‘Hey Yo!’ The wrestling world recently lost a truly huge personality with the death of Scott Hall. He had gone by many different names and gimmicks over his 26 year hall of fame career, but Scott Hall will forever be known as ‘The Bad Guy.’ Hall’s career has had its fair share of ups and downs, but make no mistake about it…he left an indelible mark on the business.
Scott Hall got his start in pro wrestling in 1984 under the tutelage of ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes. He began teaming with Dan Spivey as American Starship with Spivey as Eagle and Hall as Coyote. The team lacked overall success and eventually split up. Hall would pursue a singles career in different NWA territories like Florida and Central States where he was briefly known as ‘Colt Hill.’
His first real big break was when Hall joined the AWA in 1985. He wrestled under the nicknames of ‘Magnum’ and ‘Big’ Scott Hall and was seen by promoter Verne Gagne as his version of the WWF’s Hulk Hogan. Gagne wanted Hall to be the eventual face of the AWA and sent him on tours of Japan and paired him with the much more experienced Curt Hennig to learn from. Hall and Hennig would win the AWA world tag team titles in the process of Hall’s development. He would eventually start receiving a singles push challenging Stan Hansen and Rick Martel for the AWA world title, but Hall decided to quit the promotion citing his hatred for the bad winters.
Hall would join WCW in 1989 and dye his hair blonde under the name of Scott ‘Gator’ Hall. WCW would air a series of vignettes where Hall wrestled with alligators and driving speed boats in Florida. The character never really caught on with fans and he left to further his career elsewhere.
He had a tryout with the WWF but was not signed and traveled to Europe where he competed under a cowboy gimmick known as ‘Texas Scott’, back to Japan and also to Puerto Rico for Carlos Colon’s World Wrestling Council. It was there where he won the WWC Caribbean title.
Scott tried to return to WCW in 1991, but was turned down by his mentor Dusty Rhodes who was booking at the time. Hall talked to his friend Diamond Dallas Page, who had the idea to change his look to get a job with the company. Page suggested Hall dye his hair jet black and shave off his trademark mustache. DDP was inspired by a video he saw of singer George Michael and suggested Hall wear a leather jacket and grow a five o’clock shadow. The look worked and Hall was given another try in WCW…this time managed by DDP and renamed ‘The Diamond Studd.’ He remained with the company until 1992 when he joined the World Wrestling Federation.
Originally, Vince McMahon wanted to give Hall a GI Joe inspired gimmick, but Hall relented and instead came up with a character based on the movie ‘Scarface.’ Hall suggested he keep his current look and develop a Cuban accent inspired by the Scarface character of Tony Montana. The name for his gimmick came from the song ‘Push it to the Limit’ which was on the Scarface soundtrack. One of the lines in the song says…”Walk along the razor’s edge” and thus ‘Razor Ramon’ was born.
As Razor Ramon, he won the vacant Intercontinental title and then went into a feud with Shawn Michaels (the man stripped of that title) to determine the undisputed IC champ. The two had an epic ladder match at Wrestlemania 10 that Razor won, which was critically acclaimed by both critics like Dave Meltzer who gave it 5 stars (The first ever by Meltzer for a WWF match) and fans who voted it match of the year for Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine. Razor Ramon was a 4 time Intercontinental champion during his WWF run.
Scott was also a member of the infamous backstage group of friends that included, Shawn Michaels, Kevin ‘Diesel’ Nash, Sean ‘123 Kid’ Waltman, Paul ‘Hunter Hearst Helmsley’ Levesque known as ‘The Kliq.’ The group was notorious for political plays, partying, several backstage altercations and incidents. As Razor Ramon’s stock continued to rise within the WWF, he and Kevin Nash made the decision to “jump ship” to Vince McMahon’s rival…WCW in 1996. Before that he and his Kliq friends all hugged in the middle of the ring breaking kayfabe in what was termed the ‘Curtain Call.’
The defections of both Hall and Nash to WCW was huge news as they were both high profile superstars for the WWF. It was Hall who was chosen to deliver the first shot when he appeared on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro and said these words…“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? ’cause I got a scoop for you. When that Ken Doll look-a-like, when that weatherman wannabe comes out here later tonight, I got a challenge for him, for Billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man, and for anybody else in uh… WCW, huh huh. You wanna go to war? You want a war? You’re gonna GET one!” That promo was the spark that lit the fuse to one of the biggest and most successful storylines in WCW history…..the formation and ‘invasion’ of the Outsiders and the New World Order (nWo).
The nWo faction ran roughshod through the promotion and people tuned in to WCW programming for weeks and weeks on end. Hall and Nash would win the WCW world tag team titles 6 times, Hall would also win the WCW television title and the United States title twice.
No doubt, the heel nWo faction was very cool for a period of time and Scott was one if not the coolest in that group. He constantly generated heat and reactions from WCW’s faithful. His creative mind was also on display as he is credited for creating the Iconic Crow gimmick for Sting. Bigger things should have headed Hall’s way, including a world title run, but his personal issues with drugs and alcohol started to continually side track his career. No shows, showing up drunk to events and multiple arrests did a number on his professional career. It all ultimately led to WCW cutting ties with the Bad Guy.
He would take his services to places like ECW, New Japan, back to WWE to reform the New World Order, TNA wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling and sporadic independent dates. His personal demons usually got in the way of succeeding for any long periods of time. During all of this, Hall helped launch the career of his son Cody into pro wrestling. His son, who his ex wife stated….“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.”
With his health and life quickly deteriorating, his old friend DDP came to his rescue and was able to get him back into shape and clean and sober. Hall had a few hiccups along the way to recovery…but DDP was there for him almost every step of the way. Hall eventually got inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame twice…once as Razor Ramon and the other as a member of the nWo.
His Hall of Fame speech in 2014 delivered a very memorable quote…
In early March of 2022…Hall broke his hip and had surgery to repair the damage. Complications from that surgery led to three heart attacks. He was placed on life support and ultimately passed away. Scott Hall was 63 years old. Say goodnight to the Bad Guy.