Tommy Dreamer recently turned down a WWE offer to focus on House of Hardcore, but he's not opposed to working with the company.
The former ECW Champion is open to working both random dates with WWE, as well as offering House of Hardcore's services to the WWE Network. When speaking to Ring Rust Radio recently, Dreamer spoke of his relationship with the WWE. Ring Rust Radio passed along the following highlights:
WWE appears to be more willing to work with outside talents and other companies. Do you think they would ever put a House of Hardcore event or a joint WWE-House of Hardcore special on the WWE Network?
Tommy Dreamer: If they were smart they would, but I don’t know. For me, I will not have anyone jump on my creativity. If I fail, I’m failing on my own, and if I succeed, I succeed on my own. I have been part of the creative process in other places. Fans sometimes bitch and moan about a lot of things that they see on television. Yes, there are things that could’ve been done better, but there’s so many people mixing their opinions into certain stuff and then that ultimate outcome does not start from how the creator, the writer or the booker had wanted it, and I just can’t fathom that. A lot of fans saw that with WWE’s version of ECW. There was a lot of great stuff about it, but it was attributed to a lot of people. It was more like, “Hey this isn’t ECW because you don’t have Paul Heyman stirring the pot or Tommy Dreamer helping,” and it became another WWE product. For me, if they said, “Here it is and you have 100 percent creative autonomy,” then yes. How do I know that word? Because I wrote 2005 ECW One Night Stand and I had total creative autonomy, and that show was a huge financial success for them as well as a creative success.
One of the wrestlers I’m most exciting to see at House of Hardcore 18 is Ricochet. He made waves in both Lucha Underground and New Japan, so what are your thoughts on his in-ring style and the backlash he has received from some veterans of the business?
Tommy Dreamer: I think the backlash comes from the old guard mentality. Today with social media everyone has an opinion. I actually spoke to Vader about his comments that got him a lot of backlash. What Vader said about maybe selling stuff and slowing down, that did hold some merit. If you want to talk about a guy who was before his time at one point is Vader. There was the older guard saying, “Hey, a guy your size shouldn’t be doing moonsaults.” Today everyone is a critic because we have social media. For anyone who criticizes what they did, this is how I look at it: for me, I go from all my past experiences. I got to sit as a fan and see Dynamite Kid versus Tiger Mask, and I got to sit as a wrestler and a straight up fan and watch Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko just do things that I was like, whoa. Same with Too Cold Scorpio in that very building. That is the natural progression of the business and guys doing that style, more credit to them.
One of the big hot-button issues among wrestling fans right now relates to the use of blood, specifically in the finish to the match between Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton at SummerSlam. You're obviously no stranger to blood in wrestling, so what place to believe it has in the current landscape of wrestling, and what were your overall impressions of the finish to that Lesnar vs. Orton match?
Tommy Dreamer: Fabulous question by the way. I want to bleed right now just while answering it. When I shot a tweet out after that happened, I never saw so many responses and so many retweets. For WWE, when everyone is blood tested, just like in the UFC, they can allow blood. Not my company. I remember when I was there in the beginning of the year, my TLC match, which was a tables match, was sponsored by Zales. SummerSlam was sponsored by Toys “R” Us. If not one person paid a ticket to see WWE SummerSlam, Vince McMahon would still make money because Zales and Toys “R” Us are paying a lot of money to be advertisers. They wouldn’t pay a lot of money if nobody came to see them, but think about that. I am sure Geoffrey the Giraffe does not want to see a bunch of bloody wrestlers or people sponsoring the type of stuff. There are two sides to every coin. Me personally, if UFC doesn’t stop it, if boxing doesn’t stop it, let guys go out there and do it if it’s accidental blood. Back in the day of blading, I don’t think there was anything wrong with it. On the independent level, if guys are not blood tested, it should never happen. Just like a chair shot to the head should never happen in 2016 because we know more about today with concussions then we did back then. To answer your question, I felt the finish was very flat and it made SummerSlam talked about more in a negative light than a positive light.
