Scotty Riggs was on WCW’s side during the Monday Night Wars – first as one-half of The American Males and then as a member of Raven’s Flock. Pro wrestling of the 90s is much different than what it is today and Riggs was asked about the current wrestling landscape when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily.
“The fans put themselves in different niches where you’re a WWE fan so you like sports entertainment. Or, you’re a New Japan fan so you like strong style. They box themselves in instead of being able to enjoy a match. They like a product better than they like the wrestling,” said Riggs.
“I can watch Raw and just enjoy the matches because the talent they have is great. But unfortunately, there’s a repetitive formula to a match and it’s a TV style instead of a house show style.”
Riggs says that approach has flip flopped as when he was performing, they relied more on a house show style.
“WWE has got FOX and AEW’s got TNT behind it. Impact has AXS TV and New Japan is searching for someone to work with. So, it’s become more of a TV show now,” stated Riggs. “When I was growing up, wrestling was on my TV. Now it’s a TV show about wrestling.”
Even with that, Riggs is a fan of some of the current performers out there in both WWE and AEW.
“I’ve become a big fan of the AEW product because it reminds him of WCW,” said Riggs. “I’m a huge Finn Balor fan but I wish he would stay more on Raw. I loved him in New Japan. The Anderson and Gallows of New Japan ? I wish they would have transferred that over with AJ Styles.
“Moxley is great now that he’s not under the reins of WWE production. I like it when you can look at the wrestling and get lost in the wrestling and believe what’s going on instead of it just being entertainment and let’s all go home happy. I’m in the old school mentality as I want it to leave me a little pissed off, I don’t wanna leave happy.”
He noted that in WCW they would always leave someone laying at the end of Nitro and that’s how they were able to keep heat.
“Now you don’t have that edge to your emotions anymore. AEW is kinda grasping that a little more and I think that’s from Cody Rhodes and what Dusty taught him. He’s brought that edge back and guys like Kenny Omega and The Bucks learned in New Japan to bring that edge to the product. I like them a little better because it has the edge to them while WWE, those guys are just so athletic that the stuff they do is so phenomenal,” stated Riggs.
He also complimented Randy Orton and his approach in the ring in the way that he’s able to draw fans in.
“I’m a huge fan of Orton because he’s so methodical. He doesn’t rush or let the fans dictate what he does. He will slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up if the match needs it,” Riggs said.
He then praised the Orton – Edge segment and said that even with Edge’s neck issues, he could still have at least 2-3 very good matches with Orton because he can safely work with him.
“You want 100 Randy Ortons on your roster ? guys who can go out and put on matches that fans can believe in. You can trust him and nobody’s gonna get hurt,” stated Riggs.
“He makes everything mean something. He draws you in so well? The thing is that Randy Orton will never sit there and tell you that he and Edge are great friends. He’s just doing this for you to buy tickets?. Randy Orton is saying, ‘Buy tickets so I can feed my family.’ He’s not wanting you to watch him just do moves as he wants to make a living by drawing you in to what he’s doing. That a master of his craft.
“Some wrestlers are telling you that everything they’re doing is just to entertain you. Orton is going, ‘I want you to know that everything I’m doing is to hurt Edge.’ ?And that’s what draws you in.”
You can follow Scotty Riggs on Twitter @realscottyriggs. Riggs’ full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: