Scott Hall Self-Destructs
For more on this topic and other wrestling related videos, check out my YouTube.
For more on this topic and other wrestling related videos, check out my YouTube.
On January 15th of 1983, Scott Hall was just 25, with his whole life ahead of him. Working in a nightclub and strip bar known as "Thee Original Doll House." A tall, dark and handsome young man, Hall was still trying to figure out his place in the world, and the direction he wanted his journey to take. When, an altercation with one of the patrons of the bar, would change that journey forever.
Furious, Scott Hall made his way outside, when he heard of what was taking place.
I’m sure we have all acted out of emotion. Especially when we were younger, and even more so when we had partaken in a couple of drinks. Anger and rage make men act erratically and often with violence, when a verbal conversation would most likely prove the better solution. Scott Hall found out that day. A split second of violence can negatively effect you, every day, for the rest of your life.
Now the situation had exploded to a point of no return. A fist fight between these two hulking behemoths could have lead to a concussion, perhaps a broken nose and some scuffed knuckles. But as soon as the firearm entered into the equation, it became a life or death ordeal. Scott had reacted with aggression to a man who had been physically abusive and had destroyed his personal property. And now, one of these men was about to get shot.
And that was it. A man laid dead on the ground. Pouring blood onto himself and the wet tarmac below. It was never Scott’s intention for things to take such a dark and drastic turn. And now, he must calm his panic, settle his adrenaline and deal with the situation.
Police were called and Hall was honest about what was taken place, with the security guard and nightclub manager backing up his story to the authorities.
Scott Hall was a nervous wreck. Shivering and shaking as the police put him in handcuffs, arrested him and led him away from the crime scene. He was taken to a local jail and held in custody for three days, before being charged with second degree murder.
However, the case was dropped only hours later as the local law enforcement decided that they did not have enough evidence to follow up on a prosecution. Scott left the cell and made his way home, where he suffered from what he referred to as a nervous break-down.
Now with the value of hindsight, it is clear through Scott’s own testament and the quotes of those who were closest to him, that this incident, the murder of a fellow human being, left Hall with a deep and profound sadness. A guilt which would stay with him, everyday, until he died.
I wanted to explore this part of the story first, as a way to encapsulate the entire tragic tale and all of its emotions in a single incident. This moment, a death at your own hands, is enough to break the psyche of most. And for almost anyone, it would be the defining moment of a young person’s life. One which could set you on a path of longing, excesses, and self-destruction.
And, unfortunately, that is exactly the kind of story we are about to embark on. In this video, I will be taking a look at one of the most influential and game changing pro wrestlers of the last 50 years. A man whose career spanned decades across the most popular time in the industries history. Something that Scott Hall was no small part of. From his time in the AWA, Scott Hall with his larger-than-life personality and his larger than most stature. To his time in the late 80s in New Japan where Hall towered over competitors as an outsider American character.
Scott Hall quickly made a name for himself when he signed to a new deal with competitor WWF and later became a leading member of one of pro wrestling’s most important and iconic factions the New World Order, alongside Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan. But also, a man whose life was filled with addiction, loneliness, and self-doubt. For, just like that painful night back in 1983, Scott’s life would always look like it was heading into the neon lights, surrounded by beautiful women and jubilant celebration. Only for the allure of these vices to prove too strong, to draw out the negatives in Scott Hall’s deeply repressed mind and lead him astray.
"As I closed the distance, I remember what he was wearing, what I was wearing, what it smelled like, I mean, it’s burnt in my brain. Like, I drilled him, he went down, and his shirt went up, and he was reaching for the firearm, so I reached for it too. We wrestled around with it. I took it and shot him in the head. You know, a guy pulled a weapon on me, and I took it away and shot him, point-blank. A guy’s dead, and I’m the reason. This is bad." Scott Hall
"I did probably the most unhealthy thing I could’ve done. I should have sought counselling like, right then, but I didn’t know anything, I was a kid." Scott Hall
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks. PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.
Scott Hall was born on October 20th, 1958 in St Mary’s County, Maryland. Into a travelling military family full of struggling alcoholics.
From coast to coast within the United States, to further afield. Scott spent most of his childhood barely finding a way to settle any roots. He struggled to make lasting friendships, because as soon as he would enroll in a new class, in a new school, in a new state, he would be on to the next adventure with his parents. He eventually ended up in Munich, Germany where he studied at an All-American High School for travelling American’s. Before finding himself back in Marland, where he attended St Mary’s College and obtained a pre-medical degree. It was around this time that Scott Hall begun to find a passion for the lifestyle and glamour of professional wrestling and started regularly training at a local gym. Alongside his naturally enormous frame and square jaw, Hall didn’t have to wait long before he was lacing up his very first pair of wrestling boots.
“I was head of the household at 15. My dad used to tell me You’re going to slip. You’re going to fall. Try to fall forward.” Scott Hall
Following the shooting incident outside of the nightclub in 1983, Scott had deeply repressed the events in his mind and was looking for a constant stream of destruction. This meant that what originally was a natural and healthy interest in exercise turned into somewhat of an obsession, with Hall training harder and more regularly as a way to cope with his mental struggles. The upside to this unfortunate effect, was that by the time he made his debut in South Carolina in 1984, Scott Hall was huge. Over the next year his size would continue to balloon as he took his ripped biceps to Florida and signed with a promotion known as CWF. Here he feuded with the likes of Dusty Rhodes and fell under the tutelage of industry veteran Dan Spivey.
