Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Performer Analysis: Raven

Raven was born Scott Levy on September 8, 1964( which yes, does make him 42) He has competed in every major promotion in North America for the last 15 years, including WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, & ROH, and has enjoyed great success in all. He was trained by Larry Sharpe, Charlie Fulton, The Shiek, and Jake Roberts at different times in his career. He made his debut on March 20, 1988 for PNW.

1 Innovation- 5/10- There is one category where Scott Levy made some innovation in professional wrestling: that would be in character. He, assuredly along with Paul Heyman, created his most successful incarnation in Raven, a depressed, self destructive, masochist that sought out attention where ever he went. It was something very new and innovative and the fans hated him with a passion, but as time grew over the years and the promotions, he achieved a small following, that was cult like and is heralded as one of the more original and bizarre, as well as cutting edge characters in wrestling.

2 Conditioning- 3/10- Scott Levy has never been a body builder, or a gymnast or even in that great of shape. That's no secret; part of the reason was his devotion to his nihilistic character, and part was his problems with drug and alcohol addiction. But, he has had some long hard fought matches, and has moderate endurance, but the physical aspect of wrestling was not his strong suit.

3 Ring Skill- 6/10- Scott Levy as Raven was known for taking punishment and he did so for many years in ECW. He has punished his body in many ways and done so for the apreciation of wrestling. He isn't the best bumper ,and in recent years, has been hard fought to gel with most of his opponents. But, he has good facials and knows that everything in a match means something, and you don't have to kill yourself each time out there to put on a great match.

4 Character/ Psychology- 10/10- Raven is Scott Levy and Scott Levy is Raven. That was what he realized he had to do to make that character a success in wrestling. Raven is very knowlegeable in the business and took his character the other way instead of trying to be the biggest or the prettiest. He engulfed himself in Raven and really made the fans believe that he was that person. He continues to dig into the depths of solitude to this day to get that same effect.

5 Interviews- 10/10- He is gold on the mic. His TNA promos have become much more entertaining than his WWE stuff. His violent descriptions of what he will do to his opponents is very entertaining and enjoyable and he seems to really get into his interviews. Raven is said to have an IQ of 143 which is really high, and he plays on that as well by using vocabulary that the common fan wouldn't know or understand; another great nuance of his character.

6 Face/ Heel- 6/10- Raven's ECW Heel was, to me, one of the best they had ever had, surpassing Shane Douglas. Raven in WCW as a heel, was not as entertaining. Raven as a heel in WWE was stale and boring, and Raven as a heel in TNA was a little more exciting. Raven as a face has been few and far between, but is never recognized as being very effective. The fans have gotten behind him in WWE and TNA, but those pushes were really not paid attention to. His unique vocab and odd quirks are what makes him a good heel, but i wouldn't say he's one of the best.

7 Basics- 3/10- I've never been impressed with Raven's basics the few little times i've seen them. He has mainly relied on hardcore wrestling for most of the last ten years. His punches are not that good, and his transitions haven't changed much over the last ten years either.

8 Fans- 7/10- Raven can get a crowd to hate him, as he has over the last decade, but he does it with not much effort. He's not as over the top as some heels, and he mainly works his opponent instead of the crowd. In TNA, he has received the most cheers of his career, in my eyes, and has played up to rather well.

9 Matches/ Opponents- 9/10- His two most historic feuds were big career makers for Raven. His mislead youth campaign against Tommy Dreamer that stemmed from a bad teen camp experience lasted two years with Raven only being pinned once by Dreamer in the finale. Then, there was his feud with Sandman that saw Raven brainwash his wife and child against him until it concluded in a series of violent matches, including a barb wire match. Raven had several other feuds in his career of note like DDP, Chris Benoit, Saturn, and James Mitchell, and has faced most top names in the last 10 years, although he never really broke into the upper echelon and faced the Hogans, the Flairs, the Rocks' and Harts. So, missed points for not having faced the main stars of wrestling.

10 Gutcheck- 5/10- I wouldn't classify Raven as a gutsy performer, even though he has been involved in violent hardcore wars. He has had a noted foot problem and been plagued with minor injuries over the years, but nothing that i would classify inspirational.

Final Score: 65
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Middle

Thanks for reading and also like to thank Obsessedwithwrestling.com and Wikipedia.com for help on my last two analysis.

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