The Raven Effect
Air date: 08/21/17
Recap By: Jeff Rush, PWPodcasts.com Specialist
– Discussion on what makes a great heel
– Ric Flair never sleeps
– Theories on how two birds can be killed with one stone
– Raven reflects on seriously injuring Villano IV
– Van Hammer injures Konnan, then insults him
– Ralphus feels he’s a superstar
– What happened when Raven and Konnan appeared on Donny & Marie
– Mabel’s supposed minimalist diet
– Raven’s favorite era in wrestling
Raven announces that Mel B., AKA Scary Spice is newly single. He says he saw Spice World in the theater alone upon its release and that him and Frankie Kazarian are the only two men in the world to have done so.
Raven says they received a ton of feedback on last week’s episode, where they interviewed a Flat Earth conspiracy theorist. We chose not to provide a recap since there was literally zero mention of professional wrestling on the show, but I do recommend checking it out. It was quite the entertaining episode.
Anyway, Raven and Busby discuss how the Flat Earther, David Weiss, came across as a nice, normal guy and would bust out with something crazy just as you were getting comfortable with him. They agree, as a guest, he was a great heel.
This leads to a conversation about truly great heels believing they are faces. Busby cites the Goon as an example; he was just defending his teammates. Raven disagrees but says that the wrestler who played the Goon, Wild Bill Irwin, took the best face-plant in the business.
We discuss Ric Flair’s current health situation for a bit. Busby says he would see Ric drinking until 3 AM, then run into him at 6 AM and he would look like he got a full night’s sleep. Raven says Flair is like a human eight ball (of cocaine, not the billiards ball, he specifies).
Today’s show is going to be a mailbag episode. Raven says he actively tries to avoid talking about wrestling on the show since he likes talking about so many other things, but he recognizes that listeners of the show want the wrestling talk and that’s his path towards more downloads and success.
He likens it to killing two birds with one stone, which veers us completely off the topic of wrestling for a few more minutes as Raven and Busby discuss how each of them imagines killing two birds with a single stone’s throw. Busby always pictured hitting one bird and knocking him into the other one with such force that they both perish. Raven thinks of it more like a seven-ten split, where the stone ricochets off the first bird, hitting the second.
This somehow leads Busby to talk about dating one half of a set of brother-sister twins. He had a long distance relationship with this woman for over a decade. One time, while visiting, they were having sex. Busby could hear the neighbor’s voices on the other side of the wall and realized people could hear them, so he tried to be quieter. His girlfriend stopped him from adjusting and said “no, I want them to hear it.” She never specified why and he’s always wondered.
Next is a conversation about a stripper Busby knew who would ask your opinion on something, such as getting a tattoo or starring in an adult film, but would have already done whatever she was asking about prior to asking and the idea was always a bad one.
Busby reads a letter by someone asking about Raven’s match teaming with Chris Kanyon against the Villanos in 1998. Raven points out that the floor of the ring was already messed up due to the trap door that had been installed for the Ultimate Warrior. This is the same way Davey Boy Smith would suffer a serious injury.
The spot was a power bomb by Kanyon converted into a neckbreaker in mid-air by Raven. Raven says he was an arrogant pr**k backstage telling Villano and Kanyon the move would be easy, even though they had reservations. The plan was to execute the move on the count of three, but Raven messed it up and went on one. The guy was hospitalized and later diagnosed with a broken neck.
Raven says this is difficult to talk about. He went to the hospital with Villano that night, was told the neck wasn’t broken, but it turned out later it was. He says this was entirely his fault.
We transition to talking about the time Konnan had his bicep torn in a match against Van Hammer. When they got to the back after the injury, Konnan was upset and knew he would be off TV for a long time. He wanted to be left alone, but Van Hammer insisted on coming over and praying with him. The problem was, all the prayers were just putting Van Hammer over. Raven recalls him saying “Listen Lord, Konnan doesn’t have the strength, so take it from me.”
Raven says they would use the prayer lines Van Hammer used that night for years to give Konnan a hard time.
Busby tells an anecdote about Konnan’s time in the NWO, how, during interviews, he would always position himself directly between Hogan and Bischoff and make sure that his face was present in the shot.
Raven says he wishes he and Konnan had gotten along back in the ’90s like they do now, but blames himself for being “an arrogant douche” back then.
Busby talks about back when Chris Jericho had Ralphus accompany him to the ring. He says that Ralphus was a truck driver and just the nicest, sweetest man, but the longer he was on TV, the more he began seeing himself as a superstar. One night during Jericho’s program with Goldberg, a mistake was made in the ring. Once everyone got back stage and were discussing it, Ralphus looked at Goldberg and said “well, you really f**ked that up” and walked away. He says Goldberg wasn’t even mad, that everyone was just shocked.
Busby reads a letter from someone where the question is a bit unclear, but they want to know if ECW was given a hard time by standards and practices during their time on TNN. Raven says it was probably part of the angle they did with “the Network.”
