As noted, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were recently guests on WWE Network's Legends With JBL show. Among other things, 'The Outsiders' discussed why they left WWE and signed with WCW back in 1996, why Hall's WCW Monday Nitro debut was so successful, and WWE's trademark infringement lawsuit against WCW.
During the interview, Hall suggested that he left WWE because he saw his pay plateau. 'The Bad Guy' claimed that he went as far as to suggest different ways he could earn more money to Vince McMahon.
"Well, I felt like I've never been a mark about, like, winning or losing. I always viewed our business as a team sport and if you need me to block, so the other guy scores, cool, as long as we all get the Super Bowl ring."
Hall continued, "and at that time, it was a private company, so I went to Vince. I said, 'hey boss,' like [JBL] said, I said, 'is it my ringwork? Is it my mic skills?' He went, 'no, no, I'm happy with what you do.' I said, 'I'm curious because I feel like my pay has plateaued.' But I realize, at that time, to Vince, if you make more, it's literally coming out of his pocket. It's kind of like, 'um, no.' I said, 'listen, I'm not no mathematician, but I do look at the merchandise statements.' I said, 'if we move the decimal point a little bit, would the McMahon family notice it because the Hall family would.' And he went, 'nope, nope. Not going to do it. I'll give you the same thing I give Taker, and Big D, and Shawn [Michaels]. Nope, nope. Not going to do it.' I went, 'okay.' I knew I was going to meet with Vince, so I was prepared. I said, 'okay, okay,' because if a fan buys a Razor t-shirt, that's their money. Can I have more of that?' 'No.' 'I still want to work for you. Can I go to Japan like 10 - 12 weeks a year and get their money?' And he goes, 'well, I'm not going to say 'no' because I do let [Bob] Backlund go, but, haha, as soon as I had you over there, I'd need you here!' And I remember thinking, 'okay, like ouch, like no.'"
While Hall left WWE because of a glass ceiling, Nash stated that his wife was pregnant at the time and he wanted to get paid well.
"I left on the sixth, the sixth of June, and my son was born on the twelfth. And, we've done the starving artist. I'm ready to do the signed lithos. I want to get paid. I mean, I go to work to get paid. I'm a Detroit kid. That's what you do. You're brought up with that blue collar mentality."
According to Hall, the early success of the nWo faction was due to the perception of many fans that Hall and Nash were sent by WWE to invade WCW. Hall attributed the shoot presentation of his Nitro debut on May 27, 1996 to Larry Zybsko.
"The night I debuted and came through the crowd, I'm going to give props to Larry Zbyszko. He helped me a lot in the AWA days and he was the one because Bischoff would have had them play ring music and send me down the aisle and I would have done it because 'anything you want, brother.' And [Zybsko] went, 'no, no, he [has] got to come through the crowd. He doesn't work here!' And that's what, to me, made it work. And he said, 'and when he gets to the ring, he doesn't beat the other guys up. He just goes to the mic and they stop working because it becomes a shoot.'"
On WWE's trademark infringement suit against WCW, Hall said the most recognizable thing about his character was his face and he owns his face. Hall went on to say that WWE's introduction of the fake Razor Ramon made him he feel like the popularly impersonated iconic musician Elvis Presley.
"I just remember thinking, 'the most recognizable features about my character is my face, so I feel like I own that.' And then, shortly after all that, the lawsuit went on from day one, but then, when the fake Razor and the fake Diesel debuted, it was pretty much kind of like, 'okay, like, done deal, like, that's Razor and Diesel. We're 'The Outsiders'. Gene Okerlund called us 'The Outsiders', so we didn't have to have names."
Hall recalled, "I heard they auditioned guys for it. They used Kane because similar body types and stuff like that. I heard that they made guys audition because you had to do the schtick to be Razor. I felt like Elvis. I felt like I had an impersonator."
Nash divulged that it was his idea for 'The Outsiders' to go by their real names on WCW programming.
"I remember [Eric] Bischoff trying to come up with a name that was kind of like Diesel. I was like, 'how about, like, Hall and Nash?'"
Also during the show, Nash admitted that he and Hall got raises because Bischoff feared that they were going back to WWE. Apparently, the two were flown to Atlanta, Georgia and presented contracts at a sports bar located in the CNN Center.
"We got in this corner booth and they basically just put paperwork in front of us. We had like 30 months when we first came there and now it's five years. And they're like, 'you're not going to pull this on us.' And we just sat there and we went [to sign the contracts]."
Nash recalled that he and Hall watched the WWE debuts of the fake Razor Ramon and fake Diesel with Bischoff and WCW Vice President Nick Lambros, who believed that Hall and Nash were returning to WWE.
"The day they're going to debut Razor and Diesel and at the back of the TV, the production trucks, there's a monitor and RAW was on it. So Scott's standing here. I'm standing here. Bischoff is here. Lambros is here. And the next segment is Diesel and Razor and they're looking at us, like, waiting for us [to somehow appear on WWE TV simultaneously]. Like, how is this going to happen? Like, is it's something that's filmed [in advance] because they still weren't live. This is one of the taped shows."
To check out the show, subscribe to WWE Network. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Legends With JBL with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.