Cody Hall looking to make it in the family business of pro wrestling
The humble, focused attitude Cody Hall employs to be successful in wrestling is impressive.
It's even more impressive when you take into consideration he has one of the most famous wrestlers in Scott Hall as his father. He can tell stories about growing up riding on private planes with Hulk Hogan and The Rock.
But yet, in his mind, he's just a 22-year-old rookie working the independent circuit while trying to make it in the family business.
In 2012, Cody Hall had his first professional wrestling match. Twenty-eight years earlier, his father made his debut in what would be a career filled with some of the most publicized ups and downs ever for a pro-wrestler.
That career saw Scott Hall on top of the mountain when he debuted for Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling promotion alongside best friend Kevin Nash in 1996.
The two, along with Hulk Hogan, would create the New World Order, or best known as the nWo. This period in wrestling was worth millions to Scott. The same career saw lows, namely a severe drug and alcohol addiction. ESPN's E:60 documentary show did a story on his life and career in 2011.
Some might look at this as the ultimate stop sign for anyone wanting to get into wrestling, much less the son of the man who experienced all that he did. However, Cody Hall chooses to remember the good and strive for it while letting the bad be a reminder of what not to fall victim to.
“I'm not really worried about some of the downfalls my dad had,” he says. “I saw a lot of great things happen in my life. Not every wrestler has had a tragic ending of broken bones and broken homes.
“I hope I don't go into the same pitfalls, because I have an example to learn from. I really just want to stick to my beliefs now and stay away from all that stuff. Maybe be a better example for somebody else.”
Luckily, Scott Hall appears to be doing better than he has in a long time. He's been sober for months and living a healthy lifestyle under the roof of friend and fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page.
DDP has found new life after wrestling by pushing his successful DDP Yoga workout program.
Scott's improved health has allowed for some productive bonding and training time with his son. Cody Hall speaks about the two watching wrestlers from the past.
“I've been watching a lot of Barry Windham lately,” Cody says. “I try to watch big guys who can move around well: Terry Gordy, Dick Murdoch, a lot of older stuff. A lot of Japanese workers. Try to find stuff you don't see in America as much.”
When you watch Cody in the ring, so much of the raw attributes that could help make him a star are evident. Much like his father, he has a lengthy 6-foot-8 build, which he manages to move fluidly and athletically in the ring. He does this all while wearing his father's ring attire.
Cody says he does have original gear being made, but right now he's enjoying paying tribute to his dad.
One of the biggest flaws young wrestlers have is moving too quickly in the ring. Nerves, excitement and new situations can cause wrestlers to move too fast. They don't allow the proper time to go by for the crowd to absorb what's going on. While Cody isn't completely immune to it, he comes off much more comfortable and confident in the ring than many others would at his experience level.
Cody Hall has the potential to exude confidence but remains humble with his place in the wrestling world. He says WWE hasn't contacted him in any way, and that seems to be fine with him. He truly is valuing his time on the independent scene ― another unique trait.
“Just getting in the ring is still fun for me no mater how many people are there,” Cody says. “As far as everyone's style, everybody works different. I'm still trying to figure out my own style. I think the indies for me is a chance to get out in the ring and a chance for not as many people to see me mess up before I get to bigger arenas.”
Too often, guys are anxious to get to the biggest stage possible no matter how inexperienced or unprepared they might be.
Cody knows better.
“I've heard so many stories about Europe and Japan, so that's what I have my sights on now,” he says. “Hopefully, one day down the road, if they want me in WWE, that will be the place to go.”
Cody Hall seems to be planting his feet firmly on the ground. Not asking for special attention, just a show to be booked on so he can continue learning in front of a live audience. Other than that, he's just interested in a gym to train in, Diamond Dallas Page to keep the house stocked with healthy food and to have as many days as possible getting guidance from his dad on the family business.
“I think every father wants to teach their craft,” Cody Hall says. “You see a lot of people who are second-generation doing the family business and not just in wrestling. I think it was just a natural thing for the father to pass on what he could to his son.
“He's loving it, and I'm loving it.”
Trib Total Media staffer Justin LaBar hosts Wrestling Reality at sportstalk.triblive.com every Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m.