Alan Wojcik: Were you a fan of the wrestling business before you ever considered working it and if so who were your favorites?
Scott Hudson: I watched the Columbus, Georgia, version of Georgia Championship Wrestling with my grandfather starting in 1969 ( I was 4). Jim Carlisle and Fred Ward (the promoter) were the announce team and it aired live every Saturday on Channel 3. From there I started watching the Georgia Championship Wrestling show from Atlanta on Channel 11 with Ed Capral. That Georgia promotion featured men like El Mongol, Big Bill Dromo, Bob Armstrong, Ox Baker, The Torres Brothers and The Assassins. I stayed a complete and total mark from then on. I guess my favorites from that era would have been Dick Steinborn and, for some reason, Haystacks Calhoun. Actually, somewhere out there is an issue of Inside Wrestling from 1974 with me in the pen-pals pages listing Haystacks as my favorite wrestler.
Eventually (during my visits to my other grandparents home) I watched Florida Championship Wrestling with Gordon Solie and Gulf Coast Wrestling with Lee Fields. Even from my toddler days, I was watching several territories and (of course) reading wrestling magazines like a fiend. I have vivid memories of live GCW shows at the Griffin Sports Barn, FCW shows at the Tallahassee Sports Arena and Gulf Coast shows the Houston County Farm Center in Dothan.
I remember in 3rd grade when we were learning about nations of the world and were asked to dress as a native of one of the nations we discussed – I dressed as a bolo from Argentina due to my worship of Vittorio â<80><9c>Argentineâ<80> Apollo.
When I would ride to church on Sunday, I would stop by the Magic Market and grab the wrestling poster from inside the store window from the previous nightâ<80><99>s live show in Griffin. I must have collected 50 of those things and tossed them without realizing what gems they were.
So yeah, I was a fan.
Alan Wojcik: What was the first promotion you worked for and how did it lead you to working for the short lived Global Championship Wrestling? The first was Joe Pedicinoâ<80><99>s Georgia All-Star Wrestling in 1990.
Scott Hudson: I was a radio disc jockey from 1982 through 1986 (played country, AC and top 40 during various format changes of the one station at which I worked). In 1986, they asked me to start doing the play-by-play for the high school football team. In south Georgia, this is a BIG deal. I played ball so I knew the game and 4 years experience behind the mic made it a day at the beach. I did this until 1990. Doing well at high school football announcing coupled with my love of wrestling just seemed like a natural match.
My career moved me to Atlanta in 1989 where I met my best friend Steve Prazak. We were (and are) huge territory marks (he grew up in Charleston so he was Mid-Atlantic based) and attended every indy we could find in Atlanta.
Alan Wojcik: How did you come to work for World Championship Wrestling and what were your initial impressions of the backstage management system?
Scott Hudson: The local Georgia show was quite the highly rated broadcast. Among the viewers were a lot of the Atlanta-based WCW talent who enjoyed the banter between Steve and myself as well as the completely off-the-wall wrestling characters booker Sam Kent used (The Nasty Critters: a brother tag team who lived in a landfill / Lugnut the Salvage Man: A huge green guy doing a tire changer gimmick / Wally: A masked incontinent with a mental handicap / Superstructure: A legit grocery butcher doing a cheap Vader parody). Through this, Steve and I became quite friendly with the WCW talent (Diamond Dallas Page, Ray Lloyd, Bryan Clarke, Kanyon, Disco Inferno, etc.)
In December 1996, I was at The Abbey, a rather swanky restaurant in Atlanta, for my officeâ<80><99>s annual Christmas Luncheon and award ceremony. (My career had long since brought to the United States District Court as a criminal investigator – a job I adore and maintain to this day). Some how I managed to garner the Employee of the Year award and after receiving the plaque and other associated trinkets, I sat back down and was approached by the waiter. â<80><9c>Are you Mr. Hudson?â<80> I said sure and he said I had a phone call at the front desk. I excused myself and answered the phone. â<80><9c>Scooter, this is DDP. I got somebody that wants to talk to you.â<80> With that I had my first conversation with Eric Bischoff. He told me that there was an opening for a staff announcer and he had seen my work, heard good things, and wanted me to come down and audition. Of course, I agreed.
I went to the CNN Center the following Tuesday as scheduled. I sat in the lobby for about 30 minutes before anyone came to even welcome me. At that point, via a side door, Keith Mitchell appeared and said, Scott? Weâ<80><99>re ready.â<80> I walked through the door into a green screen set with Bobby Heenan (whom I had never met). I introduced myself and Keith, via the loudspeaker, said, â<80><9c>Okay Scott, you and Bobby are hosting WCW Pro. This is the 60 second hard open and you billboard three matches including a main event. Make up the matches. Interact with Bobby a little. Pitch to yourself and Bobby for the commentary in 3…2…â<80> That was it. I did as they wanted in one take. They were impressed (honestly, so was I.). I was hired and started in January 1997.
Alan Wojcik: If its all possible try and describe a typical Monday Nitro day for you.
Scott Hudson: How about the typical pay-per-view week?
Keep in mind, I have a career and a family in addition to this schedule, so hang on.
Sunday – Catch the first flight out to the pay-per-view city (say, oh, Pittsburgh) and spend the day preparing for the show, making notes, talking to bookers, wrestlers, attending production meetings, doing pre-tapes and finally, announcing the PPV. Following the PPV, drive from 12:00midnight to the Nitro city (letâ<80><99>s call it Buffalo).
Monday – Sleep some of the morning and get to the building at 10:00am. Spend the day preparing for the show, making notes, talking to bookers, wrestlers, attending production meetings, doing pre-tapes and finally, announcing Nitro. (I took Monday off from work on PPV weeks)
Tuesday – Fly back to Atlanta on the first flight (usually arriving at Hartsfield/Jackson at 7:45am) and go to my office and work all day.
Wednesday – Work all day at my office. After work, drive over to the WCW building on Atlanta Road and tape the syndicated WCW Worldwide show (with Mike Tenay) as well as the WCW International Nitro and WCW International Thunder (both with Larry Zbyszko). Get home about 11:00pm.
Thursday – Work all day at my office.
Friday – Work all day at my office. After work, drive over to the WCW building on Atlanta Road and tape WCW Saturday Night (with Mike Tenay). Get home about 8:00pm.
Saturday – Write my column and two articles for the monthly WCW Magazine, write a weekly column for WCW.com and record the weekly update for the WCW Hotline.
Sunday – Start over.
Itâ<80><99>s a wonder Iâ<80><99>m still married. I have a saint for a wife.
As far as the typical day. Reading notes, writing notes, watching tapes, talking to Russo or Eric or Tony or Mike or Larry about the show. If we were in a really interesting town (and there was time) I would take a couple of hours to see some sights (Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, the Gateway Arch, baseball stadiums, etc.). But mostly, just show prep. All day. Lots of reading, writing and video tapes. So basically, just being the ultimate fan. The bad part was that we had to be so immersed in WCWâ<80><99>s product that I did not get a chance to see much WWF product and absolutely no other product. I never watched ECW until WCW ended. Then I watched all of it. Damn that was a good show.
And donâ<80><99>t forget the travel. Jesus, I saw enough hotels, airports, rental cars and airplanes to last a lifetime.
NEXT WEEK: Eric Bishoff, Vince Russo, “The Invasion,” and TNA