Dan Spivey sadly never had the career that perhaps his ideas and creativity deserved. He passed on his legacy however in another way. By teaching the technique of the crucifix powerbomb to a young athletic up and comer by the name of Scott Hall.
Pro Wrestling Wiki States: “The wrestler places his opponents head in between his legs then grabs the opponents stomach and lifts his opponent over his shoulder and holds both his arms in a cross position over his head. The wrestler finally runs or falls to his/her knees and throws his opponent onto the mat back/neck first.”
A devastating an impressive looking slam which Scott Hall would go on to perfect. Taking the finishing move with him throughout his entire career. It also caught the eye of fans back in the mid-eighties. This led to wider attention coming Hall’s way and he begun appearing for the National Wrestling Alliance in late 1984.
Scott’ stock continued to rise in 1985, when he was signed with the American Wrestling Association and begun appearing regularly on television. Known as Magnum Scott Hall, Verne Gagne, influential promoter and owner of the AWA wanted to make him the next big star of the company. Being said to value Hall as the next Hulk Hogan after Bollea had left for the WWF.
And you can see why. By this point Hall had accumulated all of the required attributes to become a world renowned star. He was smooth and powerful in the ring. His time on the microphone was starting to show his charismatic side. He was 6 foot 5 inches tall and had begun to sport one of the most dangerous looking moustaches in all of sports entertainment. It was at this time, that Hall begun really accelerating his understanding of in-ring psychology as well as beginning to better develop his actions between the ropes. One large part of this, was the fall away slam.
“There was another move, the Fallaway Slam, that some people started calling ‘Hall-away Slam.’ But I actually called it ‘the sack-of-shit’ cause I was working with Carlos Colon at the time in Puerto Rico. I told him duck the clothesline, then crossbody, I caught him and just thinking of cool moves to do I threw him back over my head. We got back to the locker room and he told me, ‘Amigo! What the hell? You threw me like a sack-of-shit!’ So that’s how I named it, but it’s great to see the young guys still using it.” Scott Hall
By 1986, Scott had found a true friend within the industry, a man whom he would form a successful tag team with over the next three years. That man was Curt Hennig, who would also end up in WCW and WWF as Mr. Perfect. The two men won the AWA tag titles from Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal the first major belt that Hall had held in his career. A competitive friendship grew out of the tag team, with both men pushing each other on to improve as performers. They retained their titles in matches against Buddy Rose and Doug Somers, Nord the Barbarian and Boris Zhukov, and Bill and Scott Irwin. Before eventually dropping the belts to Rose and Somers via count out in May following a murky finish which left a sour taste in fans mouths.
By 1987 Hall earned a try-out with WWF at a house show in August. Although he felt like he showed the best of his ability, Hall was unsuccessful and continued to explore other avenues outside of Vince McMahon’s promotion.
Scott Hall explained that he never could settle with the colder, wetter weather in the Northern territories. He also understood that AWA as a company was barely keeping it’s head above water. Not wanting to be trapped on a sinking ship, before Verne Gagne could enact his plan to make Hall the World Champion, he and Hennig left the company in 1989.
Legendary wrestling figure Jim Ross quickly snapped up Hall and signed him to a contract with the NWA’s World Championship Wrestling promotion as part of the companies desire to bring in a new generation of talent, which saw Hall joined by the likes of Sid Viscous and Brian Pillman.
Presented in a series of light-hearted videos, Hall was introduced as Scott Gator Hall and could be seen playing volleyball at a beach, riding boats, fishing, and scaring alligators.
His television debut for WCW came in a losing effort against the Great Muta. This proved to be the start of a losing pattern for Hall as he was used as enhancement talent for the likes of Mike Rotunda, Sid Vicious, Ron Simmons, and Butch Reed. But regardless of his position on the card or his results in matches, Hall explained how he was happy with it at the time, and wanted to work to be better at making others look good in matches. He said “even the worst wrestlers are getting paid”
However, his lack of traction and a slow start meant that Hall never managed to get his teeth stuck into his role within WCW, before being released in November.
This period of Hall’s career was one very much about transitions. He arrived in Florida for a second trial match with WWF on January 23rd 1990. The bout saw him defeated as part of the companies Wrestling Challenge by Paul Roma. The match once again proving not enough to earn Scott a contract. Going back to his childhood, Hall was by this point well adapted to life on the road, moving from company to company, gaining experience and learning from some of the best talents in the industry at the time.
He made his way to Japan and became a part of the New Japan Pro Wrestling roster in March of 1990 and made his debut as Texas Scott, facing off against Hiroshi Hase & Kuniaki Kobayashi alongside Larry Cameron in Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Over the next year, Hall would find himself standing across the ring from industry legends such as Bam Bam Bigelow, Koji Kitao, Nord the Barbarian, and Shinya Hashimoto, all of whom Hall credits with his marked improvement at the time.
Hall also begun travelling Europe and made his way to the country where he briefly attended school in his teens. As part of Catch Wrestling Associations’ Catch Cup 90 tournament Hall lost to the Soul Taker in December of 1990 in Bremen Germany.
