Scotty Riggs Discusses His Health Issues, Gives Update On Buff Bagwell, Talks Heyman & Bischoff
I went, 'You're going to yank what you just gave me and want me to come back and work, in a sense, just as much but not having anything guaranteed? So, if I get hurt, I'm screwed?' The one thing that happened is that I did have a few injuries where I separated my shoulder and kept trying to work and stuff like that but was basically told to take time off. 'You're getting paid anyway, take some time off and heal. Make your appearances like we need you to do but you don't have to wrestle.'
So, I'm like, 'Now, all of a sudden, you take away all of my security? You want me to be happy about it? No.' So, basically, when I turned down their deal, they said that they were about to let me go. I said, 'Well, fine. I want to leave anyway.' It was not a happy place to work. When they started bringing all these guys and everything started getting re-done and everybody had to be a certain persona -- like, me with he mirror was not the happiest of times but it was something that they wanted me to do. [Laughs.]
Going to ECW and working with Paul Heyman: The funny thing was that I was living in Atlanta and ECW actually came in to do a show at Center Stage. I had been good friends with Rob Van Dam for a long time. Since '93, we really had known each other. We had talked and had phone calls and traveled and everything for a long time. We just kept in touch.
With him and some of the guys coming into town, Rob was like, 'Why don't you just come to the show?' So, I came in and the first guys I really bumped into was Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman. They kind of pulled me aside and said, 'Hey, we'd love for you to come here. Do you have a clause where you can't do this or you can't do that?' I said, 'I'm still receiving paychecks for X amount of weeks from these guys. Tommy said, 'Well, I don't want to mess that up for you but we want you in here.'
If I hadn't gone to that show, I might have sent out feelers to WWF. But, at the time, Tommy, Paul and Rob said, 'Hey, I want to bring Scotty in. We can do this thing together.' So, it was kind of like they automatically reached out to me and it was just by chance that I had gone to that show. Just to see the guys and watch the event. The next thing I know, that's where I was wanted before anybody else really had a chance to grab me.
I got a nice little pay day coming from them for a little while at least so I couldn't complain. It was a schedule I liked and it was still a wrestling viable thing. I was always hesitant about WWE because you just never knew how they were going to use you. You went in there and you had to re-establish yourself which I didn't even mind doing, but you just never knew what they were going to do to you. When they took Mr. Ass and put him with Chuck Polumbo and had 'Chuck loves Billy' and 'Billy Loves Chuck,' I went, 'Wow. They can do that to a guy that was a part of the D-Generation X and really helped establish that era? Then turn him into this kind of hokey thing. What are they going to do to anybody else?'
You just never knew what they were going to do to you or how they were going to use you.Were they going to use you for a short period of time and then get rid of you? Did they want to use you for a long period of time and never let you do anything? It was just one of those things where there was a whole bunch of uncertainty there. Unless you were one of the top guys, there was an uncertainty there.
I had the fact of going to ECW where I knew a lot of the guys because I had met them and talked to them along the way. I was great friends with Rob so I knew that decent things were going to be happening with me there. Paul Heyman actually sat down and said, 'This is the way I want to use you and for a six month period of time.' Then, he went through a-b-c-d-e-f and g with me. The funny thing was when I actually sat with him and started working with him, that's exactly what happened.