Scott Armstrong recounts Umaga helping him get a job with WWE

Photo Courtesy: WWE

It was the late Edward Smith Fatu (Umaga) who insisted that Armstrong give WWE a call. 

From 2006-2022, Scott Armstrong was employed by WWE. He served as a referee and producer throughout his time in the company. In the later stages of Armstrong’s time there, he worked behind the scenes for the NXT brand. 

He spoke about how he got his start in WWE while guest appearing on “Da” Podcast with Steve ‘Finga Stylz’. Armstrong credited the late Edward Fatu Smith a.k.a. Umaga for helping him get his tenure with WWE started. Armstrong had been working at a furniture store and doing independent shows on weekends. 

He was content with where he was at in life, especially considering he was with his family more. Smith ran into Armstrong and was persistent about him making his way to WWE and putting his name in the ears of the powers that be. 

Five years go by, I worked on every indie show I could — literally worked every weekend, every weekend and I got a real job as a manager of a furniture store and I would do that Monday through Friday and then if I could get a Saturday and Sunday booking, I would do that too, every weekend and my life changed dude. I was 45 years old and Umaga, God rest his soul, he lived in Pensacola. Right now, I’m in Pensacola and so, he lived in Pensacola at the time and he walked in that furniture store not having a clue that I worked there and he said, ‘What are you doing here man?’ He said, ‘No Armstrong is supposed to be doing anything other than the wrestling business. What are you doing here?’ And we talked a little bit and laughed and he said, ‘Hey man, I’m gonna go back to work and tell ‘em’ because he was with WWE at the time and I said, ‘I’m good dude. I’m 45 now and I’ve been home five years so I’m doing homework with my kids, I’m having dinner every night with them’ and I’d never done that. I’d always been on the road and he said, ‘Yeah, this just don’t feel right man’ and so, about a month later, he walks back in the furniture store and hands me John Laurinaitis — who’s the head guy at the time — and he hands me his phone number and said, ‘Johnny says call him’ and Johnny was on my Japan tour and he was in WCW so I know him. ‘Johnny said call him’ and I went, ‘Oh no, man. I’m good dude.’ I start begging off. He said, ‘Scotty, at least call and feel it out and see what they say’ and jeez, the rest is history. I made it to 60 years old… I had a really, really positive, good run with WWE so, look, it was a lot of fun.

As the conversation rolled on, Armstrong was asked to name a match he did not enjoy being a part of. He shared that he hated officiating Last Man Standing matches and here’s his reasoning: 

Well, I’ll tell you the one (match) that I hated the most was the Last Man Standing because you gotta count to nine about 10 times, you know what I mean? (He laughed) And sometimes, the talent, they might take a huge bump and not want a count right there, and they may say, ‘No! No! No!’ Because they’re coming back up because they have something else lined up. I didn’t always go to the talent and say, hey, tell me your entire match because I didn’t wanna screw that up. I wanted it to flow and I wanted, as a referee, to look like I was refereeing a match… But those matches, my God man. You’d have to count — the beginning of the match, you’re counting to four or five and they’re getting up but man, the deeper the match goes, then you’re counting to nine almost every time and ah, it’s in the ring, it’s out of the ring, it’s all over. Hey, give me a 15-minute match in the ring…

Armstrong’s brother, Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James, serves as the Senior Vice President of Live Events for WWE. In 2011, their father, the late ‘Bullet’ Bob Armstrong was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit “Da” Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8465 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.