Working for WCW was a lot of fun. More than money, it was FUN.
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash made it so much fun it was DANGEROUS.
When Hall and Nash showed up in 1996, you could tell right away they were DIFFERENT. Not bad different, not good different. Just DIFFERENT. They loved wrestling (particularly Hall), but saw both sides of it (particularly Nash). They saw themselves as being a bit above WCW. They came from THE BIG SHOW. That attitude didn’t necessarily endear them to the backstage hoi polloi, but it definitely contributed to the success of the nWo invasion.
I fit right in with those guys. It took a while. Hall and I didn’t get along at first: When Roddy Piper came to WCW and I went to introduce myself, Hall got between us and said, “Bro, he doesn’t have time to talk to a dirt sheet writer right now.” Hall could be a jerk.
But when I started going on the road to do Internet play-by-play on big house shows, we clicked. Hall, Nash and Sean Waltman loved doing Internet real audio. NO HOLDS BARRED. You just couldn’t believe some of the stuff they said on WCW Live.
Once, at Spring Break Nitro – the one where Hall said to The Giant, on live TV, “Hey, Giant, come on, you missed your cue, dummy” – Eric Bischoff crouched outside the Internet trailer eavesdropping, hoping to catch a treasonous remark. It was surreal.
Two funny Internet/house show memories:
*During a “Wolfpac Rules” tag-team match in LA – I forget what “Wolfpac Rules” actually were – Lee Marshall and I were calling the match at ringside and Waltman was standing just feet away on the apron, yelling “Wolfpac Rules!” at the top of his lungs over and over. Marshall finally cracked and said, “Yes, f***, Wolfpac Rules, shut up!” Much cackling.
*After a tag-team cage match in Boston, Hogan ran in, locked Sting’s partner out, and Hall, Nash and Hogan beat down Sting. The crowd went NUTS and started throwing all manner of garbage. Hall and Nash came over to our broadcast location, stood right in front of it (inside the cage), and all the crap that was meant for them bounced off the cage and hit me and “Deli Boy” Chad Damiani. We got covered in muck. Hall and Nash were in HYSTERICS.
Hall and Nash were s***-disturbers, but did so with a smile. Once, Bischoff threatened to send The Outsiders to Poland on a punishment tour. Hall said, “They love us in Poland.” Added Nash, “Just have a luxury car waiting at the airport, like it says in the contract.” Hall’s parting shot: “And make it a Lincoln, ‘cause you know I’ll be drinkin’.”
Every time Konnan opened his mouth – anywhere – Hall and Nash would say, “Let me speak on this.” That went on for MONTHS. ALL THE TIME. Finally, Bischoff said to them, “Look, this has got to stop.” Nash: “Well…let me speak on THAT…”
Even fans weren’t immune. Two marks engaged Hall and Nash in conversation at a hotel bar, and Hall said, “Did you guys ever kiss?” The marks rolled their eyes and said they hadn’t. Hall told them it wasn’t gay, best friends kiss, he and Nash had kissed, and actually talked these guys into kissing - at which point Hall buried these poor jerks with every homophobic slur he could think of, delivered AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS.
Hall and Nash just weren’t afraid to be fired. That’s actually a good attitude to have if you’re talented. It keeps exploitation to a minimum. It’s an attitude I adopted.
Then, when I got fired – the first time, not the last time – it was Hall and Nash to the rescue. I said something on the WCW 900# some TBS high muckety-muck didn’t like. I got canned. It was the height of nWo-mania. I talked to Nash and he said, “Sit tight, we’ll take care of this.”
Hall and Nash starting blowing off media appearances. “Bring back Madden.” Wouldn’t go on WCW Live. “Bring back Madden.” Made people’s lives MISERABLE. “Bring back Madden.” Finally, the phone rang. Tom Hunt, my immediate superior at WCW: “Well, your boys came through. You’ve GOT to come back. They’re making people INSANE.”
So I came back. At a substantial pay increase. I had LEVERAGE.
Loyalty is nearly non-existent in wrestling. That’s why there’s never been a union. All the wrestlers could get in a room and agree to something, but as soon as the room cleared every single guy would go heel on the rest to try to get a better deal. But if you were tight with Hall and Nash, they looked out for you. They’re unique in that regard. Amazing.
After I started hanging out with Hall and Nash, I had expressed some concern about an employment issue, and Hall said, “Ah, don’t worry about that. You’re with us now.”
It was true. That’s why I mentioned Hall’s name on TV when I wasn’t supposed to. I would repay that kind of loyalty every time, all the time.
I’d even drive on the sidewalk to help them make a quick getaway after a show at Baltimore. I had SKILLS behind the wheel, yo.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA(105.9) . Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing wzmarkmadden@hotmail. com. FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX