Monday, February 19, 2007

WCW:`Raven, Part 1

Scott Levy (born September 8, 1964) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Raven. He is currently wrestling for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and is a former NWA and ECW World Heavyweight Champion. He is also the innovator of numerous types of "gimmick" wrestling matches, such as the Clockwork Orange House of Fun match.

Scott Levy studied criminal justice at the University of Delaware and originally wanted to be a lawyer. He would break into the wrestling business in 1988 as Scotty The Body in Memphis' Continental Wrestling Association, where he was the boy-toy of Missy Hyatt, who used him to her and Eddie Gilbert's advantage.

After leaving Memphis, Levy competed in his home state of Florida until he was let go after an argument with part owner Steve Keirn. Levy next competed briefly with Vancouver's All Star Wrestling; he wrestled as a face there and got over with the fans, but ended up leaving due to promoter Al Tomko's preference to push his sons, Todd (AKA Rick Davis) and Terry (AKA The Frog) in All Star's top spots, as well as Tomko making false allegations about Levy being in legal trouble. From there, he went to Portland's Pacific Northwest Wrestling. He was one of the main heels for most of his three years there, winning all of the titles and feuding heavily with Steve Doll; after taking a brief break from competing, he returned to PNW as a face and began a feud with top heel The Grappler.

His first national TV exposure was in the Global Wrestling Federation as Scotty Anthony. He was a member of The Cartel with Cactus Jack, Rip Rogers, and Makhan Singh.

He got his first major exposure as a wrestler in 1992 in World Championship Wrestling in the light-heavyweight division under the name Scotty Flamingo managed by Diamond Dallas Page, and won the short lived WCW Light Heavyweight Title (also known as the first incarnation of the WCW Cruiserweight Championship) on June 20, 1992 by defeating Brian Pillman. After the match, many other wrestlers lined up in the back to praise the quality of the match. Brad Armstrong defeated Levy to win the Light Heavyweight title.He had feuds with Brian Pillman, Brad Armstrong and Johnny B. Badd. He won a "boxing" match over the former Golden Gloves champion Badd at the Clash of Champions on November 18, 1992 when his ring corner men, Diamond Dallas Page and Vinnie Vegas, loaded his gloves with water so he could KO Badd. He left later that year.

In early 1993, Levy joined the World Wrestling Federation as manager Johnny Polo, a spoiled, rich kid, and was placed with Adam Bomb. He was also manager of the Quebecers tag team, whom he led to a few reigns as WWF World Tag Team Champions. He occasionally wrestled, worked as a color commentator, Co Host of Radio WWF, and, behind the scenes, worked as a producer for the WWF's Monday Night RAW TV program. Levy left in 1994 due to not wrestling and at times not even being on the show.

In 1995, now bulked up to approximately 230 lb (104 kg), Levy debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling under the name Raven (a reference to the poem by Edgar Allan Poe). In a dramatic departure from his former characters, Levy began portraying a depressed, nihilistic, sadistic, misanthrope. He made his debut with Stevie Richards, attacking Tommy Dreamer, claiming Dreamer was his enemy when they were children at Summer Camp. He also debuted with the valet, Beulah McGillicutty, a girl who liked Dreamer as a child, but is now seeking revenge. Raven and Dreamer had a great deal of matches with Raven coming out victorious every time.

Another major ECW feud was with Sandman. He "brainwashed" his son to join his cult like following, and turned him against his father. Raven would get at Sandman by having his son deny his relationship with his father, and he would do Raven's taunt to slowly eat away at Sandman. This led to many bloody matches, which Sandman's son interfered to help his father. After the match, the two embraced, but Raven came from behind with a Kendo Stick, and smacked his enemy. Steven Richards and the Blue Meanie came out with a giant wooden cross, and tied Sandman down to it. They then lifted it up, and "crucified" him. The fans gave a negative reaction. At the time, Kurt Angle was backstage, and the offensive angle caused him to leave and threaten a lawsuit if his name appeared on the same episode as the "crucifixion." Raven came out, and gave a questionable apology for his actions. To this day Raven claims that the angle wasn't an insult to Jesus Christ, but an insult to The Sandman, by using religious iconography to convey an artistic standpoint. The footage of the "crucifixion" was never used by ECW, and indeed, was not publicly seen until it appeared on the WWE Home Video DVD The Rise and Fall of ECW.

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