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Tommy Dreamer On Savings Kids In A Bus Crash, Whether He Enjoyed Working Backstage & More

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Tommy Dreamer was a recent guest on “Why It Ended With Robbie E”. He touched on a wide range of interesting topics, from the time he and other ECW wrestlers saved a group of children involved in a bus accident, the ECW invasion, whether he enjoyed working backstage and more. Here are the highlights:

On The ECW Invasion:

WWE was talking to me. That weekend I did two shows for Dusty Rhodes, for his Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling and then I flew to Buffalo to do an ECW reunion show that I was running. It was on a Sunday and on that flight when I landed in Buffalo, I was told that I was gonna be at RAW and then I had to fly back down to Atlanta and the whole time we were driving, Dusty was like, ‘Are you kayfabing me about going to WWE?’ I was like, ‘Dude, I know nothing. JR [Jim Ross] has called me, but I haven’t heard. This has been going on a long time.’ I found out the Sunday before I went there and he said, ‘Nicole call you?’ That was the secretary and they changed my travel….they’re like, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll fly you from Buffalo to Atlanta, Atlanta to La Guardia.’ I found out the night before. I agree it was one of the best RAWs because we shocked the world. They never saw it coming. I loved it and I remember right before I went out, Rob Van Dam was doing those quick little jumping jack things that he does and he goes, ‘Dude, you nervous?’ and I went, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, me neither.’ Then I go, ‘Man, I really wish Louie Spicolli was alive because he’d be marking out and the first guy to call us.’ Kane was in the ring like, ‘Go! Go!’ We were having a regular conversation like this and we hit the ring, so then I worked that and then I worked the next night. I didn’t even have a contract.

On How Important It Was For His Dad To See Him Wrestle:

My other most favorite part is my father was losing his vision and he had surgery in his eye. He had glaucoma and he had surgery in his eye and he had 20/20 vision for the first time in his life for three weeks and during those three weeks, that was when I debuted for WWE and he got to see that without glasses. Later, he lost his eyesight in his left eye and he only had 10% vision (or pinpoint vision) in his right eye. He actually got strep in his eyes and lost his vision completely, but for him to see that – my father was the one that got me into wrestling and he supported me throughout my career, took me to WrestleMania I – for me it was one of my favorite accomplishments in my career. Wrestling at Madison Square Garden with him and my uncle in the audience and then buying them a home was one of my favorite things.

On JR:

I will always credit Jim Ross as the only boss to never lie to me and he said, ‘Don’t worry.’ I actually wrestled without a contract for about a month, which is a little stupid on my behalf because God forbid I got hurt or anything, there was also nothing else out there.

On Saving Kids From A Bus Crash:

If you want to hear a cool story that nobody knows about, myself, Bill DeMott and Stevie Richards were coming back from the gym and this school bus is driving weirdly and the school bus goes off the road…hits the curb, hits an electric poll and flips on its side with a bunch of kids in it….A school bus flips over on its side with an electric poll going off. Me, Stevie, and Bill DeMott jump out and the back bus thing won’t open. The driver either had a stroke or a heart attack and with the electric thing shooting – without any fail – Bill DeMott climbed all the way up and we started pulling children out of this bus as the electric wires are going everywhere and we got everybody out of the bus. We were like real life superheroes….children were being saved from being on fire or being electrocuted.

On WWE Backstage Politics:

There was very little politics in ECW. Political games hit the moment you get there in WWE and of course you want to succeed and why you want to succeed is money. Would I love to be champion? Yeah, but it didn’t happen. There was a few pushes on the table. I was supposed to do 2-3 pay-per-views with Triple H and that did not pan out. I was supposed to be, at one point, tag team champions with Rob Van Dam and that didn’t pan out. It was not in the cards and you know why? Because wrestling is fake and you’re only as good as somebody wants you to be, so it’s OK. I have no regrets on anything that I did and that’s why my career has not ended and I will wrestle 206 shows this year.

On Raven’s Heat With The WWE:

Have you ever met Raven? Raven back then had a lot of heat. He would be himself and he would also solicit. He was, at one point, not allowed to talk in the WWE locker room for two months. He had to go to wrestler’s court and the only time he was allowed to speak was when he was able to go over his matches and if he was caught speaking, his sentence would double, so he went a month, maybe two months without speaking. Pretty funny. Sh*tty time for him, but he kinda dug his own grave.

On Whether He Enjoyed Working Backstage:

I don’t think a lot of people realize that I was 29 years old when ECW went out of business and I had given my twenties to ECW and now I’m in my thirties and they’re telling me they want me to pretty much retire and work in the office. I was not happy with that position, but my wife, at the time, was pregnant with our twins and there was no wrestling going on other places, so it was either take a job or you’re going to be unemployed. The cool thing about that and I learned a lot from my time in the office and I learned the politics. I learned a lot from Vince [McMahon] and I learned a lot from John Laurinaitis, almost how to play the game even though I don’t like it, but I did and it actually helped me for my second run in the company. I got to see two sides to every story because jerk wrestlers….are always like, ‘It’s the office against me. It’s always us vs them,’ when it’s not always that case because no one wants to look in the mirror and say, ‘Maybe it’s me. Should I be champion? I should be heavyweight champion,’ but then you think about it, how can you be heavyweight champion when they chant for another company called ECW? Or how could you be a champion when you wear a tee-shirt and the boss likes muscular guys? No one wants to say those things. People just want to blame other people for their lack of a push. That’s why I did a lot of soul searching and a lot of learning. I also found out that WWE wanted me in the office from day one.

