Bubba Ray Dudley revealed what he believes to be the most important thing in pro wrestling ahead of his last ever match at Final Battle.
A few months ago, Bubba Ray Dudley - known as Bully Ray beyond the realms of WWE - suffered a serious concussion at the hands of Jay Briscoe when Brisco launched a table at Dudley and the corner of it clipped him in the side of the head. Bully Ray then spent the night in the hospital and that moment started the ball rolling on his career coming to an end.
A few weeks later, Dudley had a match with Frankie Kazarian and after putting his opponent through a table, Bully Ray informed the Chicago crowd that night that it would be the last table he ever breaks. Being a true veteran of the business, what Dudley was actually doing was continuing what would be his final angle in the business. A few days later, Jay Briscoe attacked Bubba, spitting on him and then beating down Tommy Dreamer for good measure with the help of his brother.
All of that has led to Bully Ray's actual last match, a tag team bout that will pit him and Dreamer against the Briscoes at Ring Of Honor Final Battle this Friday night. In the run-up to that momentous night, the former Dudley Boy sat down with ESPN and in doing so revealed what he believes to be the most important thing about professional wrestling, storytelling and character development.
"There are a lot of wrestlers out there and a lot of fans out there who are not necessarily as much into the story and the characters," Bully Ray claimed. "I pride myself in the art of my storytelling. Anything I do in wrestling has to have substance. It has to have meaning. There has to be a foundation to it."
Dudley certainly has a point. Wrestling across the board seems to focus more on the in-ring action than the stories that surround it nowadays.
While most of what Bully Ray says is true, whether the story or the wrestling is more important is most definitely up for debate. Wrestling purists will argue that if the action inside the ring is good enough, then that will tell a good enough story. With the very best matches that is definitely the case, but not all performers are talented enough to pull that off.