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Raven on Working with CM Punk, Returning to WWE In 2000, More

– Former WWE, WCW and ECW star Raven spoke with Inside The Ropes Radio this past Thursday night. Below are some highlights. The full interview can be heard here.

Thoughts on the Johnny Polo gimmick:

“I’d been in the business like 4 years. They made me an Associate Producer of raw. They were grooming me to be on the booking committee. I used to write the second rate shows like All American. He also made me a manager because he thought I was too small, at the time the guys were bigger, all the smaller guys were in the tag team. I didn’t like the Johnny Polo moniker. If anything the way I talk didn’t fit me. I didn’t feel I was the character. I wanted to wrestle. Shane McMahon should’ve been Johnny Polo, with the silver spoon in his mouth.”

Origins of the Raven character:

“I was talking to DDP one day, I was saying I was having trouble getting booked anywhere. Page goes “it’s because you’re a chicken shit heel” He said “you should be more of a bad ass” I didn’t wanna be a bad ass because everyone wants to be a tough guy. Page had mentioned the Point break movie and said I looked like one of the red hot chilli pepper guys. He said I should do something alternative, so I drew on all the emotional baggage from my childhood and I created the Raven character. It annoys me when Page says he created it, which is ridiculous because I had to create the character, the promos, the concept. I came up with the idea that Dreamer and I went to summer camp and Beulah was the fat chick.”

His WWF return in 2000:

“I get hired by JR. He says he can’t give me a big downside because I’d just got clean. Unfortunately, Vince McMahon hated me. Michael Hayes told me Vince had said “Who the fuck hired Johnny Polo?” I still had heat for walking away. Who would dare walk away from the 4th floor office?! Then I was in the hardcore thing and got it over.”

Thoughts on working with CM Punk back in TNA:

“He had a very inflated sense of self importance at the time. He thought he was so much better than he was. Not that he was bad, he just wasn’t as good as he thought he was. I don’t watch wrestling anymore, because it’s too disappointing but I was doing a personal appearance where they show PPVs and you’re watching the show. Wow, watching him, he became phenomenal. The two pay per views I seen, he was the best thing on them. I have nothing but respect for him. It was just back then, he had an inflated sense of self importance.”

  • J-J

    Austin wanted Raven to be the guy who ran him over but instead we got Rikishi. Sadistic madman with a brilliant promo or fat guy in a thong? Yeah that worked out well!

  • paul s

    Fantastic on the mic, real storyteller in the ring. Dam right Vince missed out. If we had 10 years of raven promos instead of John ‘hulk Hogan ‘ cena thewwe wounlnt besucking somuch ass up until punk got the title

  • LOL

    @Yofits Austin also said he had to keep Debra away from Raven and his 3rd leg lol

  • haz

    Raven still had a pretty good career though all things a side. what happened to his wrestling school?

  • Bawb

    While I think Raven was awesome and probably could have been even better, I can’t quite understand why he threw his name into the hat with Kanyon and Sanders back when they sued WWE together. It was a lawsuit they couldn’t win and didn’t win and you’d think that was the nail in the coffin for killing his chances for a return for good.

  • Devil_Rising

    Raven should have been a top guy in WWF, same with Tazz. But you know Vince, he doesn’t like to push guys he didn’t “create” most of the time. There are exceptions, like Booker T, like RVD, like CM Punk, sure. He pretty much HAD to push Goldberg, because it was in Bill’s contract that he did, more or less. But Raven had the talent and the character to be a top heel for WWF. Instead, he was relegated to the crappy “hardcore” division, and then sat on Heat for almost a year.

    Really, really lame.

  • Dee durp

    Kinda cool to hear Raven praise Punk’s work. I know they’ve got a less than ideal history together. Their feud in ROH was exceptionally good though.

    It’s a shame the way things worked out for Raven’s career. He was super talented in every aspect of the business. Great character, great talker, great worker, and a great mind for storytelling.

  • Logan

    Quote the Raven……