Count Scott Hall among the fans of Shinsuke Nakamura. The WWE Hall of Famer praised the current NXT champ during an interview with Sports Illustrated.
Hall, speaking with SI's Extra Mustard, said Nakamura was "over like a rock star" and cautioned against him moving to the main roster of WWE too quickly. "People want him pulled up right away, but at the same time, they’ve got to keep NXT alive. NXT is working better than anticipated. When guys leave NXT and go to the main roster, those guys are already over. Before, a lot of guys languished in FCW and OVW. Now that Triple H is running it from head to toe, it’s the hottest show out there—so everything is going better than planned."
Hall also had praise for another, more divisive WWE talent in current U.S. champion Roman Reigns, noting that he "would have kept pushing" Reigns. Instead, Reigns was de-emphasized from the main event level on Raw following the brand split this summer.
“I didn’t like what they did when he put Finn Bálor over on Raw and they humbled him after the match," Hall said. "He had to do an interview in the aisle after he lost and put Bálor over again. But that was on the heels of something happening with him and the Wellness Program. There is only one place to work now, so things have tightened up. If you don’t like it, what are you going to do? So Vince is cracking the whip, and everybody’s got to get in line. When I was there, they drug tested. Sometimes, in a ten-day loop, we’d have four drug tests. They cracked the whip then too, and everybody got in line. If you want to work in the United States, there is only one place to work—and that is WWE. If they’re running a tight ship, then get in line.”
Hall, who has battled drug and alcohol problems for decades and experienced a relapse earlier this year at an airport bar in Atlanta, also discussed his battle with sobriety.
“I’m not where I want to be, but I thank God I’m not where I used to be,” he said. “It’s a slippery slope. I’ve fallen in the past, and I may fall again in the future, but I get up now. There were times in the past when I’d fall and I’d just stay there. Now, when I fall, I get up.”
A top star for both WWE and WCW under both his own name and the Razor Ramon persona, Hall was a four-time Intercontinental Champion in WWE before jumping to WCW as part of the New World Order "invasion" storyline in 1996 that gave WCW the advantage for almost two years in the "Monday Night Wars."