Okay, folks. I've seen a lot of Raven talk here and I just wanted to sort of relay another opinion on the whole matter. I'm sure next time Vince puts a hoss in a main event people will raise the Raven point and mention how he got fired for being small and whatnot and I'd just like to get everyone opinion on Raven himself, not just his firing, but Raven as a career performer and use that to base their opinions on the man.
Here's my thinking. I think our WWE-is-run-by-fools sentiment where we all say we could do better running the company, is a little old now. I don't believe that every bad move the WWE makes can be connected to Vince liking big men. The reason Raven got fired is not because he's small. Raven also had problems with management. He was vocal about not liking things. What happens to those who express themselves in an unprofessional manner? Heat, is what happens. We saw it with Matt. But Matt is a student of the game who suffered a very brief exile because he works hard and is too good in the ring to ignore. Matt was ten times the wrestler during his exile that Raven was during his last run.
Raven has also never drawn money. You can count ECW but I don't count anything that happened in ECW as drawing serious money. If I'm not mistaken that's why everyone with a mouth to feed left the company to go earn a real paycheque. Raven was one of the few guys that got over in WCW without being "management". I include him in the company of Goldberg and Jericho, guys who got over big but were never considered franchise. He eventually floundered. He's had problems with Heyman in ECW. He seems to have problems everywhere he goes with the higher-ups. Don't you think his disregard for authority might have been a problem in the smooth corporate structure of WWE?
Raven let himself go. I don't think everyone has to be a hoss, but you can be small and still in shape. Look at Steven Richards. He was smaller, but he's in better shape now. He'll never be jacked, but he's getting a push on TV based on his attitude and based on evidence of dedication. Raven's size is not what it was a few years ago in WCW.
Justin Credible had a bad attitude, so did Raven. They were never stars, so they were let go. I don't disagree with this decision at all. B2 was a hoss, a huge guy who did everything the company asked of him. Go to OVW and work on your conditioning, he did it. Be more agile as a big man. He did it. Do this rap gimmick with Cena. He did it. Then, cut, snip, and all of a sudden they "have nothing for him" and let him go. That pissed me off. That was more unfair then releasing a guy who bitches a lot.
Was B2 a better wrestler than Raven? No. But he showed more interest in becoming better, in improving. He was younger, more athletic. And he didn't get any more respect than Raven did. The idea that Vince hates everyone small is a little over-inflated at this point, I think. Jeff Hardy and Shawn Michaels are guys Vince just adores, and they're small. Maybe people should show they have something to contribute and not take their jobs for granted.
Raven was one of my favourites, guys. I'm not hatin' on him for no reason. But I don't pretend he was any kind of an asset.
"Whatever I just posted above is what your mother said in bed last night."
Here's my take on the guys who were released (special attention to Raven at the end).
JC: He was a guy who was never really over, even as the top guy in ECW. The best he could have hoped for is jobber status in the WWE, and that's exactly what he got. Then he got fired.
B2: Yes, he was willing to adapt and do whatever the WWE wanted him to, but the problem was, he wasn't really improving. It wasn't like they were telling him to do bad things, really either. He just wasn't worth their investment and it was better just to cut their losses.
Raven: I've got a special spot in my heart for Raven. He's always been a favorite of mine. He can cut a superb promo and he has always been my favorite garbage brawler. Unfortunately he's also up there with Scott Hall on my "Guys Who I Still Like, but Who Are Shells of Themselves" list.
The WWE gave him a great opportunity with Heat. It was their way of saying "Hey, you're not as good in the ring as you used to be, but we still like you." He could have done that forever. Or, he could have become a manager. But he didn't want to do those things. He wanted to wrestle. And more power to him. But, the WWE just didn't have the time, room or effort to get over Raven the wrestler to his exacting standards. So, it was best for them both if he got out of there.
The WWE only has so much room for aging, hobbled guys, who's ring skills are deteriorated, but can still cut a decent promo. The difference between Raven and most of the guys who fit that group for the WWE? Raven doesn't have the distinction of size or main-event perception that will keep him over.
RAW Satire 1/27 Buffy 7.12 gets a 7.0 There was a lot of good stuff mixed in with some of that mediocre dialog.
The only problem I had with Raven being let go was the timing of the release. Why build up in any manner him stalking Test/Stacy, then winning a match allowing him back on RAW, then forcing him to cover for the blown spots of Jeff Hardy on RAW before releasing him. If they had just left him in his role of the previous months of rotting on Heat, it would have made sense to let him go. But by teasing a push then releasing him, it causes the question of whether any type of long term plan is in effect in the WWF/E. Side note: Can we officially call Dreamer/Raven the Tommy Rich/Buzz Sawyer feud of the 90's, as both never really recovered from that feud.
Please help control the McMahon population. Have your Triple H's spayed or neutered.
I agree... it's as if someone one day just said, “Let's release Raven... to hell with any kind of push we were planning for him.”
While it's true that Raven isn't the wrestler that he used to be, I'm still convinced he could've done very well in a managerial or behind-the-scenes capacity. I think probably the reason Raven was vocal about not liking things was that those things weren't any good. WWE doesn't need yes-men right now. They need guys who'll say, “Some of this stuff isn't working”, and offer an alternative.
“Randy Savage is in, and he's nuts!”
--Tony Schiavone, WCW Bash at the Beach 1996
Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Wiener of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02
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The 'whiteboard guy' was the late Chris Kreski, who is generally credited with the high quality of WWE programming in 2000 once Russo and Ferrara left. Looking at his Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Kreski)