Dark Side of the Ring Controversy: Tommy Dreamer suspended by IMPACT; Ric Flair Car Shield ads paused

The big news that hit on Friday was that Tommy Dreamer has been suspended indefinitely by IMPACT Wrestling.

Dreamer (real name Tom Laughlin) appeared on Vice TV’s Dark Side of the Ring “Plane Ride from Hell” episode this past Thursday.  According to several sources, including PWInsider and F4WOnline, Ed Nordholm, Anthem Chief Corporate Officer and President of IMPACT, issued an email to the roster on announcing that Dreamer has been suspended indefinitely moving forward.

Dreamer’s suspension was a result of comments he made surrounding WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, and the behavior of Flair on the Plane.  On the flight, a group of WWE wrestlers got heavily intoxicated prior to and during an international flight back to the United States, This was an embarrassment for WWE that resulted in several firings and a lawsuit settlement.

Fightful reported that Dreamer would not be at this weekend’s set of IMPACT TV tapings in at Skyway Studios inNashville, TN, noting that staff was informed of his absence during a production meeting . The company has three days of television they are taping. Dreamer is also part of the creative team, and occasionally works matches for TV.

Several reports indicated that Nordholm said that Dreamer was “asked to leave effective immediately” from Skyway Studios, and that what Dreamer said was “out of line” with the “core values” of the company. It was further stated that if anyone had any questions or concerns, to approach Producer Gail Kim, Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore, or himself.

Dreamer, who was on the flight in 2002, defended Flair on the episode. Flair was accused by flight attendant Heidi Doyle of exposing himself to her, pushing her up against the back door of the plane and Flair grabbing her hand and putting it on his genitals. Flair has denied all the claims.

Dreamer has been working both on air roles and behind-the-scenes with IMPACT Wrestling since 2018.

The following comments where made by Dreamer, pertaining to the accusations, and a settlement WWE made with Doyal:

[Flair] is “not going to impose, by force, any sexual stuff onto anybody. He’s just flaunting…stylin’ and profilin’…like the Ric Flair stuff where everybody’s going to laugh about it. Obviously, somebody took offense to it.”

“It’s a joke. It’s a gag. Today? 1000% inappropriate…I have hung out with Ric Flair and have never seen him force his will against anybody.”

“If that’s how she felt, maybe she should have not taken a payout and went to the fullest extent of the law to put this heinous person in jail. My opinion.”

Dreamer also had said in a later segment on the episode that Flair was being portrayed as a sexual predator.

Dave LaGreca, who serves as occasional co-host on Busted Open Radio said Anthem is taking the situation “very seriously.” It was also noted that it is not known when Dreamer may or may not return to the company.

John Pollock of Post Wrestling, obtained the following statement from IMPACT Wrestling:

If things couldn’t get any worse, The Car Shield commercial ads that have featured Ric Flair has been put on pause. Flair has appeared in the spots with other professional wrestling stars, including NXT 2.0 Superstar LA Knight and AEW’s Peter Avalon.

A spokesperson for InterMedia, which is the advertising agency for Car Shield’s commercials, issued the following statement on Friday:

There is currently no timetable for the spots to return. It was noted that the commercial will soon disappear from TV pending an additional investigation and decisions.

In related news to Thursday’s Dark Side of The Ring “Plane Ride From Hell” episode, per showbuzzdaily.com, drew 153,000 viewers on Vice TV, making this the lowest viewed episode in the show’s history.

In the key 18-49 demographic, Thursday’s episode drew a 0.07 rating.

Vice TV has made the entire episode available for free on their YouTube Channel, which you can watch below.

Tell Us What You Think –

Was IMPACT right in suspending Tommy Dreamer, and was Car Shield right in putting Flairs ads on pause. There has also been a lot of rumors and speculation over the past several weeks that Ric Flair would eventually sign with AEW. Will Tony Khan have second thoughts on bringing Flair into his company?

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