Dance Fever.(Brief Article)
Author/s: Dave Scherer
Issue: August, 2000
Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor boogie their way to WWF fame as Too Cool
AS THE MUSIC HITS AND THE lights start swirling, Scotty 2 Hotty and Grand Master Sexay--collectively known as Too Cool--burst onto the stage to kick off the dance party for WWF fans. The crowd cheers as the duo, often accompanied by Rikishi Phatu [For the skinny on Rikishi.], displays its own style of hip-hop. The tag team's popularity is peaking, but it wasn't always that way for the young duo.
As recently as spring 1999, the two were performing under the names Scott Taylor and Brian Christopher in the preliminary tag team Too Much. Despite being talented, the two were not pushed in the WWF. And it wasn't because they didn't have the pedigrees to warrant it. Both men worked for independent promotions for almost a decade before coming to the WWF in 1997, but they quickly learned that getting ahead in the country's top wrestling company was no easy task.
Christopher, the son of WWF color commentator Jerry Lawler, worked for eight years in the United States Wrestling Association, which was owned by his father and Jerry Jarrett. Christopher captured the USWA heavyweight title 24 times and file USWA tag-team title six times from 1992 to '97. As the company's top performer, he often had to listen to critism that he got his position because of his father.
"Everybody assumed that I was getting paid a lot more money than they were, and the only reason I was getting any kind of a push was because of [my father], which wasn't the case," Christopher says. "I was getting paid the same amount of money that everybody else was. I did a lot more because I stayed here. A lot of guys would come in and work five or six months and then move on and work someplace else. I was there for eight years straight."
During that same time, Taylor honed his skills in the Northeast independent circuit. He was always in demand by promoters because he was a solid worker. Both men paid their dues by working often and for little money.
"I'd drive from Memphis to Louisville and back home," Christopher says. "In a day I'd drive 800 miles to make about 50 bucks."
Too Much becomes Too Cool
As new performers in the WWF, Taylor and Christopher had to work their way up the ladder. They were initially put into the WWF light heavyweight division, a decision neither of them liked.
"When they put me in the light heavyweight division, that was like the kiss of death," Christopher says. "Once you're classified as a light heavyweight, that's what you are. If you're a light heavyweight, they're not going to have you wrestle a heavyweight."
After being relegated to the WWF's secondary division for two years, Too Much got its chance when the company changed its philosophy and began to push the smaller, faster workers in 1999. Too Much was repackaged as a young hip-hop act called Too Cool.
Taylor and Christopher first appeared as Too Cool on the June 7, 1999, "RAW" in Boston. They danced to the ring in their street clothes during a tag-team match featuring the Hardy Boyz against Edge and Christian. As Taylor and Christopher interfered in the match, the announcers wondered aloud who they were.
Fans would have to wait for four months, however, to get to know Taylor and Christopher in their new gimmick. The night after Too Cool's debut, Christopher tore a ligament in his knee during a tag-team match against Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown at a house show in Portland, Maine.
Christopher had surgery and was out of action for just under four months, two months less than had been predicted.
"I knew this gimmick would get over," Christopher says. "That's why I had to get back. I trained when I was in rehab. Anybody who had the same surgery as me, they'd go in for an hour a day. I'd go in there for six hours."
Too Cool's push started again when Christopher returned to full strength in the fall of 1999. Christopher added accessories to his ring outfit, such as goggles he found in a hip-hop store. Taylor turned the dance move "the Worm" into a spot in his matches that has become much anticipated by fans. They were working their way up the WWF tag-team ladder when lightning struck.
On November 22, 1999, in Buffalo, Too Cool was battling Val Venis and the British Bulldog when the Mean Street Posse interfered and attacked them. After Rikishi Phatu made the save for Too Cool, their music hit and the trio danced for the first time. The crowd went wild.
Since then, Too Cool and Rikishi have become one of the hottest acts in the WWF. Fans anticipate seeing their break-dancing moves every time the three are together. They have become a phenomenon, and the success has surprised even Christopher.
When asked if he thought Too Cool would become a fan favorite, he says no.
"Everything we do, like that dance, we just came up with," Christopher says. "[It's] something all three of us could do together."
Before They Were Stars
Scotty 2 Hotty
* Hometown: Westbrook, Maine.
* Competed in independent promotions in the Northeast for nine years.
* Wrestled a match on ECW television in 1997, nearly scoring an upset over Taz.
* As Scott Taylor, was a top contender for the WWF light heavyweight title before moving to tag-team competition.
* Favorite dance move is "the Worm." He added a karate thrust to turn the Worm into an offensive maneuver.
Grand Master Sexay
* Hometown: Memphis.
* Son of Jerry "the King" Lawler.
* Competed in the USWA for eight years as Brian Christopher.
* Held the USWA title on 24 occasions.
* Has held tag-team championships with numerous partners, including Jeff Jarrett, Scotty Flamingo (Raven), and the late Eddie Gilbert.
* Representing the USWA, he lost to Chris Candido (representing ECW) in the first-ever interpromotional match on "RAW" in 1997.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Century Publishing
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group