Wrestler of the Day – February 14: Tommy Dreamer

Time to go extreme. Today is Tommy Dreamer.

Dreamer is of course most famous for his time in ECW. He started in the very old days of the company when it was still Eastern Championship Wrestling where he was originally a self described pretty boy who wasn’t respected by the fans. That began to change at a show called The Night The Line Was Crossed.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Jimmy Snuka

Snuka is EVIL here and Dreamer is a pure rookie. I’ve seen this before somewhere. Dreamer is from Dreamland USA. Wow indeed. He’s the pretty boy in bright blue tights here and no one cares about him. Snuka is by far the biggest star in the company at this point. Joey promises a classic. That’s never a good sign. Dreamer is 22 here. That’s hard to imagine as he’s always been old.

Lots of stalling to start as we just had to stretch this show out further didn’t we? Dreamer puts on the hat of a kid for no apparent reason. After about three minutes of stalling we lock up and go to a headlock. And now we stall some more. I thought WE WRESTLE IN THE NWA! The fans chant for Piper although I’m not sure why. Would it kill you guys to do something?

Snuka pops him with a pretty weak chair shot on the floor in by far the most interesting move of the match so far. Dreamer kicks out of the Superfly Splash and Joey apparently thinks he can walk on water too. Snuka hits two more of them and Dreamer is more or less dead. He’s bleeding from the mouth and Snuka finally pins him. He beats up some referees and other people afterwards and hits a fourth splash on Dreamer. Gordon comes out and gets beaten up too.

Rating: F+. This was about 80% stalling and then a bunch of splashes. It was like a weird kind of squash and by that I mean it wasn’t any good. The stalling is what hurts this as it’s nearly 8 minutes long and WAY too much of it was just them standing around and yelling at the crowd. Snuka wouldn’t mean anything in the long run anyway as he was only around for a few months after this while Dreamer became one of the biggest stars in the company.

1994 was spent with Dreamer becoming more and more of a fan favorite, including a memorable feud with Sandman. Dreamer knocked a cigarette into Sandman’s eye and blinded him, resulting in Sandman saying he had to retire. This was a huge work against the entire fanbase, many of whom fell for it, thereby ticking them off.

Next up was the biggest feud of Dreamer’s career with a creative backstory. The idea was that Dreamer went to camp as a popular teenage jock with an outcast named Scott who would become a wrestler named Raven. At the same camp there was a girl named Beaulah who liked Dreamer but he rejected her so she slept with Raven. Now she’s back as a Penthouse Pet and wants revenge with Raven. This set off a two year feud with Raven’s Nest fighting Dreamer, including at the main event of November to Remember 1995.

Terry Funk/Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven/Cactus Jack

 

Main event time. Funk is “planning on retiring”. That’s just amusing. Funk says he’ll remember what happened with Cactus last night forever. Apparently it was a big attack on Terry but Dreamer made the save. This is a revenge match for Funk and Dreamer always hates Raven Cactus is in a WCW Dungeon of Doom t-shirt. He was in a WEIRD (yet awesome) heel push where he longed to be back in WCW with “Uncle Eric”.

 

The pairings pair off and Raven and Jack rule the ring for the moment. Now we get to the brawl and Funk fights Raven. Stevie Richards brings in some weapons and gets put in a shopping cart for his troubles. Dreamer BLASTS Raven in the head with a freaking VCR. WHY WOULD YOU BRING ONE OF THOSE TO A WRESTLING SHOW??? In a funny bit, Dreamer hits him with the remote also.

 

Funk beats up the referee because he’s Terry Funk. Dreamer DDTs the referee for good measure. Funk hits Raven with a golf club in the putter. Cheese grater is broken up and Cactus drills Dreamer with a chair. Dreamer gets taken down by a double chain shot to the throat. Raven is busted open and poses anyway. Cactus channels his inner Abdullah as he jabs at Funk with a fork.

 

DDT to Dreamer as Raven and Cactus are dominating. They try the chain again but Dreamer does something smart and dives on it, bringing them together. Not that it matters as Cactus takes him down with ease. Cactus takes the Dungeon of Doom shirt to reveal another one with a huge picture of Eric Bischoff and the words “Forgive Me Uncle Eric” (coining that nickname) on the back. Only Mick Foley could make that work, period.

