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Old 08-07-2013, 02:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh Dougie View Post
Man, I see so much hate in WrestlingOracle's post, it's cringe worthy.


It's obvious he's just bashing ECW, by making the promotion out to be about nothing more than taking horrible workers and getting them over. THAT SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE GENIUS OF HEYMAN!!! He was willing to do what Bischoff and Vince was afraid to do. And out of all the "hacks" that Heyman pushed in his company, let's look at how many of them were signed by the competition before they went out of business:

Raven (worked WCW and WWE prior to ECW but it took the Raven character for him to be given a chance again)
911
Mikey Whipwreck
Sandman (who made a shitload of money by not even wrestling for several months while in WCW)
Bam Bam Bigelow (worked WWE twice, WCW once before ECW but somehow, WCW saw something in him)
Perry Saturn
Rob Van Dam (Bischoff tried to lure Van Dam over and give him the Glacier gimmick)
Al Snow (was a lost cause in WWE until Heyman brought him over and Snow "got Head")
Shane Douglas (held back everywhere he went, shitted on both companies but somehow, WCW signed him again)
Sabu
The Dupps (he probably doesn't even remember The Dupps)
Lita
Vito Lograsso


And I'm just going to stop there. These were all talents that either lingered in obscurity or were former jobbers prior coming to ECW but suddenly, Heyman promoting those "hacks" caused the competition to sign them away and give them big money.


And truth be told, not just ANYBODY would get over in ECW. Dreamer, at the beginning, was a joke. Mikey went virtually unknown for a while, Sandman was a laughing stock, not many gave a damn about the Tasmaniac and Balls Mahoney had possibly the worst gimmick of all time upon his debut. But, it was that hardwork and dedication that got them over and the fact that, unlike other companies where you were pushed based on politics, ass kissing or your look, Heyman simply gave the fans what they wanted. And at that time, they wanted those "hacks" but still had an appreciation for the Terry Gordy's, Steve William's, Terry Funk's, Jerry Lynn's and Tommy Rogers' of the business, simply because fans of the big 2 didn't, viewing them as "hacks", guys who couldn't cut it but preferred to take their talents overseas, where they would be appreciated and not stuck with crappy, cartoonish and moronic gimmicks.

If you are going to bash my post, at least read the whole thing. NOWHERE did I call everyone in ECW a hack. Hell, I hold several guys' ECW work in high regard. As I stated, some of the most talented guys in the era and even all time did great work there. I called Sandman and Dreamer an hack and bashed Spike 911 and Mikey. Heyman is one hell of an wrestling mind, as I have recognized. Understand that garbage aspects and garbage are not at all the same. The Atittude Era is revered for its many great positives. Doesn't mean it didn't have garbage aspects. Same for any era and any company.
Now, lets go down the line of guys you listed that you assume I think are hacks.

Raven- gave him praise in my post and have in others. Great unique heel. Shame that WWF didn't know what to do with him. Heyman did, Raven played brilliantly and gold was created.
911- went no where posr ECW. An pure product of booking.
Mikey- forgettable run post ECW. An prime example of ECW made. He sure as hell wasnt misused, as Delaney was an worse worker yet same version of him. Delaney is now in Chikara last time i knew.
RVD- another guy who did great ECW work who I praise. RVD is an good all around wrestler, and has the longevity and match catalogue to boot. Never have nor would ever call him an hack.
Sandman- another guy who was signed off ECW hype, and without Paul Heyman to hide the weaknesses or the ECW crowd hasn't done shit.
Al Snow- fair enough I will give you Al Snow as an valid point to counter my post, even though I never said he sucked.
Douglas_ dont get me started on him. Prime example of ECW made. You are really going to use his run as the franchise to tell me he isnt a pure ECW product? please. Oh and there is an difference between getting held back and not having anything to offer once cussing and worked shoots in front of an alternative crowd wont work.
Saturn- an joke post Pitbulls, though he was an solid worker and had an badass look who was misused in WCW so again not a guy id say is an hack, but certainly benefitted greatly by Heyman's ability to exaggerrate strengths.
Lita- fair enough good point.
Sabu- Another guy i praised.
Vito- Ah yes the WWE crossdresser who went nowhere pre or post ECW
Bam Bam- Top 10 bigman all time, agile as hell and an very good worker with an good moveset and was just an all around badass. ECW signed him to grow the company. He already had an growing legacy as an fantastic bigman pre ECW, and did more good work there. How does he fit your argument?

Lets look at some guys you didnt list who were made only in ECW. Lets see where these guys went.

Roadkill- forgotten post ECW because other than dish out punishment he couldnt do a thing.
Nunzio- Over in ECW because he could take an beating. Post ECW, never got over and is best known for getting folded like an accordian by a Goldberg spear at RR 2004.
The Gangstas- Insanely over in ECW crowd. Same type of gimmick in WWF: crickets
The Rottens- hacks who the bloodthirsty ECW crowd love, but they couldnt do anything but use a weapon. Since then, they have floated on the lower tiers of the indy circuit.
Super Crazy- Once his building up in the Mexicools went away, he was exposed as an guy who was good at nothing but moonsaults and endless high spots. Still, ECW fans loved the high spots he did.
Angel- yet another forgotten name of ECW who was over off ass kickings.
Balls Mahoney- no description needed, yet

And you list Terry Funk as an guy other non ECW fans view as an hack. That is INCREDIBLY ignorant, as Terry Funk is universa,lly regarded as an GOAT canidate. WWF, ECW,WCW, WCCW, NWA, AWA Smokey Mountain, Stampede etc. it doesnt matter the affiliation, Funk has and was universally revered pre and post ECW. Steve Williams also was well respected pre ECW. Terry Gordy is an guy who had his great career derailed way too soon, so I will give you Gordy. Jerry Lynn made his mame entirely in ECW, so of course other fans view him as a scrub.

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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But with the guys you called "hacks", isn't it a credit to Heyman's genius that he utilized those guys to the fullest? Regardless of where they went afterwards, because I can name plenty of damn good workers (non ECW) will be viewed as hacks because they didn't amount to much post their introduction, be it WCW, WWE or territories.

My point is not every American fan is going to hold certain guys in high regard, simply because they didn't succeed on the big stage.

Which is obviously what you're implying by calling certain ECW guys hacks.

911 is a product of awesome booking, which is common sense.

Same for Sandman and Mikey.

Awesome booking is what makes a star. 3 guys who never would have made it, made it due to awesome booking. Heyman was able to hide their weaknesses, which was beyond smart and showed that few other bookers could do the same.

A wrestling based Mr. Sandman, who cut his teeth in Memphis would've never made it. An alcoholic, chain smoking, brawling "hack" named Hak made it. How is it a strike against him and guys like him who busted their ass for years as "wrestlers" and played the game, never got over and successful until they developed a new style and gimmick that saw them make big money in the top 2?

Its easy to bash guys like Hak, Balls, Axl, Mikey, so on and so forth because of what they were, the product of booking but after all, isn't that what makes a star in the business because wrestlinh doesn't, based on who has accomplished the most.

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Old 08-07-2013, 08:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

Here's an article on Dreamer I read back in 2006. I thought I was pretty interesting.



Being thrown through a table that is blazing with fire. Having parts of your skin completely shredded by barbed wire. Blading to the point of having your entire face covered in blood. Suffering 16 concussions throughout your career. Screaming out in pain with blood curdling yells. When most wrestlers step foot into the wrestling business, they probably don't desire to have the aforementioned thoughts become a reality at their own expense. Very few people want to sacrifice that much for any business under any circumstances. But as it is, such has become a way of life for Thomas Laughlin, better known to wrestling fans as "The Innovator Of Violence" Tommy Dreamer.

Never in my life have I ever seen a professional wrestler who has commanded both intrigue and respect from me quite same the way Dreamer has. He went through so much pain and suffering throughout his career, but has never been considered a star outside of the now defunct ECW and the new ECW, which were/are both distant number three brands during their existences. Now, while I greatly respect this man, I'm not going to type page after page of lies to you. Tommy Dreamer is not one of the biggest draws the business has ever seen. He is not charismatic. He is not a good actor. He can't cut good promos. But I will say something that is completely honest about him, and this comes from the bottom of my heart: Tommy Dreamer is someone special. And by the time you're done reading this column, I hope you will be willing to say the same thing about him.

When looking on Tommy's career, one will probably ask the question, "Why exactly has Tommy Dreamer given so much of himself to the wrestling business?". And that is a very good question to ask. Why is it that Tommy willingly took ten of the most brutal and viscous Singapore cane shots to his back by such a stiff worker in the Sandman, when the average wrestler would have never gone through with so many of them?

