Tommy Dreamer's Extreme Scrapbook
I pulled this ad out of the newspaper for this audition in Manhattan. They were doing a movie that was going to be the story of Captain Lou Albano’s life. It never really panned out, but that was where I met Johnny Rodz. That’s the card that Johnny handed me and I went to his wrestling school. That’s Damien Demento, myself, Johnny, Tazz and Big Vito.
My first-ever match was at Gleason’s Arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. underneath the Manhattan Bridge and my mother made my first-ever wrestling robe. She made all of my outfits for my entire career and for some of my friends, like Stevie Richards, too.
Paul [Heyman] started a side company called World Wrestling Network and Jim Crockett was his partner. We had one television taping in February 1994 at the Manhattan Center. I wrestled “Cowboy” Bob Orton.
Paul was supposed to use ECW’s TV production crew and have financial backing from Jim Crockett. Paul and Crockett were going to try to take it national. Paul was going to run the wrestling side of things and Crockett was going to run the business. [ECW Founder and Owner] Tod [Gordon] was going ballistic that Paul was going to leave ECW and take Public Enemy, Tazz, myself and Joey Styles. ECW was still sort of indie. Paul was, of course, going, “No, no, no, we’ll still be here, too.” But if that thing had worked, there would never have been an ECW.
This is Johnny Rodz being honored by the Cauliflower Alley Club in Elizabeth, N.J. on Sept. 30, 1995. Lou Thesz was there. It was the first time I met Pat Patterson. Tazz, Paul E. and I all went. There was a lot of press. We all wore suits, but Paul was sporting the ECW hat. Paul used to be really protective of his bald spot. He was going to no-show the event and we won Promotion of the Year. He’s Paul E. and he’s crazy.
Here’s me with my Lexus – my big cool car. Shut up about my clothes.
In this match, we went out and fought on Queens Boulevard. A double-wide bus was coming at about 25 miles an hour and I told Brian Lee, “Throw me into it.” I had him whip me into a bus, because that’s how crazy I was. I got hit by a bus and bounced off. Meanwhile, the camera didn’t even see it. So on the footage, he and I walk off and then you hear [smack], then a huge “E-C-W” chant. Seriously, I got hit by a double-wide bus.
For some reason, my mother’s aunt and uncle – Uncle Frank and his wife – were driving by and saw me get hit by a bus. They called my parents and told them that they saw me get hit by a bus. I didn’t get home until like 2 o’clock in the morning. My mother’s crying. My father’s all upset. My parents had no way of getting in touch with me and they reamed me out. I told them, “No, I just had a guy throw me into a bus.” My father cursed me out.
To save money, we hired [motorcycle club] The Pagans to do security that night, but that was the Hells Angels’ turf. Hells Angels showed up and there was a gunfight. There were gunshots outside the Lost Battalion Hall on Queens Boulevard. We lost the building after that. They were very upset, because it was a government-owned building. Mayor Giuliani and his people were calling trying to find the Tommy Dreamer that wrecked the city vans. They were talking to me and I was saying, “I will find this Tommy Dreamer, sir, and I will get to the bottom of this.”
This is the famous Scaffold Match against Brian Lee at High Incident. The Sandman built the scaffold.
We were attacking each other with this cord. [Lee] pulled it off the wall and wrapped it around me. The owner of the ECW Arena came up to us after I finally won the match and told us the cord was the live circuit of electricity going into the building. He said, “You guys could have both been electrocuted and killed up there when you ripped that off.” But that’s what we did. We were hardcore [laughing].
Joey was making history calling Barely Legal by himself. I joined him at the end of the pay-per-view on color commentary and Paul asked me, “Tommy, can you hear me?” I said, “Yes.” He asked me another question and I said, “Uh-huh.” Then Paul said, “You are live on the air. Please stop responding to me.” And I said, “Okay.”
During the match, Joey asked me a question on air, but I wasn’t paying attention, so I told him, “Shut up and leave me alone. I’m trying to watch the match.”
Here I am being cool. I was injured. I had a broken neck and back, but I never missed a show. I went out there at Bar A on the Jersey Shore. These are jean shorts and a satiny shirt.
This was the second to last game at Tigers Stadium in Detroit. We all showed up and got tickets. It was cool. Myself, Francine, Lou E. Dangerously, Steve Corino, Jack Victory and CW Anderson all went. We took pictures with the Tigers’ mascot. I was a big baseball fan and I loved getting the best seats.
We did that a lot. I’d call up the team as somebody else. We used a lot of Seinfeld names. I’d say, “Hi, this is Art Vandelay or Bob Sacamano from Extreme Championship Wrestling. We’re coming to your town for a pay-per-view this Sunday. I know it’s a little late to do cross-promoting, but some of our stars would like to attend the baseball game.” They gave us a suite in Los Angeles and we didn’t have to pay for it.
We did it another time in Chicago and the tickets weren’t there, but everybody from ECW was waiting. The White Sox asked, “Who left you these tickets?” I said, “Jerry Reisendorf.” I mispronounced the owner’s name and they brought me right in. We got a suite. The Sandman went on the opposing team’s dugout and hit his pose. We were getting “E-C-W” chants. Still, to this day, I get mail every year to see if I’m interested in season tickets for the Chicago White Sox.
Tazz won the ECW Title and was contracted by WWE at the time. I beat him and he handed me the title. There are no pictures of me actually wearing the title, because that’s what Paul wanted. He wanted to make sure of that. There’s one somewhere of me with it over my shoulder, but there is no photo of me with the ECW Title around my waist. And then I lost it to Justin Credible right after that.
Here I am riding the littlest tricycle in Milwaukee at The Rave before an ECW show.
This is one of my proudest moments ever. In Minnesota, Simon Diamond had an entourage. This was The Musketeer. He would always attack me with a sword, I would duck and DDT him.
A fan was pointing this umbrella at me, but he was probably eight rows deep and 12 rows up. Before the musketeer swung at me, I said, “Wait!” I pointed at the fan and said, “Give me that!” This fan stood up and threw the umbrella like a javelin. I caught it in mid-air and went, “En garde!” The Musketeer asked, “What do we do?” And I said, “We’re having a sword fight!” So I popped him with my umbrella-sword and DDT’d him. The fact that I caught the umbrella was the coolest thing. Paul hated it, but I loved it.