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Scott Hall interview

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In this, Hall's first in-depth insider interview ever, he marches through his career from his days as a fan growing up all the way through the Razor Ramon gimmick, controversies with the Clique, his jump to WCW, and the Monday Night War and NWO era. In part one of this three-hour-plus exclusive interview, Hall discusses how he broke into wrestling and stories from his early days in the ring. The interview was conducted on Sept. 6, 2006.


Wade Keller: Your Internet biography says you were discovered in a grocery store in late 1984 by Barry Windham. Is that true?


Scott Hall: That's true. I was training with Hiro Matsuda. You know what he used to be, bro? I moved to Tampa. I've never had a real job, bro. I used to tend bar in a strip club. It was the hottest bar in Orlando - the Doll House at the time. I worked three nights a week there and the rest of the time I lifted weights and laid in the sun. I'm 22, 23. I know that the wrestling office is in Tampa. I save up a little money. A couple of my buddies give a hundred backs. I move to Tampa. I don't know a soul. I get an apartment and I join every gym in town. So finally I go to Athlete's Fitness Center. I ran into Kevin Sullivan. One time I did squats with him. I'm hanging around and trying to get in. But see I'm not going to guys, going, "Hey man, how do I get into wrestling? How do I get into wrestling? Because I know they don't want to hear that. So one day in the end, me and Barry are in Publix and we're both looking at steaks. We're picking out steaks. We're standing look at steaks and I say, "Excuse me, you're Barry Windham, right?" He says, "Yeah, how you doin'." Because Barry's cool as f---. I said, "Hey, I'm Scott Hall. How ya' doing, man?" He says, "Hey." I said, "I know the last thing you wanna be is bothered when you're out on your own time, but I'm really trying to break into your business." He said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm working out with Hiro Matsuda." He said, "F--- Hiro Matsuda." He's going to have you doing Hindu Squats around the building. Meet me at the Sportatorium tomorrow, one o'clock. I showed up at noon. Cause I know Barry Windham ain't gonna show up. That's Barry Windham. You know who showed up? Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. You know what they did, too? They didn't bump me. They bumped each other. They said, "Look, pick him up, slam him like this. Boom boom boom." Then they had me slam them. I didn't get bumps, I gave bumps. Then they had to go to a town and wrestle. Barry was really good to me That's why I was so happy when I had a little bit of stroke with that NWO gimmick to get Barry on the payroll. I did it with (Larry) Zbyszko, too. When I was in the AWA and I was a jobrone, Larry Zbyszko really took care of me one night in Winnipeg. So during commercials when he was a broadcaster during Raw commercial breaks, I used to shoot angles with Zbyszko. I'd toothpick him. I'd just motion at him. (Eric) Bischoff would be standing there. I'd say, look at the man, he's a star, he's money. He got two or three pay-per-views out of it. He wrestled Eric at Starrcade. He did a thing with Dusty where we turned Dusty NWO. Remember when Louie Spicolli was my young boy, man? I mean, when I look back - Kid (Sean Waltman) was just at my house this weekend. We went through all of these old tapes. I have this old tape library that I've never really watched. We went through all of this stuff, man. It was kinda fun. It got a little fire under my rear end.


Keller: I'm glad you watched that old stuff because it'll help when we talk about it as you go along.


Hall: Well, go on, man. Time for you to ask questions.


Keller: I don't have to talk much, but I'll try to lead the way here. Talk about being a fan growing up and what some of the things were about wrestling that did catch your eye in particular. What attracted you to wrestling?


Hall: My dad was a career army soldier, so we lived in Ft. Rucker, Alabama. So my dad took me. I was eight years old on my birthday. My dad took me and my buddies to a wrestling match, and the main event was a hair match. At eight years old, all my friends would say, It's fake, it's fake, but I don't think it is. I remember I ran down to the ring and grabbed a piece of the guys hair and it still had a piece of scalp on it. I still have the folder and the hair and everything. I remember asking my friends, "Would you let somebody shave your hair, man? Would you let somebody do that to you?" Of course, you all know now, yeah, you get the money right, you shave my hair *****, I don't care. But back then, I was eight years old. Next month, I'm going to be 48. So that was a long time ago. Times have changed.


I moved to Florida when I was, like, 17. I got into weight lifting, laying in the sun. I always wanted a job that was cool. I was never a very good student. I was a wrestling fan, so what do you do when you wanna wrestle? I just talked to Kid and he told me there's this one kid, Johnny Storm. Kid told me this the other day. He used to be the hugest Razor fan - a huge Razor mark. He would come to town, so I could send him on errands. Go get me a sandwich and silly stuff like that. I know his parents and everything. Kid told me he's the hottest thing in Europe now. That makes me feel kinda good. Because you know what, we smartened him up. We did not kayfabe this kid at all. We told him this is the way it goes, this is where you are. F--- that, don't do that, act like this, do this, do that. We gave him the edited version of being a star. I think so many old timers when I broke in were so selfish because, you gotta remember, that was before the time of guaranteed money. So everybody was real competitive. You know, when I worked for Vince, it wasn't guaranteed money. I was the first guy that Vince ever offered guaranteed money to. A lot of people don't know that. I was the very first guy, and I turned him down.


Keller: Was that when you gave him notice and he tried to keep you?


Hall: I gave him notice. He wanted me to stay there. He offered me a check for 75 grand; I didn't even look at it. I said, "I'm figuring that's what you owe me for now, and now let's talk.


Keller: We'll get into that in detail as we march through your career, because that was obviously a huge moment in the industry's history. When you were getting into heavy training to be a wrestler, did you gain more respect for it? Did you have some preconceived notions that were shattered?


Hall: Well, I came into it like every other big musclehead comes into it. F---, I'm bigger than you. You have to remember, bro, I broke in in the late-'80s when we still sold out business as being real. Know what I mean? The die-hard fans kinda knew it was fake. You know one thing people always say to me, Wade? It never varies. They go, "How much of that sh-- is fake?" I go, "All of it." They go, "Well, I don't know. What about when that guy hit you with a chair? What about when he hit you with a ladder? Don't you hurt? I go, "Yeah, it hurts, man. It hurts like f---, but you gotta understand, in my concept it's fake because it's in the script; I know it's coming. To me, it's either all fake or it's no fake. How can it be partially real? The director says, "Okay, at this point, you get hit with the chair, you get some juice, you do this and you do that." Sometimes the people go, "Is that sh-- fake? I go, "Have you ever seen it? Have you ever seen a match?"


I always thought in my mind, it's not a question of real or fake. It's question of good or not good. Did you have fun? Did you get your money's worth? I always felt if you got your money's worth, f--- it. Are rock concerts real? Theater is not real. Movies aren't real. Did you get your 12, 15 bucks worth or not. I never was hung up on the real or not real sh--.


Keller: Did you find when you were breaking in that the veterans or the guys training you did instill in you more of an old school attitude than the guys today probably get in terms of "protecting" it?


Hall: Well, you know what happened was, I used to do jobs. Remember Rufus R. Jones? Rufus was in his 60s and he looked every bit of it. His finish was two freight trains and a headbutt. Two tackles and then his jumping headbutt. And he's pinning a guy who is 298, f---in' shredded. Back then, whatever, I'm not going to say nothing about - I can admit to nothing, but I was in pretty good shape. Then I'd have to go to a bar or a club or a restaurant and people would come up to you and go, "Wait a minute, that old f---in' black guy couldn't beat you." I always had to go, "You wanna try me? He's tougher than he looks. You wanna try me?" It's so immature, but that's the way the business was, and that's why I broke in. That's what we did.


Keller: That's what Nick Bockwinkel did in the AWA territory, because I grew up in Minneapolis. Whenever the real-fake issue came up, he'd say, "Try me."


Hall: That's the sweet thing about Verne's hold, because he could choke f---ers out.


Keller: As wrestling evolved, it moved away from that, but there was a time...


Hall: Remember when (Hulk) Hogan choked Richard Beltzer out on TV. He's the comedian and he's on one of those cop shows now. Hulk choked him out with a sleeper on TV, cause the guy asked him to do it. He said to put him in that sleeper hold. Hulk, being f---in' gigantic then. His daughter could do him now. I'm not saying that, but Hogan was huge and powerful. Put him in a sleeper, then what he did was make the mistake of dropping him. And I'm not saying Hulk's culpable of any of this, but the f---in' idiot hit his head and it cost Hulk 250 grand. It probably cost Vince that, or maybe they split it. But what the f---, right? Because, you ask me to put you in a hold, and I do, and now I gotta pay you for it? I don't know, man.


Keller: Do you remember your first match in front of a crowd?


Hall: Although we trained in Florida, Dusty (Rhodes) made me and Dan Spivey a tag team and he sent us to Charlotte. He took the book in Charlotte. So really, we just sat on the shelf there and didn't do sh--. I think we were in some tag. We were too big to lose. Spivey is 6-7 and about 330 and I'm 6-6 and about 298 ripped. We're two green to win and too f---in' big to lose, so we don't work much, maybe once every couple of months. At that point, Jim Crockett Promotions owned the Charlotte Orioles. So we were on the grounds crew out there. We used to sit in the dugout with the ballplayers and then when it rained, we had to pull the tarp out by hand. Sh--, it only rained twice all year, so it wasn't all bad. That was about it. We never worked.


Keller: When you were first in front of a crowd, was that dramatically different than what you imagined it would be like to work in front of a crowd? Were you nervous? Did it come naturally for you to interact with the crowd? Or were you too green to even know better?


Hall: I was green like everybody. I was nervous. At that time, when we did work, we won. I had to work with guys who were more seasoned than me, but they had to put me over, so they weren't bending over backwards to put me over. Today, I have a little bit of an attitude. I consider myself, especially in my NWO years, the most high-paid job guy in the business. One time, Chris Jericho tells this story. One time I was working with Chris in the old spectrum before they built the other building. Remember when Chris was "Lionheart" and he'd lean back in the crowd and the people would all gather around him? He's a babyface. I used to tell him, "Chris, be careful, man. Someone might stab you or something." So we're talking before we go out. They were leading up to a match with me and Lex (Luger) at a pay-per-view with Zbyszko as a special ref because I was shooting an angle with Zbyszko. So they just want me to squash Jericho and just keep hitting him with my finish until Zbyszko comes out and stops it. So I talk to Chris and say, "Come here. Look, man. I've been in this building two-hundred times. How many times have you been here?" He went, "Never." I said, "You're supposed to be the babyface, but I think they're going to like me. Let's do this. I'm going to beat you like a job boy and I'm going to pick you up for my finish. We'll figure some cute way out of it, pin me, and then I'll hit you with my finish again and again. Then Zbyszko will come. I said, "Don't tell anybody. I'll take the heat." So what he did was, I beat him like a job boy. I picked him up for my finish and the corner where he could flip his feet off the turnbuckle, boom boom, he flipped me over and pinned me like that." I jumped up after 1-2-3, bang bang bang. I hit him with my finish a couple of times, Zbyszko hits the ring. We still shoot the angle. When I come back, first Arn Anderson, who was an agent, who gave me the finish in the hallway, he just shakes his head and goes, "You never cease to amaze me!" I said, "Arn, was it good or was it not good?" He said, "It was good. It was good TV." Because what the f---, everybody knows I'm going to squash that jobroni, right? And that's where I told Chris, "Chris, the only way these people are going to pop is if you beat me because every time I f---n' bumped him, they didn't make a sound. But when he pinned me, they exploded. So I'm all about getting their rocks off. It's about is it good TV or bad TV? Like we talked about, is it real or is it fake? Who cares? Is it good or is it bad? I guess I'm a dinosaur?


Keller: How did you end up moving from Charlotte to the AWA? Were there stops in between?


Hall: I went from Charlotte to Kansas City.


Keller: With Spivey a American Starship?


Hall: Yeah, but Spivey hated it, so he went back to Charlotte. Then I met Jack Lanza in St. Louis. Lanza took a look at me and I was wrestling in St. Louis. St. Louis used to be a hot wrestling town and they'd bring talent in from all over. The jobroni guys would drive in from Kansas City, so I was an opening match jobroni guy. I'm in the locker room. Jack Lanza comes up to me and goes, "You ready to make a move, kid?" I looked at him and said, "No, Jack, I ain't ready." He goes, "Everybody sucks when they start." I said, "You know what, if you feel that way, I'm ready." So next thing you know. What happened was, at the same time, I don't know if you know the story about Verne (Gagne) getting the fish hook in his eye. Verne was fish-hooking with his son (Greg Gagne) and Curt Hennig up in Alaska. He caught a fish and took a fish hook right in his eyeball. He was hospitalized, blah blah blah. Jack couldn't get confirmation that I was hired, but they still booked me in some towns. That's when they took me to Winnipeg. You ever hear of the wrestling car game. You're driving down the road. I say Sean Waltman. It' "W" to you. We always played it. Larry Zbyszko was always my killer. There wasn't many Z's. There was Zeus kind of. So they take me to Winnipeg. Jack takes me to Winnipeg. I've only wrestled in front of three or four hundred people. I go to Winnipeg arena and there's 15,000 people there. I always put Zbyszko over because that night, I look across at who I'm working with, and I go, f---, Larry Zbyszko.


Zbyszko goes broadway with me in Winnipeg. I don't know a thing, but I have the look. And Zbyszko's got good heat. This is a long time ago. Zbyszko's red hot. But I'm nobody, but I got the look. So I'm working with Zbyszko. Found out we're going broadway. He steers me through the whole match. The announcer's counting down. Ten, nine... Zbyszko's got me in the corner. He goes, "Grab my by the hair. Not too hard! Look at the people. Not too long! Okay, punch me. Not too hard! Put me in the corner, what's that finish you do?" Lanza gave me the bulldog. So I was using the bulldog. Boom. The one lesson I've never forgotten and always learned from Larry was so crucial and so man people don't know is, he tells me, "Cover me." And the referee is counting. You know how they do a well-done broadway, which is so rare these days, is the referee is counting, "One-two..." and then ding-ding-ding-ding. Zbyszko's laying there flat out. He says to me, "Jump up like you won." Because you know how in most countouts, the guy looks at the official and looks around like, what the f---, what the f---. Zbyszko told me to jump up like I won. I've never seen another broadway go that way. Because he took such good care of me (then), when I had stroke in Atlanta, I paid him back. That's the way it goes, right?


Keller: But when you got to the AWA, you were not pushed as a green guy who is a few years away from being a star. They had lost Hulk Hogan a relatively short time earlier. You were pushed right off the bat. You were compared to Magnum P.I. You were compared to Hulk Hogan.


Hall: Okay, let me interject here. You know who was burying me on that f---in' TV, and I can't figure out why they brought that f---in' asshole in, fly that prick from Hawaii to Vegas. I did not pretend to be Magnum. You know who called me Magnum, was Lord James Blears because he lived in Hawaii because he wanted to name drop. He said, "He looks like Magnum P.I." He put so much heat on me because Magnum T.A. was red-hot in Charlotte, so all this prick did was make me look like I was trying to get rub off of Magnum, who personally, if I was to meet him in an alleyway, I'd beat his - before he got in the accident - I'd beat his f---in' ass. But I couldn't believe it. You have to remember, you're out in that wrestling ring, you got no idea what these pricks are saying. It's not like Vince. Verne was such a f---in' dimwit. He wasn't monitoring what was said. I mean, ohhh. That Lord James Blears did nothing but bury me. You know why? Because he didn't like me. He was some old school wrestling guy. He didn't like me. He was just like Bruno Sammartino. He didn't like the young guys making money.

