Scott Hall is the latest guest on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Podcast. Hall, who was promoting a recent appearance for Fight the World Wrestling in Deer Park, NY, talked to PWI Senior Writer Al Castle on a host of topics, including his son Cody's blossoming wrestling career in Japan, the importance of wrestling magazines in helping wrestlers get over in the 80s and 90s, and passing on some of his knowledge to the next generation of wrestling stars.
When the topic turned to the recent controversy regarding accusations of bullying backstage in WWE, Hall defended John Layfield as a "class act" and "gentleman," but acknowledged that the WWE locker room can be a tough environment for some.
"Obviously, I'm against bullying, but it does happen. The business has changed so much since I came in it. When I came in, there wasn't a bunch of women wrestlers. There was maybe one or two who came in a couple months a year. Now in the locker room, there's women. It's much more politically correct than it was when I started," Hall said. "So I think the bullying stuff—that's not tolerated anywhere. So it certainly can't be tolerated in the wrestling business."
However, Hall added that he hoped there was still a place for good-natured "ribbing" in wrestling locker rooms, which he said allows wrestlers to blow off steam during an often-monotonous work day.
"Everybody's going to have their own tolerance toward ribbing, or bullying or whatever. If somebody's more sensitive, then you can't rib them as much . . . The whole thing is you don't rub guys you don't like. You rib guys you do like. And then you're there for them to rib back," Hall said. "A lot of times on the road, the grind is so much that we'd just try to amuse ourselves by doing stuff like that."
Hall said while he's get a kick out of tying a wrestler's boot laces together or turning off the lights while someone was in the bathroom, he believed more mean-spirited ribs were "out of bounds."
"It's like when you find out a guy's room number then you go down to the bar and buy drinks for everybody and then you go, 'Hey, just charge the drinks to my room,' and put his room number down. To me, that's funny," Hall said. "I might charge a bunch of drinks to your room, but I'm not going to steal your passport."
Castle and PWI Senior Writer Dan Murphy discussed the bullying controversy further in the latest PWI Podcast, which also includes analysis of WWE's recent roster-shake up and a look inside the current and forthcoming issues of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. The entire podcast can be streamed at pwi-online.com or downloaded on iTunes.