Happy celebration of the weekend our Lord was killed on the cross and descended into Hell… and was apparently saved by a bunny who guided him out with colored eggs or something.
More fun than shoving marshmallow peeps up your cotton tail to be found at THE RING POST, kids. Not the least of which is a brand new LOW BLOW where I damn near have a brain aneurysm railing against Coach. But why stop there? There’s new MONDAY NIGHT SUCKS, Jonny X (who can go fuck himself along with the goddamned Avalanche), Annie, Steven K, Ginger, Zenk (tomorrow), Tony D. and SamJerry to keep you entertained. So GO THERE NOW!! YOU TOO, MDJ!! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!!
Holy SHIT our man Honky went off on Piper. CHECK IT OUT !! That’ll teach that windbag to make comments about “little people on the Internet” (well, who did you think he was talking about? Me? Ha, I wish… I can’t even get a fucking sign on that show.)
Always a pleasure to see Sebollox back on the front page, along with Dime, Silent D., and Stampy. Don’t be strangers guys… that URL aint going anywhere.
Alright, procrastinated enough… time to FINALLY get to this thing. Let’s listen to someone talk at GREAT LENGTH about wrestling.
Some of you may remember about six months ago when super cool reader Aaron sent me the VAMPIRO SHOOT INTERVIEW on the condition that I recapped it, which I being the cheap fuck I am jumped at. Last week he made a similar offer, to recap the Raven one fresh off his release from the WWE. Once again, I was pleased to do, and send undying thanks to my homey for passing it along. There is one major difference: Unlike the last one, this is an RF SHOOT, so while the other one ran about 2 hours this has the potential to be longer than the Jerry Lewis Telethon. You may want to take porn breaks during this one, kids… God knows I will be.
Raven starts out by telling about his roots. He was hoping to be trained by Boris Malenko. After all, Boris had put some big names in the business. “Of course he also put in Van Hammer and Jonny B. Badd”, so his record was far from perfect. He wound up getting his training in Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory, who wasn’t really known since Bam Bam hadn’t made it big yet. Larry told him he was ready to start after a couple of months of training and he got his first indy show. Doesn’t remember first match, he says he would talk to old timers who didn’t remember angles from his youth and swore he’d never be one of those guys. Of course, it probably has less to do with how many matches he’d worked and more to do with the same reason I don’t remember college.
Raven started in Lawler’s group. Thought he was really getting over when they ran an angle where he could win a date with MISSY HYATT , instead he got jobbed out and shitcanned. From there went to Florida He wanted to do nothing but high spots, but Mike Graham told him “make them mean something. If you want to launch over the top rope, do it because the guy keeps running away from you, not just to do a cool spot.” Ahh, psychology… you almost forget that was a part of this business at one time.
He had a lot of heat in the locker room down there. “Bret Sawyer was there… who I will beat the shit out of if I ever see him again”. He said a lot of people hated him because he hadn’t learned that you couldn’t get away with a lot of things back there until you earned, “and then you could do the most fucked up shit imaginable and get away with it, which I was also guilty of later”. He wound up getting fired from there because he didn’t want to job to Steve Keirn, who owned part of the company. “I hadn’t lost, so I thought I was above it. I didn’t refuse to job, but I hemmed and hawed. 10 minutes after I did it I knew I was done, I was like ‘what an IDIOT I am, what a stupid thing to say’… in this business you get the tiniest bit of fame and goes right to your head”. He said the upside is that it happened early in his career so he learned his lesson and has never cared one way or the other whether he wins or loses. Heh, good thing considering his WWF career.
He went from there to California, then up to Vancouver. The promoter made him a babyface which he didn’t understand, but even worse was the fact “the guy did nothing but bash Verne Gagne… ‘fuck Verne, all he does is push fucking Greg, and fuck Greg’… and at the same time this guy was pushing his fucking toad that made Greg look like Andre the Giant.” He was hoping to get to Calgary, but says in retrospect it’s a good thing he didn’t because with his smart mouth they probably would’ve beaten him to death. He was eventually chased out of the territory because he was getting over more than the son, telling him a non-existent girl was accusing him of rape… much like how they got rid of Lawl… oh, wait.
