One of the most recognizable stars in pro wrestling, Scott Hall, passed away Monday at 63 years old. Many woke up to a message from Kevin Nash on Instagram that Hall would be taken off life support once his family was in place. At the top of Raw on Monday, WWE confirmed Hall’s passing.
I’m recovering from a health scare involving blood clots where I almost died. Hall suffered three heart attacks on Saturday after a blood clot got loose due to complications from hip surgery. The similarities hit close to home. My utmost condolence to Hall’s family and friends.
If you watched wrestling in the 1990s and early 2000s, chances are, you know the names, Scott Hall and Razor Ramon. Hall made his pro debut in 1983 and worked worldwide until he made his WWE debut in 1992 as the Tony Montana Esque Razor Ramon. After leaving in 1996, Hall, along with Kevin Nash, would revolutionize the industry as the founding members of the nWo.
While Hall is one of the best wrestlers never to hold a world title, the mark he left on the business goes beyond the plethora of championships he wore around his waist. Hall is recognized by his peers as one of wrestling’s most creative minds. Many credit Hall and Nash with establishing guaranteed contracts for wrestlers, a practice that didn’t exist until they signed with WCW, which heated up the Monday Night Wars.
The great thing about Scott Hall’s work is that he could do it all. He was great in the ring, on the microphone, with his character work and superb ring psychology, which left an indelible impression on wrestling culture. Only listing the best matches of Scott Hall would be a disservice to his body of work. Hey Yo, here are some of my favorite matches, moments, and other items involving “Da Bad Guy.”
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – Ladder Match – WrestleMania 10: Everyone went into Mania talking about who would win the WWE Championship; Yokozuna, Lex Luger, or Bret Hart. Everyone left WrestleMania 10 talking about the Ladder Match between Razor and HBK that genuinely revolutionized the industry.
“Something happens to this gold, something’s gonna happen to you”: Whether he was talking about his large gold chains or the Intercontinental Championship, Razor made threatening a ringside attendant cool as both a heel and a babyface.
Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid – Raw 5/17/93: In an interview, Sean Waltman (1-2-3 Kid) said this match was his big debut and spent all weekend thinking of spots he could do with Razor. When he went to share his ideas the night of the match, Razor casually replied, “Why don’t I just beat the hell out of out until it’s time to take it home, and you hit me with the moonsault.” Waltman was discouraged at first, but he knew it was the right call after the match. It spoke to Razor’s creativity. He knew putting over Waltman in a competitive match wouldn’t garner the desired result. If there were a textbook on making someone, this match would have its own chapter.
The Outsider Arrives – 5/27/96: It seemed like another Monday night until Scott Hall came through the crowd and entered the ring while a match was in progress. It was surreal not only because the segment looked unscripted, but the internet wasn’t widely available at the time to warn me that Razor Ramon joined WCW. Man, I miss those days. The rest, as they say, is history.
Razor Ramon vs. Diesel: SummerSlam 1994: While it’s not a widely revered match, it threw me through a loop at the time. Watching it again with adult eyes, Razor and Diesel worked their tails off. The speed and intensity with which they hit the ropes alone indicated their desire to steal the show.
Scott Hall vs. Sting: Uncensored 1998: Hall won the 3-ring, 60-man World War 3 battle royal to earn a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Title. While Hall’s talent and popularity were undeniable, he was the guy who helped someone else win the belt instead of winning it himself. It was refreshing to see Hall highlighted in the role that unfortunately didn’t come too often but was well deserved.
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – Ladder Match II – SummerSlam 1995: I’m going to get in trouble for this one, but I like this match better than the original. The babyface vs. babyface dynamic made for a much different outing that was action-packed and saw more use of the ladder as a weapon. Booking two good guys against one another is not easy, but Razor and HBK were total pros who made it work flawlessly.
Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid vs. Diesel & Shawn Michaels – Action Zone 10/30/94: As fans prepared for bad news, social media was buzzing about this hidden gem of a match. I didn’t know this match existed and took a break from this post to check it out. HOLY S***. Please go out of your way to watch this match. Razor Ramon takes the heat where usually such a role would be reversed for the Kid. The work is crisp, the action and story never let up, and all four wrestlers had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Seriously, watch it right now!
Dope Entrance Music: Scott Hall had the best collection of entrance music of any wrestler throughout his career. Razor Ramon’s “Bad Boy” entrance music, the nWo theme, nWo wolfpack song by C-Murder, and The Fugees’ “Ready or Not” are a musical assortment only Hall could rock.
The formation of the nWo, beating Rick Martel for the IC Title, putting the 1-2-3 Kid in a diaper, Hey Yo, Survey Time, machismo, the Razor’s Edge, throwing a toothpick at Stu Hart’s face, and more signature moments highlight the resume of Scott Hall.
People are still wearing nWo shirts in 2022. Without Scott Hall, there is no nWo, and without the nWo, there is no Bullet Club. There is also no wrestling boom, Monday Night Wars, 1-2-3 Kid, or Razor Ramon. Scott Hall did that for professional wrestling and left the industry better than when he found it.
Hall was honest about the demons he battled outside of the ring. While his public struggles dominated the narrative at times, he eventually overcame his demons, thanks to Diamond Dallas Page. If Scott Hall’s undeniable influence on the wrestling business is his greatest accomplishment, redemption is perhaps his defining legacy.
“In my lifetime, I have learned that hard work pays off, dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.” Scott Hall – 2014 Hall of Fame Speech