Vince and the Hall of Fame

Hello!

Have been going back and watching all of the old HOF ceremonies on the Network. Once thing I noticed is that during the early modern ceremonies ('04 on), almost every inductee takes the time to thank Vince and the McMahon family.

Then, after the first year or two, no one even mentions Vince, let alone thanks him in their speeches. It's actually somewhat distracting after a while. We've heard guys like Shawn Michaels reference this in their HOF appearances, but what gives? Why does Vince get the Vol

​d​

emort treatment at his own HOF?

​Probably just a weird Vince-ism, and the same reasoning as why he doesn't want to be inducted into his own Hall of Fame.  ​

WrestleMania Weekend 2015 – Day 3: 2015 WWE Hall of Fame

This one’s a bit hard to report.
There’s
not a whole slew of unique photos we can produce or interesting stuff
to do. So, I think we’ll report on each of the inductees and their best
moments and give our opinions on the live experience.

We
took our good ol’ San Jose VTA Lightrail system to SAP Center.
Beautiful day, as always, in downtown San Jose. Part of a beautiful
weekend.

LOTS
of Macho Man shirts. I wore mine. Macho Man Randy Savage means a lot to
me. I grew up watching him and loved his wrestling style and he (along
with Jake Roberts) are the constant my Mom and I share with
pro-wrestling. 
In any case, here’s a shot of SAP.
I
don’t know if this was a new rule that was added since the New Orleans
crowd at last year’s event were shouting things at the inductees, but
these signs were posted all over the place.
The
tickets we got for this event weren’t great. We were in the 4th row of
the upper deck, so we don’t have incredible pictures. We came for the
speeches.
Seriously.
This is how I watched the Red Carpet: on my phone, using The WWE
Network (FOR ONLY $9.99!!!). Because it’s much better than giving you
photos, using the digital zoom lens and high ISO on my camera in low
light:

I
was a bit confused as to why WWE doesn’t do the Red Carpet show from
another room and broadcast it on the Jumbotron for the guests to see
but, oh well.
It was kinda surreal, at one point…some guy showed up dressed just like Randy Savage…and I mean just like…he
had the build, the perfect beard, the grin…everything. Even the
lighting made it look like Savage was visiting his own tribute from
beyond the grave.