He drove straight from there to Portland and tried to get in there. He got in because of his friends in Florida. Piper felt him up (apparently something the old-timers to “to make sure they have muscles under the clothes”… although it sounds to me like he was falling for the “Joey’s tailor measuring the inseam” gimmick), and gave him a spot after finding out he’d worked with Gordon Solie on commentary. He had three weeks to get himself over, so he dressed up in a pimp outfit and started getting girls to come out with him. “I wanted to have one girl but at first I was rotating them… if nothing else it was a good way to get laid”.
He was there two years, admitting he doesn’t so much remember much of it as trying to put the story together. “It was great. Drugs, debauchery, wrestling knowledge”… sort of like Lethal. He says Vince is a fool for not having indy shows all over the country that can breed these guys. “How much can it cost to run shows at armories?” Sticking with OVW rather than supporting a nationwide group of small groups is dumb. He also loved the area because even though he was a solid heel he was selling the hell out of merchandise.
He talks about coming up, and what it means. He says “my guys” (Stevie Richards and the like) would take it as being a “flunky” that they had to drive him everywhere, but that’s what he did coming up to. He tells the story of driving “The Grappler” around and being told “if you get tired, put my mask on and let the Grappler drive”… heh. He didn’t see it as “being a lackey” as much as having the opportunity to pick the brain of someone who’d been in the business a long time.
Rob asks him if they developed the Scotty the Body character for him and he’s quick to answer back then companies didn’t develop characters. It entertains him who some of the people are that are considered top promo men these days because “someone is writing their shit for them”. Back then you had to be able to not only develop your character and cut a promo, you had to write it too. He says he and Jericho used to talk about it, and how if it was still that way “we wouldn’t have to worry about these non-talented fucks blowing past us because they couldn’t write their own shit. In a way, writers are a good thing… in another way, it’s a terrible fucking thing.” Hopefully Vince hasn’t seen this, otherwise it’s another year of jobs for Y2J.
They try to skip past the Portland experience but Raven wants to brag about all the drugs and pussy he got there so he basically tells them he’s not done talking about it yet. “There wasn’t a sports team up there, so wrestling was all they had. Best area for rats in the country.” He also tells about settling on a permanent valet, a “big tittied crack whore named Ginger”. He wants to get it in mainly so he can relate the tale of her tits popping out at her debut and how you could get away with it because they never did any editing up there. “I said ‘fuck’ on TV years before they were cussing on NYPD Blue.” (Ironically, we were seeing Blue Meanie’s ass before Sipowitz’s… so that’s not necessarily something to brag about.) He then tells a long story about the soap opera angle he ran with his two valets. “I don’t know why they don’t stuff like this anymore”. They timed the big angles to coincide with Thanksgiving and Christmas, which used to draw the biggest houses of the year (I miss that… used to drive to Charlotte every Christmas night for a big NWA show, and the SMW “Thanksgiving Thunder” shows were off the hook). He also laughs about seriously people took it, to the point he actually got laid in a bar by a chick who thought he was really getting married the next day because that was the storyline.
He said after a year of building up the angle they wound up taking it from him and Steve Doll and putting it on Beetlejuice and his opponent (because Art was the son of the money man is the inference), and he wound up getting kicked out because of a perceived run at the booking spot. It happened at Christmas time… which “was a recurring theme. I got let go in Florida at Christmas time, let go from the WWE at Christmas time… never knew why. Probably because I’m Jewish. Damn.”
He relates a story of Jim Ross calling him about working for WCW, and letting the Portland promoter handle it. “He said he’d call every other week until I was ready… then when I said I was ready he goes ‘they’re not interested anymore’. He probably never called him. It taught me a couple of things about the business. A… you’re going to get fucked. B… do your own business. No one is going to look out for you like you will”. He says more than anything he learned that timing is everything. “You think, wow if they want me this much after a year and three months, they’ll be dying for me in another six. But that’s not how the business works. When there’s a spot, it’s open… and there’s a short window and if you don’t fill it somebody else will.”
