1Wrestling.com Interview (6/08/02)
Conducted by Dave Scherer

This interview was conducted on June 8, 2002. (1wrestling.com)

Dave Scherer: Thanks for doing the interview with us today, Scott.

Scott Hall: You're welcome.

Dave: You were recently with the then-World Wrestling Federation, now known as WWE, and you left the company. Can you talk at all about what happened to lead up to that?

Scott: Yeah, I lasted longer than I thought I would. I had spoke to WWF for almost a year before I went to work there. I kind of declined offers to go because I didn't feel ready, I have other commitments, I have to be around the house. I was pretty happy with the way it went there, the McMahons treated me real well, and I wish them continued success.

Dave: There was a story on the internet, which I don't believe to be true, but there were stories attributed to you, saying you weren't happy with how you were let go and you were considering some sort of action. Were they true?

Scott: No, that's not true at all.

Dave: Not true at all?

Scott: Not true at all. We had a mutual agreement.

Dave: You said that you lasted longer than you thought you would. What did you mean by that?

Scott: My goal was to just try to make it through Wrestlemania. Anybody that knows me knows that I almost quit the first week. I remember calling Vince and talking to him because I just... I don't know. I'll stand by my statement about making it longer than I thought I would, I wanted to make it through Mania, and I made it through Backlash.

Dave: So what have you been up to since you left the WWF?

Scott: Just, I guess you don't know me, I kind of do whatever I want, and sometimes that's not always a good thing, but I just do whatever I want.

Dave: I heard you've been doing a lot of fishing.

Scott: Just hanging out by the lake. Me and my son and daughter, we go down there and we run and exercise, and play ball. My son is getting ready to play pop Warner football, so we just run and throw the ball around and work out.

Dave: You've been given something of a reputation that you're a partier and you had some problems being on the road. How do you see yourself, compared to what other people say about you?

Scott: I quit worrying about what people say about me a long time ago. I'm not worried about being judged by anybody on earth, so everybody can say whatever they want. One thing, and I'm not a big internet guy, that has always baffled me. If you want to critique my wrestling performance, then that's fine. I never understood the fascination with people that want to follow you and monitor what you do every second. But I guess that's okay, I guess that's their right to do that. I guess they got nothing going on in their lives, so they want to check out somebody else's. I don't know. Most things that you have heard about me are true, and certainly all the bad ones. I won't argue with that. I don't worry about what happened yesterday, I'm sorry for any innocent victim that I may have hurt, but I don't know. I'm just doing my thing, it's not like I have some master plan that I am trying to unfold. I just kind of take it day by day.

Dave: Are you looking at the NWA-TNA group, which of course debuts on Pay-Per-View on June 19th, are you looking at them as something of a redemption or just the next step of your career?

Scott:I'm not sure I know what redemption means, so I'm just going to tell you what I think about it. I think it's a cool opportunity, I don't know anything abou tit, I've just talked to Jeff Jarrett a couple of times on the phone, I don't have any information. But, they have a potential. It's going to be perceived as cutting edge, but at the same time I think it is going to be retro. I think it is going to be an old school-new school kind of blend. Ffrom the information I am hearing about the direction they are trying to go with it, but it could be great. It's an opportunity for me, I like being around guys who are real smart, and Jerry Jarrett is really a smart guy. He knows this industry, along with knowing the construction industry and real estate, and a lot of other things, but he knows the wrestling business. From every aspect, from setting the ring up to producing television shows to marketing. I want to learn that side of the business too, so an opportunity to be around Jerry Jarrett is very attractive to me.

Dave: You said you want to learn that aspect of the business. Is that something you want to get into, the booking side, the production side, the television side, after your days in the ring are over?

Scott: Yeah, I like everything. I would like to work in a wrestling school with guys. I've always liked being on the other side of the camera. I don't know about booking or whatever, but I would like to be involved. TGhe good thing about hte wrestling business is that you can't really hire people from the outside who know our business, you've kind of got to promote from within, so I don't know. I don't know really what is going on with this JSE Sports, but it sounds like a great opportunity, and I've committed to four shows so, I got to wait and see, but it could be great. Wrestling every Wednesday, I just got off the phone with Jeff, so if it goes the way he wants it to, it really could be great, but Wednesday night wrestling, I don't know, it sounds kind of cool to me. It's funny, when you look at it, wrestling was at its zenith when there was two strong companies going on. The nWo was kind of hot for WCW and WWF had the first go around, the first time the Austin-McMahon feud got really hot. That's when wrestling was at its highest. Now, there is only one strong company running, and the ratings are plummeting. With the ratings plummeting so, that must mean there is room for another office.

