In this exclusive interveiw, Scott Hall tells all about his drinking, his career problems and how his two young children have helped him to refocus his life.
(POW) THE MOST OBVIOUS QUESTION IS WHAT HAPPENED THAT MADE YOU PART WAYS WITH THE WWE THIS TIME ROUND?
* SCOTT = I can't really say much about that. We have a mutual release and I can't say anything bad about them and they can't say anything bad about me, but they got my Wrestlemania money and my Backlash payoff! I've got nothing really bad to say about them. The McMahon family was really good to me. I left there on good terms. I prided myself on the fact that I was honest with them. From the beginning, they knew that I couldn't work alot. I wasn't sure if, I could work at all. They treated me fairly and that's all I could ask.
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR RECENT PROBLEMS. HOW DID YOU BECOME SO EMBROILED IN YOUR VICES, SUCH AS DRINKING?
* I hear about all the stuff on the internet. I don't seek out any gossip. I hear all about what I am doing and it's not like it's some new phenomena. What happens in my life is not the fault of the business. I have always done whatever I wanted to do and I continue to do so. It's not like I sat down and plotted what I could do to ruin my life! I just don't know how to explain it. The only thing that I am unsure of is that, I don't know.
DID YOU HAVE THE SAME PROFILE GROWING UP IN HIGH SCHOOL? DID YOU DRINK BEER AND DO OTHER 'OUTSIDER' THINGS AT A YOUNG AGE?
* Well, you've got to remember, I went to high school in Munich, Germany. I stayed in a boarding school, in Munich. My father was in the army and he was teaching at a NATO weapons system school on the Austrian border. The closest American high school was two hours away in Munich. That meant I had my own place when I was about 15 years old. In Munich, anything goes. I am not blaming the German people for how I am, but Germany is where I learned to enjoy some of the fine things of life. Even back then, I have always done what I have wanted to. My life has been a fairytale. A real dream come true. A lot of people say "Hey guy, you have had alot of opportunities that you have blown by doing this or that". But I think if I had to do it all over again, I can't promise I would do anything differently. I never hurt anybody on purpose. I have never done anything mean to anybody. I pride myself on that. I mean, I have hurt myself alot.
WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY IF YOU HAD IT ALL TO DO AGAIN?
* Probably not. I think things happen for a reason. I mean, I've been in seven car wrecks. Luckily, thank god, no one was hurt. A lot of people have told me that there must be a reason that I am here and it's not just to be a wrestler. I don't know what it is.
DO YOU STILL HAVE A PASSION FOR THE BUSINESS?
* Sure, but i am at a different stage in my life. It's not like the early years where I had no family. I have a lot more responsibility now. I love performing but I am just at the point of my career that I can't be on the road all the time. I don't like being away from home. It's a shame that they don't have something where the crowd comes to you. I wish I could do, what I do in the backyard and have the crowd turn up there.
YOU HAVE TWO KIDS. HOW OLD ARE THEY?
* My son Cody is 11 and my daughter Cassidy is seven.
I'VE SEEN CODY BACKSTAGE WITH YOU A FEW TIMES, WHEN YOU WERE IN WCW. DID HE FOLLOW YOUR CAREER, WHEN YOU HAD A RECENT STINT IN WWE?
* Yeah, he watched a little bit in the WWE. I took him with me on the road for three or four days, one time. I took him especially because of all the bad press, that had been around following my career. I wanted Cody to see the Wrestling World for what it really is. That is why my brief return to the WWE was so satisfying, because he got to see the business and that the mistakes I made had nothing to do with the wrestling business. It was just me exercising poor judgment. Instead of the wrestling business, I could have been pumping gas and drinking too much or chasing women. It had nothing to do with being a wrestler. I just wanted him to see the other side of wrestling and that it wasn't all negative and it wasn't some kind of satanic thing. I want to show him that it's a good business and there are a lot of great people in it. I just wanted him to experience some of that and he did.
IF ONE OF YOUR KIDS ASKED YOU TO STOP THE DRINKING AND THE OTHER FACETS OF YOUR LIFESTYLE THAT GARNER NEGATIVE PRESS ATTENTION, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THAT KID?
* I have been honest with my kids, about my situation. Like I said before, it wasn't like I plotted to ruin my reputation, my life. Things just happen. I told my kids that I have a problem with drink and that it's real. I just try to go one day at a time. At least I'm upfront with my kids about it because I grew up in a household, where both my parents drank to excess. I don't know weather talking to them about it, is the answer or not. At least my kids are going to know early, that alcohol is dangerous, if nothing else.
IS THERE A DAY YOU SEE YOURSELF SAYING : 'WHAT AM I DOING IS AFFECTING TOO MANY PEOPLE, SO WHY DON'T I JUST STOP IT?'
