Tommy Dreamer: “There should never be a chair shot to anyone’s head”
John Pollock sent in:
Tommy Dreamer recently spoke with John Pollock from The LAW / Fight Network to promote House of Hardcore’s recent event in Niagara Falls. The full video version is available at:
Below are excerpts from the interview:
His concerns with concussions:
If you go back and watch WWE Network, I don’t know if they pull any footage, or you go on YouTube where they don’t pull any of the footage; In ECW, we used to hit each other as hard as we could with a steel chair and you did not put your hands up. In 2016, there should never be a chair shot to anyone’s head on anyone’s level because now we know more about concussions. I know I’ve had a lot of concussions and it’s weird. I broke my neck, I broke my back, I’ve torn both my pecks, I’ve torn my bicep, I’ve never had a surgery. I think everyone is just different, my wife at one of my House of Hardcore shows Lance Storm, of all people, clotheslined her and she got a bad concussion. That was in 2013, still to this day she has an effectiveness where she’ll see a light and be like this. She had just one concussion. With Chris Nowinski and what he’s doing with the concussion institute, he’s also dating back to when did you get your first concussion. I know for myself, my first concussion ever in the history of Tommy Dreamer. I’m playing Frisbee and I got it, I got it and I ran into a tree. Knocked out, 9 years old. It had nothing to do with wrestling, sports, whatever. Then I got thrown off a horse, I think I was about 11. So I had two concussions before getting into professional wrestling. So far, I’ve been pretty good. The only thing I’ve seen from myself but I also don’t know if that’s just old age, is that my hand writing is horrible. I’ve seen things that I’ve signed from a long, long time ago – not as Tommy Dreamer but as myself Tom Laughlin and I’ve seen that my hand writing has totally regressed. I don’t know if that’s just due to certain head trauma or if that’s just from being older.
I think, for me personally, If I was having health issues, yes, I would want to know what’s going on. If I said hey, I’m going to go to the doctor today for no reason then I have no side effects. A couple of years ago, I was having a really bad time walking. I was like man, my back is horrible. I had to go for an MRI. It’s funny, the guy was looking at the MRI of my back, then he looked back at me and goes “how did you get here?” I go “I walked”, he goes “you have bone spurs on every vertebrae.” They were kind of hooked like that. He goes “Every vertebrae, I don’t understand how you’re walking. How much pain are you in?” I go “It’s okay.” The only time I feel pain is when I fly. When I broke my neck, when I broke my back – when I broke my neck, I didn’t know and I continued wrestling for like 4 months. Lance Storm, he has caused my some pain in my life with my wife and now myself. Anyway, I herniated 3 disks because my body healed wrong and I blew about 3 disks on Mother’s Day wrestling him. That Lance Storm, fellow Canadian. And then they were like “hey, when did you break your neck?” and I was like “what?” because you think you break your neck, you think you’re gonna be paralyzed, you’re dead. The guy was like “Yeah, right here, you have scar tissue.” He said “If you get a cut, you heal, you
get a scab but then you’re wrestling again so you’re picking off that scab, it’s going to make your cut bleed again.” Back then with ECW, weekend warriors, he goes “You’re not giving your body time to heal and you basically blew out 3 disks in your back.” I was like “Oof, not bad.” I was 28 years old. At one point, I was like I think I need back surgery but one day, it went away. When I did that, they said the worst thing you could do for your back is sit in a car, sit in a plane and sleep. That’s where people get most of their back injuries besides what you do for a living. It was so bad that I was like man, I don’t think I can fly to Japan anymore, I don’t think I can fly to Australia and then I just made a few adjustments in my own training and a back pillow, and I’m okay. Just little tweaks like that, I’m good so far. I keep on going. I messed up myself because I had Terry Funk as my mentor and he’s in his 70’s and he’s still wrestling and whenever he blows out his knee, he just gets a new one. He just keeps on going.
NXT/ ECW Re-Launch:
Absolutely, I want to say it’s almost the exact model and if you look at some of the towns they go to and the arenas, it was the exact model we had put together. Ironically, the guys who brought the original ECW back were Shane McMahon and John Laurinaitis. At first it was going to be on the web but then it got picked up on television. It was supposed to be a total different product than WWE and literally, after the first show, it was just another WWE show but whatever. The NXT product is an awesome product. I love the fact that they brought me in as a surprise in Philadelphia and Albany. Ironically, I think that’s why I got called up rather quickly to the roster. I love the show, I love the product and the fact that they’re using people – if you think about the business model, the business has changed, besides from social media but the business has changed within the last 2-3 years. There are people that are stars in WWE that would have never been thought about 3-4 years ago. AJ Styles, they would say because of height or Kevin Owens because of his appearance or the fact that he wears a T-shirt and shorts, all that stuff. Those guys killed it in NXT and killed it everywhere else. Absolutely, Dean Ambrose is another one. I love Monday morning quarterbacks which is now Tuesday morning quarterbacks for wrestling. Yourself, you get to sit there and talk about something you love, professional wrestling, for a long time. You get to talk about story lines, you get to talk about what’s going on. It’s become pop culture. The one thing and I know you’re not a negative person – people that go “you should do this.” or “you should do that.” It’s very, very hard to tell someone they should do something when just set an attendance record and you just had a 17 million dollar gate. If I do 17 million dollar gate, I promise you I would just be happy smile for the rest of my time and anything negative, I would just be like I just made 17 mill on a show, let me enjoy that.