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Raven Discusses Ongoing WWE Bullying Controversy, Undertaker, Paul Heyman, and Today’s Product

Former WWE/WCW/ECW alumni and one of the best the business has ever seen, Raven, discussed a number of interesting topics ranging from the allegations of harsh hazing behind the scenes in WWE, Undertaker, his relationship with Paul Heyman, and the current state of wrestling. He spoke about these topics in an interview with Sports Illustrated to promote his podcast The Raven Effect, which is a part of The Jericho Network. Work the net maaaaaaaaan… and check out some select quotes below:

On Today’s Product:

I don’t watch any of today’s product. I stopped watching in 2000. That was the “Invasion” group with ECW and WCW, but when they started pushing none of us, except RVD, slightly, but basically had us all as a bunch of jobbers, that’s when I stopped watching as a viewer. I stopped watching partly due to the fact I wasn’t impressed with the product, and partly because it was depressing to watch the show and know that you had the talent to be a main-eventer and never got that break in the main company. In ECW, I was a top guy. In WCW, I was right below the top guys, right below the top ten. I wasn’t buried, I wasn’t beaten, but I was never put up into the upper brackets. Then I left WCW, went back to ECW and was used as a top guy. When I went to WWE, outside of the hardcore stuff, I wasn’t really used well. So to watch the product–and it’s not that I was bitter–but it bothered me. It was depressing to watch. Now, it doesn’t bother me to watch, but I just don’t have any interest. I barely have enough time to watch the shows that I have DVR’d, but there is too much wrestling.

On WWE’s Bullying Problem:

There’s always been one, but it’s always been part of the business. It’s been part of the business, not just there, but everywhere. We’re not in the dark ages anymore, and bullying is bullshit, but Vince has a very immature sense of humor sometimes, and stuff like that makes him laugh. If you see silly comedy angles on the show–really silly stuff–then that’s from Vince. He is an amazing businessman, but he is eccentric. I guess you can be eccentric if you’re a billionaire, but he was eccentric long before he was a billionaire.

On Undertaker As A Leader

He was the locker room leader. I was loud, I was obnoxious, so I wasn’t his cup of tea, but we got along. There was no enmity. He was every bit the locker room leader everybody says, he was the authority. If he had been six inches shorter, he would have been the perennial world champion. But at 6-foot-10, he was relegated to the monster, “Creature Feature” matches. It wasn’t until near the end of his career when he finally started being able to show that he could actually work, but, by then, he wasn’t anywhere near the worker he was ten years before that. He was amazing.

On If Paul Heyman Advocated For Him In WWE:

He was doing anything but advocate. He was irritated because I didn’t finish up my contract with him, so I basically left halfway through because WWE was interested. I wasn’t happy with the way Paul E. was using me and we left on bad terms, so the last thing he was going to do was advocate for me. But Paul E. and I totally patched it up, and I have nothing but respect for him. Even when he was mad at me, I still had nothing but respect. He is the most creative genius the business has ever seen.

Rob’s Take-Away:

It would have been nice to see Raven used even in an upper-mid card capacity in WWE as he has always been above average and one of my personal favorites. He doesn’t sound bitter, just more like someone that understood his worth. Too bad he and Paul Heyman weren’t necessarily on good terms at the time. With that said, I do agree that there is a lot of wrestling to consume nowadays and that it is essentially almost impossible to keep up with it all unless one ditches other hobbies.

Thankfully, he is not in the camp with personnel like JBL, Booker T and Jim Cornette that have dated and backward opinions on the bullying controversy. It’s not fun or cool, and it’s truly a shame that Vince McMahon encourages such shenanigans.

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