Scott Hall has had one of the most storied careers both inside and outside of the squared circle.
Hall is known for his tenure in WWF during the early nineties as Razor Ramon where he was a four-time Intercontinental Champion and along with Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels and Triple H a member of the KLIQ.
The 54-year-old from St. Mary’s County, Maryland along with Nash went to WCW, joined forces with Hulk Hogan to become the founding members of the nWo. During his time in WCW Hall was a seven-time World Tag Team Champion, two-time United States Champion and a one-time Television Champion.
Hall, Nash and Hogan returned to WWE in 2002 as the nWo in the build-up to WrestleMania X8 where Hall wrestled Stone Cold Steve Austin.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Hall as he has battled addictions with alcohol and drugs, but he seems to be on the right path thanks to Diamond Dallas Page and DDP Yoga.
We caught up with ‘The Bad Guy’ to talk about how DDP Yoga is changing his life, how DDP helped create his wrestling persona, the curtain call incident involving the KLIQ at Madison Square Garden, being a founding member of the nWo and much more.
You have been doing DDP Yoga for a while now, what has it been like for you and how has it changed your life?
I’m staying at the ‘Accountability Crib’ with Dallas in Atlanta, and my son Cody who is 21-years old, Dallas invited him to come and join us here, and he’s just breaking into the wrestling business so that has been great. I’ve known Dallas for a long time, over 20 years, and it’s been great what he’s done for me.
Dallas is a truly unique individual, he legitimately and sincerely cares about other people. He really enjoys helping other people and here at the crib four or five times a week people will come in, we’ll move the furniture out of the way in the living room, spread the yoga mats out and Dally either personally leads a group of people in a workout or they throw one of the DVDs up on the TV and they workout to one of Dally’s DDP Yoga videos.
He’s not charging anybody anything, he’s not motivated by money, he genuinely gets high, he gets this fix off helping people. It’s really great to be around this positive environment, because for some reason I was just secluding myself and staying in dark places. Now I feel as though I’ve ventured out into the light and working on my tan. I never had any problems professionally, it was personal life that was a problem for me, professionally I couldn’t have scripted a better life.
Do you remember anything of the original phone conversation you had with Dallas before starting the DDP yoga?
I don’t remember it at all, watching the video back I think it was pretty obvious that I was gone, bro. I’ve been in some really dark places in the past but I’m pleased to report that today I’m feeling great and doing good and I’m going on seven months alcohol and pill-free.
You have been to rehab on several occasions how does DDP Yoga compare to the rehab centres you’ve been to in the past?
I’ve been to twelve high dollar inpatient rehabs and I’ve been to several outpatient clinics, I’ve done one-on-one therapy with psychiatrists. It’s not like I’ve ever been in denial, I was well aware I had problems for a number of years, over 20 years and nothing was working for me, it was always easy to stop, I just couldn’t stay stopped.
I think I was doing it for the wrong reasons, I was doing it because I couldn’t or I shouldn’t, I was doing it because my family was worried, or my friends were concerned and I was trying to hang on to this fat pay cheque I was getting, and none of that was serving me well. I don’t know what changed for me but lately, I don’t want to drink, I don’t want to take pills, in the past and even today if I wanted to I would, but I just don’t want to and that’s a wonderful feeling for me.
Are you enjoying interacting with your fans via social media, Twitter and YouTube etc?
I find it is my way of keeping a journal, I’ve always loved words, I was into journalism as a kid and I went to high school in Munich, Germany and was editor of the school newspaper there. For me learning how to use a computer, and I only have an iPad and I’ve only had that for like a couple of months, so all of this social media is new to me.
What did you make of the overwhelming support you received from the fans to raise money for your hip operation?
I’ve got to admit I’m learning about this whole internet age, I’m 54-years-old, most of my life I’ve been a low tech, redneck guy and I didn’t really know anything about it and didn’t really care and therefore had no way of gauging what kind of interest there was from the fans in me.
