Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #31 - Raven
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts with WWE verbage in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than any Seth Rollins theme song (you know, ”Burn It Down?” Okay, I’ll see that bad joke right out the door).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All" (with a little help from Wikipedia to fill in the blanks), I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990., factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
Hailing From: The Bowery
Finisher: The Evenflow DDT
If Kurt Cobain joined wrestling? Look no further than Raven. Covered in tattoos, waist flannels and tattered jean shorts, Raven was a petulant, nihilistic intellect that would DDT you onto a steel chair after quoting Robert Frost. Everything cool, mysterious and rebellious about the mid-late 1990s, Raven epitomized.
However, the first half of his decade run would be characterized quite differently. After one cup of coffee with the WWF and some time spent in Texas’s Global Wrestling Federation as Scott AN, Raven went over to WCW in 1992 as Scotty Flamingo where he hit the waves with a surfer gimmick.
While he was there, he won the Light Heavyweight Championship and joined his future foe, Diamond Dallas Page’s stable, but he didn’t see eye to eye with Bill Watts. That got him setting sail for WWF where he was placed in a rich-boy manager role as Johnny Polo.
It wasn’t until Raven made his way to south Philadelphia is when he found the character we’re all familiar with. It was in ECW is where Raven established his Bowery brand.
He got controversial, he got violent and he portrayed himself as an underground cult leader for lack of better phrasing (who had the “cult of personality” to boot). Raven in ECW was a major contrast from the product that the two major promotions were peddling at the time.
Raven eventually found his way back into WCW, but this time without the flamingo pink and now with a band of flunky misfits who he labeled as “Raven’s Flock” (that included a sign toting Billy Idol wannabe and an unwashed Billy Kidman).
The WCW version of Raven may have been a little toned down in comparison to the ECW version, but it still packed a uppercard punch (and I’d argue more if booked properly). He feuded with DDP in what was one of my all-time favorite grudges as well as Goldberg, Booker T and Chris Benoit. Raven, like many in WCW, was extremely underutilized.
Quote the 90s, nevermore.