Tommy Dreamer returns to WWE Raw!
Former ECW Champion and hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer made his first televised appearance on WWE programming since December 17th, 2012.
The “heart and soul of ECW” and the “innovator of violence” was the ace in the hole for fellow ECW alumni The Dudley Boyz as they were outnumbered by the Wyatt Family. Along with Dreamer and a garbage can full of kendo sticks, the Dudleys extracted a measure of revenge on the Wyatts for their recent attacks.
Dreamer, born Thomas James Laughlin made his debut on the indie circuits in 1989. First wrestling under the name T.D. Madison, he changed it to “Tommy Dreamer” reportedly as a tribute to “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
In 1992, he gained his first solo championship, defeating Tony Atlas for the Century Wrestling Alliance (CWA) Heavyweight Championship before losing the belt four months later to the Iron Sheik.
He joined ECW (at that time still called Eastern Championship Wrestling) in 1993, and stuck with the company until it was bought out by WWE in 2001. During his time in ECW, Dreamer played a key part in feuds which, in turn, played a pivotal role in revolutionizing pro wrestling.
Dreamer won ECW Tag Team Championships along with partner and nemesis Raven from the Dudley Boyz in 1999, and the ECW World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Tazz in 2000.
After ECW folded in 2001, Dreamer went to the indie scene for a while before signing with WWE as part of the “Invasion” angle.
When WWE revived the ECW brand in 2005, Dreamer became the first and only man to ever hold both versions of the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. He defeated Jack Swagger for the belt in a triple-threat match at Extreme Rules 2009.
Dreamer left WWE January 4th, 2010.
Between 2010 and 2015, the hardcore legend wrestled for TNA, as well as a variety of independent promotions, including Dragon Gate USA against the likes of Jon Moxley (aka Dean Ambrose), Japanese Smash against promotion founder Tajiri, Universal Championship Wrestling against Shane Douglas, Chikara against Eddie Kingston, and Family Wrestling Entertainment against Jay Lethal.
(on July 25th, 2010, Eddie Kingston inducted Tommy Dreamer into the “Hardcore Hall of Fame” at The Arena in Philadelphia, PA)
Dreamer founded his own promotion, House of Hardcore, in 2012.
On the December 17 2012 episode of Raw, Dreamer made a surprise guest appearance, teaming with Alberto Del Rio and The Miz in a six-man tag match. After that, he returned to TNA for a spell to work with the Dudleys.
Dreamer has been rumoured to be joining the ranks of WWE ever since making a surprise appearance at an NXT house show in Philadelphia in May of this year, challenging and losing to Baron Corbin.
A program between the Dudleys and the Wyatts has the feeling of filler without any proper motivation. Both teams came up short at Survivor Series, so perhaps the feud can serve to build each other up.
The Dudleys have been unsuccessful at winning tag team gold since their return the night after SummerSlam, and are becoming a team bent on destruction and chaos rather than accolades. Similarly, Bray Wyatt and his clan are not boasting an impressive win-loss record in 2015, and seem more concerned with playing mind games than actually winning matches.
Together, the two stables could generate one hell of an old-fashioned, high impact, spot-driven hardcore battle at the TLC pay-per-view.
Questions still remain, such as:
How long will this current WWE run for the Dudleys and Dreamer last?
With the numbers game still not even, can audiences expect to see another ECW alumni joining the effort? Could hardcore fans be treated to yet another return to action from Rob Van Dam?