The Raven Effect
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Recap By: Jeff Rush, PWPodcasts.com Assistant Editor
- Discussion on the Enzo Neville double turn
- Raven discusses working as a babyface
- The anatomy of a proper babyface turn
- Raven books Martin Shkreli and Cruella DeVille face turns
- An infamous story about Haystacks Calhoun on laxatives in-flight
- Raven talks about being miserable in WWE
Raven opens the show with his usual Dr. Seuss-on-reality-TV-and-maybe-LSD rhyming routine.
Busby wants to know if he watches Gotham. Raven says he couldn’t stay with Arrow, and that cost him watching all the follow-up shows.
After some back and forth joking, Busby states that the show will be a dinger. This brings us to a several minute discussion on the meaning of “humdinger.” Is it when a hummingbird hits a home run? That would be shocking, says Busby, since bats weigh so much. Raven retorts that this would take place in a hummingbird league. Busby scoffs at the notion, saying listeners surely assumed the hypothetical hummingbird would be performing in an actual human baseball game. Raven says that would be possible if the bird were on steroids. Busby speculated that bird would thusly look like a knotted up sweet potato.
Less than 10 minutes in, and we are off to a classic Raven Effect start.
We then spend several minutes on the shows new running segment of “Guess the Gimmick.” I really like this show and am not attempting to bury any aspect as I do recommend it. Check it out, give a rating, follow on Twitter and all that stuff. But this segment is not for me. This week’s rendition had a moment or two, but I’d be fine with them dropping it altogether.
Busby then introduces the topic of face and heel turns, which would define the first half of the show. He loved the Enzo-Neville double turn on Raw last week. As such, he wants to discuss turns that have taken place.
Raven immediately jumps into what was, in his opinion, the worst double turn of all time – Demolition and Powers of Pain. He feels nothing was put into it other than having Mr. Fuji change sides. Busby says this was a classic move in the old days when certain managers, like Jim Cornette or Paul Jones, had so much heat on themselves that whoever they squared off against would immediately become a babyface.
Raven feels the best turns are the ones that are built up over a long time. Busby says too often, we get the opposite these days where someone gets turned because they’re not getting over as they are.
One of Raven’s favorite turns was Lex Luger-Tatanka in 1993. He says it was done even better by Jimmy Garvin in Florida years earlier, but he doesn’t remember who else was involved in that one so he’s going with this. The story was that Tatanka spent months accusing Luger of nefarious deeds when it turned out it Tatanka was the perpetrator.
Busby feels that Tatanka was always better as a heel.
Raven disliked being a babyface. He feels when you turn, you can’t change very much of who you are because that’s why they liked you in the first place. It’s a fine line you have to walk.
When he left WCW, Raven made a surprise return to ECW, thusly beginning his face run. His first night back came on the Dudley’s last night. The story was Tommy Dreamer was always chasing a title and had a shot against the Dudley’s for the tag championship. Raven returned as his surprise partner and they won the match, much to Dreamer’s dismay because he and Raven were famously at odds.
Raven thinks the locker room atmosphere had changed for the worse since he’d previously been in ECW. He says RVD was still around, but Paul Heyman was burned out and the talent was all different.
We then arrive at Busby’s new game: booking face turns for real villains.
Up first is Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager who infamously purchased a pharmaceuticals company and raised the price of the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim from $16 to $750 per pill. He would subsequently win an auction for the only copy of a Wu-Tang album, paying $2 Million for the privilege.
How would Raven turn him babyface?
First, he’d have Shkreli announce that he’s letting everyone hear the Wu-Tang album. He would then have his publicist announce that the reason for the price increase of Daraprim was to raise funds to create drugs to battle more obscure diseases. He realizes now that approach was a mistake.
Busby is pleased with this answer and says the game is going as well as he’d hoped.
Up next is Cruella DeVille, the primary antagonist from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians who skinned puppies to make fancy coats for herself.
Raven returns to the publicist well, saying this time they would announce that Cruella has Multiple Personality Disorder. Cruella has been in charge, but as of late, her other personality, Cadillac DeVille is coming out. She’s nice and works for the ASPCA. She’s on her medication and is going to give her money to poor children.
Next up is Nickelback.
Raven says first, they would change their name to Dollarback to give themselves a more highbrow appeal. They would then apologize for being so offensive and promise never to make music again.
Busby points out that, based on the rules of the game, they can’t change a major aspect of themselves and they have to win people over through music. Raven does not believe that’s possible.
