Former two-time TNA World Champion (and recently announce Hall of Fame inductee) Bully Ray was scheduled to work a show for his old friend Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion on Friday, June 6th in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Due to an apparent communications failure, some folks in TNA management had planned to send him to an appearance with the company's television partner, Spike TV (with whom their current deal is about to expire - a deal that TNA would very much like and maybe even needs to renew), for their Guy's Choice Awards taping in Los Angeles on the same night.
Dreamer has documented the saga in a couple of posts on his Facebook page, and it looks like various parties within TNA from talent (Bobby Roode, Eric Young) and management (John Gaburick) quickly offered to make things right and assist Dreamer's show to cover for losing a main eventer. He ended up giving his ticket-buying customers the option of leaving the show with a refund or staying for the new main, a tag team battle of himself and Devon vs. Abyss and Rhino. Reportedly, everyone stayed and the show got positive reviews from numerous sources.
The new main was set-up with an angle that played into the current angles involving the Dixie Carter character currently appearing on TNA Impact Wrestling. Dreamer called Carter a "b****" and the fans chanted that and worse back. He said that Dixie disappoints her fans and disrespects the boys in the back with moves like pulling Bully Ray from House of Hardcore, and that he would "get her" for it.
On Twitter, Dreamer called Carter the slur again and re-Tweeted some unfortunate and offensive jokes and insults from fans directed at the TNA President.
It's unclear exactly when things went from shoot to work. Dreamer has said that name calling was because he was mad and thought that politics played a part in the decision to send Bully Ray to LA instead of New York, and apologized for the re-Tweets. Carter responded (again, mostly in character, it seems) accusing him of using her "name and IP" to raise his promotions profile.
Then, yesterday, it definitely became kayfabe:
After the success of #Slammiversary, I want to address @TheTommyDreamer. You ran your mouth to your "horde of hardcore" fans and on twitter— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) June 17, 2014
I'm inviting @THETOMMYDREAMER and his "horde of hardcores" to come to Bethlehem, PA for #ImpactLIVE this Thursday! http://t.co/nL8WWQNqMv— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) June 17, 2014
. @THETOMMYDREAMER I will hand you a live microphone and dare you to say those things to my face. Thursday 9/8c on @SpikeTV!— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) June 17, 2014
After conferring with his followers, Dreamer accepted:
Thanks for all your Tweets.See you Thursday @TNADixie @IMPACTWRESTLING @SpikeTV @HouseofHardcore LIVE HARDCORE PIPE BOMBS #RAW— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) June 17, 2014
There doesn't seem to be any remaining issues between Tommy and TNA. He spent much of Sunday night and Monday hyping and praising Slammiversary.
It does seem that this is going to now contribute to the Bully Ray vs. Dixie Carter feud that has been running on Impact.
Both companies have benefited from the buzz this has generated on social media and other places on the wrestling internet.
That's it's going to direct fans to an angle where two veterans of the industry are going to hurl gender slurs at a female authority figure and threaten her with violence isn't the kind of buzz pro wrestling needs, though.
Tune in Thursday night at 9PM Eastern to see Impact LIVE from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to see Dreamer confront Dixie face-to-face.
Or don't, if you're not interested in seeing or supporting angles like this.