What's up wrestling fans, welcome to another fantastic Kayfabe Kickout exclusive interview. Today I had the pleasure of speaking with former WCW & ECW Superstar Scotty Riggs.
For most hardcore WCW Fans you will remember Scotty as a key member of Raven's popular stable 'The Flock' and he cut his teeth in the promotion, as one half of 'The American Males' with Marcus 'Buff' Bagwell.
Riggs took his fantastic wrestling skill to Extreme Championship Wrestling in the early 2000's, and made a big impact with the promotion in the short time he was there.
I spoke with Scotty via e-mail and spoke about WCW, his start in professional wrestling as well as other topics.
Richard: For wrestling fans that might not know what you are involved with in the world of professional wrestling, can you just give us an update on what's going on in the busy schedule of Scotty Riggs?
Scotty: At this time, due to some nagging injuries and 2 hernia, 1 gall-bladder & 1 elbow surgery...I am basically retired and strengthening my body by doing DDPYoga because of 5 herniated discs in neck and back & spondylolysis (arthritis in my spine)...and those coach potato "wrestling critics" say wrestling is fake (being an expert on wrestling by watching wrestling makes as much sense as watching Grey's Anatomy and being an expert on surgery), after 16+ yrs in the sport (plus 4 years of college football) basically takes it toll on you...so as of this moment I'm looking to do some autograph conventions & the such til I heal up some and see what is possible...I'm a young 41 still!!
Richard: What was it like working under Jim Cornette and Smoky Mountain Wrestling when you were cutting your teeth in pro wrestling?
Scotty: I wrestled in SMW for Cornette only for a few months while traveling with Jake "The Snake" Roberts...The chance to wrestle men such as Chris Candido, Tracey Smothers, New Jack and others helped prepare my skills but it wasn't until Jan 1995 that Jerry "The King" Lawler brought me into the USWA in Memphis when I wrestled 7 times a week in 6 days (Sat morning TV & Nashville house show Sat night; Memphis Monday; Louisville Tuesday; Evansville, Indiana Wednesday; Thursday & Friday spot towns anywhere from Arkansas To Mississippi) that's where I really learned my wrestling skills...I competed there for 8 months, until I received my called to come back to WCW to be Marcus Bagwell's partner in August 1995.
Richard: There are some mixed feelings about Marcus Bagwell in the professional wrestling world, how did you feel about working with him in the short time you and he were a tag team in WCW?
Scotty: It was incredible chemistry to tag with Marcus...we clicked in the ring almost instantly from our first match in Orlando vs The Blue Bloods (Regal & Eaton) to when we won the WCW World Tag Team Titles vs Harlem Heat to wrestling in Germany on WCW tours as a team to even competing for New Japan Pro Wrestling on tours to Tokyo and all over Japan...I mean we traveled together, trained together, partied together, played golf together and if you add the Lex Luger & Sting as traveling, training, partying & golfing companions; it was basically a group chemistry that made us successful...and like real friends/brothers will do, we had our moments of disagreements and arguments but it made us better as a team...no matter what "others" say about Marcus, it's purely conjecture...I have all praise for my time tagging with and competing against BUFF!!
Richard: From your perspective what was it like working in WCW before, and after the arrival of Eric Bischoff and the boom of the Monday Night Wars with the WWE?
Scotty: Bischoff was in WCW for 90% of time I was there...actually it was Dusty Rhodes losing control as Booker and Bischoff's rise to power lead me to leave WCW in late 94...Arn Anderson gave me my best career advice at the time and that was to leave WCW before Bischoof took control, Arn told me I had untapped potential but to reach it I'd need to leave WCW and gain experience and exposure, otherwise I would get locked into a low position under Bischoff...so that's when I left and went to USWA...I came back and teamed with Bagwell under the hiring of Kevin Sullivan...of course this was at the time of NITRO's birth and on the 3rd NITRO ever won the WCW Tag Titles...then, NITRO & RAW exploded into the Monday night wars and that was a boom time in wrestling...at the beginning of things everyone was working for the success of the company...then the nWo hit, things boomed but also started a ton of back stage politics where starting to develop...which basically also lead to the demise of WCW....ego's tried to control the TV spotlight by engulfing the NITRO & THUNDER tv shows and then the Sat Night show suffered from lack of direction...the old talent brought in older talent to revive out-dated feuds and we even had "finger pokes of doom", WOW was that bad...all which lead to the environment of WCW to be ugly & selfish...Bischoff created the time of good but allowed the selfishness to develop also, until Russo came in and basically destroyed WCW...Bischoff tried to resurrect the downfall of WCW but it was to late, damage done...thank the good Lord above I was gone from WCW and developing in ECW at this time!!