He headed to Atlanta and worked a bunch of indy shows, with hopes of eventually getting into WCW (“the WWF at the time was all big guys, so my only chance at the majors was WCW). He signed on with Joe Pedicino’s Global, which was hot for awhile… and also worked as a male stripper (“more pussy, drugs and alcohol… it was great”). Global fell apart because Pedicino claimed to have backing he didn’t, and then he finally got into WCW. DDP got him in, bugging Dusty to give him a spot even though Rhodes didn’t want to because he’d heard all these bad stories about him in Florida (“which was my fault… at the time I didn’t think it was but looking back it obviously was because I was fucking obnoxious”.) He got sent out before a commercial break, and “unlike these jobbers who just go out there and stick their thumb up their ass, I decided to use the time to get over”. He says Bischoff (who was an announcer at the time) doesn’t remember it, but after the match came up to him and said “that’s the greatest trial I’ve ever seen”. He said Dusty told him he was going to make him the next Ric Flair and Paige is kicking him under the table… and then Bill Watts came in “and that was it.” Watts decided he was a stooge and that’s what he was going to be. “Fucking hypocrite… and his son will tell you I’m one of the biggest influences in his career. Piece of fucking shit.” He also starts to talk about Pillman being influenced by him, but is hesitant to say too much. “Talking about a dead guy… anyone can say that.”
He was having a miserable time in the business but loved living in Atlanta because it was the stripper capital of the world at the time. He finally got a break by beating Pillman for the cruiser belt (which was a really sweet match) and everyone in the back lined up to tell him how great it was, including Ole Anderson. “Most people thought Ole was a piece of shit, but I liked Ole because he’d tell you what he thought. If he thought you sucked, he’d say ‘oh you suck’, which I’d much rather someone tell me to my face than say how great you are to your face then badmouth you behind your back”. (What? That happens in the wrestling business? No way!) “Page told me ‘if this doesn’t get you over, nothing will’… and nothing did, because Bill Watts came in, and the next week I jobbed to Brad Armstrong and fuck it I was a jobber for three months and they didn’t renew my contract”.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Rob: A lot of people say that Bill was racist. Do you think being Jewish had anything to do with it? Raven: Maybe… probably. Fuck him. Fuck that big bucket headed motherfucker!
He went back to Memphis, and Jerry Jarrett took care of him. Not much to tell except that was when the WWF started taking interest and wanted to bring him in as a manager. “Johnny Polo should’ve been Shane McMahon. It just didn’t fit me”. But once he was given the spot he was determined to get over. He says he hated having to be a manager, but at the same time they did a lot of really funny things out there. Even that had its downside however, since when he became Raven he had to live down the comedy character that he had been. Funny part about Raymond Rougeau thinking that he was a shoot manager, and expected him to book their hotel rooms and shit. “Well, Ellering does it for the Road Warriors.” “He’s their REAL LIFE manager, he gets paid for that shit. I’m not booking your hotel rooms, that’s retarded.”
He puts over Gorilla, saying he was a “sweet man”. Rob then asks him about the stories he was supposed to be on the creative team, producing RAW and such. He says Vince was impressed because he brought notes with him to a show they were co-hosting, and thought that was the kind of thing they needed behind the scenes. Vince then realized he wasn’t right in a rich kid role and put him strictly in a writer/producer role for the weekend shows. “I don’t know what kind of morons they had before, but they were treating this like a 60 or 70 a week job. It was just formatting shows from the other programs… took like five minutes”.
He became tight with Shane McMahon, which a lot of the locker room considered sucking up. “If anything I was getting heat. Vince hated it, I’m bringing his son home drunk at four in the morning every night”. He said the friendship sort of stopped when he left the company. “That’s how the business is, there’s a lot of transient friendships. You’re real close, then you move and don’t see each other for five years.” He called Shane a “stud”… can party with the best of them, picks up the most women. “I mean, you see him on TV… he’s fearless. You see him jump off that scaffold or whatever he did? Pffft, I wouldn’t do it. No fucking way.” He said they didn’t really renew their friendship when he went back, which was sort of sad.
He left the WWF because they took him off TV, even though a lot of the guys thought he was crazy since he had a cushy office job making more than most of them. “I got into this business to wrestle”. He said he’d show everybody someday by becoming a real star in the business. He left with proper notice and was very political, but still thinks that screwed him on his return. “I did it the right way, but I don’t think Vince likes anybody leaving him”.
He had already had discussions about entering ECW before leaving. He talked to Art Barr who told him something new was going on. “Art told me that he patterned his Love Machine character after Scotty the Body, which I’d love to believe but… well, Art is a liar. Don’t mean that in a bad way and it doesn’t make him any less of a person. He was just brought up in the business where it’s not ‘lying’, it’s ‘working’… so who knows”. He started talking weekly to Art because he wanted to get into AAA. “Konnan has a different take on things. In Konnan’s version, Art couldn’t stand me and told Konnan he wanted him to be the third member of Los Gringos Locos. The whole time he’s telling me he hated Konnan and wanted me to be the third member”. (Again, that’s the wrestling business for you).
