…Hey yo! Not gonna lie…I’ve been dreading this day now for over a decade.
News broke of the health complications following a hip replacement surgery that Scott Hall was having performed. In an interview, Sean “Xpac” Waltman noted that the isolation during the pandemic was rough on Scott. He started drinking more again and put some weight back on. When Hall fell & broke his hip, he was unable to move & was laying on the ground, unable to get to the phone. He laid there for a few days until his friend, “Diamond” Dallas Page found him while doing a wellness check on him on March 12th. He underwent surgery at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, GA, and during the surgery, a blood clot came dislodged, which caused him to have three heart attacks and was put on life support. Then, on the morning of March 14th, Kevin Nash posted a tribute to his friend, noting that Scott was being kept on life support until the family could arrive to pay their respects and say their goodbyes. At which time, Scott Hall, my favorite wrestler of all time, the guy who “oozed machismo” as Razor Ramon in the WWF, the guy who kickstarted the New World Order, “The Bad Guy” that everyone loved….left this world forever.
“Scott’s on life support. Once his family is in place they will discontinue life support. 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. See Ya down the road Scott. I couldn’t love a human being any more than I do you”
Kevin Nash via Instagram @realkevinnash
He was 63.
I’ve been holding back tears all day, just trying to get through another day of work. I’ve written a number of these career retrospective pieces for a number of personalities who I’ve enjoyed watching over the years, but this one is hitting me a bit harder than a number of the others. Scott’s had a pretty rough life since before even entering the world of professional wrestling. I’m not gonna go deep into it, but ESPN did a great E:60 documentary on his demons he’s lived with a majority of his life, which can be seen here:
Also PWInsider.com‘s Mike Johnson has posted a great article here about Scott’s demons and pushing people who have suffered psychological trauma to please seek help. But what I’m here to do is to celebrate the Scott Hall we all got to watch on TV on a weekly basis. Whether it was on WWF television or….or Dubbya-See-Dubbya hyuck, hyuck…
Going back to when I first started watching the WWF, while the main event was what typically drew fans to the show, for me…the Intercontinental Title scene was where it was at, and the guy who held that title at the time was Razor Ramon. He was as cool as they came back in those days. The way he casually made his way down the entranceway to the ring, gold chains around his neck & the Intercontinental Title around his waist…as he’d say, he was dripping in gold, and “oozing machismo”. He spoke with a Hispanic/Chicano accent, called himself “The Bad Guy” with a toothpick in his mouth and told his opponents how he was gonna “carve [them] up,” before tossing his toothpick in their face. This dude had swagger & man, he was the very definition of “cool”!
The story of how he won the IC Title back then was pretty interesting too…while Shawn Michaels was champion, he had been suspended and stripped of the title, but maintained possession of the physical title belt. So when he returned from storyline suspension, here’s Razor with his belt & Shawn with his belt, still claiming to have never lost the title, so something had to be done. The answer to this conundrum? The first televised ladder match in WWF history…and where would it all go down? At the “Grandaddy of ’em All”, WrestleMania X at Madison Square Garden!
That ladder match set the precedent for all the ladder matches that have come since. Shawn & Razor gave us their all in that match which featured only a single ladder. These days, ladder matches tend to include countless ladders as weapons, but Shawn & Razor had a single ladder to work with in that match. And though it may have become slightly warped, they made it work! To this day, countless wrestlers credit watching that match as inspiration for a number of their own ladder matches. There aren’t a ton of matches that hold up over the years in terms of rewatchability since the bar is constantly being pushed higher & higher with each passing year, but that match is timeless.
For as great as that match was, it still got Shawn & Razor some heat backstage with the rest of the roster since apparently it went over it’s planned allotted time, but I’m pretty sure they were mostly forgiven by those that mattered in the WWF back in those days since from start to finish, that match delivered in every aspect. Following that match, only one Intercontinental Championship belt remained, but that certainly wasn’t the end of the feud with Shawn as Razor ended up dropping the IC Title to Shawn’s bodyguard, Diesel. Razor would eventually regain the title at that year’s Summer Slam in Chicago with former Chicago Bears’ All-Pro running back, Walter Payton in his corner. Ramon would go on to hold the title for a previously unprecedented third and fourth time, and while he feuded with many other Hall of Famers like Jeff Jarrett and Diesel over the course of his WWF career over that title, his greatest opponent was always Shawn Michaels. And oh yeah…that incredible Ladder Match from WrestleMania X, well they’d follow it up with a SECOND Ladder Match at Summer Slam in 1995 — a whole year and a half later! While Shawn successfully defended the title in that contest, the two competitors once again tore the house down. Though it wouldn’t be as highly regarded as the first, as sequels rarely outshine the original, it still holds up over time.