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And there's supposed to be 5 more parts to this interview.


Great stuff. Hall sounds like he'd be such a great mentor to the younger guys. The story about letting Jericho beat him on Nitro is really great stuff. I'm not looking forward to hear him talk about his alcohol problems though.

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Actually I remember that, because it came out of left feild. Jericho just got a new look and music I believe. The people were bored with Hall on offense, but once Jericho got the pinfall... it was probably one of the best pops that I heard from a crowd.


It didn't lead to anything for Jericho... at all, just a one night thing... like the usual WCW upsets.

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Yeah but according to that Hall was supposed to simply squash Jericho and he did an audible to at least attempt to get Jericho over.

He didn't attempt to get Jericho over, though. Hall did what he did to get a pop and fool people into thinking he did something that he didn't. It worked on both counts.

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My point is this though: Hall was booked to simply go out and squash Jericho. That was it. He at least gave Jericho a fluke win, which gets Jericho a bit more over than him just getting squashed and buried.

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In all honesty he could have went out hit two punches a fall away slam and 5 or six outsiders edges and called it a night. Atleast he took the effort to fool the people into thinking he was trying to help the rookie out.

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Part Two

Wade Keller: You indicated you don’t like Magnum T.A. Did you have any run-ins with him personally?

Scott Hall: No. He was a big star when I first got to Charlotte. But I got nothing bad to say about him. I hope he’s doing good. We had a few run-ins, but I ain’t gonna bad-mouth him.

Keller: The Magnum P.I. comparisons aside, you were billed as the next big thing in the AWA in the 1985-’86 era. You were given a lot of pressure early on to produce as a top guy.

Hall: Yeah, but can I tell you something? That ship was sinking. I remember being around the Freebirds. I learned a lot from the Freebirds and that’s where I created the Wolfpac. Because I was such a big fan of the Freebirds, I wanted me, Kev (Nash), and Kid (Sean Waltman) to be the Wolfpac because you know they were the same, but they were different. They were brothers. Michael (Hayes) wore the robe; Terry Gordy wore the vest; Buddy Jack (Roberts) wore the baseball sh–, but it was all the same colors, just like me and Kev and Kid. You always had Wolfpac rules. You never knew which two of the three were going to wrestle, and guess what mother f—er? All three of them aren’t wrestling. I always thought that was somethin’ f—in’ special. It had never been done since them. I don’t know, I just thought that was the sh–.

Keller: That was the era of bookend tag teams and you guys kind of broke that pattern.

Hall: Exactly. Who you wanna see? Two matching guys? “We’re the Road Warriors! Bleaaah!” I just think that’s stale. That’s why I think me and Kev are the best tag team in the world.

Keller: You and Kev or you and Kid?

Hall: Me and Kev, certainly, and Kid’s gonna be there.

Keller: You teamed first with Curt Hennig in the AWA and had a pretty good chemistry. As green as you were at that point, it helped to have someone like Curt there to learn a lot from.

: Curt helped me tremendously. I can’t thank him enough.

Keller: Did teaming with him come first or the friendship?

Hall: I have to say this about Curt. When I moved to Kansas City, I was pretty much in my prime physically. I was f–in’ jacked, bro. As far as Curt knew, I moved there and we were both babyfaces. I was there to take his job, right? You know what, he went out of his way to show me around town. Every road trip we ever made, Curt drove. He used to come to my apartment and pick me up because I didn’t know how to drive in the snow. I’m a Florida boy. But, I mean, he would drive to every town and all the way he was always talkin’ to me, teaching me business, teachin’ me this, teachin’ me that, you know? Another thing, too, is you know what Curt did because he knew it was right because he was second generation? Curt always sold and gave me the hot-tag. He felt that’s what the people wanted to see. He always steered me in the right direction. I learned a few habits from him, but I ain’t gonna dwell on those. But he was an angel as far as I can say professional wrestling wise.

Keller: At that point in the AWA, was Curt’s attitude, We can make this work. Let’s make the AWA competitive and successful again? Or was he looking toward the next step also?

Hall: You know what I did, man? I’m not from up there and it was cold as hell to me, bro. There were a couple of times when I opened my door and it would be like, “Wheewwishheww!” I just closed my door. One time I didn’t even go to a show in Wisconsin. The next day Verne (Gagne) called me and said, “Where the hell were you?” I said, “Verne, there was travelers advisory. They said don’t drive if you don’t have to.” He said, “That doesn’t matter up here. You were supposed to show up at the show.” Blah blah blah blah blah. You see, they’d do all their business in the winter time because, hell, it only gets nice for about three or four weeks up there. And that’s when you can’t get people to sit in the arena. In the winter time, they do go to the shows. They used to pay great, but then in the summertime, you only work once a month. Like, you get paid great, but you only work two, three shows a month. I remember, I went into Verne and said, “Verne, I got to have more money. I can sell suntan lotion on Cocoa Beach and make a couple grand a week. This is your hometown, bro, it ain’t mine.” He went, “The money comes later.” I said, “My bills come right on time every month.” He went, “I can make you a star.” I said, “Verne, I don’t have to be on your TV to feel good about myself. I like who I am.” He goes, “I’m rich!” I said, “Yeah, I wanna be rich, too. How’s it feel?” He said, “It feels great!” I said, “I wanna be rich, too, Verne. What the f–?” So I gave him my notice and I finished up.

Keller: That was the moment you decided to leave, because he wouldn’t give you a raise.

Hall: It was the weather and sh–. Another thing, too. I guess it sounds egotistical, but I did not want to be the champion on a sinking ship. So I passed that belt to Curt. The AWA was going under, man. I did not want to be known as the guy who sank that ship.

Keller: Do you think Curt realized it was going under, too, or was he still thinking we can make this work?

Hall: I think it did wonders for Curt’s career. He got tons of publicity out of it. You know what? I didn’t want the publicity. I didn’t want it. But I’m different than Curt was. I’ve spent so much money on therapy, I’m just trying to figure out who I am, all right?

Keller: You worked with Jimmy Garvin & Steve Regal, too. Buddy Rose & Doug Somers, too. Any thoughts on those four guys?

Hall: I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. Jimmy Garvin’s a pilot now. He flies for Federal Express or something. He was great. Buddy Rose and Doug Somers were great. We didn’t work with them much. They worked with the Rockers the most. That was such a cartoon character. You had the two little pretty boy Rockers, and then you had Buddy and Doug. We didn’t get to work with them that much. We worked with the Long Riders a lot, but I thought they both sucked. God bless Scott Irwin. He was wonderful. His brother Bill Irwin’s a **** and I don’t care if you print that straight out.

Keller: Why is that?

Hall: Because he was a selfish prick. You know why he hated me? Because I was getting a push and he didn’t think I deserved it.

Keller: You weren’t happy in the AWA because of the weather and the pay with Verne. Was the overall attitude in the AWA that it was a sinking ship? I’m interested in this because this was right before I started writing the Torch and I’m fascinated with AWA history. I was a fan then, cheering for you, because Hogan abandoned the AWA and you were the replacement guy.

Hall: You know why Hogan left? You ever heard that?

Keller: I’ve heard a lot of different stories. Hogan told me his version.

Hall: I guess if you heard it from Hulk, you heard the truth.

Keller: (laughs) I wouldn’t go that far.

Hall: What I heard, and I don’t know how accurate it is. I think it’s pretty damn accurate was, Hulk’s not a mark. Hulk’s a businessman. Anybody who doesn’t think that has not spent any time with Hulk. What he wanted was, he had been going around the loop with Nick (Bockwinkel), and let’s face it, Hulk was a monster then. He was, like, 330. He’s wrestling Nick. I like Nick, but Nick does hit little wrestling moves and all his bullsh– and all Hulk wanted was in St. Paul, he just wanted to win the belt. He said, “Look, I’ll drop it back to ya’, but I’ve been promising the fans for months that I’m gonna win the belt. When you’re a babyface, if you don’t win eventually, you’re f—ed. The way I heard it was, Hulk kinda wanted the belt, and they didn’t want to give it to him, and it was adios amigos. He went to Japan then.

Keller: He also had a problem with merchandise money, too. That was at issue.

Hall: Verne was so behind the times on merchandise, I’m sure, any merchandise Hulk was getting was, like, t-shirts. There were no videogames, there were no dolls back then, bro. We’re talking the ’80s.

Keller: I think he started to realize the potential in it. That was the very beginning of Hulkamania. Vince McMahon takes credit for Hulkamania, but it absolutely was exactly the same act in the WWF that it was in the AWA.

Hall: When Hulk first left Verne, he made huge money in Japan. Then he did the movie. When he went to Vince and he got red-hot, he was making ten million a year reportedly, although who knows? There ain’t nobody making ten million a year now.

Keller: Not even close.

Hall: Ten million a year in the ’80s, bro? Hooo.

Keller: Greg Gagne was around then, too. Did you have to deal with him much? Was he helping to run the company at that point?

Hall: Yeah he was.

Keller: Was he competent in his job? Was he a lot like Verne? Was he trying to be better and different than Verne?

Hall: It’s really hard for me to knock Greg because he’s a real kind-hearted person and all that. I actually saw a little footage of him when he inducted his father into the Hall of Fame. Oh my god, he looked rough. But, I mean, to me, I’ve always thought you gotta look like a wrestler.

Keller: He didn’t even try.

Hall: You got any Greg Gagne merchandise in your collection? What about “Jumpin’” Jim Brunzell? Let me get this right. Your finish is a dropkick? I’ll never forget the time, I can’t remember who, but they brought these heels in to work with the High Flyers. The guys said, “What do you guys do? What do you do off the top?” They said, “We don’t do anything off the top?” They said, “Well, you’re called the High Flyers, right?” “Well, yeah, yeah.” I actually thought they were kinda brutal, but you gotta remember, it was simpler times, man.

Keller: The movie, “The Wrestler,” ended with a dropkick. Verne had a soft spot for the dropkick because that was his finisher. He downed Bill Robinson at the end of the movie with it.

Hall: F—in’ Billy Robinson is a ****.

Keller: I’ve heard that. You deal with personally at all?

Hall: I’ve been around him. He was just one of those bitter old school guys. He’s like Lou Thesz, Bruno (Sammartino). “I’m really a tough guy and f— these guys, I didn’t make any money. F— these guys.”

Keller: What about Larry Nelson? He was a cult favorite of mine because he was so off the wall.

Hall: To me, he was a little bit white bread. He was a little bit too much. I prefer the era of wrestling when the announcers started to tell the truth. I liked Jesse Ventura. I liked Gorilla Monsoon. I liked Bobby Heenan. I liked Vince. I liked Perfect. I liked guys where if you missed a move a little bit, they’ll say, “Ah, it looked like they missed him with that on.” I always wanted to wrestle in front of Jesse Ventura. You know why? I knew I could get over without the office holding me back because Jesse would tell the truth. Because if you did something in front of Jesse and it looked good, he’d go, “Wow, that looked good.” At the same time, if somebody did something in front of Jesse and it looked bad - Gorilla, too - they’d go, “I don’t think he caught him with all of that.” I liked that. I think the referees have to have authority. If there’s no rules, there’s no heat. I remember when I first went to work for Eric Bischoff, they were doing a divorce angle between Macho (Randy Savage) and Elizabeth and (Ric) Flair, and he was spending her alimony. And they were doing some other sh–. I said, “Wait a minute, we’re doing a divorce angle?” Guys would do interviews going, “I’m gonna kill you!” I said, “Eric, no, man. No no no. How long can you go with that sh–?” We’ve got a weekly program. The belts have to mean something. It has to. It’s all about winning and losing matches. Like, me and Shawn wrestled for almost three years. Everybody knew we were friends, but it was, “I’m better than you.” “No you’re not.” “Yes I am.” “Well, prove it. I’ll be there. I’m the pretty mother f—er with the velvet black hair. After the match, I’ll meet you in the bar and guess what, I’ll drink it to you, ya’ prick. It’s not a hatred thing. I don’t think hatred draws money. I think all that negativity is the wrong way to go. I watched TNA the other day and it was so bush. I was watching the guys going, “Somebody’s going to die. I’ll do anyyyythiiiinnggg!” I’m thinking, “No you won’t. You gotta be back next week, you f—in’ goof.”

Keller: I’m not crazy about promising death to anybody.

Hall: Did you see TNA where they juiced the tag team champs, Angel (Christopher Daniels) and A.J. (Styles)? So guess what? Forty-five minutes go by, they interview them in the back, and they still got juice. How come they’re not bandaged up? How come they’re not all cleaned up? And why is everybody so mad? That’s so basic wrestling interview 101. “Okay, man, I’m gonna get you, I’m gonna kill ya’, I’m gonna kill ya’.” Why don’t you go, “Okay, you got me, man. You’re pretty tough. Guess what, I’m pretty tough, too, man. I’m gonna heal up. I’m not gonna think about nothing until I see you again.” That’s what draws money. Not this ranting and raving bullsh– that nobody buys.

Keller: If everybody is yelling at the same volume, nobody stands out.

Hall: And they all do it. You can hear it from the kitchen. That’s one thing I learned from Jerry Blackwell. Jerry Blackwell used to talk like this [whispering]. Then he’d get real, real quiet [softer]. Like this. You know why? Because you’re leaning forward to your TV set then.

Keller: I loved Blackwell’s whole act.

Hall: You know why? If somebody’s yelling and ranting and raving, blah blah blah blah blah. F—in’, you can be in the kitchen making a sandwich, it doesn’t matter. You know who I thought was sweet was Jake. I’m a huge fan of Jake the Snake because he had the look, he had the rap, he had the moves, he’s money. There’s a few guys I patterned my career after. Jake, (Bruiser) Brody, and (Stan) Hansen. Not their moves, but they’re mentality. F—, I don’t need to throw the Ricky Steamboat deep armdrag. I need to get over. I want to make money. I want to draw money.

Keller: Let’s jump from the AWA to your first run in WCW when you were renamed the Diamond Studd.

Hall: I was Scott Hall first, bro. I was Scott Hall going nowhere.

Keller: When did the Diamond Studd come up in that run, then?

Hall: Ric Flair was booking. He booked me with Terry Funk twice on TV. The first time I was out with Terry Funk’s daughter all night. I didn’t do nothing’ with her, but I was out all night with her, treating her with a lady. Nothing like that. But the next night that f—er hit me with a branding iron so hard, I got like eight stitches. So blah blah blah, time goes by. I get to next TV, they got me booked with Terry Funk again. I went to Flair - plus I had already called Otto Wanz, this wrestling company in Europe and Austria. I said (to Flair), “Look, I’ve already put the prick over on TV once. I’m not doing it again.” Flair said, “Nobody’s asking you to do it.” I said, “Ric, f– you, man. You’re the one calling the shots, you’re writing the TVs. Don’t f—in’ tell me you didn’t write this down. I’m not doing it. And by the way, I’m giving my two weeks notice. F— you!” So I went and worked for Otto then. Then I was kind of unemployed and I came back from working with Otto. But I left on kind of good terms, you know what I mean? I did jobs on the way out. But not on TV. And then I called (Dallas) Page and now I’m coming back with my wife six months pregnant from Europe. I was just going to go work at Sears. I figured I thought I had it, but I guess I don’t, so f— it. I called Page and told him to get me a job. And so that’s when the Diamond Studd was born. It could have been way better, but they had me in that jobrini spot.

