It’s hard to believe, but Scott Levy, the wrestler who grew into the character “Raven” in the wrestling, got his start in of all places Memphis. In Jerry Lawler’s Memphis Professional Wrestling outfit, the scrawny kid chased Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt around, hoping to win a date with the blond beauty.
During his career he has held multiple championships across the world. He is a former two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion and former one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, which he held whilst in TNA Wrestling. He also held the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship once, WCW United States Championship once, and is the record holder for most reigns as WWE Hardcore Champion with 27 reigns, which is also the record for most reigns of any title in WWE. He has also held several world tag team championship, having won the ECW World Tag Team Championship four times and the WCW World Tag Team Championship once.
He is the innovator of numerous types of “gimmick” wrestling matches, such as Clockwork Orange House of Fun match, Raven’s Rules match and Hangman’s Horror match. He, along with Terry Funk, Devon Storm and Jerry Lynn are the only wrestlers to have wrestled for WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, and Ring of Honor (ROH) in their careers.
Like so many other wrestlers, Raven’s character developed because he sampled some of the greats of the past and used part of their gimmick or studied past champions and created his own buzz.
While some performers allow their in-ring skills speak from themselves, Raven (or Levy) used his voice, a genre and a way to communicate with the masses to make his life-like character a beloved relic of ECW and WCW.
Now as we celebrate his birthday – I thought would take a look at some of the oddest characters in wrestling history.
The Boogeyman – Martin “Marty” Wright. Originally got his start by competing on WWE’s Tough Enough 4. He was disqualified though, because he was over age cut off limit. He was 40, and the limit was 35. Still, the WWE let him train in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Eventually he made his way to Smackdown, where his gimmick was revealed. Boogeyman recited creepy sounding nursery rhymes, ate worms, and pretty much sucked in the ring. Thankfully, he didn’t last very long. But at least his look made for some interesting action figures.
Papa Shango – Papa Shango was a voodoo practitioner, who had a painted face, wore scary clothes, and carried a smoking skull to the ring. Sort of sounds like my number 8 pick doesn’t it? But Papa Shango was even scarier because he had the ability to cast spells. One of which made The Ultimate Warrior, projectile vomit on camera. Very scary stuff indeed.
Kevin Sullivan – Known as the heel “Boston Battler”, Sullivan’s “devil worshiping” gimmick started in CWF when he became associated with “Maniac” Mark Lewin (Purple Haze), Bob Roop, The Lock and Luna Vachon amongst others as the Army of Darkness. Sullivan split his time with International Championship Wrestling and brought the devil-worshiping gimmick there, along with Lewin and Roop. He had the Fallen Angel as his valet, who later became known as Woman.
Gorgeous George – George debuted his new “glamour boy” image on a 1941 card in Eugene, Oregon; and he quickly antagonized the fans with his exaggerated effeminate behavior when the ring announcer introduced him as “Gorgeous George”. Such showmanship was unheard of for the time; and consequently, arena crowds grew in size as fans turned out to ridicule George (who relished the sudden attention).
Scary Sherri Martel – Martel began her professional wrestling career as a manager. She joined the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in the mid-1980s and held its AWA World Women’s Championship three times. In the late 1980s, she joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where she held the WWF Women’s Championship. Also in the WWF, Martel continued to act as a manager to wrestlers such as Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase, and Shawn Michaels. She appeared in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the 1990s. In the latter, Martel acted as the manager for the tag team Harlem Heat. After leaving WCW, she made a few wrestling related appearances until her death in 2007.
The Missing Link – The Missing Link wore blue and green face paint and shaved portions of his head while letting the hair grow in other areas. His gimmick was similar to that of George Steele and Kamala, a crazy out-of-control wild man that needed a trainer or manager to lead him to the ring. During his matches, he would often ram his own head repeatedly into the turnbuckle or wooden chair, headbutt and dive head first onto an opponent.
The Shockmaster – Without a doubt, this is one moment in Wrestling History that I bet Fred Ottman wishes he could take back. As pictured above, he was decked out in of all things, a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet, spray painted silver, and covered in glitter. The rest of his outfit consisted of jeans, and some kind of fur thing. But the thing that gives him the top spot, despite the fact that this character lasted for no more than a blink of an eye, is the fact that during his debut, he literally fell flat on his face while trying to bust through a fake wall. Once again, if you haven’t seen this, then find the video and prepare to laugh.
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