STEVE AUSTIN UNLEASHED
HOST: “STONE COLD” STEVE AUSTIN
GUEST: SCOTT HALL
RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 17, 2015
Report by Andrew Fierro, PWPodcasts reporter
TOP ITEMS FROM SHOW
– Scott Hall’s overall sounding healthy. This is far the biggest point for me.
– Stories of working with Shawn Michaels pre-WWF careers.
– Great discussion about a six-man tag Hall worked alongside Curt Hennig & Sgt. Slaughter against the Faboulous Freebirds
– Interesting notes about working in Europe and Japan. Different rules and cultures lead to different approaches on how to work a match properly.
– The quotes from Vince McMahon the two bring up throughout the second half of the podcast.
– Talks about Scott Hall’s first WCW run and the creation of the Diamond Deathdrop, which would later become known as the Razor’s Edge.
TOPICS DISCUSSED (w/Time Stamps)
(0:00) – Podcast opens with ads
(1:22) – The ad ends, and the actual podcast begins w/ Austin introducing this week’s podcast.
(3:44) – Austin discusses a recent photoshoot and photography in general.
(6:50) – Austin sets up this week’s podcast.
(11:20) – Austin leads into a discussion about last week’s podcast with Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
(14:20) – Austin introduces Scott Hall, the two get into the hall’s beginnings in the business.
(21:40) – The two discuss Hall’s tag teaming with Dan Spivey, the two being collectively known as American Starship.
(23:35) – The two go on to talk about Hall joining the AWA and becoming “Magnum” Scott Hall
(26:30) – Scott Hall talk about teaming with Curt Henning.
(31:40) – Hall tells a story about working an early match with Shawn Michaels at Madison Square Garden.
(32:41) – The two segue into discussing favorite venues to work.
(35:18) – The two return to talking about working with Curt Henning
(32:41) – The two move on in Hall’s career to his time spent in Europe and Japan.
(41:55) – Hall tells a story of working with Tony Blanchard.
(43:16) – Discussion about a “Sell Intensity” sign Hall sees in the guerilla position at a WWE event.
(43:53) – The two discuss Jerry Lawler.
(46:40) – The two have a talk about bumping.
(48:22) – Hall talks about training his son.
(50:55) – The two discuss Hall’s sarcastic behavior and people skills.
(52:49) – Austin asks Hall how important being paid was to him wrestling.
(54:20) – The two move forward with stories about Hall shooting vignette’s with Vince McMahon for the Razor Ramon character.
(55:50) – Razor brings up the national news making steroid scandal that plagued the WWF as well as his role in the trials.
(56:30) – Austin talks about his experiences shooting “Stone Cold” early vignettes.
(57:57) – The two backtrack to when Hall left NWA
(1:03:51) – The two move forward to Hall’s time in New Japan.
(1:06:04) – Hall talks about his first WCW experience, wrestling as “The Diamond Studd”.
(1:13:52) – Hall talks about the beginnings of The Diamond Deathdrop (Later to become known as The Razor’s Edge)
(1:16:08) – Austin wraps up the podcast.
(1:17:38) – Austin’s Match of the Week.
(1:28:00) – Show ends.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM DISCUSSION
Austin opens the show from Lake Hartwell, Georgia this week.
The day of the podcast marks the first day off from filming for Austin. Filming had ended the night prior at 3:30 a.m.
Austin talks about a photoshoot he had earlier in the day. He talks about how he hates taking photos (though is quick to correct himself by saying he enjoys talking photos with fans).
Austin discusses his podcast with Jake Roberts the week prior and talks about how much he enjoyed the podcast.
Encouraging to hear, Austin says that Scott Hall looks “phenomenal”. He goes on to say “You saw him at his worst, right now he is at his best”. Austin talks about wishing his Wrestlemania 18 match with Hall was under better circumstances.
Austin returns to discussing Jake Roberts and talks about how Roberts’s demons costing him his career. He goes on to talk about the DDP Yoga Performance Center and “The Resurrection of Jake Roberts” documentary. Screenings of the documentary are being scheduled and will include a Q&A section with Diamond Dallas Page, Roberts and Hall.
Hall is introduced and is said to be looking 100 percent.
The two immediately go into Hall’s past, starting with training with Hiro Matsuda. Hall trained alongside Tony Blanchard. Hiro would train the prospective wrestlers without the use of the ring. Hiro would always work people hard and would work alongside them. With the high expectations, Hall arrived in shape.
The move on to working with Barry Windham. Hall mentions how he took his first bump working with Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo.
Despite not having a match yet, this lead to Dusty Rhodes reaching out to Hall to tell him to meet him in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The two talk about how aspiring wrestlers learned back then. “There was no NXT. The way you learned then was watching. You go to the building. You get there early and maybe a guy would show you a thing or two”.
Hall talks about having the look but being too green when first beginning.
Hall expresses being upset that Dusty Rhodes and the Charlotte territory were “down”. There didn’t seem to be time to school Hall. As a result, Hall begged Dusty to be sent to Kansas City so he could be part of more matches and subsequently make more money (technically he was making much less per match, but making up for it by having more matches per week).
Hall talks about meeting Shawn Michaels in Kansas City and how he road tripped with Shawn on a trip to Des Moines, Iowa. He goes on to talk about even when Shawn was jobbing, he would be the one calling the matches to the wrestler that he was jobbing to. “He was that good”, Scott Hall quips.
The podcast moves on to Hall being placed in a tag team with Dan Spivey, with the two of them being collectively known as American Starship and Scott Hall being known as Starship Coyote. Hall had no clue what American Starship was meant to be, but said that the intentions were for the two to be their territory’s version of The Road Warriors. The idea was simple, “Two big muscleheads”.
Despite being placed in a tag team, Hall always preferred working as a singles wrestler, as did Austin.
The conversation moves on to Hall working in AWA. He is repackaged as “Magnum” Scott Hall. There’s a humorous story about why he’s given the moniker “Magnum” and how it caused friction between him and Barry Windham. Scott Hall is given the name without being made aware of it ahead of time. The name is bestowed on him by a ring announcer known as Lord James Blears before a match at the Showboat Casino in Las Vegas. Years later, when joining WCW with Kevin Nash, the “Magnum” name would make Scott Hall be the butt of a backstage joke worth hearing.
The two continue to Scott Hall’s time working with the late, great Curt Henning. There’s a very interesting story involving the two working a six-man tag alongside Sgt. Slaughter to face the team of The Fabulous Freebirds.
Scott Hall talks working heel. He talks about how a wrestler shouldn’t change their moveset just because they’ve become a heel, stating it’s the personality that makes a good heel.
The two talk about a time when Scott Hall and Shawn Michaels worked a match at Madison Square Garden. At the time, the two men were both wrestling as heels. The two talked before the match and discussed how they would handle it if the crowd chose to cheer Scott Hall as opposed to the more “pretty boy” Michaels.
This moves the conversation to both men talking about their favorite venues to work in. Unsurprisingly, Madison Square Garden ranks high for both men. Hall makes mention how prior to the Hulk Hogan Appreciation Night that took place February of this year, the last time he performed at MSG was the night of the infamous “Curtain Call”. While a lot has been said over the years regarding that night, it’s surprising the two don’t touch on the night further. Instead, an ad plays next.
When the ad finishes, the two quickly discuss Curt Henning a little more before turning to Scott Hall’s time in Europe.
The rule set is very different and treated more-so like a legitimate contest. Hall goes over how the territory would use yellow and red cards similarly to those found in soccer. Surprisingly, wrestlers would get fined for breaking the rules. There’s a very humorous anecdote about how fans would treat a babyface being fined.
The podcast would move to Hall’s time in Japan. Scott talks about working with Dick Murdoch and goes on to a great lesson he learned while working a tag match and how it essentially becomes a shoot.
He also talks about working with Tony Blanchard giving him advice. Blanchard gives the advice not because he was rooting for him, but because he didn’t want Hall killing the crowd before Blanchard’s match.
The two move to more recent times as Hall talks about a sign he saw while backstage at a recent WWE event. The sign reads “Sell Intensity” and Hall expresses his thoughts on the quote.
The two discuss working with Jerry “The King” Lawler at separate times. Austin tells a fun story about working with Lawler while Austin was still very green.
The two then talk about Hall’s sarcastic personality and make mention of getting along with everyone backstage.
There’s talk about proper payscale. Interestingly, Hall says he was never in it for money. He was much more concerned with the lifestyle that came with wrestling.
The conversations switches to the Razor Ramon gimmick, which McMahon loved. This is a very entertaining portion of the podcast as the two discuss items McMahon taught the two of them while each were shooting vignettes for their respective personas. The two remark how McMahon never says things by accident, how everything has meaning.
Topics change to the unfortunate steroid scandal that became national news during Hall’s WWF run. Hall talks about how he was being prepped for his role in the trial, but how it ultimately never came to be.
While Austin attempts to start a conversation about Hall’s first WCW run, the talk instead moves back to his time in NWA. The two discuss how the company would hold battle royals for a spot to face Nick Bockwinkle for the championship the next time the promotion returned to the town.
At this point, Hall knew he was planning on leaving NWA and refused to win the battle royal as he knew he wouldn’t be with the company when the promotion returned.
The two have a short conversation in which Hall blames Ric Flair for popularizing the flat back bump. He claims that the bump would go on to cause Hall back pains later in his career.
Talks move to Hiro Matsuda connecting Scott Hall with New Japan. The two discuss how Japan’s crowds are different than American ones and how wrestlers approached this differently.
As the podcast moves Hall’s first run in WCW. At the time, Hall says, he was thinking about leaving the business to start a family and to get a “real job”.
The two talk about the origin him being called “Diamond Studd”. This moves into the two talking about what lead to Scott Hall changing to his trademark appearance by shaving his mustache and dying his hair dark.
Scott Hall also talks about how during the time he was signing with WCW, he had been obsessively trying to contact Pat Patterson for a WWE run. His yearlong hopes of a return call came at the worst time, right after signing with the rival promotion.
With the birth of Diamond Studd, Austin and Hall move to his finisher known as The Diamond Deathdrop. This move would go on to be better known as the Razor’s Edge. After discussing how the move came to be, Austin asks if he had ever been on the receiving end of the move. Hall humorously responds, “No, I gave you the stunner.”.
This is where the podcast awkwardly ends without notice. The podcast moves to an ad before Austin can close out the show. With this being a two part interview, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be a proper signoff by the pair, but the conclusion still seems to come out of nowhere.
Before closing out the show Austin plugs The Broken Skull Challenge, ProWrestleingTees.com and his social media accounts.
This week’s Match of the Week is one between Ric Flair and Barry Windham on 4-11-1987. Austin is watching the clip as he suggests it and for a prolonged amount of time starts to call the match as he watches it, showing a lot of excitement towards the competition between the two.
“He wasn’t in a good place. I wasn’t in a good place I wish I could have given him the best of Stone Cold Steve Austin and I didn’t.” – Steve Austin prior to introducing Scott Hall
“I was too big to do jobs and too green to go over” – Scott Hall on his beginnings in the business
“I just wanted to be over in Florida so maybe I could meet chicks” – Scott Hall on his original intentions in wrestling.
“…and Vince was loving the gimmick because he’s never seen Scarface…” – Scott Hall on McMahon’s thoughts on the Razor Ramon character.
“There’s a difference between demanding attention and commanding attention” – One of a few great lines the two bring up from conversations with Vince McMahon.
SCORE & REVIEW
8.5 out of 10: Much like last week’s podcast with Jake “The Snake” Roberts, this is a wonderful look back at one of the best ring psychologists to ever grace a ring. Scott Hall sounds to be in remarkable shape and those who have followed him over the last few years will find it truly enlightening to hear him in such high spirits and good health. While last week’s show might have not interested the more casual fan, this week’s episode has more something for everyone. The inclusion of stories with more recognizable names will appeal to a larger audience. The biggest take away, aside from Hall’s personality, has to be the teachings Hall acquired throughout the years from greats such as Hiro Matsuda, Shawn Michaels and Curt Henning. The biggest lessons come from none other than Vince McMahon, however. While I have included a personal favorite in the Top Quotes section above, other great lines are littered throughout the second half of Hall’s portion of the podcast and show the true genius that McMahon possesses when at his best. As mentioned, Hall’s personality shines through during the entirety of the podcast. You can just hear how happy he is. Fans who have followed him throughout the years will find themselves equally as happy throughout the podcast. Much like Roberts the week before, Hall clearly is someone who has an amazing amount of knowledge to share with the wrestlers of today and aspiring grapplers worldwide. My one real gripe with this one is the two seem to jump topics back and forth a bit too much. The choice to make this a two part podcast was an intelligent one as Hall clearly has more to tell. The cut off for part one comes without warning and, for better or worse, leaves the listener wanting more. I highly recommend fans of Scott Hall to give some attention to this podcast with “The Bad Guy” as this looks to be a highly enjoyable two-parter.