A Positive Look at Scott Hall's Contributions to the World of Pro Wrestling
Scott Hall is in the News yet again due to his issues with alcohol, and it seems to be just another in a long line of negative press the former high-profile star has received.
Hall is a very rare talent who was fortunate enough to wrestle all over the world in the NWA, AWA, USWA, WWC, WWE/F, ECW, WCW, NJPW, AJPW and TNA. There are probably less than a handful of people who can say they wrestled for that many Major Promotions in their career.
While it is easy to understand why many people would have written off Hall after the laundry list of incidents in his personal life, there are still many fans of his who have fond memories of the former Razor Ramon and NWO founder which they will not allow to be clouded by judgement.
While there is little doubt that Hall will ever be able to return to the ring full time after the abuse he has put himself through, there are still those who respect what the man has brought to the industry over the years.
Scott Hall began his wrestling career in 1984 under the tutelage of legends like Dusty Rhodes and Barry Windham. It was his connection to Rhodes that got him his first regular booking in the business through Jim Crocket's National Wrestling Alliance.
Hall formed a team in the early part of his career with his training partner, Dan Spivey, called American Starship. The duo wore bright masks and would often tear their shirts off in a style similar to Hulk Hogan.
Together Hall and Spivey toured through the NWA and Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling while under the control of Crocket.
The two were together for close to a year, gaining several title shots which never ended in American Starship winning any gold. After Spivey left Hall to return to the Carolina Hall received a big push.
One of the more notable moments from Hall's early career involved a time-limit draw he fought with Larry Zbyszko.
After the NWA Hall made his way into the American Wrestling Association, where he would stay for then ext four years while honing his skills against the likes of Rick Martel and the iconic Stan Hansen.
While there he also formed a team with Curt Hennig which saw him win Tag Team Gold in the AWA after they defeated Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal (Not to be confused with Lord Steven Regal from WCW) which went nearly an hour long, something which was rarely seen in tag team wrestling.
The duo was dubbed "The Perfect Combination" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Hennig going on to be called Mr. Perfect is pure coincidence as the gimmick was thought of by Vince McMahon, who almost gave it to Terry Taylor instead of his Red Rooster gimmick.
After dropping the titles Hall was moved into a hunt for the AWA World Title by the promotions owner, Verne Gagne. Hall never ended up winning the belt and decided to move on.
He returned to his former home in the NWA, but under the new flagship name World Championship Wrestling. He was brought in by Jim Ross in 1989, but had very little success and ended up leaving after less than a year.
He spent some time in Puerto Rico wrestling for Carlos Colon's World Wrestling Council before returning to WCW where he was repackaged as The Diamond Studd with his new manager, Diamond Dallas Page.
His only real match with any significance during this run was ay Halloween Havoc 1991 where he would team with Vader, Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher in a losing effort against Sting, El Gigante and The Steiners.
Towards the end of 1991 Hall could feel his push starting to face and he decided it was time to check out the promotion which had been making waves for buying up all the regional promotions, World Wrestling Federation.
Scott Hall debuted in WWF as Razor Ramon in 1992 and found success as a cocky Cuban-American heel who liked to emulate Al Pacino in Scarface. "Say hello to the bad guy" became his signature catchphrase.
Hall was very instrumental in the development of the character by pitching ideas to Vince McMahon for the character to use an accent as well as how video packages should be structured.
Hall's first real feud in WWF involved Ric Flair, Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. This was supposed to lead to a tag match where Flair would team with Hall to take on Savage and Warrior, but Warrior was fired before the match happened and replaced by Hall's former partner Mr. Perfect.
Hall lost the tag match, but the angle was enough to fully integrate him into the WWE and he went on to have numerous high profile feuds over his time in WWF.
Another of the more memorable feuds in Hall's tenure with WWE was with the 1-2-3 Kid. Kid was a jobber who had never won a match in the WWF until he got a lucky win over Scott Hall.
This made Kid an instant underdog fan-favorite and the feud helped to elevate him to becoming one of the major forces in WWE's undercard.
Hall never won the "Big One" in WWF, but he did hold the Intercontinental Title several times. It was this title which would be on the line in a match which changed wrestling history.
Ladder matches had happened at house shows and minor TV shows before, but WWE's first big ladder match was between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at WrestleMania 10.
Shawn Michaels had been out of action for some time, but when he left he still had the IC title. Razor won a tournament to become the new champions, but when Michaels returned with his own belt it led to a showdown of epic proportions.
The match is still looked upon with fond memories by fans to this day. It may have been Michaels who got the biggest boost from the match due to his high risk moves, but it was Hall who came away with the two IC titles hanging from the rafters.
It was around this time that Hall formed the Kliq with Kevin Nash, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Sean Waltman. The group used there significant pull with management to make sure they were featured prominently.
Eventually Hall turned face in WWF and went on to form a friendship on-screen with the 1-2-3 Kid, who was of course the aforementioned Waltman.
Over the next couple of years Hall floated from feud to feud with the likes of Jeff Jarrett and Ted Dibiase, but it was in 1996 when Hall began one of his most famous feuds with Goldust.
Goldust used very strange tactics to play off of The Bad Guy's alleged homophobia to gain wins as well as make his opponent very nervous throughout the match.
Unfortunately for Hall, this is the point when he started to see some punishment for his lifestyle as WWF suspended him just prior to WrestleMania 12 for abusing drugs.
When he retured he had very little backing from management and he ended up leaving WWF to go to WCW where he would be a part of one of the single most important storylines in wrestling history.
Hall and Nash "invaded" WCW and took everyone by surprise by acting as if they were still signed to the WWF. Announcers would often say that these two were from another promotion, but never expressly said WWF.
Eventually Hulk Hogan joined the group, making history by turning heel for the first time since donning the red and yellow attire he was so famous for.
Hall and Nash dominated the tag team division in WCW for a long time, earning half a dozen titles along the way together.
Hall also found singles success as he was a Television Champion as well as a two-time United States Champion.
Hall briefly returned to WWE after wrestling in ECW and in Japan for a bit, but the run was very short and he was gone from the company in less than a year.
Since 2002 Hall has been in and out of different promotions, but he has also suffered his greatest setbacks in his fight against drugs and alcohol.
Do you think Scott Hall ever deserved to be World Champion in WCW or WWF?
As someone who has unfortunately witnessed how alcohol and drug addiction can be detrimental to someone's life I have sympathy for Hall.
A lot of people will question why rehab has never worked for him out of the handful of times he has gone and the one thing I can offer as an explanation is that it simply does not work every time.
Some people have personal demons so big that they cannot overcome it with one month long stint in a rehab facility.
Hall's personal issues with his own life as well as his family are well documented and do not need to be gone into any further.
I only hope that sometime soon Scott Hall can come to terms with the things which cause him to continue abusing his body and live out the rest of his life happy and healthy.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts on the subject below.
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