 

It’s more or less a big mess but were you really expecting something else here? Jack hits a double arm DDT on Funk onto the chair but there’s no referee. Raven dives over the top to take out Dreamer and Jack looks for more weapons. Here are Fonzie and Taz to be referees but Funk kicks out at two. Taz beats up Funk so Dreamer takes Taz out. Jumping DDT takes Raven down and for some reason a regular one does more damage. The referee is back up and Dreamer piledrives Raven onto a chair, letting Funk steal the pin.

 

Rating: B-. Pretty fun match overall as they kept things just weapons based instead of going everywhere. Also Jack having the continuing mental breakdowns in the middle of the match (the Uncle Eric thing) is great. Dreamer not beating Funk is one of those little things that makes a match better. Fun stuff here and one of the better brawls ECW did.

 

Cactus beats them down a bit but gets taken down too. DREAMER SUPERKICKS RICHARDS! Ok so it was in the ribs but still! Raven leaves Dreamer laying to end the show.

Dreamer and Raven feuded for most of 1995, all of 1996 and most of 1997. The key to the whole thing was Dreamer NEVER pinned Raven but kept getting closer and closer every time. Dreamer even got Beaulah to join him at one point during the feud. This finally led to a loser leaves town match at Wrestlepalooza 1997.

Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer

The fans immediately chant YOU SOLD OUT at Raven who was leaving for WCW. Before the match, one of Raven’s lackeys named Lupus says don’t bother doing this because it’s your last night. Raven takes the advice and runs through the front door but Dreamer catches up to him and rams Raven into a steel wall. They head into the bleachers and Dreamer throws both of them through the merchandise table in a big crash. Raven comes back with something resembling a piledriver through a table but the table gives way. Dreamer is already busted open.

Raven throws a table onto Dreamer but Tommy backdrops his way out of a piledriver. The fans actually chant that they can’t see anything. Raven avoids a splash through a table and whips Dreamer into the barricade so hard that it’s knocked off the hinges. Tommy comes back with the same kind of whip before crotching Raven on the steel. They head back to ringside and Dreamer hits a bulldog on the concrete before taking him back into the crowd.

A chair to Raven’s head has him busted open as they head to the other end of the building. Some Philadelphia Eagles are watching from the balcony as Raven throws Dreamer back into the aisle. They’re finally inside the ring again after about a nine minute brawl and Raven hits the drop toehold onto the chair. Another chair is brought in and Raven throws Tommy off the top and through the chair in a nice spot.

Tommy kicks out at two and counters a hiptoss into a DDT to take over. The referee is knocked out by a sign as people keep throwing in weapons like an old N64 game. A piledriver onto the Do Not Enter sign is good for two as Lupus makes the save. Beaulah comes in to DDT Lupus but Raven hits a low blow and rolls up Dreamer for two. A Beaulah distraction lets Dreamer do the same thing to Raven.

Raven’s chick Chastity comes in and sprays hairspray in Dreamer’s eyes, allowing Raven to dropkick him down for two. Everything breaks down and Dreamer DDTs Raven on the sign for a VERY close two. Dreamer loads up another DDT but Raven drives him into the referee. The DDT connects but Louie Spicolli comes in for another save. Spicolli’s DDT gets two for Raven and his own DDT gets the same and Raven isn’t sure what to do. Dreamer grabs a Death Valley Driver on Raven before picking him up, shouting ECW and DDTing Raven on the sign, finally good for the pin after trying for over two years.

Rating: C-. This is a match where the rating depends on your knowledge of the backstory. If you know and care about what Dreamer has gone through to get here, this is a huge moment and a great feeling. I never got into the whole story so it’s just another ECW brawl, but there’s no denying the emotion to it and how big of a deal this was for Dreamer.

One of Dreamer’s most well known associations over the years was with Terry Funk. Tommy appeared on Terry Funk’s retirement show called Terry Funk’s Wrestlefest in 1997.

ECW World Title: Shane Douglas vs. Tommy Dreamer

Beulah is the hottest I’ve ever seen her here, period. Francine looks pretty good too. Shane has just gotten the title back at Hardcore Heaven so there’s more or less zero chance of him losing here. Shane’s heel stuff is underrated I think. He’s overrated beyond belief, but he’s decent at times I think. Ok apparently this is now non title. Ok apparently it is. Dreamer threatens to beat up the announcer if he doesn’t say it’s for the title.

 

If he has that much power can he order Beulah to get naked? Beulah gets on the mic and says that after looking at Shane’s trunks she knows not everything is big in Texas. If I’m Dreamer I’m thinking two things. Why is my wife looking at his trunks, and how in the world did I get a woman that looks like that? Dreamer dominates until Shane kicks the chair he’s holding into his face.

 

The fans keep shouting about Lex Luger for no apparent reason. Shane works on the knee and Francine helps which causes him even more trouble. I’m liking some of the stuff Shane is using on the knee as he’s varying it up very well. We’re told that there are ten minutes left, meaning the time limit was 15 minutes. Dang we get a figure four from Shane. There are about a millions jokes there.

 

Both girls come in and Beulah manages to break up the hold and Dreamer gets two on a rollup. Dreamer goes for the DDT but there’s Francine for the save. You know what’s coming. Shane beats up Beulah including the belly to belly. Dreamer hits everything he has on Shane but can’t get the pin. Francine saves him after the DDT and takes the safest piledriver I’ve ever seen. I love that he never even checked on his wife. A quick belly to belly ends this.

 

Rating: B-. I liked this a lot more than I should have. The interference was annoying beyond all belief to say the least, but we get hot women so I can’t complain much. This was a good match though and it got the job done that it was shooting for so I can’t complain about all that much.

 

1998 wouldn’t be the most interesting year for Dreamer as he would just fight random people wherever he was needed. ECW would begin expanding around this time and Dreamer would be on the second episode of their TV show in a handicap match against the most dominant tag team ECW ever produced, the Dudley Boys. This was also the Dudleys’ last night in the company and they won the World Tag Team Titles. They goaded Dreamer into a handicap match for the belts, but things would change at the end.

 

Tag Titles: Tommy Dreamer vs. Dudley Boys

 

Dreamer takes them down with a double Russian legsweep for two. Tommy finds some salad tongs and grabs D-Von’s balls. Francine throws in a ladder which Tommy tettertotters into the Dudley’s faces. Francine hits Sign Guy in the head with something to take him down. Bubba gets thrown into the ladder and D-Von gets thrown into Bubba, resulting in the falling headbutt ball shot to D-Von.

Bubba gets up and sends Dreamer into the ladder which kills him because of his back. The Dudleys destroy Tommy with belt shots and loads up 3D but Dreamer counters with a DDT. Cue the returning RAVEN who kills Bubba with the Even Flow and pins him to win the titles with Dreamer, his mortal enemy.

Rating: C. This is a really hard one to grade because all that mattered were the last 10 seconds of the match. A lot of it was Dreamer out cold while the Dudleys beat on him so it barely qualifies as a match. Anyway, this was the big return mentioned earlier and Raven got an eruption after finally returning from WCW. At WCW, there had been a meeting where Bischoff told the roster that if anyone wanted out to get up and leave now. Raven was the only one that walked out and he was in ECW in a week.

This was Dreamer’s first title in over five years with the company. In 2000, Taz would win the ECW Title despite not being employed by ECW. Obviously an ECW wrestler needed to be champion, leading to this match from Cyberslam 2000.

 

ECW World Title: Tommy Dreamer vs. Taz

 

Feeling out process to start with the champion grabbing a headlock before taking him down with a T-Bone Tazplex. Hard crossface shots to the face send Dreamer outside and the brawl is on. Dreamer sends him face first into the post but gets whacked in the head with a chair to put him right back down. They head back inside with Taz kicking Dreamer in the side of the head and taking him down with a nice capture suplex for two.

 

Tommy hits a quick DDT for two and loads up the Death Valley Driver, only to have Taz slip down into the Tazmission. A low blow gets Dreamer free but he walks into a northern lights suplex for two. They hit the mat for a quick wrestling sequence and Dreamer flips Taz over into a sunset flip for the pin and the title out of absolutely nowhere.

 

Rating: C-. This is what’s so frustrating about ECW: they can have nice matches like this without all the violence and brawling but that’s all they relied on for most of their important matches. Dreamer was never a great mat warrior or anything but this was perfectly acceptable for the most part.

 

Taz gives a very emotional speech, putting Dreamer over as the man that is now the standard bearer for ECW. Tommy talks about how he may never make it to Wrestlemania but he’s made it here in ECW as he begins to cry. The locker room comes out to celebrate and even Raven hugs Dreamer. Then some other stuff happened.

