As previously reported, former ECW, WCW and TNA star Raven was recently interviewed by Chris Jericho for his Talk Is Jericho podcast. Raven shared a story about his return to WWE in 2000, and how Vince McMahon didn’t know anything about his change in gimmick and character, wondering why someone rehired Johnny Polo. Below are some highlights from the interview.
Raven on why he thought Hogan vs. McMahon was the best match at WrestleMania 19: “[Jericho] and Michaels had a phenomenal match, but I still thought that the best match, no offense, on the card was Hulk and Vince because Vince’s facials and they didn’t have 20 minutes of false finishes. I think they had just a comeback and go home, right? But I remember there was this one spot where Vince picked something up and he peers. Like, his head pops up and he’s peering over across the ring and the camera picks it up and I’m like, ‘oh, what a shot!’”
Raven on why he left WWE in the early 1990s when he was Johnny Polo: “Nobody leaves this company on their own terms. I did, so that was heat. Then, there [were] some other things that I can’t get into that were heat and so it was a whole confluence of things that were partially my fault, definitely partially my fault, and just circumstances. They made the policy that talent couldn’t sleep with the office people. I was proud of that.”
Raven on how partying with Shane McMahon caused him heat with Vince McMahon: “They used to call me Johnny Port Chester Polo because Stamford [Connecticut], they rolled the sidewalks up at one o’clock, but Port Chester [New York] was open till, like, five in the morning. It’s, like, five miles away. My downfall was I’d bring Shane out with me, Shane McMahon. And the boys are like, ‘ah, you’re sucking up to him’ and I’m like, ‘no, I’m not! I’m burying myself’ because he’d call his dad, and on commentary, I’d call his dad ‘Vic’ instead of ‘Vince’, so he’d go, ‘hey, Vic,’ which is just horrible! He’d say, ‘hey, Vic, it’s,’ and it would be, like, four in the morning, ‘I’m just going to sleep at Johnny Polo’s tonight’ and so I just buried myself.”
Raven on Vince McMahon not being aware on his change in gimmick as Raven when he returned to WWE in 2000: “[Jim Ross], JR brought me in and then this is what Michael Hayes told me, that Vince, when Vince heard about it, he goes, ‘who the f–k hired Johnny Polo?’ because I don’t think Vince even knew that I built a career as Raven prior to going [back] there. I think he thought I was Johnny Polo and then four years went by and I sat home because if I wasn’t working for him, I wasn’t working anywhere. Or five years went by and now here I am again. Now I’m with some new character and ‘who’s he to think he can do this?’”
Raven on if he would ever return to WWE: “Honestly, if I could go back, if I could go there now, I don’t think I would because I’d rather be semi-retired. If I had an opportunity to come in, which I don’t, but if I had an opportunity to come in and do what I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it, I’d take that in a heartbeat. But the odds of me ever getting that and the odds of them ever hiring me are [astronomically small], but the odds of me getting to do what I want to do are beyond [astronomically small].”