Bull James Talks Thinking He Was Going to Get a Raise Before His NXT Release, His Relationship with NXT Trainers, Face or Heel Preference

bull james

(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Former WWE NXT star Bull “Dempsey” James was the special guest on the recent edition of “The Ross Report” podcast, which you can listen to in full at this link. Below are some interview highlights:

On His NXT Release:

I was released on February 5th, of 2016. I actually thought I was going in to get a raise, so it was a big turnaround. We had just gotten off the big UK tour that we just did, and I had gotten some really good reactions over there, so I thought, ok this is finally taking off and we’re going to do good business with this. For whatever reason I got released; no ill will towards them, it was just a business thing. A lot of people; the Twitter Keyboard Warriors are like, oh he’s just talking nice about them because he wants to go back. Well, I’ve been afforded a lot of opportunities since leaving there, and it’s because the opportunity I was given while I was there. So, while they took something away from me, it was them that gave it to me in the first place so I can’t hold any grudges.

On Training with Taz:

I was wrestling independents for about 7 ½ years. I really don’t think I had many bad habits. I was fortunate enough to be around guys that had been through the system, or at least been successful early on. Guys like Matt Borne, Taz, his Wrestling School, he cleaned up a lot of stuff that I used to help me for when I got to WWE, I wouldn’t have to unlearn anything because Taz cleaned up a lot of things for me wrestling wise. I’ve told the story before, but I haven’t been part of this podcast so I will tell it here; I was part of the first class he had at his school, after the class was done, you would get a one on one sit down and spoke very highly on how I was doing at the Dojo and wanted me to come back because it was kind of local to me, so he would bring me back to be kind of the example for the next group of guys, and I got to be around him for an extra year, that was supposed to first be for six weeks, so I got a lot out of him because of that. We had these two banners, so when you are running the ropes you would always see it; and it was his logo and in big bold words it’s “Intensity.” That would made you want to run the ropes really hard and give it all you have.

On Who Trained Him at NXT:

I was fortunate enough to get along with everybody, but the first 7-8 months I was strictly in Norman Smiley’s class, and just being around him, between my foot work and little things that I had never even looked at before, allowed me to watch wrestling a different way and study it a different way, and he was one for sure. Robbie Brookside is very underrated as a coach because not many american fans know who he is. His passion for our industry is unrivaled, he is an excellent coach, and everyone around there like Sara [Del Rey] Amato, who works with the women down there. I’ve found myself having a good relationship with her, and she would watch my stuff, and give me different advice than some of the other coaches; Billy Gunn, who always had my back in the system and was always looking out for me; and now I am able to work Indy shows with him is definitely a lot of fun. Every coach I had a good relationship with and learned something from everybody and always told myself that whatever happens I can look myself in the mirror and I can know that I took full advantage of everything there. I remember my last day actually, I sat down with Terry Taylor, and Eddie Gilbert just came up randomly in conversation, and we watched Eddie Gilbert and Terry Funk and all these different matches, and we realized that all the lights were off in the conference room that we had been in, and we left, but looking back on it, what a good way to go out by learning from the mind of Terry Taylor. I don’t think many people realize how Terry ran almost every major company from a talent standpoint. He puts more into the emotion and feel of what you are doing than the actual moves, and I believe it benefits a lot of people in that system. Sure, and I think too, that working these matches, I always say if you pre-plan so much, you are not allowing the audience in.

On His Preference of Being a Babyface or a Heel:

It changes on my mood during the day. I think I definitely got most over being a babyface on NXT and doing the comedy stuff towards the end, but I don’t think it would have happened if I wasn’t an a** kicking heel before that. I think that if you don’t set the tone for something like that, it’ll never pay off the way you want it to. I think I was fortunate enough to have both of those pushes because they kind of coincide with one another.

To listen to this entire interview, as well as an interview with Chavo Guerrero Jr on the same podcast, subscribe to the Ross Report only on iTunes.