As far as the speeches, my thoughts are these…
RIKISHI
Along
with The Bushwhackers, I really didn’t think Rikishi was “of note”.
He’s more known for the idiotic “Stinkface” (which I’ve never liked;
it’s unwatchable and disgusting — even though WWE portrays it as a
major milestone in his career) than he is for winning titles.
Ironically, his induction was a pleasant surprise.
His
sons, The Usos, were selected to introduce and induct him, recalling
how their Dad evolved from a broke father who would breakdance in front
of the Cow Palace in Daly City for cash, into the guy he is today.
Rikishi’s speech was from the heart: genuine, full of love for his
family and the fans. He spoke of sacrifice, of not being home to raise
his sons and missing birthdays and other events — but that it paid off.
Earlier, The Usos mentioned that the Stinkface “put them through
college”. Rikishi would mention Umaga and salute the sky in a tribute to
him. He’d also pay tribute to his father and his late mother. Strangely
absent in his speech was Too Cool, who are, at least, partly
responsible for his big push in WWE.
All
in all, this was a beautiful speech capped off with Rikishi dancing
with his sons at the end. SAP Center clapped along and fun was had by
all.
LARRY ZBYSZKO
This
is more like it. Zbyszko was brought into the Hall of Fame by WWE
Legend Bruno Sammartino who recalled the first time he had ever met
Zbyszko: some teenager who wrestled for his high school and wanted to go
Pro like Sammartino.
Zbyszko
went into more detail: he described driving his car through Bruno’s
neighborhood and “felt compelled to stop” when he saw Sammartino tanning
out near his backyard swimming pool. He was blocked by a “wall of
hedges” — and proceeded to blast through them anyhow, scraping up his
face and body. He described it as a “rabbit hole” of sorts and said that
“Bruno was on the other side”. Instead of escorting the young kid out
the door, Bruno took him under his wing and the rest was history.
Zbyszko’s speech meanders a bit here and there and he loses his train of
thought more than once, stating that it’s ironic since he’s “known for
having a big mouth”. Ultimately, Zbyszko goes poetic with his speech,
saying he went through another rabbit hole tonight — through the
backstage curtain — and that, once again, Sammartino was waiting on the
other side. This time, Sammartino was ready “to show him the door” as
it was finally time to go. He talked of dreams and how his came true and
he finished by wishing for fans to never give up on theirs. A nice
speech, though it felt overlong.
ALUNDRA BLAYZE (AKA “Madusa”)
Inducted
by WWE Diva Natalya, Blayze’s speech was an absolute showstopper. She
credited Wahoo McDaniel, Sherri Martel, and Greg Valentine for her start
— but insists that she really wanted to be — and still could be — a
stuntwoman. In an emotional moment, she thanked her husband who, through
special circumstances, was able to get time off from his military
deployment. This lead to Blayze urging all fans in the SAP Center who
served their country, city or town as a solider, paramedic, police
officer, firefighter, and the like to rise so they could get recognized.
From my vantage point, there were about a dozen around our side of the
second deck but I know more were there.
Blayze
also got very playful, talking about the time she tossed the WWE Womens
Championship in the trash on WCW television — and subsequently
removing it from a trash can supplied by Nattie later in the speech. She
admitted having a crush on Steve Austin, warned Arn Anderson that she
would beat his ass — after thanking him, of course, and praised Paul
Heyman for being able to “rock a mullet, carry a huge phone and have a
mouth only a mother could love.” Then, she said she was the first “Paul
Heyman Girl”.
Blayze
also sung her own praises, bragging about winning the title and still
being champion, as well as being a champion monster truck racer. She
ended the speech by blowing a kiss and telling everyone “good night”. An
excellent speech that got the crowd at SAP extremely pumped. People
flew out of their seats for the standing ovation rather than reluctantly
getting up — and, believe me, that’s telling. 
CONNOR “THE CRUSHER” MICHALEK
This one was a mixed bag for me. 
It
started strange when Dana Warrior (wife of the late Warrior) started
the induction — then, for the next ten minutes, decided to thank the
list of people who helped her after Warrior passed away. Don’t get me
wrong, that’s nice and all…but this award was for Connor and this
speech should have been given when Dana was presented with her husband’s
statue at the first night at Axxess. It got to the point that some in
our section were starting to grumble and a couple said, “This belongs to
Connor, not Dana…”
Ultimately, Dana finally got around to speaking about Connor but, for me, the opening came across as largely self-serving.
Daniel
Bryan came out next and, in another odd moment, decided to declare that
“wrestling is all fake”, drawing a very visceral reaction from the
crowd who nearly booed him out of the building. The reason for the
phrasing was because every fan in the building was doing they “YES”
cheer upon Bryan’s arrival on-stage and he really was attempting to
avoid that since it wasn’t his moment — perhaps a slight jab at Dana. I
have no idea. His ultimate point was that Connor, and kids who suffer
like he does, have very real struggles, but the second false start made
things kinda awkward, since WWE’s big on the illusion of reality and
theatricality. In any case, Bryan turned things around and got the fans
behind (and chanting for) Connor, spinning stories about his time spent
with Connor. He said that, for a little boy under the threat of death,
Connor was so full of life.
Finally,
we got Connor’s father, Steve, to accept the honor. Steve looked
incredibly stressed out and sounded on the verge of tears the entire
speech and who could blame him? Who would want to be in his shoes,
giving a speech like that in front of thousands of people? He was brave
and powered through. But, I truly lost my shit when Connor’s little
brother came out to the stage with his Dad and said, “I love you,
Connor” into the mic.
THE BUSHWHACKERS
John
Laurinaitis inducted the two loveable goofballs from New Zealand,
telling stories of younger training days at the hands of Luke and Butch
— and ended up keeping them in check along the way.
This
was the surprise speech of the night — and very much needed after the
Warrior Award drained all the momentum and energy from the building.
Luke (left) and Butch (right) are very much like their characters: wild
and unhinged, but also good-natured and a riot. For the small block of
time, Luke and Butch recalled their early days, wrestling the likes of
Peter Maivia and hordes of Samoan wrestlers in their homeland of New
Zealand in some of the roughest, meanest, bloodiest matches in
pro-wrestling history. “We were doing ‘Hardcore’ before people knew what
‘Hardcore’ was!” proclaimed Butch, who was both confused and upset when
WWE brought them into the company — and wanted them to be “faces”
rather than heels. “I got on their desk on my hands and knees,” Butch
yelled. “[I made a face at them], and said, ‘How are you gonna make good
guys out of THESE heads?!” I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard
during a speech in my life. The whole thing made you smile from
beginning to end and made you realize that they belonged here.
TATSUMI FUJINAMI
Fujinami
was inducted by the great Ric Flair who talked up Fujinami’s legendary
toughness and inventiveness, saying that Japan pushes their athletes to
excel during their training regimens.
“I
fight because it is my mission,” Fujinami would say. “And, today, I
join the WWE Hall of Fame. It has been a challenge and an adventure.”
Fujinami thanked his wife and left the stage. Fujinami’s speech was
everything a speech should be: eloquent, humble, gracious and succinct. 
“MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE
Hulk
Hogan (who proclaimed himself “Randy’s good friend” about a half dozen
times) actually gave a pretty good lead-in here, telling stories of how
Savage used to push the people he worked with to be better. Hogan also
said that his father, Angelo, is the reason he wears Canary Yellow
tights in the ring: it makes him stand out among others. 
As
expected, Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, accepted the award on Savage’s
behalf, giving the best speech of the night. He was eloquent, charming
and perfect with no schmaltz. Lanny wrote two poems for this occasion
and had one of the best lines of night to finish off the first poem:
“With triumphant jubilation, we celebrate his name. Finally, the Macho
Man is IN THE HALL OF FAME!” He got serious and talked about the Macho
Man’s philanthropy with the Special Olympics and how he’d give away
personally-signed WWE merch to those athletes. He even cracked a few
jokes: “Randy loved the athletes of the Special Olympics like Mr. T
loves his mother!” Lanny delivered on a speech that, in my opinion, had
high expectations. He gave us the man that we all knew and loved.
There was only one thing that bugged me…
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Savage needed to be last…and he wasn’t even second to last, which is insulting.
Anyhow, I’m
not impressed with Schwarzenegger. Triple H gave a nice lead-in induction…but who the
fuck cares about Schwarzenegger outside his movies? He didn’t make a difference or any real “contribution” to pro-wrestling except to use the audience to plug his movies. The dude was also a lousy
governor and I’m not the only one who thought so. The dude was booed
out of the building when mentioning his political career during his speech and a LOT of
people remained in their seats amongst the standing ovation he got. Even
his speech felt like a recycled political campaign speech, laced with
lines from his films, and completely unmemorable.
That’s really all I’ve got to say.
KEVIN NASH
The
last hour of this show was just Triple H giving his friends the stage.
Shawn Michaels did the induction, which was a treat and as eloquent and
as humorous as speeches come. 
Nash’s
speech was honest, dry and self-deprecating as he thanked other people
for booting him in the ass to get him to work and also admitted doing
all of this just for the money. Despite what I say, you can’t really
dislike Nash. He’s been in the business for over 25 years and he’s paid
his dues. I still wouldn’t have had him headline the Hall of Fame
this year as Savage is a hell of a lot more memorable than Nash ever
could be — but that’s my opinion.

