“What this machine that we are looking at does is actually forces you to breathe the air. It also forces you to breathe the air out too, which is the other problem. It’s not an architectural thing where they can adjust your throat so it doesn’t abstract your breathing. It’s nice to have that light at the end of the tunnel though.
“You have no idea how positive that makes me feel because I refuse to be somebody that pities themselves because I’ve been very lucky in my life. I will always take all the bad with the good I’ve gotten. So I’m not going to complain about it, but it’s still very irritating.”
Despite his medical woes, Raven continues to push through and has served in a backstage capacity for the Chicago-based Resistance Pro Wrestling. There, he works with Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan. He enjoys the creative process.
“I did have a behind the scenes role when I was in the business for less than five years,” Raven said. “Four years in the business I became an associate producer of ‘Monday Night Raw’ and had an office in Titan Tower across from the many writers on the booking committee. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, certainly not for them.
“Vince [McMahon] asked me a few times after that to do it, but there it’s a 24/7 job. He also changes his mind so much, it’s back-and-forth. To me, if you create something, you want to get the chance to see if it could go. Just to change everything on a whim because he took a cold shower or someone pissed him off that he decided to change a storyline.
“When I create something, I want to see it through or be shot down in the beginning with semi-logical reasoning. To be held for just his mood would not be something I would want to put my life on hold for 24 hours a day and living in Connecticut again…”
So there is Resistance Pro Wrestling.
“What I like about Billy is he is the booker and comes up with the storylines,” Raven said. “I am in charge of everything else, as far as he says if he wants an angle done and asking what the finish or match we need. It’s very rewarding in that sense. Billy is pretty good about listening to what I have to say and following through with it. It’s refreshing that I don’t have to be a mouthpiece or a yes man.”
Raven reflects on some WWE past.
“I can go back to the XFL. I had no problem with it. Here is a guy [McMahon] who has a lot of money, and instead of sitting on it, he is going to try to do something he wants to do. He had this idea,” Raven said. “What I didn’t like is when it went belly up and all our pay got cut. Then we had to pay for it, and not him. Literally everyone I know had their pay cut in half the next year. That is just not right. Not when he has the money he has. It’s just wrong.”
Raven admits his love for the business has deteriorated these days. However, he comes alive when the name CM Punk resonates. Raven worked with the current WWE champ in a number of independent promotions, as the straightedge superstar made a name for himself.
“He was right place, right time,” Raven said. “There was a guy who believed he was greater than he was which is OK because you have to have some ego in this business. Now he is every bit as good as he ever thought he was. He is absolutely phenomenal.