 

The title reign would last about twenty minutes as Justin Credible would jump Dreamer and win the belt in an impromptu title defense, which really does fit Dreamer’s luck over the years. The company was on its last legs by this point and would hold its final PPV in January of 2001 where Tommy Dreamer would face CW Anderson in an I Quit match.

 

CW Anderson vs. Tommy Dreamer

This is an I Quit match and is your standard veteran vs. young punk with something to prove feud. Dreamer is in a freaking Logan’s Roadhouse shirt. Is he a waiter on the side since he’s not getting paid? I’m not sure if I’m kidding there or not. We’re on the floor immediately as Cyrus is irritating. Back in the ring and Dreamer has a Dragon Sleeper of all things.

Anderson goes to the arm which is likely hurt since it’s Tommy Dreamer. Why should an I Quit match be a wrestling match? Cyrus wants it to be technical which is completely against the idea of the match but whatever. Dreamer goes violent with the ring bell hammer and busts Anderson open. Fairly sick drop toehold into the back of a chair busts Dreamer open.

CW works on the knee which doesn’t really get him anywhere. Dreamer takes some very bad looking unprotected chair shots and busts out a ring of barbed wire. The towel boy from the last show comes in and helps Dreamer beat him up. And there’s a metal sheet to the non-wrestler. Throw in a suplex and I’m sure he’s perfectly fine right?

Spinebuster onto the wire, called razor wire here, and of course Anderson goes for the arm instead of the back which was just slammed into barbed wire. We switch back to the spine as he goes through some chairs. Ok make that the neck as it’s all Anderson here. It’s table time but Anderson goes through it. They take part of it and Dreamer chokes him out for the victory.

Rating: C. Not bad but if this is supposed to be a classic in ECW I fail to see it. Also, nice job of elevating Anderson there by giving the win to the old man that still has never quit. I don’t get this one really and while it was a good beatdown, the psychology was just not there at all as Anderson couldn’t just pick a body part. It’s ok but nothing great at all.

 

Dreamer would join the WWF in the summer and be a fairly small part of the Alliance. Eventually he would join the hardcore division as most people expected him to do. He won the Hardcore Title in August 2002 and would defend it in a battle royal on August 19, 2002.

 

Hardcore Title: Battle Royal

Tommy Dreamer, Jeff Hardy, Bradshaw, Bubba Ray Dudley, Crash Holly, Johnny Stamboli, Steven Richards, Terri, Spike Dudley

Eric Bischoff comes out and says that the 24/7 rule is gone and at the moment Tommy Dreamer is champion coming in. There’s going to be a six minute time limit and whoever is champion at the end gets to keep the title. There are weapons under the ring and a tarp covering something big. A shoulder on Dreamer gives Bradshaw the title so everyone jumps the future JBL.

We’re under five minutes left now and Bradshaw finds a cookie sheet to clean house with. Various weapons are brought in and it’s your usual hardcore style brawl. Bradshaw loads up a powerbomb on the floor but Stevie superkicks him so Crash can pin him for the title. There’s a table in the ring now and we’re under 3:30 to go. Jeff uses Bubba as a launching pad to dive over the top and onto Stamboli.

Crash tells Bubba to get the table but gets powerbombed through one by Bubba instead for no cover. Dreamer KO’s Bubba with a kendo stick and pins Crash for the title. The Clothesline from Bradshaw gets two on Dreamer as Bubba saves. Bubba hits Bradshaw low and superplexes Dreamer for two. We’ve got less than a minute left and Bradshaw keeps breaking up pins. Nothing else happens and the clock runs out with Dreamer as champion.

Rating: D. Well that was boring. Nothing interesting happened here and the match just ended with the same stuff going on for the last two minutes. Terri was gone after about a second so she didn’t need to be in there at all. Thankfully the title would be unified with the IC Title a week later and the thing was put out of its misery. The joke had gotten old like a year and a half ago so ending it was the right idea.

 

We’re going to jump WAY ahead as 2003/2004 saw Tommy do little more than job on Heat. Around early 2005 there was a DVD released called the Rise and Fall of ECW which sold incredibly well. So well in fact that there was a reunion show announced called One Night Stand. Naturally Tommy was in the main event.