If you wanna challenge that in the chat below, be my guest. I’ll just say this…I didn’t see anyone at the arena imitating Diesel.

Just sayin’…

Part 4 is coming…and that will cover WrestleMania 31…

Lightning Round – Hall Of Fame non wrestlers

Scott, considering how often the WWE HOF gets discussed on here I thought it only fitting to end the old year/start the new year (delete as appropriate) With a quick lightning round on whether you think the following people who were best known in a non wrestler capacity should/will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame?

"Delete as appropriate"?!  Do I look like an editor?  You guys are lucky I bold and italicize this shit as it is…
(Just kidding.)  
Ted Turner
Sure, and he lead the wrestling union while we're in this beautiful dream.  Next.  

Eric Bischoff
Yeah, and they can cut his induction speech out of that same clip they've been using for 12 years now.  Bisch is done with them.    
Jim Cornette

See those bridges on fire down by Kentucky?  They say no.  
Jim Johnston
Unlikely.  No one knows him.  
Jack Funny
You mean Tunney?  Again, bridges burned to the ground.  They didn't even attend his FUNERAL.  
Todd Pettingill
Only if Stephanie Wiand goes in with him.  
Paul Heyman
Should have happened already.  

Chyna in the Hall?

Think we'll ever see Chyna in the HOF, or with HHH and Stephanie at the helm, is she as good as Macho'd?

HHH being in charge is the least of her worries.  When your post-WWE career is such an embarrassment that "inter gender pro wrestling champion" becomes the fondly remembered high point of your employment, you're probably not getting in.  

One nagging question from Hall Of Fame


After watching the Hall of Fame on the WWE Network last night (great live stream by the way, it gives me hope for the big show later today!) there's one thing I'm unclear on. How exactly does Mr. T feel about his mother? Hoping you could shed some light on this.


Thanks!

Perhaps he and Brodus Clay can get together and call their mothers.  
And yes, the live stream was spectacular on PS3 for me last night and the pregame has also been great thus far. Fingers crossed.  

Hall of Fame Thoughts?

Surprised there wasn’t a separate thread.

First of all, I bow to the awesomeness of MLB Advanced Media because this was a five-hour live packaged presentation that streamed BEAUTIFULLY…

Now the speeches:

Jake Roberts pretty much had me teared up. I knew it was going to happen. I had tissues for the reason. When he said he couldn’t play anymore I pretty much lost it. I’m happy he was around to see this day and I really don’t give a crap if the guy has had 30 million more chances than he deserved, it’s nice to see that people still cared about him long enough for him to start caring about himself again.

Razor Ramon was short like I figured but had a great ending and I loved the curtain call. Scott Hall looks really good too and that was nice to see. Frankly this night was as much about the amazing rehabilitative powers of DDP. Most of us had written of Jake a while ago and Scott Hall after that ESPN expose but DDP is just that good. Self high-five indeed.

Lita went a bit long and a little inside from an entertainment standpoint but it was genuine and for a first-time in a long dress she looked great. Fellas…you know you’d hit that and brag for life.

Carlito not giving a fuck was funny too. “And we got our time cut, it’s like I never left!”

And there was Mr. T. He definitely loves his momma. I mean he really loves his momma. He would probably still be telling us about how much he loved his momma had Kane not ushered him off the stage.

Speaking of Kane, I thought he did a good, classy job presenting Paul Bearer. Mixed in some gimmick, some humor, some thoughtful remarks and stories.

What do I say about Warrior. It was a lot to take. The good stuff is I love the fact that he thanked guys like Terry Gibbs for being the first guy that worked with him. And he thanked the ring crew and pushed for the people behind the scenes to gain some public acknowledgement on future shows. It’s pretty clear the DVD hurt him personally and it still probably stings. He mentioned that on more than one occasion. And no one wants to hear a two hour documentary devoted to how big of an asshole they are. There have probably been bigger assholes in the business that didn’t get torched like that. At times his speech got a little intense and you could tell he held back some feelings at times but he got through it. I feel like I need to listen to it multiple times to digest everything.
 

RF Video Shoot Interview with Scott Hall, Volume 1

This interview was conducted in 2007.

It is a two-disc set that totals at two hours and forty minutes long.

DISC ONE




This runs at one hour and fifty-minutes

Hall said he always wanted to be a wrestler since he was eight years old. His dad took him and a friend to see a show that included a hair vs. hair match. Hall said that he still has a piece of hair from that match.

When asked if he was discovered by Barry Windham, Hall said he went to Tampa, knowing that the Florida Championship Wrestling offices were there but he didnt know exactly the location and joined every gym he could in the hopes of being discovered. Anyway, Windham saw Hall in a Publix supermarket and thought he was a football player. They talked and Hall told him he was trying to break into wrestling and get trained by Hiro Matsuda, to which Windham replied “fuck him” and told Hall all that would happen if he went with Matsuda was doing hindu squats all over the place. Windham then told Hall to meet him at the Sportatorium the following morning.

Hall arrived and said that he “bumped” Windham and Mike Rotunda for two hours, not taking any bumps himself. Hall said that Windham would perform a move on Rotunda then have Hall try the same thing, critiquing him along the way.

When asked about the hardest thing about training, Hall said when you are green, everything is hard. He then said how television was getting to be more important when he broke into wrestling, meaning guys who looked the part where getting the attention, thus changing the business and that caused friction as Hall had the look but no ability at that point.

He teamed up with Dan Spivey at the beginning. He said the Road Warriors were hot at the time so Dusty took two big muscular guys and teamed them up, despite having no experience. Hall liked Spivey but said they were completely different and also wanted to believe singles wrestler. He said if they stayed in Florida and been groomed by Dusty in Florida, they could have been a success but they went to Charlotte.

