'G' is for GOLD - Are Two Belts in Too Cool's Future?
by Mike Fazioli
The World Wrestling Federation's tag-team division is stacked like never before. Take a look at the list of contenders for the gold, and you see size and brute force (Acolytes, Dudley Boyz), and high-flying risk-takers (Edge and Christian, Hardy Boyz).
Then there's the hottest team of them all: Too Cool.
That's a natural reaction. You see homies Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty next to the New Age Outlaws and the Acolyes, and that old Sesame Street jingle comes to mind: "One of these things is not like the other."
It's probably also natural for vicious bruisers like the Acolytes and Dudleyz to take one look at the hip-hop heroes and laugh them off. That's the kind of thinking that could give Too Cool two belts too soon, both men agree.
"I'll tell ya what," Scotty Too Hotty says. "Those other teams better keep their eyes open. Size don't mean nuttin' to Too Cool. The bigger they are, the more face we got to dance over."
"If all those bamas don't give us our props," says Grandmaster Sexay, "then not only will we beat them down and earn our respect, but they could be grinnin' up at the daisy roots when it's all said and done!"
The team formerly known as Too Much has made a startling transformation. It's all about hip-hop now. The look, the moves, the talk, and flava - and it's been there all along, says Scotty.
"Scotty Too Hotty and the Grandmaster don't have a hip-hop background, 'G,' we are hip-hop!" he says. "Straight out da trailer. We live the lifestyle 24/7. We ain't no posers!"
Question their authenticity if you like, but there's no questioning the results. Losses have turned into win after win after win. And, just as importantly, fan hostility or indifference has turned into main-event-worthy "pops."
"They have finally seen that we are the originators, innovators and percolators of cool!" Grandmaster Sexay says. "We know if we don't win, we don't dance. And everyone wants us to dance!"
This isn't a fly-guy-by-night success story. Both Scotty and the Grandmaster have enjoyed singles success in the Federation's light heavyweight division and in other organizations. And for years, the Too Much combination of "Too Sexy" Brian Christopher and "Too Hot" Scott Taylor lurked in the background, taking on light-heavyweight teams like Kaientai and even defeating Al Snow and HEAD in a tag-team competition.
Something was missing, though. Too Much was barely a blip on the radar screen of the World Wrestling Federation's elite tag teams; the fans knew the duo more for their obnoxious ring behavior and for Christopher's alleged family ties to Jerry "the King" Lawler than for their ring efforts.
When Christopher was forced from competition last year by a knee injury, it was too bad for Too Much. They quickly became a forgotten duo. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Too Cool rose from the ashes of Too Much and straight to the top of the contenders list for the tag-team gold.
"Yo, ya see, 'G,' Too Much was always Too Cool," says Scotty. "We've always been great wrestlers, worn funky clothes and, most of all, been great dancers. The only difference is we turned it up about 100 notches."
"No matter where we go, the women can't get enough of both us fly guys," the Grandmaster says. "Although they tend to get a little more from the Grandmaster."
"Who is more successful with the ladies? What do you care?" Scotty says. "Let's just put it this way: they don't call him Grandmaster Sexay for nothing, and Scotty Too Hotty didn't learn to do 'The Worm' in the ring!"
"What's next for Scotty Too Hotty and the Grandmaster?" Scotty says. "One word: GOLD! Now that would be Too Cool."
The Hottest Show On Earth
by Keith Elliot Greenberg
Scotty Too Hotty stepped off the plane from Portland, Maine, and walked briskly through New Jersey's Newark Airport towards his connecting flight to Albany, New York, where the World Wrestling Federation was holding a show that evening at the Pepsi Arena. But when the real-life Scott Taylor arrived at the gate, he spied the jet-black bristles on top of "Lethal Weapon" Steve Blackman's head, and was suddenly filled with a sense that the day was getting complicated.
With his characteristic silence, Blackman looked up and shook his head. All flights to Albany were cancelled, and soon the two Superstars were in a rental car, rushing up the New York State Thruway to make their shot. Setting their priorities, they made two detours - to a gym for a 45-minute workout and tanning session, and to a fast-food place for lunch.
As he waited for the food, Scotty was approached by a teenager who offered to do The Worm in exchange for an autograph. Before Taylor could answer, the kid was on the floor of the restaurant, displaying a wiggling variation of the Superstar's dance gimmick. Scotty signed his name on a piece of paper and told the beaming youngster, "You did that better than I could."
Welcome to life behind the scenes in the World Wrestling Federation: catching flights, darting into rest stops and hanging out for hours in the dressing room, before bursting through the curtain and transforming from a working guy into a superhero. It's a grind that might cause the average person to lose focus. But the Federation isn't for average people. And for Scotty Too Hotty, this is his destiny. When he was 14-years-old, he sent a letter to the Federation's community relations specialist, Sue Aitchison, vowing to rock arenas in the very near future. "It's the only way I ever wanted to live." he said.
Scotty glanced at a sheet listing the night's matches, and saw that he and partner Brian Christopher (a.k.a Grandmaster Sexay) were slated to tangle with two members of the Radicalz, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. The road agents would tell the performers how the match was going to end, but then it was up to them to figure out the rest.
In their own private spot, Scotty Too Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay held a brief meeting with opponents Saturn and Malenko to go over sequences. Scotty raced back and forth in the dressing room to get the blood flowing, and suddenly hit the ground and started doing push-ups. When asked if he was scared, he sot back with a smile, "No, excited."
Despite the talents of the four wrestlers, the match was remembered more for its comedy than its athleticism, particularly a series of spots featuring Grandmaster Sexay's low-hanging pants slipping down. Finally, Taylor took the loss for his team - even though Malenko was holding his opponent's trunks as the referee logged the three-count.
"You know what's funny," Scotty Too Hotty observed after returning to the dressing room. "No one cares about wins and losses. If you ask the fans what the finish was two hours from now, most wont be able to tell you. But they will remember that I did The Worm."
The card continued, but Scotty's thoughts had shifted from the mayhem in the ring to his strategy for getting to the next venue, the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey, for a live Raw is War broadcast. While others were planning to drive all the way to the Garden State that night, Taylor booked a room in Newburgh, New York - the half-way point, where hed also squeeze in a workout at Gold's Gym. His tag team partner had a different itinerary. "We never travel together," Brian Christopher illuminated. "We tried it once, and we hated it so much that we never did it again."
Scotty Too Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay were scheduled to join Rikishi Phatu in a battle against Triple H, Road Dogg and X-Pac. Before the arena filled up, the Superstars gathered in the ring to figure out a game plan. The playfulness of the night before had diminished to a degree, not that everything was going to be broadcast live. "If you screw up on television," Scotty stated, "everybody knows it."
Scotty Too Hotty hit the ring with his partners, prompting the audience to holler for The Worm. Taylor soon gave the fans what they wanted, writhing on the canvas before slinging X-Pac and Triple H into the corner and bodyslamming the Road Dogg. But, like the night before, Scotty's squad dropped the match - this time when Rikishi got zapped by X-Pac with the ring bell and then pinned by Triple H.
Afterwards, both teams convened in the dressing room. Scotty shook hands with the Road Dogg, Rikishi and X-Pac embraced. After offering suggestions about ways they could have improved the flow of the match, the group dispersed. Scotty headed for his hotel in Newark, New Jersey, an hour or so away from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, where the World Wrestling Federation was taping SmackDown! the next night.
When Scotty Too Hotty looked at the scheduled matches at the Nassau Coliseum, he received a pleasant surprise. He was going to be featured in a singles bout against Essa Rios, to be taped for Sunday Night Heat before the taping of SmackDown! began. Soon, the youthful wrestlers were in the ring, charting the course of battle.
"It's pretty hard, because he mainly speaks Spanish," Taylor said. "In a match, you might be able to communicate simple things like, 'Give me an elbow.' But there's a lot he won't understand."
Although Scotty Too Hotty's match was not recorded for SmackDown!, it fascinated the fans nonetheless. Both athletes put everything into the encounter. Rios delivered a flying headscissors and senton splash onto the arena floor. But when he missed a moonsault, Scotty executed a bulldog headlock, popped the crowd by doing The Worm, and got his first victory in three nights with a tornado DDT.
Scotty Too Hotty turned the ignition of his rental car, and finally admitted that he was tired. Even though he was going home the next day, there would be no slowing down. The next week was going to be even more grueling, starting on Saturday, and going all the way to Wednesday. But when Taylor felt like griping, he remembered the letter he wrote at age 14 to the World Wrestling Federation, and put everything in perspective. "There are a million guys out there who want to be here," he said. "And there are only about 100 of us who remember what it was like to be part of that million and we don"t want to be there again."
Chillin' With Too Cool
by Brian Solomon
They've got the moves. They've got the threads. They were the tag team success story of 2000. Crowds in arenas all over the world came to their feet the second their trademark music hits and Too Cool comes struttin' down to the ring. But recent events involving their long-time dancin' buddy Rikishi have left Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty at a pivotal point in their stellar careers. They recently sat down with World Wrestling Federation Magazine to discuss their relationship with Rikishi and to let their fans know a little bit more about the Federation's funkiest duo.
WWF Magazine: Did you have any idea that Rikishi was the one who ran down Stone Cold Steve Austin?
GMS: I had no clue that Rikishi was the one who hit Stone Cold, but I can't speak for Scotty.
S2H: No, man. We had just been hanging out together all night. I don't know when he had time to do it.
WWF: Do you feel that Too Cool is better off with or without Rikishi?
GMS: It's a dilemma. With Rikishi always bein' with us, we knew that there was somebody watchin' our back - which is a plus - and we knew he'd always be there to go out with us and kick it at the clubs when the show's over. But with all this comin' out and about Rikishi runnin' over Stone Cold...we don't know if the fans think we had something to do with it or not. We really feed off the fans' support, so at this point we don't really know.
S2H: He's been our dancin' partner for about a year now. It would take some time getting' used to, but as for us being better with or without him - we're still the greatest tag team in the World Wrestling Federation.
WWF: Without Rikishi, where do you see Too Cool headed?
GMS: I think you'll see some changes, but me and my homes, the "Worm Man," will never part ways, no matter what. As long as Too Cool's intact, we're always gonna be hangin' and bangin', dancin' and romancin'.
S2H: We were doin' all right on our own before he came along. I think we have a little bit more confidence. We have more of a fan base now. We'll do just fine.
WWF: So, you don't foresee a return to singles action in the near future?
GMS: Well, if there's a chance for me to go for a singles title, I'll always take that opportunity, but we're enjoyin' a lot of success right now as Too Cool. It doesn't really matter to me whether I have the spotlight all to myself or I share the spotlight with Scotty. I'm in this business for two things: to win championships and to dance.
S2H: Why split now? Everything's goin' real good for me and my homey. But sure, maybe a little bit down the road, we'll go our own ways.
WWF: What's more important to Too Cool, dancing for the fans or going after the Tag Team Championship?
GMS: They go hand in hand, because we only dance after we win - it's a celebration. As long as we're winning, that means we're on our way to capturing those [belts], and that means we'll be dancin' every night, as well.
S2H: I think it's two separate things. It's fun to do the dance, but then again, the whole thing is 'bout the gold. We'll keep dancin', but at the same time, we're gunnin' for those belts.
WWF: You lost the Tag Team title to Edge and Christian back in June. Do you think you were given enough of a chance to get the belts back?
S2H: No, not really. As soon as we lost them, [Edge & Christian] kind of went off on their own thing with the hardys, and their ladders, and al their little toy matches.
GMS: We were never given a chance to win the belts back. you're supposed to be given a return title shot immediately after a loss. Not only were the belts stolen from us, but we were never given our return title shot.
WWF: Do you see that happening anytime soon?
GMS: We hope the recent actions of Rikishi haven't caused us to be punished in any way, to where we don't get our return title shot. Hopefully we'll see it, and hopefully the fans will see the gold back around our waists.
WWF: Who have been your toughest opponents?
GMS: We beat the Road Warriors once in Madison Square Garden.
S2H: I'd say either Edge & Christian or the Hardy Boyz.
WWF: Scotty, what made you decide to use "The Worm"?
S2H: It started off as a joke, to make some of the other Superstars laugh, and it just caught on. There's no formula, you just gotta test things, and I did it as well as everybody else. It just got lucky. I really think everything that goes along with The Worm is really what's got it over. Anything the people can participate in, [like] yelling the "W-O-R-M," they like that. They can get in on it
Big Dreams, Lean Years
by Mike Fazioli
When the World Wrestling Federation Superstars stand in the ring in front of a packed house and a millions-strong TV audience, basking in the adulation of the fans, there is no greater feeling in the world. These cheers are well-deserved on more levels than are apparent - the struggle before the glory is often long and arduous.
Before he made his mark as Scotty 2 Hotty - one-half of the tag team Too Cool - Scott Taylor spent a decade as a struggling performer. From his debut, while a high-school sophomore, in front of 75 mostly disinterested fans to years in the indy circuit, Taylor lived hand-to-mouth, pursuing the dream he nurtured from a very young age until it finally came to fruition in the WWF.
"How many times did I think about dropping it in the meantime? All the time," Taylor says. "I got to the point several times where I thought, 'It's never going to happen.' Then when it did, it was awesome. It was everything I ever dreamed it would be - and more."
Taylor was only 16 years old when he had his first professional match in Portland, Maine, against Steve Ramsey. For the teen with dreams of super-stardom, it was a cold slap of reality. He perserved, however, continuing to plug away by working indy shows, trying to get experience and exposure. Two years later - still in high school - Taylor found himself in a Federation ring for the first time, on a card headlined by a Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. Razor Ramon match.
Taylor was placed in a tag team match against a team that had once billed itself as the Undertakers. Not surprisingly, they had to surrender that moniker to a more-famous athlete who was already well on his way to iconic status in the Federation.
Although only in his teens, Taylor was already making contacts and getting small breaks. In 1991, he was contacted and asked if he wanted to work at a Federation show. Only one problem: He was supposed to be in school that day. But the urge to pursue his drea was too strong, and Taylor took a day off to go to the show.
Taylor arrived at the show - entering through the performers' entrance rather than the fan entrance he had used to many times before - and immediately found himself face to face with many of the Superstars he spent hours watching on television.
He was greeted at the door by Rocker Marty Jannetty and Orient Express member Pat Tatanka, who introduced himself to Taylor and helped the youngster quell a serious case of butterflies.
"I was nervous all day long," he says. "I had never been in front of more than 500 people. All of a sudden, I'm in front of 15,000 in Rochester, New York. It was pretty scary."
In the locker room, Taylor found himself - quite literally - looking up to the headliners of the day. While his heart was filled with fantasies that he would one day be the seasoned veteran meeting the wide-eyed rookie at the door, his head still said otherwise.
"I was in awe. Undertaker, the Hart Foundation, Sid, Hogan were there," Taylor says. "At the time, you hope that someday you'll be be the guy in the back and some kid will walk in an see you and say, 'Whoa, look at that.' But you also know the chances are pretty slim. It took me five or six years before I got a contract."
Then weighing in at about 180 pounds, Taylor had been under the impression that he was on a physical par with some of the Federation's smaller and more athletic Superstars. Again, a harsh dose of reality was in store for the aspiring teen.
"I remember the first time I saw Marty and Shawn up close," he says. "I thought I was about the same size as them, then I saw them as was like, 'Holy s***!' They were a lot bigger than I thought - and they were a lot bigger than me. They looked smaller on TV because they'd be in there with Demolition or whoever, but they were big.
"I was only 180 pounds at the time and everyone else was a moster," Taylor continues. "The smallest guys then were Shawn Michaels and Owen & Bret Hart, and they were like 230. I was by far the smallest guy there."
His match that night would be his first-ever televised bout. He was teamed with Sonny Blaze, and they were defeated in short order by tag-team title contenders the Beverly Brothers.
After graduating high school, Taylor was able to chase his dream on a full-time basis. He continued to work the indy circuit, enduring the hardships that all of today's Superstars remember so well. During a stint in Memphis that began in 1993, Taylor had to overcome infections in both eyes and a car which literally blew up during a drive from Memphis to Louisville.
As he stood by the side of the road, surveying the smoldering remains of his vehicle, another car pulled to the side and gave him a ride to the show. The driver? His future tag team partner Brian Christopher.
By 1997, with years of indy experience under his belt, Taylor was ready to sign a contract with the Federation. His first match as a contract performer with the World Wrestling Federation was against Aldo Montoya - now back in the Federation as Justin Credible.
In many ways, his dream had come true. Bue, Taylor says, it wasn't until a few years later, when he and Christopher exploded onto the scene as the hip-hoppers Too Cool, that he truly felt he belonged in the world's preeminent sports-entertainment organization.
As tough his road to success was, though, Taylor looks back on those days for inspiration. He also has a locker room full of kindred spirits who share many of the same tales of those leaner days.
"The Hardys have pretty much the same story. Our backgrounds are very similar," Taylor says. "It's funny. I can remember we were on the road at the same time. We were in Allentown, Pennsylvania, talking at three in the morning, while this huge snowstorm raged outside. We were saying, 'Man, someday we're going to make it. Mr Perfect, Shawn Michaels and those guys won't be here anymore.' We were just hoping. Now, we're here together, and it's pretty cool. Every so often we'll be talking and complaining about this or that, and we'll just say, 'Remember Allentown.' We say that all the time."
The Nerd Group
by Mike Pachuta
Al Snow lives for them.
Scotty 2 Hotty raves about them.
Edge says they relieve stress.
What are they talking about? Roller coasters.
World Wrestling Federation Superstars compete in front of millions of people on television each week. The adrenaline rush is unmatched, they say. But so is the pressure.
"Roller coasters are a great outlet for us," said Edge, a member of what Al Snow dubbed the "Nerd Group." "They really help us get rid of the stress and pressure that is pretty much a constant in our lives."
The Nerd Group consists of superstars who love hanging out together and having a great time by going to amusement parks and riding roller coasters. It's not an exclusive group, but only a few are willing to join - Edge, Al, Christian, Scotty, Mick Foley, Jeff and Matt Hardy are among them.
"We all are pretty crazy about roller coasters," Al said. "So I guess that's why other people sometimes look at us like we're crazy. And maybe we are. But I can tell you this - these things are so much fun for me, that I really have a life goal of riding every single major roller coaster in the world."
The roller coaster club had humble beginnings. One day, Mick realized that there was a theme park nearby and he asked a few guys if they wanted to go with him. Some said they would, and from that day on, whenever there was a little time to kill, someone would be looking up where the nearest roller coaster park was.
"Sometimes, there is a lot of down time on the road," said Edge. "So when we go out and ride these roller coasters, it really breaks up the monotony of the day. We get to go out, forget about work, laugh and feel like kids. It's so much fun."
As Mick said in his No. 1 best-selling autobiography "Foley is Good," "I find ... that life on the road is just a little more tolerable if I look at it as a paid national amusement park vacation."
The other members of the "Nerd Group" agree.
"It's a great adrenaline rush," said Jeff Hardy, one of the Federation's biggest daredevils. A daredevil who still gets a rush out of riding coasters. "It's so much fun, and if you really look at a roller coaster from a distance, it's a beautiful, intense, amazing structure to see. They are amazing."
His brother Matt agreed. "Roller coasters are an extension of what we do in the ring. It's a big adrenaline rush."
Mick, the unofficial founder of the Nerd Group, has been through some of the most intense matches in Federation history, and he says that the best matches are compared to a good roller coaster - with several ups and downs and twists and turns along the way.
It's all the thrills without any of the mental duress," Mick said. "But a lot of the fun for me is being scared on the way up. People used to say when you stopped being nervous before a match, it's time to find a new job. It's the same thing for roller coasters. When you stop being nervous, it's probably time to find a new hobby."
But that won't be happening anytime soon for this group of superstars.
Scotty 2 Hotty has a season pass to Walt Disney World (Mick says Scotty is "a complete Disney psychotic"). Al Snow lives in Lima, Ohio, a place he calls "the middle of coaster heaven," because he is only an hour's drive away from some of the biggest coaster parks in the world. Edge and Christian both lived near Canada's Wonderland for years. Mick is now seemingly the Federation's ambassador to the coaster world. Jeff Hardy wants to own his own coaster.
"That's probably my biggest fantasy," Jeff said. "It's funny isn't it? My biggest fantasy is to have a roller coaster and put it somewhere in my back yard."
So what kind of coasters do these aficionados prefer, wooden or steel?
Mick - "They both give very different feelings. They're both special in their own way. Steel is smoother and you can go faster and do loops. Wooden ones offer you a 'connection' with the track, kind of like a psychic connection that steel can't duplicate."
Mick loves the hanging coasters, but not the ones that you have to stand in. "Unfortunately they have a seat that you kind of stand on. If I wanted to subject my groin to further injury I'd return to wrestling," he said.
Edge - "That's like trying to decide who you favorite child is. Steel ones are great because they are so fast. The wooden ones throw you a little bit. One time I actually whacked my elbow on a wooden coaster because it was such a rough ride."
Al - "I'm not going to decide that. I like every roller coaster."
Jeff - "I just love the steel ones. Don't get me wrong, wooden ones are cool, but I have that need for something fast, and the steel coasters just work for me."
Matt - "I'm like my brother here. We're both daredevils, and the steel ones are where it's at. I really love the coaster where they have you hanging or standing."
Scotty - "Steel and wooden coasters are two completely different things. And I like them both. I like to compare wooden coasters to watching a Chris Benoit match - he throws you around and he's real physical, and those high points are going to be rough. Steel ones are like watching one of my matches - it's fact paced and it has a lot of ups and downs."
Christian - "Every single roller coaster is great. They all are."
What is their favorite coaster?
Jeff - The Volcano at King's Dominion in Virginia. "It was so amazing. You ride around and then at the end of the ride, they shoot you out of this volcano. That's the one I love the most."
Mick - "My favorite wooden coaster is the Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut. That was actually the 100th coaster I've ever ridden, not counting carnival coasters." Boulder Dash was also voted the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. "My favorite steel coaster is the Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey."
Matt - The Volcano. "I went there with Jeff, and I could have ridden that all day, it was amazing."
Al - The Beast at King's Island in Ohio. "It's the world's longest wooden coaster, and it's right near where I live. Let me tell you though, it's really tough to pick a favorite one."
Scotty - Space Mountain at Walt Disney World in Florida. "I'm a Disney freak, and I just love how that coaster is so classic."
Edge - "Oh I'm going to say I have two favorites. I love the Spiderman coaster at Universal Studios in Florida. It's so fast. And my other favorite is the Sky Rider at Canada's Wonderland outside Toronto. That's a stand-up coaster, and it's pretty intense."
Roller coasters - and amusement parks in general - are a great escape for the superstars and the beatings they take almost daily. "It's like I have a new family when I run into an American coaster enthusiast. It's kind of nice not to be asked about the Hell in a Cell all the time," said Mick.
From November 2001 WWF Magazine
Scotty 2 Hotty first gained the attention of the fans thanks to the popularity
of Too Cool, a tag team he formed with Grandmaster Sexay-- which briefly captured
the WWF Tag Team Championship. Their friendship with dancing buddy Rikishi also helped
them grab the Federation spotlight. But Scotty is now dancing solo, and Rikishi has distanced
from his former comrades. We recently caught up with Scotty to find out what it's like
to be standing alone in the World Wrestling Federation.
"It's been great," he says. " I originally came into the Federation as a singles
competitor (in 1997). I think a lot of doors will open for me as a singles guy, to go after
the European, Intercontinental or even the Light Heavyweight titles. It was time for a change,
and I think it will be good for me"
Scotty is already a former Light Heavyweight Champion, and expertly showed his singles
prowess last year during a brief but exciting series of matches with Dean Malenko.