Tommy Dreamer plans to bring the fight to the stands Saturday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark for Metro Pro Wrestling

Tommy Dreamer made his name in the blood-soaked rings of ECW. Dreamer was the Philadelphia-based wrestling group’s everyman underdog, known for taking an extreme (that’s what the E in ECW stands for) amount of punishment.

These days, Dreamer is running his own wrestling promotion, House of Hardcore, and touring on the independent wrestling circuit. He makes a special appearance Saturday night for Metro Pro Wrestling, battling Central States Champion Ace Steel in a falls-count-anywhere match, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark (1800 Village West Parkway, KCK).

“I will go crazy all over the place,” Dreamer says. “A couple of weeks ago, I wrestled at a couple of baseball stadiums, and we took it up into the stands. It’s kind of my forte. I know Ace Steel, actually. I helped hire Ace Steel into WWE, and he also played a Donald Trump impersonator, since our conversation is going full circle here.”

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The ballpark is a fitting setting for Dreamer, an admittedly huge baseball fan.

“I love every baseball park,” Dreamer says. “I did my bucket list this year; I’ve attended every major-league park. And I’ve done a lot of minor-league parks. I’ll always go and buy a souvenir when I go and wrestle there. I’ve thrown out a lot of first pitches. Being a big fan of baseball, I love it. And combining it with wrestling, it’s a great atmosphere, and it’s a great night out for the family that doesn’t cost a whole heckuva a lot.”

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Dreamer is a familiar face for Metro Pro Wrestling fans. The former WWE Hardcore Champion was featured on promoter and former WWE writer Chris Gough’s first show at the historic Memorial Hall. Dreamer later returned for the organization’s fifth anniversary show in June 2015.

“My only demand out of my friend Mr. Christopher is that every time that I come, I have to go to a Royals game,” Dreamer says. “The first time I went, the Royals weren’t doing good. I stayed the Sunday after his show, and I had an entire section to myself. And then, five years later, I went and once the Royals went to the finals, it was jam packed. Then, I went this year, and I just love that atmosphere. I love the changes that they made with the park. I really enjoyed the museum of the Royals. I had a really, really good time.”

Unfortunately for Dreamer, he’s going to miss the Royals’ next homestand, a showdown with the New York Yankees. But he plans to make his first visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

“I’m actually going to try to hit that up the Sunday after his show, or, if I get in early enough, the Saturday before,” Dreamer says.

Dreamer says being a New Yorker, he wasn’t a fan of the Royals, but he did keep “a place in my heart” for the boys in blue.

“Long story short, 1978 championships, Freddie Patek was the Royals shortstop against the Yankees, and I had second-row seats,” he says. “I was a little kid with my dad, and he would always throw the ball to George Brett, and George Brett signaled off, like, ‘don’t throw it to me, ‘ and he went to throw into the dugout, the ball kicked up, and one, little Tommy Dreamer, caught it, and it was amazing.”

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Dreamer spent much of his thirties wrestling for WWE, the biggest wrestling company in the world. WWE recently divided its roster between the Raw and SamckDown television shows, and the wrestling collective offered Dreamer a job — one that he turned down.

“It was a hard decision to make to turn it down, but yes, I turned it down,” Dreamer says. “I have my own company, called House of Hardcore, as well as I have a lot of commitments to a lot of other organizations as well as charities, and I went back to WWE already. In 2015, I had a great, great time with them. I love the WWE. I love professional wrestling, but I just couldn’t sign a contract with them and that was a big issue. I said, ‘When you need me to come back, I’ll come back just like I did the last time because I wasn’t under contract the last time.’ They were like, ‘No, we need you under contract.’ I was like, ‘Well, then I can’t do it. Thank you, and if you ever need my help, I’ll be there in a heartbeat.’

“One, I can’t give up on my own company. I can’t give up on myself as well as I’m a man of my word,” he says. “If technically you’re under contract and they said, ‘You can’t go wrestle in Kansas City on next Saturday,’ not that they’ve done that to anybody, then I wouldn’t be able to do that. And I can’t do that. I hope it pays off for myself and my company. We are in constant conversations with Chris to help me get television specifically for Kansas City because I’d like to bring my own company there.

“For me, it’s always been a hotbed for professional wrestling,” Dreamer says of Kansas City. “WWE doesn’t come there that much. That’s why people always got to go out there and support Metro Pro and indies like that. For me, as a businessman, I always think about wrestling fans in the sense of if WWE is not coming to them, so it’s just like what are they going to do? Might as well go out there and give them something. A lot of fans, if they’re not happy with the product. It’s not like you’re not a baseball fan. Your team may not be winning, but you still come out to the park. Where do those fans go? As a businessperson, I’d like to capitalize on that.”

So this definitely won’t be the last time that Kansas City sees Tommy Dreamer.

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After years of putting his body through the rigors of professional wrestling, Dreamer says his body is holding up.

“I always say I look like crap but actually I feel really good,” he says. “I don’t know how. I think because I’ve broken so many bones — I broke my neck. I broke my back. I’ve still never had a surgery — so I’m just going to keep on going until I can’t go anymore. The only time I feel pain is when I fly. Every bump and bruise. Honestly I don’t know. I think it is from the pressure or fitting my giant butt in those little seats. Every bump, bruise I’ve ever taken, I feel. If I’m not in first class, if I’m in the back of the plane, when I have to walk to the front of the plane, once we land it’s like the evolution of man because I’m totally hunched over and I need the seats to help me stand and then by the time that I get off the plane, I’m finally standing erect. The evolution of Tommy Dreamer.”

See Dreamer, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and more at Metro Pro Wrestling‘s show Saturday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. A preshow autograph session is set for 5 p.m. Bell time is 7 p.m.

Categories: A&E