On episode 198 of Talk is Jericho, 'The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla' talked with former ECW World Heavyweight Champion Raven. During the show, Raven claimed that Vince McMahon vs. Hulk Hogan was a better match than Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho at WWE WrestleMania 19. Raven talked about the heat he got with McMahon for partying with Shane McMahon. Also, Raven discussed his first departure from WWE.
In Raven's opinion, the best match at WrestleMania 19, which featured Jericho vs. Michaels, the Rock vs. 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, and Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle, was McMahon vs. Hogan, as Raven is more interested in professional wrestling for its emotional drama than he is interested in it as an athletic contest.
"[Jericho] and Michaels had a phenomenal match, but I still thought that the best match, no offense, on the card was Hulk and Vince because Vince's facials and they didn't have 20 minutes of false finishes. I think they had just a comeback and go home, right? But I remember there was this one spot where Vince picked something up and he peers. Like, his head pops up and he's peering over across the ring and the camera picks it up and I'm like, 'oh, what a shot!'"
Raven, who worked for WWE in the early 1990s behind-the-scenes as an associate producer and worked in front of the camera as manager and commentator, Johnny Polo, left WWE because he wanted to wrestle and thought he would get jobbed out if he wrestled for WWE. Also, Raven alleged that he wanted to leave WWE due to the company's policy that talent couldn't have sex with office staff.
"Nobody leaves this company on their own terms. I did, so that was heat. Then, there [were] some other things that I can't get into that were heat and so it was a whole confluence of things that were partially my fault, definitely partially my fault, and just circumstances." Raven added, "they made the policy that talent couldn't sleep with the office people. I was proud of that."
As noted, Raven also claimed that partying with Shane McMahon led to heat with Vince McMahon.
"They used to call me Johnny Port Chester Polo because Stamford [Connecticut], they rolled the sidewalks up at one o'clock, but Port Chester [New York] was open till, like, five in the morning. It's, like, five miles away." Raven continued, "my downfall was I'd bring Shane out with me, Shane McMahon. And the boys are like, 'ah, you're sucking up to him' and I'm like, 'no, I'm not! I'm burying myself' because he'd call his dad, and on commentary, I'd call his dad 'Vic' instead of 'Vince', so he'd go, 'hey, Vic,' which is just horrible! He'd say, 'hey, Vic, it's,' and it would be, like, four in the morning, 'I'm just going to sleep at Johnny Polo's tonight' and so I just buried myself."
According to Raven, McMahon was unaware of Raven's gimmick and change in persona when he returned to WWE in 2000.
"[Jim Ross], JR brought me in and then this is what Michael Hayes told me, that Vince, when Vince heard about it, he goes, 'who the f--k hired Johnny Polo?' because I don't think Vince even knew that I built a career as Raven prior to going [back] there. I think he thought I was Johnny Polo and then four years went by and I sat home because if I wasn't working for him, I wasn't working anywhere. Or five years went by and now here I am again. Now I'm with some new character and 'who's he to think he can do this?'"
As for whether Raven would return to WWE, he stated that he would if it would be on his terms, though he admitted that a return to the company is doubtful.
"Honestly, if I could go back, if I could go there now, I don't think I would because I'd rather be semi-retired. If I had an opportunity to come in, which I don't, but if I had an opportunity to come in and do what I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it, I'd take that in a heartbeat. But the odds of me ever getting that and the odds of them ever hiring me are [astronomically small], but the odds of me getting to do what I want to do are beyond [astronomically small]."
In addition to these topics, Raven discussed the downfalls of TNA and ECW and he claimed that Vince McMahon sees himself as 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase and 'The All-American' Lex Luger. Click here to check out the entire podcast.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Talk is Jericho