Written by: Bob Colling
Kayfabe Commentaries presents Guest Booker with Raven
Hosted by: Sean Oliver
Sean Oliver opens the DVD talking about how Scott Hall and Kevin Nash jumping from the WWF to WCW made a huge impact to the Monday Night Wars. However, what if the Outsiders instead went to Extreme Championship Wrestling? What if former ECW World Champion Raven was given the book and the Hall/Nash angle? We will find out during the course of this DVD. Raven will be booking from June 199 up to April 1997 which was the first Barely Legal.
Chapter #1: ECW Roster
Here is the roster that Raven has to work with:
Axl Rotten, Beulah, Big Dick Dudley, Bill Alfonso, Blue Meanie, Brian Lee, Bubba Dudley, Chris Jericho, D-Von Dudley, Devon Storm, Don Harris, El Puerto Ricano, Francine, Hack Myers, JT Smith, Kevin Nash, Lady Alexandra, Little Guido, Lori Fullington, Louie Spicolli, Mack Daddy Kane, Mike Whipwreck, the Gangstas, Pitbulls, Rob Van Dam, Ron Harris, Sabu, Sandman, Scott Hall, Stevie Richards, Taz, Terry Gordy, Tommy Dreamer, Too Cold Scorpio,
Oliver asks about the vibe in ECW, but Raven doesn’t know. He is reminded of the period by saying it was after he got out of rehab and regained the ECW World Championship in a barbed wire match against the Sandman. He says that for awhile the guys thought pay per view wouldn’t happen but then it did. He states this is the beginning of the “lost years” for his memory due to drug usage. He doesn’t think the guys would walk out because ECW was built around being a team. He knew how to play the game because he was a veteran to the business along with Shane Douglas.
Raven credits Heyman for being able to tell the guys why they were in the spot they were in, because he had a way to coach guys. Heyman would treat the guys differently from one another. He thinks that writers writing for the mid-carders lead them to writing for everyone because of the success they had with the group that had flaws.
Oliver asks how Raven would’ve handled the issues between Douglas and Hall. “I would have them slug it out right now or just drop it.” Raven believes he could book and be on television but would hate to book himself on top even though he was the most qualified person to hold it. Though, he admits he would take the belt off of himself for the wrong reasons.
Chapter #2: Hall & Nash Enter
Oliver goes over some of the angles leading in that saw Douglas working with the Pitbull and Dreamer working with Lee.
Raven says he would bring in Hall first to setup the tempo. He can’t argue with what Sullivan did for the angle. He talks about how Hall always talks about he got ran over by the USA bus that killed Razor Ramon’s push. Raven would incorporate that into Hall’s first promo in ECW. Hall would have to be brought in as a babyface and Raven would work the heel role. He would have Richards or Meanie tell Hall this is their show and in order to get television time he has to go through them. He would have wrestlers cut promos on Hall coming in. Raven states that the Outsiders never really drew money. He tells Oliver that he is going to book for the Arena shows that happens every three weeks. At the last week of television, Hall would tell Raven that he is coming for the ECW World Championship. Hall would be beaten down by Raven, Lee, Richards and Meanie that would see Hall get color. By doing this, they would be looked at as being equals to Hall. This would lead into Hall teasing that he would bring in his friend, which would be Nash. He would have Hall say he is going to beat Raven physically before destroying him emotionally by winning the championship. He would bring in some comedy with Meanie and Richards while making sure it is serious by back handing both of them which he says hurts quite a bit.
