Class of 2014
Scott Hall’s WWF Alter Ego; The Bad Guy
Hall of Fame Rating
8 out of 10
As the rumors started to surface of a possible Hall of Fame nod for Scott Hall, thoughts went to just how far Hall’s health had progressed in such a short time. Only a year and a half ago, Scott Hall was on death’s door. He had been featured on ESPN E60 and looked like a man who was at best, a shell of his former self.
Kevin Nash is on record as saying that he was waiting for Scott Hall to die. Hall’s battles with addiction are not only documented, but an major facet of his legacy. Scott Hall is a drunk and messed up. More messed up than Jake Roberts even…
That’s why Scott Hall’s recovery and induction here in 2014 is not only surprising. It is shocking. Scott Hall was not supposed to live to see his WWE Hall of Fame induction. One probable result was that he’d be inducted as part of the Outsiders after his death. That’s is if Kevin Nash ever allows himself to go in or could make it to the building….
Hall has had a long, storied career, which is an easy way of saying he’s done a lot of different things. In the mid-late 1980s, he was a product of the tail end of Verne Gagne’s AWA. Say want you want about Verne Gagne’s lack of business sense or ability to compete with Vince, he knew talent…
Hall was poised to be AWA’s answer to Hulk Hogan and began his career green around the ears but with the power of the 3rd largest promotion in the country behind him. Heck, Big Scott Hall, looked more like Tom Selleck that Magnum TA….
Scott Hall had star written on him from the get go and his pairing with Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig brought both a modicum of success in the tag ranks (back when tag ranks mattered) and also begot a strange video where Hall and Hennig shined with their great rapping skills. If you haven’t seen Wrestlerock….you owe it to yourself….
As AWA began to die, Hall moved about through the NWA (where he was saddled with with Gator Scott Hall…whatever that is.) Wrestling Council and WCW as the Diamond Studd before he finally reached a stable footing in 1992. His debut in the World Wrestling Federation was one of the best done series of vignettes. Not since former teammate, Mr. Perfect, had WWE encapsulated a character so perfectly (pun intended) in the short promos.
Who pushes a kid into a fountain? The Bad Guy, that’s who. Hall’s creation of Razor Ramon was pure genius. It worked on the 1992 level of charactery gimmicky and also on a more believable side, which would be beneficial for Ramon as the “New Generation” began to take hold.
Razor Ramon, while an obvious villain and rule breaker, got over with the fans in popularity and within a year and half of joining the WWF, he turned baby face and began what would be his most successful turn with the company. Ramon became the first 4 time Intercontinental Champion in history while trading the title back and forth with Jeff Jarrett, Goldust and Shawn Michaels. Ramon, could arguably, be the last GREAT IC champ. His reigns were the tail end of IC title prestige. As WWF entered its Attitude faze it faded into obscurity and importance. (Another casualty of the “best era”)
Ramon’s pinnacle point has been regularly been considered (by WWE) to be in 1994, with Wrestlemania 10 and the “first ladder match”
While a definite highlight of Wrestlemania 10, it’s status as “Top Ten in History” has mostly faded as the years have gone on. It also happens to represent an image which haunts the entire New Generation Era. Now, I have been very critical of the Kliq (Michaels, Ramon, Nash , HHH & Xpac) in previous articles for their attitudes, and specifically, ability to hold down other talent and manipulate backstage. Now Hall himself has very rarely if ever accused of throwing his weight around, however the aforementioned ladder match went long (mostly due to Hall/Michaels going long and ignoring calls to end match), which then bumped the 10 man tag match and cost those involved a Wrestlemania paycheck. This is just one example of the group that Hall remained part of during his tenure with the WWF. In my mind, it is the only tarnish on an otherwise good run.
The Kliq dictated the void after Hulk Hogan’s departure in late 1993. There are lists of talents from Bam Bam Bigelow to Shane Douglas and even Bret Hart himself who deride and despised the group Hall was part of. Still, I wonder if Hall was only in it for friendship and drug partners….
