Tommy Dreamer The "heart and soul" of ECW- sounds like an oxymoron to me. Besides that point, it's time for Tommy's N-H-F'N-O's Analysis!
1) Innovation- 8/10
Let's see how innovative the "Innovator of Violence" really is: (sidenote: because coming up with cool weapons, while very appealing to my eyes, does not entitle you to be labeled innovative)- wore lime green suspenders, check - used real life canning of stupid fuck in Singapore to exploit as an angle and get the snot beat out of him with said singapore cane, check- embroiled in long blood feud with cutting edge character for his time, check - ate Undertaker's chaw on live TV, check He's pretty high up there! Dreamer, whether you can credit him or not, was the performer in 2 of ECW's most famous feuds, the kinds of feuds that made it the sleazy, violent, kayfabe-less garbage wrestling that fans were clamoring for at that time. He made them work as a face the people could rally behind because let's face it, he wasn't pretty (let me use that in the present tense) he's never been pretty, not in good shape, not a great technician, he was more like the person sitting in the front row than a wrestling superstar. That's what made him and ECW innovative.
2) Conditioning- 6/10
Dreamer isn't the most muscular specimen on any roster, and I'm sure he'd be the first to admit it. He has significant muscle tone on his arms, but there's a reason the guy has worn a t-shirt to wrestle in for the last 15 years. And while I have no doubt his long and brutal career has most definitley warranted him a few lonely nights with some bottles of painkillers and prostitutes, I've never known them to be a hamper to him or heard of him using as frequently as others in the business. His doughy physique shows the effects of choosing not to work out as much as most perfomers. But, Dreamer has went the distance in some other matches, but has slowed down considerably in later years.
3) Skill- 7/10
I'm going to give Tommy a seven, not mostly for his wrestling prowess, which is covered in Basics but for his incredible heart in the ring. He used to be a glutton for punishment and has taken too many sick and nasty bumps to account for in his career, albeit if most were sloppy. Tommy is kind of like a DDP, an older guy who still seems to care about what he puts out in the ring, but he never seems to try as hard as when there are no rules involved. Tommy in a regular match can pass through it, put together some decent spots, but in a hardcore match, he's definitley more motivated and it shows.
4) Psychology- 8/10
In years gone past, I would have given Tommy a 10 because he learned precisely how to get into the minds of his fans and get them to rally behind him like no other. He uses very good facials when he takes a dramatic bump and can sell a body part, as opposed to his recent stint in the "new" ECW. But, as with every athlete, age takes it's toll and Dreamer has lost a step in this department, I'd say for one factor that it probably isn't pushed as much or emphasized despite JR's claim that it is still important to key people in WWE.
5) Interviews- 6/10
Dreamer isn't a great talker; he's decent, he can cut a face promo, with a little twinge of disturbed in it and he can sell a match really well too, but that's about it. He has a clear voice, one that's easy to listen to but I don't think he has the kind of commanding presence on the mic that he requires at some points. I don't hate him on the mic, that 's for sure but I wouldn't call him a stand out either.
6) Character- 6/10
Tommy's character, "the Innovator of Violence" was cleverly crafted by Paul E. to help get Dreamer over and not expose his weaknesses, as Paul did with everybody in ECW. Dreamer can take a tremendous beating and can get the fans behind him in a good face comeback sequence and did it numerous times in the old ECW. He took some hellacious bumps, got lacerated severly, beaten with a chair and he kept fighting, he didn't always win, but he did keep coming and that was the lifeblood of the character. Nowadays, as ECW Original, heart and soul of ECW, he's actually kind of pathetic. He still doesn’t' win matches, but now, sometimes he doesn't even put up a fight. None of the tools that helped make him into a star are given to him anymore and he looks lost without them. Dreamer never worked heel in ECW, any incarnation and that also takes away points, even though he has been an extremely successful babyface.
7) Basics- 5/10
Pure scientific wrestling is one thing you can't count on in a Tommy Dreamer match. You just won't see it. He can work a side headlock take down and some other little things but that will only be against someone pretty proficient in that style that he'll do it with. Dreamer has never campainged that this was his strong suit and to boot, his basic wrestling punches are nothing to write home about and his kicks are lazy. His brawling,bloodlusted punches are pretty spot on but when does he have a chance to use them now?
8) Fans- 8/10
Several years ago, I may have registered him at a 10, but when you really look at it, the ECW populous has dwindled and they don't account for the majority of the wrestling fans in the world; most of those are WWE fans, and they are kind of indifferent towards Tommy nowadays. The only reason I would give him this high of a score is because he can make the people pop with his hardcore stylings and he is and will probably always be associated with the name ECW. It's very rare, outside of an old ECW fan cam video that you will ever hear a 'Tommy' chant, but anytime Dreamer comes out, you'll be sure to hear an "ECW,ECW" chant.
9) Feuds/ Opponents- 8/10
Dreamer, as I stated previously, had some of the biggest wars in ECW's bloody and violent history. His feuds and angles with the likes of Sandman and Raven and his Flock were some of the most brutal and well planned out storylines that have come around the world of wrestling in a long time and will always be remembered. It took a lot of careful planning and cultivating to use that Dreamer v. Raven feud for the better part of 2 years and despite both men's wayward careers these days and the lack of WWE-influence in them, it was a damn hell of a great feud and Dreamer gets points for it, as did Raven in his analysis. Dreamer has wrestled in every kind of stipulation match and battled almost everyone that entered an ECW ring from Jason to Sid. During his 2 WWE runs, he got to tangle with a variety of new opponents and while I wouldn't call anything he's done memorable, he has gotten to face the gammet of great, not so great and current superstars like Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Undertaker, Edge, Mick Foley as well as the 7 foot shit-sicle Great Khali.
10) Gutcheck- 10/10
If Tommy Dreamer didn't have tremendous heart, he would have been Barry Horowitz. I just don't mean Jewish, I mean a floundering wrestler who never found an ioata of success. But, Dreamer does have that and a willingness to push his body to the limits of pain and see how far it will take him. He has broken his back and his neck in the name of ECW and continues to punish his withering body. I don't know if anyone is calling for one last comeback for him, but I'm sure Tommy has it in him to pull one out if need be, even though he looks mechanical and unengaged in almost every match he's nowadays. But, it's not just heart, but his guts and even though I don't get into all of his matches, or would put him in a Hall of Fame, I respect Tommy Dreamer because I see something in him that I feel and that is a love for this fucked up business that eats up bodies and spits them out for breakfast. It takes courage to love something that doesn't give a shit about you and that's a harsh reality but it's become more and more apparent in recent times. Sorry to go on a rant there; Tommy Dreamer, good luck.
Total Score: 72
PO: Thumbs Middle