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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The High Spot: Raven Interview
July 15, 2005 by Joseph Bachman


"Sucked"

-Raven describing his experience with the WWE in one word.

Recently yours truly had the lavish opportunity to sit down with the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Raven. My next column "The TNA Experiment" will be held off until next week for this important and intriguing interview. We talked about No Surrender, Raven's dream match, and even his views on internet "smarks". Without further a due, my interview with the one and only, Raven.

THS: I wanted to talk to you firstly about your recent world title win, it's in your character that you say your "destiny is fulfilled" and if there is any truth to that at this point of your career.

Raven: Yeah. I mean, that's what I set out to accomplish, there aren't any other quests for me to conquer, this is the initial one, the first initial one, was to become the ECW World Heavyweight Champion, and now the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

THS: They're really the same title when you think about it.

Raven: It really is, you know Shane threw it down, and I picked it back up.

THS: You face Abyss this Sunday at No Surrender, besides blood, what can we expect from this match?

Raven: It's going to be very innovative; there will be some very innovative stuff on there.

THS: I want to see Abyss bleed; I've never seen him bleed before.

Raven: He will.

THS: It's definitely going to be an awesome PPV, from Williams/Daniels to Samoa Joe and Sabin...I wanted to comment, a lot of people think it's great that you're world champion now, and I was thinking back to your WWE days, in which they treated you like crap, they had no clue what to do with the Raven character, and I just want you to sum that experience up in one world.

Raven: Sucked.

THS: Larry Zbykso did a small shoot on Dusty Rhodes at the Slammiversary PPV, Paul Heyman did it at ECW's One Night Stand and in ECW in general, and right now with the current Matt Hardy/Lita situation it seems that the WWE is trying to "break kayfabe", in other words bring reality into the show, do you think that's good or bad for the business?

Raven: It all depends, every case is different, I mean nobody really cares about the Blue Meanie/JBL incident, if JBL did it to somebody who was a bigger star, no offense to Meanie, but he was always the "underneath guy", no one really cares, while as Matt Hardy is a guy who should have been higher up on the card, or at least everyone thinks he should, he hasn't proved that he should, but I think he will prove that he should but he hasn't proved it yet. Because of that, and because him and Edge have had their fame together, people are interested in that. Every case is different. You can make gross generalizations, but not in this case.

THS: I honestly think Matt would be better used in TNA, they're going to use him for this little 2 or 3 month comeback and then he'll be lost in the mix.

Raven: I agree.

THS: Speaking of TNA, with tnawrestling.com, they have a lot of internet fans; with some internet fans come "smarks"; fans who use insiders terminology about the business, along with wrestling news sites and spoilers and what not. Do you think that hurts or helps the business?

Raven: Once again, every case is different. My biggest problem is when they spoil stuff. You don't want to see your present before Christmas. I hate when they spoil stuff that is just ruining storylines, but by the same token it's good to see somebody report the news, I just think if you put yourself in that situation you have to have a fair sense of what's worth while to give away and what you can expect.

THS: I agree, I applaud TNA, because it seems that you never really get any spoilers with TNA PPV's, like when you won the world title at Slammiversary, nobody on the internet knew about it.

Raven: Well, there is no reason TO know about it, why would you want to ruin it? I'll never get that...No actually, I completely get it, what it is, is that people want to feel important, they want to feel involved in it so they expose it so they can say "oh look how special I am", because they can't become special on their own.

THS: I think what triggered it, at least what did it for me was the Montreal Screw job, it was the first time where fans sat back and were like "wait a minute, this is real" and it actually sparked a lot of interest among the internet wrestling community.

Raven: That's happened years ago, there have been a lot of storylines like that but people weren't just aware of it. This was just high profile.

THS: I know a lot of fans think they can do better than what's in the current product in storylines and booking.

Raven: Well they aren't smart enough to see it from a business point of view, they just see it from a stupid mark point of view. So they're not viewing it like a casual fan that you're trying to appeal to, and they're not trying to view it like a businessman, so they're getting all the wrong signals, they took all the wrong stuff that isn't important, and they have no idea what they're talking about nine times out of ten.

THS: Do you see TNA as true competition for the McMahons in a few years or even sooner?

Raven: I hope so. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

THS: If you could pick your dream match, any venue, any opponent, who would it be?

Raven: I'd have to think of that one...It certainly wouldn't be Madison Square Garden that place is a dump, you have to go back to that, I'd really have to think about it.

THS: Back to TNA, do you see a difference between TNA fans and WWE fans?

Raven: Not really, they just have a larger audience than we do.

THS: Who would you like to see come to TNA?

Raven: I would like to see Matt Hardy come in.

THS: Would you have liked to see CM Punk come in when he was available to TNA before the WWE picked him up?