In Charlotte, Hall said they were too green to be put over but also too muscular and young to job so they sat on the sidelines. He also said that Jim Crockett owned a minor league baseball team and they basically worked with the grounds crew, sometimes sitting in the dugouts.

After that, they went to Kansas to work for Bob Geigel. Hall said it was a smaller territory and he thought that if he embarrassed himself their instead of a National promotion, less people would see it and he could benefit from the experience. Hall said he was making between $800-1,000 a night working opening matches in Charlotte, which was awesome, but the problem was that they were so green they only worked about once a month. Spivey left to go back to Charlotte after a few months and Hall stayed in Kansas City.

He talks about beating the shit out of Marty Jannetty in the locker room. The night before, a hotel called Hall after a room was trashed and it turned out that DJ Peterson and Marty checked in using his name. Hall came to the show dressed in crappy clothes, because he was going to fight and didnt care if he got any blood on them. He sees Marty sleeping on a table then beats the shit out of him. After it happened, he thought for sure he was going to be fired. Anyway, he was walking backstage and heard Harley Race yell for him, calling him “Steve.” Hall, who figured that he was fired anyway and had nothing to lose, turned around and angrily told Harley that his name was Scott and that he had been their for six months. Anyway, Harley told him to calm down and said that next time, do what he did to Marty after the show because he was unable to work the night after the attack.

Hall wound up in the AWA after he saw Blackjack Lanza at a show in St. Louis. About once a month, stars from different territories would wrestle in St. Louis. Lanza was with the AWA at the time and asked him about moving up. Hall said that he didn’t know if he was ready then Lanza told him that everyone is shit when they are first starting out. He went up to Winnipeg and wrestled in front of 15,000 people. He said that he beat Rick Steiner, to which Hall said he still teases him about to this day, then wrestled against Larry Zbyszko. Hall puts over Larry a ton, saying that he walked him through the match. Hall said that after the show, the people cheered for him during a nearfall due to a spot that Larry came up with on the fly and also said Larry gave him a lot of offense in the match. He didnt know if he was getting hired right away though, because Verne was ice fishing in Alaska at the time.

They then skip ahead to WCW, when Hall said he used to flick his toothpick at Larry before commercial breaks and the fans dug it so he went to Bischoff and told him they should work an angle, saying that Larry was over enough with the fans that it could work.

From that, he talks about facing Shawn Michaels at Madison Square Garden, when Shawn was the champ and they were both heels. At the time, Hall was getting face reactions from the crowd so Vince told him that the people are turning him face and that they needed to change him up. So, during the match, the fans chanted for Razor, who remembered what Curt Hennig told him about not pandering to the crowd and just glance at them briefly. As the match went on, the crowd was about 70/30 in favor of Razor, who asked Shawn what to do. Shawn said to look at them and act surprised that he was getting cheers and when they did, they started to cheer even louder.

He then tells the story of how Vince told him he was going to turn face. He told Scott that they had a kid who was “120lbs soaking wet” and showed him a tape of Sean Waltman, who Hall immediately recognized as the Lightning Kid from GWF. That shocked Vince that Hall knew of him. Hall said that he looked like he was 11 years old but could go in the ring and puts over intelligent he was from watching him on TV. Vince then lays out the plans for their feud, which Hall said was months before it took place. Waltman was going to beat him then each week then as he would offer more money to others to beat Waltman, his money would get stolen by him. Hall said the whole thing was Vince’s idea and it was the best thing to happen to his career.

Back to the AWA, Hall puts over for being a cool, eccentric guy. He said that Verne was big on having his faces go to events with him and Hall would be with him as he was groomed for a top spot. Verne told him that it is important to have the wrestler be remembered whenever they were at a function. Verne told him you are “working” the minute you leave your house, not just in the ring. He said they wanted to make him the champ but Hall said it was too cold up there and that they never knew how to create any gimmicks and his was “Big” Scott Hall and wanted to wrestle in Florida, with cool gimmicks and angles that he grew up with. Verne was shocked by this and told Hall he could make him a star but Hall said he is in it for the money. Verne said that comes later but Hall joked that his bills come every month. From there, they just started to talk like friends, instead of a boss/employee relationship and Hall asked Verne how it was to have money and he replied that it was “pretty damn good.” Hall then said that he would do jobs on the way out. He puts over Verne for being a good guy.

Hall is asked about Curt Hennig pulling ribs. He puts over Curt as the first guy that got reactions for his bumps and how he would pick him up when he was in the AWA and not used to driving in the Winter weather. He learned from Curt that you had to have fun in this business and you can either have a shitty attitude or a good one and Curt was always upbeat.

He learned a lot from Curt when they teamed. He said that Curt would always start off then tag him in what Hall refers to as “featuring the big guy.” Hall said he did the same when he teamed with Nash and tells a story of how he would sometimes spit at guys after they were beating on him then tag out to Nash. He also never told guys about this before hand so it would look better. This instance, they were working against Harlem Heat and he spit at Stevie Ray, who Hall puts over as being a tough guy, then tagged out immediately. Stevie then worked on Nash and went over and spit on Hall, who was on the apron and then tried to go after him and ended up falling over the ropes, in a planned spot. Hall then apologized to Stevie after the match.

In the AWA, he and Hennig faced off against Bill & Scott Irwin. Hall said Scott was cool and put him over but that Bill had a problem with him and Hall thinks it was because he was getting a push so young his career and never really put him over in their matches at all. Hall felt that Bill was never doing his job and he felt like punching him in the face but knew that it would be a horrible business decision.

