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Hawk Falling Down

Hey Scott,

Long time reader, followed you through Wrestlemaniacs/ Wrestleline/ Rantsylvania/ Smarks/ 411wrestling/ 411mania/ Insidepulse/ Blog of Doom. The discussion within the Scott Hall post got me thinking about Road Warrior Hawk. My timeline may be off, but I believe it was back in the LOD 2000 days, when Hawk was playing being drunk/stoned, and I think the idea was that Droz was his dealer or something to that effect. Anyway, very early in the angle, LOD was doing a promo and Hawk took a minute to address the crowd as Michael Hegstrand to apologise for his behaviour the previous week, saying that it wasn't professional, not what the fans paid to see, and promising that it wouldn't happen again. Sure enough, starting the very next week Hawk is stumbling around the place, tripping while getting in the ring, and falling off the titantron. My question is, what was the incident that started that angle, and was it genuine? Was Hawk really on live TV unfit for work in a glaringly obvious way? And did they base the angle off that incident, forcing Hawk to air his personal demons on TV, or was it all a work?

Well, the drunkness and poor condition was certainly no work.  Hawk was in rough shape at that point and shouldn’t have been on TV.  The rest was the genius of Vince Russo, who decided that it would be edgy and cool to make fun of someone who could barely function.  I forget the exact inciting incident, although I think it was something like him doing commentary while being drunk.  But yeah, the initial incident was genuine, the rest was a work, albeit one far too close to home.