In January of 1995, on the very first episode of ECW Hardcore TV, a new character was introduced that would become the center of all the major storylines in ECW for the next two and a half years.
Tommy Dreamer was a wrestler that the ECW was trying to push as their ultra clean, poster boy baby face. Just one problem though. The crowd hated him early on. The fans just didn't like the way the character looked, or his old school baby face antics. It wasn't until Dreamer fueded with The Sandman in 1994 that the crowd finally accepted Dreamer. Dreamer lost a Loser Gets Caned match to The Sandman, and refused to back down when it came time for him to take his licks. The stipulation was that Dreamer could stop the caning at anytime by getting down on his knees, and kissing the feet of The Sandman's manager at the time(the late Nancy "Woman" Benoit). Dreamer refused, and took so many shots from the cane that his back began bleeding from the welts. Dreamer's toughness finally won the crowd over.
After feuding with The Sandman, Dreamer began a feud against the young Stevie Richards. In late 1994 Stevie Richards began calling himself by different knicknames based on the previous characters of one Scot Levy. Richards began calling himself Stevie "The Body", Stevie "Flamingo", and Stevie "Polo" based on Raven's Scotty The Body, Scotty Flamingo, and Johnny Polo characters in Continental Wrestling Association, WCW, and WWF. On the January 7th episode of Hardcore TV Stevie Richards came out to an interview with Joey Styles with a pink Scotty Flamingo jacket like the one Raven used to wear in WCW. Styles told Richards that he had been at the Arena all day, and that he did not see Johnny Polo in the building like Stevie had promised last week. Richards responded by telling Styles that this was the biggest day in the history of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and introduced "The Birth" of Raven.
Raven was a character that was crafted by Scott Levy himself. Levy started wrestling in 1988 in Memphis' Continental Wrestling Association with Eddie Gilbert. He went on to have brief stints in WCW and WWF with really goofy gimmicks. In WCW he was a florida surfer, and in WWF he was a rich spoiled snob that was relegated to managerial duties(was Adam Bomb's manager).
Levy crafted the Raven character after Patrick Swayze's "Bohdi" character in the film Point Break.
Throughout January of 1995 Raven was pushed in ECW through some edgy highlight videos mixed in with the music video for Offspring's "Come Out And Play". Raven would also cut promo's in dark boiler room type settings, and school classrooms vaguely taunting Tommy Dreamer about their childhood.
The ECW continued to improve and break new ground with the introduction of the Raven character at the very beginning of 1995. There weren't any characters in pro wrestling like Raven in WWF or WCW. He was just more down to earth and dare I say....Realistic?
"The pain and suffering of a childhood lost. An empty swing, an empty promise, a broken dream, a broken home. It's strange how laughter looks like crying......with no sound, and raindrops taste like tears.....without the pain.
Tommy Dreamer, you will relive the turmoil and anguish of an uncertain youth....
Quoth the Raven, nevermore."
-Raven, ECW Hardcore TV January 1995
The next show we will take a look at is the first big supercard for the ECW in 1995, the February 4th "Double Tables" show. The format at this time for ECW is that they would typically take a show like Double Tables, and cut it up for several weeks worth of their weekly Hardcore TV episodes. These supercards were pretty much their pay per views in 1995, but at the same time these would be what you seen on the weekly show(with extra promos and music videos mixed in).