He is asked about memories of several workers in AWA. He said that Nick Bockwinkle was an “absolute pro” but would walk around the locker room with a t-shirt and loafers without pants and his junk hanging out. Hall thought that John Nord should have been a huge star in the business but thinks he had other priorities, like his car dealership. He first knew Shawn Michaels from Kansas City and said that back then in a car ride, Shawn “explained the business” to him. He told Hall that you let the face shine then get heat on him then let him make a comeback then go to the finish. Anyway, the office asked Hall about bringing in Shawn and Marty, specifically if there was still a problem between him and Jannetty. Hall said that he and Jannetty buried the hatchet the night after he attacked him in Kansas City. Hall said that Jannetty was the star of the team then. Hall puts over the Freebirds a lot and said that he was a “mark” for them then says it was his idea for the nWo Wolfpac because he wanted to have them be just like the Freebirds. He puts over Buddy Rose as a good athlete and a heel. He said that Doug Somers was a smooth worker. Overall, he said that just about everyone helped him out in the AWA.

He went to Europe and wrestled as “Texas” Scott Hall after Vader called up CWA promoter Otto Wanz. Hall said at that time, Europeans looked at Americans as those who wore cowboy hats and they billed him from Texas.

Hall then went to WCW for a bit. He said he first had a verbal deal for $1,000 a week. He then said in WCW, your push was determined when you got there as it was based on the amount of your contract. He said that making what he did, there was no way that he was going to beat a guy making $750,000 a year, let alone be in the same match as them. Hall barely wrestled when he first got there.

In between tours of Europe, Hall found out that his wife at the time was pregnant. He was not making much money at the time and on the verge of quitting the business in order to get a regular job. He called Diamond Dallas Page in the hopes that he could land him a job in WCW. Page told him to shave his mustache and dye his hair black. He then told Hall to grow stubble, like Rob Lowe popularized at that time. Page then said that he would be his manager, so Hall could still look big standing next to him and they called him the “Diamond Studd.” Before their first TV taping together, they ate at the Waffle House and both grabbed the toothpicks that came with the bill. They get to the match and Page was talking with his toothpick in his mouth on the way to the ring and it fell out so Hall, who still had his, flicked it right into the camera and that was how he came up with the toothpick gimmick.

Hall said that when he first did the Studd gimmick on TV, Pat Patterson called him up and told him that Vince loved the new look. Pat asked him if he signed a contract and Hall told him that he just sign a one-year deal and Pat told him that not tot worry, as you can tell them you have a deal in place when the contract is up.

He is then asked about DDP and how he was getting ribbed all of the time. Hall said that he was an announcer but desperately wanted to be a wrestler. Hall said that he loves Page like a brother but that he could drive you nuts with his quirks. Hall said that he was always an upbeat guy though. Anyway, Firebreaker Chip started to give DDP shit one day and as a result, got punched in the face in the locker room and at that moment, guys started to give DDP some respect.

Hall tells a story of a battle royal in West Virginia in which everyone played a rib on DDP. The Steiner Brothers were going to strip him in the ring during the match and everyone but DDP knew that. Everyone goes after DDP and knock him down then the Steiners run over to him. DDP was known to wear layers of spandex when he wrestled and Rick Steiner pulled on him so hard that he completely snapped off his tights and he was naked, causing Oliver Humperdink to take off his shirt and throw it on DDP so he could cover himself up.

After WCW, he wound up in the WWF. Hall said they filmed the Razor Ramon vignettes and he was thrilled to be getting a push right off of the bat. Once again, Hall said that Hennig helped him out and told him to never waste a motion in the ring and not to hit a bunch of devastating moves in a TV squash match because you will kill them all off. He told Hall that whenever you are on TV, treat it like an advertisement for yourself and when you do hit a move, make it look explosive. You always have to act as you know what you are doing.

Hall talks about his tryout with the WWF and how he got hired. After the match, Hennig took him to Vince. They are talking and Vince said that he needed a gimmick and brought up how his dad was in the military. Hall told Vince that if he wanted him to be G.I. Joe, he would be the best one he could be as at that point, Hall told Hennig that he would even settle as a job guy in the WWF as they were the top company and said guys like Barry Horowitz could lose all of the time and be stars, complete with their own baseball cards. Back to the story as Hall then told Vince that he needed a bad guy and started to play the Tony Montana character from “Scarface,” which is what he and Curt did all of the time in the car when they worked for the AWA. He was using direct lines from the film. Vince thought that Hall was a genius and had no clue that Hall was doing as he had never seen or apparently heard of the movie. Vince then asked him for a name. He said Razor but Vince told him about Razor Riddick and Hall said in the Tony Montana voice that he could “squash him like a cockroach.” Vince said he needed a last name that began with an “R” so he went to the bathroom and saw Tito Santana. He asked Tito for a name that began with “R” and he said “Ramon” and he told it to Vince, who loved the idea.

They filmed the promos in South Beach and Vince still had no clue that they were doing stuff that was basically out of “Scarface.” He did say that during his vignettes. Vince told him to speak very,very slow and Hall said that it worked out well.

He talks about his feud against Savage. Hall said that in Pennsylvania, he was to kick Savage in the leg that Ric Flair had been working on all match long then toss him back inside so Flair could put on the figure-four and win the title after Savage passed out. Backstage, Vince yelled at Heenan to go get Savage and Flair for him then Vince flipped out on Savage and Flair for not working on the leg and for looking like jabronis, which had Hall nervous as he just started out and Vince was flipping out on two major stars. They go back out and work the leg and Hall kicks Savage and Flair rolls him inside but works on Savage for five more minutes before putting on the figure four. That five minutes was clipped from the airing. Hall said that he never liked Flair because he controlled his career when he was in WCW. After that they had a meeting with Vince and he asked at the end if there were any questions and Hall wanted to ask him if he could trust Flair with the belt after what he did in WCW but Hennig told him not to say anything.

