Raven was one of the most popular wrestlers back during ECW’s rise in the mid-’90s. He was a two-time ECW World Champion and one of the faces of the company.
He recently spoke on Booker T’s podcast, where he praised Heyman for being a visionary and ECW benefitting due to him.
It was crazy because they were just on the cusp of getting big, so I got there right in time just riding the wave,” “I was there for the two years when they were the most influential.
They revolutionized the business in a sense because the business had gotten really stale where you’d have the old-timers would sit in a hold for like 20 minutes, they wouldn’t even work a hold. Paul Heyman had said that we were changing that.
“They changed the music. They changed the sound. You know what I mean? He borrowed from a lot of places so it wasn’t like he created the whole thing, but he was smart enough to coalesce all these elements where whether it was the cruiserweights he got from Mexico and then he got the music and stuff from Memphis.
He got stuff from FMW [Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling], the violence from Japan in FMW and then he just put it all together into a soup. He picked all the right ingredients and knew how to stir the pot.”
Back in those days, internet Dirt Sheets had only just started and social media did not exist. Raven said how if ECW had started when those things were popular, the company might’ve lasted longer and been around even today.
“I definitely think it would have spread further. They came so close to picking up the No. 2 spot when WCW was going out of business. Then they were put on Spike TV before it was Spike. The network just didn’t get behind it,”
“There are so many what-ifs, but I try not to dwell on the past. I look back fondly, but I hate to play the what-if game because there were so many things that could have happened – so many things that could have gone right and so many things that could have gone wrong too.
“But it’s a moment in time and I guess that is what makes it so special too because it is a moment in time and it just happened and it won’t happen again.”
h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.