Hey Yo…

That seems an appropriate way to start this article. All that is missing is me throwing a toothpick at my computer screen. Then again, I am so uncool and uncoordinated it would’ve bounced back and poked me in the eye.

We can’t all be Scott Hall.

I wanted to write this sooner but it took me a few days more to collect my thoughts and memories of Scott Hall before I could. Scott Hall’s passing has struck the wrestling community at its core. We’ve watched this man grow, self-destruct, be reborn, rekindle his legacy, only for it all to come to an end in a heartbreaking way. A heartbreaking way that does not change the fact many of our hearts were filled watching this man get his life back together. Years of jokes, teasing, taunting, insults that were thrown about Scott Hall were all answered and defeated by him committing to the ultimate success story act of getting clean, getting healthy, getting back together. His struggle and fight outside of the ring earned my respect far more than his accomplishments inside the ring, of which he had many. I will like to highlight them below as I think about my memories of the matches and moments of Scott Hall.

While his demons definitely derailed and destroyed his career, despite his vices and his curses, he was still able to bring joy and entertainment to millions of people around the world. As Razor Ramon, he was a significant factor in one of the most important moments in the early days of RAW, 1-2-3 Kid’ss upset victory over Razor. It wouldn’t have worked if Razor wasn’t willing to go along, nor if he wasn’t willing to look foolish in the process, both of which he did with expert precision. After dominating the Kid, toying with him, he makes a mistake and pays for it with a humiliating defeat. His reaction after the defeat did as much for the Kid’s upset as the actual pinfall, throwing a temper tantrum of anger and disbelief. 

His Razor’s Edge was the first time I ever saw the crucifix powerbomb, and while it seems tame in comparison these days to some variations, when I saw it as a kid I thought it was the coolest, most dangerous move ever. When he would lift them over his shoulders, push them up, and then drop them down on their neck/upper back as a kid I bought it as potentially career-ending. I knew the top guys were tough enough to survive, if not get up from the pinfall, but when I saw a jobber take it I would assume there was a good chance I’d never see them again. That’s how much respect I had for the Razor’s Edge, it is still to this day one of my top finishers of all time, I absolutely loved it. 

He was part of one of the most influential and significant matches in WrestleMania history against Shawn Michaels in the now-famous ladder match at WrestleMania X. While ladder matches had been done before, Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels would do it on its largest platform and raise the stakes. While tame by today’s comparison, everything done in this match served a purpose, had a flow, never felt contrived or overly convoluted. You could feel the displeasure both men had for each other as they worked their professional wrestling magic with each other and made perhaps one of the best matches in WrestleMania history (on a night with Owen/Bret no less, another magical match). In 1995 to save a card that was lacking in interest, entertainment, and intrigue, they would be shoehorned in for a rematch that some (including myself) felt was superior which is amazing.

There were callbacks to the first match, showcasing that they had learned and grown from it. In both of these matches, despite commentary from some wrestling figures, Razor Ramon didn’t just show up and Shawn Michaels did all the work. Razor Ramon worked his ass off. If you think not I beg you to go back and watch. He played a significant part in these matches working, and they no doubt were the highlights of his abilities. Neither match has lost its value or aurora over time, they age well, IF NOT BETTER, than some modern-day latter matches as spots don’t take forever to set up, things don’t feel silly or overdone, everything feels natural and in its proper place.

A gem that I feel sometimes is forgotten is a tag match he had with the 1-2-3 Kid versus Diesel and Shawn Michaels. It happened on a small show called The Action Zone in 1994 and it was absolutely incredible. I always point to this match as proof Razor didn’t need a ladder involved to have a great match. This match clicked in a hot way, with a hot crowd, giving us intense and well-put-together action throughout the entire match. It is one of my favorite matches from 1994 WWF. If it wasn’t for the ladder matches it probably be my favorite Razor match of all time. It happened on the October 30 edition of the Action Zone, I ask you to give it a chance, it rocks.

Of course, if one speaks of Scott Hall they must speak about him simply showing up on WCW Nitro, making a brief statement, a statement that would be the spark setting off the dynamite that was the Monday Night Wars.

Scott Hall was a perfect fit for an outsider faction, cool, cocky, confident, charisma dripping off his greasy hair. He played his role, especially in those early days, to perfection. He was natural real life buddies with Kevin Nash and they had chemistry with each other when they delivered their promos, their vignettes, tagged together. No wonder people cheered for them. They just had “IT” pouring out of everything and everywhere. No matter how things ended up breaking down, Scott Hall’s influence and significance of the original NWO group should not ever be downplayed or forgotten.

He would have many moments scattered throughout his career, to come out at ECW to “Ready Or Not” by the Fugees to a roaring cheer, to wrestling for the WWF Championship at Royal Rumble 1993, to putting over a young Hiroshi Tanahashi and telling everyone that he was money (how fucking right he was). Perhaps my personal favorite was when he defeated Rick Martel to become WWF Intercontinental Champion. Back then I was huge into that championship and was so glad someone other than that boytoy punk Shawn Michaels held the championship. Razor Ramon was my champion, and always will be. He would go on to hold the title four times.

Scott Hall would have his battles out of the ring, he would have his politicking, his horror stories, and periods where it was hard to be professional with him in a work setting, let alone a friend. I don’t want to focus on them too heavily, but they were a part of his story, they were all part of a horrific fall, but that fall would lead to his greatest victory and achievement, the one I respect him for the most.

Recovery, reclamation, redemption.

Sometimes in order to recover, you must be accepting and willing to seek out, and work at the help you need. It may have taken longer than many would’ve liked, but he finally did so and the memory I will keep with me forever is him appearing at the WWE Hall of Fame, sober, healthy, content, happy. His speech was incredible, a Scott Hall radiating sunlight. “Bad times don’t last forever, but bad guys do” is what he told us, and it hit hard. Hit hard in an amazing way. A “he did it, he fucking did it” way and it was celebratory. This man, despite everything you found yourself rooting for him one more. You were glad for him, you were excited. A new lease on life, but leases run out, and his sooner than we would’ve hoped did.

But I will not mourn Scott Hall’s death, I will celebrate his life. A life that was hard, fast, filled with potholes, but he in the end made amends, made fixes, and left on the highest of highs any of us can hope for. Scott Hall reclaimed his legacy, reclaimed his health, and above all else reclaimed his life. Not everyone does it, many choose not to go through the hardships doing so entails. He did so, slowly, painfully, inch by inch, sometimes having to take a few steps back in hopes of moving many more steps forward. He did it all, and I commend him for it.

I repeat once more “Bad times don’t last, but Bad Guys do” and he was right. Scott Hall will last forever. On countless replays, on countless commentaries, he will last forever. His legacy will shine through all the dark clouds that were once upon a time cast. Most importantly, he will live in our hearts and our minds as a treasured memory. One we will look back on fondly despite the flaws and mistakes. He may have been “The Bad Guy” but we loved him for it, we were entertained by it, and we will never forget it or him. Score this article, for the Bad Guy!

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