Thomas Laughlin (February 14, 1971) is a semi-retired American professional wrestler better known by his ring name, Tommy Dreamer. He most recently worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Before that, he appeared with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Dreamer is perhaps best known for the time he spent in the Philadelphia based Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion, of which he has been called the "heart and soul". Though he only held the ECW World Heavyweight Championship once in his time with the company – for a grand total of about 30 minutes – he was regularly embroiled in the company's most visible angles on screen and involved in the booking, some of the business decisions, and, like a number of other ECW wrestlers, was part of the day-to-day operations of the company off screen.
On June 7, 2009, at Extreme Rules 2009, Dreamer accomplished his dream of winning the ECW Championship again, pinning Jack Swagger in a Triple Threat match. Dreamer held the title until Night of Champions 2009 when he lost the title back to previous champion Christian.
Dreamer is currently competing on the independent circuit, appearing with Dragon Gate USA, CHIKARA, Evolve, American Championship Wrestling, Universal Championship Wrestling, and Maximum Pro Wrestling, among other promotions.
Professional wrestling career
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Dreamer joined Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW) in 1992, just before its name change to Extreme Championship Wrestling. His first major gimmick in the company had him wrestling in matches in garish green suspenders and acting as something of a "pretty boy" – at least in relation to the rest of the ECW roster. This gimmick got him soundly booed by crowds, even when he became the first person in wrestling history to kick out of the pin that follows the Superfly Splash of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.
In 1998, Dreamer had a short feud with the Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von), during which they "broke" Beulah's neck. In 1999, on their last night in the company, they cited this incident to get Dreamer to accept a challenge for the ECW Tag Team Championship they had won earlier in the night. He did accept, and got the title, but was paired with the unexpected partner Raven, who slid into the ring at the last second and made the pin. The team only lasted a short time before it dissolved, with Raven taking the title and choosing Mike Awesome as his new partner. He also, begrudgingly, became World Heavyweight Champion in 2000 by beating Tazz at CyberSlam, only to lose it to Justin Credible just 30 minutes later.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2001–2010)
Debut and Raw (2001-2004)
After ECW closed its doors, Dreamer spent time in various independent leagues throughout the country, such as Jersey All Pro Wrestling and Combat Zone Wrestling before he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was introduced to WWF audiences on the July 9, 2001 episode of Raw as a member of the WCW/ECW Alliance during the Invasion angle. When the angle ended in November, Dreamer was sent to the WWF's "farm territory" Heartland Wrestling Association.
He was brought back to the main roster of the now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment in April and placed on the Raw "brand". There, he turned face and was given a gimmick that saw him proclaim that he was "Just a Regular Guy", for which he was featured in vignettes and backstage segments showing him in normal situations that were then augmented by "disgusting" antics such as brushing his teeth and his dogs teeth with the same brush and eating food from the floor.
Return of ECW and ECW Originals (2005-2007)
He participated in the Royal Rumble entering at position 7 and being eliminated by Kane. In the edition of ECW on January 30, Mr. McMahon announced a series of new characters that would be the new generation of ECW, causing the displeasure of some veteran wrestlers like Dreamer, Rob Van Dam and Balls Mahoney in the weeks following the new extremist Elijah Burke announced a new group called "New Breed" (the New Breed) members being new promises for ECW (as Marcus Cor Von, Kevin Thorn and Matt Striker), leading to a feud with the ECW Originals self-proclaimed (Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, Sabu and Sandman) when they began to make fun of them for their seniority in the struggles.
The Feud with the "New Breed", led to the Wrestlemania 23 when the ECW Originals defeated them this being his greatest victory in all the team's formation. However, lost in the rematch on ECW Extreme Rules Match. The New Breed feud continued as during that time, New Breed and the ECW Originals tried to recruit CM Punk. New Breed would make it, however Dreamer and his companions defeat to New Breed in Eight-Man Elimination Tag Team Match after betray Punk New Breed.
Feud with The Miz & John Morrison, ECW Championship and departure (2008-2010)
He began the year by participating in the Royal Rumble entering at number 7 and being eliminated by Batista, then enter a feud with then pairwise John Morrison and The Miz, when he went to rescue Colin Delaney attack duo, after defeating the champions in non-title first, could not defeat in the championship fights, including a fight "extreme" in the edition of ECW on March 18, a week later was defeated by champion of then-ECW, Chavo Guerrero, in a fight Lumberjack type.
After that, Dreamer started a feud with the new superstar Jack Swagger. They faced in a classic wrestling match, but Dreamer lost the match after he used his DDT on Swagger. Then Swagger defeated Dreamer in an Extreme rules match, ending the feud.