Dave: You make a good point there, in that when you and Kevin went down to WCW, you changed the balance of power two years ago. You helped lead WCW to its only period in its entire existence where it was the number one company, and the WWF was number two. You talked about how that sparked the "wrestling wars" as we called it, and it benefited everybody.

Scott: Even ECW benefited, right? At some point, there were three Pay-Per-Views, right? Three wrestling Pay-Per-Views some months, so there's a large wrestling audience out there, so, when you're in the wrestling business, more wrestling is good. I'd rather there be another wrestling company producing Pay-Per-Views. I'm in the wrestling business, so that's great for me.

Dave: That's a good point, and something I was heading to. There are people that cover wrestling right now that seemingly want to say that this thing is going to fail because it will be a Pay-Per-View only company, and it won't have any television to build storylines, which in the past it has been shown that it is needed. Does it surprise you that so many people are not taking a "wait and see" approach and people that seemingly should want this thing to succeed are almost trying to condemn it to failure before it can get out of the gate?

Scott: You have the advantage of hearing a lot of gossip and I don't. I'm just looking at the situation that has been presented to me. I've had a few phone calls with Jeff Jarrett, and that's all I know. Trying to put a positive spin on it, I think, and the thing about TV driving it, well there is TV driving it, but it costs ten dollars a week to watch the show. I always thought that the TV was driven by the Pay-Per-Views each week. Years ago, when Vince only had five Pay-Per-Views, that's how he did his business, he shot angle at Pay-Per-Views to lead to the next Pay-Per-View, and the weekly TV was just a small thing to establish the characters, then the characters shot angles at the Pay-Per-Views. I think anything is possible. Ultimately, the wrestling fans will decide, the audience will decide whether they like it or not. I think there's enough fans out there that will give it a try, I think they will check it out a time or two, and see if they like it. That's all you can really ask.

Dave: You mentioned that you have four dates signed to work with the company. Now, they are going to be taping two shows each Wednesday night. Is that four Wednesday nights, or two Wednesday nights for four shows?

Scott: Now you're confusing me. I signed for four days.

Dave: So you would be on the first two months worth, then.

Scott: I guess. I just talked to Jeff, and the production may change, at some point. I can't reveal too much about it right now, because I don't want to jinx it, but it might change, possibly, to what I think is an even cooler production schedule. So, I'm going to be a part of this early on because I want to, and because I think it will be cool and fun, and the reduced schedule is great for me. I think it's great for a lot of young guys too, who want to break in. Here's an opportunity. I was working in Cincinnati before I went to work for Vince, and man there are guys all over the place, with these little small time territories that have nothing going on. I remember when I started, all the old timers said it woulod eventually go back to weekly territories and small territories and I don't know, maybe it will.

Dave: You just mentioned the schedule, and obviously with you being a single father, the schedule has to be something that when you look at it, it's appealing to you.

Scott: Right. Well, on paper, my schedule was part time for Vince, but in reality, it didn't really work out that way. And I'm not blaming anybody, it's just a fact of life in big time wrestling. I have to wrestle Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania, then I have to make some towns before it, that's just the way it goes. It's easy for us as adults to discuss is, but little kids don't understand. "What do you mean you have to have a good match?" Why aren't you home cooking Macaroni and Cheese?" The schedule here is appealing. I like wrestling, I just don't like being on the road too much. I love performing.

Dave: So this schedule should help in that regard for you.

Scott: I think it will.

Dave: Are you going to be working anywhere else?

Scott: I don't know, I talked to New Japan, and maybe do some stuff over there, but right now I'm just enjoying the summer and hanging out.

Dave: How much longer do you see yourself wrestling?

Scott: I don't know. The funny part was, I can remember being a young guy, and wanting to get a break, looking around the locker room thinking, "Haven't you made enough money, you old guy, why don't you get out of here? Haven't you gotten yours yet?" The whole thing then as time goes on, I can remember sitting around talking to Kev, and we'd be sitting around the locker room going, "Where's all the young lions that are supposed to knock us off? Where's the guy that is supposed to take my spot?" Take it, because I'm not going to give it to you. Take it or earn it. It's so funny because I did an interview with that call in show, and some guy asked, "Is it true that you are holding down Test and Edge?" or something liek that, and I said "No, but I'll be sure to make a note of that and be sure to hold them down." I don't think I've ever been guilty of holding anybody down, but people can say what they want.

Dave: How do you respond to people when they say that?