Leading into July of 1996, they would tease Raven/Brian Lee vs. Hall and his mystery partner. They would have a handheld camera going through a sleazy bar where Hall attacks Raven after giving the camera to someone that is with Hall. Hall would reveal to Raven who the partner is but the fans wouldn’t see his face. This shows Raven having some fear leading into the tag match. That would be the last show before the Arena show. He talks about how promotions should do Pulp Fiction type promos because wrestlers only need ten seconds to get over. Now with Raven having fear, fans would be inclined to come to the shows because Raven is showing fear. He suggests stalling the bout for a month because he would take one of the guys out in the parking lot. Raven thinks he needs some more muscle and thus would bring in Dr. Death in as his muscle. Raven would reveal that they took out his partner after being attacked in a bar. Hall would be jumped at the Arena show giving the heels the advantage. Footage of the beat down on Hall’s partner would be shown, but we wouldn’t see who it was. He would bring up past memories that include leaving a block away from Nash and believes the emotional bond would add to the angle. He would be seen as the grieved person.
In August, Raven would have Scott Hall and Kevin Nash beat the team of Steve Williams and Brian Lee. This would be done so that Nash would be made out to be strong in his first appearance. Raven would take a beating from both Hall and Nash as well. Despite the beating, Raven would note that he is still the champion which would lead to a title match.
So, going into September we would have Raven vs. Scott Hall for the ECW World Championship and Kevin Nash vs. Dr. Death in a grudge match. Raven would introduce X-Pac into the company as Nash’s partner for a match against Dr. Death and Brian Lee. This would be setup in August, apparently, with Nash on commentary during a Dudley’s vs. Lee/Dr. Death. Nash would make the save for the Dudley’s with X-Pac. Raven changes the card to Raven vs. Hall for the ECW World Championship and Dr. Death/Brian Lee vs. Kevin Nash/X-Pac at the September show.
Chapter #3: More Booking
He forgot about Tommy Dreamer being involved with Lee. So, back in June Lee would destroy Dreamer in a scaffold match to injure Dreamer. Raven wants to drop the belt but he wants Hall to chase after him for the belt for a little while. Nash and Pac go over Lee and Dr. Death but Raven manages to get over on Hall. Hall would lose due to X-Pac turning heel on Raven. Lee would be injured by Nash during their bout. Pac will hit Hall while having Raven in the Razors Edge. Raven hits the DDT to retain the championship but notes he was lucky and the fans would believe he was going to lose.
Raven talks about some long term booking plans that would see Hall become a tweener champion and possibly wrestle Funk at Barely Legal, possibly turning heel before then but isn’t sure if that would work. He talks about how Heyman didn’t believe in heels or babyfaces but feels like he changed the company.
Going into October, we would see a Raven vs. Scott Hall rematch for the ECW World Championship and Kevin Nash squaring off against X-Pac. The idea with Raven/Hall is that Hall would say Raven would screw himself out of the championship and Hall would begin to play mind games with Raven. The mind games would have Hall taking out Meanie and Richards to really get to Raven mentally. Nash would defeat X-Pac and Raven pins Hall after X-Pac hits Hall. Dreamer would return during the match as well. Raven and Pac begin to whip Hall with belts until Nash makes the save. Hall then issues a lumberjack strap match for the ECW World Championship in November.
In November we would see Raven vs. Scott Hall for the ECW World Championship in a lumberjack strap match, Kevin Nash vs. Dr. Death and Tommy Dreamer vs. X-Pac. At this point, it’s pointed out that Oliver messed up his writing on the board as he was a month behind on Raven’s booking. To hype up the November match, Hall would whip Raven’s sidekicks. He talks about having to be double the badass to make the Raven character work because he was once Johnny Polo and feels like he got the job done. He says that the Flock is the closest thing to family for Raven, which the character wouldn’t want to admit to but Hall knows it. X-Pac goes over on Dreamer, Nash goes over Williams and takes him out, and Hall wins the ECW World Championship by defeating Raven in the lumberjack strap match. Wait, Raven now says that he would have to go over and think of a creative ending to keep the belt on himself!