How could it be that this man would agree to be thrown out of a balcony through multiple tables (when ever you see that ECW highlight where a man crashes through 4 tables stacked on top of each other, that was Tommy.) when probably very few people at that point in time had ever thought of an act so dangerous, let alone be willing to go through with it? Despite what a person says, their actions will always speak louder than their words. And Tommy's actions over the years have not just spoken, but screamed out the answers to these questions.

The first answer that comes to mind is seemingly obvious. That is, he probably has suffered so much violence over the years due to the fact that he has a passion for the business. But I believe there's more to it than that. Not only does he have a passion for the business, he has an OVERWHELMING passion for the business. You can't tell me that he doesn't love the industry. Even if he didn't go through with all the physical punishment he received, he was still losing the majority of his matches and even went through periods of not receiving pay checks. Yet he never quit the business.

He's like the main character in my favorite movie, "Rudy". "Rudy" is about a kid who grows up dreaming of playing football for Notre Dame. The problem is he has very little talent for sports. He eventually does go to Notre Dame, and even though he does terrible in try outs, the coaches admire his heart more than his talent. Almost as a gift, they allow Rudy to join the team. With his lack of talent, he is practically condemned to being on the practice team for the rest of college career. He didn't even get to dress and stand on the side lines for the games (until his last game). He would get pounded on in practice by his much larger teammates. Yet he showed up to practice, day in and day out. His passion for Notre Dame football was so immense that he just wouldn't quit. Just as Tommy's passion for wrestling is so immense that he just never quit.

Here's another way of visualizing this concept. Teenagers may enjoy playing baseball while they are in high school. They may love throwing the ball to first base to get an out, the challenge of trying to hit an 80 mile an hour fastball, running after fly balls, running down a base runner in order to tag him out, and so on. What could be better than trying to do all of those things? Actually doing them successfully. Face it, you might enjoy the game of baseball, but if you're striking out almost every time you go to bat, you're constantly making costly errors on the field, and you show little signs of having potential to get better, you're probably not going to continue to keep playing it much longer.

Professional wrestling is very much the same way. You might love sports entertainment, but if you're constantly losing matches, rarely getting any championships, and having newer wrestlers constantly pass you by in terms of getting higher places on the card, you will probably not want to continue wrestling. But there are people who go through a career like that, and not only do they continue wrestling, they go above and beyond what is asked of them. Tommy Dreamer is simply one of those people.

That's one of the answers that seemed to stand out loud and clear to me. But that's not the whole ball of wax. Not by a long shot. It is my belief that Tommy not only has a passion for the business, but he has a very large amount of self respect and a very high spirited competitive nature. I know what you're thinking. "But Ripper, how can a man who drinks tobacco spit and has had vomit poured all over him have a very large amount of self respect?" The fact that he has done those things is actually part of the reason that he has an overwhelming amount of self respect. Allow me to explain.

I've used this analogy before, but it fits in perfectly with this column and because it was one of my best received analogies, I'm going to use it again. One of the most successful facets of the entertainment industry is the pornography industry. I'm not an expert on pornography by any means, but I do know that Playboy and Penthouse are the two most successful adult magazines oriented towards straight men. Playboy is the magazine company that has been around since the fifties, and is credited with playing a very large role in the sexual revolution of the United States culture. It's considered a classy way of displaying female nudity by many people, and some women dream of being displayed on the pages of this famous magazine.

But Penthouse is the opposite of this. Yeah, they're both adult magazines, but it's considered to be anything but classy. In the one Penthouse magazine I've seen (and from reading about it on Wikipedia) it was radically different from the several Playboys that I've seen. Penthouse has women in the nude, the same as Playboy does, but the "Pets" of the magazine are shown with much more graphic imagery. The "Playmates" of Playboy are displayed simply in the nude, and do not have to go through with such hardcore activities.

That's because the Playboy's Playmates don't need to do them. They are often times better looking than Penthouse Pets (OK, maybe I've seen more than one Penthouse). For a woman who dreams of being in the adult industry, being in Playboy is probably their dream. But if they don't have the looks for the number one adult magazine, they can also take the road of trying to be in Penthouse (or another adult magazine, as Playboy is the only soft core magazine with nude female pictures). It will mean receiving less money, doing acts that they're probably uncomfortable doing in front of a camera, and gaining an overall reputation of "being easy" (much more so than if they had posed in Playboy).