Hall said that he might have stolen the Razor’s Edge move from Danny Spivey. He started to use that as a finisher in Puerto Rico. Hall said that in wrestling if you want to be a top guy, you need a good look, to be good on the mic, have a few signature moves and a cool finisher.

He then talks about how he WWF was going through a transitional phase as Vince was under trial and everyone had to be clean. Hall said that he used steroids prior to the WWF. He was down to about 260 lbs at that point in the WWF but liked that weight and stayed there as he could work with the big and small guys. He said that he never wanted to be a bodybuilder, just a wrestler with a good body then jokes how he never shaved his chest or anything as he felt that “Tarzan gets more pussy than Mr. Universe.” He said that the traveled with Shawn in the WWF and they would party at night then eat breakfast in the morning, lay in the tanning bed as the food digested then work out for a half-hour on the stairmaster then a quick session with weights and some dips before heading off. He calls that the “Tarzan” workout and said it was enough to pump you up.

He tells a story about Bill Watts in the WWF. They were in the Garden and Watts was with Patterson and Vince. After Nash faced Mabel, Shawn made the save when Mo interfered and Hall ran out and got beat up too as they were putting the Men on a Mission strong. Hall grabs the belt and hands it to Nash but Shawn wanted it so Hall went to hand it to him then dropped it purposely, making Shawn look like a fool. As he walks backstage, he gets shoved in the back hard and saw that it was Shawn, who Hall says does not like to be made to look foolish. Anyway, Watts saw that and went up to Hall and told him that he was over and should be used better then joked about how he was expecting that push in the back. Hall said Watts lasted about a week in the WWF and left as he wanted full control and Vince would not let that happen.

When asked about the video being shopped by Man Mountain Rock that features the locker room using drugs in Europe and Louie Spiccoli banging a prostitute, Hall said that it is a shame that someone is so talentless that selling it is the only way they can make money. He then said that he would probably be sued if he tried to sell that.

Hall then talks about how he changed a finish at a show in Philadelphia against Chris Jericho, who was using the Lionheart gimmick. Hall said that the gimmick would not get over in Philly so he thought that Jericho should win and afterwards, he can beat him up and then Larry Zbyszko would run in and that would start their feud. Hall said he told Jericho to come up with a finish and not to tell anyone at all. Jericho came up with a finish that had him escape the Razor’s Edge and pin Hall with a small package. Backstage, Bischoff was mad that he changed the finish and Hall kept asking him if it was exciting and he couldnt get past the fact that he did not listen to him.

When asked about his matches against Jeff Jarrett, he said at first thy had bad matches but grew to work well with each other.

He now talks about his WrestleMania ladder match against Shawn. Hall said there chemistry and timing were excellent and they were always on the same page. He also said that it was Shawn’s idea for Razor to climb up the ladder with both belts and that he had Earl Hebner tell him that. Back in the locker room, Savage told him they had a great match but were selfish, as they went a lot longer than the time they were allotted.

Now, Hall is asked about the political power that the Kliq had in the WWF. Hall said that it was Bam Bam Bigelow who came up with the name. Hall then said how they were friends who all shared the same ideas as to how the business should be run. When they all reached the main event level, they started to kick around ideas all of the time then go pitch them to Vince.

He is now asked about a myth in which the Kliq went on strike one weekend. Hall forgets where they were (it was Indianapolis) but Hall was supposed to lose to Sid after 1-2-3 Kid interfered as the special guest referee then Ted DiBiase stuck a $100 bill in his mouth. Hall was fine with that but then when they changed it to include him losing the IC Title, he was against it. Hall told Vince he had no problem putting over Sid clean in the middle of the ring. This is the incident in which Pat and Vince flew to Indianapolis and met with the Kliq.

The interviewer brings up how Shane Douglas said in his shoot how Hall wanted to work the same match every night. Hall said that he and Shane get along a lot better now then when they were in the WWF. Hall also said that he was going to work with Douglas to get him ready to face Shawn, as the WWF saw money in a program between HBK and Douglas. Hall recalls a time when they were in London, England and they were tired from partying on the plane. Douglas told him to go home and Hall asked him if he was okay and told Hall said that he was just tired. Hall was irate and told him he didnt give a fuck if he was tired as this is how he fed his family. He told Douglas to drink coffee or take pills if he was tired, which he said was wrong. Hall said that in the ring, you always give it your all.

When asked if they were too hard on Chris Candido, Hall said they were. He said that between the stupid gimmick and his girlfriend Sunny, they were hard on him. Hall talks about the locker room and how it was a vicious shark tank and that he crossed paths with him in TNA years later and he had no hard feelings towards him. Back then, Hall said there was no guaranteed money and that Vince and everyone else perpetuated that environment in wrestling and that they had a bunch of jocks away from their families and that was how they coped.



DISC TWO




This disc runs forty-nine minutes long



It starts with Hall in the middle of a story about Waltman, which led to him stating that he rejected an angle with Goldust because he thought that a feud with Waltman could have been money but that did not happen and he got Goldust upset in the process.

On how he jumped over to WCW, Hall said that he was moving a lot of merchandise and wanted more money. He then said that he asked Vince if he needed to improve on anything so he could earn more money, which is also what he learned from Hennig on how to ask for more money. He then went up to Stamford to the office and when he walked in, he saw all of his pictures in the hallway, which he said were turned around and had another wrestler on the other side. He met with Vince and JJ Dillon and brought in a secretary who dumped a pile of fan mail on the desk to show his popularity. Vince then put a check on the table for him and said he had a three-year contract. Hall said he couldnt do this schedule for three more years then asked if he could move over the decimal point on his merchandise check and Vince said that he couldnt because he was getting the same as guys like Diesel and the Undertaker. Hall then asked if he could go over to New Japan for a month a year to get their money and that was shot down as Vince said he needed him in the WWF. Waltman was in contact with Jesse Ventura’s agent, Barry Bloom, and Hall found out how much they offered him and realized that there was a want for him. Hall said that Vince ‘s contract rolled over yearly unless you gave a 90 day notice. Hall sent a telegram to Vince then went to a house show. While there, Tony Garea told him to call the doctor about the drug test results, he called and the doc wasnt there so he got ready for his match but Garea told him he had to leave and at that point Hall realized that they got his notice. He said that the piss test he took was six weeks old too. Hall said he was never a mark like Bret Hart and didnt care about the belt as he would rather job for a million dollars a year than make half as much as the champ. After that, he took the money and went to WCW.