Chapter #4: December – April
At the December ECW Arena show, Raven would defend the ECW World Championship for a fourth straight month against Hall inside a steel cage. Terry Gordy would come in and look to take out Nash for injuring his partner in Japan. We would also get another X-Pac/Dreamer match. Beulah would end up falling for Pac and cost Dreamer the match. Pac would court her over the weeks leading into the December show. Raven adds the stipulation to the cage match that if Hall loses he can’t get a title shot for three months and outside interference is banned or Raven loses the championship. There would be several pull a part brawls to hype up the match.
Hall would finally win the ECW World Championship, Nash defeats Gordy, and Pac defeats Dreamer after Beulah gets a cigar in the eye. Raven acknowledges that he is completely bullshitting the Dreamer/Pac feud since he is doing all of this off the top of his head.
Prior to the January show, Terry Funk would start to show up on the shows saying everything but wanting to win the championship. After winning the title, Hall would be attacked by Funk who would deliver a pile driver and beat Hall with a chain. Nash, Dreamer, Pac, and the Flock run down. Raven would be taken off television to focus on booking and would put the Flock with Funk since they need guidance. Sandman would get involved by whacking Nash with his cane. He likes booking injuries because they put over the ECW product. He says this after saying Sandman returns after being injured at around June since he couldn’t insert him into the feud before this point.
The January show would see a six man tag match with Hall, Nash and Dreamer taking on Funk, Pac and Sandman. The purpose of the Sandman/Nash feud is that Sandman is pissed about hearing the fans say how cool Nash is because he was always the coolest guy on the block. The babyfaces would go over in the bout as Dreamer would chase after Pac making it a tag team bout.
Hall and Dreamer wrestle Funk and Pac at the February show. Sandman battles Nash at the show as well with Sandman taking Nash out. Raven acknowledges that the match would be a stinker so he would avoid having it. Hall would be looking to prove that he should’ve been champion in the WWF and that is his motivation to beat Funk. Pac would tell Dreamer that he was happy to put the cigar in Beulah’s eye since Dreamer didn’t believe his apology so Pac is set to do the same to Dreamer. Pac will try to put the cigar in Dreamer’s eye, but Dreamer puts in Pac’s eye. Hall pins Funk in the tag match. Dreamer starts to feel bad for doing that to Pac because he started to believe Pac’s apology. For the Nash/Sandman feud a video will be aired highlighting Nash’s dominance but Sandman will rip through the screen and hit Nash with the cane to avoid the match from happening.
In March of 1997, Hall defends the title against Sandman because Funk wants his title shot in April. Beulah is going to show sympathy towards Pac.
The big Hall vs. Funk match in April would see Funk lose to Hall “because that is how you do it.”
Oliver thanks Raven for doing the interview to close out the DVD. I should note that we see Raven quickly eat something as he would state during the interview that he was starving several times.
My Take: I thought it was an interesting idea to have Raven book Hall and Nash if they had jumped ship to ECW instead of WCW. Sure, it’s incredibly unrealistic but it is a fun idea to play around with.
It would’ve been nice to see Raven at least give matches for the undercard instead of just saying that those matches on the real card didn’t need to be changed. I think it was because he was just lazy. After all, he didn’t use Taz, RVD or Sabu in his booking which is rather surprising.
In my opinion, his booking of the Hall/Raven feud was done nicely. The only flaw I could see is that he may have dragged out the title switch a little long. Having Hall lose three straight months to Raven before the title switch would’ve been a bad way to start Hall in the company, even if he was screwed out of the championship.
Also, I don’t see the fans booing Funk at this time. Hell, I don’t see Hall and Nash being good babyfaces in the company since they were guys from the WWF and all that stuff. The heel turn by Pac made sense, but seemed like that was rushed too. I don’t know why I am listing these types of things because Raven made it clear that he was doing the booking off the top of his head.
Overall, it’s a pretty good DVD I thought. It was too bad that Oliver lost his spot on the board and essentially played a non-factor for what seemed like an hour. Raven pretty much took over the interview and Oliver was left looking kind of foolish. I’ll give this one a thumbs up, but I think it would’ve been better if Raven had food in him because he just rushed through things towards the end.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.