He said the Raven character started when he was eating with Page. “He told me ‘no one wants the chickenshit heel anymore, you have to be a tough guy’. I told him I’m not a tough guy. He told me to fake it. So I figured it’s all a work, I’ll fake it.” Grunge was hitting, he’d gotten left out of the AAA deal, and “I had a fucked up childhood anyway, so it wasn’t like I had to go far for inspiration for the character”. Then after about five minutes of saying it was all pretty much DDP’s idea, he says “so Page will tell you he came up with the character, but all he did was say “you should go alternative and I came up with all the components myself”. Heh.
He talked to Cornette and was supposed to start in Smoky but he kept getting told to wait. Meanwhile he was calling Tod Gordon for work just to get booked, not for any long term thing because he heard that it was all garbage wrestling. “Then I saw the show, and it was the best thing I’d ever seen”. He said he called Page and asked if he knew Paul and that he owed DDP a favor, so he said “you have to get me on this show… I’m spellbound”. He then went out and got all coked up and took a ton of halcyons to come down and DDP called him and said “Paul’s gonna use you, call him”. He talked to Heyman, then hung up the phone and couldn’t remember a word of it. Haha, been there dude.
He said Paul thought that Raven was going to be Scotty the Body in flannel comedy, not realizing he was going dark with it. Then after the first promo he was blown away by where the character was really going. He calls Heyman the “Scorsese of wrestling” and that he immediately knew the character as well as Raven himself did. “I still think he’s the greatest mind in the history of wrestling… at least the greatest I’ve ever met”. He also says that just like Vince uses characters like Lex Luger’s Americana guy and Million Dollar Man as extensions of his own personality, that Heyman sort of empathized with the Raven gimmick.
The violence in ECW was infectious. He wouldn’t dream of doing a lot of the crazy stuff he’d see at house shows, but everyone was so into it you just couldn’t help yourself. He says he couldn’t imagine doing that sort of thing anywhere else. He says that a lot of the guys were better than anyone knew, singling out Axl Rotten. He says it’s the opposite of someone like Dreamer, who he loves to death but when he tries to wrestle a straight wrestling match it’s “atrocious”. He compares Mikey Whipwreck to early X-Pac in terms of crazy moves, but says Mikey was more interesting, since Pac was fearless, as where Whipwreck’s character was doing these crazy moves, but was scared shitless as he pulls them off.
He points out Public Enemy was a good example of Paul’s genius. They were horrible in the ring, but Heyman made sure we only saw clips of them so they stayed over. He sounds a little confused, as if he thinks that Grunge is the one who died. He says the original plan was to stick around ECW for about four months than tried to get back into the WWF, but it was so hot he suddenly didn’t want to be anywhere else. He states that wrestling is the most underrated art form there is because there’s no rehearsal but when it’s done right it’s as graceful as the best ballet. And ECW was art, after all it totally changed the business.
They begin talking about Stevie Richards. Raven says he played the clueless putz to such perfection that no one ever realized what a phenomenal worker he was. Rob asks him if he was supposed to be such a cool character why he’d be surrounded with comedy folks like Stevie and Nova and Meanie. “They were my dysfunctional family… my disciples”. He goes on to explain that if he’s surrounded by other dark, brooding, cool guys he doesn’t stand out as the leader as much. “Raven never took a step backwards… he had to find other ways to show his ass”, and keeping the misfits in line was the best way to do that.
He says he and Stevie are good friends now but they didn’t get along then. “He looked up to me, and I sort of shitted on him”. A lot of it was based around the drug use, as he was getting up at like 3 in the afternoon so he paid Stevie to run errands for him. He says a lot of people thought he was being an ass to Richards until they found out he was paying him. As for whether the drugs affected his personality, he responds “I was a dick back then, I’m not proud of it… but I would’ve been a dick anyway.” He also touches on some of the funny angles that Stevie did as an extension of the things Raven wanted to do but couldn’t because there wasn’t comedy in his character. He also discusses Blue Meanie which is really funny.
After telling the Meanie stories he tells about the other characters he created, which includes the Dudleys (after seeing “Slap Shot”, of course). He also came up with the notion of him and Tommy feuding back at summer camp, although Beulah was Heyman’s idea. He then goes back to Meanie, saying that he was brought in as an appeasement, which Tod called a “drunken Raven idea”, and of course it got over huge.