 

Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer/Sandman

Ok, so this is more or less by far and away the most famous and popular part of this show as the match won’t start for about 15 minutes or so. This was the first time the Dudleys had been seen in months on end and they would be gone and in TNA rather soon. Foley sums up a lot very easily: “There are guys like me that absolutely love ECW and everything it stood for but at the end of the day consider themselves WWE guys. Then you have guys like the Dudley Boys that work for WWE but in their hearts are always going to be ECW guys.”

 

That sums up this whole show better than anything else could I say. Dreamer gets a pop and a half. You can tell Dreamer is WAY impressed and really in awe of this. The music hits and so begins the most famous entrance in modern wrestling history at least. Enter Sandman (original, not that Motorhead nonsense) hits and he’s in the crowd.

 

The fans sing the song for his entrance in what is an awesome moment. He’s on his second beer and he’s still on the top floor. Hey he’s at the railing! His entrance is at 3 minutes now. Bubba gets beer spit at him. Tommy and Sandman have beers with CW Anderson and Chris Chetti in the front row before pouring one on two girls’ chest, one of which is Elektra, and licking it off.

D-Von dancing to Metallica is funny and the cane gets jacked off. Five and a half minutes now. Hand pounds all around…and there’s the BWO. The reaction from Foley is hilarious. Think Ray from Ghostbusters when he says “It’s the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man”. Just cracks me up every time. Match hasn’t started yet. Stevie looks good here actually. Joey sums up the BWO perfectly: “If any gimmick never deserved to make a dime and made a whole boatload of cash, this is it. And the best is they couldn’t sue us because it was a parody.”

 

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, the BWO is the Blue World Order: Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy and Hollywood Nova (Simon Dean). They were a parody of the NWO which wound up being ridiculously popular so they ran with it. Stevie says they’re taking over and kicks Sandman in the face. Let the brawling begin. Kid Kash is here, having just been fired from TNA, marking I believe the first and only time it was mentioned on WWE programming. He does nothing and here are Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten: the Hardcore Chair Swingin Freaks.

They beat up the BWO so the interfering people are fighting the other interfering people. Nova gets the tar chaired out of him. Joey: that’s more painful than having to be Simon Dean on national TV. Everyone brawls in the aisle and Kash has the referee get on all fours for a HUGE front flip onto all of them. Bubba busts out the trashcans. Remember the match hasn’t started yet. Oh hey there it is, 14 minutes after the Dudleys’ song started. Dreamer has a cheese grated.

The fans chant for Cactus Jack which Foley kind of laughs off. Cheese grater across Dreamer’s head is SICK! Oh he’s busted bad so Bubba rubs it on his face. Joey: Tommy’s skin looks like cabbage in a coleslaw. In case you can’t tell, I freaking love this. Foley calls the grater comical. Sometimes I’d pay to be inside that man’s head. Sandman brings in the ladder. We get probably my all time favorite comedy line in wrestling.

Joey says he was going to compare Dreamer wrestling tonight to Gehrig’s last at bat at Yankee Stadium but Gehrig didn’t whip out a cheese grater and start mutilating people with it. And that my friends is why I love wrestling. It’s so insane that to us it makes sense, but when you compare it to something else, it sounds ridiculous. However, in wrestling, there are three words that make things magical: It Could Happen.

That is why I love wrestling: you never know what you could see. Naturally this is just a wild brawl all over the place. Bubba hits a frog splash on Sandy which has to be better than some forms of execution. D-Von takes the White Russian legsweep and we get a double figure four on the Dudleys but the Impact Players run in. Sandman gets a That’s Incredible on barbed wire and here’s Francine.

Beaulah makes her return for the CATFIGHT CATFIGHT CATFIGHT!!! Dreamer saves her and they have their big reunion with Dreamer’s face covered in blood. The Dudleys get DDTed by the two of them, making me smile. WHERE ELSE BUT IN WRESTLING COULD YOU GET THIS? Beaulah gets two on Bubba and she’s hardcore according to the fans. Joey is told in his headset that he can’t say balls, which he makes fun of of course.

Sandman goes through a table for two. 3D on Dreamer, and it’s the old style, not the crap one now. We have another table and here’s Spike who is seeing COLORS! Yep, the table is on fire and there goes Tommy. In a spot that makes me cringe, Tommy’s head is tilted towards the mat and blood just pools up from his head. That’s a great visual. Bubba actually dives on him for the pin.

