have transformed your body and your personality, while Devon is now the leader of the dreaded Aces & Eights, Can you reflect on that and explain how you made that change?
BR: “ When Devon and I went our separate ways a little over two years ago, I knew I needed to reinvent myself overnight. Nobody comes out of the most successful tag teams of all time, and just becomes an established singles star unless they do something to catch the world’s eye.
The great thing about ‘ Bully Ray’ is, it’s really not a character. I love when people say ‘Oh your character’, I always tell them it’s not a character. It’s me. You’re not watching a character on TV, you are watching me.
As far as my body is concerned, I knew I wanted to get into the best shape of my life. I knew how hard it would be. At 38 years old, I started to really diligently hitting the weights. I had always done cardio, to make sure I was in ring shape. Dropped about a hundred pounds, reformed my body and still I am trying to get there. It’s very hard to lose body fat and build quality muscle at the same time. There are lifestyle changes as far as eating is concerned, drinking a gallon of water a day, keeping up with my supplements, and just busting my ass.
“I always need new thing to motivate me in Professional wrestling. Devon and I’s run, those two or three years, I could have done with my eyes closed. We were lucky enough in TNA to have such great tag teams to work with, such as Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns. So once I decided to go my separate way, I knew it was time for reinvention.”
You still have unfinished business and a lot of history with your former Team 3D tag partner, Devon. How will that play in the future?
BR: “ I have been trying to get my hands on Devon since Hulk took his mask off at Bound for Glory. I am still in shock that Devon had the brains to organize the Aces & Eights, it’s crazy. It all goes back to me, and what I did to Devon. Instead of fighting just me, he decided to take it out on everyone else and put the blame on me. For somebody who is such a good talker, it’s almost hard for me to put into words what I feel emotionally about the situation, and ‘shock’ is the word that always come back to mind.
In last few months, TNA stars have gotten the upper hand on the Aces & Eights gang, but a group of evil dudes like this seem the perfect element to destroy a wedding, especially your wedding this Thursday on IMPACT. How do you feel about the existing threat of Aces & Eights ruining your marriage ceremony?
BR: “That was one of Brooke’s first questions to me. We are taking all the percussions to make sure this wedding goes off without a hitch and that it’s exactly what we want it to be. Who knows, Hulk is sp pissed off at Brooke and me right now, he might just let Aces & Eights in the building to ruin the frick’n wedding!”
You seem like you can jump into the TNA World title picture in the future, so is a TNA World Championship in your future?
BR: “ I was so damn close last year. I thought I had the best shot. That is still my goal. I got sidetracked with Aces & Eights. I kind of have my personal happiness on my mind right now, as opposed to my professional happiness. Definitely the goal is to become the TNA World Champion. That would be the cherry on top. When I got into wrestling, all I wanted to be a part of was the most successful tag team that ever lived. People ask me like ‘Really? You wanted to be in a tag team?’. Absolutely, because as far back as I can remember I always enjoyed tag team wrestling more than I enjoy singles wrestling. So I did that, 23 World tag team titles, blah blah. So now to come back, reinvent myself, and become the TNA World Champion would be pretty f’n cool.”
You can listen to the entire uncensored exclusive interview with TNA’s Bully Ray where he threatens to “mafia kick” this Examiner in the face. The discussion also covers Ray’s thoughts on TNA reducing their Pay Per View schedule to 4 annual events, and who he thinks is the best up and coming wrestlers in TNA. In a can’t-miss-closing segment, Ray also gives insight to a very controversial incident in the original ECW when a Pay Per View company threatened to take the show off the air after something he said on the air. Listen to the entire interview at this link.