WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: The Raven Effect on drinking before matches in ECW, John Candy: good midcarder, classic Bobby Heenan story, the strange situation where Sandman was pondering quantum physics

Raven Effect with Wade Keller

The Raven Effect

Air date: 08/7/17

Recap By: Jeff Rush, PWPodcasts.com Specialist


Noteworthy items:

– Discussion on Jerry Lawler getting weirder over the years.
– Raven discussing drug and drinking culture in ECW.
– Classic Bobby Heenan story involving public exposure.
– Chad Damiani reflects on his relationship with Lee Marshall.
– Crazy anecdotes ABOUT sandman’s athleticism and intelligence.

Raven was joined by co-host Chad Damiani, AKA Busby.

After the usual opening shenanigans, the guys get started with a discussion on the 2002 film Death To Smoochy. Raven was surprised to learn the film was directed by Danny DeVito and hated Jon Stewart’s haircut. Both agree the film was pretty bad, but had its moments. Raven originally downloaded the film as a bit torrent, held onto it for a long time before getting a chance to watch it. When he finally did, it didn’t work, so he had to purchase it legally on Amazon.

Raven came across an old Wrestling Gold DVD, specifically No More Mr. Nice Guy Vol. 4. He popped it in to check it out briefly and found some great main event content on there such as Jerry Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkle. This leads Raven to recall his discussion with Wade Keller on last week’s episode and how he feels Jerry Lawler is the greatest in ring worker ever. He and Busby talk about how Lawler has gotten weirder over the years. Busby says his old stuff is so great, but now Lawler has become a character of a character of a character. Raven suggests they review the Wrestling Gold video in next week’s episode.

Raven then reads through “weird news” items in his Reddit feed. Headlines include “Guy slices pet fish in half, gets 120 days in prison.” Raven then gets a big kick out of all the usernames commenting on these articles. Busby says he used to check out MMA forums, but people got way too intense. He says there was a super agro guy named something like “cuckholdallday43” and wonders how that works.

The guys then discuss last week’s show a bit more. Raven admits he was trying to get Wade to admit he had an issue with Dave Meltzer, but to no avail. Busby says he doesn’t know how either Wade or Dave could watch or talk about wrestling as much as they do. Raven says even when he loved it, he never loved it as much as them. Both agree the journalists work very hard.

June Foray passed away last week. She did the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Raven mourns the loss. They then talk about cartoons for kids that are actually written for adults. This brings Busby to talk about a scene in Uncle Buck where the sister from Roseanne thinks she’s overhearing John Candy raping a woman, but it turns out he’s just doing the laundry. But with lines like “I’m going to put my load in you whether you like it or not”, he wonders how such content could get into a kids movie.

Raven says John Candy always picked the worst projects to star in. He was great as second banana in films like Brewster’s Million, Stripes and Blues Brothers, but never as the star of the film. Busby equates this to a good midcard wrestler underwhelming once they receive their shot at a main event. Raven agrees and says it’s good to get a little bit of wrestling talk on the show.

Instead they veer off on another tangent involving model Amber Rose and body grooming preferences.

Busby asks Raven about his relationship with Sandman. Raven says they met in ECW, but the details are murky. He remembers everything prior to age 25, and the 10 ensuing years are hazy.

Raven says ECW originated wrestlers getting drunk prior to the match as opposed to after. It’s the first place he ever witnessed that happening. He swore he would never do it until he did. He says no one got plastered and everyone in ECW could hold their drugs and liquor really well.

Busby says he drove drunk quite a bit in his 20s. He regrets it now, but says he recalls that being drunk behind the wheel would cause him to drive extra cautiously. He asks if it worked that way when wrestling drunk. Raven says not really, but that he was also leveled out by the painkillers he was taking.

Raven tells a story about Sandman slipping on a watermelon during a run in and hitting the ring post. He was supposed to DDT Raven, but knocked himself out cold. Raven somehow managed to make the DDT happen with Sandman unconscious the entire time.

Busby says Sandman was not the most athletic guy. Raven disagrees, but says Sandman’s center of gravity was very low. He says Brian Lee once told him he chokeslammed Sandman and had seen people get better height falling off of a skateboard.

