Love it or hate it, the art of professional wrestling has been a strong entity in the entertainment business for a long time. Beginning as far back as the 1920s, the theatrical sport consistently grew and by the 1980s professional wrestling would see a boom in popularity, bringing light to stars such as Ric Flair, Andre the Giant, “the Macho Man” Randy Savage, as well as the mainstream-wrestling posterchild, Hulk Hogan.
The sport lost some of its lustre in the early 90s. Fans had grown tired of the comic-book esque characters and family friendly subject matter being broadcast by big-league wrestling promotions such as the NWA and WWE (then-WWF.)
Lurking in the shadows, however, was a small promotion from Philadelphia who would soon turn the wrestling-genre on its head. Extreme Championship Wrestling. Under the guise of Paul Heyman, who currently manages WWE Universal Champion (and former UFC Heavyweight Champion) Brock Lesnar, ECW would evolve as marquee alternative programming with its use of bloodshed, course language, and mature subject matter. This wrestling style would launch the careers of many life-risking daredevils such as Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Taz and “the Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer. Surrey604 got the chance to speak with Dreamer about his tenured career.
“You could literally see ECW grow every week with more people. It was the right place, right time. WWF and WCW were doing lame stuff and we were being different. Wrestling fans want different,” Dreamer explains.
Putting his body on the line night after night with the likes of Raven, Sandman and Cactus Jack, Dreamer and his ECW counterparts gave birth to hardcore, popularizing the use of weapons and a “no rules” mentality. These ideas would be borrowed by WWE, jumpstarting the notorious Attitude Era.
In regards to his craziest match, Dreamer recalls: “I guess it was the High Incident Match with Brian Lee.” This was a match that took place in 1996. Scaffolding was elevated above the ring and the objective was to get your opponent to fall several feet and through a table.
“I was afraid of heights so that was mentally challenging. Sandman built it, and the scaffolding swayed back and forth.” Within the first three minutes of the match, Tommy Dreamer’s head had been busted open.
Many ECW talent had to carry weight both inside and outside of the ring. This extra responsibility gave Dreamer a know-how for how to run things backstage.
“I pretty much helped run ECW. I also worked behind the scenes in WWE as well as what we know today as NXT,” Dreamer explains. “I’ve also been doing this since I was 18, you pick up a lot.”
Soon, Dreamer would begin his own wrestling promotion, House of Hardcore. Recently touring Australia, the promotion featured top-tier indie talents and former WWE superstars such as Billy Gunn, the Young Bucks, Carlito, MVP, Colt Cabana and Jack Swagger. “I’m not afraid of hard work and am motivated by my own mantra: No politics, no B.S., just wrestling.”
Dreamer also takes part in Team 3D Academy, a wrestling school owned and operated by fellow ECW originals: Brother Ray and Brother Devon, famously known as WWE’s nine-time world tag-team champions Bubba Ray and D-Von, the Dudley Boyz. “I want to give back and show the next generation the right way to handle this business.”
Dreamer concludes: “Life of a wrestler is hard. Travel is the hardest. You have to be able to leave home and miss family things. Just like any other sport it’s the sacrifice you put in that tells the story of your life and gets you those lucky breaks along the way. Wrestling has taught me that it’s just like life. In times you get knocked down, you need to get back up and fight.”
Warning: Graphic Violence
Dreamer will be main eventing the All Star Wrestling 10 Year Anniversary show at Cloverdale’s Agriplex on July 7th. He will be teaming up with ASW Trans-Canada Champion Mr. India as well as Thunder from Jalandhar taking on Azeez the Dream, Christopher Ryseck, and the Fabulous Fabio in a six-man tag match.
Full card for July 7 is as follows:
Six Man Tag-Match | The Innovator of Violence Tommy Dreamer teaming with ASW Trans Canada Champion Mr India & Thunder from Jalandhar vs Team USA(Azeem The Dream & Christopher Ryseck) & The Fabulous Fabio
Battle of Former ASW Champions | Gangrel The Vampire Warrior vs Hurricane Adam Ryder
Pro Wrestling vs MMA | Loose Cannon Kenny Lush vs UFC Star Tom Lawlor!!
Midget Wrestling Warriors | Rob The Giant vs Short Sleeve Sampson
Fatal Four Way TLC!!(Tables, Ladders and Chairs) for the ASW Cruiserweight Title | Air Adonis vs Nick Price vs Matt X Static vs Kobra Kai(Champion)
Sisters Tag Team Battle for the Sabatoge Tag Team Titles | The Twisted Sisterz Holidead and Thunder Rosa(Champions) vs The Hall Sisters, Bambi & Liiza managed by their mom, Raven Lake.
1st. Annual Johnny Canuck Battle Royal.
*Winner to receive title shot against the ASW Trans Canada Heavyweight Champion at WrestleReunion VII July 21st.
- Black Sheep Dave Turner
- Sgt. Mike Everest
- Ravenous Randy Myers
- Moondog Manson
- Ironman Mike Roselli
- The Great Kasaki
- Green T Shock
- Alex Prestige
- Sven Bassi
- Nathan Kabe
- Devastation Pain
- Joey Funk
- Salty Seaman
- Animal Don Ceiver
- Bruiser Joe
Meet and Greet VIP (Includes Front Row Seat, Souvenir Program, Event Poster and early admission at 6pm instead of 6:45pm.) $50 SOLD OUT, Front Row $30 SOLD OUT, Second Row-$25, Floor-$20, Bleachers-$15, All prices are plus GST. For more information call 604-710-0872 or check out www.allstarwrestling.ca