WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels recently spoke with Sports Illustrated to discuss the passing of Scott Hall.
During the interview, “The Heartbreak Kid” commented on the first time he met Hall, his matches with him, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On first meeting Hall: “I was 19-just-turning-20 when I met Scott. And the first time we met was when we were in the ring together … Scott’s name was Coyote, and I want to say the name of that tag team was American Starship with Danny Spivey. During the match, I had a double backdrop and I remember Scott saying to me, ‘I’d never seen anyone go so high.’”
On his matches with Hall: “Scott got such a kick out of me selling for him. He’d been working with Bulldog Bob Brown and Rufus R. Jones, and I mean no disrespect to those men, but Scott hadn’t worked with many smaller, underneath, selling babyfaces. He just thought that was the neatest thing in the world. That’s when we realized, holy cow, this stuff can be really easy if I just get beat up, and then I finally beat him up when I get the chance later on.”
On Hall changing the way bigger guys worked in the ring: “Scott was 6’7″, 275 pounds, and I’m being conservative—he’d be mad at me if I got his weight wrong—yet I’d knock him down with a tackle. He’d work with me the same way [Chris] Jericho would and the same way Bret [Hart] would. He didn’t work the big-man gimmick. He had done that earlier in his career, and he felt that limited him. By the time he got to WWE, he decided he wasn’t going to do that … I can still hear him in the car, sitting in the backseat, going, ‘Hey, how come the biggest guy in the territory avoids contact? Then I’d turn to Kevin and say, ‘He’s right.’ He had these nuggets of wisdom, and so much of that was from his time being around old-timers and listening and absorbing. Scott was laid back and quiet, but he’d listen and absorb. He was effortless in the ring. He had great psychology. He always tilted the story to his opponents. It’s just he wasn’t a big talker about it. Scott was never tooting his own horn about his ideas creatively and his ideas conceptually in a match.”
On their ladder match: “Back then, we didn’t know to even think we’d possibly break the ladder or that we’d need a backup. There was only one. We were so used to calling it in the ring. Scott remembered calling that heat spot outside the ring when he lifted up the pad. Everyone couldn’t believe we called so much of it on the fly. But we’d worked with each other for long enough that we knew where the other was going and never had to say a word. We weren’t aware, at that time, of what we were creating. We wanted to create something special and tear the house down. But we never had the depth to think it would be historic or stand the test of time.”
On the friendship among the Kliq: “For all five of us, all that mattered was that we had each other. I was young and brash back then, and not everyone appreciated that. I remember Scott saying, ‘If someone’s going to whip your a–, he’s going to have to whip both our a—-.’ We looked out for one another. I mean, we grew up together. I wasn’t even 21 when we met. I was still getting carded and couldn’t get into bars. Scott would sneak stuff out to me. We were with each other all the time. The business was everything to us, and that friendship was equally important. And we thought, if we could all do this together, how cool would that be? We became family.”
On how Hall never needed to be world champion: “The title can put you in a box creatively because it becomes all about the title. Scott generated his own excitement and made himself an attraction. He created his own greatness. The NWO, he never made that about him. He never had to. Scott used to say, ‘I don’t need to be No. 1. I just need mine.’ So Scott was always that guy. The one that was consistent, who didn’t need all the glory or all the fame, the one who was always in the mix. Creatively, he wanted to be free.”
On speaking with Hall via FaceTime before he passed: “We wanted to let him know that we were there for him. We had the opportunity, one more time, to tell him how much we loved him. A long time ago, we decided that we were going to be there for each other. If we were wrong, then we’d be wrong together. You hear the term ‘I have your back,’ but when the rubber hits the road, that doesn’t always happen. We weren’t perfect, but we made that commitment to do it till the end. It was like a marriage, and it stuck. And that’s what makes this so hard.”