Tommy Dreamer is a legend of pro-wrestling. An icon of ECW in their heyday, he transitioned to being a good worker in the WWE, a champion in the rebooted ECW and a fine backstage agent in TNA. He has a wealth of experience under his belt and has worked under more interesting regimes than most people have even heard.
While his wrestling career is far from over (he even won a championship in 2022), his time in the WWE has ceased to continue. With the horrible comments he made relating to Ric Flair and “The Plane Ride From Hell), he is persona non grata for any major wrestling company. Even if he wasn’t, his peak was 25 years ago at this point, and Triple H won’t want a 51 “getting hit in the face with a chair” merchant as a key part of his television show.
His debut in the WWE actually came 26 years ago, during the start of a blossoming relationship between Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman.
Tommy Dreamer’s WWE Debut
Tommy Dreamer’s first WWE match was against D-Von Dudley on Monday Night Raw. The bout took place in 1997, during the famous ECW “Invasion” of the WWF. This was separate to the ill-fated ECW-WCW Alliance attacking the company in 2001, and featured a number of ECW appearing on WWE in order to help promote the companies first ever pay per view.
The deal was brokered between Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman. The WWF had been paying Heyman during this time, to help keep ECW afloat. This was due to the enormous amount of talent coming out of the promotion, which McMahon could poach to his heart’s content. Keeping them happy as a feeder organisation to the titanic WWE seemed a no-brainer, and their inclusion on WWE both promoted the PPV and made Monday Night Raw must watch – if another promotion could turn up at any point, anything could happen!
One of the many ECW matches taking place on the show was Tommy Dreamer’s first ever in WWE. It was on the February 24th, 1997 edition of Raw and some him battling one half of “The Dudley Boyz”, D-Von Dudley. In a match that lasted only five minutes, Dreamer won in his debut in a match that featured the use of various weaponry – a rarity in the WWE at that point, and a trademark of the style ECW was trying to promote. The match featured run-ins from Bubba Ray Dudley and The Sandman that caused absolute chaos, to which the crowd lost their mind and made for an incredibly memorable episode of Monday Night Raw.
His Last Match Came Against The Wyatt Family
Tommy Dreamer’s last WWE match was a tag team match, where he teamed with The Dudley Boys to take on the Wyatt Family. The former ECW Champion had made sporadic appearances in the WWE since his release in 2010, following eight years with the company, but made an extended return to the company in 2015 as part of a wider storyline that required some extreme combatants.
In late 2015, Bubba and D-Von Dudley began a feud with Bray Wyatt’s Wyatt Family. The four man group, which consisted of Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper (the late Brodie Lee) and Braun Strowman, had a mixed run in the company up to that point but looked to build momentum as they looked to take out the remnants of wrestling past, and kill extreme wrestling dead.
The two teams battled multiple times on TV, in increasingly violent and dangerous matches. With no-DQ stipulations galore, the Dudley’s put as many men through tables as they could, as they fought for the memory of ECW and hardcore wrestling against this spooky contingent of back-water misfits. However, you may have noticed how there were four Wyatt’s and only two Dudley Boys. This meant that the 9 time WWE tag team champions needed backup, and had a whole host of friends ready to call upon to answer the call.
The first man to join the Extreme team was former ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer. Running through the crowd with a trash can full of weapons, he slipped into the ring with the sole purpose of inflicting as much damage as humanly possible on the Wyatt Family. He would be joined a week later by Rhyno, the last ECW Champion during their original run under Paul Heyman. This evened out the numbers and set the two sides up for some faction warfare, where blood would be spilled and the sound of steel cracking on bones would be the percussion of the symphony of violence that was about to occur.
The two teams wrestled numerous times, and would be the last time Tommy Dreamer wrestled in a WWE ring. Tommy Dreamer’s last match on WWE TV was on the December 21st, 2015 episode of Monday Night Raw. He teamed with Kane and The Dudley Boys (as Rhyno had been taken out in their previous match) to take on the Wyatt Family (Wyatt, Rowan, Harper and Strowman) in a four-vs-four tag team match. The bout lasted less than three minutes, ending when Luke Harper hit D-Von Dudley with a discuss lariat and pinned him for the victory.
Tommy Dreamer continued to compete on Live Events for the WWE into the new year, but did not wrestle on TV again. He wrestled in six man tag team matches alongside the Dudleys, taking on the Wyatts yet again, until his final match on January 17th, 2016 in the Canton Civic Center in Canton, Ohio, USA. He then moved on to wrestling for TNA (Impact wrestling) and various other independent promtoions.