On April 29th 1991 Hall returned to WCW, this time as The Diamond Studd a vein and arrogant bad guy, who knew how good he was and wanted everybody to know it. This was the character which first introduced Scott to one of his most iconic trademarks. The humble toothpick.
Such a simple idea. Yet so effective. It is rude and obnoxious to chew when someone is talking to you. So, by extension, to continue to do so, shows a true level of arrogance and distain for others. It also, for some unexplainable reason, looked so cool.
Hall would flick his toothpick as a sign of derision towards the crowds in attendance, and even directly at the camera lens, a clear display of cockiness towards the fans at home.
Through his run as The Diamond Studd in WCW. He used the crucifix powerbomb named the Diamond drop where Scott Hall gained notoriety.
Notable matches during this period include Hall feuding once again with Dusty Rhodes. Ron Simmons defeated The Diamond Stuff at Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl. He also took part in a Chamber of Horrors match at Halloween Havoc in 1991. Shortly after leaving to try his hand for the third time at a WWF contract.
This time, things were different. WWF didn’t need Hall to go through the riggers of another trial match. He had earned his contract and with it a place on the roster. But, more than that. With his level of experience and newfound prestige brought with him to the company, Scott Hall was going to finally get the spotlight he deserved.
His first appearance for the company came in a series of untelevised dark matches against Chris Hahn in May of 1992. Hall also faced off against Tito Santana and was seen in an incredibly rare version of his usual ring attire, but with long tights. Something he never wore again. WWF continued to warm Hall up with another dark match, this time against Virgil. It has been discussed that these matches were clearly not at the level which Hall had been promised when he signed his contract as a way of testing his ego.
Could he handle losing to wrestlers who were much smaller and less skilled than he?
It appears so. As Vince McMahon begun taking a more focused approach to Scott Hall’s career and started to work on a character for his big debut.
“I told Vince, if you want me to be a G I Joe type character I’ll be the best damn G I Joe I can be, but have you ever seen Scarface? Say Hello to the Bad Guy. I felt really flattered because Vince McMahon left TV personally to direct my vignettes, he flew with me to south beach Miami to do it, I knew things were cool and my DVD came out last July where they showed footage of Vince into the character.” Scott Hall
These now iconic introduction videos showed a new character, called Razor Ramon. A slick talking and greasy haired Cuban who Hall admits was taken directly from Al Pacino’s Tony Montana persona in Scarface.
“Vince always told guys to use their face that’s where the money is, You have to keep an eye on the camera, so in my entrance I’d usually go and look right to the hard-camera side You could see in the nWo days I’d just look right at the camera and go, ‘I’m the shit! He’d never seen Scarface, so when I came out doing the Scarface gimmick he thought I was a genius I never told him, I don’t know why they don’t introduce new characters with vignettes like that anymore,” he added.
Ramon could be seen pushing innocent bystanders into water fountains, driving in his fancy Cadillac and smashing up restaurants. His arrogance and machismo knew no bounds. A clear evolution of his character work in WCW, Razor Ramon was a display from Hall that he was in full control in front of the camera just oozing with love to hate him charisma. Brightly coloured and brashly outfitted, hugely tall and muscular. Hall was the personification of the over-the-top, neon 90s approach to wrestling in WWF at this time.
Once fans had grown intrigued by these weekly videos, it came time for Razor Ramon to make his first live appearance. On television in front of the world, Ramon faced off against a jobber by the name of Paul Van Dale, who coincidentally is the father of modern-day WWE wrestler Carmella.
The wrestling world is seemingly a small one. He looked a star from the moment he stepped between the curtain. All eyes were on the newest and most exciting star, fresh onto the scene within the company. As he walked to the ring Hall disappeared into the atmosphere of the arena. And what appeared was the fully formed and perfectly realised character of Razor Ramon. Cold, calm, killer. As Ramon stepped into the ring, he removed his sparkling gold jewellery and handed them to a ringside aid, exclaiming: "Something happens to this, something gonna happen to you"
The match was the perfect introduction for the new Razor character. Scott Hall got to dominate the lesser man with his sheer size and power. He slapped his opponent around the ring and showed disrespect when he laid in his large boots. Hall delivered a small yet impactful amount of slow paced, but well played out offense. And showed that the man behind the character understood how to have the audience in the palm of his hand. The bout came to a violent end when Ramon delivered his first televised WWF crucifix powerbomb, which he was now calling the razor’s edge.
A victory and a cocky walk back up the ramp had solidified this new persona amongst fans of WWF and would go on to be an excellent starting block for Scott Hall.
His first major feud came when he begun to team with Ric Flair and begun interacting with Macho Man Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior, which was scheduled to lead into a tag match between the four men at Survivor Series. A clear indicator of the very elite level which Scott Hall was instantly placed into when he hit the television screens. However, due to The Ultimate Warrior’s contract being terminated at this time, plans had to change last minute:
“It was supposed to be me and Ric Flair against Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior. Vince used to lay story lines out way ahead of time. Going into this match I was supposed to hurt Randy and retire him so that he could go to broadcasting and they were going to keep pushing Razor as a major heel force. But Warrior held Vince up for more money but he wasn’t having it this time, so they brought Mr Perfect back from announcing to wrestling. When plans change like that, in that situation you have to feature a decent substitute otherwise the audience will feel they got screwed. Warrior doesn’t show up and you put Perfect in, good replacement.” Scott Hall
This high level of stature continued for Razor Ramon as he replaced the recently fired Ultimate Warrior in his main event feud against then WWF Champion Bret Hart. The two men battling it out at the Royal Rumble in 1993. Although Ramon would eventually tap out to Hart’s sharpshooter, his loss was never a poor reflection of his standing.
