“In my lifetime I’ve learned hard work pays off, dreams come true, bad times don’t last, but bad guys do”– Scott Hall, 2014 WWE HOF Induction
This line from Scott’s WWE HOF Induction speech was truly poignant at the time he said it, because longtime fans knew a lot of the struggles that Scott had been through to reach this moment as a HOF Inductee. Scott’s battles with addiction that he struggled with for years has been well documented and for many years his family, friends and fans all over the world hoped he one day beat his demons. He went through multiple rehabs over the years, but nothing worked. Until 2013, when Scott’s longtime friend, DDP reached out and helped save his life. With Scott now clean, that line not only told the world that he was in a good place mentally and physically, but for anyone else out there that may be going through similar addiction struggles, that they shouldn’t give up and that better days are ahead if you’re willing to work for it.
When the horrible news broke yesterday, that Scott suffered three heart attacks and was placed on life support, that this quote from his HOF speech was being posted all over social media. As family, friends and fans all over the world were blindsided by the news and praying that somehow the Bad Guy would find a way to kick out at 2, but deep down we all knew it was going to be really tough for that to happen absent of a miracle. That did not stop us from hoping and praying for that miracle. This morning Scott’s best friend, Kevin Nash, broke the news that we were all dreading to hear that Scott was staying on life support in order for his friends and family to get to the hospital to say their goodbyes.
This is an incredibly hard piece for me to write as this one really hurts, but I wanted to write something in tribute to one of the greatest performers of all time. Scott had an incredible mind and talent for the business, and he understood that it is not the wins and losses that the fans remember when you’re gone. it’s the moments. Love him or hate him, there is no denying the man made an impact both on camera and behind the scenes. Scott was able to create a beloved character in Razor Ramon, matches and moments that will live on for generations. I wanted to take the time to relive some of those moments here:
The Razor Ramon Character:
Scott Hall had various runs in promotions since he started his career in 1984, but when he arrived in the WWF in 1992, he was not going to be Scott Hall, but instead a character known as Razor Ramon. This was not just a character given to Scott, but a character that Scott had a lot of input on its development. As detailed in a RF Video Shoot:
“Hall then told Vince that he needed a bad guy and started to play the Tony Montana character from “Scarface,” which is what he and Curt did all of the time in the car when they worked for the AWA. He was using direct lines from the film. Vince thought that Hall was a genius and had no clue that Hall was doing as he had never seen or apparently heard of the movie. Vince then asked him for a name. He said Razor but Vince told him about Razor Riddick and Hall said in the Tony Montana voice that he could “squash him like a cockroach.” Vince said he needed a last name that began with an “R” so he went to the bathroom and saw Tito Santana. He asked Tito for a name that began with “R” and he said “Ramon” and he told it to Vince, who loved the idea.”
The character is still beloved to this day and the vignettes that they shot are still entertaining today. It is clear to me that many years later the Carlito Caribbean Cool character was directly inspired by the Razor Ramon character including similar vignettes. Scott would have several high-profile feuds as the Razor Ramon character during his WWF run.
Putting Young Talent Over:
Scott didn’t care about jobbing to anyone if he thought it made sense and especially for someone that he saw something special in them. So, when one of his best friends, Sean Waltman, was struggling in the land of giants, he happily agreed to not only put him over, but to put him over clean. That is what turned Waltman from just The Kid into the 1-2-3 Kid. This underdog jobber picking up a win against a major talent like Razor Ramon was an incredible not only in Waltman’s career, but a moment that is still talked about today.
Years later on a WCW Monday Nitro, Scott Hall was booked to go over and squash a young Chris Jericho. Scott thought Jericho should go over as a win would mean more for Jericho than himself. In a RF Video shoot, Scott stated:
“Hall then talks about how he changed a finish at a show in Philadelphia against Chris Jericho, who was using the Lionheart gimmick. Hall said that the gimmick would not get over in Philly so he thought that Jericho should win and afterwards, he can beat him up and then Larry Zbyszko would run in and that would start their feud. Hall said he told Jericho to come up with a finish and not to tell anyone at all. Jericho came up with a finish that had him escape the Razor’s Edge and pin Hall with a small package. Backstage, Bischoff was mad that he changed the finish and Hall kept asking him if it was exciting and he couldn’t get past the fact that he did not listen to him.”
Considering what Waltman and Jericho, ended up accomplishing in their careers, Scott had a great eye for talent.
The Ladder Match:
Without a doubt, this is arguably the greatest match of Scott Hall’s career. The first high profile ladder match in WWF history that set the standard on what a great ladder match is. Shawn and Scott established the blueprint of the ladder match that all future ladder matches would follow and study. All these years later all ladder matches are judged and compared to this one. The story behind the match was that Shawn claimed to still be IC Champion despite being stripped of the title and Scott Hall was the officially recognized IC Champion. This setup the now infamous Wrestlemania 10 ladder match that stole the show and is a defining moment in both men’s HOF careers.
The Curtain Call
This unscripted moment is the most controversial moment in Scott Hall’s WWF career. This is a moment that traditionalists still complain about to this day. It was the last night that Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels and Triple H would be together in a wrestling ring. Since both Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were leaving for WCW. So, at an untelevised MSG house show, the four men had this moment together in the ring that no one outside of the MSG crowd was ever supposed to see. This was long before social media, but that night a fan snuck a camcorder in and recorded the now iconic moment, where they broke kayfabe and ignored who was a heel and who was a babyface. They looked at it as saying goodbye to their brothers.
They were more than friends; they traveled the roads together and were incredibly close and still are to this very day. The group that would be nicknamed the Kliq, were controversial behind the scenes, but the men loved each other and the business and didn’t really care what anyone else thought of them. They wanted to take the business over and in a lot of ways the split of the Kliq ended up resulting in Shawn and Hunter in the dominate faction of the WWF in DX and Hall and Nash in the dominate faction of WCW in the nWo.