* I have been to three rehab facilities and they are quick to tell you, it's a addiction, although I was diagnosed with a few other things. I went 10 months without touching a drop and then I drank. I do like drinking.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE VERY FIRST TIME YOU HAD A DRINK?
* I lived in Leavenworth, Kanas; as my dad was stationed there. It was right before we moved to Germany. It was the summer between ninth and tenth grade and back then, you could only buy Coors beers out west. So me and some buddies, got some Coors beers. I was only 13 years old, but I looked a bit older. I had a fake ID, so went to buy some beer for us. We all got quarts of Coors, chugged 'em and then sprinted to try and get some more of the buzz. From then on, I started to like it and would dip into my parents' stash. Booze was always around our house.
DOES DRINKING MAKE YOU NASTY TO PEOPLE IN GENERAL?
* I don't know. I hope not.
EVERYONE SEEMS TO TALK ABOUT THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF SCOTT HALL; YOUR DRINKING AND WILD LIFESTYLE. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SCOTT HALL'S POSITIVE SIDE THAT PEOPLE DON'T READ AND TALK ABOUT?
* It makes me uncomfortable, to sit around and talk about myself. I think if you can take anything from looking at my career or me, you can tell dreams do come true. If you want something and work hard at it, you can get it. My dream was to become a top professional wrestler and I made it. Yeah, I made it and blew it, made it and blew it again, but I feel happy about that. The only message I can send out to people is that, if you have a dream; don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE NWA/TNA PROMOTION?
* I've known Jeff Jarrett for a long time, back from our early days in the WWE; where we wrestled each other nearly every night. I think it was X-Pac who found out about this and told me about it. It seemed like a great situation where you, just have to work one day a week. Jeff contacted me and asked me if I was interested and after I got my offical release from WWE, I signed to do four shows at NWA/TNA.
YOU AND KEVIN NASH ARE AS CLOSE AS REAL BROTHERS. WHERE DID YOU FIRST MEET HIM AND HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU WIND UP RESEMBLING MIRROR IMAGES OF EACH OTHER?
* I met Kev when we were both undercard jabronis in WCW. He was known as Oz and I was known as Diamond Stud. We just hit it off straight away. Back then, we started to travel with each other, just laughing and having some wild times. My contract with WCW expired and I had a chance to go to new York, to do the Razor Ramon gimmick. I was working with Shawn Michaels all the time. They decided they wanted someone as a bodyguard for Shawn, so they throwing names around as who to pick. It was actually Rick Steiner, who suggested Kevin. Then I said: 'Heck, I know him, he'd be great'. Then Kev came up. Although me and Shawn wrestled each other every night, we travelled with each other. Then Kev came in and then the Kid. (X-Pac's name prior to it, being X-Pac). It was great. In the past ten years, I have spent more time with Kevin, then any other human. So it's kind of why we're so close and maybe why we're both divorced and stuff. We spend so much time together through ups and downs. We've sold out areans together and gone through personal trauma together. Kev has always been there for me and I think I've always been there for him. He's like my big brother. I'm glad to have him.
WHEN YOU HEAR A COMMENT LIKE : 'LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO SCOTT HALL. HE RUINED HIS LIFE. WHAT A SAD STORY HIS LIFE IS', HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?
* The one thing that has always baffled me, is that people are so concerned about everything I do. To me, if I'm a wrestler and you buy a ticket to a wrestling show, I am yours for that three hours and you can feel free to criticise my match or my interview. It makes me wonder, why someone would be concened about what I do with those other 21 hours of my day. Maybe the people who talk that kind of gossip, don't have a very interesting life of their own, so they they concern their-selves with what I am doing; or about what other wrestlers are doing but I guess that's ok too. I am flattered that people care that much. If someone goes to the trouble of making a sign that says: 'Scott Hall sucks', I have to think that guy sat home for a while and went to the trouble; to make that sign. So god bless him. I don't dwell on negative things. If I make a mistake , I have learnt that sitting around and dwelling on it, is not going to help me at all. Matbe that's not a good thing, but that's how I approach it. I'd rather everyone liked me, but I'm not going to sweat it if they don't. I have to deal with my mistakes. I don't worry, about being judged, by anyone on this earth.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THOSE OTHER 21 HOURS THAT YOU ARE NOT IN THE RING?
* For so long, the biggest part of my agenda; was being a professional wrestler who wanted to make it to the top. I have been so blessed that all of my dreams came true. I've been on top. I've been in sold-out areans, all over the world and it's been a fun ride. I've been lucky. I've been compensated well and now I'm at the point where, although I still love performing; it's not the most important thing in my life. I have two great kids and now my job is just to be dad. I just want to be a good dad and in their lives. I spent so much time on the road, that now, I want to be at hom