At Wrestlemania that year, Hall earned his first major pay-per-view victory within the company, with a roll-up pin over the former long reigning WWF Champion Bob Backlund.
In May, Razor was scheduled to face off against an up and comer by the name of 1,2,3 Kidd. A trainee who nobody, fan nor wrestler would take seriously. He was small, fresh-faced and inexperienced. What hopes did he have of taking on the likes of Ramon who towered over his daunted looking foe.
However, this was a new era of WWF. This match was going to be aired live on Monday Night Raw. A new concept for pro wrestling, with a more unscripted and anything could happen atmosphere. So, when the time came. Razor Ramon tried his best and chased the young upstart around the ring, flailing as his quicker adversary evaded his grasp.
Now, the man behind the character, Scott Hall was a shrewd wrestling mind. He understands what the fans want and he understands how to deliver. So, during the match, through a once in a lifetime miracle, the 1,2,3 Kidd was victorious and got the pin over Ramon. Creating not only a lasting and iconic image of an underdog’s triumph. But also a platform for Sean Waltman, the man who played 1,2,3 Kidd to leap frog his career from.
It made for a gripping piece of unpredictable television, the replays of which are still discussed amongst wrestling purists online.
Furious at his loss and embarrassed in front of Ted DiBiase, Ramon carried the loss with him to King Of The Ring. By this time, Ted DiBiase had worn down Razor with his constant reminder of his loss to a man half his size. This led to the unexpected once again. The fans begun to show sympathy for Ramon, they begun to boo slightly less when he appeared in the ring.
So, by the time Ramon and DiBiase faced off at Summerslam, a complete change of character had happened. Razor Ramon had been humbled in defeat, and shown signs of vulnerability, which crowds had warmed to. When Ramon pinned DiBiase in The Million Dollar Man’s last WWF match, the fans were firmly on The Bad Guy’s side.
Razor Ramon had a great run as historic Intercontinental champion and stayed with the WWF using his now named Razor’s Edge finisher, his now evolved crucifix powerbomb variant. When Shawn Michaels was suspended from the company, whilst being the holder of the intercontinental title, the storyline played out that Razor Ramon wanted to become the interim champion and declared himself the rightful owner of the belt. When Michaels returns the pair faced off in one of the most iconic and talked about matches of the generation. A ladder match for both the interim and complete intercontinental titles at Wrestlemania 10. A match which would give us possibly the longest lasting image of Ramon’s fabled career.
Over the next 3 years he would go on to be the first wrestler in WWF’s history to hold the Intercontinental title 3 times. With a win over Diesel at Summerslam and a ladder match against Jeff Jarrett in 1995. And would begin to cement his legacy within the company and the wider wrestling world.
Not satisfied, Hall continued his dominant run of acquiring the companies second most prestigious belt winning the Intercontinental strap a fourth time from Dean Douglas later that year. And would remain in the title picture over the next several months.
However, this success would be tarnished in such a recognisable way for Scott Hall. The beginning of the self-destruction occurred when he was suspended from the company for drug abuse before Wrestlemania 12.
Upon his return to the company, Scott Hall had begun to align himself with the real-life backstage faction known as the Kliq. Formed of Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Paul Lavesque / Triple H and 1,2,3 Kidd Shawn Waltman. The group were notorious for their ability to influence decision makers behind the curtain and get in the ear of executives within the company.
This power over their own contracts and careers drew the ire from many fellow performers. Perhaps through jealous or a dislike of the power imbalance, there was friction growing amongst the roster. The other clear thing that was growing, was the members of the Kliq’s popularity and more importantly their egos.
This lead to a series of contract re-negotiations by the likes of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, who wanted more financial compensation for the viewership figures WWF were seeing at the time.
"Then when the window came; time for them to be able to discuss and talk with other groups, they went in, and they made their deal. But it was letters of offer and things like that. Not necessarily contract negotiations and shit like that - that was going on but at first, I heard it was Razor Ramon and it was the rumblings about Kevin Nash, because both were asked. Razor stepped up and said, ‘Yeah, I’m thinking about making a move. If you guys can give me a guarantee and I knew what I was making then I would consider it, to stay.’ Kevin said he wasn’t leaving. Kevin had given Vince his word, ‘I’m not leaving.’ That turned out to not be the case." said Prichard
When Vince McMahon called their bluff and refused to negotiate. Both men played out their contracts and begun to make a deal with WWF’s biggest rival. WCW.
When McMahon heard news of the departures, he reportedly tried everything within his power to keep Razor and Nash on the roster. But it was too late. Both men had signed huge financial contracts with Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling which would see them become some of the highest paid pro wrestlers of all time.