With that, we’ve reached the end of what Busby feels is the easy part of this game. The next three are harder.
First up, getting diarrhea on a plane.
This reminds Raven of a story he once heard about someone playing a joke on Haystacks Calhoun and slipping him laxatives prior to a flight. Calhoun weight 601 lbs. and was unable to fit into the plane’s bathroom and was forced to contain his waste in large garbage bags.
He says the babyface turn is to put a note in your mouth that reads “I have poisoned this man,” and go into convulsions on the ground. That way, people will realize the diarrhea is not his fault.
Busby says he was actually looking for a way to turn the diarrhea babyface. He thinks if the diarrhea were to happen to Martin Shkreli and kill him, it would be seen as the avenger of wrongdoing and instantly be a babyface.
Next up is a tough one with a caveat – chicken salad with raisins in it. Busby hates raisins in chicken salad and thinks everyone does. He says the trick here is to turn the salad babyface, but you have to keep the raisins in it.
Raven says he would simply add cucumber and grapes, thusly making it a delicious Waldorf chicken salad. Busby says he should’ve kept this one in the easy pile.
The final face turn is for a super crooked penis. Busby watches adult films and hates it when he discovers this feature on one of the actors.
Raven plays the long game with this one. He says for three consecutive movies, he’s unable to sleep with anyone. By the end of the third film, he’s helping old ladies across the street and is otherwise himself a full-on babyface. The woman he’s pursuing still won’t sleep with him, but her sister will and now the bent penis has turned face.
Busby says this would’ve been better if the woman had a bent vagina.
Raven then launches into fan mail. The first letter accuses Raven of being a member of “the Jewish mafia,” where all Jewish members of the company were secretly pulling strings in WCW in the early 90’s. The person mentions Paul Heyman and Dallas Page as other members. Raven says DDP isn’t Jewish. Busby responds that his last name is Falkenberg, to which Raven states perhaps DDP is “Jewish adjacent.” The letter doesn’t really make any sense.
There are a few other letters regarding the name fans of the Raven Effect have chosen for themselves, someone else writing in with their own Raven-style intro, and someone else writing in asking for a Busby episode. How did Chad Damiani get involved in the industry, etc? Busby takes this seriously and starts getting into it before being slide-whistled out by Raven. Busby concludes that his is a good, Rudy-esque type story. I actually think this is a good idea and would love such an episode.
In another letter, someone addresses the UK TV license fee mentioned on an earlier episode. They mention that blind people receive a 50% discount. Raven thinks this is bulls**t, that blind people should get a 100% discount. Busby speculates that perhaps it’s an issue of sight and sound and they have to pay for one. Raven still thinks it’s BS. He feels everything should be given to you if you’re blind.
Another letter prompts Raven to discuss John Candy films. Raven isn’t a fan of John Candy in a starring role. He also mentions The Burbs, which he does not like, but he loves the Dragnet movie starring Tom Hanks.
Raven is briefly prompted to discuss his attitude in WWE. He says he was miserable there because there was a general sense of his not being used well that he knew would never change. “It’s hard when your mistress treats you so poorly,” he concludes.
“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you” is Raven’s quote of the day this week. Neither he nor Busby fully understand the saying. Busby wonders who the book is for and asks if other souls will read the book. He says there’s a lot of pressure there, where every other soul would be trying to the other ones to read their book.
The guys then promote a live show they’ll be hosting in Los Angeles.
Another staple of the show is Raven reaching out to Saturn and providing updates on his well-being. Raven was unable to reach him this week but did leave him a message. He says Saturn love working out to the Grease soundtrack. He says they both also love John Cougar Mellencamp.
We close the show with weekly recommendations. Raven recommends Justin’s Almond Butter and The Opposition with Jordan Klepper. Busby recommends Assassin’s Creed.
Rating: 6/10 This wasn’t one of the best episodes I’ve heard, but it wasn’t terrible. The standout segment was the discussion on face and heel turns, both the conversation about actual wrestling turns and the hypothetical turning of real-life villains. This wouldn’t work on most other podcasts (and really shouldn’t be tried), but these guys are great at tapping into stoner humor without the assistance of any drugs. They can get onto a silly topic and just run with it and make it enjoyable, and sometimes, that can be the saving grace of a given episode. I think this is probably a good example of that.
7:50: Guess the gimmick
14:36: Turns and double turns
23:30: Booking face turns for real-life villains
41:09: Fan Mail
1:00:33: Quote Of The Day
About the Author:
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