Earlier this year when WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall passed away, tons of memories were shared from throughout his storied career. Today on the anniversary of his monumental Monday Nitro debut, we look back at how this moment ushered in a new era in pro wrestling.
In 1996, I personally had just become a pro wrestling newsletter subscriber and was fascinated by all the behind-the-scenes information that was out there in the pre-Internet era. The buzz had already been around for months about Scott Hall’s contract being up and the infamous Kliq curtain call had already taken place, but still, the way Scott Hall debuted on WCW TV set the tone for WCW to become the number one wrestling promotion in the country.
Had WCW promoted a new star arriving, had a huge entrance and presentation for his debut, and even put Scott Hall right into the title picture, things just wouldn’t have worked out as they did. Over the years Scott Hall has credited Larry Zbyszko for the idea of having Hall come through the crowd, treating the incident as a legitimate invasion. Seeing Scott hall walk through the crowd as a match was going on, and not even a meaningful one at that (no offense to Mike Enos or Steven Dunn), and proceed to grab the mic as the match in the ring just abruptly ended all added to the effect. Had Hall ran in and attacked Sting, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, etc., it would’ve been “OK former WWF guy is here and now he’s going to feud with so and so.) This came off as Razor Ramon on WCW TV, and no one knew why.
The promo Scott Hall cut felt like he was retaliating for all the trash WCW had talked about WWF in the prior year. He played up the “Billionaire Ted” skits that had run on WWF TV which had openly mocked WCW. Then Hall alluded to a “war,” insinuating that the WWF was going to get their revenge on WCW. Of course, Hall had actually signed with WCW, and there was even some legal trouble over the next couple of years with WWF claiming WCW was using their characters for their own storyline…and it did kind of feel that way.
The buzz of a “WWF guy” on WCW TV, the hints at what was to come, this was the moment that sparked major interest in what was happening in WCW and what would happen next. Scott Hall grabbed the attention WCW sorely needed and brought his legendary cool factor which is another area WCW was sorely lacking at the time.
Check out the historic moment below that Scott Hall (or like Razor Ramon to many watching live) appeared on WCW Monday Nitro for the first time: