Tuesday 11 September 2012

Future of the Bully

After a couple of months of negotiation Mark 'Bully Ray' LoMonaco has signed a new deal with TNA.
This is good news for the promotion. The company has invested a lot of time into the Bully character over the last couple of years and has been rewarded with a reliable and believable headline act. Ray has gotten himself into the best shape of his career and earned himself a main event singles spot. That's not something that would've been predicted for the former Dudley Boy ten years ago.
Remaining in TNA is a good thing for Ray's career too. He's carved out a spot for himself and is routinely booked towards the top of the card. Had he returned to WWE he either would have been repackaged as a tag team act with Devon or risked being dropped down into the mid-card as a singles act.
The question of what 'Calfzilla' will do next has to be raised. The obvious thing to do to keep the character fresh is turn him babyface. That was teased at TNA's No Surrender pay-per-view on Sunday when Ray displayed reluctance at facing an injured Jeff Hardy. The respectful fist bump before the match was something we've not seen from the character before either, and another strong indication that there’s more to the persona than meets the eye.

Nice knees, no?
I think fans would respond well to Bully Ray becoming a good guy. He has worked well as part of a babyface tag team in the past and the fact that's he's displayed to fans that he can win should encourage backing and support.
Switching roles would give Ray some fresh opponents. He could turn in good bouts with the likes of Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, and Bobby Roode and could prove a valuable member of the inevitable TNA resistance movement against the Aces and Eights faction. Equally he could remain a heel and be revealed as a member of the gang. That would allow him to do something a little different.
There's also the TNA world championship for Ray to win. Due to not having the most marketable look, only recently getting into shape, and working as part of a tag team for so many years Ray has never been considered as a potential world champ. His current work rate and status in TNA have changed that and a Bully Ray world title reign now seems a realistic possibility. I think he'd work well in the role.
Whatever's in store for the former ECW, WWE, TNA, and NJPW tag team champion it will involve him working alone. Over the past two years he's shown he can excel when given the chance to fly solo. I hope TNA continues their good work with him.

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