Raven says Brian Lee was incredibly funny. He says Tommy Dreamer used to tell him Lee was funnier than him all the time.

Busby says the funniest guy he ever encountered in the business was Bobby Heenan. He used to change in the announcers locker room along with Heenan, Gene Okerlund, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, and Lee Marshall. He says hanging around those guys was his favorite part of the job.

They were at the Double Tree in LA one time. There was a glass elevator in the center of the lobby right next to a bar. Heenan was holding court, telling stories and had a big crowd around him. They were so loud that security had to come in and break it up. Everyone became upset when this happened and started booing the security guards. Heenan talked everyone down, saying the guy was just doing his job, it’s getting late and they’re probably keeping people up. He excused himself, asked everyone not to give the security guard a hard time and headed for the elevator. As the security guard was restoring order and had his back to the elevator, Heenan was inside and rising with his genitalia out and pressed up against the glass. Chad says it’s so simple, but so funny.

Raven brings up Bobby’s health. They say the fact that he’s now unable to speak is heartbreaking. They spend another minute talking about Heenan’s greatness. Bubsy says every bump Heenan ever took would make you believe he just s**t his pants. Raven says Bobby was a genuinely nice people person. Busby says he was young and naïve when working with Bobby and was still always treated with respect. He holds Heenan in high regard. Raven asks if he felt the same way about Lee Marshall.

They confirm that Marshall passed away in 2014 at the age of 64. Busby says his relationship with Lee was complicated. Lee had been the voice of the AWA prior to joining WCW. Suddenly he was announcing on the internet with a 25-year-old, and that had to be difficult and humbling for him. He looks back on those days now and appreciates Lee’s position much more than he did at the time. Raven says his quote of the day is “Youth is wasted on the young.”

The guys then discuss MMA for a bit.

Talk then returns to Sandman. Raven says Sandman is really intelligent and gets into a story about a time Sandman was filming Raven and a friend having sex with a woman. He says, while holding the camera, Sandman was pondering wormholes and quantum physics.

Somehow from there, Raven pivots and says Sandman is a great father. He doesn’t know how many kids he has, but suspects that Sandman only enjoys being father to a kid until they turn 12, and then he has another one.

Raven doesn’t speak to Sandman much these days. He says if he calls him or if Sandman calls Raven, they both suspect the other one wants something from them. He says when they see each other now, they get along tremendously well, but can also get sick of each other.

Raven hates talking on the phone. He’d rather watch a movie or talk to someone in person.

Raven closes the show going through more wacky news headlines.

Rating: Last week’s episode of the Raven Effect was the first I’d listened to. As I mentioned then, the goofiness and silliness weaved into the show courtesy of Raven’s kind of kooky personality came as a surprise. The excellent interview with Wade Keller hooked me though and had me checking out the show once more this week. The silliness is still very much there, but Raven is such a genuinely likable personality, that you get used to it quickly. Some of it is definitely odd, but the content of the show makes the Raven Effect worth the listen. It was fun and interesting as hell to listen to Raven and Chad Damiani have a free flow conversation intended to follow a set structure, but never quite managing to do so. Both guys have interesting perspectives and we veered into some unexpected topics, Like Lee Marshall. The show is a quick, one-hour listen. I recommend checking it out. 8/10


4:45: Death To Smoochy
9:55: Wrestling Gold
13:50: Weird News items
29:20: John Candy
31:50: Amber Rose Challenge
34:37: ECW drinking and drug culture
40:15: Bobby Heenan glass elevator story
47:00: Lee Marshall
59:03: Sandman

About Jeff: 

Jeff Rush is a life-long fan of professional wrestling. He’s attended the last match of both Andre the Giant and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s careers and two of the three matches of the Rock-Austin WrestleMania trilogy. As a child, he was once yelled at by John Tenta for sitting too close to him on a bench at Hershey Park. Jeff listens to way too many wrestling podcasts and watches way too much WWE Network. He also catches as much indie wrestling as he can when it comes through his home of New York City. Follow along @jefflikesstuff

For more, check out last week’s recap of The Raven Effect with Wade Keller

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