Raven adds that he feels Joey Styles, during the early days of ECW was one of the greatest wrestling announcers of all time.
We then discuss the upcoming Mayweather/McGregor match for a minute. Busby feels it’s the most absurd matchup ever. Raven thinks McGregor is so confident that he could get a lucky punch in. Busby likens this to playing a video game with a child and they start mashing buttons and end up beating you.
This leads Raven to pontificate on the old comment about if you had a billion monkeys at a billion typewriters over a billion years, one of them will write War & Peace. Busby says think of all the monkeys that basically write War & Peace but make, like, three typos and it’s decided, “nope, that’s not War & Peace.”
Busby reads a poorly written, and somewhat humorous letter asking Raven if he’d ever slept with Marie Osmond. Raven says he and Konnan appeared on her show in the ’90s while she was pregnant, and that he did not sleep with her. He later heard from DDP that the people at the show hated them. He assumes this is because he and Konnan were making “tossed salad” jokes on the air. The people on the show didn’t understand the saying at the time, but if they hated them, they must’ve figured it out.
A reader writes in to ask about Raven’s experiences working as Johnny Polo against Men On A Mission. He says he was good friends with them and they and PG-13 would go out drinking all the time. He says Mabel once showed him a video tape of his time a couple years earlier working in the Carolina’s and that he was only about 285 lbs. He asked how Mabel put on almost 200 lbs. He adds that Mabel wasn’t making a lot of money at the time and was only eating maybe a taco every day, while Raven was pigging out.
Busby says he recently read an article about how an overwhelming portion of overweight people eat in secret. They feel judged for eating a certain way and will gorge when no one is around.
The next letter asks who Raven didn’t enjoy doing a job for. They cite watching Raven lose to Goldberg. Raven says it was just acting and he carried himself the same way regardless of a match outcome. He was against “boo-boo facing.” He would see this backstage a lot. If he saw someone walking around with a pouting face he figured they were doing a job.
Raven says the worst is old-timers who are asked to do a job, and do so, but kick out at 3 and 1/10 second, to show that they barely lost. He says you still lost.
The last letter is one that includes many questions:
Who did Raven regret working with?
Raven says he didn’t like working with anyone big and stiff. He specifically names Giant Gonzalez and Scott Norton. He also didn’t like working with people who didn’t respect his talent.
Who did Raven never work with that he’d like to?
Chief Jay Strongbow is the first answer. Raven says he would like to feed for the Chief’s comeback.
Of all the eras, what one does Raven wish he’d worked through?
Raven feels he worked during the perfect time. Aside from then, he says five to ten years earlier while the territories were still hot would have been great. Busby waxes on about the WWF/MSG era of the 1970s and Raven says that he thought Madison Square Garden was a dump. When he first went there, he was disappointed. He assumed it would be a Sistine Chapel type structure and instead found it to be a manger.
If you could go back to high school with everything you know now, would you?
“You mean, like, 21 Jump Street?”
Sometimes Raven’s goofiness gets a good pop out of me, and this retort was one of those times.
Busby says it wouldn’t be like going back as an old man, but just with the knowledge you have now. Raven would take a pass. He says a lot of people say life is too short, but he feels it’s long.
Busby expounds that it’s dangerous to go back to a different part of your life with new knowledge. If anything, you’ll feel more disenfranchised. Raven adds that he would still feel his current age, so the prospect of dating 16-year-olds creeps him out.
If you were a masked wrestler, what would your name be?
Raven says Scott. He points out that the gimmick is hiding in a mask, but giving his real name.
Who would induct you into the WWE Hall Of Fame?
Perry Saturn, the Grappler, or Busby.
The guys then speculate on what it would be like if Raven insisted on Busby inducting him. Busby says the audience would s**t all over him.
If Raven could be something other than a wrestler, what would he be?
He says something with action, like the DEA or FBI.
Rating: After a week of indulging Raven’s desire to talk about things other than wrestling, the show came back to form this week with a solid mix of silliness and insightful conversations pertaining to Raven’s active years in the industry. The chemistry between Busby and Raven is entertaining enough, particularly when they get into their “stoner talk” mode, that I’m compelled to recap the non-wrestling segments as often as the wrestling-related ones. To that end, this episode is worth a download by any fan of the business for the conversation about Villano IV’s injury and the insane anecdotes about Van Hammer and Ralphus. Raven recalled Busby telling him before the show that the sweet spot for the run-time of a podcast is one hour and ten minutes. They went a bit over that mark this week, but not by much and it was a fun, breezy listen. 8/10
4:35: Flat Earther interview
7:07: Ric Flair
19:05: The Villano IV injury
24:10: Konnan and Van Hammer
31:02: Joey Styles
39:33: Marie Osmond
43:28: Men On A Mission
46:21: Raven doing jobs
49:40: Working with big stiffs
51:09: Chief Jay Strongbow
53:38: Madison Square Garden
1:06: The plugs
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