Tommy Dreamer will celebrate his 30th anniversary in the pro wrestling business in ten short months. He was a part of ECW since the birth of the extreme movement and is now using everything he learned through his career to lead the House Of Hardcore today.
"People think about blood, or tables, or chairs but to me, hardcore is a work ethic," Dreamer explained during a recent media call. He is set to battle Eddie Edwards at Slammiversary on July 22nd in a House Of Hardcore Rules Match where anything will be legal.
I asked The Innovator Of Violence what the line of danger should be in a hardcore wrestling match. Dreamer admitted he would be a hypocrite if he said someone has gone too far. Living in the age we do, plenty of things have changed since the days of the original ECW. Dreamer discussed how medical testing should be a part of preparing for any match to really ensure the safety of everyone involved.
"I would be a hypocrite to say, 'oh you can go too far.' Cause I was the guy who would walk into a building and go, 'I'm either gonna get thrown off that or I'm gonna throw somebody off of that.'
"But we've learned different things. Chair shots to the head should never happen in professional wrestling again. No one should be having hardcore matches unless the other person that you know has a blood test. You know what I love about wrestling in Louisiana? They have a blood test. If there's going to be a commission, you should have a blood test. Because guys are bleeding."
He then discussed some weaponry that should never be used in a pro wrestling match. Glass light tubes shouldn't be broken over anyone's head, but it happens all the time on the modern-day battlefield of hardcore pro wrestling. Dreamer strongly advised against this practice. It had little to do with the actual glass, but what is in those fluorescent lights.
He then painted a metaphor of the hardcore pro wrestling scene, but stressed that medical testing should always be part of the procedure.
"Light tubes are ridiculous. Here's why: inside there is cancer carcinogens inside it. So when you breathe that in, you're breathing in cancer. So that's stupid.
"You know what? If you look at it from a horror film [perspective]. There are people who like scary movies, there are people who like super scary movies, and there are people who like gore movies which are just out there for blood, guts and all that stuff. It's to each their own, but there have to be certain precautions because you have heard of -- 'oh, by the way, there's something called hepatitis.'
"Because you've heard of a wrestler who's doing hardcore matches when he knew he had HIV and that should never have happened. So there you go."
Dreamer opened up about the current trend of various pro wrestling companies working together. He said it is vital in order to survive with WWE alone at the top. Impact Wrestling is joining forces with other companies which is essential. The ECW Original continued to discuss how he hated the neverending presence of backstage politicking. He also discussed how the new regime in Impact Wrestling is doing their best to get rid of the negative stereotype previously associated with the product.
"All of these companies are working together. If you don't work together you will not survive in today's climate. WWE leads the way, cool. They have their own vision. Impact Wrestling, they have their own vision. They have their own fans, they have their own different match style. So does House Of Hardcore. All of these people are working together for the betterment of professional wrestling so how can I not get behind these guys?
"Something that's worse is the BS and the politics. I know that's my company's mantra, and I know because I've talked to them, Scott D'Amore and Don Callis. Don Callis works for New Japan Pro Wrestling. They are trying to get rid -- and they're doing a great job -- to get rid of that negative funk that has been through Impact Wrestling and try to get from the BS of it.
"A lot of people wanna deal with the behind the scenes crap and the internet wants to jump on that. Well you know they're putting on a really good product today. I know this because -- they let Bobby Lashley out of his contract. Look at what Bobby Lashley's doing in WWE. Great for Bobby Lashley and also great for Impact because it opened up a spot a spot for someone like a Pentagon to come in or debut in Impact Wrestling.
"It opened up a spot for Tessa Blanchard. She turned down a spot to go to WWE to work in Impact Wrestling. So stuff like that is what I love about wrestling. The BS and the politics is what I do not love. Because there is a bunch of men and women in WWE that are being wasted, they could make a huge difference in Impact Wrestling, in House Of Hardcore, and throughout the wrestling industry."
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