Being the honourable men that both Kevin and Scott were, they decided to respectfully play out the remaining few weeks of their contracts and continue to fulfil their required appearances. One such appearance came on May 19, 1996. A date which would prove to be the final appearances of both men within the company for the foreseeable future.
Inside one of the homes of modern pro wrestling, Maddison Square Garden. With Triple H and Razor Ramon clashing in an earlier bout. Kevin Nash as Diesel was facing off against Shawn Michaels in the main event.
When Scott made his way out to the ring after the final bell, the fans in attendance celebrated as the good guys stood victorious. However, when Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his way out and hugged both men, a sense of confusion filled the arena. Nash stood up, and instead of continuing to fight those who fans perceived as his enemies, he did the unthinkable. And hugged the other Kliq members in the ring.
The four men in one of the first recorded incidents which proved that pro wrestling was nothing more than physical theatre. A clear display that these four men where merely playing characters and after the final curtain falls, they are all just actors and friends behind the scenes.
At this point, the mystery of kayfabe and the belief that everything that happened in pro wrestling was real, for some, was still just that. A mystery. So to clearly lift the curtain and show that all of that history. All of those stories and feuds over almost a century. Was simply make-believe. A clever trick, backed up by a lie. It doesn’t seem like much today. But back then, this caused huge ripples around the grappling globe.
“Shawn Michaels kind of threw Triple H under the bus that night at the Garden. Triple H was supposed to get the big push. He was supposed to get the Stone Cold spot. They were grooming him for that but then Vince had to punish somebody. I was in Vince’s office when Shawn came in and pitched the curtain call. Vince was finally talking to me about staying and I was like it’s too late, I’m done. Shawn came in and said ‘I want Razor to come out to the ring in my match.’ Vince said, ‘Is it important to you?’ And Shawn said yeah, and Vince goes, ‘Well, make it happen.’ He knew, but I think what happened was, ‘Now the guys are trying to bring the business down.’ The guys who were staying were really mad. I’m glad we did it. I didn’t plan it, it was all Shawn’s idea and he was the one staying. It got really heavy. There’s a famous picture of Shawn wearing one of the early Outsiders shirts. I think he was doing that just to give him some kind of ammunition with Vince. Now he’s thrown his last buddy, Triple H, under the ring, so he’s there solo now with no friends. It’s lonely at the top. I think that’s when Michaels may have started his pill use and his alcohol use may have increased at the time.” Scott Hall
In 1998 The Wrestling Observer News Letter reported: Scott Hall was arrested for misdemeanor simple battery and drunk and disorderly conduct last week in Baton Rouge, LA. A 56-year-old woman told police that she was waiting in her car outside of her hotel when she spotted Hall and rolled down her window to speak with him. Hall allegedly reached into the car and grabbed the woman's breast and tried to pull her hand to his crotch. She reported it to police and Hall was arrested in his hotel room but was later released after being charged and is still working WCW events as of press time. Dave says it's yet another incident in a scary pattern of behavior for Scott Hall, who has been to rehab 3 times in the past year but it doesn't seem to be working. Dave talks about how the warning signs with Brian Pillman and Louie Spicolli were there all along and were ignored and now the warning signs are clearly there with Scott Hall. WCW hasn't commented on the situation and word is they plan to pretty much ignore it. This is extra bad news for Hall because he's in the middle of a nasty custody battle with his ex-wife and getting arrested for charges like that won't help his case any.
A key figure in the battle for dominance on television in the late 90s during the Monday Night Wars as one part of the massively influential Outsiders. When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left WWE in 1996 to join fierce rivals WCW and form one of the most influential and divisive factions in pro wrestling history the New World Order, aligning with perennial babyface (at the time at least) Hulk Hogan, another icon of WCW’s rivals WWF. Where Scott Hall adapted the crucifix powerbomb once again into the aptly named Outsider’s Edge.
The Razor Ramon character belonged to WWF at the time, the company hilarious choosing to keep both Kevin Nash and Scott Hall’s on-screen personalities alive in the wake of the two men’s departure. With these two hilarious and at the time much hated replacements. One of whom, the man playing Nash – went on to become an industry legend and future hall of famer, big red machine Kane.
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash became just that as they transitioned to WCW, keeping their real names and assuming a lot more control over their matches and storylines.
Hall won the WCW United States Heavyweight title from Roddy Piper at SuperBrawl 9, but in a cruel twist of fate was forced to vacate the championship after he suffered an injury to his ankle and foot, sidelining Hall until he was once again fit.
In November on an episode of WCW Nitro, Hall defeated Bret Hart, Sid Vicious and Goldberg to win back the WCW US Title in a Texas tornado 4 way match. He then continued his run of excellent form by capturing the Television title from Rick Steiner at the Mayhem pay-per-view.
But, sadly, once again fortune did not favour Hall. As he was stricken with a knee injury which meant he now had to simultaneously relinquish two belts. Not wanting to let the emotions get on top of him, Scott Hall headed to the gym to rehab and come back in even better shape.
Which he did. Returning to WCW Nitro, teaming up with his long-time partner in Kevin Nash and capturing the pair’s sixth WCW Tag Championship reign from a team of Bret Hart and Goldberg in December.
