Would Raven Work in Today’s Pro Wrestling Climate?
Raven was never the most athletic wrestler. Nor did he claim to be. However, one thing is certain across the board when it comes to the ECW legend. Raven is one of the most brilliant minds in the history of professional wrestling.
From in-ring psychology to being creative backstage, Raven has it all. Furthermore, his dark, cult-leading character made for very interesting television. Chilling promos and magnificent storytelling not only excited fans but made them think. However, is all of Raven’s greatness, would his character fit in today’s mold of professional wrestling?
Breaking Down the Character
The character of Raven is one that a casual wrestling fan simply wouldn’t understand. He was a pessimistic, sociopathic, unmoved, rebellious recluse who would deliver fluent, philosophical promos peppered with arcane references. Sitting in the corner in his ripped denim jeans, Raven was the embodiment of the grunge music subculture. And, on numerous occasions, he’s delivered some of the most convincing promos the wrestling industry has ever seen.
One could argue that without his presence, ECW wouldn’t have thrived the way that it did. As the perfect foil for Tommy Dreamer, the feud lasted over two entire years. In fact, the feud was so incredible, that the two shared a program in ECW, TNA, and WWE.
The Raven Effect
Raven was also heavily underutilized. Simply put, there was never enough screentime for him to fully flourish into what he could have been. Although, his character ironically has a cult-like following, similar to what he displayed throughout his career.
Not only has he shown his ability to sell a match with his words, but he also showed his ability to carry segments. As a leader of the Raven’s Nest, he was part of one of the most controversial angles in pro wrestling history.
Was Raven too edgy? Would the character work in today’s wrestling climate? My answer is yes, and here is why.
Raven in Today’s Pro Wrestling
A character today that utilizes a similar skillset would be Bray Wyatt. Both men truly make their living on the microphone. However, both men have the physiological pedigree to deliver an excellent match, despite their inability to deliver high impact maneuvers. Which, for some reason, is a major factor when it comes to exciting the crowd.
Furthermore, each time these men have been put in a position where they can create freely, amazing things happen. Also, they have experienced moments in their careers where they thrived in creativity. But, they’ve also had that creativity stifled, and it translated on camera.
Where Would Raven Thrive?
Could Raven perform in today’s WWE? Absolutely. However, the rendition of Raven from 1997-2002 would best be suited for AEW. There, he would have the creative freedom to fully deliver masterful performances. Remember, only a small part of what makes fans love a character is what they can do technically inside of the ring.
Imagine Raven leading a stable with Jimmy Havok and Darby Allin. Or, taking on the likes of Jon Moxley in a fully developed feud with both of their input. The possibilities would be endless.
Quote the Raven, nevermore.