You were one of the top highlights when you appeared on Edge & Christian's show on the WWE Network. What was that experience like, working with them and in a sketch comedy setting?
Tommy Dreamer: It was awesome. Most of the stuff on that show was written and produced by Edge and Christian. The whole segment about me getting hit with the mushroom in the eye that truly was real. It truly was an audience of four people because the only four people that ever saw that happened were Edge, Christian, myself and Michelle McCool. We were in catering in either St. Louis or Kansas City. I was asking them if we could get going because we had a long drive, and I was probably a car length away from Christian at the time. They were watching the show in catering, and he just reached in and picked up a fried mushroom and threw it at me like Clayton Kershaw and beamed me in the eye. It hurt so much and then right away, because everyone knows Christian is a jerk, he tried saying that he was so sorry and he didn’t mean to do it. I just looked at him and I said, “Yes you did, I saw you do it. You picked it up and hit me in the eye with it.” He said he didn’t mean to hurt me, but I had a black eye for two weeks from a fried mushroom to the eye. For the fans to see that, and I’ve gotten so many comments about that, it really was just to have fun. If there was ever a show that was built for wrestling fans and insider wrestling fans, it was this. I have traveled the world with them and I’ve had amazing times with them. It’s my favorite show on television and I apologize for the nudity.
Recently, you said that you have been talking to WWE about re-signing, but ultimately decided to focus your time and energy on House of Hardcore. What is your ultimate goal with the promotion and do you think a regular television show is in the company’s future?
Tommy Dreamer: My ultimate goal is television. I’m working very, very hard to make that happen. The landscape of your viewing pleasure has definitely changed. Whether most of it’s on the Internet or most of it’s on your phone, showing my product or being able to display my product to a larger landscape is the ultimate goal. I have had offers from television companies already; big companies. I’m not a publicly traded company. I don’t even know if I am with TNA anymore, but my parents don’t own an oil company. This is my money from all my years of hard work, and I have two beautiful daughters that I eventually have to put through college and this is my life savings invested in this. A lot of people want to go and make the mistake of thinking if we are on television, television productions costs alone will put me out of business within three months and then I am a failure. I would need a network or somebody behind me to continue the train rolling. I love WWE, I love everyone there, I love TNA, Ring of Honor, and Lucha Underground. I just watched Last Battle with Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer and for 28 minutes I was a kid again and I love that feeling. The reason why I went back to WWE last year and the beginning of this year, I wasn’t under contract and I said I would basically do the same thing I did, but I just couldn’t sign a contract with them. Then they said I needed to sign a contract and I told them I just couldn’t do that. I have commitments to certain charities and events already booked for 2017 and I just can’t sign. Would I love to? Yes, I would absolutely love to work for every single company. Seven days a week and 24 hours a day for any company, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. Essentially that’s why I have the line: “No politics, no BS, just wrestling,” because I hate it. It gets in the way of everything and comes full circle.
The Dudley Boyz just recently had their send-off on Raw one year after signing with WWE. Thinking back to their run, how well do you feel they were utilized by the company? And also, in terms of their future as in-ring performers, where do you see them going from here or where might you like to see them go?
Tommy Dreamer: I think they came in super-duper hot. I want to say they truly helped the New Day take it to the next level. If you think about after their feud was over with a New Day, then they had their next big thing was with the Wyatt Family and myself. Bubba and D-Von are the most decorated tag team and the greatest tag team of all time for a reason. They know how to entertain the fans. Just going out there and losing or just going out there and putting other people over isn’t my vision. Bubba and I are best friends, but creatively that’s mind numbing. Why bother with putting your mind through it? You look at the usage of Chris Jericho and it’s brilliant. That’s the way you do it. I look at what Terry Funk did for ECW and he was way older, that’s how you do it. I don’t think they had that passion for what was going on behind the scenes and I think that was a big, big factor. Will we ever see them wrestle again? Absolutely. You want to talk to them about that you talk to them about that. They’re the best and I’ve been with them since day one and I’ll be with them until the last day.