A cult hero among '90s wrestling fans, Raven's career didn't go half as far as it should have. By all accounts, the former ECW Champion wasn't the easiest guy in the world to work with, but his shortfalls had more to do with mishandling by mainstream American promotions than anything else.
It started in WCW, where Raven became a bland, diluted version of the intoxicating figure he was in ECW, prompting him to return to his old home promotion in 1999. He left upon the expiration of his one-year contract, signing with WWE in September 2000, where he was immediately inserted into Tazz's dreadful feud with Jerry Lawler.
From there, WWE placed Raven in the trashy hardcore division, where he became a 27-time champion, but struggled to differentiate himself from the myriad of garbage brawlers he was forced to wrestle. Character work was always his strong suit, but the company rarely turned him loose on the microphone, and he became indistinguishable aside from his oddball look.
Raven debuted a promising "puppet master" gimmick prior to his WWE release in January 2003, but was left to rot on Sunday Night Heat. A performer of such charisma should never have been so neglected.
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