Recently on The Jim Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross spoke with his fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Bubba Ray Dudley, also known as Bully Ray. Among many other things, Bully talked about why he thinks WWE will never again let any WWE Superstar become as famous as 16-time World Champion John Cena. Also, Ross shared that WWE could see some changes in its braintrust with the relaunch of The XFL coming soon.
In Bully’s view, WWE no longer allows performers its braintrust did not envision at the top to reach the proverbial brass ring. Moreover, Bully suggested that a talent can no longer get himself over in the way pro wrestling great Steve Austin did with his memorable “Austin 3:16” promo.
“[Ross] know[s] damn well that you don’t go to the top of the mountain and stay at the top of the mountain unless you are chosen to be at the top of the mountain,” Bully declared. “And that’s not the way it was. One of [Ross’s] best friends in the [pro] wrestling business and in real life is a guy named ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. He was told to never talk. What would’ve happened if he never grabbed that microphone and never would have said, Austin 3:16 means I just whooped your ass’? Now, back then, it worked. Now, if you’re not told to say something like that, how can you ever get to the top of the mountain?”
According to Bully, WWE will never let a talent get as big as Cena ever again, as seen below:
“Seth Rollins has done it all and can do it all. But how come Seth Rollins is not at Cena level? How come he’s not at Rock level? How come he’s not at Austin level? It’s because I don’t think they will ever allow anyone to get to that level again.” Bully explained, “if you take the three biggest stars over the last 20-some-odd years, would you say that Cena, Austin, and The Rock are the three biggest ones? Okay, so those three guys in their own way do what they wanted to do without Vince’s approval. Listen, Steve was able to walk out and still come back and have a job. [Ross] helped out a lot, but not a lot of people walk out and come back in the next day. Rocky was able to walk away and become the biggest star in Hollywood. And John, my God! He just won the Muhammad Ali Award. He [has] granted more wishes than anybody on the planet. I mean, he walks on water when it comes to the WWE. And he was able to tell Vince, ‘I’m not [going to Saudi Arabia].’ I don’t think they’re ever going to let anybody get to that level again where they have control or say.”
During the interview, Bully also shared that WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon once told him that it is rare for a performer to have leverage on WWE and shame on them if they do not use it. This interaction clearly informed Bully’s opinion of WWE’s refusal to let any performer get too much leverage on the company.
“I learned a very important lesson from Vince McMahon one day, JR, that he taught me one-on-one. I don’t remember the arena we were in, but we were in a hallway and he said, ‘Bubba, it’s very rare that the boys have leverage on me, but when they do have leverage on me and they don’t use it, shame on them.’ What a lesson to learn from Vince McMahon and I apply that lesson to what’s going on in the WWE today. They’re creating their stars, they’re letting their stars get as big as they possibly want them to be, but then there’s a ceiling. And I think Roman [Reigns] is at the top of that ceiling. I think Ronda [Rousey] is at the top of that ceiling. I think Charlotte is at the top of that ceiling. I’m not sure who will ever get passed that.”
Also of note, Ross suggested that 2019 may see a change in WWE where McMahon gets more involved with The XFL and less involved with WWE creative.
“I think when the XFL comes, he’s going to spend so much time with the new toy, the new business venture,” Ross said. “It’s his business venture too, by the way – his company, his new company, so I think maybe, there may be a transition period in 2019 that sees him more involved in the football and maybe a little bit less involved in the wrestling creative.”