Richard: If you were given a choice of being booked as a member of Raven's Flock or as a member of the nWo at the height of its popularity, which would you have chosen?
Scotty: That's easy, The FLOCK hands down...no egos and all wanting the group to succeed and we were NOT popular with the fans, hell we had legit heat with the fans...sitting ringside, I was constantly cussed and had stuff thrown at us ... especially after jumping and beating down crowd favorites like Chris Benoit or DDP...we even got into little skirmishes with fans as we left through the crowds...THAT WAS FUN...to really be hated meant we were doing our jobs right...all the while the nWo was supposed to be bad but all they wanted was to be cool...even Bagwell's big break in nWo never materialized as they kept him down as a mid carder for them and a 2nd tear tag team w/ Scott Norton...so, the FLOCK was a huge better choice over nWo for me personally!!
Richard: Do you think Raven's Flock was as popular with the fans as the nWo or any other major faction in WCW?
Scotty: The FLOCK was hated...as I said earlier we were truly booed and felt the fans wrath at times sitting ringside and IT WAS GREAT!!
Richard: In your short stint in ECW at the height of its popularity is there anything you would have done differently in the storyline that involved Rob Van Dam's Two Year Undefeated Streak?
Scotty: In my deal with turning on RVD and starting a feud with him was all Rob's idea...he knew that I had progressed in ability and our real life friendship which began in 1992 on small independent shows, made me the perfect culprit to be the one to cause his first loss...plus it was a PPV match (Hardcore Heaven from Milwaukee) vs Jerry Lynn, RVD's fan favorite nemesis...so we killed 2 birds with 1 stone: my heel turn and Lynn's victory over RVD in one match...It was an honor to be chosen by RVD to do this and believe me I owe him a big debt of gratitude for it as that elevated me to a top heel position.
Richard: Have you ever had any interest in working for the WWE?
Scotty: I had interest and they did have interest in me for a moment but I didn't want to become a goofy character like they wanted...WWE basically scripts everything like a movie production and they had full control of your use...I saw how they turned "Mr Ass" Billy Gunn of The New Age Outlaws of DX into "Billy loves Chuck & Chuck loves Billy" and my self respect couldn't allow that to happen...you just never knew how you would be treated by them (same reason Sting never went to work for WWE, couldn't trust them)
Richard: In terms of booking and other aspects of pro wrestling would you rather work for a major promotion like WCW or a smaller promotion like Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, where you had tremendous success?
Scotty: TCW...a Dusty Rhodes promotion was great for me cause I was blessed to work an 9 month program with Barry Windham to be his challenger for the TCW Heavyweight Title and eventual champion defeating Barry twice for the title...Barry graced me by teaching me how to be a companies main man, HEEL & CHAMPION, it was the best learning time of my life and we had fun doing it cause we wrestled 3-4 nights a week and learned...I carried on from that feud to a 3 month deal with Dustin Rhodes where he defeated me and I cheated to win back the TCW crown...I was the TCW Champion 3 times and held it for nearly a year & a half span...Dusty, even gave me my best "heel" complement, stating I worked a lot like the great heel "Tully Blanchard", he said my timing and ring attitude plus being able to carry a match reminded him of Tully in the NWA...WOW!! Big complement form Dusty...Plus, TCW was successful because like in ECW even, the talent took pride in putting on a first match to main event match show that profited the company...WCW was great before the ego's took over...but I will say one thing about WCW being owned by Ted Turner, the money was great & the checks never bounced!!
Richard: If you were given 200 million dollars and asked to create a new ECW or WCW, how would you do it and would you do things differently from guys like Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff?
Scotty: I would first hire Paul Heyman to be in full creative control of the wrestling side of the company, cause Paul is an evil genius in building a wrestling promotion...Paul was the only "boss" I wrestled for that sat me down day 1 and laid out an 8 month program for me and my character development...from being RVD's best friend to heel turn with "The Clap" gimmick (play off American Males) to tagging with Steve Corino and being apart of "The Network" to mess with the TNN Network (for real) and eventually turning Corino face for his solo run...Heyman's mind is a gift to pro wrestling BUT I would look to hire Eric Bischoff to be a business only runner of the company, cause he would be able to deal with the network executives for TV deals and PPV credibility (no on TV for Eric, to big an ego)...there I would have a cool combo of the wrestling being done by a master mind and the business done by a master manipulator (in a good way, ha)
You can follow Scotty Riggs on Twitter @REALScottyRiggs.
I want to personally thank Scotty Riggs for taking the time out of his hectic schedule to speak with me here on Kayfabe Kickout.
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