Keller: It was a weird era for WCW because it seemed like they were trying to find what their niche was. They were no longer the We Wrestle promotion.

Hall: Wade, you know what my only comment has been about it when people ask me about these things? I always make this distinction. WCW is a television program that programs wrestling and the WWE is a wrestling company that programs wrestling. Know what I mean? Turner, they put wrestling on their station, but Vince (McMahon) is a wrestling company that produces and programs wrestling shows. That’s the distinction. It’s not hard to tell the distinction when you watch the show. I mean, it’s like watching good porn and bad porn. Vince’s show is way tighter, way better, although it’s deteriorating in my opinion. I’ve always said this, too. You’re only as good as your opponent. DX is red hot right now. I want to say kudos to the whole defacing the property and the spray paint. Wow, how original! It’s kudos. They’re my boys. They’re paying me and Kev tributes by copying our sh–. How can DX be DX, just two of them? How long can that last? I just think right now they’re the hottest thing in wrestling, without question. Shawn Michaels is one of the most gifted, talented wrestlers and athletes in the world. Hunter is, Paul, whatever you want to call him, is also equally talented. He’s super. Between the two of them, they get it. They know how to make money, they know how to do business. But guess what, Wade? Who are they going to work with?

Keller: The McMahons and that’s it.

Hall: Gee, wow, that draws money. How many times can you put them (against each other). Now it’s Hell in a Cell! Oh gee, a lot of people are going to buy that.

Keller: I think a lot of fans look at DX and they like them from a nostalgia standpoint. They’re not the same as the original.

Hall: They need Road Dogg, they need Billy Gunn, they need the whole crew.

Keller: And (Sean) Waltman, more than anybody. I think fans see this as just a short term reunion tour of the band. I don’t think they see it as something long-term. I think that does limit them.

Hall: That’s why it’s withering. Okay, let me ask you this? This may be too soon, because you may want to end (the interview) after this. I ain’t tired of talkin’ This gets me psyched. What’s their main music? What happens if you hear, “Are you ready?” So what happens if they play that and then the arena goes dark, and then you put that (sings music) f–in’ NWO porn music? What’s gonna happen?

Keller: What would happen if that happened? I don’t know.

Hall: Well, would the people just sit there and twiddle their thumbs?

Keller: They would pop because they would anticipate something about to happen that’s pretty newsworthy.

Hall: Then put us on the TitanTron. On the Tron. I don’t know.

Keller: I want to tie a bow around that first run in WCW. You talked about how it felt like a conglomerate that happened to be running a wrestling show. You hadn’t advanced to the WWF yet, but was there anything you took from that experience at that time that you either learned what to do right or what to do wrong given the way the company was run.

Hall: You want to hear a funny story?

Keller: Yeah, of course.

Hall: My good buddy Curt Hennig was working for Vince right? I used to call there once a month. I’d call Pat Patterson’s office. I get his secretary. “Can I speak to Pat? Can I speak to Pat?” “He’s busy right now.” “Well, tell him Scott Hall called.” The first time I debuted on Vince’s TV, I come in for a tryout, them *****es make me drive from Orlando. So after a sh– box drive from Orlando, I can’t afford no hotel. So I drive right back home. And I got three messages on my phone. So I called Pat. All of a sudden I get right through, boy. Funny as heel. “Hey, Scott, how you doing!” (imitating Pat). That’s when I went to the black and the stubble and I changed my look. Pat says, “God damn, Vince loves your look. He loves it. Tell me, did you sign a contract with those guys?” I said, “Pat, I just signed a one year deal with those pricks.” I said, “I don’t wanna work there. I wouldn’t have called your office if I had wanted to work there.” You know what he said? He goes, “Don’t worry, in a year you’ll be able to tell them New York wants you.” So, I just put in my time and tried to get over as good as I could.

Keller: So you knew for the last year you were in WCW that you were going to head to (the WWF)?

Hall: Yeah, but Vince still makes you earn it. He makes you earn it. I mean, a year went by. He makes you earn it. You see, I earned it.

Keller: What’s the best part of that run in WCW? Was it getting to know Dallas Page?

Hall: Don’t get me wrong, I loved Dally and he did a lot of things to help me, but have you ever met Dallas Page?

Keller: Yes.

Hall: He is exhausting.

Keller: (laughs) That’s a good word.

Hall: And I’m not. You know what I mean? But Dally is a wonderful person and I wish him nothing but the best, but he was like holy roller.

Keller: It doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t stop. It’s 98 percent him.

Hall: He’s a total self-promotion guy. He’s always on, you know?

Keller: He doesn’t seem to realize it, though?

Hall: You know what? Dallas is an overachiever, man. And you know one thing I will say in all pride is that anybody ever treated me good in this business, I always paid them back. Like, one night in New Orleans in the Super Dome when the NWO was red smokin’ hot and it was me, Kev, Hogan, and we might have had Giant. We’re growin’. So we called Dallas out. We were offering him a t-shirt. So he takes the t-shirt, puts it on. Kev goes to the corner and stands in the corner and raises his hands in the corner. I pick Dallas’s arm and raise it up. Dallas spins me into the Diamond Cutter, bang, peels the t-shirt off, throw it on me, Kev charges him, boom, sidestep Kev, backdrop him over the top rope. F–in’ people going crazy. Dallas runs up the crowd in the SuperDome. That was the first time he ever did that and it became his gimmick. He rode up in the SuperDome and it made me feel good because I was paying my boy back, you know. And it made him. He was the first guy to say no to the NWO. It was pretty sweet. But you know how we always talked about it, you gotta have opponents. That’s why I was talking about DX before. DX is great and the Outsiders are great. You know, how far can they milk that sh– with the McMahons? They’re gonna need opponents.

Keller: When you did go to the WWF, was it a matter of money at all, or was it total faith that that was the place to be where the most opportunity would be and that’s where you wanted to be?

Hall: It was a dream come true, bro. I’ll never forget going into a meeting. Vince goes, “Well, I understand…” Because Vince back then, business was different. Everybody was a Bossman or a Firefighter or a Convict. Why can’t you just be a wrestler, right? And luckily I had Hennig with me. So we went into Vince’s office. He goes, “Well, I understand your father’s in the army.” See, I knew I was going to meet with Vince, and I had been around six, seven years, so I wasn’t that nervous. At this point I figured I had nothing to lose. What are you going to do, send me home? F— you, man. I’ll bounce in a bar. I don’t care. Like, when you don’t care, you have power. There’s two times in this life, in my opinion, you have power. When you have enough power you don’t give an F. And when you have so little money, you don’t give an F.

At that point, I said, “Vince, you want me to be a G.I. Joe, I’ll be the best G.I. Joe I can be. Did you ever see Scarface?” He went, “Wella, uh, no, I didn’t.” I went, “Say hello to the bad guy.” I just started to doing all that schtick with him. And having never seen the movie, Vince thinks I’m a genius. (laughs) Know what I mean? “You need somebody like me, man, so you can point your stinkin’ finger and whisper, Look, there goes the bad guy. You’re never going to see another bad guy like me.” He’s looking at me markin’ out. He’s never seen the movie. He doesn’t know I’m doing Tony Montana. He thinks I’m making this sh– up. He said, “We need a name.” I said, “Well, how about Razor?” I had been thinking about it. I had tossed around a few names. I liked Razor. At that time there was Razor Ruddick, the boxer. I went, “I’d kick his monkey-f—in’ ass.” And Vince started laughing and went, “Fine, fine. We need a last name.” So I ran out there and I was taking a piss, and Tito (Santana) was washing his hands. I said, “Tito, I need a last name that starts with an R, man.” He went, “Ramon.” I went right next to him and said, “Razor Ramon.” He said, “That’s it.” And that was the birth of Razor Ramon.

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Part Three

Wade Keller: At the meeting with Vince (McMahon where you proposed the Razor Ramon gimmick), did you sense there was any apprehension about letting you create your own gimmick?

Scott Hall: But he owned it.

Keller: So it didn’t matter then who came up with it. He was cool with that.

Hall: I created it, but he copyrighted it. See, you gotta understand about Vince at that time, had I already licensed Razor Ramon, he wouldn’t have used it. He was pretty brutal. I was one of the first guys to ask Vince for more royalties. He told me no. Before I left Vince to WCW, I said, “Can I work in Japan?” Let me have four weeks a year in Japan. I wanna work for you; let me work in Japan. I said, “Vince, I know there is only so much box office money, only so much pay–per–view money, so let me work in Japan. I still wanna work for you. Let me work there. It’s their money. It’s not yours. You see, back then it was a private company. So if you made more money, Vince made less—and that’s the way he looked at it. It was coming out of his pocket. So then he went, “No.” I said, “Well, sh––, Vince, I ain’t no mathematician, but what about like if you move that point over a little bit on the royalties, the Hall family would really benefit. Would the Vince McMahon even notice the difference?” He went, “Well, no. Maybe in the future, but I’ll give you the same thing I give Taker and Shawn (Michaels) and Diesel” and blah blah blah. I went in with two offers and he turned me down.

Keller: Did it ever come up in conversation with other top guys about forming a union or some sort of organized labor, either official or just grouping together and going in as a group saying, “Vince, we want a bigger merchandise cut”?

Hall: Well, the closest thing was the Clique. But, you gotta remember, too, with independent contracts, promoters are slick. If I was a promoter, this is what I’d do. I’d go to my top few guys and I’d say, “Look, I’m gonna take care of you and f––– these other guys.” Right? Why would you ever let anybody unionize, right?

Keller: That’s the whole key—make sure the guys who make 90 percent of the difference are 100 percent happy.

Hall: Yeah, if you take care of the top guys, f––– the other guys. One thing I always remember about Vince, too. I remember my first match in Madison Square Garden; it was with Randy Savage. Half way sold out. My last match there wasn’t a pay–per-view and it was sold out, which makes me proud. The music is playing, Vince is there, and I’m stretching, waiting to go out. And he goes, no wait. Make ‘em wait. So I went out and all that. Blah blah blah. We had our match. It was what it was. I beat Randy. But, the feeling I got was before you go through the curtain, you’re a big star. Then when you come back through the curtain, you’re lucky to have a job because there are twenty guys who would do it for less. So keep that in mind. And you better pack your bags and get to the next town. Which is all fair, you know. I signed on for it, you know?

Keller: Do you followed the UFC at all?

Hall: I’ve been starting to watch it.

Keller: Because, they’re pay structure is the same thing. Chuck Liddell gets $250K plus a massive pay-per–view bonus percentage, and you go two spots down on the card and the top payoffs are between two thousand and ten thousand.

Hall: Well, good. F––– them. Whatever. Who’s making all the money? Dana White and his partners.

Keller: And they poured a lot of money into it. They lost a lot of money with no guarantee of a return.

Hall: Those guys are beating the f––– out of each other and they ain’t making nothin’.

Keller: The lower guys don’t make a lot, but Dana White’s attitude is, everyone is happy because they’re making more than they could make anywhere else. I think that was Vince’s attitude. If you’re not happy, go see how if the grass is greener elsewhere.

Hall: You have to remember, there is nowhere else to go. There is no place to go, unless you’re bad ass enough to go to Japan. There’s K1 or one of the bad sons of *****es who go over there, because they’re all heavyweights. The UFC guys are all like 205. You go to K1 and they’re big sons of guns.

Keller: Pride actually has a heavyweight division and UFC has three guys who are not even at the same level as the top guys in Pride.

Hall: Well, the heavyweights are brutal. At 205 is the money weight. I watched Liddell the other night and I thought it sucks. It was so short.

Keller: That’s one of the downsides of UFC. You end up with no guarnatee you’re going to see (a good fight). It’s like boxing. You don’t have a guarantee that it’s going to be competitive. At least with wrestling, Vince’s contention is that wrestling will outlast MMA, mixed martial arts, “because we have control over the storylines.” Dana White’s response is, “You can’t create reality better than actual reality.” The problem is, with UFC, you know there’s a chance there’s going to be a letdown. It’s just like the Super Bowl. It might be 35 to 3, or it might be 6 to 3, or it might be a classic. It depends on whether fans are willing to be patient and take the good with the bad.

Hall: See, I always enjoyed the drama. See, I never had a problem, like I told you before—I don’t care if it’s real or not real, is it fun or not fun? I don’t care about all them crazy naked rear chokelocks and all them armbars and all that sh––. I mean, is it fun, is it not fun, did you get your forty bucks worth or not? Cause, I’ll tell you what, with that Liddell thing, that sh–– ended, and then they always have some preliminary guys who you don’t even want to watch. Liddell knocked the punk out so early, then they had some other guy and I turned it off. I didn’t even wanna watch these guys.

Keller: That’s the tough part with UFC. There’s good and bad with it being real. The good is, you know it’s real, so to a lot of people it makes a difference. Then, to other people, they’re going to stick with pro wrestling because they know the main event is going to come last and they know it’s going to go 15, 20 minutes. At least in wrestling if it’s not a good show, you actually have someone to blame. In UFC, if it’s not a good show, sometimes it’s just the way the cards fell that day.

Hall: Ask (Ken) Shamrock what he likes better.

Keller: I’d think he likes MMA better.

Hall: Because he’s trying to get his rep back.

Keller: That’s where his natural passion lies. That’s where he’s a hero in wrestling. He was kind of just another guy who wasn’t pushed quite right (in the WWF) and he didn’t quite know how to… Ken’s one of those guys, when you were talking about promos earlier, Ken’s one of those guys who did a great promo in the mixed martial arts world when he was being himself. Not to compare him to Jake Roberts, but in that same sense, he would just talk calm, with confidence, authoritatively, and he didn’t yell. Then he got to WWF and they had him do these yelling and screaming promos.

Hall: Yeah, the angry guy interviews. I just hate angry guy interviews.

Keller: You had mentioned size, and 205 is where it’s at in UFC. I wanted to talk for one second as a sidebar about light-heavyweight wrestlers. When 1-2–3 Kid came along, that was a huge break from WWF tradition that he got a push. So, talk a little bit about the dynamic you had with him, which I’d say broke a size barrier in wrestling. And then talk in general about whether you think smaller guys have a chance to draw money, but just aren’t given the chance.

