This is one of the most insane and heartbreaking stories we’ve shared in a long time, so we recommend you read it with caution.
Depression and mental illness can take your brain and heart to some truly terrifying places. Wrestling legend Tommy Dreamer opened up on the House of Hardcore podcast about where it took him: to almost committing a real murder-suicide shooting in the middle of WrestleMania X-7 in Houston, Texas.
As the story goes, Dreamer was told he was supposed to debut with WWE during the tables, ladders, and chairs match at the show, but plans changed. That, plus the recent closing of ECW, plus living with his parents, plus having turned down big money offers to stay with a failing company where the booker was secretly collecting checks from one of the same companies he’d told Tommy to turn down, pushed him too far. His solution to his problems: utilizing Texas’ lax gun laws to jump the rail at WrestleMania, murder Paul Heyman, and then kill himself.
“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.”
Thankfully for everyone involved, help came in the form of announcing legend Jim Ross.
“Randomly I get a phone call from a number I didn’t know … I didn’t pick up, and I remember having these thoughts, and it was bad. I had a gun, I was psssh, man. Could you think about the horribleness that I would have done for my legacy? I would have ruined WrestleMania, which I love, WrestleMania. For everybody. These thoughts were so so crazed in my head. How dare that person, he screwed my parents over and I come from a mobster mentality. In my head I was like ‘I would become infamous.’ Which is famous for the wrong reason. I’m glad I didn’t do it.
“But when that phone call came from Jim Ross. Again, just said leave a message. It said, ‘Hey Tommy it’s Jim Ross, just want to let you know, we are still thinking about you, we are gonna get it done, just got to hang tight. Thank you.'”
If you’re reading this and get nothing else out of it, know that those little gestures where you reach out to a friend in need might not seem like they help, but they always, always help. You never know whose life you might be saving, and what awful thing you might be helping someone crawl their way out of.
“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.”
Just a few years later, Dreamer would be the part of a winning team at WrestleMania 23. God bless those other days.
(h/t to Bodyslam.net)