Rating: N/A. Can’t give this a fair grade as it wasn’t a match by any definition of the word. Make no mistake about it though: this is the highlight of the show and as much fun as I can remember having watching wrestling perhaps ever.

Post match (oh like you didn’t expect something else to happen) the Dudleys go after Beaulah and get the heck cained out of them. In a spot that always makes me chuckle, Spike comes back again and Sandman turns around and just canes him again before going back to what he was doing. He looked like he was paying a parking meter or something. Sandman looks at Tommy and says someone….someone…SOMEONE GET ME A BEER! Joey: screw the beer, get him some plasma!

 

Another year passed and Dreamer jobbed even more, but in 2006 it was announced that ECW was being brought back as a separate brand. One of the first major storylines was the ECW Originals vs. the New Breed, which led to an eight man tag at Wrestlemania.

 

New Breed vs. ECW Originals

It’s Elijah Burke/Matt Striker/Kevin Thron/Marcus Cor Van vs. Rob Van Dam/Tommy Dreamer/Sabu and for no reason whatsoever this is a regular eight man tag instead of the Extreme Rules match we would get on ECW a few days later. Striker starts with Sabu and Matt is in early trouble. It’s quickly off to Sandman vs. Burke but before Sandy does much he brings in Dreamer. Cor Von hits Dreamer in the back and comes in to pound away a bit.

It’s quickly back to Burke (the New Breed’s leader and more famous as D’Angelo Dinero) for the running knees to the back for two. Thorn comes in to crush Dreamer into the corner and put on a chinlock. Back up and a sitout powerbomb gets two for Thorn and here’s Cor Von again. Burke comes in as well but Dreamer takes them down with a simultaneous neckbreaker/reverse DDT combo. The hot tag brings in Van Dam and there’s the top rope kick to Thorn. Rolling Thunder lands on Striker as everything breaks down. With everyone else on the floor, Van Dam Five Stars Striker for the pin.

Rating: D+. Seriously, why wasn’t this the Extreme Rules match? The whole point of ECW is to be extreme but we got a seven minute tag match which went nowhere at all. The theory was to finally let these guys get on Wrestlemania, but Van Dam had been on it before and won a title here. Nothing to see here at all.

Dreamer went back to jobbing on ECW for years, but would eventually get an ECW Title shot at Extreme Rules 2009 in a triple threat.

ECW Title: Christian vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger

If Dreamer loses he’s gone. This is a hardcore match so it’s pinfalls count anywhere. Who would believe Swagger would be the most successful guy a year later? So Dreamer is on a one day contract since they mistimed the whole contract thing in storyline terms. Swagger is the guy Christian beat to get the title.

We even get big match intros. Dreamer is wearing something close to silver pants. Hey, did you know that the champion is at a disadvantage here? I didn’t know if telling you that twice in 40 seconds would be enough indication. Striker says Dreamer has a Singapore Stick. Let the ECW fans freak. White Russian Leg Sweep to Swagger. Dreamer hits a front flip with a trash can behind him so that hits their faces. This is kind of sad considering what ECW was originally about.

Dreamer sets for the baseball slide but Christian stops him and does it himself. In other words, the blonde haired WWE product did the ECW original’s thing to another WWE guy. That sums up so many things so easily. The people want tables. Yeah I’m stunned too. Swagger no sells some kendo shots and hits a belly to belly on Dreamer.

We’re going with the various one on one matches here which is about as expected. Crowd is DEAD other than for the big spots. Swagger goes for the Gutwrench but Dreamer nails him with a crutch twice and hits a DDT to get the ECW Title. More on that in a bit.

Rating: D. This is your traditional “hardcore” match which means let’s hit each other with trash cans and hope the people care. This just felt completely lifeless to me and I just wanted to see it end, which isn’t something that I have issue with that often. There are far worse matches, but this just had nothing at all to it. Even Dreamer’s win, while a big moment for old school ECW fans feels flat. Let’s look at this for a minute. Imagine Christian or Swagger in the original ECW.

One of Dreamer’s only title defenses woul dbe in a five way scramble at The Bash.

ECW Title: Christian vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay

This is a Scramble match which is more or less a gauntlet. Every three minutes someone else comes in and whoever gets the final pin is champion but you have to pin the champion for the pin to count. Uh…sure. Christian and Swagger start us off. Wow it’s weird to see Swagger as champion before Christian. I miss the pushups.