Raven: Yeah, I think he would have been a valuable addition to TNA. I think he made the wrong choice.

THS: Like Matt Hardy, I think the WWE won't know how to use CM Punk.

Raven: It's not a matter of how they'll use him, but if they even want to use him, there's a big difference.

THS: We've seen Terry Funk wrestle into his 60's, Hogan into his 50's, you've been around for 17 years now, how long will Raven be in the business?

Raven: I'd like to last as long as Funk.

THS: Funk is still going strong and bleeding all over the place.

Raven: I'd like to be able to do that.

THS: Did you want to go back to the dream match question?

Raven: yeah, I'm sure one of them would be against The Sheik, one against "Superstar" Billy Graham in MSG, there's a lot of them, there is not one particular one.

THS: Did you have any idols or favorites growing up?

Raven: Yeah, Dusty Rhodes growing up, Billy Graham, the usual suspects.

THS: So what single reason would you give a fan to watch TNA No Surrender on Sunday?

Raven: Me and Abyss are going to tear the house down, it'll be the match of the night.

THS: Sounds good, I think we're done here. I appreciate your time.

Raven: Yeah man, take care.

So that was that, an insightful interview with Raven. Before I end this column I feel as if I should give ANY fan a few reasons to watch No Surrender this Sunday...

Reason #1 - Raven vs. Abyss - dog collar match for the world title, you are going to have Raven and Abyss in the same ring, tied together via a huge chain followed with as Raven put it, some very innovative stuff, and lots of blood to follow. For any fan who has complained about Jeff Jarrett in the main event too often, here you go.

Reason#2 - It's a TNA PPV. - TNA has constantly delivered great PPV after great PPV, especially last month with Slammiversary, this is shaping up to be even better. If you haven't seen a TNA PPV yet, this is a good time to start.

Reason #3 - Christopher Daniels vs. Petey Williams - X-Division title is on the line here, and if you don't understand what "pure wrestling" is. Try to keep up. We know the Fallen Angel has called Williams a "one dimensional wrestler" but we know that's not true. Daniels has run the X-Division very well since his win at D-X and Williams will likely be his next victim. This match should bring down the house as well.

Reason #4 - Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin - I mark out for both of these guys. Sabin is one of the most athletic talents in the business today and to see the contrast of styles clash in this match should be worth your money. Samoa Joe? He's delivered. Impressive so far in his TNA matches watch this match for a taste of something you will never see on RAW.

Reason #5 - A certain wrestler will make his TNA debut, the "new talent" Jeff Jarrett has been talking about. We may all know who it is, but for respect for the interview, I'll leave some mystery in case any of my readers don't know yet.

Five reasons off the bat, don't forget A.J. Styles vs. Sean Waltman with Jerry Lynn as special guest referee. I know what you may think of "X-pac" but he is seriously trying, and although he will never be over in TNA as a heel or a face, the man is trying and I do expect a worthy match with Styles at No Surrender. Americas Most Wanted vs. Alex Shelley and Michael Shane will just be a solid wrestling match and throw in the Super X cup with Elix Skipper vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. "the real" Shark Boy vs. Mikey Batts. Who knows? Maybe Jeff Hardy will make his return as well. I guarantee a great PPV. I really do. In fact if it's not up to your expectations, yell at me! Send me hate-mail! Tell me TNA sucks! You won't be able to do it though, you know it, I know it, TNA knows it. On that high note, I take my leave. Next week the TNA Experiment debuts, and until then enjoy the PPV on Sunday. I'm out.

by Joseph Bachman..


Ai2392 wrote:
Thanks for giving us that interview. Raven is one of my favorite wrestlers. I watch TNA every Friday, either that or I watch it again on my computer lol. Well I agree on absolutely everything Raven said. I'd love to see the pay per view. Well I'd like to see a pay per view in general. Unfortunately I can't get them due to money reasons. So I just whip out my old wrestling tapes! I've heard a lot of good news about TNA wrestling pay per views and I'll have to persuade my dad to getting one in the future.

As for Raven, I love what they are doing with him in TNA. I to tell you the truth, despised watching him in the WWE. They couldn't do anything with him, and gave him no freedoms. The only thing I can remember of Raven from WWE was Wrestle Mania when he faced Big Show and Kane for the title. (It was better than I expected) I hope they continue as having Raven as their champ. He is sooooooooooooooooo much more fun than watching Jarrett. I hope he holds onto his title for a while.
chris peacock wrote:
I just wanted to say that it was a great interview. Raven has been my favorite wrestler since the early days of ECW. I think he has been under estamated and wrongly used in alot of the companies he has been in. I think the TNA company is doing a great job building his charicter and it is great to see him getting his due after all these years.
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