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Posted in: Chair Shots
Chair Shots: How to Train Your Bully
By TripleR
Oct 15, 2012 - 10:01:51 AM


Welcome back loyal readers! First off, I’d like to thank everyone who has given Chair Shots a read in its debut on the main page here at Lords of Pain. I hope to continue to provide you some quality reading alongside some of the veterans up here that I’m joining. So after spending much of the weekend on Dad duty, going to a soccer game and surviving a Renaissance Festival, I was able to sit back, relax, and catch TNA’s Bound for Glory PPV. I know there are a lot of anti-TNA people out there, but I truly believe they’ve had one of the best years of their existence here in 2012, and last night was no exception. Yes, there were a few missteps in the show, but overall it was a quality PPV outing worthy of watching. Now I’m not going to go into a full review, because my colleague The Crow has already done that, but I want to get into what was one of the most-talked about angles going into last night’s event- the Aces & Eights match with Sting and Bully Ray and whether or not we’d get a reveal as to who is behind the gang of thugs that has invaded TNA.

If you watched last night, you know at this point that Devon was unmasked as either a member of, or the leader of Aces & Eights. There are certainly more questions now than there were before about his role in the group, and that will play out in the next few weeks. But on the flip side of that, Bully Ray in one evening became a huge fan favorite as he teamed with TNA’s Hall of Fame inductee- Sting. I’m a huge fan of Bully Ray, and have been for a very long time. There’s no denying that he’s in the best shape of his career, and doing some of the best mic work he’s ever done, but where does he go now?


For me, the appeal of Bully Ray was that he was a flat-out pain in the ass. Bully didn’t care who he pissed off, because he was always ready to back up his actions. This was a man that fans truly despised, and he was incredible at it. But just like that, with one tag-team match and a Devon unmasking later, Bully Ray is a face. I’m not sure how I feel about that honestly. Wrestling today has a tendency to pull the trigger very quickly in terms of face/heel turns. It’s almost as if the organizations don’t want the heels to become more popular than the faces that they are going against. I can understand that logic to an extent, but you don’t have to turn a heel just because he’s getting some cheers.

Fans love to love the bad guy. Austin Aries came into TNA as a heel, and through hard work and tenacity, he became a fantastic heel character. He was getting “Aries” chants from the crowd, but was that a reason to turn him face? The same goes for Bully Ray. He worked to get in shape, hone his character, and became one of the top heels in TNA, and quite possibly wrestling as a whole. So by TNA pulling the trigger and turning him face, have they neutered everything that Bully Ray had worked for in the past year? Let’s look at a couple of scenarios and see what could happen to Bully Ray after last night’s Bound for Glory event.

1.) Bully Ray stays face and continues his feud with Aces & Eights
After revealing Devon as a member of Aces & Eights, the most obvious path to take is a Bully Ray/Devon feud. This isn’t anything we’ve haven’t already seen, but both men are doing fantastic work as of late, with Devon holding the TV title for a while before TNA decided not to renew his contract. For me, Bully Ray needs to continue to be in the Main Event picture, and putting him in a feud with Devon isn’t going to accomplish that. However, with Jeff Hardy winning the belt last night from Austin Aries and Bully now presumably a face, putting Bully in the title hunt doesn’t make a lot of sense. So for the time being, Bully is a key player in a feud that looks to continue for some time now.

2.) Hulk Hogan and Sting lose their trust in Bully Ray, and he remains heel, but independent.
After the reveal, all eyes were on Bully Ray. Hogan and Sting immediately turned to Bully, wondering if he knew about it all along. Following this logic, Hogan and Sting don’t know whether they can trust Bully, with his former partner being part of Aces & Eights. Bully comes to blows with Sting and Hogan, maintaining his heel status, and stuck between doing the right thing by TNA and joining his brother in Aces & Eights. This scenario has potential, and would continue to put the focus on Bully Ray, putting his somewhere between heel and tweener.

3.) Bully Ray was in on it the whole time, and eventually reveals himself to be behind Aces & Eights, reuniting with his brother Devon.
Is Bully Ray in on it still? That is a question that I’m sure is on the minds of Hogan and Sting, and like scenario 2 it will be a matter of trust. In this possibility, Hogan and Sting put their trust in Bully, only to have him stab them in the back, revealing he was in on the attacks the whole time. This is my least favorite of the three honestly, as it would mean putting Devon and Bully Ray back together. While there is no denying that Team 3-D is one of the best tag teams of all time, there’s no need to go back to it at this point. However, while both men have moved on, they continue to be forever linked in the wrestling culture.

I’ll be honest with you; I want Bully Ray to remain a heel. He’s entertaining as hell, and right now very few wrestlers can get the kind of heel heat that Bully Ray was receiving. Yes fans were starting to get behind him, but just as many were hating his actions in and outside of the ring. If the WWE has taught us anything, it’s that just because a large portion of the crowd hates you or loves you, it doesn’t mean that a turn is warranted. Fans have been calling for John Cena to turn heel for quite some time, but it’s just not going to happen. Wrestling organizations need to stop being so quick to pull the trigger on face/heel turns. They happen so rapidly now that they lose all meaning. I’m a huge fan of Bully Ray, and I hope his massive push continues. I just want to be booing the crap out of him as it does.

Until next time,
Trip Out!

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