Hall: I’ll tell you one thing that led to that, when I first started working with Shawn Michaels, he had come out of that tag team situation. I came in and was working with Shawn, but he’d still have to do spots where one dropkick, double dropkick to get guys down. Because I was considered a pretty big guy. But when I worked with Sean, I said f––– that, man. I used to go down off a punch. To me, if you can’t get in trouble, then you’re not worth any money. You’re limited the number of opponents you can work with. See, you’ve never been in the ring with Kid, obviously, because Kid will knock your teeth out. Kid is a crowbar. So, I’d rather work with Kev (Nash) than Kid. But I learned to sell. Plus, I learned from Ricky Steamboat that when you’re selling, guess what? The camera’s on you, bro. You want the camera on you. So, let the guy whip my ass. Put his sh–– over, because I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a relationship. The better you sell for the guy, of course, the better he’s gonna give you a comeback, you know. Then you do whatever the boss tells you to do for the finish.

Keller: What made the dynamic with you and 1–2–3 Kid work so well on camera, because historically, I don’t think it gets enough credit for what it changed. Small guys had worked with big guys before, but that was just one of the more successful angles and it broke from what had been the tradition in the WWF. A skinny guy like Sean would not have gotten a push at any other time. What was it about him that made Vince give him the opportunity to get a push?

Hall: Six months before we did the angle with Kid, Vince called me into his office and he goes, “Scott…” Actually, he always called me Razor. He said, “Razor, the people are starting to chant your name in towns. I know you hear it. We gotta do something about it.”
He said, “I don’t want to turn you babyface like every other f–––in’ guy where we run in and make a save or some sh–– like that. I got this guy who weighs a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet.” Back then, remember when Global (Wrestling Federation) was on (ESPN)? He said, “I’ve seen this kid in Texas.” I said, “Lightning Kid?” He said, “Yeah, yeah, you know him?” I said, “I don’t know him, but I’ve seen him and I love him.”
I said, “You know when he got over with me, Vince?” Because in Global, on the outside, he got thrown out. He had a 20 count to get back in. Instead of ten, it was twenty. So I’m watching the match one time and some guy throws kid out to the floor. Back then, he looked like he was nine. So what he does is, the referee is going “two, three, four…” But Kid knows it’s twenty, right? So he lays on his side, puts his elbow under his head, and makes the referee count to eighteen-and-a-half, then he rolls in. When I saw that, I went, “This f–––in’ guy knows.” Because it was just heat. Plus he could go. So when Vince said that, he says, “Look, we’re gonna do this thing. This guy is gonna beat ya’. Then six weeks later, you keep offering him money, six weeks later we’re gonna have a rematch for ten grand. He’s not going to beat you, but he’s going to steal the money and run away. Then what we’re gonna do…” This was before we did live TV when we used to syndicated market interviews. He said, “Every heel, no matter what they say about their opponent, right at the end, they’re going to go, ‘Oh, speaking of losers, Razor Ramon, what a loser.’” So then he told me, six months ahead of time, you’ll work with, I think, (Ted) DiBiase at Summerslam. Just beat him with your finish. And that’s what I did. But what worked so cool was all the heels, when you get people talking about ya’, that’s better than being on TV. So all the other heels kept burying me. Pretty soon, I didn’t change, the fans changed. That’s the most important thing about turning. Chief Jay Strongbow taught me that. You don’t change, the people change. You don’t change a move, you don’t change nothing, you stay the same. You can’t be slappin’ hands and all that sh––. Pretty soon, the fans started going, “We don’t like you, Razor, but we can’t let him say that about ya’.” It built for six weeks. We had the rematch. Kid ran off with the money. I don’t know, man, it launched his career.

Keller: Yes it did. Were you ever hesitant to sell for somebody of his size?

Hall: No, not at all.

Keller: A lot of guys would be who didn’t understand.

Hall: No. I always prided myself on trying to be a television entertainer. It’s sports entertainment. I broke in when it was ‘rasslin, then Vince made it sports entertainment. I was very happy to be a part of sports entertainment. I had no problem with that. I had no problem with that. I’ll tell ya’ what, when Kid beat me on Raw, seventy percent of the people thought it was a shoot. I’ve had guys in Mexico tell me, “Man, his thigh hit you in the head. We thought you were knocked out.” If you look at the audience picture, there were actually people with their hands on their heads going, “Oh my god!”

Keller: It was an amazing moment in Raw history.

Hall: Let me tell you this. I remember asking Vince, “Should I jump up and go, ‘No, no! Two!’” He goes, “No. Don’t do that. You have to say it was a fluke, but you have to be beat.” Which is crucial. If I jumped up and went, “No, two! Two!” I had to lay there and get beat, then jump up and go, “What the f–––!” It was the highlight of my career. I’ve done lots of jobs. I mean, I don’t care about losing. I’m one of them cats who can lay there and lose and they still chant my name. I ain’t blowing my own horn, but check the footage.

Keller: Promoters took advantage of that a little bit, I think, over time, where you were so confident you could survive a job that I think you kind of became a guy they would go to more often than maybe was best.

Hall: Well, one thing, too, that the Wolf Pac innovated was, if you beat one of us, you beat all three of us. Because, how could you beat Kid, with me and Kev on the apron. F––– no, we’d make the save. So we invented the pin all three guys. I don’t think anybody in history has ever done that. You can’t find three top heels who would all lay down on a pay–per–view. We did it, and we did it repeatedly. We did it at house shows. We didn’t care. You know why? Because it was the right thing to do. We always thought about giving the people their money’s worth. You know what I always thought about—you know, by the time the people get to the parking lot, man, they aren’t talking about who won or who lost. They’re going, “Man, what a great show. I’m coming back next time.” I mean, they may be talking about who won or lost, and it doesn’t matter, but I want ‘em saying, “Wow, what a show. I’m coming back next time.”

Keller: Do you think with UFC pushing the smaller guys who are shorter than Waltman and in most cases thicker than Waltman, but just in general size-wise, they walk down the street in street clothes, and they look like they go to the gym, but a lot of average guys think they could take him in a bar fight. That really gets in the way of Vince McMahon promoting smaller guys. When it comes down to it, you get your money’s worth if a smaller guy who’s a great athlete and has a good personality and he knows how to work smart—not just doing a bunch of spots to do a bunch of spots—I think a smaller guy can make money, but I get the feeling Vince doesn’t think that or he doesn’t have time for them. I think he could learn from UFC and learn from what happened with Waltman that the public doesn’t care. Like you said, they just want their money’s worth.

Hall: Well, first of all, Kid’s way different than anybody you’ll ever meet. Have you ever met Vince face to face?

Keller: Yes, several times..

Hall: He’s a big man. When he’s taking supplements, he’s even bigger. And Vince has always preferred big men. Back before all the cool commercials and all the different ways to get guys over, you had to parade your guys around in public appearances and they had to be big, scary looking muscle guys. Hulk carried Cyndi Lauper to the Emmys in a tuxedo with the sleeves cut off. I mean, Tacky McTacky. But you gotta remember, that’s the way we did business back then. I ain’t knocking Hulk (Hogan) at all because I love Hulk. But I’m saying that the way business was done back then. But now, I don’t know. I still think Vince prefers big guys.

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Part 4

Wade Keller: Regarding pushing smaller wrestlers, just as UFC pushes middleweights and light-heavyweights as their draws, it seems there’s a missed opportunity at a time when there’s not a lot of talent out there that’s polished. It seems Vince is writing off half of the guys and never gives them a chance to draw. I mean, look at Rey Mysterio. Look at what was done with him.

Scott Hall: Yeah, but you’re talking about a guy who’s like one in ten million, there, bro. He’s one in ten million. There is only one Rey Mysterio. I have worked with him. I know him. He’s magic.

Keller: Do you think smaller guys could draw, or do you kind of believe in Vince’s formula that you’ve got to turn heads in airports?

Hall: Well, that’s what I always loved about live entertainment. Let the people decide, bro. Put the guy out there. Can he get over, can he not? You know? Put the f—in’ Great Khali out there and put f—in’ Rey Rey out there and let’s see who pops the people. You know what I’m saying? Let the people decide. A bunch of f—in’ nerds who have never had a match sitting around in a board room can’t decide.

Keller: Did you get a chance to follow Kevin Nash’s storyline in TNA with the X Division?

Hall: No, I actually just got a new cable carrier and I didn’t get that channel before. Now I get Spike, so I haven’t been able to see it all.

Keller: Before you met Vince for the first time, what was your preconception of him and did it change at all after you had a chance to meet him face to face?

Hall: I think I blew the interview. I was so nervous, I was so green. Plus, I was a little bit trying to be like I had something to offer. I felt like I did, you know. I’ll never forget the last thing I said to Vince. Blah blah blah, we talked. I said, “Well, hopefully we can make money together.” I shook his hand and I got back in the car. I guess he expected me to be humble-bumble, but I thought, no man, f— him. I didn’t say, “F— you, Vince.” Don’t get me wrong. But I was thinking, bro, you don’t know me. I’m from the street. I’ll go back to tit bars and sell suntan lotion on weekends. If this works out, great. If it don’t, whatever. But I said that to him and I don’t know, he never called me back until I changed my look. Then they called and called and called.

Keller: What advice would you give to a wrestler who is similar to your position before your first meeting with Vince? How should they approach that interview?

Hall: First of all, times have changed. You ain’t gonna meet Vince. You’re gonna talk to a bunch of jobronis and you’ll probably meet Jim Ross. You probably won’t get to talk to Vince right away unless you’re somebody. Some new guy walking in, you don’t have to worry about meeting Vince. You’re gonna meet Coachman and a bunch of jabronis. You’re going to meet Jim Ross.

Keller: Or probably John Laurenaitis now.

Hall: Oh my god (laughs).

Keller: What’s your opinion on him?

Hall: I think he’s got the whitest teeth I’ve ever come across. Nah, he’s a great guy. He had a great career in Japan. He was sure lucky to have one.

Keller: Were you around him WCW?

Hall: He was the Dynamic Dude. I crossed paths with him in WWE, I think.

Keller: He found his way to power in this country.

Hall: Oh, good for him.

Keller: You worked with Goldust pretty early as Razor Ramon. What was your opinion of being matched up with him at that point?

Hall: Actually, when Vince pitched the Goldust angle to me, he was real conservative back then. They had a violence code. No chairs on TV. You couldn’t say ass. You couldn’t flip a guy off. You couldn’t do any of that sh–. Then all of a sudden he calls me into a meeting and he wants to do this homosexual angle. You gotta remember, this is a long time ago. The way the business goes now, I probably should have just gone ahead and did it, right? Plus, see, I had been around three or four years now. I had a little bit of stroke. I remember looking at Vince going, “Vince, let me get this right. We’re doing a gay angle?” I said, “I don’t get it.” Plus, the heat was on (1-2-3) Kid. Kid and Sid had just f—ed me out of the belt, and they wanted me to work with Goldust. I said, “I’ll tell ya’ what, Vince. I ain’t comfortable with this gay angle. You want me to drop the belt to Goldust, no problem. I’ll drop it to him, but I ain’t working with him.” That was my downfall with Vince. It was the first time I ever disagreed with Vince. You know, I guess I was immature looking back at it now because as racy as the business is now - what’s the broad, Melina, showing her sn—. I mean, when you watch TV, them *****es, they’re shooting up their dresses. You know what I mean? But back then, it wasn’t that way. Vince prided himself on family programming. He had this dude in love with Razor. I remember going, “Vince, let me get this right. I’m going to tell my five year old son some other man’s in love with me?” I guess I was being a mark. I should have just took it as business, but I was very, very uncomfortable with it.

Keller: Was it ever personal?

Hall: No, no. Nothing against Dustin. I think Dustin is great. He’s a great professional. He did the gimmick great. After me, he took off with that gimmick. He made that sh– red hot.

Keller: Once you saw it get red hot, did you look and go, “Maybe that would have worked.”

Hall: Too late by then.

Keller: How about Jeff Jarrett? You worked with him in the first years there too. Did you learn from working with somebody like him?

Hall: Sh–, I taught Jeff how to work. Ask Jeff. Ask Jeff. I worked with Jeff his first match in Madison Square Garden. Razor had been in the Garden a few times. I had a ladder match there. I had had some good matches in that town. I’m sure you’re aware of it, but the Garden’s a tough market. It’s a very tough, sophisticated, hip wrestling crowd. I worked with Jeff there and at that time, with Vince preparing for the steroid trial, he brought Jerry Jarrrett - Jeff’s father - in to supervise operations. So I sat down with Jeff and said, “Look, man, you’ve never been here. I’ve been here. They know me. They love me.” I said, “Just beat me up the whole time. Shoot me in, bend over for a backdrop, and I’ll pick you up and hit you with my finish, 1, 2, 3.” I did it. People popped. Blah blah blah. When I came back to the locker room, his dad pulled me aside. He was spitting dip, chewing tobacco into a coffee cup. He goes, “Hey, Razor, can I talk to you?” I said, “Sure, what’s up?” He goes, “You gave him too much.” This is his own flesh and blood. He said, “The people want to see you make a comeback, then beat him. I’ll never forget looking at Jerry Jarrett and going, “Wow, this guy’s smart. Because he cares more about (the business). That’s his son. I know how much I love my son. But he wanted to do business right. It wouldn’t hurt his son for me to do business right, either, at the same time. But I never forgot that. Me and Jerry Jarrett are pretty good buddies. I like him. He’s smart, man. Real estate. Construction. Wrestling. I mean, he’s made a lot of money in a lot of businesses.

Keller: He’s been around a lot of big stories over the years and a lot of turning points in the business. When Vince was on trial, Jerry Jarrett was there, helping to hold the fort while Vince was occupied.

Hall: He brought Bill Watts in and Watts didn’t want Vince to control him and told him f— you. So he got rid of Watts. Watts liked me, too. I remember Watts telling me one time, “You’re over like f—. I can’t figure out why they ain’t doin’ nothing with ya’.”

Keller: Do you think Watts could have worked out in the WWF at that point, or was he too old school to work in the corporate environment?

Hall: Not with Vince. If Vince sold the company to Watts, maybe, but not with Vince. Watts is a little bit too country and Vince is a little bit too city, in my humble opinion, and I don’t know either one of them that well. I know Vince. I don’t Watts that well. I heard Watts knows how to do business. I also heard he’s a tough son of a ***** to work for.

Keller: He made quite the Torch Talk. He was very outspoken about a lot of things. He said some racial things that probably shouldn’t have been said, at least not the way he said them. Let’s shift to Shawn Michaels. You had a ladder match that is still talked about today as one of the great matches of the ’90s. How did the concept of doing a ladder match come about? Had you seen it done before?

Hall: Actually, one time me and Shawn, we were wrestling each other for like two-and-a-half years. One night we show up somewhere out West because they were doing this deal - back when they were drug testing us, all of a sudden Shawn turned up dirty for some bullsh–. All of sudden Shawn has steroids in him. He’s been clean for three years, and all of a sudden he’s got a pill in him. So they suspend him. They have a battle royal. It comes down to me and Rick Martel. I beat Martel. Now I got the strap. Of course, I’ve never beat Shawn, who I’ve been wrestling for years. So Shawn wears his strap to the ring, I wear mine. It was the only ladder match that ever made sense. So all of a sudden we go out West and I said what the f— is a ladder match? So we start having one or two and start figuring out highspots and stuff like that. I was just supposed to wrestle Shawn at WrestleMania 10 in just a regular match. But Jack Lanza told Vince that these guys are rocking this ladder match, so we had a ladder match and things went well.