Hall, along with Nash left the WWF in early 1996. Hall’s last appearance as Razor Ramon was a glorified squash match at an In Your House against Vader.
Ramon’s appearance in 1996 on Monday Nitro was one of the largest turning points in history. Scott Hall was the catalysts to the future of the wrestling business. Austin/Bret at Wrestlemania 13 is another example of a moment where the game just changed. The minute that Scott Hall walked onto WCW programming, the battle between the organizations became real and tangible. Hall was no slouch. He was not a WCW made guy who was “Going Back Home” like Sid, Flair or Luger. This was WWF’s Razor Ramon and he was on Nitro, talking and acting like Razor Ramon. Razor Ramon became a part of Scott Hall, integrated it into his character to such a degree that they are inseparable. You cannot mention one without mentioning the other.
Scott Hall was the spark that lit the fire caled the NWO. The NWO needed Hulk Hogan for sure, but it also needed Attitude. Hall was pure Attitude and pure “machismo.” His success as a founding member of the NWO is a very important and defining feature of Scott Hall’s career. Without the NWO, Scott Hall was a midcard act who would probably be rated much lower on our friendly scale up top.
Scott Hall helped to redefine the wrestling business financially. He was one of the first guaranteed contracts (a must in today’s corporate landscape). He even had a level of creative input and control, while not the aforementioned “Danger Zone” levels of Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan. His business acumen is all large part of how the Attitude Era/ Monday Night Wars went. Money Makes the world go round and Hall changed the money setup.
Plainly, Hall cannot be overlooked for his importance is fostering, focusing and being the real wrestler of the NWO. It is sometimes forgotten that Scott Hall was actually a good hand. In the NWO, he was the one who would take the fall, because frankly he didn’t care. He was making more money than most anyway, because he understood the business.
Sadly, there was one thing he didn’t understand and that was his own demons. Coming off an amazing win at World War 3 (and winning a WCW world heavyweight shot), Scott Hall faded quickly in wrestling. He became unreliable,; a death sentence for any wrestler. As his demons began to take hold, his abilities in the ring and in promos diminished. By 1998, Hall was basically a non entity and by 1999, he had faded out due to his alcohol abuse.
Hall is an example of demons getting the best of him. His inclusion in the Hall of Fame is a must. Scott Hall’s welcome home….unless…
I have to mention a fear surrounding this induction. In a strange move, WWE is inducting Scott Hall as Razor Ramon. While known as Razor for a four year chunk, Razor Ramon was a part of his career and most definitely not the most prolific. That honor goes to his NWO run. Now, WWE has always been known to celebrate the aspects of careers as they like to see them. Everyone knows Barry Windham was not an original Horseman or that Koko B. Ware sucks, but WWE does what they want with these inductions.
However, Scott Hall is a little different. His career spans too much and the NWO is too important to ignore. i could be going crazy, but take a look at the induction video:
This induction video basically is the induction video for Razor Ramon, the character. It has nothing to do with the career of Scott Hall,. Scott Hall the AWA champion, Scott Hall the first member of the NWO and Scott Hall the changer of the way business is done, none of these are mentioned in the video above. To induct Scott Hall, all parts (ESPECIALLY THE NWO) need to be included to do him justice.
Now regardless, this induction is extremely important. I don’t care what they call him. They could call him Gator Scott Hall, as long as the breath and importance of his career are out in the open.
I, like all look forward to his speech and his inclusion in the WWE Hall of Fame
Same as Jake the Snake. WWE wants to get him in while he is healthy and strong. He’s back!
Opens Door For?
Kevin Nash to have his own solo induction…most likely as Diesel. Other 90s new generation like Sid, Vader, Owen Hart & British Bulldog.
Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.
His first big event back in spotlight since quitting drinking and using the power of DDP and DDP Yoga. Perhaps too much