In early 2017, the Hardy Boyz wrapped up their stint in Impact Wrestling after contract negotiations fell through. At that same time Bully Ray was wrestling as a singles competitor on the indie scene after leaving WWE.
Once the Hardyz made it official and left Impact, Bully Ray had a feeling that Impact Wrestling would give him a call about a possible return to the company. They did just that but Bully Ray explained why he declined Impact's offer.
"The minute The Hardyz left Impact I said to myself that within 24 hours my phone is going to ring and about 16 hours later my phone rang," Bully Ray said on Talk is Jericho. "I knew what they were going to come back with and they came and backed up the Brinks truck. Not Chris Jericho money, but they offered me a lot of money to come back.
"This is when Jeff Jarrett had come back into power with Ed Nordholm. They said that we want to bring you back, and for four days I was bashing my head into a wall because I couldn't believe I was considering it because the regime that was there, I didn't necessarily see eye-to-eye with in the past. I felt at times people were out to get me, which wasn't on paranoia, it was on facts. I didn't think I can top what I did, you know? I worked with Sting. I worked with Hulk Hogan. I was World Champion twice. The largest gate in TNA's history was me and Jeff Hardy at LockDown in a cage, 7,200 paid. I didn't know who I could go back to Impact and have that kind of business with and top what I was able to do with Bully Ray in the Aces & Eights."
Just as Bully Ray was considering a return, Impact did something that made Bully Ray sour on them and reject the offer.
"...And then they handed me creative for Drew Galloway. Everything they wanted to do with Drew Galloway and then Drew left, went back to WWE and they handed me his creative," stated Bully Ray. "I said that you can't just plug me into somebody else's stuff. I go, I was an established character here with an established history and story. We have to re-think this. They weren't willing to re-think anything and I walked away from the money and then I went back to the original company I wanted to be with.
"I always knew that Ring of Honor was the company that I wanted to be with, I just didn't know if Ring of Honor was willing to dip their toe in the water with an act that went so against what they are all about. Ring of Honor is more about the moves, and the spots, and I am talking about the story part of it. I said that one of the things that the company lacks is the storytelling. I wanted to bring storytelling to Ring of Honor; episodic week-to-week, month-to-month pay-per-views and stories where they can actually have a payoff and have other people benefit from it. I'm not looking to get myself over, and I know that having other people over I am going to get the residual of it and get them over in the process.
"We worked it out with ROH, and my first night was at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and it has been an amazing experience since."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.