Tapes change and we’re back. He tells the story of meeting Beulah when she was dating a baseball player and her saying “I’d love to get into wrestling again”. When he asks what she meant she told him she’d been Pillman’s “sister” in Calgary, and she had some pictures from Penthouse she could send him, which obviously nobody turns down. In fact, let’s all take a moment to look at the lovely Beulah (thanks to Therion in the forums for the pic):
He said he didn’t think he needed a valet for the Raven character but that Paul knew it would work, and it did. The way they introduced her was awesome, back when I was still sort of on the fence about the company. Stevie says he was bringing out the girl that Dreamer had broken up with at summer camp, but even though she was a fat pig Raven had fucked her anyway… so Raven’s all about to kill Richards for calling up the tub of lard and out comes Beulah…mmmmmmm, Beulah.
Hahahaha, they ask about the set-up for the Beulah piledriver. Raven doesn’t remember it as the big stretched out angle it was, saying the main thing was that it was over because when she’d go upside you could see her panties. “One thing that cracked me up was when he’d do it, she’d have her panties up in his face and he’d be all bloody… It looked like he’d just gone down on a girl on her period.” There’s your visual of the day, kids… HAPPY EASTER!!
They ask if he had creative control, and he tells us that anything that happened in the matches were his, but in terms of the stuff he came up with (Dudleys, bringing in Meanie and Nova) all obviously went through the boss. “They’d be like ‘oh, another dumb Raven idea’, and it wasn’t that they were dumb ideas… they were drunken ideas”. Trust the voice of experience on this one, some of the greatest advances of civilization came to us through intoxication. In fact, I think it’s time to down some “brilliance juice”… be right back.
…so I shaid to her, “YOU’RE the one whosh a loser running a wreshling website. Now are you going to get naked or what?” Ooooh, I need some coffee. Where was I?
They ask if he liked the hardcore style or it was a byproduct of the company he was with. He’s a fan of it. He says it takes a lot of balls to stand there and let someone hit you full-force with something, and then points out Big Show being such a monster and STILL puts up his hands to block a chair or garbage can shot. MAN I HATE IT WHEN HE DOES THAT! Fucking puss. He says that after you’ve done this for years a garbage can doesn’t hurt anymore, but chair shots still do. But putting up your hand to block it just kills the illusion. Word. Heh, he tells a story about Gary Wolfe dissing Stevie Richards and then doing it. “But he’s a really good guy… Anthony (Pit Bull #2) is a schmuck but Gary’s alright.”
It just dawned on me that RF used to have all kinds of clips of shows in these things… this has gone over an hour and a half and it’s all dialogue. FUCK this is too much straight Raven.
All right… time to talk about his favorite ECW angles. We’re starting with “the one no one ever saw… the Sandman crucifixion:
He starts out by saying the WWF stole the whole crucifixion angle for Undertaker, “like they stole my gimmick for Edge’s original character”. He said he knew he needed to make a big impact because “he’d just gotten back from going to see Jim Morrison’s grave with Sandman’s son” (rehab). So he shows how it’s all set up and they wind up stringing up Sandy with the big cross and the barbed wire crown of thorns. Unfortunately, Paul was trying to court Kurt Angle at the time and both he and Taz were offended by it (although he says Kurt said later he wasn’t as offended as the stories said… and like everyone else on planet earth Raven has nothing but good things to say about Angle). However Paul was scared so he sent Raven out to do an apology, which of course he half-assed because he felt stupid doing. And of course the fans were laughing about the apology because it had been over.
Tazz and him had heat back then, and that may have been part of it. He says they’re friends now but back then Taz (one Z until he went into direct competition with the company that owned Loony Toons) just was miserable all the time. He said it was so bad he’d get pissed if someone made him laugh so that was one of of his personal goals was to crack him up. Taz would react with “BWAHAHAHAHA… I hate you motherfucker”. He said the birth of his kid turned his life around and he’s a great guy now. (I remember the American Journal piece on ECW. Taz was like “This isn’t a character… I’m really an asshole”. It’s why it was so shocking to me he was so damn funny when he started announcing).
From there it’s to “the chair shot heard around the world” (ALL ECW fans know what they mean by that one). Raven says what made that so perfect was he was crucified to the cage, and that played well because “Raven was supposed to be a martyr for the sins of a dysfunctional society”. He then sort of laughs off Scott Hall claiming he stole that from him… along with the keys to the Jim Beam distillery. He said it was done because he’d done it to Tommy already, and Tommy was supposed to be the “mirror image… good guy version of me”.
