The 2018 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony took place last weekend before WrestleMania 34 and fans saw some huge names from the Attitude Era enter as part of the 2018 class. Names like Mark Henry, Ivory, Jeff Jarrett and the Dudley Boyz joined with names like ’80s superstar Hillbilly Jim and WCW star Bill Goldberg. All of those wrestlers are currently retired — either due to age or injuries. However, at the Ring of Honor television tapings this week (results via 411mania), one of the newly-inducted WWE Hall of Famers returned from retirement as Bully Ray (Mark LoMonaco, who performed as Bubba Ray Dudley) said he was returning to the ring as an active competitor again.
Bubba Ray Dudley Retirement
Last December, Bubba Ray Dudley announced his retirement. This didn’t happen in the WWE or in TNA Impact Wrestling — the one place where Dudley was a world champion. It happened instead in Ring of Honor Wrestling.
Keeping his TNA Impact Wrestling name of Bully Ray, the former Dudley Boy said that he was going to retire after taking a hard head shot in a table match, Sportskeeda reported at the time. According to the new WWE Hall of Fame superstar, doctors told him that he could risk permanent damage if he continued to wrestle.
This is a major concern in wrestling right now. The WWE forced Daniel Bryan to retire a few years ago due to concussions, although he made his return at WrestleMania 34 when he undertook specialized treatment that possibly healed his brain.
Paige retired last week due to the same neck injuries that forced Edge to retire. The fact that Edge was one of the two men who inducted Bubba Ray Dudley into the WWE Hall of Fame, along with his long-time tag team partner. D-Von Dudley, shone a light on injuries in professional wrestling.
Bully Ray Comes Out Of Retirement
While Bubba Ray Dudley was on hand for his WWE Hall of Fame induction, he was still under contract with Ring of Honor Wrestling. However, he was not appearing as a wrestler anymore; he was labeled an Enforcer — the Ring of Honor version of an authority figure.
Bully Ray came out and made matches, ensured that heel wrestlers remained under control, and occasionally punished people when the need arose. However, at the TV tapings this past week, Bully Ray took on a more active role.
At the start of the TV taping on Saturday, Bully Ray came out to the ring and personally called out Ring of Honor CEO Joe Koff. Towards the end of the tapings, two local wrestlers were competing when Bully Ray came out and attacked them.
An enhancement talent named Cheeseburger came out to confront Bully Ray, and then Joe Koff finally showed up and fired him. Then the WWE Hall of Fame superstar said that he didn’t want to be an Enforcer anymore and was coming out of retirement to become a full-time wrestler again.
It is unclear if the head injuries had cleared up, or even if they were actually scripted when LoMonaco announced his retirement in December.