When ACE Owner Mike Morgan announced at Destined for Greatness at the end of the main event, Tommy Dreamer had a match at Crossroads 6, the fans were overjoyed. When he announced his opponent was the one and only Raven, the fans exploded in cheers and applause, however only one man did not look excited. In fact, discouraged. And that was Tommy Dreamer himself.
To truly understand the sheer magnitude of what Tommy Dreamer and Raven meant to the pro wrestling industry is an extreme understatement. These two men have inflicted more punishment, spilled more of each other's blood and played more psychological warfare with one another than any other rivalry in the history of this business. But again, to truly understand what Dreamer and Raven is about, you have to go back to the beginning...
In January of 1995, Stevie Richards brought Raven into the original Extreme Championship Wrestling with one reason in mind: to settle a rivalry with Tommy Dreamer. This was no ordinary rivalry, as it extended past the pro wrestling realm. Raven and Tommy Dreamer were enemies from childhood. Both kids went to the same summer camp as kids, but both were never so different. Tommy was the varsity athlete, the popular kid; Raven was the loner, the outcast. Raven always held hatred in his heart for Dreamer and despite previous personas where he tried being the athlete and popular, in the end, he was always an outcast. Once he heard about ECW and Tommy Dreamer trying to be a success, his mission was simple: make his life a living hell.
Once Raven came in, the mind games started immediately. A very attractive female began accompanying Raven to ringside named Beulah McGillicutty. It turned out that at the same summer camp where Dreamer and Raven went to, Beulah was a fat girl who had a major crush on "the Innovator of Violence". When Tommy didn't return those feelings, Beulah lost the weight, got into shape, became a Penthouse model, and started dating Raven. Together, they started making the life of Tommy Dreamer absolutely miserable. Incorporating every single member of Raven's cult-like Nest, from the Blue Meanie and Super Nova to Cactus Jack, Dreamer could never get a one-on-one victory over his childhood enemy. However, during this time, Dreamer won over the ECW fans with his tenacious nature for never giving up the fight, despite losing every time. One moment in particular remains very vivid in the annals of ECW, as at Heatwave 1995, with Raven handcuffed to a steel cage, Tommy unleashed a vile chairshot to Raven's skull, knocking him unconscious and lighting up the crowd. This one moment was considered "the Chairshot Heard Around the World". But nonetheless, Raven was dominant throughout the feud in the victory column.
However, Dreamer did start to turn the tide and started to one-up on Raven, when in March of 1996, Beulah announced she was pregnant. When Raven confronted her on it, she said it wasn't his...it was TOMMY's. From that day forward, Tommy and Beulah were an item and Raven was even more deadset on ruining Tommy's life. Raven hired "Prime Time" Brian Lee to end his career, even going as having Prime Time chokeslam him through 3 tables over the Eagle's Nest in the famed ECW Arena. Despite even that, Dreamer persevered and continued on, making Raven even angrier. Raven even went as low as to attempt to end the career of Dreamer's mentor, Terry Funk. However, Dreamer had the last laugh with that, as Funk overcome all obstacles and with help from Tommy, won the ECW World Heavyweight championship over Raven at ECW's first Pay-Per-View, Barely Legal.
At this point, despite everything both men had been through, Tommy Dreamer was never able to pin Raven's shoulders to the canvas for a three count...until June 6, 1997. At Wrestlepalooza 1997, in a Loser Leaves Town match, with everything on the line, Tommy Dreamer overcame every obstacle in his path and PINNED Raven after a DDT on a stop sign. Dreamer has been noted as saying that the pinfall victory over Raven was as big as winning a championship. Nonetheless, Tommy Dreamer had the girl, the victory and Raven out of his life. Things were looking up.
ENTER August 26, 1999. ECW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz were beating up Tommy Dreamer two-on-one on ECW on TNN. Previously, a year earlier, the Dudleys had taken Beulah out of professional wrestling with a 3D and on their last night in ECW, were looking to reiterate the point they took out the love of Dreamer's life, as well as baiting him into a championship match on his own. Right after when Dreamer countered the 3D, out of literally nowhere ran Raven. One Evenflow later and Raven and Tommy Dreamer became the ECW Tag Team champions. 2 1/2 years later, the sworn enemies were the reluctant partners.
Raven stated on several interviews that he came back to ECW with the sole purpose to rejuvenate Dreamer's career, stating he had grown stagnant ever since the victory of Raven in 1997 and that he was going to sacrifice himself for Dreamer's sins. But throughout the next several months, through talks with the Sinister Minister and Paul Heyman himself, Raven deep down wanted to end the bitter feud between himself and Tommy. And although they feuded on and off for the next few months over the ECW Tag Team championships, Raven wasn't the same person.
On April 22, 2000, Tommy Dreamer, the heart and soul of ECW, won the ECW World Heavyweight championship from Tazz at Cyberslam 2000. The entire roster came out to congratulate Tommy, but one man in particular shocked a lot of people...RAVEN. Many thought that Raven was going to ruin the moment, but instead the always enigmatic Raven embraced Dreamer and thus finally "burying the hatchet".
However, when Mike Morgan announced Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven for Crossroads 6, Tommy Dreamer was discouraged. Discouraged for the fact that old wounds will be reopened, issues will be brought back to the surface, and more importantly, a rivalry renewed. This will be more than a wrestling match at Crossroads 6. This will be PERSONAL.