But some women do it anyways, simply because they have a very competitive nature about themselves. That may sound weird to you, but allow me to explain. Some women want to be part of the adult industry, and most of them probably would have Playboy as their first choice. But if they are turned down, do they give up? Some do, others don't. They are still willing to make it into the adult industry by being in Penthouse, despite the aforementioned consequences mentioned in the paragraph before this. They have too much self respect (I know it's odd to use that word here, but it does apply to the situation) to just quit and give up when their first choice is no longer an option.

This is applies to Tommy Dreamer. When Tommy grew up, he self admittedly dreamed of being a professional wrestler. What he didn't say is what wrestling company he wanted to wrestle for. But do you really think he grew up dreaming of wrestling for the number three wrestling promotion in the United States? He probably wanted to wrestle for what was then known as the WWWF or the NWA, Much the same way women who want to get into the adult entertainment industry probably dream of being associated with Playboy. Tommy did not have the talent to make it far in the wrestling industry. His promos were below average, his acting was cheesy, and his wrestling ability was far from that of a Ric Flair or a Ricky Steamboat. But he had too much self respect to give up. He didn't have the talent, but he had the heart. And his heart is what made him continue on, suffering horrendous beating after horrendous beating in order to try to become a somebody in the industry. Self respect is what has driven him to have his name become synonymous with the blood and gore of the wrestling industry in an effort to be successful in wrestling.

So now we've covered two answers as to why Tommy Dreamer has chosen to take the rather unique path of hardcore that he has taken in the wrestling industry. But I believe there's still more to the story than what I've covered so far. It is my belief that Tommy has such a love for entertaining wrestling fans that he has felt pressured by them time and time again to give them a good show. As I mentioned before, Tommy is not that talented. But by taking so much physical abuse, he has shown that he is willing to go to extreme measures to entertain the fans.



This is different from the first two answers, in that while Tommy has a passion for wrestling and he probably has too much self respect not to at least try to be a somebody in the business, wanting to please the fans in and of itself is still a different reason. Baseball players and football players may love their respective sports, but few of them are in it to give entertainment to fans. And while people may be competitive and have self respect, that doesn't necessarily mean they feel pressured by the fans.

This may only apply to Tommy's stay in ECW, but that was a very large portion of his wrestling career. In ECW, the fans were very ravenous to be entertained. It didn't matter if you were a technical wrestler, a high flyer, a power wrestler, a brawler, or a hardcore wrestler. They wanted to see you perform, and they wanted to see you perform WELL. There was so much pressure from the ECW fans that if pleasing them meant doing magnificent flips off the top rope, you did it. If it meant doing some excellent catch as catch can wrestling, you did it.

And if it meant getting the living hell kicked out of you, you let it happen. While those weren't the only options limited to ECW wrestlers, the last option mentioned was pretty much Tommy's only choice of pleasing the fans. Don't get me wrong, he didn't take hardcore beatings every single match he was in, because he would be dead by now if he did. But he did as much as he probably could have. When you're performing in front of hundreds and thousands of people who want to see some action in the worst way possible, you give it to them the only way you can. If it means bleeding like a horse, then so be it.

Throughout most of this column, I've portrayed Dreamer as being a guy who never really made it in the wrestling industry. When someone can at least make a living off of wrestling like he has, he has made it, because there are thousands of independent wrestlers who simply can't make enough money from the business to support themselves or their families. But as it is, most people will probably see Tommy as being a big fish in a small pond when he was in ECW (even though he lost most his matches and only had one ECW title reign that lasted for 16 minutes.), and being nothing more than a Virgil or an Orlando Jordan when he went to WWE.

However, the fact is that Tommy Dreamer will always be someone special in my view. He could have chosen a profession that is less demanding than professional wrestling. He could have chosen a profession where he knew he would probably be more successful. He never had to put his body through unimaginable pain like he did throughout many matches in his career. But he did it all anyways, due to him having a passion for the business, having too much self respect and competitiveness to allow himself to be mediocre, and being pressured by the fans to give them a great show, even if it meant risking his body in horrid ways. Most wrestling fans will look upon Dreamer as not amounting to much. But despite the fact that his career highlight was being ECW World Champion for 16 minutes, he has had the heart of a champion for his entire career.

In the second paragraph of this column, I said I hoped you would be saying that Tommy is someone special by the end of this column. And despite my efforts in this column to make you think that way, I suggest you watch several matches from Dreamer (specifically from ECW), because his actions throughout his career have said more than I ever could.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

dreamer had love and respect for ecw, which is great, but i've never been a fan.

i didn't think his matches were all that great, but what REALLY got me was how they tried to shove him down our throats as "hardcore" and the "innovator of violence". sure he'd blade and take a bump here or there, but they were acting like he was the king of hardcore in ecw, which he wasn't... not even close imo.

i just always saw him as a pretty boy and he never got over with me personally as being this violent, hardcore wrestler. i can respect him for what he did for ecw, and he was definitely over with the crowd, but i just felt like they were forcing something on him that he wasn't.

in some ways i think he favors john cena for wwe. i mean, wwe forced him on us like "you will like this guy... this guy IS the company workhouse... this guy IS the face of wwe". it seemed like ecw forced dreamer/dreamer's gimmick on us in a somewhat similar fashion, but that's just me.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

I wouldn't say he was forced, as ECW fans initially despised Dreamer and viewed him as just another pretty boy babyface.


It wasn't until he started getting the shit kicked out of him (particularly the match with Sandman in 1994) that fans showed sympathy, appreciation and respect for what Dreamer was trying to do. That was just a matter of fans viewing him in a different light and Heyman running with it.


It's no different than Heyman "forcing" Taz down our throats by promoting him as "the baddest motherfucker on the planet" simply because he was an "orange, indy midget" but fans bought into his personality, which is what they did with Dreamer and nearly everybody else there.




I agree with you on 1 thing: in 1994, Dreamer was A LOT like Cena is today. But, whereas they utilize Cena in a position where nobody has much of a chance in getting over and tend to fall further down the card, Dreamer helped elevate several future stars in ECW, including Raven, Rob Van Dam, Justin Credible and helped the Dudley Boyz become the mega heels they were, all because Dreamer just being Dreamer allowed the fans to view him as the sympathetic character, who got his ass kicked all the time but never backed down.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

that's true. i guess for me i just never personally bought the innovator of violence gimmick because a) he always came off as a pretty boy to me, especially as a result of his feud with raven and b) i just never really thought he was THAT hardcore, and felt like he and ecw tried to "remind" us about it from time to time (ie the 3-way kiss with kimona and beulah hahah).
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

however, i DEFINITELY agree with you on taz. as a kid i thought taz was great and really bought his gimmick. now that i'm older, i don't think i'd ever buy that tough guy gimmick. however, at the time i always thought, "man, that guy could really make someone tap" and thought he seemed really legit.... i was also like 12-13, so.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

I understand what you're saying.

I can see why you didn't buy into Dreamer, based on his nickname of "The Innovator of Violence" but he never innovated anything and was only loved and accepted because he got his ass kicked all the time. And I wouldn't doubt that many other ECW fans felt the same way.



Actually, I will say that Taz was forced down our throats. His booking from 1997-1999 kind of rivaled that of Brock Lesnar during his initial start in WWE. Difference, Brock has grown to be acknowledged as somewhat of a badass, whereas Taz has generally been confirmed to be a punk with little man syndrome.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh Dougie View Post
Actually, I will say that Taz was forced down our throats. His booking from 1997-1999 kind of rivaled that of Brock Lesnar during his initial start in WWE. Difference, Brock has grown to be acknowledged as somewhat of a badass, whereas Taz has generally been confirmed to be a punk with little man syndrome.
I accepted Taz 100% as the baddest man on the planet. Yet I hated the Lesnar overpush.

Justin Credible was an ECW guy shoved down our throats that I never accepted. He was always just an overpushed Aldo Montoya to me. He didn't really excel at anything except inexplicably beating wrestlers I liked every week.

Shane Douglas is another. Granted, I had intense dislike of Douglas to begin with. Still, "The French Fries" beating guys with regular old belly to belly suplexes when every other match features a million crazy dives, suplexes, powerbombs, etc. was always weak sauce for me. I also HATED his seemingly endless 1998 title reign.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Other Side: Tommy Dreamer

haha, i thought i had heard that about taz! funny how so many guys are the opposite of their gimmick (like taz being the toughest guy in the land). i actually heard somewhere that santino is pretty legit, go figure.
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Roode, Aries, Kaz & Daniels, DJ Zema Ion
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