Bully Ray is the best thing to happen to Impact in a long time. From being a part of one of the greatest and most decorated tag teams in wrestling history to reinventing himself into a singles superstar, Ray has proven that with desire, the willingness to take chances and a little bit of creativity, if you really want something bad enough, it's there for the taking. My hat's off to you, Sir Ray, mission accomplished!
As a member of Team 3-D, along with Devon, Ray carved himself a legacy as being a great tag team wrestler. That's all well and good, but there are only so many times you can win the tag team titles before it feels like a retread of the good old days. It was time for a change. Leaving Devon behind and taking his game to the next level has done wonders for his career. Forget about the tag titles, it's all about being the World Heavyweight champion.
Bully Ray is absolutely compelling. Apparently, he decided to take the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin route in order to reinvent himself, which, in a word, is brilliant! No, there will never be another Steve Austin, but Ray does not have to be Austin in order to make an impact. Attitude, desire and the ability to still go inside the ring will keep Ray at the forefront of Impact.
Let's not forget to mention his involvement with the Hogans. Obviously, he's trying to get to Hulk Hogan through Brooke, Hogan's daughter and Bully's wife. Although I'm not a big fan of Brooke, there's no telling where this may go, perhaps becoming one of the most intriguing storylines of the summer.
With victories over Jeff Hardy and Sting, Ray has proven himself to be a capable champion. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Like it or not, Ray's charisma has made him a must-see player. Give TNA credit where credit is due. The company could have easily gotten in the way of Bully's creativity, diluting what we are currently seeing: a badass with little to no regard for anything or anyone, carrying the company on his shoulders in the process (quite nicely, I must say).
Honestly, I'm really not thrilled about the whole Aces and Eights storyline as it stands. At times it feels forced, like so many things in wrestling today. Ideally, I would like to see Bully eventually stand alone. There are so many directions you can go with Ray if TNA is willing to take some chances.
As we head into summer, I hope TNA continues to make the most of Ray and what he has to offer. As the next few months go by, he will definitely have his hands full as he struggles to hold on to the title, keep Aces and Eights together, convince Brooke Hogan into taking him back in order to antagonize Hulk Hogan and deal with the threat of Sting's re-formed Main Event Mafia.
Is it me or has TNA become must-see television?