It is tough to imagine ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) or WCW, (World Championship Wrestling), without thinking of Raven and his stable known as Raven’s Nest. That group would be instrumental in the future of the ECW. At one point, there were as many as 30 people involved in the stable, from wrestlers to family members of wrestlers and even, the ladies. Raven’s rivalry with Tommy Dreamer is one of the most legendary ECW feuds of all-time. It was part of the reason ECW was able to compete with the WCW and WWE during the late ’90s.
After ending his feud with Tommy Dreamer and losing the ECW World Heavyweight Championship to him in the process, Raven left ECW and eventually started showing up on WCW, sitting ringside of Monday Night Nitro matches.
The history of the Raven’s Nest is a big part of the success of professional wrestling in the ’90s. Although he never was the WCW or WWE World Heavyweight Champion, he elevated the careers of many of the other guys in WCW and even created so much hatred towards him that the fans would show up just to boo at him.
But what ever happened to these guys? Where did they go? Where are they now?
Let’s take a look at the Top 15 Members of Raven’s Nest and see where they are today.
13. The Blue Meanie
Unless you are a main event Superstar like Steve Austin, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, or The Undertaker, then your wrestling career is usually remembered for one major event that occurred and that story around it. For The Blue Meanie, it was his real life brawl in the ring with JBL back in 2005.
JBL is one of the most hated guys in wrestling, that is a fact that almost 90% of wrestling fans will agree with. So when he openly punched The Blue Meanie during the 2005 ECW One Night Stand Pay-Per-View, people were shocked. Fans watched JBL go crazy on him until he left The Blue Meanie’s face a bloody mess.
Earlier this year, when asked about the incident by Chris Jericho during one of his podcasts, The Blue Meanie said that he made some comments, including calling JBL an a-hole, after he was fired from the WWE. JBL took offense to it and when he finally got a chance to return the favor, he did.
Who the heck is Lupus?
He is one of the harder to find wrestlers from the early days of the ECW. Lupus was a lackey in Raven’s Nest and was basically his bodyguard that also wrestled. He would come to the ring carrying a blow-up doll and picking his nose, basically just being a disgusting human being.
He was a joke to the fans, a moron, and buffoon in wrestling tights. It is part of the reason why no one remembers this guy or even knows where he has disappeared to these days, or even if he is alive. No one has heard from him, at least in the wrestling world, for years now.
As far as we know, Lupus was portrayed by a man that wants to be forgotten. In this day and age of technology, it is crazy that someone was once in the spotlight and has now vanished. He could be wrestling still, and if he is, let us know.
11. Brian Lee
If you think you know this man, you don’t. It is not The Undertaker, it is Brian Lee, the one-time member of Raven’s Nest and an ECW underrated fan favorite. He was Raven’s official bodyguard that went by several names but his favorite was The Bulldozer.
Just like The Blue Meanie, Brian Lee has one memorable moment that fans will forever remember him by and it is also featured during the opening montage of almost every ECW show. It was a Chokeslam he landed on Tommy Dreamer during the ECW’s Fight The Power event. He was involved in a Six-Man Tag Team match and when things got out of control, he ended up on the balcony with Dreamer where be then Chokeslammed him through three tables stacked on top of one another to win the match.
He has since had major personal problems involving substance abuse, domestic violence, and many other legal issues preventing him from returning to wrestling. He even started pretending to be The Undertaker in real life to get out of some jams with law enforcement, according to Jim Cornette and Paul Bearer.
10. Pitbull #1 & Pitbull #2 (The Pitbulls)
Gary Wolfe (Pitbull #1) and Anthony Durante (Pitbull #2) were one of the best ECW Tag Team Championship duos the company produced in the early ’90s. They started off as members of the Raven’s Nest before leaving the stable and doing their own thing in the company.
After they left the Raven’s Nest, that is when their careers began to take off. It was also the point where the always beautiful ECW valet, Francine, began working with them rocking a super sexy leather-clad dominatrix style that was a perfect fit for The Pitbulls.
