Tommy Dreamer had former WWE star Johnny Jeter (from the Spirit Squad faction) as his guest on the House of Hardcore podcast this week. Dreamer also shared some stories from his time in WWE.
Dreamer said they tried to replace Joey Mercury in MNM (Joey Mercury and John Morrison) with several people in OVW:
“I remember specifically, John Laurinaitis was not a fan of MNM. They loved MNM, but he wasn’t a fan of Joey Mercury. He said, ‘He has a plain look. He looks like Matt Hardy.’ I remember Morrison had come up with the whole idea (for MNM). They tried to replace Joey Mercury with everybody. I think you (Johnny Jeter) got a call to tag up with him once. I’m explaining the system. It was like, ok, we want to call this guy up but we don’t want this guy. They put Jeter with Morrison. They put Chris Cage with him. Maybe Matt Cappottelli, but then they said no because of Tough Enough. They were trying to put everybody in that spot. I had to go to bat and I said, ‘Listen, I get that you don’t like Joey Mercury, but just put him in that slot. This is MNM. If it doesn’t work, then just fire him.’ You have to have somebody in your corner to push for that. Then MNM worked, and the rest is history. I remember saying this to all of you. I would sit you up on the steps against the ring and I said, ‘I will hold your hand up until you get called up to the main roster, and then once you’re up there, you’re swimming with the sharks. It’s kind of like, you’re on your own. I have to let my children fly.’ Some made it, some didn’t, but it’s that type of scenario.”
Jeter said he made the best of the situation with the gimmick of The Spirit Squad:
“I think when you’re training to be a pro wrestler, you always have an idea of how you see yourself when you get called up, like ‘want to be the bada** Stone Cold, or I want to be the cool, charismatic Heartbreak Kid that all the chicks want and the guys want to be.’ I wanted to be a cocky, arrogant heel. I don’t do 450 splashes, but Chris Jericho’s in-ring style, kind of related to me. To me, that’s where I felt like I fit in that genre or mold. He became my idol and that’s the way I wanted to do it. So that’s the way you see yourself, but when you get called up, you don’t have a choice. You’re just someone and they have a gimmick. Looking back, I think I had a short term outlook on it because all of us got called up in the Spirit Squad and we were bummed initially because who wants to be a male cheerleader? But we embraced it. We got to wrestle DX, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, and we had a great time. We won the titles, traveled the world, and did it. We had the time of our lives. Again, you don’t imagine yourself being in that role, but once we got up there, we embraced it and had the time of our life. I was going to mention that I think we had a short term outlook on it because when you get up there, it’s easy to say, ‘This isn’t me. I don’t want to do this. I’ll hold out’, and maybe have a chip on your shoulder about it. But I think once you get up there, you may do the gimmick, but that gimmick won’t last forever. Maybe it does, I don’t know, but if it doesn’t, then after that you can do whatever you want to do. Look at Nemeth. When the whole Spirit Squad ended, he became Dolph Ziggler and he’s been doing that ever since. Back then, he had no idea about Dolph Ziggler. He had no idea what he was going to evolve into, and I don’t think any of us did. I think looking back, if you get called up and WWE says they want to put you on live TV, it’s good to just be grateful that you’re getting an opportunity to do something you love in front of millions of people and get paid for it.”