Scott: I got no response. You can think whatever you want, unless you've worked with me, I guess you don't know. The funny part is, a lot of peopel used to criticize Ric Flair, "God, when are you going to retire? When are you going to retire?" I'll never forget one time I had to work with Ric Flair in the Spectrum in Philly. This was back when WCW was doing pretty good business, and they love Ric in Philly. It was me and Ric in a singles match, and I remember looking around the locker room, and I went "If I could work with anybody in here, who do I want to work with?" I looked around and went "I'll take Ric Flair." It's Ric Flair, man.

Dave: He's a legend.

Scott: I guess I'm just turning into one of those old timers that I always hated. I would love for one of these young guys to send me packing, be better. Be better and take it. I think the young guys are sitting around waiting for somebody to tap them on the shoulder and say "Go, go, there's your cue." No, get over, do something. I don't know, I think it's exciting, I love to see dudes make it.

Dave: That's a good point. People forget that when Steve Austin came in and helped turn around the WWF, he was brought in as the Ringmaster...

Scott: Yeah, and he flopped miserably. I was there, it was right before we left, and he still had the "Stunning Steve" look, with the blonde hair, and Vince said "I want you to shave your head" and Steve was like "Aw, man..." because he really didn't want to. So he came back the next day with it buzzed, real short, but not quite clean shaven, and he had like a bandana on, because he had been wearing his hair kind of long, and it's kind of a big change. Vince said, "No, no, no, I want it all the way off" and now, man, can you imagine Steve any other way than with that skull? He's got a good looking head, he ain't got no knots on it or anything.

Dave: You can look at the Rock the same way...

Scott: Yeah, if you got any Samoan blood in you, then we're putting you in the lava-lava and you've got to dance around barefoot. I mean, every Islander guy that has been in wrestling has had to wrestle barefoot and do the fire dance, or something like that, right?

Dave: Yep, and you make a very good point that people don't consider, that it's not going to be given to you, you have to take it?

Scott: Well, just wanting it is not enough. That's good, that's a start, but I mean, be better. I don't know if I am articulating it very well.

Dave: I think you're making your point very well.

Scott: I think some of these guys, instead of sitting around with their buddies in the car or the hotel room complaining about somebody holding you down, think of something cool you can do in the ring when you're on TV or something, and get yourself over. The audience determines it, not the office or the other wrestlers. The audience determines who they like and who they don't like, so that argument doesn't hold water for me. I don't think, if you have talent, you can be held down. All they do is not put you on TV. I don't think anybody's done more jobs than me, for a guy in my position, who didn't really have to, but it doesn't matter. Display your ability, or lack of ability, and move on.

Dave: Do you think there is a problem with guys not realizing that doing a job doesn't hurt you, as long as you do it the right way?

Scott: Some guys have different philosophies about that. My philosophy has always been that, growing up a wrestling fan, buying tickets and going to shows, I like to see some finishes to matches. Certainly the main ones, and it doesn't always have to be clean, as long as they are good. When we first came to WCW from the WWF, me and Kev, we couldn't even get a win over Harlem Heat at a house show without hitting them with brass knucks, so that was kind of strange. My philosophy has always been "It's fake when you win, too." It's fake when you win, it's fake when you lose. I've never really had a problem with that. Big guys win, big guys lose, that part never really changes.

Dave: You mentioned Kevin, he's in WWE right now, he's trying to reform the nWo. What do you think the odds are of him getting that group over again?

Scott: Split. But I think Kev will do just fine, I just talked to him. He's just waiting for his bicep to heal, and he's going to do great.

Dave: How did it feel to see Shawn Michaels return, a friend of yours?

Scott: I didn't see it. I haven't been watching any wrestling, but Jeff told me that Shawn is back and stuff, and that's great. I saw Shawn in Toronto, and it was good to see him, and I have a lot of great memories in the wrestling business of working with Shawn, I worked with him every night for almost three years, and when you have certain guys that you have worked with a lot, you think the same way about wrestling, so we can finish each others' sentences and stuff. It's a lot of fun to be around Shawn, because he really gets me stimulated about wrestling, and that's a good thing when I am in a wrestling environment. Shawn, Kev, it's fun to do business with your friends. It makes going on the road a lot more tolerable. I wish Shawn a lot of success, he's a great talent, I think he's going to be great.

Dave: I appreciate the time you've taken to speak with us.

Scott: My pleasure.

Dave: Is there any message that you want to get out to the fans, that maybe they don't think already?

Scott: No, just check us out on June 19th, give it a shot. I'm interested in seeing what happens too. I don't know what is going on, but I just talked to Jeff a little while ago, and he sounded excited about some possibilities, so we'll see what happens.

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