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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Real Life Rocky of Pro Wrestling
June 13, 2007 by Chris E.


Editor's Note: The author of this column can be contacted via the OWW Forums, where this submission was first posted. Feedback can be posted automatically by clicking here - but remember you must sign up for the forums to post feedback on a column. Thanks you!








In 1976, there was a movie that was released called Rocky. This film was about a small time Philadelphia club fighter, who is given the chance of a lifetime to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship. The film pulled in big numbers at the box office, and had people cheering for this underdog fighter to go the distance with the champ. The film has been seen over the years as being very inspirational. The film also made Sylvester Stallone a huge star. However, Stallone just didn't come up with this film out of nowhere. A year earlier in 1975, there was a boxing match for the World Heavyweight Championship, between the champion, Muhammad Ali, and small time New Jersey club fighter, Chuck Wepner. Nobody gave Wepner a chance in this fight everyone thought he would be knocked out in three rounds. Ali dominated most the fight. However, there was a big surprise in the ninth round, when Wepner became one of the very few men to knock Ali down to the canvas. Everybody in the arena was shocked at this. Ali got up and fought back hard, but Wepner was still hanging in there. Wepner held on for the rest of the fight, he even made it to the fifteen and final round. However, in that final round Ali knocked out Wepner with only seconds left in the fight. Even though, Wepner was knocked out, he proved everyone wrong, and showed his heart and toughness against Ali, and knocked down Ali and even made it to the fifteen round. Once Rocky was released in theaters, Wepner went from being known as "The Bayonne Bleeder" to "The Real Life Rocky." However, he's known as "The Real Life Rocky" to boxing fans, but the question is, "Who's the Real Life Rocky of professional wrestling?" The answer to that question is Tommy Dreamer.

The man we know as Tommy Dreamer, was born Thomas Laughlin on February 14th, 1971. He started his wrestling career in 1989 as Bobby Ocean. He later changed his name to T.D. Madison and teamed with G.Q. Madison to form a tag team known as The Madison Brothers.

In 1993, he changed his name once again as Tommy Dreamer and made his debut in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), a promotion dedicated to hardcore wrestling. Throughout his years in ECW, he feuded and classic matches with guys such as The Sandman and Raven. However, it was in 2000, that Dreamer made his big break. Dreamer did what many never thought would happen and won the ECW World Heavyweight Championship by beating Taz. However, minutes later Dreamer lost the title to Justin Credible. Dreamer continued feuding with Credible to try to win back the title, but came up short each time, but always showed heart and determination, just like the Rocky character. In 2001, ECW closed down, and Dreamer left along with the company. Dreamer was in ECW from its beginning to its end.

When ECW shut down, Dreamer started wrestling on the independent circuit, until July 2001, when he was signed to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). In the WWF, all the ECW and WCW alumni formed a team known as The Alliance their mission was to invade the WWF. During his time in the WWF, Dreamer was winning several matches, and also won the WWF Hardcore Championship 14 times. After losing the title for the final time, Dreamer got a new gimmick where he did several disgusting thing, such as eating things off the floor. In 2003, Dreamer was losing WWE TV time, and would end up on the independent circuit, once again. However, that became short lived and he ending up becoming a road agent.

Dreamer was continuing to work on the independent circuit, until 2005, when the WWE hosted a pay-per-view called ECW One Night Stand, where all the former ECW alumni would come back for ECW fans and put on ECW style matches for one night. At the event Dreamer teamed with The Sandman to take on The Dudley Boyz. Dreamer and The Sandman lost the match, but all the ECW fans loved the match. When the match was over, Dreamer kissed the ECW logo. The ECW fans were then chanting "Thank you, Tommy!" After the event, Dreamer went back to working on the independent circuit. However, in 2006, the wrestling world was shocked when the WWE announced that they were bringing back ECW. Dreamer was back on TV again. The return of ECW started with ECW One Night Strand 2006, where Dreamer teamed with Terry Funk to face Edge and Mick Foley. Dreamer and Funk lost the match, but put on a hell of match. Today, Dreamer continues to work for WWE's ECW brand, where he feuded with guys such as The Big Show, Test, Mike Knox, The Great Kahli, and was part of a stable known the ECW Originals, which also had Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and The Sandman. They feuded with a stable known as The New Breed, which has Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker, and Kevin Thorn.

In conclusion, Tommy Dreamer is "The Real Life Rocky" of professional wrestling, because like the Rocky character, Dreamer always showed heart and determination and would never back down. Also, like the Rocky character, people in the wrestling business didn't give Dreamer a chance to win the ECW world title, but the fans always cheered for him to climb the top of the mountain. Finally, like the Rocky character, Dreamer did the impossible and won the ECW world title, and proved everyone wrong. Tommy Dreamer is truly "The Real Life Rocky" of professional wrestling.

by Chris E. (View/Submit your feedback here)..




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