Keller: Did you know when that match was over that you had just had what would be looked back on as one of the great matches of that era?

Hall: I felt good about it. Actually, I think one time in Fresno we actually had a better one, it just wasn’t on TV. It was sweet. The thing I remember is coming back to the locker room, and Randy Savage going, “First of all, I wanna say, great match. Second of all, I want to say you were selfish motherf—ers.”

Keller: Why is that?

Hall: Because, you know our PPV, you only buy so much satellite time. See, the way the ladder match went, once you kind of set in motion, you gotta cross. You can’t edit the time. Once you start to go home, you gotta go home. So what happened was, we cut into his and Crush’s time. What they should have done is just edit that match, but anyway.

Keller: Did we really need a longer match with Crush?

Hall: Yeah, he’s money. So anyway, Mach and Crush went, like, six minutes. They were pissed off. But whatever. What do you do?

Keller: Have you seen many of the ladder matches that have followed over all of these years?

Hall: I had a rematch with Shawn at Summerslam, but that was back when Vince had a violence code. There was a violence code on TV, and I was not allowed to use the ladder as a weapon. Then I worked for Atlanta and I had a ladder match with Goldberg. But Goldberg’s such a *****, like you can’t hit him with a ladder. He’s such a c–t. He’s all jacked up on f—in’ supplements. He’s a puss. As much as I helped him. His first road trip, he rode with me. Free room, free car, all that sh–. I introduced him to our agent. Same agent as me, Kev (Nash), a lot of people have. Made him wealthy. And now he just acts like a cock. So, f— you Goldberg.

Keller: Have you seen any ladder matches that you haven’t been involved in?

Hall: To be honest with you, bro, I don’t watch a lot of wrestling. Just lately I’ve been watching a lot because Kid called, Kev called. They keep going, “Come on, motherf—er, come on. Let’s do it one more time!” I really think the only way DX is going to make any money is if they have opponents.

Keller: They were created to feud with Vince and Shane. I don’t think they created DX as a long-term concept with multiple opponents. It’s a reunion tour, a nostalgia tour.

Hall: But what happens if me and Kev show up with black suits on with like NWO logos on them, like the collar.

Keller: Well, that extends the DX run instantly.

Hall: But I’m saying, now we’re corporate guys. Because Kev’s hair is short. My hair is trimmed. We show up. It’s no secret. Time passes you by. We’re older than we were last year, right? We’re all looking a little bit older. Shawn certainly looks older. We show up because Vince can’t beat them. So who does he bring in? The best tag team in the world, the Outsiders.

Keller: Let’s talk about the Clique a little bit, because you guys ended up forming a powerbase that in some ways was unprecedented. A lot of guys didn’t like you. Bam Bam Bigelow, Jean Pierre Lafitte, Bob Holly, Adam Bomb, Ted DiBiase. They were all outspoken about you behind the scenes. Talk about that.

Hall: It’s kind of hard to talk about without sounding like an egomaniac, but did Adam Bomb ever draw a dime? A Canadian one, I think. Bam Bam, yeah. We had some heat with Bam Bam. Bam Bam was very talented. We had some heat with people, but nobody who mattered. The business was down and we brought it up. We were trying to bring it up. You know how any business runs, bro. You gotta get in your bosses ear and you gotta pitch your ideas. I don’t care if you’re a car salesman or selling fruit on a fruit stand. You gotta get in your boss’s head with your ideas if you want to advance. So we were saying, “How about this? How about that? How about this?” We were the ones pitching the ideas. See, I’m the kind of guy who thrives on a real competitive environment. If you’re better than me, then bring it, bro. If you’re better than me, then step up and talk to Vince. Because, guess what, that’ll make me think harder. A lot of people could have criticized the Clique, but the Clique rules wrestling. I mean, if you look at it back in the day, me, Kev, and Kid were running the NWO and Hunter and Shawn were running DX in WWE. The Clique was running f—in’ wrestling.

Keller: Did you guys ever abuse the power that you had? I’ve asked Sean Waltman and Kevin Nash this same question. You guys had influence with Vince. You had more face time with him and considerable influence because you guys were top acts, too. Did you guys ever abuse that power to settle any scores?

Hall: I hope so. I don’t remember, but I hope we did.

Keller: The Clique was based on friendship and a common bond because you guys cares passionately about the industry. You guys were students of the game and went on long road trips and talked about it.

Hall: We were just a bunch of guys who wanted to get over. We all had the same idea in mind. The best way to get over - I learned this from Arn Anderson. One time, a long time ago, Arn Anderson told me - Kid, you wanna get rich in this business - because I used to stand in the curtain and watch the matches - he went, “Kid, come here. You know what the promoter does?” That was like Jim Crockett at the time. He said, “He stands back here and he listens.” It’s all about who makes me yell the loudest and the longest. You know what I mean? It don’t matter armdrag, backflip, moonsault, all that silly sh—. Who’s making ‘em yell? I could hit you with a toothpick in the face and people are going to yell. I wrestled so many marks. They’d go, “Man, I don’t want the toothpick in the face.” I said, “Fine, I’ll just punch you then.” You know, would you rather take the toothpick, because people are going to go “Waaaaa!” Or would you rather me pick you up and suplex you?

Keller: Talk about the different roles each of you had in that group. Was one of you more the leader?

Hall: Kev will disagree with this. Kid’s real, real smart. And I like to lay everything out. You see, Kev’s a big grouch. Unless it was Kid, every match that I’ve ever been in, you can research it. If it was me and Kev, I always started. Unless it was the three of us, then Kid started. The way we looked at it, Kid can go. Kid’s gonna wrestle ya’. So you get by Kid, and then welcome to me. I can wrestle a little bit, but I’m a brawler. Then if you get by me, f—in’ sh–’s on. Here comes the big seven foot grouchy mother f—-er and he’s gonna beat your ass. We did it that way, but we never had any kind of ego f—-in’ bullsh– problems. It wasn’t about that. We always helped each other, we always loved each other. I think the love overcomes all that. You know, we never cared. All we wanted to hear was, like Arn said, I always wanted to leave there feeling like I had the best match. I always wanted to leave the arena feeling like I had a great match. I wanted the people screamin’. I always felt, as having been a fan, to give the people their money’s worth. I wanted them going, “Holy cow, did you see that?” You know what I mean? That’s always been my commitment.

Keller: At what point did Hunter enter the equation? His lifestyle was very different.

Hall: Well, he came in right before we were leaving. Cause I asked Vince, cause I wanted to work with him. Razor, being this guy from the streets, and Hunter came in with the rich boy gimmick. I said, “Boy, give me him.” He came in right at the end. My last night in the Garden was against him. I was supposed to work with Goldust, but he blew his knee out working with me in Europe, so the main event in the Garden, the largest gate they ever had non-pay-per-view, May 26 was Kev versus Shawn in a cage, then me and Hunter underneath, semi-main. We had two matches before that. Philly, Hershey double-shot. Vince and Pat came to both shows and watched. I’ll never forget, Vince called me in before my match into his office in the Garden. He goes, “Dammit, you still work for me. Them sons of *****es. What can I do?” I said, “Vince, I don’t know if I can talk to you about this, man. I’ve already told Eric Bischoff I’m coming. In good faith, I can’t talk to ya’. I told him I’m coming.” He said, “How much those sons of *****es offering you?” I told him. He went, “Damn! That’s pretty good money.” I said, “Look, Vince, I ain’t asking you to match it. You asked me, I told you.” So, me and Hunter went out there. Then Pat called me aside. Me and Hunter just had been having this regular wrestling match. He ends up beatin’ me.

Pat called me up and said, “Look, this is what we’re going to do.” I want you to get in the ring, do your cha-cha, take your jewelry off. Hunter will already be out there. He’ll attack you from behind, knock you to the floor, choke you with the cord, then leave you laying in the aisleway.” All the fans in Madison Square Garden, it’s the same people over and over and over again. They’ve been going there for years. Those are previous seats. I remember people speaking to me in Spanish. “Look how they treat you, Razor. F— them. Go to Atlanta, man. We love you Razor.” Most of the marks thought Razor will not do a job in the Garden. I mean, who would, right? So I’m laying there. So he gets on the mic. He’s real green. He goes, “Ramon, why don’t you go off to wherever it is you’re off to go.” And the people start going, “Razor! Razor!” I just peeled my sh– off, slide into the ring, and he feeds me like he’s a f—in’ job guy. I mean, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing. Up and down. I give him the career-ender, the suplex off the top, snatch him up for my finish. Baby Earl, this is how sweet it was, he swung around and as I was flipping him over, Hunter’s feet hit Earl in the head. So Earl went down. Vince had the big ring. So I dropped him in the other corner. So everybody in the building knows. Hunter knows. Earl knows. All the fans know. But I don’t know that the referee is knocked out. So I cover him. The people are counting, “One, two, three, four.” So I go, what the f—, I go grab Earl. I kick him in the ass. What’s your f—n’ problem. Get up, get up. I turned around. Bang, Pedigree. One, two, three. I laid there until his music played. He left. The f—in’ sweetest part was, before I went out, the people were chanting, “Please don’t go! Please don’t go! Please don’t go!” So when the match was over, I got the mic. The people are going, “You sold out! You sold out! You sold out!” I pointed at Vince. He used to stand outside the Garden. I just pantomimed. I said, “Tell him, give me the money and I’ll stay right here.” So this is one of the biggest moments of my career. I used to always say, “Say hello to the Bad Guy.” I picked up the mic and I went, “Say…” and everybody in that arena went, “Good bye to the Bad Guy!” It was one of those moments. It’s all we got is moments in our life, you know what I mean?

Keller: That had to be somewhat emotional. I don’t know if you felt you owed anything to Vince, but you both made money for each other.

Hall: The thing is, too, bro, I could look Vince in the eye and said, “You know man, I worked my ass off for you. Yeah, yeah. I remember two years in going, “I know how this works, Vince. You keep pointing these cameras at me, and pretty soon we’re partners.” Because I knew I was getting over. I went to him as a man and asked for more money. He wouldn’t give it to me. I said, “Vince, what am I doing wrong? Do my interview need work? Does my ring work need work? Cause I wanna make big money like my predecessors.” He said, “Oh, no, your work is fine.” Blah blah blah. I was thinking, all right.

Keller: You weren’t getting World Title shots or runs with the World Title. Not that you were a mark for the belt, but that symbolically is a reward for what you’ve accomplished when you get that title. Did you get any sense at all that that was in the cards? That’s why Christian left WWE, because Vince outright told him, “I don’t see you as a top guy.” That was the final straw for Christian to jump to TNA. Did you ever get the feeling that Vince saw you as a guy who would be top top?

Hall: I like Christian. I think his interviews are very entertaining. The whole World Title thing, it didn’t bother me. I only wanted the money. When you go to the bank, they don’t go, “Did you win or did you lose?” They just want the money.

Keller: So there was no consideration given to wanting to headline several PPVs in a row as champion, as happened with Kevin, Bret, and Shawn. It really was just money and an opportunity to do you thing that was most important?

Hall: I never really considered myself a mark for the belt, bro. I never really did. I don’t know. To me, it’s always been a business.

Keller: What did you think during that stretch of time about the dynamic between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels? Do you think Vince played them off of each other? Do you think they naturally were such different people that that led to a lot of the tension backstage?

Hall: I think there was a little bit of a half-shoot going on and Vince capitalized off of it. It got kinda nasty. I don’t care to comment about it. Shawn can be Shawn, and Bret can be Bret. Neither one of them is a day at the beach if you catch them on the wrong day, you know what I mean?

Keller: I know you’re real close with Shawn, and Bret wasn’t your best friend like Shawn was, but do you think they were strong guys to be on top during the time that they were on top? Because they kind of broke the size barrier, too.

Hall:I don’t think there was anybody else. Vince was out of options. He had to put Bret on top. He didn’t have anybody else.

Keller: Shawn really tore the ring up. He had a really nice run as champ in terms of just putting on great matches. That’s when the show-stopper name started.

Hall: Well, he stole that from Yoko(zuna). He rocked it, man.

Keller: How about Undertaker. During your run when you guys were really powerful and really prominent on WWE TV, how did Undertaker as a locker room leader himself, play off of that dynamic he had?

Hall: Taker’s real quiet, man. He don’t say a whole lot.

Keller: Did you guys get along with him just fine?

Hall: I have a lot of respect for him, but like I say, he minds his own business. He handles his business very professionally. He’s not a gossip. He don’t talk no trash. He’s a straight up dude.

Keller: I want to go back to Hunter late in your run there, travelling with you guys on the road. What was it that bonded you guys when Hunter was such a different person than you guys were in terms of how he lived his life on the road? Was it just the love of the business that brought you guys together?

Hall: Well, he could work, plus we needed a designated driver. (laughs)

Keller: What are your memories of Owen Hart?

Hall: Me and Owen were good friends. When I was working for that company in Germany, my trailer was right next to his trailer. We’d hang out, go to the gym together. Back then, our wives would go jogging together. It was a lot of fun. Anybody who’s ever been around Owen knows he’s crazy. You can’t grow up a Hart and not be crazy. But at the same time, Owen was so talented. I was at the Kemper Arena, I guess it’s been about three years ago now. It was hard for me to work because I felt down. Because that’s where Owen lost his life. We still miss him. But I know Owen’s in Heaven now. I just pray for him and I hope he’s doing great.

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Part 5

Wade Keller: What are your thoughts on Sid?

Scott Hall: I am a huge fan of Sid’s. He’s money. I mean, some guys are better performers and this and that, but they can’t draw a dime. But Sid’s box office, and anybody disagrees and I’d like to talk to ‘em. He’s money. Sid knows how to do his part. He’s a star. Let me put it this way. Sid’s a star.

Keller: How about Dean Douglas? Shane Douglas?

Hall: No comment… I think he’s a great seasoned professional and he’s paid his dues and he’s earned everything he’s got. How’s that?

Keller: Very politically correct. How about Louie Spicolli?

Hall: I had a lot of love for Louie. I tried to give him a break. He was one of my young boys. I had him lined up. He was gonna be on a pay-per-view against Zbyszko. Me and Kev did some sweet stuff with Louie. Me and Kev would be walking to the ring for a tag match. Louie wasn’t NWO, but he would wear an Outsiders shirt. It was so hilarious because we’d walk into the ring. Kev would look back. How could you get mad at Louie with those chubby cheeks and stuff? Kev would look back and say, “You’re boy!” But I mean, we lost him too soon. He’s one more guy we lost. But Louie was a wasted career. He don’t want to get negative. I have a lot of love for Louie. I’m glad I was able to help him a little bit. I think he’s great.

Keller: Steve Austin was just beginning his WWF run as you gave your notice to jump to WCW. Did you interact with him at all then or previously in WCW, and did you see in him early on that he had the chance to become the star he became?

Hall: No. Austin never got his break until the NWO got hot. That’s when Vince turned him anti-establishment, you know? Gee, how original, right? Turn your guys against the company.

Keller: I know you had some personal and professional issues with him later on, but did you see something in him worth featuring?