On the January 13, 2009 episode of ECW, Dreamer announced that if he failed to win the ECW Championship by June 6, when his WWE contract was to expire, he would no longer wrestle for ECW. The storyline saw Dreamer start a losing streak that ended when he defeated Paul Burchill on the February 24 edition of ECW. On the April 28 edition, Dreamer received a match for the ECW Championship against then-champion Christian, which went to a no-contest when Jack Swagger interfered. Dreamer was granted a one-day extension on his contract, allowing him one last chance at the ECW Championship, challenging the champion Christian and Jack Swagger in a triple threat match at Extreme Rules. At Extreme Rules, Dreamer pinned Jack Swagger in a hardcore triple threat match, capturing his second ECW Championship almost a decade after he claimed the title in the original ECW.After successful title defenses, one against Christian and also a Championship Scramble match at The Bash, Dreamer eventually lost the championship back to Christian at Night of Champions. On the July 28 episode of ECW, Dreamer announced he would exercise his rematch clause against Christian the following week. The two faced off in an Extreme Rules match, in which Christian retained the championship. After his championship pursuit had ceased, Dreamer began teaming up with Christian, Yoshi Tatsu and Goldust on various occasions to take on William Regal and his allies Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson, exchanging victories and losses. On the December 29 episode of ECW, Dreamer wrestled Zack Ryder and lost. If Dreamer was to lose the match then he would be (kayfabe) forced to retire from in-ring competition. After the match, Dreamer made a farewell speech in which he thanked the fans before exiting the ring with his two daughters. A few days later on January 4, 2010, Dreamer was officially released by WWE.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2010-2011, 2013–present)
On June 13, 2010, at Slammiversary VIII Dreamer made his debut for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), appearing in the crowd and thus distracting Brother Ray and costing him his match against Jesse Neal. On the June 24 edition of Impact! Dreamer appeared in the crowd of the Impact! Zone, beside fellow ECW alumni Raven and Stevie Richards. The following week the three were joined by Rhino. On the July 15 edition of Impact! Dreamer, Raven, Richards, Rhino, Brother Devon, Pat Kenney and Al Snow, led by Mick Foley, aligned themselves with the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Rob Van Dam by attacking Abyss and the rest of the TNA locker room. The following week, TNA president Dixie Carter agreed to give the ECW alumni their own reunion pay–per–view event, Hardcore Justice: The Last Stand, as a celebration of hardcore wrestling and a final farewell to the company, while also placing Dreamer in charge of the show. Dreamer made his TNA in–ring debut on the July 29 edition of Impact!, losing to Abyss in a No Disqualification match. After the match Raven re–ignited his old feud with Dreamer by turning on him, laying him out with a DDT on a chair and licking his face. The following week Raven explained his turn by saying that he hadn't forgotten how Dreamer had "stolen", and later married, his girlfriend Beulah McGillicutty back in 1996. On August 8 at Hardcore Justice Dreamer was defeated by Raven in a "Final Showdown" match refereed by Mick Foley. On the following edition of Impact!, the ECW alumni, known collectively as Extreme, Version 2.0 (EV 2.0), were assaulted by A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Robert Roode, James Storm, Douglas Williams and Matt Morgan of Ric Flair's stable, who thought they didn't deserve to be in TNA. The following week TNA president Dixie Carter gave each member of EV 2.0 TNA contracts in order for them to settle their score with At No Surrender Dreamer lost an "I Quit" match to A.J. Styles due to Styles putting a fork into his eye. Dreamer admitted EV 2.0's defeat on the following edition of Impact! and tried to reach a truce with, but was beaten down. The following week he returned with Raven, Stevie Richards, Sabu and Rhino and announced that Dixie Carter had given the five of them a Lethal Lockdown match against at Bound for Glory. At Bound for Glory Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, Richards and Sabu defeated members Styles, Kazarian, Morgan, Roode and Storm in a Lethal Lockdown match, when Dreamer pinned Styles. After weeks of dissension between Rob Van Dam and the rest of EV 2.0, caused by Van Dam's belief that there was a traitor within the group, Dreamer challenged him to a match. At Turning Point Van Dam defeated Dreamer and afterwards made peace with him. On the following edition of Impact! Rhino turned heel by attacking Van Dam and Dreamer, revealing himself as the traitor Van Dam had been looking for. The following week Dreamer defeated Rhino in a Street Fight. After spending some time off television, Dreamer returned on the February 24 edition of Impact!, becoming entangled in the feud between former tag team partners Bully Ray and Brother Devon. On March 13 at Victory Road, Dreamer defeated Ray in a Falls Count Anywhere match, following interference from Devon.
