TNA star Bully Ray on WWE Champion C.M. Punk, the new TNA pay-per-view schedule, TNA not tackling bigger markets, whether Hulk Hogan will attend his wedding to Brooke Hogan
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Bully Ray on CM Punk: "I’m going to put somebody over right now. I normally don’t put anyone over, but I want to give CM Punk credit. I’m a Punk fan. You know why I’m a Punk fan? Because that bastard says what’s on his mind. There is one thing that he doesn’t have that I respect and that’s fear. He has no fear. He so reminds me of someone who would fit into the ECW locker room. He’s got balls as big as mine. Back in the day when I was starting riots, that if I did that shit today, I’d be sued for life and probably wind up dead behind bars.
"And they don’t have a choice in what he says because he is going to say whatever the hell he wants, and I love it. He is the punk rock version of pro wrestling, and that’s what we were back in the day. To see that be so real and honest and he is so friggin' angry, I love it. I love his anger. Punk will stay out there for fifteen minutes and talk on that mic and never trip over a line. You know why? There are not lines. It’s real emotion. It’s how he really feels. That’s what makes it beautiful."
On the new PPV schedule for TNA: "I think it’s good for business as far as people being emotionally invested and really interested in what’s going on. From a dollars and cents point of view, I can only hope it makes sense for TNA. I like to compare everything to sex. Even sex gets too much at times. A pay per view every single month, you kind of get burned out on it. What really is special and what is not special?
"Sometimes you may watch a pay per view and say actually Thursday night’s Impact was better than the pay per view. So what did I spend my money on? I remember as a kid growing up, the Wrestlemanias, the Royal Rumbles, the Survivor Series, the Summerslams, the Starrcades. The special shows that you really, really built to. You built real emotional investment. Where you said to yourself, 'I absolutely, positively have to see this show.' With pay per views nowadays, whether it’s WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor. Is there anything that’s must see anymore? Ok I know I must see Bound For Glory, and I know I must see Wrestlemania. What else?"
Why is TNA not tackling the big markets? "There aren’t a lot of topics that I won’t answer you guys on. This one I’m going to step away from, for the very simple fact that my opinions might not mesh with their business opinions. All I know is this, in New York City, a small underground company with no better than a midnight spot on cable television fifteen years ago sold this city out every single time. TNA should be doing the same thing. I would love to see TNA get on board a little bit with the more traditional style of wrestling promotion, and getting word out to the fans a little more than just the TV show and the internet. I do believe that a company who is still growing like TNA, you really do need to do the gorilla marketing, the grassroots marketing. I do believe that TNA should be appearing more and more in New York, in Philadelphia, in Boston, in Chicago and Detroit. Hardcore wrestling fanatics, cities where people will really sink their teeth into your product, people will really jump on board. I’m not quite sure why they stay away from the Northeast as much as they do."
On a potential match with Jeff Hardy: "Me and Jeff had a ton of history. Everybody knows about the TLC matches. The Hardys vs the Dudleys. All of the history that we made together. Got to give Jeff a ton of credit for bouncing back from his personal issues. I never held a grudge against Jeff for his personal issues, when actually, I’m the guy that should probably hold the biggest grudge. Because when Jeff was going through his personal issues, who did the company turn too to make everyone forget that Jeff Hardy was on the shelf? Me! And in a week’s time, you forgot he was gone. I was the guy who stepped up and hit grand slam after grand slam every single week. No grudges, no jealousy, no nothing. TNA is better with Jeff Hardy as the champion. TNA is a better company. Professional wrestling is better with Jeff Hardy. Nothing but respect, but I do want another opportunity."
Will Hulk Hogan attend the wedding? "He is either going to accept me or he is not going to accept me. All I know is that tomorrow night on Spike TV, I am going to marry his daughter. If that doesn’t make him accept me, than I don’t know what will. At the end of the day no matter what kind of animosity and heat me and Hulk have, I really do hope that he is there on Thursday. I want him to walk his daughter down the aisle. I want him to give his daughter away. I want him to be happy. I want him to be happy for his daughter and I want him to be happy because of my respect level for the industry that he paved the road for me. That’s the bottom line."
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