Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why Raven was underrated at WWE

Former pro-wrestler Raven was my childhood inspiration. His bizarre gimmicks, make-up, grunge clothing, and theme were all what made him stand out. As a kid, i loved watching him wrestle at TNA Impact. He was the role model i looked up to. Despite his legendary character, i feel he is completely underrated by most in the WWE/WWF world.

To start, he has a very thorough understanding of how the pro-wrestling business operates. He's been a writer and worked behind the scenes. He has valid credentials that set him apart from most other pro-wrestlers.

From a very early age, he was inspired to be a wrestler. He went through a identity crisis until he drew from traumatic childhood experiences. He took the emotional scars and created a dark and psychologically twisted persona rather than see a psychiatrist. Rather than create a completely fabricated personality, he made one forged from his psyche. One that he could easily blend naturally well into.

From the time Raven makes his entrance to the time the match ends, he proves himself to be TNA's most ruthless. He's vicious, sadistic, ambitious, cruel, violent, and merciless. He's the ideal image of what more heels or villains ought to aspire. He's arrogant and cares about no one but himself. He has no concept of sportsmanship, morality, honor, or respect. His goal is to severely torture his opponents by the most brutal methods (chairs, ladders, chains, staple guns, shopping carts, you name it.) His signature move: DDT Raven Effect as he explained was meant to drive the opponent's head into the ground. He knows how to pace matches, performing outrageous stunts and creative counters. His attacks aren't just physical, they're also psychological. He loves to make wrestlers think they have the upper hand, only to make a counter. He loves pain in the fullest and will often sacrifice his own body if it means winning the match. He has no remorse or compassion for what he does to his opponents and that's what makes him a monster. It's no surprise that he invented his own "Clockwork Orange: House of Fun" match type. When i realized this, i could clearly see why he was the ideal candidate to compete at TNA's Monster's ball against Abyss, Rhino, Black Reign, and Monty Brown.

As far as his record goes, he has held a fair win and lose streak. He's held several titles during his time at ECW, WWF, WCW, and TNA. He's faced opponents deemed formidable such as Rhino, Monty Brown, AJ Styles, etc. He with Stevie Richards defeated Cactus Jack, Tommy Dreamer, and the Pitbulls at Wrestlepaooza. His feud with the Sandman and Tommy Dreamer were considered some of the greatest in pro-wrestling history. He's attended special events and faced reputable wrestlers like Cactus Jack.

Whether it's at ECW, WCW, or TNA, Raven has been phenomenal on the mic. In almost each promo, he has something to reveal about his dark nature. His dark poetic words, allusions, aggressive displays, and ambitious drive to succeed in the ring are more than memorable. They're thought provoking philosophical ideas on suffering and human experience. He brought a whole new meaning and usage of Edgar Allen Poe's phrase "Quote the Raven Nevermore."

Despite his legacy, i think he was robbed by the WWF/WWE. He deserved so much more than the positions WWF/WWE put him in. I didn't think he was ready to compete against more popular wrestlers like Stone Cold, Undertaker, or the Rock just yet. He just started off fresh into the WWF and didn't have the proper chances to build a solid reputation. His character was degraded, becoming "filler" material rather than being allowed to perform more freely. He was reduced to a mere hardcore champ. rather than given other grand opportunities. It seems as if the audience wanted the villain to get beat up by their favorite and heroic wrestlers. They were ignorant of all his achievements and reputation in his early career. His success partially depended on the time he entered the WWF. Perhaps if he entered the business at a later time, he might've had made it big against the mainstream legends. He would've taken the spot next to the greats of the WWF/WWE.

In summary, Raven is one of the greatest wrestling legends in history. Creative story archs, intense feuds, and the most brutal wrestling stunts make him into an entertainer dabbling with brutality. His ingenious talent should have been widely recognized in the WWE/WWF had he gained the spot for it. Raven though retiring to start his own wrestling school, still impacts wrestling to this day.

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