Bully Ray: Paul Heyman Would’ve Been a ‘Mental Mess’ During Royal Rumble Botch

The WWE Hall of Famer talks the botch from the Royal Rumble Last Man Standing match

WWE Hall of Famer and co-host of SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio Bully Ray recently discussed the Royal Rumble show from this past Sunday. During the event, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens had a hellacious Last Men Standing match; with the ending of the bout unfortunately coming under scrutiny for an unexpected issue.

Roman Reigns was handcuffed to one of the lighting rigs and Paul Heyman had to unlock the cuffs whilst the referee counted Roman out. Unfortunately the referee had to stop the count at 5; as Roman was still stuck with the handcuffs just not playing ball. Bully Ray discussed how much he enjoyed the Last Man Standing match, and how the ending shouldn’t detract from the bout itself.

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“One of the most enjoyable Last Man Standing matches I’ve ever seen” Bully Ray began on Busted Open. “Great, great car crash. And I’ve been in a few Last Man Standing matches that I’m very, very proud of; because of the psychology I was able to attach to the match, and how things made sense. It wasn’t just gratuitous violence for the sake of it.”

Bully Ray on The Last Man Standing Match

“The Rumble was very entertaining” Bully continued. “Kevin Owens…no matter when KO gets handed the ball? He finds a way to score with it. This is tailor made for him, he loves this stuff. Roman stepped up to the plate, whether you get Roman in a regular wrestling match or these Last Man Standing matches? He is shining through.”

Bully Ray then discussed the unfortunate botch at the end of the match. “Every once in a while, something goes wrong” Bully stated. “Something that you try to make sure won’t go wrong, but it just happens, it’s a broken play. And in that moment in time either something was wrong with the key or the lock. And I know people are harping on the second referee coming in and starting to count.”

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“Actually, that’s what the referee HAD to do, he has to start counting. The problem is that he STOPPED counting. He got to five and realised, ‘Paul still doesn’t have the cuffs off.’ So, in that moment in time. What do you do? How do you cover it up? It is an absolute split second decision. So what the WWE did, they panned out. They got the referee out of the shot, and they focused on the handcuffs.”

Roman Reigns and Corey Graves ‘Covering’

“Roman was able to squat and get on his feet and Corey graves did a phenomenal job of covering it up” Bully continued. “Saying, ‘well, Roman is in a seated standing position.’ People took to social media so hard about that it’s almost like they were looking for the WWE to fail. And they found that moment in time to go ‘there, you see! That ruined it all! The booking, the creative, the psychology! It was all ruined, all ruined.’ How in the hell can you take that performance of those guys busting their asses and throwing their bodies around, this that and the other, and then harp on a mistake that is extremely difficult to cover up?”

Bully Ray then finished by discussing how Paul Heyman would’ve felt in the situation, with Ray having known Paul for many years since their days in ECW. “Nobody’s anticipating the key not working. And those guys are trying to stay cool, calm and collected. You have no idea the panic that runs through your mind when that happens. Paul was most likely, from what I know of Paul Heyman, a mental mess when those cuffs wouldn’t come undone. And you have to stay in the moment, not freak out.”

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Do you think that the handcuff botch distracted too much from the finish of the Last Man Standing match? Do you agree with Bully Ray that it didn’t? Let us know in the comments