ECW legend Tommy Dreamer was the guest on the most recent edition of The Ross Report, which you can listen to entirely at this link. Below are some interview highlights:
On the Motivation of Starting a Wrestling Promotion:
It was kind of a combination thing. It was one of those weekends, a rarity that I was wrestling for an independent promoter, and he kind of screwed over a lot of the guys, and you know, I hate when that happens. I always wanted to do it just once, and I kind of fell into it with a building I was working with, at the old Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. Their management was a friend of mine, was looking to start a school, and it kind of rolled from there. We did the first one and you know, again, natural progression. Doing everything behind the scenes of ECW and then wrestling and then doing behind the scenes for WWE, so I did the first one, and then had a hell of a house and was blown away, you know, maybe we are onto something, and then the next year I did another one, actually another two, and kept growing and kept getting positive feedback, and it just, I guess the mantra of my company is no politics, no bs, just wrestling. I know a lot of fans, especially on Monday’s or Tuesday’s, I know it just started, but I’m actually reading Jack Brisco’s book, and he was telling me the politics of him winning the NWA title; I hate that. We’re not curing cancer, we’re not creating rocket science here, it’s professional wrestling. It’s good vs. bad, there’s twist along the way. I hate the political factor of life, and in wrestling, so I just wanted it based on the boys and their talents, and so far I’ve done that. Now we have this entire month booked.
On Still Being a Pro Wrestling Fan:
I watch everything. Unfortunately, I don’t get Lucha Underground or Ring of Honor. I follow it and I look at it in two ways; 1) What matches I think I want to see 2) What matches the fans want to see as well, and it’s hard when you talk about promoting..if I have national television tomorrow I would not want to compete with WWE, TNA or Lucha Underground. I want everyone to get along together and a lot of my shows. This recent show alone I had a contracted WWE employee, contracted TNA employee, contracted ROH, contracted New Japan and had them all on my show. That is my whole no politics. It doesn’t have to be your guy, just go out there and entertain for the fans and that’s how I do these shows. It’s rewarding to me. I love just sitting back and if I had television or the money, I’d sign the Young Bucks in a heartbeat because I went back and I watch them at my past shows vs the Hardy’s and vs the Dudleys and these guys just went out there and kicked a**, and for a guy that has been in the business for as long as I have, I’m jumping out of my seat and enjoying the false finishes and I was just like, man, but then the veteran in me will see Bubba and DeVon working their a**es off and having this great match with the Young Bucks, and it’s not like the Young Bucks are slowing down to keep up with the Dudley’s because it motivates their game, which is what I enjoy booking, and then the next night in Philadelphia, in the arena, you know, it’s always special, I think Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk returning to the old ECW Arena is a big deal. I’m going to be wrestling Matt Hardy that night. I have Ricochet vs Sami Callihan, who is an amazing, amazing wrestler. I’m going to bring in Chris Hero and is going to face Tony Nese, and I also like to do a bunch of surprises for my show. I brought in people who, you know, I don’t advertise them, it’s kind of like a gift for the wrestling fans, kind of a thank you for coming out. I’ve had a lot of successful sellouts lately, so it’s kind of my gift where I have big surprises, little surprises, but they’ve always worked out in the end.
On Expanding House of Hardcore to Other Markets:
I up’d it after being put on the spot by my good friend Bubba Ray. I had a little television deal. I’ve been in Canada and on the Fight Network. I purposely did it as a season, and then the culmination at the end of the season, we were going to have a show up in Toronto. We set the attendance record up there. My goal in television or getting my product seen to the masses. I have been offered television deals, but you know, as you know, it’s hard to get people or networks to get paid for programming. They want to put you on for free, and then when you’re out of business in two months they want to know what happened, due to production costs and all that stuff. I’ve been wanting to do monthly. I just did a show in Houston, Texas and we raised money for Autism, and then I took July off purposely. I wanted to take December off because of the weather, but already have two shows booked in December. I have nothing booked in January, but I’ll just keep plugging away. It’s hard to do shows and you’re looking at where WWE shows are, for Raw or Smackdown, where’s NXT going to be, where’s ROH going to be so trying to find a happy medium. I’ve been begging to go to the Chicago area. All these places I pick after New York and Philly, the next shows are Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and those are just natural places for me through ECW, just visiting my old stomping grounds and you know, testing the markets, and so far it has paid off. I would love to go all over, but I feel like I would need television to expand that way.
On Having a Staff to Help His Product Expand:
I have a lot of great people helping me. I have people helping me that, as you know, it’s hard that I can’t have people on salary yet, but I have a lot of people on the hook for me, where I end up paying them to perform, I pay them..you know, it’s kind of like that ECW interest where I have people who have a vested interest in the company. My announcer helps me out a lot. He calls the Browns and calls Cavaliers, so he found me a building in Cleveland, he does little things on Facebook. I have another guy, I’ve been friends with for a long time helps me with tickets. I have another guy who runs the website; I throw them money when I can, and you know, I have a staff that I can trust.
To listen to the rest of this podcast, as well as an interview with PWI’s Chris Murphy, subscribe to the Ross Report on iTunes.