Depression is a topic that is not nearly talked about enough, especially in overtly masculine sports like professional wrestling.
Former WWE and ECW star Tommy Dreamer is the latest athlete to open up about his struggles with depression, as he shared a harrowing story on his House of Hardcore podcast.
Although the title of the article gives away the key part, the story is not for the faint of heart.
Dreamer’s story begins at the turn of the century when the ECW went out of business. Dreamer felt slighted by head ECW booker Paul Heyman, who previously begged Dreamer to not leave the company, lest it fold. But when Heyman later left for the WWE, Dreamer felt screwed out of an opportunity, leaving him spiraling into a depression.
Heyman eventually offered Dreamer a spot at Wrestlemania 17 but then reneged on the deal. That enraged Dreamer and left him wanting revenge.
“I remember I did a show there, and I saw a sign that said, ‘Guns Welcome,’ and I was in Houston. I did an indie show, and I said, ‘What is this?’ I’m from New York, what do you mean, ‘Guns welcome?’ and they said, ‘Oh you are allowed to bring a firearm into the venue.’ I was across the street from the Astrodome. When I tell you it resonated in my head so, so much. That I’ll tell you what I wanted to do. It’s sick that I think this. At Wrestlemania, I was gonna hop the rail and I was gonna whack Paul E. in the back of the head right at the announce table, then I was gonna whack myself. The ultimate martyr, I was gonna hit my pose crack, boom, pull the trigger. Because I was that insane. Don’t know if I would have went through with it, but that’s what I was thinking about everyday. I was like, ‘I will go down in history.’ Pop, boom. First they’d think it as an angle until I shot him. I was so severely depressed and so mental with rage, I needed help.”
Fortunately for everyone involved, Dreamer received a call from wrestling commentator Jim Ross, who calmed the then-29-year-old wrestler. He assured Dreamer that they were still thinking of him and wanted to keep him involved.
“Think of how stupid I would have been, how dumb and how messed up my thoughts would have been if they would have come to fruition. I am so happy I didn’t do it, I am so happy that I did get that phone call, from someone who was a stranger, I barely knew the guy. There was another day, there has been a lot of other days.”
Not only did Dreamer keep from harming himself and others, but he appeared in the main card of a Wrestlemania six years later, winning as a part of the ECW Origins team. To this day, he continues to be involved with the sport on Major League Wrestling and as a commentator.