Ok so if Swagger pins Christian he’s IT more or less? I guess that makes sense. I’m assuming that there will be a clock once everyone comes in. Striker implies a heel turn for Christian but nothing ever came for that. The clock begins far before three minutes is up and it’s Finlay. Striker talks about Irishmen from centuries ago as no one cares at all. Swagger pokes Finlay in the eye and rolls him up to become IT.

Christian and Swagger do a nice little sequence that gets two for the Canadian. He beats Christian down as Dreamer is number four. Dreamer beats up everyone with incredibly basic stuff but throws out a Sky High. Ok apparently it’s not Swagger that has to lose the title as it’s just the last pin. Uh…that kind of makes sense I suppose.

They blow a spot where Christian is on the mat and Dreamer gets thrown onto him. It just looked really awkward. Finlay finally comes back to life and hits the Celtic Cross on Swagger to become IT. Finlay and Dreamer don’t work well together to put it mildly. And here’s Henry to suck the life out of the match. Ok so now we have five minutes left and whoever gets the last fall is champion. Got it.

Dreamer takes the World’s Worst Finisher with 4:15 to make Henry IT. Everyone not named Dreamer beats Henry up and the people start booing for some reason. Finlay hits a freaking suicide dive onto Swagger. Have to love old men flying all over the place. Henry teases a top rope dive but for the sake of the gravitational pull, Swagger saves him and gets the pin to become it with about 2:20 to go.

I like knowing how much longer to go at times and this is one of them. Christian hits the Killswitch on Swagger but Dreamer DDTs him at 1:20 to become IT. It becomes a big mess now which makes sense at least. On instinct Dreamer goes for a cover which they don’t point out the stupidity of. Everyone goes for covers but the clock runs out and Dreamer retains. He screams “I WON???” in a funny moment.

Rating: C+. These matches are hard to call but I liked it. Thankfully they haven’t killed them by having them every two weeks or something like that. This still feels fresh though and it comes off as a good way to be different. Also it makes Dreamer look like a competent champion and not a jobber which I can’t complain about. This worked but was still a little bit weird.

It would soon be off to TNA and ANOTHER ECW reunion stable called Extreme Violence. They would face four young talented guys called Fourtune in a Lethal Lockdown match at Bound For Glory 2010.

Fourtune vs. EV 2.0

This is a one ring WarGames match. A man from each team starts and after a set amount of time (5 minutes I think) there’s a coin toss and another guy comes in from the winning team. That goes on for two minutes then a guy from the losing team comes in. Two more minutes of that and then the winning team gets the advantage again. Alternate until all 8 are in and then we lower the roof, complete with weapons. No pins or submissions until everyone is in.

EV has Dreamer, Sabu, Rhyno, Richards and Raven. Yeah ten people in there great. Foley is with them. Flair brings out AJ, Storm, Roode, Kaz and Morgan. Fourtune has the advantage so screw the coin flip idea. Flair is in an undershirt. Oh dear.

The old guys go at it before the match starts and we try to figure out who starts the match. Kaz and Richards to start. Again Taz wants to say ECW and can’t do it. Kaz beats the tar out of him to start. And he continues doing so. Well that’s what you get for sending in Richards as your leadoff man.

Stevie gets a Downward Spiral into a modified Koji Clutch but AJ comes in seconds later to make it 2-1. Richards is of course in WAY over his head and gets destroyed. Figure four on Richards and he’s almost dead. Dreamer is in next. How in the world is this guy feuding with AJ Styles?

Dreamer spits mist or something at AJ as Richards gets back into it. All of Fourtune is in blue which is a cool idea I guess. Roode goes in third as this is going to take awhile to just get everyone in. Flair punches Dreamer through the camera hole. I love that thing as it gives you far better shots.

Sabu comes in and hooks a seated crossface chickenwing on AJ which we’ll call a camel clutch for fun I guess. This is REALLY slow now with EV controlling. Dreamer is bleeding fairly badly. Storm is in so it’ll be Morgan and Raven or Rhyno in last. Storm turns the tide and we get BEER MONEY!

With nothing left in the other minute here’s Raven who looks stupid with blonde hair. He cleans some house and shoves a snot rag in someone’s face. Ah ok it was Roode. Dreamer gets his crotch stepped on for fun. Dude seriously, Raven is your hot tag in essence? Roode is busted open.