I always considered it was what I did and not who I was and I thought once you’re gone, you’re gone and people don’t remember, but I was very flattered that people still knew who I was. It still kind of baffles me and I’m waiting for someone one to tell me it’s just a joke.
I wasn’t comfortable with the whole raising money thing, I’ve never pleaded poverty, I’m just uninsured, I never said I was broke. It was Dallas’ idea and it was great, I’m not insured and the costs would have been huge and all the post-op stuff, and I’m really flattered $80,000 was raised in six days, it was just amazing to me, it allowed me to get a first-class surgeon, one of the best surgeons available.
I just feel so blessed and to all the fans that contributed thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but I don’t know what else to say. To everyone that invests in the save Scott Hall project, I think you made a good investment and I’m doing to do everything I can to prove that to you.
How did you first get into the sport of professional wrestling?
I feel like I’ve been so blessed, all I ever wanted to do since I was eight-years-old was to be a big-time pro wrestler. My father took me and my buddies to a wrestling match for my eighth birthday in Alabama where wrestling was huge. I remember in the main event it was a hair versus hair match, where the loser had to have his hair shaved off. At eight-years-old, some of my buddies were saying it was fake, but I was saying it wasn’t fake, I remember running down to the ring and grabbing some of the hair, and it had some of the guy’s scalp attached where they had shaved it so quickly, I still have the programme from that show at my mothers.
I always thought it was such a cool job, I was attracted to the lifestyle, I loved all the performance aspect but I enjoyed the freedom of it. I guess growing up in army bases and such a rigid and disciplined life, I was attracted to a more carefree kind of life for myself and dreams came true.
Who were some of the wrestlers you enjoyed watching whilst growing up?
When I was 17-years-old, I moved to Orlando, Florida, to be with my buddies and I was a huge fan and it was all I was watching on TV back then was Florida Championship Wrestling. Dusty Rhodes was ‘The Man’ in Florida at the time and he had a huge impact on my life, Dusty started me in wrestling and I always had dusty to go to with questions throughout my career and crossed paths with him several times on the way up.
It was really wonderful for me when the nWo blew up and became such a big deal, Dusty was working for WCW at that time as well, and it was kind of cool to, go look at me now Dusty, you started me and now I’m one of the major players in our industry.
It was great, as I kid I was just scratching at the door trying to get in, to being able to talk to Dusty as peers, so like I said dreams come true.
How did the ‘The Bad Guy’ Razor Ramon image come about?
I remember I was working for a European promoter, a gentleman by the name of Otto Wanz, and his promotion Catch Wrestling Association. I came across a lot of talented guys there and I worked for Otto for three seasons, I hadn’t had any success in the US, I was just working in Europe, Japan and Puerto Rico. Whilst working for Otto I met guys like Fit Finlay and Dave Taylor and they really helped me hone my ring skills.
At that point, I had kind of decided that wrestling wasn’t happening for me because I had been in the business for about four years without any real success, making it in the US is kind of the place to make it. I had decided I was going to give up that wrestling dream and get a job working in a warehouse, get married, have kids and have the other riches in life.
I had one more commitment to make, I had to go back to Otto for seven months, by this time I’m married and I have my wife with me, we’re starting a family and when I get back to Florida my wife was seven months pregnant. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have any skills so I called Dally who at the time was managing The Fabulous Freebirds and was play-by-play announcer, and I pitched to him that he was too big to be managing The Freebirds and that he needed someone next to him to make him look small, you need the Diamond Stud, so we did that.
I’ve told this story before but Dally is the kind of guy once you plant a seed in his head he will not sleep, and he called me at 4am. My wife who was pregnant wasn’t best pleased with these late-night phone calls, but at 4am Dally was down the phone and he told me I had to have black hair, everybody in the business had blonde hair, then he told me I had to have stubble, and at the time I was rocking this big Village People moustache. I wasn’t quite sure about it, but I was willing to do it and I got a tryout and Dusty at the time was the boss, and he liked the new look, my ring skills were always pretty solid but I needed a new look.
