A wrestler who was a former WWE, WCW, and ECW Original recently talked about why he had issues while working for Vince McMahon. Many perceived there to be animosity or for wrestling fans we’d call it simply heat between the chairman of WWE and Raven. It depends on what era or decade of wrestling you’re a fan of, how you remember Raven. Many may only remember just the Raven gimmick in all three big name pro-wrestling companies I just mentioned. To be honest he was most noticeable and recognizable when he was Raven.
Did you know that before this edgier, darker yet hardcore styled wrestler that became so popular he was a significantly different character, almost unrecognizable, as Johnny Polo back when it was the WWF? His appearance did not match what he would later become as a personality. When I’m referring to his appearance, Raven described having to wear jean shorts, flannel, and a leather jacket when portraying the role of Johnny Polo during his first run in the WWF. He explained how the basis for his character then was that of a spoiled, preppy kid and Raven mostly had been used as a manager at the time. He only wrestled a few matches while he was there.
He said going from Johnny Polo in the WWF to Raven in ECW was a complete 180 and a much better, more successful transformation of gimmicks it proved to be for him. Raven discussed his early gimmick while being a guest on the wrestling podcast titled Scheduled for Two Falls. “It’s not what I wanted to do; it’s not me.” He revealed Shane McMahon would have been a perfect candidate for the Johnny Polo character. Raven opened up about whether or not his friendship with Shane made his father Vince seem uncomfortable at times. He responded by saying, “Yeah that’s true. Me and Shane used to be really tight but we drifted apart. He’d go out with me every night. That’s what created the heat between not only Raven and Vince, but also Linda McMahon” (Vince’s wife and Shane’s mother). He also tells a story of how the boys who were the other wrestlers, thought he was kissing ass for his career but unfortunately for him as he says, “it actually killed my career, giving me heat.”
Raven also worked in WCW back in the early 1990’s under the name Scotty Flamingo. Not all was unsuccessful for him though, he managed to win the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship by defeating another great wrestler in Flyin’ Brian Pillman. Raven and Pillman were friends outside of the ring as well. He reminisced about how traveling with Pillman was like and that he was in preparation for his infamous promos. “He was so funny, Him, me and Steve Austin would all used to ride together and we called ourselves a comedy trio,” Raven stated. “Pillman had the most amazing vocabulary. He could pull words out of his ass. I knew what the word meant but couldn’t use them in daily life.”
Raven described the scene, it would be Austin and Pillman lying in the back seat reading his vocabulary book. His level of dictation was so amazing and it just added to his promos. Pillman was so verbose, witty and clever. Raven has been very open about his addiction to drugs during his wrestling career which he admitted that he tried to emulate his character too much as if it was life imitating art. Many years have passed since Raven’s issues with drugs, however he made a revelation concerning how he still has to live with all the after effects even to this day. “I still have constipation because of all the opiates I did,” Raven said. “My system is still messed up. Constipation sucks. If I go four times a week it’s a great week.”
Who’s a fan of Raven “Quoth The Raven Nevermore?”