Since becoming a fan favorite after battling Aces & Eights leading up to last year's Bound For Glory pay-per-view with Sting, Bully Ray has enjoyed a strong run as a babyface, even falling into a TNA world heavyweight title shot against Jeff Hardy.
However, when the Lockdown pay-per-view comes around, all could come crashing down to Ray's character, as the signs of a heel turn are beginning to scream more loudly.
TNA is being quite clever in making Ray's potential heel turn a shocking moment for the company. Since his on-screen marriage with Brooke Hogan, TNA is setting up Ray perfectly for an even stronger heel run than his first one as a singles wrestler.
The speculation of a character change came after his backstage segment with his on-screen wife.
The first sign of a heel turn came on a recent edition of Impact! Wrestling in England. Ray engaged in a backstage conversation with Hogan. She kept reminding Ray to wear his wedding ring when going out in public rather than leaving it inside.
The second sign came when Ray arrived to the ring to save Hulk Hogan from a brutal attack by Aces & Eights. However, despite a major advantage on the part of Aces & Eights, the group members quickly stepped outside the ring, leaving both Hogan and Ray untouched.
On this past edition of Impact! Wrestling, it was announced that Ray would compete against Hardy at Lockdown for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. However, Ray did not even participate in any of the matches that would determine the new No. 1 contender for the title.
It was an odd but understandable announcement, as this positions Ray for a major heel turn at one of TNA's biggest pay-per-views of the year.
All of this could be pure speculation—TNA may keep Ray as a popular babyface character. However, TNA needs to come up with a formula to pump new life into Aces & Eights. The storyline could still become successful, and Ray joining the faction may be the perfect ingredient to lead into Bound For Glory later this year.