Diary of Violence
I have been given the green light to express myself, so I am breaking it down into three parts. I will address Mr. McMahon's comments about myself, the "old" ECW and the "new" ECW. For the next three weeks, I will do this without censorship, and will take on all repercussions -- like I always do.
So here is my open letter to Mr. McMahon, who asked me what a "Dreamer" is. I have been a fan of professional wrestling for 28 years. I grew up idolizing every person that I watched ever step into the wrestling ring. These larger-than-life guys were my heroes.
When every other kid wanted to be a baseball or football player, I wanted to be a professional wrestler. I would verbally defend wrestling when people would say it was "fake." I would get into physical confrontations with older kids who discredited the business I loved so much. I have gotten beat up for supporting wrestling, but I still never would stop watching it. I still have 42 boxes of wrestling magazines that I refuse to throw out because they are a piece of my childhood. I have had some of the greatest moments with my deceased father watching wrestling on TV, as well as attending live events. I remember crying when Larry Zbyszko turned on Bruno Sammartino. (Years later, I shared that moment with Tazz on a long car ride with and he told me he punched his TV after witnessing that.)
The only thing I wanted for Christmas one year were tickets to see Tommy Rich fight Buzz Sawyer for the last time in the Omni. I used to stay up late on a school day on Tuesday night so I could see Dusty Rhodes fight evil against Kevin Sullivan. I have attended more live events than any other WWE Superstar on the current roster, some memorable ones being Jimmy Snuka's dive off the top of the cage… the Pat Paterson and Sgt. Slaughter Boot Camp Match… Bob Backlund losing the WWE Championship… Sgt. Slaughter and The Iron Sheik Boot Camp Match… Hulk Hogan winning the title.
I was in the third row for Mr. T getting involved at The War to Settle Score, and was at the first WrestleMania. I would say to myself that one day the "voice of WWE" Howard Finkel would one day say, "Your winner and the NEWWWW WWE Champion, Tommy Dreamer!" Hell, I bought so much merchandise that I probably could have bought a wing on your house. (I hate to admit it, but I still have my Strike Force T-shirt.)
What I am getting at, Vince, is I have been a loyal supporter of WWE forever. A "Dreamer" can be defined as any past or present fan that escaped from their world to be entertained by you and your company. I have heard the story of how you risked everything that you had to do WrestleMania, and if it failed, so did WWE. I can still see the picture of your face when Hulk Hogan walked past you that night in the Madison Square Garden hallway. You did not know your own future, let alone the lives of your employees. You see, Vince, I lived that way for seven years in ECW; every day was a fight for survival. Battling censors, television networks, buildings canceling on us, wrestlers leaving for WWE or WCW.
I worked with a broken neck and back for what I believed in; that being ECW. I did not get paid for six months. Ask yourself how many people would do that for you today. I did all this to continue to support my dream. It did not pan out for me the way it did for you, but I still persevered. You, sir, need to look in the mirror and see that you too are a "Dreamer." Remember that day of WrestleMania and your feelings. Never forget your roots. I have too much respect to discredit you or anything that you have done, so don't you dare discredit me or anything that I have done.
So, thanks for the memories, from one "Dreamer" to another. I hope I have given you something to think about the next time you look at your own reflection.