During a recent episode of the Oh… You Didn’t Know? podcast with WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg, former WWE referee Scott Armstrong joined the show to talk about things such as his family’s legacy, his favorite match he’s ever refereed, and his involvement in the WrestleMania 30 main event.
Scott Armstrong also mentioned how he was working for a furniture store after being let go by WCW after the Monday Night Wars, and thought his career in wrestling was over. The former WWE ref mentioned how Umaga came into the store and immediately offered to get him a tryout with John Laurinaitis. After getting signed to WWE as a referee for ECW, Scott Armstrong detailed how refereeing a one-off SmackDown match between Natalya and Victoria ultimately led to him getting signed full-time to the WWE.
“In my mind, I was already doomed and there sat Victoria and Nattie,” Scott said, as he walked into Laurinaitis’ office after the match. “[John Laurinaitis said], ‘The girls said you were their referee and you helped them out a lot.’ He said, ‘Thank you, ladies. Scott, you stay here with me.’ Man, he doubled my money and made me a SmackDown referee right then and there, and I started into the whole referee gimmick and was very fortunate to be able to do some ‘Mania main event stuff with Triple H and stuff. When people ask me, I think of Umaga, Nattie, and Victoria.
“I’m a believer, so I believe God puts people in your path that he wants in your path. Umaga and those two girls, those two girls changed [my life]. My wife was already saying, ‘Hey, so, I think you’re making as much money at the furniture store as you were at ECW.’ I said, ‘No, the furniture store is great but I love wrestling.’ I don’t care if it wasn’t paying anything, I would’ve done it. I love it and I still do.”
Continuing to talk about his time with the WWE, Scott Armstrong also talked about his brief one-year release from the company in 2010. The former referee said he needed a reality check at that time, and revealed that when the company did bring him back, it was at the bottom of the pay scale.
“I was just an idiot running my mouth and acting a fool,” Scott said. “You think at the time, I’m the best ref in the history of the business, there’s no way they can get rid of me. Every referee there was sure glad I was gone. I had just become a nuisance, and you’ve got to grow up. I didn’t get hired there until I was 45-years-old. You don’t hire anybody until they’re 45 to put in front of the camera, you hire that guy to be behind the camera. I had just run my course and I had to sit at home for a little while. About 10 and a half months later, I got a phone call saying, ‘Hey, would you be interested? Your names come back up.’
“When they brought me back, I started at the very bottom of the pay scale and had to prove myself like I was a rookie, the first time ever being in the business. I kept my mouth shut and did the very best I could, and you go forward. After a couple of years, I guess I put my name out there and said I’d be interested in producing too if that’s available at any time. It was probably two years after that when I was approached and they said, ‘I’d like you to start sitting in on production meetings, and in the meantime, we’re going to write you off the TV show.’ Referees didn’t get written off the TV show, referees didn’t get written about at all.”
After spending 15-years with the WWE, Scott Armstrong was released by the company along with his brother Brian [Road Dogg] in January. Talking about his release, Armstrong said he doesn’t hold any ill-will towards the WWE for the move and is thankful for all the great memories and moments the company provided him.
“Look, corporate downsizing, I get it,” Scott said. “It’s a multi-billion dollar [company], I get it. At the end of the day, in every lifetime, they find a guy that’s 30 that will do it for a quarter of the money. They realize, oh hey, you had your run and thanks for coming. Hey look, I have nothing but a thank you for everything. For somebody that just loves the business as I do, I got injured early in my career, and me and my new wife sold tickets. I was the ring announcer for Continental for a little while. I wrestled, I refereed, and I was a producer. I was able to do everything in this business that I could ever want to do. At the same time, 35 years in this business, married to the same woman, put two kids through college, and got an awesome four-year-old grandson.
“To the business, I just say thank you. Look at the ups and the downs, that’s just life you’re going to have that with any company, 7-Eleven, the mall, it doesn’t matter. Life hits you hard sometimes and hands you roses sometimes. At least I got to do it when I was young and really enjoyed it. I got to ride camels at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids, man, thanks to wrestling. The places I’ve been and the things I’ve done, I can’t say anything but thank you and I’m totally grateful. It’s been the ride of a lifetime.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oh… You Didn’t Know? with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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