Why did the WWE “hardcore” style burn out:
Because with most people they usually took guys who they aren’t pushing anyway and stick them in the division (as an example, me) they weren’t using me at all and they shoved me in there just to give me something to do because they didn’t want to give me much to do but figured if we’ve got him we may as well to do something with him and when Vince saw that I excelled at it he must have told them to just keep doing it. The problem is that most guys who do it are guys that they aren’t trying to push so that waters it down and the majority of guys they aren’t pushing also don’t have the greatest psychology. Coupled with the fact that most guys throw psychology out the window when it comes to a hardcore match it makes no sense. It’s still a match, it still needs to have a climax and still needs to have a beginning, middle and end just like a three act play.
Lack of psychology in the hardcore matches and today’s high-spot filled matches being the equivalent to the old hardcore style:
Nobody brings psychology to hardcore and that’s why I think Terry Funk loved it and it’s the same reason I do is because in a match you have three people; you, your opponent and the ref so that is three people to make the excitement. In a tag match you have five people and to be honest I really enjoyed tag matches but I prefer to be a singles guy because I prefer the glory for myself but I really enjoy doing tags. In hardcore matches you have all the weaponry and all the creative ways you can use it. By virtue of using them and not being limited to the three of you it is now the three of you plus the pots, the pans, the chairs, stop signs and the creative level you can make is head and shoulders above anything else. That’s why the guys doing the all non-stop high spots are just trying to be more creative to cover up their lack of psychology.
Did the hardcore style wear out its welcome after being turned into almost a parody of what it was:
What ECW did was show clips so you didn’t see the whole thing. You didn’t get all the over the top or the too much or lack of psychology because you didn’t see it. Even a lot of the mat wrestling in ECW had really piss-poor psychology but Paul E. hid it. In the WWE you see everything because Vince doesn’t show clips, he shows full matches. With that being said a lot of guys were over doing it but they never pushed it either. How can anything get over if it’s not pushed. No matter how well it’s performed if it’s not pushed it is not getting over.
Thoughts on modern wrestling and not being interested in the current product:
You know how people always say I don’t watch today’s wrestling. I actually don’t. I stopped watching in 2000 and it was because RAW was so bad at that point and I was so depressed because they weren’t using me worth a crap and it just broke my heart that I stopped watching it. When I got to TNA some of it was good but I was there at the shows so I wasn’t going to go home and watch to see what I missed.
I’ve seen a few pay per views over the last ten years but for the most part I have no idea what it really looks like. I will keep up with the business because it is what I do for a living and I have someone who sends me what the basic plot points of what happened on RAW. He kept putting over The New Day and it sounds pretty interesting but I have no idea and if I bumped into them tomorrow at the mall I would have no idea who they are. That’s not an insult it is because I just don’t watch it and don’t have any interest in watching it.
Would squash matches work if they were brought back to help get over talent:
No way, you couldn’t. If you brought back squash matches you will really lose your audience because people are so accustomed to seeing name guys fight name guys and if you had segments or multiple segments where a guy fights a nobody people would just turn off in droves.
I think a couple of the major problems are the General Managers (Hunter and Stephanie characters for example) are way more powerful than anyone else. I guess they had basically emasculated (Seth) Rollins as the champion and Rollins I wouldn’t even know if I bumped into him at a bar and I wouldn’t even know what he looks like. But the way they emasculated him is ridiculous. You can’t be the toughest or the strongest guy there if you are cow-towing to the owner. They’ve made it about the company not the individual players. By making it about the company and it’s all about the WWE that way you can lose any people and it is not going to harm the company and take away from the ratings or the money drawn. But by not having guys like The Rock or Austin or a Dusty Rhodes or Jim Londos or major stars on the show they are what draws the ratings.
Raven also talked about TNA, his career and more. You can listen to the entire interview here.