According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, by way of WrestlingNews.co, Bully Ray — who WWE fans know as Bubba Ray Dudley — has been released from his Ring of Honor (ROH) contract.
The report stated that the WWE Hall of Famer wasn’t offered a new deal because ROH isn’t in a position to do so at the moment. The company reportedly isn’t entering into any contract negotiations with employees while the pandemic is ongoing. Danhausen was an exception to this rule, for reasons Meltzer didn’t mention.
He also stated that Ray might be re-signed when the company decides to start running shows again. ROH is also reportedly interested in bringing back Alex Zane and Tony Deppen, whose contracts expired when the pandemic hit.
Ray’s free agent status also means that he’s free to sign with other companies. As WrestlingNews.co noted in another report, Impact Wrestling is cornering the free agent market at the moment. Some recent WWE releases are reportedly on the company’s list, but Ray’s history with Impact Wrestling — which led to him becoming a Hall of Famer there as well — could make him a desired signing.
WWE and All Elite Wrestling might also be interested in bringing in a performer with his level of experience and fame. His former tag team partner, D-Von Dudley, currently works as a producer in WWE, but it’s unknown if Ray is interested in hanging up his boots quite yet.
Ray hasn’t distanced himself from WWE since parting ways with the company in 2016. He returned to be inducted into the 2018 Hall of Fame class alongside his brother. Earlier this year, he also appeared as a guest on The Bump series. This suggests that he’s still on good terms with the company and is also willing to work with them.
According to the Meltzer report, Ray will focus on his Busted Open Radio show for now. The veteran wrestler still works on the popular SiriusFX program, in which he regularly shares his opinions and insights about the wrestling business. Perhaps he’ll decide to move into media on a more substantial basis now.
Ray hasn’t wrestled since February of this year, where he defeated Caprice Coleman in a singles match at an ROH Gateway to Honor television event. The coronavirus halted his in-ring career, as it did for most wrestlers in the industry, though Impact Wrestling, WWE, and AEW have all resumed putting on shows. If he wanted to get back in the ring, he might have some opportunities to do so in the coming weeks.