When things became stagnant for him in the WWF and it seemed he was just treading water while stuck in a feud with his buddy, the 1-2-3 Kid, which ended in a Crybaby Match (pictured above), in which he won by putting a diaper on the Kid, Hall decided it was time to see what the competition had for him, and negotiated a deal with WCW for more money and far fewer dates. As Hall would explain in numerous interviews, the money was nice, but he was more interested in not working 300+ days a year, as he had been doing for the WWF.
So on the May 27, 1996 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, during a match between Mike Enos and Steve Doll (I know…main event caliber stars, right?), Scott Hall made his way down through the crowd, down to ringside, grabbed a microphone and stepped in the ring. Enos, Col. Robert Parker & Doll just exited the ring looking quite bewildered as Hall cut another timeless promo. If you lived through that era, I’m sure you’ve seen that promo & I’m sure you’ve probably seen it so many times that you can recite it right along with him, it was THAT big! It’s the promo that kickstarted the nWo storyline in WCW. Hall came in, spoke & looked just as he did in the WWF and made it sound like the WWF was coming to invade WCW. Though he never specifically said who “we” were at the time when he said in numerous segments that “We’re taking over!”, to most fans, we understood it as the WWF was coming to invade WCW…and all that us fans could do was get giddy thinking of the dream matchups that were seemingly on the horizon.
Hey! You people…you know who I am. But you don’t know why I’m here. Where is Billionaire Ted? Where is the Nacho Man? That punk can’t even get in the building. Me? I go wherever I want, whenever I want. And where, oh where is Scheme Gene? Cuz I’ve got a scoop for you. When that Ken doll lookalike, when that weatherman wannabe comes out here later tonight, I’ve got a challenge for him, for Billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man and for anyone else in uh…Dubbya-See-Dubbya, hyuck, hyuck. Hey, you wanna go to war? You want a war? You’re gonna get one!Scott Hall, Nitro May 27, 1996
A couple weeks later, he would tease that a big friend of his was coming, while putting his hand up as a measurement, which to me, indicated his surprise would be Diesel, since that was how he referred to him in their WWF days. For me, this was a dream come true, because I can remember playing the WWF games on the Super Nintendo back in those days and my dream tag team was always Razor Ramon and Diesel. I’d tear all my opponents apart with that team, finishing each team off with a Razor’s Edge immediately followed by a Jackknife Powerbomb. NOBODY got up after those two moves in succession! So a few weeks later, when Nash was his big friend and it became established that those two would be a tag team known as The Outsiders, it was a fantasy come true for me!
As the weeks and months went by and The Outsiders became WCW Tag Team Champions after Hogan had won back the WCW World Heavyweight Title, the nWo started collecting all the titles in WCW. Sean Waltman, previously known as the 1-2-3 Kid in the WWF made the jump as well and was now known as Syxx and quickly won the WCW Cruiserweight Title. The New World Order seemingly kept dominating every division in World Championship Wrestling. As everybody knows, WCW never really ever had a plan for the end of the nWo invasion storyline and it got way too played out, then rehashed again and again, but I have to say that for all the time that Hall was included in the storylines, he always did his best to stay entertaining. Whether it was being fodder for Goldberg before facing Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Title or just doing his weekly surveys, he always stayed relevant and fun.
…Hey yo! Ya probably heard by now, that at nWo Central, that we’ve got a little survey going on. And it’s real, real simple. You’re either with us, or you’re against us. So, how many people here in <insert city> are here to see…dubbya-see-dubbya? Or….OR….are you here to see the….
[crowd]: N W O!!
Survey says…one more for the good guys!Scott Hall, WCW Monday Nitro
As Hall had stated that his main reason of jumping to WCW was the lighter work schedule, it also became a problem for him. As it is described in the WWE documentary, Living on a Razor’s Edge, The Scott Hall Story, when he was performing on television and in front of the camera, life was good…it’s when he wasn’t playing that character that his demons would continue to resurface. So with extra free time came extra time to abuse alcohol and drugs. There came a point in WCW that Hall just stopped appearing on Nitro and we would go weeks and months without seeing him. Fans wondered where he was and even Kevin Nash would come out for promos, asking WCW to bring back Scott Hall, but for as much as he wanted his friend back on TV, I also think it was just an easy way for him to stay in the fans’ good graces when things started going south and ratings started dropping in WCW.
After making a run-in to help Nash to win the WCW World Title from Goldberg at Starrcade in 1998, Hall stuck around for a couple more iterations of the nWo…the Wolfpac Elite which was formed on the first Nitro of 1999 after the Finger Poke of Doom, which consisted of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Lex Luger, Konnan & Buff Bagwell along with nWo 2000, which consisted of Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & Jeff Jarrett. Just like in the WWF, Hall was constantly a second-tier champion in WCW, winning the United States Championship twice, the Television Title once (though he would drop the title by throwing it in the trash backstage!) and the Tag Team Titles 7 times (6 times with Kevin Nash & once with the Giant).
