The official WrestlingNewsSource.com podcast "WNS Podcast" recently conducted an interview with the legendary ECW Original Tommy Dreamer in which he talked on a number topics including; What inspired House Of Hardcore, What keeps him performing, the passing of Balls Mahoney and a possible WWE return. Below are the interview highlights:
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ON WHAT INSPIRED HIM TO CREATE HOUSE OF HARDCORE
"A litany of things. Always wanted to do it, I guess it was a natural progression for myself and doing all that behind the scenes and the original ECW and then in WWE after I was wrestling there I went in the office for a little bit and I was the guy who hired a lot of men and women and I ran the developmental system which is now NXT and that's kind of where it all came from. I love wrestling, have since I was 9 years old and then caught me on a weekend where it was just so full of no more politics and all the stuff that goes on in wrestling. So, I was like you know what? I'm gonna try it and it worked out and hence my slogan is "No Politics, No BS. Just Wrestling" and I just said I would do one, if it was successful and now we're up at House Of Hardcore 16 in Pasadena. So, it's been going good for me."
ON SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ECW, TNA & WWE BACKSTAGE
"ECW were all kind of garnered towards the company and you know we were all willing to do whatever it took to take us to the next level. We were living and dying by each and every show. The biggest difference is we had creative freedom and that was huge for a lot of us. Especially me. In WWE, it's pretty much a grind. It's everybody going out there for their own personal gains and glory. There's always another show. WWE is a huge, huge machine and it was kind of just getting that groove of wake up, get on a plane, drive, wrestle and you turn around and you're ten years doing it. It was a little bit different when I was there. Almost 300 days a year I was wrestling. So, a big difference between being that and a weekend warrior pretty much growing ECW. But the paychecks were fabulous. So, you kind of do that and you sacrifice a lot for that so it kind of balances out."
ON WHAT DRIVES HIM TO KEEP PERFORMING
"The love. If you don't have passion for this business then you can't be in it. For me, I'd like to say I wrestled for free because I have. That was a lot of my entire ECW career and I wrestled at Madison Square Gardens where I've grown up watching wrestling. And there's people who don't get in this, you have to love it just because if not it's not worth it for your body. It's not worth it for your psyche. For me, the drive was always just going out there. I'm living my dream at 45 years old. I say it jokingly, but I wish I could be Tommy Dreamer 24/7. Because when I go out through that curtain I see peoples' reaction as well as at times I feel absolutely no pain when I'm performing. It's real life comic book and I'm playing a really cool character. There's nothing like it when you walk through that curtain. And again, especially for the charity you don't realize how many lives you have touched when you're out there performing. Being on the independents and doing what I've been doing in my own company like we have these meet and greets. You get to talk to people and meet people and I've had some amazing stories where people have just told me how I influenced them and here I am thinking I'm just this big dumb wrestler and they're telling me how I give them the strength to carry on with different things or different points of their life. I've got to see my life's work come to fruition."
ON THE PASSING OF BALLS MAHONEY
"It was horrible. John was a hell of a nice person and we did a tribute at House Of Hardcore show in Philadelphia where I said he was a crazy man but he was "our crazy man". He was a character and besides that, the best thing I want to say about him waa his love for his son and the saddest part now is his son grows up without a father. I son't mourn peoples' death, I celebrate their life. For anybody listening out there, go watch Balls Mahoney vs Rob Van Dam from ECW or Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley vs The Dudley Boyz. Celebrate his life and enjoy whatever enjoyment he gave you."
ON BECOMING THE VETERAN THAT PEOPLE GO TO FOR ADVICE
"I still ask for advice, Independent show, I came back and "Mouth Of The South" Jimmy Hart was there and I asked him. About a month ago, I had to call my mentor. Went and called The Double Cross Ranch in Amarillo. Called Terry Funk and asked for some piece of advice and he's still amazing. He's actually headed to Japan next week to go wrestle at 70 and I'm using him at my own shows in September at the ECW Arena. I will never stop learning. But for me, I guess I started turning at an early age because I was doing it in ECW. Giving guys critiques. It's funny, I remember speaking with Chris Jericho and he told me the first time he came into ECW I pulled him aside. And we're the same age and he was just getting into ECW and I told him something and he's like "that was the first thing you really ever said to me and it still held true so thank you."
ON THE CURRENT PRODUCT AND POSSIBLE WWE RETURN
"I have been talking with WWE a lot. They wanted me to come back and I basically just said I have so many commitments with House Of Hardcore. I'd love to come back, I'd love to help. Kind of like what I did the last time when I went back. I just can't sign a contract right now. I can't give up my own company and I can't give up on my own dreams and I don't want to ever be competition with WWE. I just want to show an alternative product. So, if that happens then cool. I look at House Of Hardcore and half of the people I used or gave breaks to are now in WWE or NXT. So, I love being that for them. Rhyno's worked for me at almost all my shows and for him to go back to WWE I'm still going to use him. I got him in September and finish him up in October and then he's full blown with WWE. And you never know, but for me I can't give up on my own company and i can't give up on my own dreams."
ON WHAT'S NEXT FOR HIM ONCE HE DECIDES TO CALL IT A CAREER
"I don't think I could ever walk away from wrestling. Hopefully behind the scenes at House Of Hardcore. I don't know. Writing movies or being a crazy actor on television like Terry Funk in "Road House". Something like that."
Did you enjoy this episode? - Visit our episode archive for interviews with WWE Superstar Roman Reigns, Mick Foley, Mark Henry, Ron Simmons, Greg Valentine, Ted Dibiase Sr. Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Jeff Jarrett, DDP, Ken Shamrock, Hernandez, Maria, Tara/Victoria, Balls Mahoney, Amazing Red, Adam Cole & MORE!
DON'T FORGET! - Tommy Dreamer has TWO events on ONE DAY at the PASADENA CENTER on AUG. 6TH. Check out the posters below: