Something's occurred to me of late....where is Bully Ray going? Ever since losing to Jeff Hardy at No Surrender, it has seemed like TNA Creative isn't sure exactly where to put him on the card. It's like purgatory....he's sitting in the upper top tier main event waiting room. And while he's sitting there, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, James Storm....they're all in a better striking place for the World Title than Ray. I have to admit it, I was stumped.
That's when it occurred to me....he's following Hogan, only slower. Think back....Bully Ray was a part of Immortal and a hated part, hence Mr. Anderson vs. Ray last year. Hogan went face after Bound for Glory while Ray remained heel. Fast forward a ways and Ray was brought face when Devon was revealed as a member of the Aces and Eights. It had nothing to do with a face "turn" per se. It was simply the logical place for him to be since he'd been fighting OFF the faction, right? So now Bully Ray is a face? Nope. I would argue he's a "tweener", or somewhere in the middle, leaning more face than heel. Is this a good thing? I'd like to think so. Fact is, I think he makes a far better anti-hero than John Cena ever did.
That notwithstanding, it seems reasonable that Ray's face "bend" is leading to the ultimate showdown with the faction. If Brooke turns out to be having a relationship with a member of the faction, it would make sense for Bully Ray to be in on the story now, bringing his focus BACK on camera, to the Aces and Eights and his brother Devon. The only thing left is to determine WHO her interest is. My money is on a member who has yet to be revealed. If I'm reading into the story rightly, Brooke or Bully will reveal the member who will ultimately be involved in their downfall at Lockdown.
It's a Fall of Rome-type story where the occupying force is defeated from the inside, much like Immortal was, but this time, it will have been due to plan, not necessity. Once Lockdown has happened, and Ray is vindicated in the eyes of Hogan, I believe THEN we'll see Bully Ray become the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time in his career.
THIS is where I can see this story taking a shift for the better. I simply can't see Brooke turning heel at all. Nor can I see the faction lasting much beyond Lockdown, which historically has been a place where stories go to end. That leaves internal destruction. If I were to give one man a push straight out of the gate with this story, it'd be CHRIS MASTERS. If Abyss OR Jeff Jarrett were revealed as the leader of the faction, a feud with either could be a ticket to avoiding the mid-card and jumping straight into an upper-card spot.
I can't think of a man on WWE's roster who was given a more unfair send-off than Masters, especially after he was given high marks by Triple H only a week before his dismissal. It just goes to show how duplicitous the upper brass in WWE can be. SO, if TNA were to put a monster (no pun intended) push to the man responsible for bringing down the most powerful faction in TNA history, there would be no going back. And you can take THAT to the bank.
So where does that leave Ray? Waiting at the top for the next contender for his World Title once the smoke has cleared. Think about it....