WWE teased a whole lot of potential returns during the Slammy Awards presentation on Raw Monday night. While Ric Flair generated the most attention, two more former stars made their presence felt on the show.
ECW legend Tommy Dreamer joined The Miz and Alberto Del Rio in a six-man tag match. His on-camera time was far more extended than that of The Boogeyman, who came out long enough to make Booker T look like he just wet his pants.
Nonetheless, both made their own impacts.
Now, will we see them come back?
That appears to be up in the air. According to the website LordsOfPain.net, Dreamer was a last-minute addition to the Raw show. And The Boogeyman was supposed to wrestle in a dark match the night after Raw, but that never came to be the case.
If it happens, some in the Internet Wrestling Community could see that as WWE continuing its trend of bringing back former stars in an effort to boost ratings. And while Dreamer and Boogeyman do indeed fall into the category of WWE alumni, adding them to the full-time roster could pay huge dividends.
Both guys can still cut it with the rest of them.
So why is having Dreamer and Boogeyman back in the fold different than having The Rock or the Undertaker back?
That’s simple. Dreamer and Boogeyman bring the potential for extended runs in WWE loaded with frequent appearances on TV. The Rock is splitting time between WWE and Hollywood, while the Undertaker is like the WWE groundhog, appearing once a year at WrestleMania to see his shadow and extend his winning streak.
Boogeyman brings a unique gimmick to WWE not seen since, well, the last time he was in WWE. While his appearance may seem a little startling to the younger viewers, his antics of spitting worms and just being gross likely would appeal to them—and to the grownups, too. He is a walking horror movie.
Meanwhile, Dreamer’s hardcore, take-no-prisoners persona ratchets up the testosterone level of WWE and draws in the male audience. After all, it is the male audience who has been the most vocal against hero characters like John Cena and for anti-heroes like CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler. Dreamer appeals to that segment of the audience while also appeasing the rest of the WWE Universe by opposing the villainous heels.
Let’s look at both men, beginning with The Boogeyman.
His first stint in WWE was meant to shock and scare potential opponents with his stalking and gross-out tactics, such as stuffing live worms in his mouth. He rang up quite an undefeated streak during that time with victories over such stars as Booker T and JBL.
But Boogeyman was often injured, and that led to his first release from WWE in 2006. Less than a month later, Boogeyman was back in WWE, up to his old tricks and feuding with the likes of The Miz and Finlay. But he was gone the following year after losing to Mark Henry in a squash match.
According to LordsOfPain.net, Boogeyman was set to work a dark match at Super SmackDown Tuesday night in Pittsburgh so he could be evaluated for a potential new run. But he did not appear, and there currently is no indication of when his next appearance will be.
But if Boogeyman performs as well inside the ring as he did at the beginning of the Slammy Awards show, it would be worth the investment.
Dreamer, who spent nine years with WWF/E and ECW, showed up to a major pop from the Philadelphia crowd Monday night and won the match for his partners. But when last seen toward the end of the show, he was being beaten up by The Shield. That opened the door for potential retaliation that did not take place at Super SmackDown.
Of the two, Dreamer probably stands the better chance of getting another shot. At 41, he showed that he has not lost a step and still can mix it up with the younger stars. And you know his character is the type who will not let a beatdown by three young punks be the last remembrance we have of him.
But that does not mean WWE should not consider bringing The Boogeyman on board, too. Letting him get away after hearing the reaction he got on Raw could turn out to be one of the company's worst nightmares.
Bill Atkinson is a columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.