Jim Ross confirms that Vince McMahon was never high on a popular 27-time Hardcore Champion
The latest episode of Jim Ross’ ‘Grilling JR’ podcast on AdFreeShows.com revolved around WrestleMania 17, which had a Hardcore Championship match between Kane, Raven, and The Big Show.
While Kane won the nine-minute Triple Threat Hardcore match, there was a lot of talk about Raven’s standing in the company at the time. The former WCW Champion had just returned to the WWE in 2000, and he hoped to rise through the ranks in the company.
Raven was sadly never pushed to the top, and his second WWE run came to an end in 2003. Jim Ross stated that Vince McMahon had mixed emotions about Raven. JR added that the WWE Chairman didn’t fully understand the 27-time hardcore champion’s character.
The AEW announcer admitted that he himself often found it challenging to grasp Raven’s objectives as a performer. Jim Ross has known Raven, real name Scott Levy, for a very long time, and he noted that the Hardcore legend was a very talented wrestler.
Jim Ross wasn’t sure if Raven himself understood his WWE character, and he termed the wrestler’s WWE push as being ‘sporadic.’
“I think he had mixed emotions. I don’t know if he fully got it. I’m not sure if I got it all the time either with Raven. I’m not sure what he was trying to portray. Scotty is a very talented kid. You know, I’ve known him since day one. Some of Scotty’s best work was in Portland, in my opinion. I don’t know if he connected with the character, Conrad. I just don’t know that he did. But, because of that, Raven’s push, the god damn push that we’re all seeking in life, was probably on again, off again, sporadic at best.”
Everybody looked at me: Jim Ross on what Vince McMahon said about Raven in a production meeting
Conrad Thompson brought up the story of a WWE production meeting in which Vince McMahon spoke out against Raven’s WWE signing. Vince McMahon apparently said, ‘Who the f*** hired Raven?’ during the meeting, and Jim Ross remembered the incident quite vividly.
Jim Ross was the head of talent relations, and all eyes naturally turned towards him after Vince McMahon’s comments.
Jim Ross explained that they hired Raven intending to recreate the magic from his ECW days. Unfortunately for Raven, things didn’t quite work out in WWE, as he didn’t get the complete support of all the critical decision-makers in the promotion.
Jim Ross even revealed that many people in WWE jumped off the Raven hype train as soon as they realized that Vince McMahon wasn’t a fan of the ECW standout.
“Yeah, of course, because everybody looked at me. As they would, because why would you take any responsibility for contributing to the creative of bringing somebody in that the old man didn’t like? You wanted to distance yourself from that negative feeling. I hired Raven. I was like you, Conrad. I thought we could recreate what he had accomplished in ECW, that character is a no-brainer, but you had to have the complete support of everybody, and once the creative team saw that the most powerful man in our industry in the entire world wasn’t high on him, those sons of bi**** jumped the ship like rats. Fact.”
Raven’s case is often viewed as a missed opportunity as he came to the WWE with an impressive résumé. What do you think? Where did it all go wrong for Raven in the WWE? Sound off in the comments section below.