When asked about the nWo idea being the plan all along, Hall said that is was Larry Zbyszko’s idea to come out from the crowd and grab the mic. He said Bischoff wanted him to walk down the aisle. Hall said the reason it worked is because people still thought he worked for Vince. Hogan had creative control and was in the air before the Bash at the Beach and they were not sure that he wanted to be a heel when they arrived to the show. Hall said Hogan was smart enough to turn at the right time and that if people thought Hall & Nash still worked for Vince, there was no better guy to align with them than Hogan. Hall said that the nWo idea was Bischoff’s and that the finish that night was thought up by Nash.

He goes back and talks about his last night in the WWF when he faced HHH at the Garden. Hall said that the fans chanted “please don’t go” then some chanted that he sold out. After that, Hall picked up the mic ad said “say goodbye to the bad guy,” which the crowd ate up, and said if Vince gave him the money there, he would have stayed. He said that Patterson came up with the finish to his match. When talking about the “curtain call” incident, Hall said that Shawn came up with the idea.

Hall now talks about the incident he had with Jerry Sags in a match at WCW. Hall said that he and Nash went in with fat contracts but some guys had to take a paycut because they weren’t drawing and couldn’t even run house shows. The Nasty Boys took a paycut then Terry Taylor told them how He and Nash received huge contracts. Hall said he broke in with them at Brad Rheingans camp in AWA and still considers them friends to this day. Anyway, during their run-in spot, Hall and Nash came in and Hall waffled Sags with a chairshot. Hall said that when he swung a chair with force and took it the same way too. He also had no idea he potatoed him and thought he was feeding him and almost went to hit him more times. In the locker room, he found out that he potatoed him and was happy that he didnt hit him again and said that with a nervous laugh to Nash but at that moment, Sags walked in and saw him laugh and Hall thought he was not only taking his money but also taking his liberties with him in the ring. A few nights later, the Nasty Boys started to throw chairs and stuff into the ring in the match during a six-man that included Meng and Barbarian. Hall said that Sags was stiff to begin with and started to hit him hard, even knocking out one of his teeth as Meng was hitting him from behind. As they won the match, Hall asked Nash if his face was alright and it was all swollen and fucked up. Nash then went into the locker room and grabbed Sting’s bat and told Hall just say the word and he would go fuck up Sags and Hall told him not to as Nash had the bat above the head of Sags.

Later that night, Hall said that he was with some of the Mexican wrestlers like Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera, and Konnan in his hotel room as he was holding an ice pack to his face when Bischoff called his room and told Hall he would fire Sags but Hall said no as he knew him and he had a family so Bischoff kept him at home for a while as he got paid. Hall said if you were mad at him, he should have confronted him in the locker room instead of the ring.

He denied that Roddy Piper ever tried to fight him in the locker room but told a story about convincing Hogan to put over Piper at Starcade after he was seeing them put over people without getting hurt or seem like less of a star. They also told Hogan to take the finisher instead of a cheap school-boy or something. He did say that when it was Piper’s turn to put over Savage, he refused to take the elbow and would only lose to Savage cheaply. That pissed off Hall so he fucked with Piper all night long, saying that he refused to job for Savage after Hogan put him over clean then joked if they were too close to Portland for him to job clean. He then said he laid into Piper that night and if he ever tried to fight he and Nash, Piper would have got his ass kicked.

Hall did think that the Horsemen took the nWo parody too seriously, especially Arn Anderson, who thought they made him look like a drunk. Hall said that Nash took the cooler from Arn’s rent-a-car, were Pee Wee Anderson would get him beers. Hall then said that night, Arn complained to him at the bar with a beer in each hand, which was common among wrestlers as they got to the bar right before it closed most nights.

The interviewer asks Hall point blank about his own substance abuse issues and the stuff that Bischoff did on screen. Hall said that he tries to look at everything positively and says that if he can tell someone that drinking and drugging is not the answer, despite it being fun. Hall also doesnt care about what everyone thinks about him either.

Hall did think that the watering down of the nWo was bad. He originally thought that  “WCW Saturday Night” would be an nWo show and let the fans choose if they liked WCW or nWo better. He said the beneift of the nWo expanded was that they didnt have to work that many house shows.

He did not think that WCW mismanaged Bret Hart as his strong suit was wrestling and not live interviews. he then said that WWF did a lot of taped interviews that helped him out and did not really fit into what WCW was doing with live Nitro’s.

Hall agreed that WCW pulled the plug too quick on Bischoff when they went with Russo and Ferrara. He says Russo is a nice guy but a small cog in the WWF machine before he came over to WCW.

When discussing how he was let go by the WCW, Hall was at a bar in Germany with his girlfriend and broke up with her. He then talked to another girl who had a gift to him, which was a sock puppet doll. She gave it to him in his room but his now ex-girlfriend, who was a WCW representative, got a key and walked into the room and saw him with the girl. Hall insists that nothing happened between them and they argued while he was drunk. He said that they were at the airport the next day bickering, which you cannot do on an International fight, and he ended up flying out the next day and that was the beginning of the end.

