After 30 years in the wrestling business, one can say Too Cold Scorpio is more than a flash in the pan. But what does a 50-year-old wrestler do once his in-ring career starts to peter out? Visit the world all over again is what Charles Scaggs is doing.
SLAM! Wrestling caught Scorpio with him in mid-June in Montreal at the Torture Chamber, Dru Onyx’s pro wrestling training school. How he ended up at that training school is no coincidence.
Scaggs made his professional wrestling debut in 1985, adopting the ring name 2 Cold Scorpio, or alternately, Too Cold Scorpio. He wrestled in various independent promotions in the United States, until, on the recommendation of Big Van Vader, he decided to go to New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he trained in the NJPW Dojo. He also wrestled in Europe and Mexico. Following that, he then debuted in WCW in November 1992 as Ron Simmons’ mystery partner at Clash of the Champions XXI. He had a brief reign as World Tag Team Champion with Marcus Alexander Bagwell in October 1993. Although he was released in 1994, Too Cold Scorpio competed on the WCW-promoted pay-per-view When Worlds Collide later that year and the WCW/New Japan produced Collision PPV in Korea in 1995.
In 1994, Too Cold Scorpio debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where he had four reigns as World Television Champion and one reign as World Tag Team Champion with The Sandman. He had feuds with wrestlers such as Taz, Shane Douglas, Sabu, and Mikey Whipwreck.
Scaggs then made his WWF debut on November 17, 1996, at Survivor Series under the name Flash Funk. Towards the end of his first WWF run, Funk reverted to his Too Cold Scorpio name, later shortening it to Scorpio, and began teaming with former WCW teammate and friend Ron Simmons, as well as Terry Funk through most of 1998. He soon after became a member of Al Snow’s J.O.B. Squad. In mid-1998, he competed in the WWF’s Brawl for All tournament, replacing Ken Shamrock. He lost in the quarterfinals to The Godfather. In early 1999, Too Cold Scorpio requested time off due to personal problems, but was instead released from the WWF. He had another short stint with WWE in mid-2006, only to be released in May 2007 without making a televised appearance.
Some of his best moments in wrestling were in ECW where he learned the fine art of doing promos thanks to someone who he doesn’t consider to be his best friend, but admittedly thinks highly of his mike skills and knowledge: Paul Heyman.
“[Heyman] was by no stretch a person I really liked working with, but I’ll give him credit to be one of the most brilliant minds in the business, especially when it comes to promos,” conceded Scaggs.
Traveling and giving seminars, Scaggs often shares simple advice — if WWE comes calling, no matter what role they want you to play, go. Any wrestler would be crazy NOT to witness and experience the business side of this sports entertainment business. “Every indie wrestler, given a chance to wrestle even a dark match, should embrace that opportunity to savor the corporate way to witness the wrestling business, especially since HHH seems to want to bring in new blood and a bit of old school wrestling — Kevin Owens for example.”
He also mentioned that wrestling in Japan was a totally different experience where no promos were done, and the respect from the Japanese fans is a completely different. “Even when a monster heel makes a great move, the Japanese fans will applaud out of respect.”
Just a short while back, one of his best friends in the business, Vader, who is his son’s godfather, suggested to him that he should revisit some of his favorite cities he worked in; Scaggs had been complaining to Vader he never really had a chance to visit places during their hectic schedules. “I was telling Vader that I was truly blessed to have been around the world, but never had time to visit any of the places as our schedules were always so tight. So he said to me, ‘Why don’t you do it now?'” Scaggs decided there and then that he would contact friends in the different cities that made his list of places he would have liked to have spent time in but didn’t.
And that’s how he ended up in Montreal.
After contacting a good friend of his that lives there, his friend suggested to come and stay for as long as he wanted. Born and raised in Texas, Scaggs preferred not to experience Montreal in winter. “I love Montreal, but there’s no way I could get used to those extreme cold temperature, so I figured I’ll be okay until September,” he said.
Scaggs, who still wrestles sporadically, was looking for a training hall to keep in shape, and after contacting various MMA and boxing centers in Montreal, was told by his friend he should contact Dru Onyx’s Torture Chamber. After an exchange of emails and phone calls, Onyx and Scaggs came to a deal. Scaggs felt he should offer to compensate Onyx in order to train daily, but Onyx, who also wrestles as S.O.A. (Son of Abdullah), offered him the use his training center for free, in exchange to give his numerous students some wrestling tips. Scaggs accepted the deal with pleasure.
Scorpio brought a lot to his school and Onyx believes his students really benefited. “Bringing Scorpio to the dojo allowed my students to tap into his 30-plus years of experience, and gave my trainees a chance to get in the ring and learn from a veteran who holds a world class resume. He was very patient with my guys and was always happy to give constructive critiques when needed. I was as much as a student taking down notes myself,” said Onyx. “It also reconfirmed to my students that our curriculum is conducive and applicable based on the similar drills, application of holds and a shared philosophy. It was an absolute pleasure having him with us.”
Now on his “world tour,” with the time to really soak in each city, Scaggs admitted it was a little out of the ordinary. “It is quite bold indeed, but if I don’t do it now, I will end up regretting not doing it.” Another of his best friend in wrestling, Rob Van Dam, has told him that he envied him as he was not able to do it at this point in his own life.
So what’s the next city that Too Cold Scorpio will visit and experience?
“I have no idea at this point, but I’m sure something will happen in the next couple months, as I pride myself to have made only friends in and out of the business.”
And if he does end up in the city where you live — he’s at the Montreal ComicCon (montrealcomiccon.com) July 3-5 — take a few minutes to meet him, and maybe even suggest his next destination.
- May 19, 1999: Scorpio to take flight in Japan
- Twitter: @ToocoldScorpio1
- Dru Onyx’s Torture Chamber Pro Wrestling Dojo