On ECW’s “One Night Stand” Shows:

Vince was awesome and he was like, ‘This is Tommy’s show. Tommy’s in charge of it,’ and it was really really cool and Paul [Heyman] added to the show. I really thought WWE was gonna see it in me, as a performer, see it in me as a writer talent. I was on the WWE writing team for about three to four weeks. I got let go from that one before I went into the office because it wasn’t a fit for me. We did that and thought they were gonna see the world in me….Three months later when we got the pay-per-view buy rates and it did so good. I thought, ‘Vince is now really gonna see me.’ I didn’t even get a great job email. I got nothing, so it was like, ‘Hmmm.’ It was the second largest grossing house next to WrestleMania that year. It was the second largest pay-per-view (money wise) that year.

On Not Wanting To Work With Stephanie During WWE’s ECW:

For me to have perfect nirvana – I actually had it for two months, maybe three months – where I was in charge of it all. I was gonna be in charge of it creatively. I was gonna be in charge of it like I kinda was in the original ECW. Then it slowly started morphing into WWE, more and more product, so I kinda started backing away. Then I was given the opportunity, ‘You’re gonna be a full-time wrestler, but you’re still gonna work in the office. Who do you want to work for? Do you want to work for John Laurinaitis or do you want to be in creative with Stephanie [McMahon] as your boss telling you what to do about ECW?’ Of course I’m gonna stick with the person I know as opposed to the person I don’t know. Not that I don’t know Stephanie, but I didn’t work for her and also, you telling me how to run ECW or anyone telling me to run now House of Hardcore would be very very difficult for me to swallow that pill because I have a mouth and an opinion and I don’t play the political game, so that’s why I wasn’t a part of that.

On His Happiest WWE Moment:

My contract was coming up. I was not happy. I said, ‘Hey listen. You’re not doing much with me. Those three years with the original ECW, the highest rated matches were me. I was involved in every single one of them.’ Myself and Chavo Guerrero was the highest. Then myself vs Mark Henry. Then myself vs The Great Khali. They were the highest rated shows. Then I went to Vince and the cool thing with me and Vince’s relationship is that he always made time for me…I was like, ‘Hey man, you’re supposed to be this great business man. Here’s your numbers and yet you’re not going with me. I don’t think that’s great business, so my contract’s coming up. Let’s do this angle and if I don’t win, I’m done and I’ll just leave. If you want me here, then I’ll win and we’ll see where it goes.’ That’s how that happened. They told me that Jack Swagger was retaining all day and I kinda knew that was bs because Johnny was talking about my contract, ‘Vince loves you. You’re gonna be here.’ ‘OK, cool….’ I knew they were kinda ribbing me and they went with me winning it, so we had two finishes going out there and we went with the one that we knew was gonna happen, so even in my happiest moment I couldn’t be totally happy because I had to be angry. [I didn’t fully know I was winning] until the second guy’s music hit.

On Leaving WWE:

I was three months into a five year deal and I realized I was back in the same position I was. I went to Vince and said, ‘This ain’t working out. I would like to leave.’ He said, ‘I don’t want you to do that.’ I said, ‘How can I stay? I don’t want to be one of those guys that just hangs around. He was like, ‘OK.’ Actually my last night was supposed to be the week before in Orlando against Lance Hoyt (Vance Archer) and then I was done. That was it. We had a nice party. You can see the pictures of that online. Everybody came out to say goodbye to me at a Friday’s. There’s a big picture online of like 40 of us out and then I went home and I want to say that Wednesday I got the phone call. I won’t say who it is, but he said, ‘Just when you think you’re out, we drag you back in. Vince doesn’t like Matt Hardy vs Evan Bourne main event and kinda then yelled at us for you quitting and said you didn’t quit. Can you come back and leave again? We want to do something nice for you with Zack [Ryder].’ I had hired Zack into WWE and said, ‘Sure.’ That’s what you saw. I got to bring my girls on television and the best part about that was when I came back, first person through the curtain was Vince and I had a standing ovation and had a nice lineup from everybody and it was a really really cool moment for me to be able to say goodbye. I never said I was going to retire. I said I would leave ECW and I…stick to every single stipulation that I ever make and if ECW was to come back tomorrow I would not be a part of it because I’m crazy and I stick to fake wrestling stipulations. I will never wrestle Raven again. I will never walk the aisle with Beaulah again. I will never wrestle Abyss again because I used those in stipulations to help sell a pay-per-view or a show and I will not screw over wrestling fans.

On Wrestling Being Real To Him:

It’s real…I use every life experience because everything about wrestling is 100% real and what I put my body through, what I put my family through, what I put myself through and I just go out there and convey that. You were there and I just cut a promo on the microphone on Saturday and it’s just me expressing my feelings toward situations and it is real and that’s me. I went to the Meadowlands to see wrestling. I remember when Roddy Piper did a Piper’s Pit and he had somebody from Yonkers on there. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m from Yonkers,’ and I never lost also my fandom for professional wrestling. I love wrestling. I watch it every night.

You can listen to the full episode of “Why It Ended With Robbie E” featuring Tommy Dreamer below:

 

Credit: Why It Ended With Robbie E. H/T Wrestlezone

 

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