Polo-rized: The Rise and the Fall of the WWF’s Johnny Polo

Brian Damage

By the mid 90s, Scott Levy had become one of the most interesting talents in the ring as he competed as Raven in ECW, WCW and then WWE. However, today’s focus is on Levy’s first run with the WWE when he competed, back in the early 90s, as Johnny Polo.

Let’s just be clear about something before we start, this is not in anyway a piece on Scott Levy’s entire pro wrestling career. His days under the gimmick of ‘Raven’ certainly resurrected his career to new heights whether it was with ECW, WCW, TNA and even a return to the WWF. This is solely about Scott Levy’s first venture into the WWF in 1993 under the alias of ‘Johnny Polo.’ That in itself is truly an amazing story.

Scott Levy had made a nice little career for himself working in places like the Pacific Northwest, the Global Wrestling Federation and even WCW. After having a falling out with then WCW booker Bill Watts, Levy was fired from the company and headed to the USWA. It was there that the WWF started to take notice of Scott Levy. At the time, the WWF had a close partnership with Jerry Lawler’s promotion and took a liking to Levy’s flamboyant and outlandish personality.

The thing was, Vince McMahon wanted to bring Levy in as a manager, not a wrestler. Levy was not thrilled with putting a halt to his wrestling career but by 1993 most of the territories were drying up and his prospects were growing fewer and fewer. Scott joined the World Wrestling Federation and was given the moniker of ‘Johnny Polo.’ A rich, spoiled brat gimmick who was living off his family’s wealth.

He came in managing another newcomer by the name of Adam Bomb. He would also manage the tag team called the Quebecers of Jacques Rougeau and Pierre Oulette, who would go on to win the WWF tag team titles 3 times. It was no secret that Johnny Polo had the gift of gab and was given an opportunity to be a color commentator. He would work side by side with both Gorilla Monsoon and Vince McMahon on shows like WWF Superstars and WWF All American Wrestling.

While working alongside Vince McMahon, Vince got to see first hand the hard work and dedication Levy was not only putting into his gimmick but doing his homework on the various wrestlers he would be commenting on during a broadcast. Vince was so impressed, he offered Levy a front office job with the company.

He was made an associate producer and got taught all the ins and out of television production. He was also given some power in booking some of the matches for the WWF during Monday Night Raw’s infancy days. According to Levy, he was making around a six figure salary during his heyday with the company. While making money and given some creative power, Levy wasn’t exactly happy.

He was turning 30 years old and his true passion was still being in the ring as a professional wrestler. Levy would approach Vince several times about ideas for him to get in the ring for matches but, for the most part, McMahon didn’t envision Johnny Polo as a wrestler but more as a personality. Johnny Polo would get a comedy match here or there but, true to Vince’s word, he wasn’t given any real competition.

In 1994, the wheels started to come off the WWF career of Johnny Polo. According to Levy, he had a few inter-office romances with unnamed female staff members. Levy says it was his affairs that led the WWF to create a corporate policy that denounced employees from having relationships with other employees on staff. The once promising relationship with McMahon was beginning to sour.

The real fallout between Levy and the WWF occurred when Levy befriended Vince’s 24-year-old son Shane McMahon. One night, Levy took Shane for a night out on the town. Some WWF staff called Levy a suck up for wining and dining the boss’s son but Levy felt otherwise. He believed he would be putting his own job in jeopardy if anything happened to Shane on his watch.

Sure enough, Levy and Shane got extremely drunk partying all night long. At around 4:30am, Shane decided to “drunk dial” his dad. When Vince answered the phone, Shane called his dad “Vic” in reference to how the Johnny Polo character called him Vic on TV. According to Levy, Shane said, “Hey Vic I’m just calling you to let you know that I am sleeping over Johnny Polo’s tonight.” At that moment, Levy realized that his WWF career was doomed.

Sure enough, by late 1994, Johnny Polo was written off TV by getting beat by his former protege Adam Bomb. He left the company just 3 weeks later. Despite being free of the WWF’s restrictions, Scott had become depressed about no longer having a career. No more huge paydays, no more national spotlight. His depression would eventually refuel him to develop a dark and brooding character called Raven.

While we all know of the success Levy would have under the reinvention of his wrestling career in ECW and later a return to WCW but this story doesn’t end here. After ECW folded in 2000, Levy was brought back to the WWF by Jim Ross. His wrestling career was finally happening in the WWF that is until he had a chance meeting with Vince McMahon backstage. Scott reintroduced himself to Vince and according to Levy. Vince replied: “Who the F–k hired Johnny Polo?”

After over 6 years away from the WWF rebuilding himself up as a new character, Vince still didn’t see his worth as a wrestler. Levy would with the company for about 3 years, which was longer than his initial run as Johnny Polo, but never reaching any amount of success as he had with ECW and WCW under the Raven moniker.

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3 thoughts on “Polo-rized: The Rise and the Fall of the WWF’s Johnny Polo

  1. Levy’s an odd character for sure, but he definitely has a heck of a mind for the business. Would love to see him do some more producing or even booking.

    Like

  2. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2017 week 17 | Ring the Damn Bell

  3. Pingback: Great Ideas That Didn’t Last: WCW’s Repackaging of Raven | Ring the Damn Bell

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