Now we fast forward to our first TV taping North Carolina, Diamond Dallas Page and the Diamond Stud and I had my first TV match. After the show Dally and I went to eat at a Waffle House near the arena and we’re paying our tab and there’s a little toothpick dispenser right by the cash register, so Dally said we’ll both have toothpicks as part of our look, my wife was going to be having a baby at any time and I was just like I’ll do anything, I just need the money.
I was still adjusting to this new look, I was pretty comfortable with the other look I had, but I was just going along with it. When we were doing TV Dally was doing all the talking because he was my manager, and his toothpick fell out, I’ve still got mine. I had been around for a few years now, even though this new look made it seem I was brand new, I waited till that red light came on and I flicked my toothpick at the lens and from that day forward I was the guy with the toothpick.
It’s gone on to serve me pretty well bro, I’ve travelled in airports all over the world and when people approach me, they don’t want to talk about wrestling moves or matches they want me to flick the toothpick at them.
What was it like wrestling Shawn Michaels in the ladder match for the Intercontinental title?
Shawn and I have been friends for 25 years, really close friends, we were in a really small territory called Central State Championship Wrestling and we were in the AWA together in Minneapolis and then we ended up in WWE together, so we were old buddies and we were travelling together anyway. At that time we were both villains and eventually my character kind of became a babyface because of a little angle I did with the 1-2-3 Kid, I never really changed but all of a sudden people liked me more.
Shawn tested positive on some bogus drugs test so he was stripped of his Intercontinental title and he was sitting at home in Texas and Vince called him and said he was positive on the drugs test and told Shawn to send the belt back but he refused.
There was a battle royal to crown a new IC champ and Rick Martel did me a favour and I won, but Shawn still had his belt so when he came back we were riding together in the car every day and he still has his belt, I still have my belt and we’re wrestling each other almost every night. We showed up at the arena in California, looked at the card and it was a ladder match, neither one of us had ever been in one, we had no idea what to do, how to entertain these people because we think our regular matches were pretty darn good.
We went out about six nights in a row and each night it was a ladder match which is hard on your body. We were both thinking whose idea was this because no one would ever mention anything to us we would just arrive at the arena and see ladder match on the card. I was really glad with the way the match turned out at WrestleMania X, there is nothing better than having a great match at an iconic arena like Madison Square Garden with one of your best friends.
To be honest we had some better matches before WrestleMania, that were non televised because sometimes the ladder does some cool stuff, or the ladder would just fall the right way and hit the guy right in the crotch or it will bounce off the rope and do something cool. It’s flattering that people still talk about that match all these years later and it did kind of give birth to all this new breed of matches like TLC and Money in the Bank.
What is the story behind the incident involving the KLIQ at Madison Square Garden?
I had already given my notice, I gave 90 days written notice to Vince (McMahon) that I didn’t want my contact to run over. I didn’t say I was leaving, more on the line of let’s talk about new terms and then later Kevin Nash gave his, Kev left a week after me. I figured I’m leaving anyway but I’m still wrestling in the semi-main event every night, Kev is in the main event.
It was Diesel and Shawn in the main event and I was wrestling Triple H because Goldust was injured, so they moved Triple H up to that slot, he was brand new to the company and was still kind of doing that rich boy thing and we saw he was a really talented guy and we liked him straight away. We snapped him up really quickly because we needed a designated driver.
As far as the infamous curtain call it wasn’t planned, I had my match with hunter and it was one of the best matches I had in my career. Pat Patterson was the booker at the time and he pulled me and Hunter aside, gave us some ideas and we followed them and the match was great. There was an intermission when they set up the cage for Kev and Shawn’s match and Vince told me to meet him in his office in Madison Square Garden and when I was in there talking to him Shawn came strolling in and said after the match he wanted Hunter and myself to come out, and Vince went along with it.
We had permission, it wasn’t some kind of outlaw renegade move to hurt the company, which is what everybody seems to say. For me, I felt the responsibility to go out there and say goodbye to the fans at MSG, and thank you for supporting me all of these years. That is the last time the four of us have ever been together at one time.