But as somewhat of a curse begun to present itself. For the third time in short succession, and for the fourth belt in a row, Scott Hall suffered another injury in the ring and was forced to vacate both his tag title belt and abandon Kevin Nash, who was now once again without his partner.
This proved to be the beginning of the end for Hall, whose demons begun to get the better of him. He was known to be a bit of a party animal behind the scenes, but his penchant for a bottle of beer and a shot of whiskey, through all of the injuries and painkillers, miles on the road and lonely nights in hotel rooms. Had turned into a full blown addiction. Something which swiftly spiralled out of control. WCW, known for their low brow attitude to story-telling and desire to blend real world drama with the action we saw on our televisions, decided to turn Scott Hall’s real-life implosion, into a storyline on their prime time show.
Scott Hall came to the ring half drunk, half acting drunk, carrying with him through every stumbled step a plastic cup filled with more of his strong alcohol. With hindsight, this prediction for the future of Scott Hall is both accurate and devastating. Poor taste doesn’t even come close to covering how I feel about this whole story and segment with WCW and Hall. We will see later that this is the exact way in which Hall’s terrible story will conclude. But for now, Hall left WCW and begun the next chapter of this tumultuous tale.
I was the one who gave Sting that ‘Crow’ gimmick. My first day back in WCW, we’re in the locker room, Sting’s at one sink, I’m at the other. He’s painting his face, I’m slicking my hair back. I noticed that he’s growing his hair out, he’s not doing the short, bleached, platinum crew cut. I looked at Sting and said, ‘You’re growing your hair out?’ And all he said was, ‘Yeah.’ Look, when he was a top guy there and I was underneath, we never had anything to say to each other. Now the tables had turned. I didn’t know him at all, but I couldn’t help myself. So I said, ‘Are you still going to wear the happy guy neon tights?’ And he said, ‘Yeah. Then I asked, ‘Have you ever seen ‘The Crow’? I started describing ‘The Crow’ to him, the raincoats and the darkness. That’s when I told him, ‘I ain’t telling you to rip off Undertaker, but yeah, I’m telling you to rip off ’Taker. Sting went to Eric Bischoff with it, and he loved it, and they went with it,” Hall continued. “I didn’t care if people knew it was my idea; I only cared that Sting knew. I know I could look across the locker room and say, ‘What’s up, man?’ I don’t care if you like me, I had a good idea, and that was the way it was at the time.”
Suffice to say, Scott Hall went on to have a brief spell in infamous wrestling promotion ECW in 2000 and made trips back to Japan in 2001. Hall featured sporadically for several promotions over the next few years in the US, especially standing out in TNA where his crucifix powerbomb became known simply as ‘the edge’.
Over the next few years Hall appeared for Juggalo Championship Wrestling at their Bloodymania show. He main evented a World Wrestling Council pay-per-view and featured in one off appearances for a handful of other companies.
It was this decade, between 2001 and 2011 which would prove to be Scott Hall’s undoing. Unable to cope with his past traumas. Needing to replace the feeling of a cheering crowd. Regretting his past decisions and wishing he could go back and do things differently. His family had fallen apart. He had been a terrible and vacant father. And he needed something to block it all out. The substance abuse issues grew and were magnified as each new pressure and negative emotion compiled atop one another. Scott Hall had suffered through so much, he had turned it around and managed to do more than just survive, he flourished. But now, with the glory of his heyday a mere foggy memory. Scott Hall begun to self-destruct.
Scott Hall had initially run into the awareness of the police during the incident with a gunman in a nightclub backin Florida in 1983. However, since then, he had managed to stay out of trouble as his wrestling career would have been put in jeopardy if he was to be caught in an illegal act. But now, there was no career to risk. No boss to be fired by. And in 2008 a string of offences was committed by Scott Hall, all of which involved over consumption of alcohol and more than a smattering of hard drugs. To avoid any legal confusion, I will be referring to the police reports from the incidents and relaying them directly as I find them:
“On October 10, 2008, Hall was arrested during a roast of The Iron Sheik held at a Crowne Plaza hotel in New Jersey. A comedian, Jimmy Graham, had joked about Owen Hart's death by saying, "After The Sheik and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got caught snorting coke in the parking lot, his career fell faster than Owen Hart." New Jersey Police Report
“Scott Hall was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer on May 14, 2010. Police were called to the Hitching Post Bar in Chuluota, Florida, after Hall "became aggressive". According to the police report, he had been "drinking heavily". When they arrived, they found him yelling and cursing at independent professional wrestling personalities and bar staff. Hall was told he was not allowed to return to the establishment. In his police statement, Hall described himself as an unemployed professional wrestler, despite having a job with TNA Wrestling, who would release him a month later.” Chuluoto Police Report
“On April 6, 2012, Hall was again arrested in Chuluota, Florida. The arrest was later reported to be for a domestic disturbance involving his girlfriend, Lisa Howell; Hall allegedly choked Howell while he was drunk. He was taken to a hospital to be medically cleared prior to being taken to a drunk tank. Hall denied the choking allegations. The prosecutor dropped the charges, citing insufficient evidence.” Chuluoto Police Report
It was clear by this time that Scott Hall was completely out of control. If you see any footage or listen to any interviews from this period, and you hold an ounce of compassion in your heart, they will make you feel so sad. I cannot imagine what was going through this once great athlete’s mind as charge after accusation, court appearance after legal case continued in a seemingly never ending stream.
