Where Are They Now?: Scott Norton

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February 26, 2014

Scott Norton pins Ernest "The Cat" Miller

When Norton decided the time was right for him to jump into professional wrestling, he found himself in the training camp of Brad Rheingans, an amateur grappler who turned pro shortly after the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics. The camp was one of the hardest things Norton had ever been through.

“It was a struggle,” Norton recalled. “It was a tough camp.”

Rheingans prepared him as best he could before Verne Gagne plucked Norton from camp a month later to enter the ranks of the AWA. Though he had been through grueling training, Norton wasn’t sure how he would handle actually wrestling in front of a crowd.

“Oh, man, that was my biggest fear,” he said with a laugh. “I wasn’t intimidated, but I probably wasn’t ready for it. I wrestled Wayne Bloom in Mason City, Iowa, but to me it was a sold-out Madison Square Garden. You blow up, get nervous … It’s just brutal.”

Though his first foray may not have been a five-star classic, Norton soon settled into the ways of the ring. “Four or five matches later, you start relaxing, you start to get a grip on what you’re doing and you start having fun with it,” he told WWE.com.

Norton soon found himself donning plaid and teaming with his good friend John Nord as The Lumberjacks. AWA fans may recall the silly interviews where Norton’s ability to consume mythical amounts of pancakes were touted. Those who stepped in the ring with The Lumberjacks, however, have very different memories.

Listen as John Nord tells the tale of "Flapjack" Norton

“We were just killing guys; nobody had a chance,” Norton recalled. “I mean, absolutely running them over. It kind of labeled me as someone a lot of people didn’t want to be anywhere near in the ring.”

His hard-hitting style may not have been appreciated in America at the time, but Norton soon found a place where it would be welcomed. After the AWA fizzled out in the early 1990s, the big man made his way across the Pacific to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

“It was 10 times more physical,” he said. “My second tour there, I got on the bus one day and ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams was there. He was finishing up the last week of his contract with New Japan. He told me, ‘You can have this, Scott.’ “

Norton thrived in New Japan, forming a successful tag team with former WWE Superstar Hercules known as The Jurassic Powers. Soon after the formidable pair became IWGP Tag Team Champions in 1993, WCW came calling for Norton.

Looking for a challenger to their top hero, Sting, WCW worked out a deal where Norton and The Stinger would clash in Japan and in the U.S. on pay-per-view. Unfortunately, a disagreement between “Flash” and WCW officials led to the rivalry never reaching U.S. soil.

Watch Scott Norton's WCW debut

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