Former WWE star/coach Scott Garland (Scotty 2 Hotty) recently spoke with Fightful Select for an interview to be released soon. He talked about how he was used by WWE early in his career to help them assess other talents.
Garland recalled how in 1992 he began working enhancement matches for WWE, under the Scott Taylor name. He did this for around 6 years, and made a strong impression on company officials.
Garland said that he knew he was WWE’s go-to guy when they started defaulting to him to have matches against other hopefuls such as ECW Originals Taz and Sabu. He even recalled getting flown to Quebec to replace an injured Marty Jannetty at a WWE live event.
“I understood that if they’re using me in this role for these guys multiple times—and those are just the two that come to mind, right?—that they must see something in me if I’m their go-to guy. I’m not under contract, flying me to Quebec to do live events because Marty Jannetty or somebody was injured. So last minute I get called to do shows in New Brunswick, Quebec working with Carl Oulette up there. This was back in the early ’90s. So I was that go-to guy in the northeast. I had one of the last matches in the old Boston Garden with Owen Hart, wrestled Hakushi there on a live event. So I knew there was something. My first match was August 19th of ’91. That was with the Beverly Brothers. The Berserker was, I think, my second match there. So ’91, we’re in 2021, that’s thirty years. So it’s been awesome. I feel like I’ve gone through a divorce, but a divorce that ends well. You don’t want to go out and bad-mouth somebody, but it’s time to move on,” he said.
Garland continued and explained how he got his first contract with WWE in 1997 and how it came immediately after he worked a few ECW dates.
“So, here’s the story on that. WWE was recording RAW in Lowell, Massachusetts on a Thursday night because it was going into the Christmas break so they were taping it on Thursday,” he began. “Friday and Saturday, I was scheduled to work for ECW in Massachusetts. So I left on Thursday, stopped in Lowell and asked to speak to Bruce Prichard. I just wanted to give him the heads-up, ‘Hey, I’m going to do this tryout deal with ECW,’ thinking maybe this will push them to sign me finally. So I said, ‘Hey, tell Bruce Prichard,’ who was head of Talent Relations at the time, ‘Hey, can I talk to you?’ He said, ‘I can’t right now. But I want to talk to you. Can we talk next week?’
“I did two days of ECW working Taz and after the first match Dreamer and Taz brought me into the room and said, ‘Hey, we want to do something with you.’ There were a couple of different ideas they threw out there. I said, ‘Can I let you know next Wednesday? Bruce Prichard wants to talk to me,’ and what does Bruce Prichard want to talk to me about, you know? So I talked to Bruce the following Wednesday, he said, ‘Hey, we’re starting this Light Heavyweight division, we’d like to sign you.’ So, that was it, man. I also, at the time, Tony Rumble was booking guys for Nitro. So all within that two-week timeframe, Rumble had asked me to go to Nitro, then I get the WWE thing, ECW—it was a crazy time, dude. That time in wrestling was cool and I feel like we’re on the bubble of that again. A different version of it.”
Taz and Garland’s relationship pre-dates their early 90s WWE matches, as Garland revealed that he has tapes of the two working in high schools gyms.
“We had know each other because we had been working for ICW [and] Savoldi around the northeast. I’d been going through old videotapes and I have matches with Taz in high schools—old Tazmaniac, with the face paint and working a little company out of Wallingford, Connecticut. We probably wrestled ten times before those WWE matches. So we knew each other well,” Garland said.
As for Sabu, Garland can remember two instances in which they worked, noting how in one of the bouts he did a Frankensteiner while Scott Steiner was in the back watching.
“I believe it was two days in a row. I believe one was Poughkeepsie and Burlington, Vermont. We went out there and I’ve watched them since and it’s like, oh my God, we did so much. We did so much. He did a Frankensteiner off the top and I remember and the Steiner brothers were there at the time. You had the Steiner brothers doing a regular Frankensteiner and I don’t know the Steiner brothers, I just know their reputation at the time where they’d just kill guys. I’m like, ‘Oh, my God. Sabu wants to do a Frankensteiner off the top while Scott Steiner’s in the back. Oh, he’s gonna kill me,'” he said.
He revealed that Scott Steiner never uttered a word about it. “No, he never said anything,” Garland said.
Garland left his WWE Performance Center coaching job in late November, and recently returned to the indies to continue his in-ring career. You can view his new YouTube video on his career at this link, from his recently-launched YouTube channel.
Stay tuned for more.