Bully Ray, better known to ECW and WWE fans as Bubba Ray Dudley and in his regular life as Mark LoMonaco, confirmed during an interview with Busted Open Radio that he has decided to retire from in-ring work.
The 26-year veteran(!) had reportedly suffered a bad head injury at a recent Ring of Honor event thanks to a table shot from Jay Briscoe that visibly didn’t go as planned.
Ray seemed to announce his retirement in the ring at the ROH Global Wars PPV on Sunday, but naturally many fans wondered if it was part of an angle.
But when asked if the retirement is for real, Bully Ray had this to say:
Most definitely [I’m retired]. And as far as what I said in the ring, what you heard me say is about as legit as it gets. There’s more to it than just, you know, the injury. One of the reasons I don’t think I’m going to be making it back in the ring is because when you have an injury like this, where you have to take a significant amount of time away, ring rust sets in really quick, and if you’re 30 years old and you have an injury, it’s easy to come back, but you know, I’m 46, so it takes a little longer to come back. And I know the amount of ring rust that’s going to end up setting in because of my injury, and I don’t know if I want to start from zero again and kind of get moving.
I want to be able to perform at a certain level, and if I can’t perform at that level, I don’t want to perform anymore. So, it’s kind of lining up that this is the time to step away, so that’s why you heard what you heard, and it is what it is. I’m not sad, I don’t want anybody to be sad. It’s been, you know, “Thank you Lord for thinking about me, I’m alive and doing fine.” It’s one of my favorite lines from a song, and I’ll quote it on social media sometimes, and I really feel that way. I’ve had an incredible career, I’ve had an incredible life and I have a bright future in front of me.
He went on to discuss his plans to focus on Busted Open Radio, as well as the Team 3D Academy wrestling schools that he and Devon Hughes, aka D-Von Dudley, founded in 2007. He also mentioned that he’s still under contract with Ring of Honor and will be at their show this Friday at the ECW arena. Whether he’ll have an official role in the show remains to be seen, but he hopes to greet as many fans as he can.
The minute the open the doors at the ECW Arena I am going to do my best to shake everybody’s hand that walks into the ECW Arena that night for Ring Of Honor. This way, I can look everybody in the eye and tell them thank you, because I think if there’s one place that deserves it, it’s there.
ECW was where Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley, the Dudley Boyz, debuted in 1995 and first made their names as nasty heels who insulted the crowds and put anyone they could get their hands on through tables. They moved to WWE in 1999, left for TNA in 2005, and eventually became the only team to hold the WWE, WWF, ECW, WCW, NWA, TNA, and IWGP Tag Team Championships. They made a surprise return to WWE in 2015 to feud with the New Day. D-Von became a WWE producer and retired from the ring in 2016, while Bubba Ray returned to the indies as Bully Ray, and signed with Ring of Honor.
The full discussion of Bully Ray’s retirement is available on SoundCloud: