REAL NAME: Tom Laughlin
6'3", 245 pounds
BORN: February 13, 1971 in Yonkers, New York
NICKNAMES: T.D. Madison, The Innovator of Violence
Known as the Innovator of Violence, Tommy Dreamer came to personify the hardcore style that made Extreme Championship Wrestling famous in the mid-to-late 1990s, and perhaps more than any other star, has become synonymous to ECW, long after the company closed.
Hailing from Yonkers, New York, Tom Laughlin began his career not as Tommy Dreamer, but as "T.D. Madison" teaming with G.Q. Madison as the Madison Brothers. Trained by Johny Rodz, T.D. Madison was a three-time ICW/IWCCW Tag Team Champion, following his debut on October 29, 1989.
In November 1992, wrestling by then as Tommy Dreamer, he would defeat Tony Atlas in a tournament finale to become the Century Wrestling Alliance champion.
In late 1993, Dreamer headed to the Philadelphia-based Eastern Championship Wrestling organization in Philadelphia, wrestling future ECW Champion Tasmaniac (later Tazz) in his debut. Before the year was out, Dreamer, using a surfer gimmick, teamed with Johnny Gunn to win the ECW Tag Team titles, in a nine-second match over Johnny Hotbody and Tony Stetson.
In ECW, Dreamer feuded with Jimmy Snuka and clashed with Shane Douglas before going toe-to-toe with the Sandman in an extended feud in 1994. Dreamer would take repetitive Singapore cane shots from the Sandman to earn the fans' respect. Later in the feud, Dreamer seemed to have "blinded" the Sandman, but it was all a ruse.
However, it was his feud with Raven that would consume Dreamer over the course of his stay in ECW.
Booked as childhood friends, Raven and Dreamer were no longer friends by the time they reached ECW. Raven brought in another former childhood friend, Beulah McGillicutty, who would later be revealed to be pregnant with Tommy's child.
Dreamer finally defeated Raven in a final battle that saw involvement from Louie Spicolli and, post-match, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lawler and Sabu.
Ironically, Dreamer and Raven would also team up to defeat the Dudley Boyz (later TNA's Team 3D) to win the ECW Tag Team titles, later losing them on January 2000 to the Impact Players.
On April 22, 2000, at Cyberslam, Tommy Dreamer defeated Tazz to finally become ECW World Champion, but his reign would not last the night, as he was defeated by Justin Credible, who walked out with the title.
After ECW folded, Tommy Dreamer spent some time on the independent circuit, teaming with Nova (Simon Dean) on June 13, 2001, to win the Border City Wrestling Tag Team titles, defeating Johnny Swinger and Fantasy.
Dreamer would join Paul Heyman and other ECW alumni as part of the Invasion angle in WWE in mid-2001. Afterwards, Dreamer also had a gimmick where he would eat anything, before reverting back to his Hardcore ways. On August 5, 2002 Dreamer defeated Bradshaw (JBL) for the Hardcore title. Later that same month, Dreamer lost a Hardcore vs. Intercontinental title unification match vs. Rob Van Dam.
On October 12, 2002, Dreamer married the former Beulah McGillicutty, Theresa Hayes. Also in the fall, after several tag matches with various partners against Lance Storm and William Regal, Dreamer became a member of the Raw writing team. He would still make several WWE appearances as well as at several Ring of Honor shows, coming to the aid of former foe Raven and mentor Terry Funk, saving them from attacks from CM Punk and Colt Cabana.
In February 2004, Dreamer was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to work with the WWE's development program. In July 2004, his contract with WWE expired but he was willing to stay on with the company as an announcer and in a non-wrestling role, and on September 2nd, Dreamer took over the position as a Scout and Trainer after Tom Pritchard was released.
He still made several appearances at independent shows, most notably Border City Wrestling, before returning to Ohio Valley Wrestling on March 23, 2005, teaming with the Dudley Boyz to take on Lance Storm and MNM.
At ECW's One Night Stand, Dreamer teamed with the Sandman against the Dudley Boyz. The Dudley Boyz were victorious after Dreamer was put through a flaming table, but the audience made their affection for Dreamer very well known after the match.
Dreamer continued to wrestle on independent shows, as well as on WWE developmental cards in Ohio Valley Wrestling and Deep South Wrestling.
Dreamer's 2006 comeback in WWE was marred when Mick Foley attacked him during a Triple Threat Hardcore bout featuring Edge. At the 2006 ECW One Night Stand, Dreamer teamed with Terry Funk and Beulah in a losing cause against Foley, Edge and Lita.
With the resurrection of ECW as a WWE brand, Dreamer was in the centre of the mix. Dreamer would be replaced as booker in August 2006 by Mike Bucci (Nova) so he could wrestle full-time. But he spent a lot of time putting other talent over, and occasionally getting destroyed by the likes of Big Show and The Great Khali. As essentially a high profile jobber, Dreamer's primary job seemed to be bringing along young talent, and he would eventually start working with Jack Swagger for several months.
By January 2009, it looked as though Dreamer's days were numbered. The odds suggested Dreamer would be gone when he promised to retire if he couldn't win the ECW Championship. But Dreamer overcame statistics at Extreme Rules, as he bested Christian and Swagger in a Triple Threat match to win the ECW title.
Nov. 5, 2014: House of Hardcore has exceeded Dreamer's dreams
June 5, 2013: Dreamer stacks second House of Hardcore show
July 21, 2011: Tommy Dreamer still living the dream
Dec. 3, 2010: Dream continues for Tommy Dreamer
Aug. 4, 2010: Dreamer looking back -- and forward -- with Hardcore Justice
Apr. 9, 2010: Tommy Dreamer extremely busy with post-WWE ventures
Jan. 4, 2010: Dreamer release now official
June 5, 2009: Tommy Dreamer's last stand
Apr. 13, 2006: Dreamer still addicted to wrestling
Mar. 9, 2000: Tommy Dreamer makes no excuses
Feb. 16, 2000: Dreamer high on ECW video game
--- compiled by John M. Milner with files from "Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur and Richard Kamchen
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