While Raven may be best known for leading The Flock in WCW, feuding with Tommy Dreamer in ECW, and being thrown through windows in early 2000’s WWF, it wasn’t always this way.
Long before the Philadelphia native donned his flannel and leather jacket, he featured in the WWF in 1993 and 1994 as Johnny Polo. The clean cut, preppy kid character was a million miles away from what Raven would become, and it was somewhat unsurprisingly short-lived.
Speaking to the Scheduled for Two Falls podcast, revealed that he never wanted to play the character, and that he felt it should have Shane McMahon instead.
“It’s not what I wanted to do; it’s not me. Shane McMahon should have been Johnny Polo,
Raven enjoyed a close friendship with the Shane at the time, and went on to detail how instead of helping his career, it actually caused heat with Vince McMahon. When asked if his friendship with Shane cased problems with Vince he replied;
“Yeah that’s true. Me and Shane used to be really tight but we drifted apart. He’d go out with me every night. Big heat with Linda and Vince. The boys thought I was kissing ass for my career but it actually killed my career, giving me heat.”
Before moving to the WWF in 1993, Raven worked for rivals WCW under the name Scotty Flamingo, forming a friendship with Brian Pillman. Raven remembers that time fondly, travelling from town to town with Pillman and a young Stone Cold Steve Austin.
“He [Pillman] was so funny. Him, me and [Steve] Austin used to ride together and we called ourselves the comedy trio… Pillman had the most amazing working vocabulary. He could pull words out of his ass. I knew what the word meant but couldn’t use them in daily life.I’d be in front, Austin driving and Pillman lying in the back seat reading his vocabulary book. His level of diction was amazing and just added to his promos. He was so verbose, witty and clever.”
After leaving the then WWF in 1994, Raven would soon arrive in ECW, where he would produce arguably his best work. Under the eye of ECW boss Paul Heyman, Raven would craft a depressed, yet poetic Grunge themed character, feuding with Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman, winning the ECE World Title in the process.