Raven has always been an outside-the-box character in pro wrestling and the man behind the gimmick ? Scott Levy ? has an outside-the-box personality as well. He doesn’t fit the profile of a typical wrestler as his IQ in the top 1 percent and he’s a member of Mensa.
Thus, his opinions are highly valued and Scheduled for Two Falls landed an interview with him where Raven was asked if he keeps up with the current wrestling product.
“I watched some AEW when it first came out but I’m a completist. If I watch some, I’ll need to watch it all. For the most part, I don’t watch it. If you put half of the names in front of me, I’d trip over them. I wouldn’t know,” stated Raven.
When Raven was coming up in wrestling in the 1980s, many matches were called in the ring by the talent. Today, everything is scripted out from start to finish but Raven discussed why it’s important for young wrestlers to learn how to call a match in the ring.
“Generally calling it in the ring leads to a less quality matchup, no matter what old timers tell you. But, the skill of being able to call it in the ring is hugely important,” said Raven.
“For example: in TNA, Frankie Kazarian and AJ [Styles] had a match for the X Division title. AJ was a baby face and supposed to win. They go 17 minutes; AJ hits the finish and misses Kazarian completely. They tell the ref that they’re kicking out but the ref didn’t catch it and counts to three.
“Because AJ never called it in the ring, he was pissed off even though he won, which he should never do. It went from a 4-star match to a dud, instantly.
“After the match I pulled him aside and asked if they’ve ever called it in the ring before. He said no, so I said here’s why it’s important. If something messes up, you can call it in the ring together and work something new so people think it’s the built-in finish.”
Raven’s final match at a major promotion came in TNA in 2010. There he wrestled AJ Styles and the two of them squared off numerous times over the years in TNA. While many praise Styles as being one of, if not the best performer in the world, Raven had a far different assessment of Styles in the ring when they worked together.
“He wasn’t one of the greatest workers ever when I worked with him. He BECAME one of the greatest but he wasn’t when I worked with him,” said Raven who was then asked if he’d have any interest in taking a managerial role in AEW.
“Not until COVID is over due to my pre-existing conditions. I’ve had a heart attack and have diabetes. It’s great that Jake [Roberts] is out there but I feel he’s really rolling the dice. I’d love to but I don’t want to take a chance.”
Bringing up Jake the Snake was a nice segue because both he and Raven utilized the DDT as their finishing moves. Raven called his The Raven Effect and he talked about the key in performing the move.
“The guy has to go face first. The summersault’s take away all the impact. The face plant looks brutal and the summersault looks like sh*t. You kick your feet out at a 90-degree angle which gives the illusion of more speed and more torque. It’s the suddenness that gives the illusion of pain. Nobody took it better than [Chris] Kanyon,” said Raven.
While Raven’s IQ score makes him a certified genius, he gave that label to the man who helped hone his Raven character in ECW.
“Paul E. is a genius,” Raven said when asked of Paul Heyman. “He’s like a wrestling savant.”