Following the sale of WCW to the WWF, Hogan, Hall & Nash were brought in after their Time Warner contracts had run out and made their debuts at the No Way Out Pay Per View as the nWo since Vince McMahon & the WWF had purchased all the trademarks and video library from Time Warner, but their time as a faction was limited. Hogan turned babyface following his match with The Rock at WrestleMania X8 while Hall lost to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin the same night with Kevin Nash in his corner as a backup should Hall not be able to keep it together long enough to make it to the show. Hall was released following the Plane Ride From Hell and has only made sporadic appearances following that release, but never for any substantiated long-term runs.
Hall’s demons continued to haunt him as time went on and some truly embarrassing clips of him surfaced online until his long-term friend, “Diamond” Dallas Page came to his aid to help clean him up, get him back in shape and on the straight and narrow as he had previously done for Jake “The Snake” Roberts. In fact, a large part of the best years of Hall’s career can be credited to Page! It was Page who had gone to WCW back in the day to try to get Hall a job there as the Diamond Studd. Page was the one who advised Hall to dye his hair black, shave his mustache and go with the 5 o’clock shadow look, which eventually got paired with the persona based off of Tony Montana & Manny Ribera from Scarface to create The Diamond Studd & Razor Ramon.
Hall is also a two-time WWE Hall of Famer. He was first inducted in 2014 for his run as Razor Ramon, and as I watched that show and was excited to hear the “Bad Guy” speak about his career & his friendships with his fellow “Kliq” members (Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Sean Waltman & Paul “Triple H” Levesque), his speech was incredibly short! While preparing to write this piece, I came across a twitter tribute from Stephen Guerrieri, Hall’s speech writer for that night. In his tribute, he stated that Hall had noted after watching a number of other Hall of Fame speeches that, “Everyone talks way too damn much,” so as per Hall’s request, his speech that night was short, straight & to the point…and because of that revelation, we have the quote listed below, that stands out, which will now live on forever, just as a number of Hall’s promos through the years will. The man’s smarts have certainly not been praised enough over the years. Even Sting credits Hall for the look his character has portrayed for more than 25 years now. Hall was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the New World Order in 2020 along with Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash & Sean Waltman.
On top of all of the character pointers that Hall had helped out his fellow wrestlers with throughout the years, his (and Kevin Nash’s) biggest contribution to the business has to be the way and how well wrestlers are paid these days. While WCW was notorious for their guaranteed contracts, which McMahon never issued to his workers back in the day, Hall & Nash’s initial jump to WCW is credited for McMahon making a tremendous shift in the formatting of WWE wrestler contracts. The term “downside” a.k.a. the least a worker will earn in a set period of time was never dreamt up before. Wrestlers lived show to show back in the day and made a variable amount per show depending on how much each show grossed at the gate. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash changed all that.
Despite all of his drinking and drug issues, I never stopped being a fan of Scott Hall and all the crazy great memories I had of his career. And for years, the narrative had been that “Scott Hall is going to be the next wrestling death.”…until DDP came to the rescue. As I started going to wrestling conventions, Hall has always been at the top of my list of personalities I’ve wanted to meet. When I met Page at WresleCon in 2013, I made sure to tell him how grateful as a wrestling fan I was of what he was doing in helping his friends, Jake Roberts & Scott Hall. The man really should be commended for the job he’s done. During the rough periods in Scott’s life, there have been conventions that he’s been advertised for that I went to meet him at that he’s no-showed. I did manage to get to a convention that he was at in Philadelphia, and upon seeing him sitting there signing autographs, I needed to try to contain my excitement. So I decided to walk the room and meet a couple other wrestlers first so that I could be more calm & really not be a ball of nerves when I met him, only to find that by the time I returned to his table, he had already left for the day. Another convention that I made it to that he was in attendance for, the convention was sold out and I couldn’t get in. I’ve said this to a couple of people…for all the personalities I’ve gotten pictures with over the years, I’d give them all up to have met him once. He was where my fandom started and stayed one of my favorites throughout his troubled career, regardless of how bad some of the news stories were about him. From all accounts, if you ever got to meet him at a convention, the word is that after he got himself cleaned up, that he gave you more than your money’s worth of an experience. A true pro right up to the end. If you want to hear how clear minded he had become by 2021, go and listen to any number of podcasts that featured him. My favorite was his appearance on Eric Bischoff’s 83 Weeks along with Conrad Thompson. The episode can be found here.
Rest in peace, Scott…God knows you’ve earned it. You left the wrestling business in far better condition than when you found it. Thanks for always being the coolest guy in the room. I’d go so far to say that had Scott Hall not been wrestling when I first started watching, this site probably wouldn’t be here, and my on again/off again podcast, Hey Yo! Radio CERTAINLY wouldn’t exist. Survey says…one more for the good guys! Thanks for reading.
Hard work pays off. Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.Scott Hall – WWE Hall of Fame speech, April 5, 2014
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