On the May 5 edition of Impact!, Dreamer was forced to join Immortal in order to save his job in TNA.Dreamer was later confronted on his choice by A.J. Styles, which led to a match at Sacrifice, where Dreamer was victorious following interference from Bully Ray. On the following edition of Impact Wrestling, Dreamer officially turned heel, citing the first time he attacked Styles was due to being forced by Ray, before willingly attacking Styles because he wanted to and proceeding to berate the crowd by calling them "pieces of crap". This is also the first time that Dreamer has wrestled as a heel since being a member of the Alliance during his WWF/E career. On the May 26 edition of Impact Wrestling, Styles and Christopher Daniels defeated Dreamer and Ray in a no disqualification street fight. On June 6 Dreamer confirmed that TNA's house show in Memphis, Tennessee on June 11 would be his final appearance for the promotion. In his final TNA match, Dreamer teamed with Bully Ray in a losing effort against A.J. Styles and Brother Devon.
On January 17, 2013 Dreamer made an appearance TNA Impact Wrestling as one of Bully Ray's groomsmen during his wedding to Brooke Hogan. He was assaulted by Aces & Eights after they crashed the ceremony. Dreamer returned to TNA in 2013. On December 27, 2013, was defeated by Ethan Carter III at a TNA house show. On December 29, 2013, at TNA Hardcore Justice 3, Dreamer was defeated by Carter in a Tables match. Next day, Dreamer was defeated by Bully Ray at TNA #OldSchool in a Street Fight match.
Independent Circuit (2010-present)
Dreamer appeared at the inaugural event of EVOLVE Wrestling on January 17, 2010, in a non-wrestling role, getting involved in a match which lead to him brawling with Jimmy Jacobs. Later that month, on January 23, Dreamer debuted for Dragon Gate USA, saving Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey from a beating at the hands of Jon Moxley. On March 27, Dreamer made his pay-per-view debut for Dragon Gate USA in Phoenix, Arizona, where he lost a hardcore match to Moxley, which was taped for the Mercury Rising pay-per-view.
On April 2, Universal Championship Wrestling added Dreamer to their roster. He defeated fellow former ECW Champion Shane Douglas to become the promotion's Universal Heavyweight Champion on February 20.
Dreamer wrestled on all three nights of Maximum Pro Wrestling's Spring Loaded event. April 9 was night one and before his match, Dreamer was presented with the Most Shocking Moment of the Decade for his win of the BCW Can-Am Heavyweight Championship. Following the presentation, Dreamer defeated Jon Bolen. The following night, he lost to MaxPro Triple Crown Champion Tyson Dux, but put Dux through a table afterward. On April 25, Dreamer made his debut for Philadelphia-based Chikara, challenging Eddie Kingston to a match at the Anniversary show on May 23. Kingston won the match via disqualification when Ares and Claudio Castagnoli of the Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (BDK) attacked him. Dreamer assisted Kingston in taking care of BDK and then made a challenge for a tag team match on July 25 at The Arena in Philadelphia. Earlier that same day, Kingston inducted Dreamer into the Hardcore Hall of Fame.BDK ended up defeating Dreamer and Kingston, when Castagnoli pinned Dreamer.
On August 14, 2010, Dreamer appeared for Montreal-based Northern Championship Wrestling (nCw), challenging "The War Machine" Tank and James Stone to a match at DreamSlam for the nCw Quebec Championship.
Dreamer also appeared the following week on August 21 when he defeated Eddie Osbourne in Ontario at PWA "Carrot Fest" and is booked to re-appear in 2011 on August 20. Dreamer would team with Rhino to win the Carrot Cup over Mike Hart and Joey Valentine.
Dreamer returned to Chikara on November 13, 2011, at the promotion's first ever internet pay-per-view, High Noon, accompanying Eddie Kingston to his Chikara Grand Championship match. On July 28, 2012 Dreamer wrestled for Family Wrestling Entertainment in which he defeated Brian Kendrick, Carlito and champion Jay Lethal in a four-way Elimination match to become the new FWE Heavyweight Champion. On September 14, 2012, Dreamer returned to Chikara, when he, Jerry Lynn and Too Cold Scorpio entered the 2012 King of Trios as "The Extreme Trio", defeating Team WWF (1-2-3 Kid, Aldo Montoya and Tatanka) in their first round match. The following day, The Extreme Trio was eliminated from the tournament by Team ROH (Mike Bennett, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson). On September 29, Dreamer defeated Dan Maff in a TLC match to win the Impact Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title. On October 4, 2012, he retained the FWE Heavyweight Championship against Rhino in the first PPV of the company.
On November 25, 2012, Dreamer returned to Japan to take part in an independent event produced by The Big Guns. During the event, Dreamer and Makoto defeated Akira and Syuri in a mixed tag team hardcore match. The following day, Dreamer made his debut for Wrestling New Classic (WNC), the follow-up promotion to Smash, entering the WNC Championship tournament and defeating Yusuke Kodama in his first round match. Two days later, Dreamer was defeated in his semifinal match by Akira.
