After NXT superstar Baron Corbin issued a challenge to former ECW play-by-play announcer Joey Styles to bring an ECW original to face him at NXT’s live event in Philadelphia this weekend, names such as Rob Van Dam and Bubba Ray Dudley were all speculated. However, the “Heart and Soul of ECW” Tommy Dreamer was the ECW original who answered that challenge.
— Triple H (@TripleH) May 16, 2015
The “Innovator of Violence” has not appeared for the WWE since late 2012, on an edition of Monday night RAW, which also emanated from Philadelphia. At 44 years old, Dreamer continues to be a focal point of the professional wrestling industry.
A former ECW World Heavyweight champion, Dreamer faced the aforementioned Baron Corbin, but the match didn’t result in a victory as Dreamer became the victim of Corbin’s finishing move, the End of Days. However, the audience reportedly reacted to Dreamer in a positive fashion and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Not only has Dreamer not been on WWE television in nearly three years, but the lively Philadelphia crowd, the former home to ECW has always held a special place in their hearts for the ECW faithful that broke their bodies in half all those years ago.
Dreamer was sporting a House of Hardcore shirt for the match, the promotion that he runs out of the old ECW arena that recently latched on with a television deal. Running a successful promotion such as House of Hardcore, which still holds the prestige and connection with ECW, is a special thing.
In a recent interview, Dreamer admitted that despite spending a significant amount of money to run House of Hardcore, the payoff is the rewarding aspect for the grizzled veteran.
“When I have to do payroll and pay everyone’s plane tickets and hotels, I hate it because I see how much money that I spend. But at the end of the day when I am able to clear my bills and the fans are able to go home with a great taste of professional wrestling, that’s what it’s all about for me and that’s why I keep on doing it.”
In addition to running House of Hardcore, Dreamer wrestles all around the NYC area for a litany of promotions and also works for TNA as a producer, but is currently not under contract.
[Image via WWE]