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Scott Hall, who died overnight from post-surgery complications aged 63, was known to many wrestling fans of a certain age as the quintessential bad guy Razor Ramon.
His legacy on the wrestling business was so great that all three major wrestling companies – WWE, AEW, Impact – paid tribute to him in the early hours of this morning, as did countless legends.
Former WWE champion Mick Foley tweeted: “Scott Hall was a towering figure among his contemporaries – a legend inside and outside the ring.
“My deepest condolences to his friends, family and everyone who loved him.”
And legendary member of the Four Horseman, Arn Anderson, wrote: “Scott Hall was a gifted performer, a brilliant mind, and a credit to this profession.
“God bless Scott and his loved ones – his contributions will never be forgotten.”
The two-time WWE hall of famer, and Maryland-native, however, had a rough ride in the business.
Fight led to murder charge
Before starting his in-ring career, while working as a bartender at a strip club at the age of 24, he was involved in a fight with the manager, who had a handgun.
During the scuffle, however, the manager was shot and Hall was charged with second-degree murder, which was later dropped because of a lack of evidence.
This was the start of his issues with drugs and alcohol – something which would plague him throughout his life.
Speaking about it to HBO in 2013, he said: “Just pills and booze, it became such a routine.
“As soon as I hit that curtain and walked down that aisle, that guy’s life, Razor, doesn’t have any problems.
“Scott Hall’s life is falling apart. He’s getting divorced and his kids don’t talk to him.
“But the escape of that fake guy was the only thing keeping me going at that time.”
He started his in-ring career in 1984, debuting for the historic National Wrestling Alliance's Florida promotion Championship Wrestling from Florida.
Immediately thrust into a feud with the legendary Dusty Rhodes, who was also one of his trainers – as was Japanese wrestling icon Hiro Matsuda, it didn't come to much and he would later join the American Wrestling Association.
Scott's slow rise to the top
He would flounder, never really making much of a name for himself to the extent he would in the 1990s, appearing for New Japan Pro Wrestling, the not-yet-huge World Championship Wrestling, and he also had a few try-out matches for the then-WWF in the late 1980s.
But it was in 1992, when he officially joined the WWF and took on the moniker of Razor Ramon that he would rise to the top of the industry.
Portrayed as a stylish, and a little dodgy, Cuban American, he oozed charisma and smoothness.
His nickname of “The Bad Guy” was a nod to Tony Montana in Scarface, which was also how he tried to speak during his promos.
He made his official in-ring debut in a victorious effort against Paul Van Dale – the father of current WWE Women's tag team champion Carmella – which is also where he debuted the now-iconic move the Razor's Edge.
Wearing huge gold chains and open cabana shirts, Hall was becoming one of the top stars in professional wrestling.
And in 1993, on an October episode of Monday Night Raw, his legacy truly began, as he pinned Rick Martel to win the Intercontinental Championship – a title he would hold for 198 days.
But during that run, he would take on, and beat, Shawn Michaels in one of the most legendary ladder matches of all time at Wrestlemania X.
He would hold the title four times, with a combined reign of 434 days – making him sixth on the all-time list of Intercontinental Championship holders.
Despite all of his WWF success, including launching the career of the 1-2-3 Kid with another iconic moment on Monday Night Raw, he would shock the wrestling world and re-join rival company WCW.
All time greatest wrestling faction
This would create the most notable run of his career, forming the Outsiders with real-life best friend and fellow WWE leaver Kevin Nash, which then became the greatest wrestling faction of all time when Hulk Hogan joined up – the nWo.
His WCW run could take up an entire feature on its own, but the fact that the nWo is still talked about today as the greatest group to ever step foot into the squared circle should tell you all you need to know.
His struggle with drug and alcohol abuse became more and more prominent as his WCW run ended, however.
Despite returning to the WWE for a lacklustre run – which included a match against Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania – and then joining Impact Wrestling for an even more forgettable time, his career never hit the heights of the mid-1990s again.
He was arrested many times for “disorderly conduct” related to being drunk, and his health had deteriorated rapidly.
A cry for help
But a turning point came in 2013, when he was taken in by former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page – who had already turned the life of Jake “the snake” Roberts around through his Yoga and well-being programme.
A crowd-funder raised more than £100,000 to pay for hip surgery and dental work for Hall.
Prior to joining DDP, he had run up Jake Roberts and said: “I’m dying Jake, I’m dying. I’ve been drinking vodka for breakfast.”
The programme DDP put him on worked, and Hall's later life was much happier, as he rejoined the WWE and was inducted twice into its Hall of Fame – as Razor in 2014, and then as a member of the nWo in 2020.
His words from his 2014 speech have gone viral since his death, too.
He said: ““Hard work pays off. Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.”
He is survived by two children – son Cody, who is also a wrestler, and daughter Cassidy – and two ex-wives, Dana Burgio and Jessica Hart.
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