July 17, 2005
Levy won't run dry while playing Raven
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
As Johnny Polo, he was a bit of a wimp, as Scotty "The Body" Flamingo, he was at his flamboyant best and as Raven, he's a tortured soul ... and also a world heavyweight champion.
As Raven, Scott Levy has found a character that in many ways borrows real-life characteristics ... and he's making a name for himself in TNA, recently winning the title strap, an honour he'll defend tonight at the No Surrender pay-per-view.
"We have to do something close to our (real) characters because as actors, we're not Lawrence Olivier.
"Johnny Polo (a character in his early WWF days) was not even remotely close to what I am," said Raven on the phone the other day. "I had to overcome the albatross of Johnny Polo, who was so wimpy I figured I had to be double tough.
"Scotty Flamingo was an aspect of me, the flamboyant part. Michael (P.S.) Hayes was my hero. Scotty was my take on Michael Hayes.
"Raven became a sullen, morose character who felt like the world had let him down. He's a tortured soul. I took so much out of my own life. I've been in and out of shrinks' couches for years. It's like the (Rolling) Stones song: You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.
"The Raven character is a true representation. But it's Scott Levy multiplied by 10. It's ironic that I was a very cowardly kid. I could have been good at baseball, but I was scared of getting hit by a pitch. Now I can stand with no hands, you can hit with me with a chair and I won't flinch."
Raven marvels at how well wrestlers do what they do.
"We're every bit the art form as ballet," he said. "We're directors, stuntmen, choreographers, producers and we write our own material. I defy ballet dancers to do it on the fly. I've wrestled 300 nights in a year and I do different matches every night."
A hardcore artist, not just because of his in-ring skills, but also his match psychology, Raven says hardcore matches are often messed up.
"For the most part, hardcore is very poorly done," he said. "It becomes a shortcut. just a bunch of guys hitting each other with pots and pans.
"Most guys don't have the creativeness and the psychology. You can elevate it to an art."
Raven thinks TNA will catch on with fans if given the time.
"Seinfeld took four years to catch on," he said. "Wrestling is word of mouth. If you put out a good product, people will find out."
Raven is proud to be TNA's champion, an honour he says rides alongside his reign as ECW champion.
"This means something to me," he said. "I hate when belts change hands all the time ... they become worthless.
"I liked the WWE hardcore title too. It was so preposterous. I won it 39 times, sometimes three times a day (under the 24/7 defence rule)."
He won't have to defend his TNA title three times tonight. Abyss will be enough for him to handle, especially since it's a steel chain dog collar match.
- WWE is promising a special announcement on Wednesday. If the announcement was being held at the Rogers building, could it mean that a deal has been struck by a cable TV giant to air WWE 24/7?
- Matt Hardy? Matt Freaking Hardy? Well, he's back in WWE, appearing to attack his former real-life girlfriend Amy Dumas (Lita) and former best buddy Adam Copeland (Edge). Yeah, it looked real. So is it real ... or a work? Let's think about it. Would WWE really let him grab a microphone and would he get past security if this was a spur-of-the-moment thing? Make no mistake about it though, it was compelling.
- The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, added Rowdy Roddy Piper to his list of superkick victims. Wouldn't it be great if Michaels also put the boot to Stone Cold Steve Austin? Then there'd definitely be hell to pay.
- RAW's Diva Search is moving along at a snail's pace. I've got to admit I'm a sucker for lovely ladies, but WWE has to cut the TV time a bit ... or at the very least give the gals a bit more to work with.