Scotty Riggs Talks The Monday Night Wars, Working For Eric Bischoff, Rise And Fall Of WCW
You almost didn't want to give your ideas because you knew it was going to be given to somebody else. You almost just wanted to bite your lip and go, 'What's in the air for me now,' and, 'At least I'm getting a guaranteed paycheck.' [Laughs.] That's what everybody was dealing with at the time. You just kind of went with the flow and you just dealt with what was given to you.
WrestlingINC: Did you think that things were going to change when Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara came in?
Riggs: That's actually when things got even worse. They came in with a bunch of hype of being the guys that made Raw. At the time, yeah, they did help spark a one hour program and having every minute count. All of a sudden, they had a three hour program where they tried to do the exact same thing with what they called their crash TV. It went from one segment to another segment and it didn't have no overlap and nothing made any sense.
Wrestling fans just sat back and said, 'OK. We just went from The Misfits to an nWo segment to a match that had no meaning, with Prince Iaukea who is known the Wrestler Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea. [Laughs.] Nothing made sense because there was no overlapping theme because it was their way of keeping your attention. But you can't keep everybody attentive for three straight hours. Instead of giving them good, solid wrestling like we used to do when we have the talent to do it -- you just went, 'Wow!'
All of a sudden, Ed Ferrara became Oklahoma. You could tell these guys were not doing anything to make WCW better. They were using it as a vehicle to say, 'Hey, Vince. You fired us but we got hired here so we're now going to poke fun at you and poke fun at your employees.' Everything became poking fun at somebody.
They were poking the sleeping bear, which was WWF, by going, 'Hey, we're going to use your personas in our TV show.' Ehh. Why would you do that? Create your own identity. Don't make fun of somebody else's.
Wrestling fans aren't stupid. It was a Southern-based wrestling company and all of a sudden, it turned into a TV show. They're not going to stick with you. Well, everybody knew WWF was a TV show that was based on wrestling. They had characters and skits. They had images and their wrestling was solid, but it wasn't the highlight of their show. WCW highlight was the great technical wrestling you got and your personas -- which were powerful with a Sting or a Flair -- they're the most powerful personas in a wrestling venue.
The Horsemen. Those guys, just as a group, had the most powerful influence and the fans believed them. All because they knew how to wrestle. They put on great wrestling and great stories. You watched the match instead of having to watch a skit or story.
WrestlingINC: Weren't they were trying to recycle Lex Luger's WWF gimmick with you?
Riggs: In a sense, yeah. I went from being an American Male, a clean cut good looking kid to being apart of the Flock which was a grunge-type, dirty looking gimmick. The funny thing was that I got more attention with either fans or chicks by being a part of that grunge factor, by being a part of that darker image than I did being the pretty boy. Then, when they disbanded the Flock -- which was a very political thing (because) we were getting more heat than the nWo was and a few guys just didn't like the fact that we were actually hated.