Wednesday 7 March 2012

Be A Star

I’m not TNA’s biggest fan. My belief is that they have loads of very talented men and women under contract but still somehow manage to put on disappointing shows pretty much every week. Not because of the roster’s inability to perform to a high standard but because of the poor writing and questionable time management.

But in the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed one character that TNA has been getting it very right with. That character, surprisingly, is Bully Ray.

TNA have been gettign it right with Bully Ray for a while now

The former Bubba Ray Dudley was never someone I thought would excel at the top of the card or win a world championship but he’s been a hit with TNA audiences and managed to make a splash in what is otherwise a fairly stale main event scene. He’s progressed a lot since turning heel in late 2010. When the turn and split with Team 3D partner D-Von happened I assumed it would last a few months before a reunion took place. Happily that’s not happened and Ray has flourished as a solo act. For a man who’s spent so many years working as one half of a tag team to be so solid in a singles push is refreshingly enjoyable.

The best thing about Ray’s newfound spot is that he is a great heel. He’s not afraid to get up close and personal with the front row (something that adds a sense of menace at live events and makes him come across as an imposing figure on television). The character he’s portraying is believable and operates under an understandable logic. The most impressive thing about him is his promo work: Ray knows how to make an audience boo him and has added several nice touches that make him stand out: the whole ‘Calf-zilla’ thing and his own personalised ring introductions being the most obvious.

In short Ray has improved every aspect of his performance. He’s motivated himself to get into good shape, worked on his character and altered his look. He’s been rewarded with a better spot on the card and a chance to keep moving up. That’s how the wrestling business should work. Not only does the hard work of the improved wrestler pay off but the promotion gets a new or reinvigorated act and the fans get to see fresh matches and or angles.

TNA deserves praise for allowing Ray to have a run as a featured singles act. It would have been easy to keep him in a tandem, considering how long he’d worked in the doubles ranks. But they took a chance and made it work. Ray deserves credit too, for the hard work he’s put in over the last year and a bit.

It’s going to take more than what’s currently been shown to convince me that Bully Ray could cut it as TNA’s world champion, but he’s certainly shown he belongs in the main event. I’m willing to be convinced though.

The promotion is lucky to have Bully Ray. Long may this state of affairs continue.

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