DRUNK IN THE RING
But it was clear that Hall’s issues would not stop there. His alcoholism and substance abuse issues had consumed his entire life. Every day was a simple, yet agonising blur of waking up, seeking relief and in turn becoming a zombie. A demon form of himself which caught Scott in a circle of destruction. He attempted to make an appearance with a Fallen River indy wrestling promotion. And agreed to remain sober on the day of the show. Come to the ring and hype the crowd up with a few classic catch phrases. However, addiction never plays fair.
It just isn’t that simple.
Justin Credible fought Aldo Montoya in the main event and when the final bell rung, it was Hall’s time to make his grand appearance. Hall turned up completely out of his mind drunk. Belligerently made his way to the ring and insisted on showing that he still had what it took physically.
On the incident Polaco said “it was horrifying and very sad.”
Scott 2 Hotty who was also present during the incident later commented: “Just witnessed the saddest, most embarrassing thing in my career! How many guys have to die before some guys learn?”
"I had the inability to ask for help when I needed it. People offered to help me, but I refused. They’d ask, ‘How are you?’ and I’d answer, ‘Better than you.’" Scott Hall
"To anyone that will listen, I honestly tell them that there are people that can help you. Find some professional that you connect with and go for it. Ignoring the problem, the real problem did not work for me, nor do I recommend it to anyone else." Scott Hall
“Drugs, alcohol and wrestling – he chose all of that over us. He gave us up. He gave his kids up. I would ask the kids to write their Dad. They needed a Dad, they didn’t need a wrestler. They never got one letter back.” Dana Hall
“Scott’s personal demons are the only negative on his checklist. He had a great mind and still does. Very astute in the machinations of producing and joining a wrestling character, angle, or storyline, and he could work very well. He’s big and could work with any talents. He could be a big heel or a big babyface. The only thing that held Scott back was reliability. He was such a prisoner to the drugs and the booze that he had a hard time getting past that element. That became his identity at certain points of his career, which was totally unfortunate. He was a hell of a hand in the ring, really good and he had a great mind. I’m surprised somebody hasn’t nabbed him up in a creative capacity because I think he’s that good. It wouldn’t have surprised me under better circumstances that Scott was a world champion. He had the skills, he had the look, and he had the aptitude. He just had those demons nipping at his heels that seemingly never did go away.” Jim Ross
“What did I have to lose? I was drinking myself to death. I don’t even know why I answered the phone when Dally and Jake called because I wasn’t answering any calls or talking to anyone. I guess it was fate. Jake was one of my professional heroes and Dally was always a great friend. It was just the two of them and me in Page’s home.” Scott Hall
Over the next few years Hall begun to slowly turn his life around. Through several stints in rehabilitation centres and legally enforced medical session, Hall was beginning to come clean to himself and the world about his struggle and his feelings of complete helplessness.
He managed to stay clean.
Through the help from his close friends Jake The Snake Roberts and Diamond Dallas Page, who together got Hall back on his feet. In a position to have a clear mind, lose a ton of weight and get back into that once remembered physical condition.
This hard work and dedication was rewarded in 2014. When It was announced that Scott would be formally inducted into the most prestigious wrestling hall of fame, with WWE.
HALL OF FAME
On April 5, 2014 Scott Hall was a man reborn. As he stepped onto the podium in front of his lifetime friends and colleagues, he beamed with pride as he received his just rewards.
He delivered my single favourite line in all of pro wrestling history: "Hard work pays off. Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do."
A single sentence which fills my eyes with tears as I listen to it back. This was set to be the fairy-tale ending which was the shining light at the end of a very dark tunnel. But alas. As with every great achievement, we will soon see that even these moments filled with golden glory would not be enough to serve us with a happy ending for this tragic tale.
At the 2020 Hall of Fame event, Scott Hall the man was inducted as part of the N.W.O with Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan and X-Pac. A cherry on top of the acknowledgement from Vince McMahon and WWE to Scott Hall’s lasting impact on the wrestling business.
“I love the wrestling business, but my Mom never named me Razor. That I did with the blessing of Vince McMahon but, at the end of the day, the wrestling business was always essentially about the money and the miles. My most important legacy is being a good father to my two children.” Scott Hall
“My life is like driving down a road. I occasionally glance in the rearview mirror but I’m not focused on the past or looking back anymore. That’s why the windshield is bigger than the review view mirror. I prefer to look ahead, make my short term goals, and focus on today. I’m where I’m supposed to be but not where I want to be. Thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m OK and I’m on my way one day at a time. Help awaits everyone if they truly want it.” Scott Hall
"Nobody knows what Scott has gone through since early childhood to what he has gone through up until this point, except for me. “I can tell you Scott Hall has neither a drug or alcohol addiction. Scott’s problem is he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Drugs and alcohol aren’t the problem - to Scott they are the solution. He is a fragile and broken human being, not a race horse that you take a whip to to perform. Scott Hall is in bad shape and each time I talk to him I feel it may be the last." Kevin Nash
“Scott had one of the best pro wrestling minds I’ve ever known. Prayers to the Bad Guy and his family and friends." Jim Ross
“After officially retiring from wrestling in 2010, Hall was put through rehab, paid for by WWE. He then suffered congestive heart failure and began having seizures. He had a defibrillator and pacemaker fitted in his chest, was twice treated for double pneumonia and diagnosed with epilepsy. After falling and breaking a hip in early March 2022, Hall had hip replacement surgery but suffered complications due to a blood clot” according to Wade Keller of PW Torch.