Hall: Well, I actually had to call Vince and talk to him because there were some rumors going around that I wasn’t intense enough on my heat on Austin in my last run there. So I called Vince and said, “You know, what? Let Kev (Nash) wrestle him. I’ll stand on the outside. Obviously you’ve seen me work.” Vince has got to understand this. For one thing, I’m way prettier than that mother f—er. I’m in way better shape than him. My sh– looks better than him. I’m a bigger star than him. And he’s flippin’ people off. He’s cussing. And he’s the good guy? I said, “I’m having a real hard time being the heel.” Almost every time we went out, they chanted NWO. When I was f—in’ beatin’ his ass in Toronto, they started a faint Razor chant and Austin panicked so f—n’, I shoulda’ just went ahead and went with the Razor chant. He panicked so f—-in’ bad, I had to go ahead and tell him, “Okay, come back, come back on me.” Ohhh, you mark. They’ll cheer you now. But at the same time, I was going through a real personal hard time, and so was he. I didn’t have my best matches with Steve. And Steve didn’t have his best matches with me. Steve is one of the biggest stars in our business. We just crossed paths at the wrong time. I would really love to wrestle Steve in the future. I don’t mean any disrespect to him. He’s a super-talented guy. I mean, now he’s making movies and all kinds of sh–. When we crossed paths, it was a bad time, that’s all.

Keller: When you were in the WWF, did you have a chance to interact much with Shane or Stephanie McMahon?

Hall: I met her. I knew Shane when he was a young punk kid. He used to be a mark for Razor. Of course, you meet the family. What are you gong to do? If your boss owned a construction company, you’d say hi to his wife, hi to his kid. So of course I met them. I didn’t really know ‘em. They didn’t have any stroke back then.

Keller: Was there an attitude that those two probably would have stroke some day and they were almost royalty in terms of having to watch yourself around them?

Hall: No. You know what? Vince broke them in kinda pretty much similar to how his father broke him in. They had to break in kinda old school. Shane used to set up rings, just like Vince set up rings. Which is probably good for you, right? I remember one time I was talking to Shane. Shane’s a pretty damn good athlete. One time he jumped off the thing on the table and all that. I said, “Shane, don’t you miss the rush of the crowd?” He said, “Raze, I get the same rush working in the office.” That’s pretty cool, right. You gotta remember, both of them kids been to college.

Keller: It was 11 years ago yesterday that the first Monday Nitro aired.

Hall: Let me ask you this. Do you remember the openings of the first Monday night shows. I was all over that son of a *****, wasn’t I? Curt Hennig worked in the office then. They’d show WWE going against my body, then WWF going across my body. Curt Hennig, who worked in the studio, told me, “That’s not by accident.” Because I wasn’t Vince’s main guy, but I was his main guy, you know what I mean? I wasn’t the highest paid guy. I could never figure that out about Vince. I always felt that when I gave my notice to Vince, we broke up at the prom. I never failed his drug tests the whole time I worked there. Then I gave my six weeks notice. Guess what? The next day I was dirty for marijuana. The test was six weeks old. Normally you get the results in two or three weeks. Then, what was even worse, I’m at the arena. Shawn (Michaels) and Kev, their flights are delayed, they’re in Europe. So they’re moving Razor up on the card at some spot show. So Tony Garea comes to me and he says, “Hey, you gotta call the doctor.” I laughed and said, “Oh boy! I guess they got my letter.” So I called the doctor, Dr. DiPasquali, and his wife answers and said he wasn’t there, but he’d be back later. So I’m sitting down, lacing my boots up, sitting next to Taker. Tony Garea comes up and says, “What are you doin’?” I said, “I’m getting dressed, man.” He goes, “Did you call the doctor?” I said, “He’s not home.” He goes, “They want you to leave the building.” We had this whole chain of command, so I asked him, “You’re telling me I’ve come up dirty on a test without talking to the doctor? How do I know he ain’t gonna tell me I have f—in’ high blood pressure, kidney disease, some kind of sh– like that? You’re telling me I failed the test?” I remember Taker went (to Garea): “Why don’t you just push him out the door.” So I walked out through the crowd where they could see me and Tony was out there. I pointed at Tony and said, “I would love to wrestle for you people, but this guy right here won’t let me wrestle.” Then I f—in’ just left. Then Vince called me and wanted me to work for free - well, for two-hundred a night - for six weeks.

Keller: That was a neat policy for him. His rationale was, well, we don’t want to punish the fans for the mistakes of the wrestlers.

Hall: It used to be a thousand dollar fine. All of a sudden he was giving me six weeks off.

Keller: The timing of it made a total mockery of the drug tests, which he tried to proclaim was straight on the up and up.

Hall: It was like I stood him up at the prom. Like I’ve always said, I’ve never had that good of a relationship with Vince. Vince knew that I knew, and I actually feel like I threaten Vince a little bit because I’m pretty f—in’ smart.

Keller: When word came out that Monday Nitro would be starting, did you look at it as something that would be interesting, a start of a Monday Night War? Or did you guys in the WWF not take it seriously because even though they had Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, WCW couldn’t possibly compete with the WWF head-to-head? What was your reaction as a wrestler when you heard the news?

Hall: Well, as a wrestler, of course you think, “Wow, this is great because it’s more wrestling.” You always have to consider that. Like I said before, I like to give the audience a chance to decide. I always said change the channel if you don’t like what we got. Vince had us so busy, we didn’t watch their show. You’re so busy working and then driving to the next town, you can’t watch Nitro.

Keller: Had you watched WCW at all to see what Hogan was up to?

Hall: I barely watched our show and I didn’t watch any of WCW.

Keller: When Nitro came on, was there any kind of a buzz about how Vince started getting concerned about the fact that he had competition that was actually drawing ratings that were either the same or better than Raw a lot of weeks.

Hall: I never knew anything about the ratings, and Vince never sold it. All we did was start putting more main events on free TV. Instead of putting hype on, we started stepping up our free programming.

Keller: Vince argued at the time that that was really going to hurt the PPV business by putting main events on TV.

Hall: He was right.

Keller: Yet even with so much being given away on free TV during the Monday Night Wars, that led to a huge wrestling boom that a lot of people profited from and a lot more fans started watching as a result. How do you reconcile the idea that giving away pay-per-view main events hurt when buyrates went up.

Hall: I don’t know. Sounds like somebody owes me money. I think it was a great thing. I am very, very satisfied to have been a part of it. I don’t know that it’s ever going to happen again because there’s no challenger. Right now, TNA is not a challenger to the throne. With some help they could be, but I don’t know. I’d like to go over the books during that time. There was merchandise and pay-per-view buys, business was red-hot.

Keller: Did you care at all when Lex Luger jumped without giving notice? Was that frowned upon by you guys?

Hall: I don’t know about that, but remember the big Lex Express? The bus tour? Well, what I think happened is they turned Lex babyface and they turned Razor babyface at the same time, but you know what was so funny, and what I’ve always said, like I told you before, let the people decide. That’s why I like live audiences. They tell you right away instant feedback. The Lex Express was a manufactured thing. Then they had Razor out there. The fans could start to tell that Luger was the company man and Razor wasn’t. So I almost got that underdog sympathy.

Keller: During that time, Vince started making fun of Ted Turner and he was claiming that Turner was using predatory practices against him. Did you have sympathy for Vince given his background when he crushed Starrcade with the Survivor Series in 1987?

Hall: I actually thought it was kind of tacky. The whole thing. Why bring it up? I think you should spend your assets promoting your company.

Keller: What initiated your contact with Eric Bischoff and WCW? Was it your agent Barry Bloom? Was it a fellow wrestler?

Hall: It was Kid (Sean Waltman). Kid was out in Cali and he was the one getting ready to make a move. He introduced me to Barry Bloom and it just went from there. I remember asking Kid, “How interested are they in you? Well, f—, how interested are they in me?” I said, “Let me get this right? You get days off, too?” Vince was working us 250 dates a year.

Keller: Did Barry negotiate for you or did you talk to Bischoff?

Hall: Barry did the whole thing.

Keller: When did you first start talking to Eric about how you’d be introduced?

Hall: Not until I was signed, sealed, and delivered. Eric picked me up at the airport in Atlanta in his Jaguar, drove me to Macon, and I did my first appearance the day after my contract expired for Vince. Then I did my first Nitro.

Keller: Did you have any input into how the Outsiders would be introduced?

Hall: Well, the one thing, Kev always laughs when I say this because I always qualified every statement with this: There’d be a room of us sitting around. Hulk had creative control, you see. He didn’t have to do nothin’ he didn’t want to; it was in his contract. So we’d be sitting around and I’d go, “Look, I’ll do whatever you want because you’re my boss and I need this big, high-paying contract. But if it was up to me, and it’s not, I think we should do this.” I would lay sh– out. The one thing is, when you get in the meeting room with four or five top guys and they’re talking over an angle, it only takes two or three guys to turn the tide. If one guy goes, “I think we should do this.” If I got Kev saying ,”That sounds good to me,” then Hulk is not going to want to get heat with me and Kev - or he might if he disagrees. But we always protected Hulk. We said, “Nobody gets to Hulk. Me and Kev will bump. Nobody gets to Hulk.” What we did was what Curt Hennig taught me, what Kevin Sullivan taught me, what Dusty Rhodes taught me, what Barry Windham taught me. We did business. We tried to sell f—in’ tickets. We tried to make the people scream so they would tune in next week. That was always my sole purpose. I never was in it for the whole ego thing. Don’t get me wrong, bro. I loved being on TV. It don’t hurt to have people scream your name. Don’t get me wrong. I dig it. But I always felt I was one of the most unselfish people in the business. I did jobs for people and got in trouble for doing it. I don’t know, did that answer your question?

Keller: How involved were you even before Hogan was part of the picture with the Outsiders in formulating what you did on TV during those first appearances where you planted the seed in fans’ minds that you may or may not still be with the WWF?

Hall: The New World Order was Eric Bischoff’s idea. If you watch the Bash at the Beach, by the time Hogan’s done doing his interview, he calling it “New World Organization, brother.” He already forgot the f—in’ slogan. It was Eric’s idea. You gotta give him all the props. He thought of somethin’ different. T-shirts sold like crazy. Because they were cool. You could wear that, like, in a bar. Instead of wearing a t-shirt around with Austin’s face on it, you could wear NWO.

Keller: That original first appearance on Nitro, you’re saying you didn’t know what you’d be doing until that day or the day before?

Hall: I didn’t know til I got there.

Keller: What was your first reaction to how you’d be debuting?

Hall: It was Larry Zbyszko’s idea for me to come through the audience because Larry Zbyszko said, “You know what? Nobody has ever walked through the audience in the middle of the match. The other boys are going to stop wrestling when they see you. They’re going to wonder what the f— you’re doing there.” That was Zbyszko’s idea. I thought it was great. Because otherwise, what do you do? Walk down the aisle? Why wouldn’t the other guys beat you up. Zbyszko said, “Come through the crowd. Everybody’s gonna know who you are. They’re going to wonder what the f— are you doing here?” That’s why I looked at them (Bischoff and Zbyszko) and said, “You guys got the night off. Take off.” I said what was scripted for me to say. That was it.

Keller: At any point, did you have any regrets over how you were portrayed, or did it take off so well, that this was a dream opportunity for you. You got to be yourself.

Hall: The only thing I regretted was Eric often insisted that that night in Macon he wanted me to precondition the crowd and go out and do a heel interview telling the fans they suck, blah blah blah, then walk through the crowd. If I could go back in time, I would have just came through the crowd. Because it doesn’t matter. Let ‘em cheer. I was coming off Vince’s TV as a babyface. It doesn’t matter. Let them cheer. Because then they’re calling their friends saying, “Are you watching this?!” If I could go back in time, I would have done it that way, but whatever.

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Part 6

Wade Keller: Was Kevin Nash always as enthusiastic about leaving Vince for the 750K contracts with one-fourth the dates? Did he ever have more second thoughts about jumping than he did?

Scott Hall: I agreed to leave before him. My contract ended ten days before Kev’s. I had a “most favored nation” clause (with WCW) that said nobody could make more money or more perks than me. So I listed ten top guys in the business, and Kev was one of them. So I went to Kev and said, “Kev, I’m leaving.” He said, “I’m stayin’.” I said, “If you change your mind, look, this is what I’m getting.” And I was sworn not to show it to anybody. I hope that doesn’t get me in trouble. But I told him, “This is what I’m gettin’. If you go there, try to get more, because then I get more.” So that was when he had that match with Bret in the cage. The finish was he was supposed to powerbomb Bret, and then Taker was going to come up from the bottom of the cage and pull Kev down. It was sweet as f—. The whole match Taker under the cage. Kev was supposed to powerbomb Bret and before he could pin him, Taker was going to reach up through a slit in the canvas and pull Kev down. Bret wouldn’t take the powerbomb. Bret went, “No.” So when Kev went back, he said, “F— this. I’m leaving, too.” I said, “Great. At least I’ll know one more guy down there.” I felt like I was selling out. I felt like the people in Madison Square Garden were right, that I was just taking the money. F— being a starving artist. I’ve already proved I’m one of the best performers in the world. I wanted the dough.

Keller: I think probably if you looked at the books at the time, it would be pretty obvious that you guys were being underpaid for what you were worth.

Hall: Gee, you think so.

Keller: It’s not like WCW was overpaying for you. You guys probably made triple that money within a couple of years.

Hall: We got three raises in 18 months.

Keller: And that wasn’t something Vince was willing to do for you when things were really good.

Hall: You gotta remember this, too. When I worked for Vince, Federal trial going on, ICOPRO, f—ing (World) Bodybuilding Federation. We’re paying everybody’s f—in’ bill. You had a bunch of bodybuiders laying around working out, they get one contest a year, and I’m paying some prick 200 grand a year to lay around on his ass - and there’s like 15, 20 of them.

Keller: And you guys weren’t making that much more than that at that time.

Hall: F— no. And we were on the road every night.

Keller: I don’t think a lot of people realize that before the Monday Night War era, top top paid guys were making between three and six hundred thousand a year.

Hall: Exactly.

Keller: And working a lot of dates. So Eric Bischoff blew up the salary structure of wrestling and for several years it paid off big time for everybody. Did Shawn Michaels or Triple H ever even entertain the notion of going to WCW, or were they 100 percent loyal no matter what the schedule?

Hall: I think we made some calls to Shawn, but you know, he was locked up with Vince.

Keller: Contractually, he had no choice?

Hall: I don’t know the situation was, but he stayed.

Keller: The MSG farewell incident - did you have any qualms about that, or did that happen organically. How did that whole thing play out?