The day after he appeared on Monday Night RAW, Niagara Falls based promotion Busted Knuckle Pro Wrestling announced that Tommy Dreamer would be appearing at their Rumble for Rose 2 event on February 23, 2013. Since then, it has been announced that he would be teaming with local talent Markus Ryan in a match against BKPW Tag Team Champions The Thrillbillies in a hardcore tag team match for the BKPW Tag Team Championship. Dreamer and Ryan won the titles, only to lose them later in the evening to Rhys Greenaway and Joey Allen.
On December 17, Dreamer made one-night return to WWE during the annual Slammy Awards show, as the mystery tag team partner of The Miz & Alberto Del Rio in a match against Three Man Band members, Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. Later that night, Dreamer was attacked backstage by The Shield.
In January 2013, Tommy debuted in Cutting Edge Wrestling, a promotion based out of Newfoundland, Canada. He made the save for Don Martini and Psycho Mitch, who were being beat down by The Gotch Boys (Buck, Scott and Axel) and the River City Express 2.0 (Tony King and Alexander Guthrie), leading to a confrontating with CEW Owner Dennis Guthrie. Dreamer wanted a 6 man tag-team match with himself, Don Martini and Psycho Mitch vs River City Express and Scott Gotch, while Dennis wanted Dreamer to run the gauntlet against Buck, Scott, Justin Lock, Tony King and Alex Guthrie. Warren G made the 6 man match happen, where Tommy, Martini and Mitch were successful.
On February 16, 2013, Dreamer tried to capture the FWE Heavyweight Championship in a TLC match against Carlito and Matt Hardy, but he was defeated.
On May 4, 2013 Dreamer wrestled at an event called Slamfest 2013. He was in a tag match main event with 2 Tuff Tony against Too Cool, Fatu and Cristopher. Tony and Dreamer lost after Dreamer was hit by Tony accidentally in the face by a flaming vodka soaked rag. Afterwards Tony received a stinkface. On June 21, 2013, he was defeated by Rob Van Dam at FWE Welcome to the Rumble in an Extreme Rules match. However, the same night, he won the FWE Rumble.
On October 25, 2013 Tommy Dreamer returned to Newfoundland for the Cutting Edge Wrestling promotion. Scheduled to wrestle Dennis Guthrie in a street fight, Guthrie tried to get others to do his dirty work. Tommy then defeated Buckmaster Gotch, Scott Gotch and the debuting Bradley Guthrie till the Gotches returned to serve a beatdown. Bad Boy Batty Bat and Don Martini attempted to make the save, but also were beaten down till Justin Lock made the save and ran off the force with a kendo stick. He then Lost to Dennis via his other son, Alexander, who interfered and hit Tommy with his blockbuster finisher. On October 26, Dreamer won the Cutting Edge Wrestling North Atlantic title from Alexander Guthrie in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland during a fatal 4 way elimination match also involving Martini and Lock. Finishing off the Newfoundland tour, October 27 in Fermeuse he successfully defended the North Atlantic title against Martini, Brandon Flip and Scott Gotch in another fatal 4 way Elimination match.
On October 5, 2013, at Vanguard Championship Wrestling, Dreamer defeated CW Anderson in an I Quit match. On November 30, 2013, at WrestleCade, Dreamer defeated Anderson again in an I Quit match.
House of Hardcore (2012-present)
In 2012, Dreamer opened his own wrestling promotion, House of Hardcore, which is the name of the former ECW wrestling school. The promotion made its debut on October 6, 2012 at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. In the main event of the first show, Dreamer lost the FWE Heavyweight Championship to Carlito in a three-way match, which also included Mike Knox. On June 22, 2013, Dreamer defeated Lance Storm in the main event at House of Hardcore 2.
On November 9, 2013, Dreamer participated in the main event of House of Hardcore 3. Dreamer and Terry Funk defeated Sean Waltman and Lance Storm. The match was promoted as the last time of Funk and Dreamer as tag team. After the match, Dreamer was assaulted by TNA Wrestler Bully Ray and Devon. Ray challenged Dreamer to a match at TNA One Night Only - Old School. On June 6, 2014, Dreamer was scheuled to face Team 3D along with Abyss. However, Bully Ray was pulled out of the event, so the main event was Devon and Dreamer vs Rhino and Abyss. Dreamer and Devon won the match.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Fallaway slam
- Falling neckbreaker
- Inverted DDT
- "The Innovator of Violence"
- "The OG of Extreme"
- "The Heart and Soul of ECW"
- Tag teams and stables
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- BCW Can-Am Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- CWA Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- Family Wrestling Entertainment
- FWE Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- FWE Rumble (2013)
- International World Class Championship Wrestling
- IWCCW Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with G.Q. Madison
- IWA Puerto Rico
- IWA Puerto Rico Hardcore Champion (1 time)
- KYDA Pro Wrestling
- KYDA Pro Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #28 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2000
- Universal Championship Wrestling
- UCW Universal Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment