Scott Hall has discussed the night he says Shawn Michaels left his good friend Triple H hanging out to dry in the eyes of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Some events in wrestling spiral out of control and take on a life of their own, still rearing their head many years after the fact. The Montreal Screwjob, the DX invasion of WCW, and a very infamous night in Madison Square Garden that became known as the Curtain Call.
By the spring of 1996 two of the World Wrestling Federation’s biggest stars were disillusioned and on their way to changing the business when they turned up in WCW. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were preparing to leave the WWF and for one last time, they were to compete in the company’s spiritual home of Madison Square Garden.
In that night’s main event Nash who still ran on Diesel power at the time faced Michaels in a steel cage match. After Michaels had defeated his off-screen buddy, Scott Hall and Triple H both hit the ring. With Michaels and Hall beloved babyfaces and Nash and Triple H portraying the heels, many were shocked to see the four men who were known backstage as The Kliq embrace in the ring. Many other stars in the company were furious and as the story goes Triple H took most of the heat from Vince McMahon as Hall and Nash were on their way out the door and Michaels was WWF Champion.
Speaking as a guest on a recent episode of former WCW President Eric Bischoff’s 83 Weeks podcast, Scott Hall relived the memories of that night, saying Vince McMahon knew exactly what was going to happen and that Michaels could have shown a little more loyalty where Triple H was concerned.
“He kind of threw Triple H under the bus that night at the Garden. Triple H was supposed to get the big push. He was supposed to get the Stone Cold spot, they were grooming him for that but then Vince had to punish somebody. I was in Vince’s office when Shawn came in and pitched the curtain call. Vince was finally talking to me about staying and I was like it’s too late, I’m already done. Shawn came in and said ‘I want Razor to come out to the ring in my match,’ Vince said ‘Is it important to you?’ And [Shawn] said yeah, and [Vince] said ‘Well, make it happen.’ He knew, but I think what happened was, now the guys are trying to bring the business down.”
“The guys who were staying were really mad. I’m glad we did it. I didn’t plan it, it was all Shawn’s idea and he was the one staying. There’s a famous picture of Shawn wearing one of the early Outsiders shirts, I think he was doing that just to give him some kind of ammunition with Vince. Now he’s thrown his last buddy, Triple H, under the ring so he’s there solo now with no friends. It’s lonely at the top, that’s when [Michaels] may have started his pill use and alcohol use may have increased at the time.”
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash went on to form the New World Order with Hulk Hogan, leading WCW to ratings dominance over WWF’s counterpart, Raw. Although Triple H never got his King Of The Ring win in 1996, he would in 1997 and form his own iconic group with Michaels, D-Generation X.