Hall: I just put Hunter over in a f—in’ sweet ass match. It was going to be Shawn and Hunter. Me and Kev were done. We were all travelling together. And Vince calls me into his office. He says, “Damn it, you still work for me.” Blah blah blah. How much are they paying you. Blah blah blah. We had that conversation. Shawn comes in and he goes, “Vince, I want Razor to come out and get me. I want Razor to come to the ring with me. And I want Paul (Hunter) to come to the ring against Kev.” Because Kev just took the superkick, bang down in the middle, 1-2-3. So we go out in the ring. I’m milking it. Me and Shawn have a history. Kev is down and Hunter hasn’t come out yet. So Shawn’s in the ring and I’m looking at Shawn and the people are buzzing because they ain’t quite whether me and Shawn might (fight). At the Garden, we’ve been buddies, we’ve been enemies. Of course, he killed it by as soon as I stepped into the ring, he just grabbed me and hugged me. So we all hugged, and then he bent down and kissed Kev on the lips. That was a little bit gay. Then they all stood there. The Japanese press got it. I don’t think the fans did. Me and Kev stood and squared off with Hunter and Shawn. We knew we were leaving. A lot of the fans didn’t know. Then, for some reason, we just went to the corners. They asked me about it. I said, “You know, I felt like I had to say good bye to the New York fans. Thank you for your support, you know. Thanks you so much and good bye.” That’s how I felt about it.

Keller: Did it break kayfabe in a way that was damaging to business?

Hall: A lot of guys would say that, but what the f—. I mean, I don’t know. I guess it did, right. We broke kayfabe. Wooooo! Anybody who was standing outside the arena saw the four of us drive out in a Cadillac together. We broke kayfabe. Does that mean it’s real? So now we’re saying it’s real? How can it be kayfabe if it’s real? I don’t know. There were some people who said we broke kayfabe and we were trying to hurt the business because we were leaving. First of all, it was Shawn’s idea for me to come out there. I don’t want to come out there. So he wanted me out there and he stayed. So, I don’t think it hurt kayfabe. I don’t know. Who knows?

Keller: If you knew that Hunter would end up being punished for it and that a planned King of the Ring tournament victory would be taken away, would you have changed your mind?

Hall: Well, I can’t read minds, but I’ll tell you one thing. (Steve) Austin would have never gotten pushed if that hadn’t happened.

Keller: I had that written down in my notes for this interview. I think that MSG Farewell was among the top three or four things that happened that changed the course of the industry because the WWF without Steve Austin on top to counter the hip popularity of the NWO, I don’t know that they would have made the comeback they did because I don’t know that Hunter was ready yet. So really, Hunter being knocked out of the King of the Ring was the best thing that happened to the WWF during that Monday Night War. Austin owes you a big thanks, let’s put it that way. It’s crazy how history works sometimes.

Hall: For sure. Crazy, wasn’t it.

Keller: Under what circumstances was it proposed to you that Hulk Hogan join the Outsiders, and did you see it as a self-preservation move for Hogan. The way I saw it and a lot of people saw it, you and Nash were so over at that point that if you guys feuded with Hogan, you two would have been cheered, not Hogan, because his act was stale. Did you ever see him as glomming onto you guys, or did you see it as an honor that he wanted to join your act?

Hall: Well, the Outsiders was always me and Kev. There were only two Outsiders. But no, Hulk’s the man. Anybody who ever doubts that doesn’t know anything about wrestling. Hulk made the NWO. Hulk’s the one for the big launch of wrestling. I tell you one thing that is cool about travelling through the airports. One time me and Kev are travelling through L.A., we’re walking through the airport with Hulk. We were invisible. No one even said a word to us. We walked straight to the counter. Hulk got stopped a hundred times. I mean, it’s kind of cool to not be hassled. Hulk’s the man. I don’t care where you go. You can go to any city in the world. You know what’s cool, is people who don’t know wrestling, they know Hulk.

Keller: I know that Kevin Nash and Hulk had a falling out and a period where there was tension as everyone was scrambling for the big contracts and political moves being made against each other. As you went along, did you grow to admire Hogan more than you had? Did you have preconceptions about him that were broken having been around him?

Hall: I learned a lot from Hulk on the etiquette side of business and then the business side of business. He didn’t really teach me anything in the ring. But he taught me. You know what they used to say. If you act like you’re the sh–, you’re the sh–. Because who’s gonna call you on it. I learned that from Hulk. I learned patience. I learned timing from Hulk. I learned to slow down from Hulk . One of my favorite, favorite moves was one time they did this thing in the ring where Giant snuck up on Hulk. And he was standing right behind Hulk. Where normally you would spin around and let the guy nail you, right? You don’t wait too long. But Hulk took it beyond the uncomfortable spot to the “what the f—” spot to where it became movie star sh–. He stood there and looked around like, “What? What? What?” And then when he turned around, the pop was ten times louder than it would have been. I stole that from Hulk and when I used to work against Kev, I used to do it against Kev. I did some of that.

Keller: How about the addition of NWO members as time went on? Did that get to be too much?

Hall: The more people you get in NWO shirts, all of a sudden they’re big deals, so all of sudden, me and Kev get more days off, if you know what I mean. So that’s the way the NWO grew. It watered it down, but we were on guaranteed contracts.

Keller: You talked about getting three raises in your first 18 months. Were those offered to you, or did you have to initiate them?

Hall: Well, we had an agent.

Keller: So you didn’t have to do the dirty work.

Hall: No, that’s the cool part about that. You just talk to creative and the other guy does the dirty work.

Keller: What was your impression of Bischoff? Had you crossed paths with him at all before?

Hall: No.

Keller: So what did you think of this brash guy who said he wanted to crush Vince McMahon and put him out of business, and that was his mission statement?

Hall: You know what I like about Eric? He’s like a guy. I’ve had f-you f-you conversations with Eric. But I remember one time when he wanted to put Vince out of business, it might have been Kev that said, “No, no, no, you don’t want to do that. Because then you won’t be the golden boy of TNT because if you’re not beatin’ somebody every week, who are you? We just want to beat him every week, we don’t want to put him out of business.” I think Eric’s a smart guy, dude.

Keller: Do you think that it was forces out of his control that led to the eventual downward spiral, or do you think he played a part in it? There is no doubt, as Nash talked about in his Torch Talk, that WCW when things were going well, was one big party. And everybody was having fun, including Eric Bischoff, and I think from an outsider looking in, as someone who wasn’t involved, it was real clear the wheels were coming off the cart at certain points, especially when Thunder was introduced and there was this additional programming and new babyfaces weren’t being created for the heels, and the one they had to rely on was Goldberg, and he wasn’t well-rounded. I mean, there were so many things happening, but it seems Eric’s attention wasn’t 100 percent where it needed to be in finding out what’s the next big wave.

Hall: I remember one time I was sitting there in catering at Nitro with Eric. He comes up and sits down with me and says, “Guess what? TBS wants a piece of the pie.” TNT was so red-hot, now TBS wants some of this wrestling. He goes, “They want a two hour show every Thursday.” I said, “Well, that’s more money, right?” He goes, “Is that all you ever f—in’ think about?” I said, “Not just for me. For everybody. For the whole company.” But, I mean, what do you do when you work for this giant conglomerate and they tell you they want a show, produce a show.

Keller: Did you see any signs along the way of Eric Bischoff losing control of the situation or the inmates running the asylum in a way that he should have stepped in, a point where Vince would have stepped in? There was that time when Vince flew out to Columbus to meet the wrestlers at a house show because there was so much tension.

Hall: That was us. He came to me with the Clique. That was us.

Keller: Vince had that kind of power with wrestlers, that respect, where if things got a little out of control, he could step in and make it happen. Was it the guaranteed contracts in a sense that kind of took away Eric’s power to try to keep things in order when things did start to spin out of control a little bit.

Hall: When you start having legal rights and sh– like that, it’s way different. I never felt like Eric lost control. I just felt like people over Eric’s head were asking too much from him.

Keller: Did you sense that the wrestlers during the hot run felt it was a gravy train that would never end, or did you as an astute observer of the business who had seen a lot, did you see that this couldn’t last forever the way things were going.

Hall: That’s why I asked for my money up front.

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Part 7

Final Installment

Wade Keller: Did you feel any sense when you were in WCW that wrestlers felt it was a gravy train that Time-Warner was going to pay for and it would never end because ratings were too good? Was there a sense of being bullet-proof?

Scott Hall: Well, I mean, you gotta remember, too, when you work for Vince, until I left - and here I'm patting myself on the back again - but until I left - and now, see, people get guaranteed dough in New York. Back then, bro, you didn't get no guaranteed dough. You would get your check. The envelope would come in the mail. Sometimes I'd be on the road and I'd call my old lady and my Summerslam check would come in. I'd ask, "How much it it, baby?" She'd go, "It's only 65 grand." I'd go, "I told you not to buy that lamp! We can't afford it." I mean, see the sweet thing about working for Turner was... Barry Blood, who is a super, super human being and a shark at negotiating, Eric Bischoff actually asked Barry if he would negotiate his contract with Turner. Barry said, "I can't. It's a conflict." See, once you know you're locked in - the funny thing, too, is, cause when you work for Vince, you're only as good as your last match. It's like what have you done for me lately. I'll never forget the first couple of times me and Kev went to the ring and did interviews and went out and came back and the people sitting at the backstage area with the table guys with the headsets on and sh--. We'd come back, and they'd go, "Great great, excellent excellent." I looked at Kev and went, "What the f---? That was f---in' brutal. If we did that for Vince, we'd get f---in' yelled at." But (at Turner) you hear, "That was great. Really good job. Thanks." I said, "F---, they don't even know." WCW was so used to being a failure that they didn't have a clue, so basically we just raped 'em. I was happy for all the other guys. I don't know what other guys made. Kev and I had matching contracts. We brought Kid (Sean Waltman) with us because he's my boy and Kid is money. The one thing about Kid is, people don't know until they've been in the ring with him, he's fantastic. But people don't realize it until they've actually been in the ring with him because he can't really interview. But in the ring, he is money. It was so funny, we were the WolfPac. Me, Kevin, and Kid. The funny thing is, Kid was our enforcer. He was the stiffest prick of all. Kid would knock your lights out.

Keller: I saw him in a semi-shoot fight before there were shoot fights back in the late-'80s in a bar in Minneapolis against Wellington Wilkins, who was a super-tough guy, and they went out there and just stretched each other old style. Kid was, like, 18 at the time, and he was beat up afterward, but this Wilkins guy who looked like Dean Malenko, a super super tough strong mat guys with submissions, he and Kid just slapped the sh-- out of each other and they were stretching and twisting each other. Afterward in the locker room, they were just all beat up, but Sean just had this smile on his face like he just went through the best thing he possibly could have. He was just so deceptively, unbelievably tough.

Hall: I'm a huge fan of Kid. Vince hooked us up. I would have never known Kid if Vince hadn't shot that angle with us. But now, so many years have gone by and stuff, and now we're married to each other in a sense. I just think he's money. I just talked to him today. He called me this afternoon. He did some shows in Guadalajara. He went down there and said he was working with Juvi. I think Juventud Guererra is a major, major star. I can't figure out why he isn't working in the U.S.

Keller: Because he's a flake.

Hall: Everybody has their little demons. I heard Juvi is going a little bit crazy so he can't get a job in the U.S.

Keller: At his peak I thought he was at times better than Rey Mysterio athletically. But that was a long time ago and he's been through a lot since then.

Hall: I haven't seen Juvi in a while, but see, I used to hang with the Mexican guys. I always hung out with the Mexican dudes because they're cool. We would just hang out, laugh, and talk. When me and Kev worked for Turner, we had free rooms, free hotels, free luxury cars. They paid for everything. The thing is, though, they gave me and Kev both Cadillacs because we didn't want the Lincoln Town Cars. We wanted Caddies. We insisted on Caddies. What we would do is, we were going to ride together anyway, so we would either give our other car to one of the Mexican boys or we'd give it to the referee or one of the dudes a little lower on the food chain. Like, "Here you go, bro. And don't bother putting gas in it because it's all on Uncle Ted." We had free rooms and at that time I was dating this really sweetheart of a girl, Emily Sherman, she was a production assistant. Her uncle was Brad Siegel, the president of TNT. I didn't know that when I met her, but she's smokin' hot, so me and her used to hang out. So she had a free room and I had a free room, so then I would give my room to somebody and my car to somebody. I'm getting sidetracked again, man. Get me on track!

Keller: Talk about the Emily situation. How was that politically. I remember hearing about that. It was kind of a big deal. How long were you dating her?

Hall: I'll tell you what. She is smokin' hot. She's really, really intelligent. She has a double-degree. She went to the University of Miami. She has, like, a double degree. I never went to college so I don't really know what that means. Her family is super-wealthy, but I'm way older than her. We had a great relationship. I don't know. We dug each other. I used to say, "Emily, look at me, man. I was out of control. I was f---in' just, you know... I was hanging out with Steve McMichael back when he was going through his drama. Me and Bongo - I always called him Bongo (laughs). Everybody else called him Mongo. I used to call him Bongo. And we were doing whatever the f--- we wanted to do. We were talking about these guaranteed contracts. What are you gonna do to me? One time I remember walking into a production meeting when Bischoff was sitting there. I walked in and said, "Hey, Bischoff. You know what, I ain't no lawyer, but I have read my contract, and there is no asshole clause. There is no alcohol policy. In fact, all I have to do is show up on time and pass your piss test and I get my money." I said, "I don't even have to be good at what I do. I just happen to be good at it because I take pride in it because if the whole world is watching me, I like to be good at what I do. Bischoff just looked at me like, "F---, you're right. What can I say to that?" Legally he was bound. Like, all I had to do was show up, piss clean, and I get my money. I can act like a f---in' jackoff and there was nothing he could do. It's not a popularity contest. That's what me and Kid were talking about. We had so much f---ing heat, but we don't care. It's kind of like, almost a good kind of heat. Everybody hates you, but everybody kisses your ass.

Keller: Kevin Nash said, in the Torch Talk with him last year, that there were times he was an asshole, times he was a prick...

Hall: Kev? You kidding me. We used to call him grouch. F---, I used to call him grouch. That was his name. We would say "grouch." The funny part was, we'd be sitting around the meeting - Kev is seven feet fall. He's 6-11 and a half in his bare feet. So we'd be sitting around, you know how you sit around a meeting and they're talking over a finish. So Kev would go, "I think we should do this, this, this, and this." Everybody would always bow down to Kev. For one thing, he's very articulate. He's educated. And he's so f---in' big. But sometimes, I think I was the only person, and I think Kev will validate this - I was the only person who would say, "No, that's wrong, Kev. We need to do this. We need to do that." He'd go, "Oh, okay." Sometimes we'd be sitting around meetings. Kev would just go off. Everybody would be afraid of him because he's a big, scary f---er. He had Bischoff in his pocket. He had Bischoff so f---in' worked, he ended up booking the company. He was f---in' booking for a while.

Keller: How much of the time did Kevin, and you too, take advantage of that power you had? How much of the time was it for the good of you and for the good of the company, versus good for you but not good for the company?