Sabu is busted too. Morgan comes in as the final member of Fourtune. He drills Richards and drills Sabu back first into the cage. Dreamer takes the elbows in the corner as the advantage does the same thing it’s done the whole time so far. Raven is bleeding too so every member of EV who is in the match is busted.

Big Gore to Storm and here comes the roof. This is where the advantage is supposed to come for EV I guess. Flair and Foley get into it of course as is their custom. EV takes over and there are bigger weapons on top of the cage such as a table, a ladder and something else that I can’t make out.

Raven and Morgan beat the heck out of each other as EV is mostly in control. Morgan goes for the Carbon Footprint and misses, hitting the door which doesn’t move at all. Kaz gets drilled into the door and there it goes. Richards and Kaz go up and we set up the ladder up there. This always scared the living daylights out of me.

Sabu dives through the door to take out Morgan and maybe Storm. Richards sets up the table on top of the cage and Kaz goes up the ladder and here’s Kendrick on top of the cage too. Kaz goes through the table and Kendrick appears to be meditating or something. In the ring Dreamer drills AJ in the leg and drops him on a chair, winning the match. Yes, EV won the match and everything seems to be fine with it. WELL OF COURSE THEY ARE.

Rating: D+. Not much here as there were a lot of very slow spots. Also the Kendrick thing just did nothing for it. The weapons were ok but the ending felt kind of tacked on. This never got to the level that they wanted it to get to and that hurt it a lot. This was one of the weaker matches they’ve done with this gimmick and I think a lot of that is due to the participants.

Oh yeah. DID I MENTION EV 2.0 JUST FREAKING BEAT FOURTUNE and that TOMMY DREAMER PINNED AJ STYLES??? And people wonder why this company can’t be taken seriously.

AJ would want revenge and get a chance at Sacrifice 2011.

Tommy Dreamer vs. AJ Styles

Very basic technical match to start and remember that this is no DQ.  Why Immortal isn’t out there destroying AJ immediately eludes me but whatever.  Dreamer takes over for a bit and drops a bunch of elbows.  Out to the floor and AJ hits a plancha to take over.  AJ pours a soda over Dreamer’s head and crotches him on the railing.  He slides under the railing and it’s forearm time.  Love that move.

 

Out into the crowd because that’s just what we do.  The fans chant ECW which is I guess what TNA wants to do.  Dreamer breaks a cardboard Impact (no wrestling) sign over his head and AJ is bleeding from around the temple.  Back to ringside and it’s time for some weapons.  AJ gets a shot in and there’s a table.  Table gets set up as the fans want fire.  AJ uses the table like a launch ramp for a clothesline in the corner for two.

 

DDT by Dreamer gets two as AJ is under the ring ropes.  I love little rules like that which are cool while there are all kinds of weapons in the ring.  Dreamer finds a fork for a throwback to their I Quit match but AJ blocks it.  Dreamer’s shirt is off and I’m very glad he has a muscle shirt under it.  The table legs are broken but AJ says Dreamer is going through it.

 

Dreamer gets a shot in and sets for the Dreamer Driver only to get caught with a Pele.  Styles Clash is set but Ray comes in with a chain shot to AJ.  Daniels comes out for the save but AJ is more or less dead.  Piledriver through the table marks the second time that Tommy Dreamer has pinned AJ Styles on PPV.  I give up.

 

Rating: C-. Tommy Dreamer has pinned AJ Styles twice on PPV in less than a year.  Dude, WHY IS TOMMY DREAMER PINNING AJ STYLES ON PPV???  The match was just ok but at the same time it was nothing past a basic hardcore match and Ray coming in was about as not shocking as anything you could have asked it to be.

We’ll wrap it up there as Dreamer has mainly been on the indies for the last few years. Tommy Dreamer is a guy who got over on hard work and his heart, plus the ability to use a lot of weapons. He’s somehow made a second career for himself on ECW tribute shows and characters so he’s a smart guy if nothing else. He’s a character that you need to see a lot of in order to get behind, but he can give some good speeches to make you care.

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1 comment

  1. RJAY63 says:

    Thanks for this write-up KB. Surprised you didn’t mention the “I Quit” match Dreamer had with AJ Styles at No Surrender 2010. Remember it being pretty violent if nothing else.