*personal side note: I became a fan of ECW the day Sandman “regained his site” and beat Tommy half to death with the cane. I became an ECW MARK the night he crucified Dreamer and Tommy did the faucet job that turned all the white on his black ECW shirt blood red. One of the most beautifully gruesome moments EVER!*
Heh, that explains how hardcore it was. Raven tells us he’d never really gotten color before since in Portland it’s illegal (much like here… as my $300 ticket will attest to). Dreamer asked Raven to cut him since he’d be handcuffed and didn’t really bleed that well on his own at the time (he was known backstage as “Tommy Dripper” since he’d only get a couple of drops out). So Raven basically “zippered” him from one side of the forehead to the other. Seriously, it was savage… he looked like he was bleeding to death. Anyway, the payoff was the spot in the cage where they suggested Raven taking like 20 chair shots, but he said "just give me one and I'll sell it like I'm dead. And it wound up being in the opening of the show for the next three years".
From there it’s onto the Laurie/Tyler (Sandman’s family) angle. He said he loved having valets because the crowd loved them, and it was even better if you got to sleep with them (uh oh). So he’d been through Beulah and Francine and Kimona (they think… no one can seem to remember the timeline. Trust me guys, it was after her). He thinks the whole idea was Paul’s but he can’t remember because of all the drugs. Anyway, Laurie went all Courtney Love and looked real sleazy. He said Sandy came up with the idea of the son, which was AWESOME! I was like “what a gay little kid”, and Raven is acting like he’s about to hurt him so Sandman comes out to save him, then he gets beat down and the little 7 year old stands over his bloody dad, makes the Raven sign to him, and says “daddy, you’re a drunk… I’m with Raven now”. POWERFUL TV, yo.
They talk about his final match with Dreamer, and whether the rumors were true that he didn’t want to do the job (they’d already gone over the fact that Dreamer had never gotten a win over him). He said he didn’t mind doing the job but both him and Tommy didn't think it was good business. “‘I was telling Paul one day I’ll be back but he didn’t think I ever would be so he didn’t want the top babyface to never get the win”. He says that it was one of Paul’s mistakes, because even if he’d never come back it could’ve been a third dimension to Dreamer’s character, something he never was able to get over. He says that after the match he thought it was the right thing to do but then after returning to ECW he thought it was wrong again since they could’ve continued it.
Now onto the barbed wire match with Sandman. He’d just gotten out of rehab and Paul told him if he wanted the belt back that’s how he’d have to get it. He was terrified of that kind of match and said that Paul knew he could do it and only would if there was a vested interest in it. Then they ask about the rehab, and he says that it was emotion than chemical problems… which often go hand and hand. He says you can’t imagine what depression is until you’ve been through it, and you just need a break from life more than to get away from the booze or drugs (Can’t tell you how true that is. If you’ve ever started suffering from it so bad you want to off yourself, book yourself for a weekend. I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t). He says Paul was awesome about it, and told all the sheet writers he needed some personal time and just respect his wishes, and they did.
They ask how he likes working with Sandman compared to Dreamer. He says he loved working with both, but that with Dreamer they needed the weapons. “Our WWE matches were mostly the shits.” He says both were among his favorite opponents, but Sandman may be his favorite. “If you watch my matches, mainly what I do is sell. Sandman just wants you to beat the shit out of him.” They recently had a match in TNA and before it started Sandy told him “it would be just like old times, and sure enough it was”.
Rob asks if Barely Legal was a good idea. Raven says they should’ve gone on PPV sooner. He says by the time they did so much had been stolen from ECW creatively that the casual fan didn’t know where all these ideas were coming from… plus he was about to leave so they weren’t capitalizing on him. “We’d already changed the face of the business… but there was no way to change it again. We were no longer being revolutionary because all our ideas were being stolen.” He said that at the end the relationship with Paul was strained, but with what WCW was offering he’d have been “retarded” to stay. He also says that even though the company made more money the next two years, it was really a matter of time before they collapsed once PPV started.
