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Raven (real name Scott Levy, born in 1964) is a professional wrestler who is best known for his time in virtually every mainstream Professional Wrestling promotion (WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, and Ring of Honor). His career started in 1988.
After brief runs in WCW and WWF as "Scotty Flamingo" and "Johnny Polo", Levy rose to fame in ECW as Raven, a brooding sociopath with a penchant for manipulating the weak-willed into doing his bidding. Raven's ECW run was marked by two long, brutal, and sometimes controversial feuds -- with Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman -- and two ECW World Championship reigns. He's credited with popularizing the wearing of street clothes during matches (his typical outfit being a pair of cut-off jeans, a flannel shirt, and a leather jacket -- the popular Grunge look). His promos were dark and nihilistic, and he was followed by a stable of wrestlers known as "Raven's Nest", which at different points included such wrestlers as the Pitbulls, members of the Dudley family, longtime lackey Stevie Richards, and even Cactus Jack.
In 1997, Raven left ECW and returned to WCW, where he formed "The Flock", a variant of his ECW group which was filled with numerous misfits -- including Perry Saturn, Billy Kidman, and (once again) Stevie Richards -- who also adopted a grunge look. While still popular, The Flock wasn't as successful in the ring as Raven's ECW stable, and dissent within the ranks eventually caused its dissolution. During his time in WCW, Raven often competed in the Raven's Rules Match -- which basically meant any match Raven participated in was a hardcore match -- and brought some of ECW's signature hardcore violence into the product.
Raven returned to ECW in 1999, then joined the WWF in 2000. He would win the WWE Hardcore Championship 27 times, but never achieve anything approaching the success he found in ECW -- and due to a lawsuit over WWE's classification of wrestlers as "independent contractors", Raven (and the other wrestlers involved in the lawsuit) became persona non grata in WWE. Following his departure from WWE, Raven spent the next seven years performing on-and-off in TNA and ROH -- and even managed to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in this time period.
Tropes associated with Raven include:
- Arch Enemy: Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman in ECW, Abyss in TNA, CM Punk in Ring of Honor, and "Diamond" Dallas Page in WCW.
- Catch Phrase: "Quote the Raven, nevermore."
- Another during his WCW and WWF/E run: "What about me? "What about Raven?"
- Cool Old Guy
- Crucified Hero Shot: Raven did this to The Sandman in ECW -- and it was this crucifixion which caused Kurt Angle (who had attended the event to begin a program involving Taz) to put off entering professional wrestling for years and threaten ECW with a lawsuit if it ever showed footage of him at the event.
- Cult: Raven's Nest and Flock groups, as well as TNA's Serotonin, all had this vibe.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu??: Gave Dr. Death Steve Williams his first loss in a decade.
- Five Moves of Doom: One of Raven's pieces of advice in his "Secrets of The Ring" interview falls along these lines -- all wrestlers should have five moves they can do perfectly, instead of five hundred moves they can only do half-assed.
- Garbage Wrestler
- Genius Bruiser: Raven has an IQ of 143 and is a registered member of Mensa.
- Gimmick Matches: The "Clockwork Orange House of Fun" match involves a chain-link fence erected on one side of the ring with weapons chained to it; the victor was the one who drove their opponent through two tables and threw them off a small scaffold. (It later became a standard hardcore match with a fancy name, though the chain link fence remained part of the setup.) The match's creator was Raven, by the way.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Johnny Polo, is that you?
- Ho Yay: In this bizarre promo, Chris Kanyon (the first openly gay prowrestler - although he didn't come out until years after this promo was shot) visits Raven at his swanky mansion. He and Raven go out for a night on the town, which mostly consists of shopping for Versace. They return to Raven's home dressed to the nines, but the scene cuts, and the next thing we see is Kanyon running down stairs to greet Raven's mom, while frantically trying to pull his pants back on (!). Raven follows after him, also dressed in his old grungey clothes. The surely unintentional subtext is that Raven took Kanyon out on a date, and they were getting hot and heavy upstairs before Raven's mom rudely interrupted them.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Raven originally wrestled as pretty-boy babyface "Scotty the Body" -- but time and drug use have really roughed him up.
- The Jimmy Hart Version: His WCW theme was one of Nirvana's "Come As You Are".
- Kick The Mop: Raven feeding Perry Saturn's mop girlfriend, Moppy, to a woodchipper.
- Manipulative Bastard: Raven loved to use psychological warfare against both his enemies and allies. He even turned The Sandman's ex-wife and son into devoted followers during the famous feud between the two.
- Memetic Mutation: "What about me?! WHAT ABOUT RAVEN?!?!"
- Nietzsche Wannabe:
- Power Stable
- Raven's Flock WCW
- The Centerpiece: Raven himself, naturally.
- The Enforcer: Sick Boy originally served this role, but when Kidman got popular, he was promoted to this spot.
- The Muscle: Van Hammer and Reese.
- The Point Man: Scotty Riggs.
- The Hanger On: Stevie Richards and Lodi.
- The Heir Apparent: Perry Saturn was originally in this spot, but when he turned on the stable, Horace was given the spot. Towards the end of the stable's run, Horace was demoted and Chris Kanyon got the spot.
- Raven's Flock WCW
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: He recorded a rap song in 2008. He's got mad skils.
- Theme Song: "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Seperated)" by The Offspring (ECW/TNA)
- Old Shame: His "Scotty Flamingo" and "Johnny Polo" gimmicks. This was even joked about in some of Raven's indy appearances, where chants of "Johnny Polo" from fans -- spurred on by Mick Foley! -- started driving him insane.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: See for yourself.
- Wangst: In WCW, Raven's nihilistic attitude was revealed to be a result of his incredibly wealthy family being annoying rather than due to depression.
- What Could Have Been: In a shoot interview, Raven talked about his hardcore match at Wrestlemania 17 with Kane and The Big Show. Raven had devised a spot where he would try to escape on a golf cart and Big Show would jump on and attack Raven and/or hijack the cart, with Kane following in his own. The chase was supposed to happen around the entire arena, but five seconds in, Raven's cart hits a chain link fence and stops, ending the spot. The potential debacle is at partially saved when Kane runs over a downed Raven with his own golf cart.
- One of the main power sources for the entire arena was behind this fence, and Raven later learned he came close to knocking out power for the entire arena