Although we are here to talk about Pitbull #1 and Pitbull #2, we can’t help but give credit to Francine for helping them win a Tag Team Championship before leading Pitbull #2 to a Television Championship
Sadly, in 2003, Anthony Durante, and Dianna Hulsey, died of a drug overdose. The story gets much worse as the couple were found in their home days after they died while they also had a 21-month old and an 8-month old still in the house, both were alive.
Denise Riffle Gannon, better known to the ECW fans reading this as Chastity, was a member of the Raven’s Nest just before he left for the WCW. She actually began her career earlier in the same year, 1997. She started with the BWO, Blue World Order, as a fan of Stevie Richards before eventually being named a member of the group.
It wasn’t long before she was moved into the Raven’s Nest. But when Raven left ECW, she was left to fend for herself and she ended up becoming Justin Credible’s valet which also gave us enough catfights between Chastity and Beulah to help any teenage boy get some rest at 1am on a Saturday night, when the shows aired.
Unfortunately, she was never a big time talent in the ECW and was used as eye candy mostly before leaving the company and trying to run with WCW. But it didn’t last long with them either and she moved to Xtreme Pro Wrestling before finally retiring from the business.
8. Jimmy Del Ray
One of the biggest moments in the history of the Raven’s Nest was in December of 1995 at ECW’s December to Dismember: Ultimate Jeopardy Pay-Per-View event when Jimmy del Ray, part of the tag team known as The Heavenly Bodies, participated in a stipulations match involving other members of the Nest as well.
The match was between Public Enemy and The Heavenly Bodies and if the Bodies lost, their Raven’s Nest partners, The Eliminators, would have to leave the ECW. If Public Enemy lost, then they were going to be fighting each other later on in the night. Another caveat for The Heavenly Bodies, if they lost, would be that Beulah would belong to Tommy Dreamer and would have to spend the following week with him. Oh, and Stevie Richards would have to fight the winners of the main event that night while being locked in a steel cage for five minutes.
Public Enemy won and the Raven’s Nest had to live up to their end of the deal, which they did.
Jimmy del Ray ended up going to WCW shortly after and changed his name to Jimmy Graffiti. Don’t worry if you never heard of him, the character didn’t last long. After that he did some independent gigs until finally retiring from wrestling. He died in 2014 after getting into a car wreck following a heart attack he suffered while driving.
7. Mike Bucci
Mike Bucci is one of those guys that works all the shows, all the leagues, and all the companies but he never quite makes it to the top. He was more than just a wrestler, he was an innovator that was constantly creating better moves to use, some of which are used by other wrestlers today.
He was actually one of the first wrestlers to join Raven’s Nest. In fact, he was asked by Raven himself to come join the ECW and be a member of his Nest. It was Mike, Raven, Blue Meanie, and Stevie Richards as the first four members of the Raven’s Nest and before long, branched off to form the BWO, Blue World Order too.
He ended up doing the same thing most of the ECW guys did and he eventually left to wrestle in the WWE until he finally reached the point where he had to chose between being a wrestling lifer or having a normal life. He chose the latter and is now a branch manager for Woodforest National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky.
6. Stevie Richards
When ECW first began, in 1989, it wasn’t called Extreme Championship Wrestling, it was actually named Eastern Championship Wrestling and Stevie Richards was one of their first big stars.
He got to Eastern Championship Wrestling in 1992 and, after wrestling a few matches for them, he was sent to wrestle for independent companies as a form of training. Since they don’t have an official minor leagues, the independent circuit acts like one and he spent two years down there before returning in 1994.
But it wasn’t until 1995 when he was named the first member of Raven’s Nest. He would later join the BWO as “Big Stevie Cool” to make fun of Kevin Nash’s character in the WCW. Not long after that, he followed Raven to the WCW where he was also the first member of Raven’s newest group of lackeys, The Flock.
When he retired from wrestling, he didn’t just go home and watch old reruns of ECW shows. He runs his own personal training and wellness coaching online, does in-person training in the Atlanta area, appears on Fox and Friends as a Technology Expert, and rescues cats in need of a good home.