"It was hard enough for him as it was, but he was isolated in his house with no social interaction," Waltman told the outlet, adding that the social isolation of the pandemic may have exacerbated Hall's health problems. Kevin Nash
When someone sadly passes away, they will usually receive well wishes, thoughts and prayers from their family and friends. When someone famous dies, those emotions arrive from a wider pool of people who may have known or enjoyed the work of the diseased. When Scott Hall died, things felt slightly different.
"We’ve lost so many wrestlers from my era, and this is just one more to a list that’s far too long. I won’t blame any one thing, but I do believe that if the days of wrestling 300 days a year had been kinder and more considerate, if we could’ve been home with our loved ones more, many of my old friends and brothers would still be here. I think Scott would smile to know that so many people really loved him and will truly miss him. One more wrestler. A fine machine gone too soon."Bret Hart
We saw emotional outpourings from his family and friends, of course. The wrestlers he shared the ring with and his colleagues from his long career too. But the manner in which we saw countless tributes from wrestlers in the ring, whether it be using a spin on one of Hall’s classic catchphrases, or pulling out a smooth walk to the ring. It is so clear that Hall’s death impacted people on a different level.
‘Effortless in the ring’ Scott was laid back and quiet, but he’d listen and absorb,” Michaels added in the Sports Illustrated interview. He was effortless in the ring. He had great psychology. He always tilted the story to his opponents. It’s just he wasn’t a big talker about it,” he added. Scott was never tooting his own horn about his ideas creatively and his ideas conceptually in a match. ‘We’d bare our souls to each other’ Shawn Michaels
Now, any death is sad, of course. But Hall’s passing was not a sudden, nor unexpected one. Yes he was relatively young, but his health had been in tatters for years. So, the grief and angusish built up for over a decade as people kept reminding Th Bad Guy, that he was in fact slowly killing himself. For me this made the pain felt by the wrestling community even more concentrated and raw.
“I'm going to lose the one person on this planet I've spent more of my life with than anyone else. My heart is broken and I'm so very fucking sad. I love Scott with all my heart but now I have to prepare my life without him in the present. I've been blessed to have a friend that took me at face value and I him. When we jumped to WCW we didn't care who liked or hated us. We had each other and with the smooth Barry Bloom we changed wrestling both in content and pay for those......alot that disliked us. We were the "Outsiders " but we had each other. Scott always felt he wasn't worthy of the afterlife. Well God please have some gold plated toothpicks for my brother. My life was enriched with his take on life. He wasn't perfect but as he always said "The last perfect person to walk the planet they nailed to a cross " As we prepare for life without him just remember there goes a great guy you ain't going to see another one like him again.” Kevin Nash
“In MMA, if you’re a badass, it’s because God and your parents just made you a badass… …But Pro-Wrestling is different. Sometimes the tough guys beat up the other guys, but sometimes, you’re tougher than the guy you’re wrestling, and you can wipe the floor with him, but he sells more merchandise, the fans like him, the Office likes him – so they’re gonna go with him.” Scott Hall
Scott Hall left behind a true legacy. One which started from humble beginnings and hard work, through the game changing and ever present N.W.O and his iconic run as one of pro wrestling’s most beloved bad guys.
The Diamond Drop, The Razor’s Edge, The Outsiders Edge. Which ever variant of Scott Hall’s you look at. It’s clear to see why so many mainly associate the crucifix powerbomb with this one man.
So influential is Scott Hall in the wrestling world, that in modern times, wrestling has seen a huge array of wrestler’s put their opponents head between their legs, spin them up onto their backs and slam them down with a move that is biblical in it’s iconography as well as it’s destructive capabilities.
But he was so much more than just a single finisher. Scott Hall redefined what it was to be truly cool in pro wrestling. He slicked back his hair and chomped down on a toothpick and explained to the world through his charismatic words and powerful in-ring actions, that he was deserved of his illustrious spot.
Scott Hall’s life was tarred with misery. Through a murder, drug abuse and family issues which lasted for almost 40 years. It is clear to see why his life fell so far off the tracks. However, as we come to the end of the story, we must not only take this cautionary tale to heart, warned of the dangers of excess and addiction. But praise a man who spent most of his life doing what he loved most, going out every night in front of a crowd of 60 or 60,000 and entertaining us, the fans.
“I always wanted to be a main eventer in pro wrestling. I lived my dream but the excess of the ’80s and the huge money of the ’90s became a great temptation for many of us. After working in a main event, on the advice of one of my peers, I took my downers, Xanax was my drug of choice, before I stopped sweating and got into the showers. Then I’d have a few beers on the drive to the hotel and then hit the rack to make that 6 a.m. flight. Some nights we wouldn’t go to bed at all and hit the hotel bar and then hit a diner, eat and then get to the airport to sleep on the plane.” Scott Hall
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