He says one of the things that pissed him off was the way Barely Legal was marketed. That despite the fact he was in the main and all the TV was built around Funk the posters all suggested that the main event was Sabu vs. Taz. “I worked my ass off forever for this company and now we’re coming to PPV and I’m not even on the fucking poster.” He says that Taz and Paul went back and forth over who was responsible for that. He says either way, the people tuned in to ECW because of the storylines with him and Dreamer then him and Sandman and regardless of who else was there that was always the forefront and he felt slighted. I can’t argue that… I fucking love Sabu heart and soul but Raven WAS the reason to watch the show every week.
Rob tries to get Raven to say when the relationship became strained and Raven says it was always a love/hate thing that’s impossible to explain. Rob tells him Paul said “it would take forever to explain our relationship”, which Raven tries to get more out of but can’t. He then says there was lots of ups and downs but when it came to showtime nothing surpassed both of their overriding love for the business. “I’ve always been obnoxious and Paul’s always been eccentric and that’s of course going to lead to clashes”. He says the relationship is strained now, which prompts the question of whether they could bury it all and be like they were. Raven says the best real chance of that happening is if WWE decides they need him, “not that they do need me, but if they decided they did it’s the best chance… or if TNA is smart enough to hire him away.” He says that part of the problem is that Paul seems to want to leave his ECW past behind him right now… which may be the saddest part of the whole tape.
He tells of the “classes” he had with the ECW guys. He said in three hours he turned the Dudleys from guys who couldn’t sell at all into bump machines. “They were the best students I ever had”. Rob suggests that some people were such good students because they wanted to be while others never wanted to sell, which Raven doesn’t argue. After that there’s a funny story about Kimona fucking up a single line in the angle where they were both cutting long promos that caused them to have to keep cutting it over and over.
Rob asks about the Cactus Jack “anti-hardcore” angle. I don’t agree with anything else I’ve heard on this tape as much as him saying that the best promos that have ever been cut in wrestling were the ones Jack did during this period. There’s like one New Jack promo that comes close, but other than that nothing else that’s ever been done comes CLOSE to those spots. Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I wound up getting my writing job by scrapping a film project I’d worked six weeks on and cutting a one-take promo with a worked russian roulette gimmick that was pretty much a total steal of one of those (classic… they were about to book me into a sanitarium until I showed how I did it. It looked like I’d pulled three bullets out of a loaded gun, when in actuality there were only three in there… suckers. Of course the fact I was alive to turn the tape in sort of killed some of the suspense but MAN I sold it going “click” in my mouth like it might’ve been my last second on earth).
They talk about the Terry Gordy match, which Paul calls one of the best matches he ever had. He had been one of the greatest workers ever, but after he went into a coma he was never the same person. What made him so proud was after their match everyone reported “the old Terry is back”, but he never again had a match of that magnitude so it was really Raven that carried him to one last great one. He said he literally had goosebumps in it because it was so real. It also meant a lot because he was so into Michael Hayes during the Freebird glory years.
They ask if there are any other memories that really stand out from the first ECW run. THANK GOD, we’re finally about to go to the WCW/WWF backstage stuff. He says there were so many, one of which was the double dog collar match (another super gory moment that reminds me just how fucking great ECW really was during that time). He says it’s not sure if it stands up to the test of time but if you were watching all the storylines that were culminated in that angle it was amazing. He also loved Francine pulling the marshmallow fluff out to signify Stevie Richard’s spoo, and how he got to be the ultimate prick by making Stevie choose between Francine and him after that.
They ask if there’s any more BEFORE WE WRAP UP THIS PART OF IT?? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?? YOU MEAN WE’RE NOT GOING TO GET TO THE WCW OR WWF SHIT?? GOD DAMN YOU FEINSTEIN!! YOU VICTOR QUINONES SUCKING JEW BASTARD!! I WENT THROUGH ALL THIS AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO GET TO THE GOOD STUFF?? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH STRENGTH IT’S TAKING TO NOT MAKE ANY JEW JOKES ON EASTER WEEKEND AND THEN FIND THIS OUT?? AAAAAHHH!!!!
I’m kidding… this has been a GREAT interview and Rob deserves props for it, as he does with almost all of these. Highspots shoot interviews SUCK compared to his. I just hope that Aaron is interested in buying part 2 and entertained enough with my recap of part one to send it along. *cough*
Anyway, that’s pretty much the end of this one. Hope to see you again for part 2, and I PROMISE that as soon as possible I’ll do Remy right by finishing up the Mooneyhan book and getting the review of that up too.
Hope everyone had a happy Easter… or as Rob Feinstein, Paul Heyman and Raven call it: "Sunday".
Gotta keep ‘em separated