5. Kimona Wanalaya
Kristina Laum, the real name of Kimona Wanalaya, was working as a go-go dancer in a club where she became friends with Raven. After Beulah betrayed Raven and announced that she was carrying Tommy Dreamer’s child, he had to find himself a new valet. So he asked his friend if she wanted to get into wrestling as his valet. The rest is history.
Her story is fascinating but that’s not what you remember about her, right?
You remember that moment when she kissed Beulah during an ECW show long before girls kissing girls was something allowed on television. It sounds crazy but back then, it was not something allowed on TV and it was the first major reason of the companies fall as they lost a ton of sponsors because of it.
She stuck around and eventually appeared on WCW before being fired by Vince McMahon after he purchased the company and then the X Wrestling Federation until it folded, at which time, she retired from wrestling.
4. Perry Saturn & John Kronus (The Eliminators)
The Eliminators are the next two members of the Raven’s Nest to make our list even though Perry Saturn was not a true member until their days with the WCW. However, this tag team was one of the most talented the ECW ever produced winning the ECW Tag Team Championship a few different times between 1994 and 1997.
A few months after winning the belt for the third and final time at ECW’s Barely Legal, Saturn tore his ACL during a match against the tag teams of PG-13 and The Dudley Boyz. That injury led to the ending of The Eliminators run and eventually led to Saturn leaving for the WCW.
It became very evident that the best member of the duo wasn’t Kronus as he failed to ever reach that same level following the departure of his former teammate. He ended up dying in 2007 from heart failure, and he was only 38-years old.
Saturn ended up entering WCW as a member of Raven’s Flock and would eventually win the WCW World Television and WCW Tag Team Championship belts. He has wrestled through various promotions over the years but has recently revealed that he is suffering from a traumatic brain injury coming from years of concussions and hits to the head.
ECW dealt with a ton of problems when it started to grow in popularity. It wasn’t the violence that bothered people in the ’90s, it was the sex appeal of the Francine’s and the Beulah’s that caused parents, mostly mothers, to protest ECW. They weren’t shooting adult entertainment, they were wrestling, but they allowed the ladies to really push the envelope of censorship.
Beulah is a legend among female Divas because she was a part of the original wrestling Divas. She came out in the early ’90s wearing the shortest of sundresses, skirts, or anything else that could drive a man crazy. She was eye candy that eventually started to wrestle too.
Trisa Hayes, her actual name, was also the real life wife of Tommy Dreamer, the man she was the valet for during her years in the ECW. She eventually got moved to the Raven’s Nest for a storyline where she would betray Tommy Dreamer. She is no longer wrestling and is spending her time with her husband and children and authoring children’s books.
2. Cactus Jack
Mick Foley is a wrestling legend that has created Mankind, Dude Love, and Cactus Jack, some of the most memorable characters in professional wrestling history. But most people forget that the WWE World Champion was once a member of the ECW and, most importantly, a member of Raven’s Nest.
In 1995, Cactus Jack was setup with Tommy Dreamer and the two of them headed to ’95 Wrestlepalooza with a 3-1 career tag record before joining forces with The Pitbulls in a four-on-four match against Big Dick Dudley, Raven, Snot Dudley, and Stevie Richards. That was the end of their tag team after Cactus Jack betrayed Dreamer and landed a DDT on him before joining the Raven’s Nest.
The fans of the ECW were so passionate, they carried their hatred for his new heel role to every arena until a year later, for his final ECW match, when the fans finally returned the respect of a legend and showed him all the love in the world.
Raven is remembered for his whining and complaining more than anything else he has accomplished in his underrated wrestling career. Before he was elevating the careers of wrestlers like Chris Benoit, Booker T, and Diamond Dallas Page, he was rising to the top of ECW while feuding with Tommy Dreamer.
That rivalry is one of the greatest feuds ECW has ever created. That says a lot about a wrestler like Raven. Some of their other feuds involved legends like Taz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu, and Cactus Jack vs. Shane Douglas. So putting Raven above all of these should tell you just how incredible this guy was before he went to WCW and was turned into a jobber.
After spending the last few years wrestling on the independent circuit, he recently showed up on the WWE Network to talk about his legacy and the legacy of the Hardcore Championship.
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