He said that he stopped following when he left and had no idea that Goldberg was talking about him on TV as he stopped following the product when he left. He also has no idea why Goldberg dislikes him as Hall said he helped him out and introduced him to Barry Bloom, who became his agent.

He said that his  current goal is to get back in shape and possibly go to Japan. He believes that he has another run left in him and that his work is good enough as long as he behaves outside of the ring.

When asked about returning to the WWE as the nWo, Hall said that Nash went to Vince and discussed the idea with him. Vince then called up Hall and told him how he was talking with both Hogan and Nash about returning and said that they needed him to return. Hall was raising his kids by himself at the time and Vince said they worked something out taht he could work ten days a month and in his first month, he ended up working twenty-two. They all thought that Vince was not going to push something that he did not create and Vince killed it off the next PPV. Hall said he was not having fun and having bad matches plus he had to watch his kids and self-destructed. He decided to call Jim Ross and tell him that he was going to leave. Hall thought that Vince could have made the nWo even bigger.

He said that a day before his PPV match in Toronto against Austin, he was told that the finished changed and at that point, he knew he was out and was surprised that he even made it to Mania to face him. Hall said that he and Austin just did not click but thought his match against him at Mania was “okay” and he laid it out. He also said that Austin treated him like gold.

They now talk about TNA and how he was on the first few shows. He said he signed a three-show deal as he did not know if he wanted to be locked into the company at the beginning.

When asked about the Chris Benoit tragedy, Hall said he knew Chris for a long time then starts to break down and cry for a little bit. He said that a producer from HBO “Real Sports” called him up if he wanted to comment on drugs and steroids in wrestling. Hall said it is ridiculous for the media to attack wrestling promoters for what independent contractors do then adds that no one ever made him take drugs. He also thinks it is insane for people to only focus on deaths in wrestling when there are many more wrestlers who are alive. He brings up how no one blames the NFL for Pacman Jones or Michael Vick.

In regards to doing conventions, he feels weird charging people for autographs but loves to meet fans. He then thanks the interviewer for discussing wrestling with him and having knowledge and being respectful. He rather likes to hear from fans than guys who sit at home and criticize guys without going to the matches.

The interview closes with Hall thanking his fans for all of their support over the years and that he is getting things together and has one more run left.

Final Thoughts: An excellent shoot interview. One of the best, quite frankly. Hall is a great story-teller who also offers loads of insight into the business. He was sober during the interview and seemed to be enjoying just about every minute of it, except for the discussion about Benoit I guess. There was no agenda at all here, which is always a good thing. He never seemed bitter, either.

I really came away liking Scott Hall as a person from this. He is a likable guy who sometimes cannot keep his demons in check and that is when he gets into trouble. Even when discussing instances that made him look bad, he would take responsibility. He did not look to pass the blame onto others.

Hall has such a great mind for the business. Too bad he might not get another chance to show that off again. It is great that he is sober today but sadly is run that he talked about in this interview never really went anywhere and he fell deeper into his substance abuse issue, which were very evident in his follow up to this shoot, in which he was notably impaired.

I highly recommend this interview. You will hear some great stories, get some valuable insight, and learn a lot about what happened during his runs with the Kliq and the nWo. For those interested in the shoot, you can download the interview to own from Highspots for $9.99. I will provide the link below for you.

http://www.highspots.com/p/25364.html

The Hall of Fame

Hey Scott,

A point got brought up on the blog today about the HOF running wild with inductions. How much longer do you think the WWE can keep up this level of inductions with the level of names they're choosing?

And how many more people need to be inducted before we're "Caught Up" to the current roster. 20? 30?
It's not even a real Hall of Fame, it really doesn't matter.  Any Hall that omits Randy Savage isn't worth being taken seriously anyway.  I'm sure they can dig up midcard names for years.  There's still Honky Tonk Man, Kim Chee, Virgil, Skinner, Abe Knuckleball Schwartz, Braden Walker, The Boogieman, Doink the Clown and a host of others that they can induct for a cheap payday first.  

Scott Hall on Art of Wrestling

Just a heads up to check out Scott Hall on Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast. 

He’s totally lucid and his REMARKABLE knowledge of the business (particularly given what he’s done to himself over the last decade and a half) is pretty amazing.  Given his basic understanding of how wrestling “works” and a history that dates back to Florida when Dusty was booking(!) and the AWA, it’s a damned shame he hasn’t been working for the E for the past ten years on the creative staff.  If there’s any way he can keep himself together he’d still be a fantastic add for them.

Best,

PAK

Oh, there’s no denying that he’s got a brilliant mind for the business.  But just look at the trouble that someone like Michael Hayes has caused in his tenure and he doesn’t even have a quarter of Hall’s demons.  Even if Hall was sober it would be too big of a gamble for a family friendly company like WWE to take now.  

Match of the Day: Scott Hall vs the Great Muta

Soooooo . . . 


Scott Hall vs Great Muta, in the NWA?! Just a bizarre pairing, don’t ya think? Again, I see Scott here and wonder why they went with Diamond Studd, he looks like a new Magnum TA. Seemed over enough, anyway.

That was Hall’s whole problem, in that he was basically ripping off Magnum TA and had no personality of his own.  The Diamond Studd character was a billion times more interesting than “Gator” Scott Hall or any of the other bland things he was getting before that.  
You cannot, however, fault the hair or the moustache.  HHH would be proud of both.

Deadspin story about Hall and Roberts living with DDP


In case anyone hasn't hit you up with it yet, this is a pretty fantastic read on DDP helping out Jake and Hall.


G

reat read.  I'm just endlessly fascinated by this whole DDP/Hall/Roberts story.  And Jake's "spaghetti" promo in there had me laughing for a bit because you can just picture him delivering that exact reading.  Kudos to the author of this.