Hall: Well, see, that's a tough call for me to make. Know what I mean? Because, you know, I'm a selfish prick, so what am I going to say. I think that I'm real giving. I think I did more jobs. Like I told you, I'm the highest paid job guy in the business. I made millions of dollars lying on my f---in' back. Sometimes I used to tease Emily and say, "I look pretty lying on my back." F---in' shoot me. Sometimes the referee, too - I would do a job for somebody, and I wasn't supposed to. I would do a job on Nitro, and I'll be lying there until the other guy's music's done playing and he's left the arena. I would still lay there. The referee would be going, with their earpiece and sh--, and they'd be going, "Come on, get out of the ring. Get out of the ring." I'll be going, "F--- you, man. F--- you!" Because when you lie there long enough, and then you stand up, f---, you get a pop. I'll tell you what else. Me and Kid were talking about this. I don't think you'll ever find three other guys. If you beat me, beat us both. Let me get this right. I'm standing in the corner and you pin my partner or he submits. Why don't I make a save? So, I don't know if we invented it, but we damn sure perfected it in my overblown egotistical opinion. You know, if you beat us, you beat all of us. All three of us would lay out. One time in Charlotte we worked with Kevin Greene when he was a big star with the Carolina Panthers, Roddy Piper, and Ric Flair. So I told Flair (what we were going to do). We shine him up. We get some heat. We do whatever. I told Flair, "Bang, I'm gonna scoop you up like I'm going for my finish. Scoop my legs, put me in the figure four. Kev's gonna rush in, Piper's finish at that time was the sleeper, then Kid rushed in, and Kev powerslammed him. I told Flair, "I got no problem with submitting, but I think the people like 1-2-3 better. Know what I mean? You get a better pop off of 1-2-3. So I'm just going to put my shoulders down and let the referee count 1-2-3 because I was, like, the legal guy. But you know what was so f---ed up about WCW, in my opinion - and you have to remember, Wade, that everything I say is my opinion. They had so much money invested in me and Kev and Kid also but not to that degree, that we all three were laid out and we didn't move and when they shot the shot, when I saw the PPV back, and I saw the shot, they shot those guys from the waist up and you never saw all three of us laid out. To me, I'm going, "What the f---! Come on!" We were trying to make movies and they were shooting after school specials. I mean, I don't know. One thing, too. I think the guy, and I don't even remember his name, but the guy who was directing the show, I did not have that much respect for. This will probably come back to haunt me because I'll probably end up working with this prick some day. He was the voice of the NWO. We used to have our own commercials and stuff, where they go, "The preceding announcement is brought to you by the NWO." That's his voice. He directed the hottest show on cable for several years, so I'm going to give him his props, but I disagree with some of the direction we went because I just thought that sometimes they missed some things. I barely made it through high school, so what do I know? I want to be sure to quality everything I say because I don't want this thing to come out and people go, "That Scott Hall, what an egotistical prick he is." You know what I mean? I don't want that to happen. I don't want to bury anybody. If I want to bury somebody, I'll do it to their face. I don't want to do it to you on the phone.

Keller: Let's go back to you burying yourself a little bit because you can do that.

Hall: I'm good at that. (laughs)

Keller: I want to re-ask the question and have you elaborate on it a little bit more. Looking back, how much of the time when there was no asshole clause, do you think you more often used it (to help yourself)? Obviously, you're going to do things to help yourself, but you can do things to help yourself that also help the company, or things that help yourself and f-- the company, screw the company. How often did you just arbitrarily say, "Let's screw the company to help ourselves" rather than try to find a way to help yourselves and help the company? Was there a balance there you're proud of, or do you look back and think, Yeah, we were kind of assholes a lot of the time?

Hall: I never did answer that question, did I? I my mind - you gotta remember, too, I want to quality every statement by saying, In my opinion. I think I was a pretty good businessman. I lot of times, they would say things, I was always the one to go, "I think we should do this." I remember telling you before, I used to go to Bischoff and go, "Look, you're the boss and I'll do whatever you say because I love gettin' them big fat checks. But I think, if I was the boss, and I'm not, but if I was the boss, I'd do this." And see, you gotta remember, when it was me, Kevin, and Hulk, see Hulk had written in his contract creative control over his character. So anything he did, which meant anything that we did, he had control. So all we had to do was sway Hulk, and our relationship with Hulk was real dicey at the beginning because, I'll admit, I was jealous. I remember standing at the monitor watching Hulk one time - me and Bischoff were standing at the monitor watching Hulk, and he was out there, and I wasn't that impressed. I looked at Bischoff and said, "Let me get this right, this guy is three times as good as me? You pay this guy three times more than you're paying me? You f---in' ribbin' me. But then I'll tell you what, the more I got around Hulk, the more I learned that he is undeniably, undisputedly The Man. Hulk is The Man. Because, you know, like, I don't know (laughs), the more I got around him...

Keller: When you say he is The Man, is that because he was so good at being a self-preservationist in doing things to help himself and protect himself? Or are you saying he was The Man because fans knew who he was because of all of his exposure. Was he the man because he has this charisma?

Hall: It's everything. It's everything. One thing I will say, too. One time, it was so funny because they wouldn't even ask Hulk to do a job. He's Hulk Hogan, so he does not get beat. But then he started seeing me and Kev do jobs, like, all the time. We were putting mother f---ers over all the f---in' time, then beatin' 'em up after, you know what I mean? We'd put 'em over, then we'd beat 'em up and spray paint them. Hulk saw that. One time Hulk worked with Roddy Piper in Nashville on a pay-per-view - Starrcade of whatever it was. He worked with Piper in Nashville. Hulk took the sleeper and f---in' Piper beat Hulk with the sleeper. We were in the limo with Hulk going back to the hotel and I have never seen Hulk so f---in' juiced. He was so f---n' psyched because the people went crazy. They talk about jocks when they leave the business and there's nothing else that gives you that rush, you know? When we were in the limo sitting with Hulk, and he still had his gear on, and we just bolted. As soon as the match was over, we just jumped the limo and went back to the hotel. Hulk was so f---n' psyched. It wasn't like he just beat Andre in the Silverdome in Detroit. He f---n' did a job for Piper and he was more excited. And that's when I thought, wow.

See, one thing, too, that I learned a long time ago is it's fake. It's all fake! The whole idea is make it entertaining. All I want is the people walking in the parking lot going, "That f---er Scott Hall is a hell of a f---in' entertainer." I want them to go in their car and go, "That f---in' prick, boy, he's funny on the microphone, he takes a lot of bumps. He had a heel of a match. He's got a good body." Whatever the f---. That was always my idea, I wanted the people walking the parking lot going, "That f---in' guy is really somethin'." I mean, that's the way I broke in. That's what I learned from Dusty. Dusty Rhodes told me that the finish doesn't matter. He said what happens after the finish matters. Dusty actually told me on time, he says, "It's just like if you're f---n' a broad. You can f--- her, but it's what happens afterward is whether she invites you back or not." And this is almost like when you run a town and you want to draw a house the next time, I mean, that is what Dusty told me and I never forgot it. You can f--- her. You can't just roll off and say, "See you later, baby doll." You gotta lay there and whatever it is. That was the reference Dusty gave me, and I've always had tons of respect for Dusty because, let's face it, he ain't gonna win no beauty contest, he ain't gonna win no bodybuilding show (laughs), he's not Ricky Steamboat, you know what I mean? He's not the greatest technical worker. But he's always been on top. In most situations, he's been writing the scripts. He's been the booker. I was so blessed to be around this guy. And then I was so lucky that Dusty helped me break in. So years and years go by, then I come in to this NWO thing which is blowing up. And Dusty's an announcer. But I don't know if you remember, but we did a thing one time, I think was wrestling (Larry) Zbyszko or some sh-- in some gimmick match with Louie Spiciolli out there. He was, like, my young boy. We did a thing where we turned Dusty heel. Dusty joined the NWO. Because I wanted to pay him back. The same thing with Zbyszko. When I was a green horn in the AWA in Minny, Zbyszko made me one night in Winnipeg. I was a nobody. I was a jobroni. And Zbyszko was a big star at that time. And he made me. I always like to give back. So, if you're talking about abusing the power and sh-- like that, I don't know if I'm really guilty of it, but see, again, ask around, know what I mean, Wade? Ask other people. They'll probably say those guys are f---in' pricks and all they care about is themselves. I can't answer that. I keep saying is this is my point of view.

Keller: Let me ask this. I'm intrigued by your answer to this. If your money was on the line - a lot of it - if you were a part owner of WCW, let say you had 25 percent interest in it, what would you have done differently in those peaks years to preserve the company and keep it running?

Hall: See, you know what, a lot of people say this and a lot of people are correct. A lot of people say it really got watered down when you kept adding people. I remember one time Bischoff came to me and asked, "How do you feel about putting (Scott) Norton in the NWO?" I said, "F---, what, are you gonna say to Norton? He'll kick my f---in' ass (laughs). I don't want no trouble with Norton. He'll beat the f--- out of me." He said, "Well, we use him in Japan a lot." Because at that time WCW had a relationship with New Japan. We were so f---in' red hot that they wanted an NWO presence in Japan. "So what do you think about Norton," asked Bischoff. I said, "Okay, no problem." But then we just started adding people. You know why? Because that way, me and Kev didn't have to make all the f---in' towns. We were making TVs and PPVs. We were having, like, Hulk's schedule. We weren't doing sh--. All you had to do was - Hulk said one time in an interview, all you had to do was a slap an NWO t-shirt on a guy and all of a sudden he was a big deal. At that time. That sh-- was smokin' hot. And the thing is, too, I wish at the same time - you know what happened, to me, the downfall of the NWO was one time Bischoff got real pissed off at me and Kev because we had accused him and Hulk of some sh-- and he was really pissed off at me and Kev. So he fired Kid. Now Kid is sitting at home with a broken neck. He injured his neck and he was fillin' in on a match.

I was supposed to wrestle Lex in Mankato, Minnesota. My back was messed up, so I was at ringside and Kid was filling in for me. I went to do the thing where, you know how you shoot the guy in for the backdrop, and then he dropkicks ya'? They did it, but it got a little bit messed up and Kid landed a little weird and messed his neck up. So, and then during that time, me and Kev and Hulk and Bischoff had a little falling out. So they couldn't do nothing to us because our contracts were iron clad, plus we were kind of the sh--. So they fired Kid. So when I find out about that, I think the next time I go to a show, I think it was Philly. We used to always hang out in the arena when it was empty. I used to love to sit down in the seats when they were empty, and we would sit out there. One time I walked up to Kev and he went, "Sh--s O-N." I said, "We got a place to go?" He said, "Already talked to Vince." I said, "Fine with me. F--- these mother f---ers." He said, "We're out of here. F--- these mother f---ers." Cause they fired our boy. I tell you what, that was when Kev showed up on Raw, did an interview burying f---in' Bischoff and Hogan. And if you chart the ratings, they f---in' went down from then. That's when WWF started to win, or WWE, that's when the whole - because we quit helpin'. Because before they would come to us and go, "Okay, what do you guys want to do?" We go, "Well, how about this, this, this, and this." We used to lay out the sh--. So then they'd send the agent in and go, "Okay, you guys are wrestling Harlem Heat. We need you to go about 12." So we'd go to Terry Taylor or whoever, "What's the finish?" (The agent would say), "Whatever you guys want to do." I said, "No, man. What's... the... finish? I'm talent. I only get paid to wrestle. I don't get paid to think. What's the f---ing finish. You give it to me." And we just turned. Kev is bigger than me. I'm a pretty good sized prick, too, so, we were f---in' brutal. And that was the downfall of the NWO and WCW. We quit helping.

Now that sounds like, gee, I could have kept the company going and we could have kept it going. I don't mean to say that. What I mean to say is, you know, when you fired our boy, we just went f--- this place. Cause I'm getting my checks anyway, know what I mean? I can go out there and have an abortion. I can walk to the ring and do nothing and that fat ass check comes in the mail anyway. Guys like Sting and (Lex) Luger were getting them checks anyway, and they sucked.

Keller: Bischoff, I don't know if he's ever fully acknowledged - I guess he has said he regretted firing Sean (Waltman) by FedEx notice.

Hall: Right. Kid's sitting at home with a broken neck and he gets a f---in' letter he's fired. And he's got a family and sh--. At that time he was married man with two kids. I'm thinking, f--- you.

Keller: Why would Bischoff think that was even a humane thing to do, to fire someone else because he's mad at you guys. He was trying to get at you, but didn't he understand Sean was a human being. There are ways to get back at you without hurting somebody else who didn't do anything wrong.

Hall: Well, exactly. I guess there's nothing to say. Just put a period at that end of that statement because what do you say? At the same time, as I told you last time we spoke, don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Eric. Eric is a very, very intelligent man, and the thing I liked about Eric is, we've had f--- you, f--- you discussions. You could say, "F--- you!" And he'll say, "F--- you!" I mean, that doesn't bother me. I'd rather do business with a guy like that. Vince won't say f--- you to your face, but he'll say it behind your back. You know, Vince says (imitating Vince McMahon): "Oh, how you doin'. Hey, how are you?" I mean, I don't know. I don't want to burn no bridges with Vince because Kev and I are fixin' to go rock with DX up there...

Keller: They both had different ways of going about it, and they both had plusses and minuses to their approach. With Eric, he was hot-headed, but at least you knew it.

Hall: Exactly. Eric wasn't as, I don't know - Vince is real polished. Vince grew up in wrestling. One time I think, Hulk told me Eric used to sell meat out of the back of a f---in' truck. Eric's been a hustler. He's been this and that. He climbed the ladder at TBS. He did good for himself. And he was the golden boy. But Vince is just a little bit slicker. But once you get around Vince a little bit, at first you're in awe of Vince because it's Vince McMahon. Oh my God! Plus, the first time you meet Vince, he's a big man. He's physically imposing. He's intelligent. Oh my God, it's Vince McMahon. Me and Kev were talking this morning. Like, people call Vince a good business man. F---, I could run the WWF, the WWE and keep it going. XFL, bombed. His bodybuilding thing, WBF, bombed. IcoPro, bombed.

Keller: He tried to promote boxing, Sugar Ray Leonard and Donny Lalonde.

Hall: Brutal. Bombed. Lost money, lost money, lost money. But guess who's pocket it was coming out of? See, I was working there then. We were drug tested. They get a bunch of bodybuilders laying around in California taking steroids and they got one show a year and their making two, three hundred grand a year and we're paying for these pricks. Then Vince has this big federal steroid trial. It was like, what the f---, man. I don't know. I ain't taking nothing away from Vince. He's a very smart guy. I think it was kind of handed to him. His grandfather did it. His father did it. It was handed to him. Just like it's going to be handed to Shane. I think Stephanie's smarter than Shane, but Shane's a hell of an athlete for a guy who doesn't work. I've been impressed by his athleticism and some of the stuff he does. But I have been around both of them, and I actually think Stephanie has the sharper head for business.

Keller: I think even Shane would admit that Stephanie is a little more of a booking mind, and Shane is a little more of a concept guy.

Hall: The one thing about Shane is that he has that McMahon in him. He's a little bit of a hot-head. Shane is a little fiery. He's real defensive. I got no problem with that. If somebody's knocking your family, you should jump up. But they've got a dynasty going on. God bless them. The more wrestling the better.

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Thanks for posting that. Good read.


Does anyone have links to any other interviews like this?


Amazing quote when imagined in Hall's voice: "So we all hugged, and then he (Shawn Michaels) bent down and kissed Kev(in Nash) on the lips. That was a little bit gay."

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Guest Coffey

So I ran out there and I was taking a piss, and Tito (Santana) was washing his hands. I said, “Tito, I need a last name that starts with an R, man.” He went, “Ramon.”



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Thanks for posting. It's a must read interview!!!

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