On Friday we had part 1 of ‘The Many faces of Monty Kip “Billy Gunn” Sopp focusing on his initial WWF run. Today in part two we look at his time in TNA, his return to the WWE and what he’s up to now.
In February 2005 Sopp appeared on TNA television but without a name owing to Billy Gunn being trademarked by the WWE. He began to appear as “The New Age Outlaw” briefly until the WWE, unsurprisingly, threatened TNA with legal action. It forced TNA to blur out Sopp’s name on screen and silenced out audio that mentioned him by name. This included at Lockdown 2005 where Dusty Rhodes picked his name out in a lottery but due to his name being silenced, viewers are left in the dark as to who Dusty picked.
He quickly aligned himself with Jarrett and Monty Brown in a stable known as Planet Jarrett. He then began a campaign to make his former New Out Outlaw partner, now known as B.G. James, leave the 3Live Kru and defect to Planet Jarrett, reforming the old tag team with Sopp.
Sopp’s campaign ultimately proved futile with James deciding to remain aligned with 3Live Kru and even attacked Kip James – as Sopp was now wrestling as – in a tag match to allow Konan and Ron Killings to win.
In November 3Live Kru became 4Live Kru when Kip joined the group. However, it was shortlived with Konan turning on B.G. and Kip which resulted in a feud between him and his former stable mates. Soon Killings also left, leaving B.G. and Kip.
In an angle that was a worked shoot, Kip and B.G. started to show displeasure with working in TNA and introduced crotch chops into their routine. They soon threatened to quit and launched verbal attacks on TNA and Spike TV but the mics were cut off.
Soon after the James Gang appeared under the guise of Voodoo Kin Mafia – VKM for short, an obvious play on Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s initials. After initial interest wore off, they began to feud with Christy Hemme. In early 2008, Kip turned on B.G. and B.G’s father “Bullet” Bob Armstrong by hitting them both with a crutch.
In April he faced B.G. James at Lockdown and lost. After the match, he appeared to want to reconcile once again with his former partner as he raised B.G.’s hand after the match, only to clothesline him down to the mat and taunt him with a DX crotch chop. Kip went on to declare himself “The Megastar”, a gimmick similar to “The One” gimmick he had used previously in the WWE.
In August of the same year Kip was revealed as the new image consultant and member of The Beautiful People, dubbed Cute Kip and was using his Mr.Ass Attire. In 2009, Sopp became a road agent for TNA and wrestled occasionally on TV until he was released from his TNA contract in late December 2009.
Between 2009 and 2012 Sopp wrestled on the independent scene including teaming with B.G. James under the name The New Age Outlaws until his return to WWE screens in 2012.
On the 1000th episode of Raw on 23 July 2012, Billy Gunn made his first WWE appearance in nearly eight years alongside the Road Dogg, X-Pac, Shawn Michaels and Triple H in a one night only reformed D-Generation X.
In December, the WWE hired Gunn as a trainer to work in NXT. Later the same month, Gunn and Road Dogg presented the Slammy Award for Comeback of the Year to Jerry Lawler and began working at WWE live shows taking on Team Rhodes Scholars.
The following year, they returned to TV on Old School Raw and defeated the team of Primo and Epico. They then accepted a challenge from Team Rhodes Scholars and faced them in a match, which was interrupted by Brock Lesnar, who hit both Outlaws with an F-5 as part of his ongoing feud with Triple H.
In 2014 they Outlaws appeared on Old School Raw rushing to the aid of Roddy Piper, along with CM Punk, against The Shield. On that week’s SmackDown! they teamed with Punk against The Shield but turned on him, thus turning heel.
At the month’s Royal Rumble they took on Goldust and Cody Rhodes for the WWE Tag Team titles and won and held the gold until the start of March when they were defeated by The Usos. At WrestleMania XXX they teamed with Kane to face The Shield but were squashed in under 3 minutes.
In January of this year, The Outlaws appeared on Raw alongside the nWo and the APA in attacking The Ascension, and helped bury the recent additions to the main roster. At this year’s WrestleMania they reunited with the other members of DX to come to the aid of Triple H during his match with Sting. Soon after it was announced that Gunn would be one of the coaches for the sixth season of WWE Tough Enough.
You can read all previous ‘The Many Faces Of’ pieces here.