In his prime, Scott Hall was a mountain of a man – 6-foot-7, 290 pounds of solidly sculptured muscle, appearing as close as invincible as they come. As Razor Ramon, he was one of professional wrestling’s biggest names and most villainous villains, busting chairs with the likes of Randy Savage, Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans in sold-out arenas. And he loved the life that came with it: the parties, the women, the celebrity. But the high life soon started to slip away, and Hall has been desperately doing whatever he can since to hold on ever since. Hall’s slide seems to know no bottom – from his deteriorating physical and mental condition, to his ongoing battle with alcohol and substance abuse that has crippled his family life and resulted in pathetic public appearances in school gyms. But he’s hanging on, somehow. Now his only son, Cody, wants to follow in his father’s tortured bootsteps. E:60 chronicles the heartbreaking story of a man who is a shadow of his former self and desperate for one last taste of the glory days.
Here it is. ESPN’s E:60 on Scott Hall and his “descent from wrestling superstar to a broken man battling alcoholism and drug addiction.”
“Life imitating art, imitating life.”
The ratings for the show are in: at a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating with .83 million viewers, the episode was not considered a smash hit, but still represents an above-average performance for the series.
(All video rights are reserved to ESPN.)
Several past and present WWE personalities have commented on Twitter about the E:60 piece that aired this past Wednesday night. Here’s what the following people said:
Chris Jericho: “Just saw the Scott Hall E-60 piece. My heart goes out to his family and I hope that was a wake-up call for him.This could be his last chance”
Goldust: “Watched e-60…..im asking the world to pray for scott hall…he is a great man….#PRAYFORSCOTTHALL”
Bret Hart: “Just watched the E60 piece on Scott Hall. I always considered him a friend of mine & he knows how to get a hold of me if he ever needs to”
Jim Ross: “The Scott Hall feature aired last night on ESPN. I did not see it as I was taping 2 Legends Roundtable shows. Was told it was compelling.”
Shane Helms: “Well that Scott Hall piece was pretty damn sad. I really hope life picks up for him and his family. #StarshipCoyote”
Shawn Michaels: “FYI- I did not see the piece on Scott. Scott. Kev, Kid & Hunter r my friends. Sharing our personal info or insight on here aint happening. Much like when u ask me my opinion on RAW or other wrestlers. I don’t do it. The net is flooded w/opinions. I don’t think u need one more.”
Scott Hall: Thank u for all your nice comments & for always pulling for The Bad Guy!
But it gets worse.
During the piece, Hall reconnected with his estranged son Cody, teaching his son the art of pro wrestling. According to a report on TMZ.com, that family reunion was short lived, as Scott’s substance abuse already caused another major falling out between them. His ex-wife, Dana, tells TMZ, the reunion in May barely lasted a month, and once again, the two are no longer on speaking terms. Cody Hall gave up on his father due to “constant verbal abuse from Scott while he was binging.” He’s now living with his mother. Dana told TMZ,
“Cody simply felt it was “too hard seeing his dad in that kind of state.”
The ESPN documentary showed Cody Hall training to become a pro wrestler, but since the fallout with his father, he’s no longer pursuing it. Scott’s rep had no comment.
But wait. There’s more.
During an episode of the Live Audio Wrestling radio show last week, Kevin Nash revealed that longtime friend Scott Hall has once again entered a rehabilitation program to address his ongoing substance abuse issues. Stephanie McMahon is among the industry insiders that were interviewed for the piece, and she revealed that WWE has spent “six figures” (over $100K) sending Hall to rehab multiple times.
“It’s the most amount of money we’ve spent on anyone. I just want Scott to get help and to decide for himself that he needs help. It makes me sad. I don’t want anybody to pass away prematurely or otherwise really. Scott was an incredibly talented performer, larger than life, charismatic. He’s a father, he’s a friend. I’m sure he means a lot to a lot of people and it would be a shame for him to pass away.”
It’s an incredibly sad story–a real life version of Mickey Rourke’s “The Wrestler.” It sickens me to even think that some people’s lives have fallen so much in recent years and hit absolute rock bottom. To see someone you grew up watching in the ring, one of the best heels in the WWF falling to the drugged-up mess he is today. It’s very sobering. I’m happy that he’s admitted to needing help, and that he’s taken up WWE’s offer for rehab. And so what that it costs over “six figures” to get his life back on track? You can’t put a price on a human life.
“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated!”
So many times we’ve seen wrestlers needing help in one form or another–Chris Benoit, Lance Cade, Eddie Guerrero, Brian Pillman. The list goes on. Now, Jeff Hardy appears to be heading down a similar path. While Hall continues to struggle in rehab, there’s still hope for Hardy, but not unless he admits to it and puts 100% effort into getting clean.
“The only time he ever felt in control of his own life was when he was in the ring.”
I remember watching the leaked video online of Hall’s…well, appearance…on April 8th of this year, as Hall was helped by event staff in order to keep him on his feet. Nearly 500 spectators stood in awe at what 53-year-old Scott Hall–the once great Razor Ramon who had epic, revolutionary ladder matches with Shawn Michaels–had become. Horrifying. He was ‘out of it,’ moreso than I’ve ever seen any other human being. He looked like he was seconds from death. I remember thinking to myself, ‘wow. He’s actually going to die like this. He actually looks dead right now.’ I didn’t expect him to make it past the month. How Steve Ricard of Tope Rope Promotions even allowed Hall to enter the building in that condition, rather than seeking immediate medical attention, is beyond me. The fact that he didn’t hold him back in order to save his own ass from refunds is a classless, scumbag move. Watching Hall go through the motions, almost zombie-like, was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever witnessed, not just in professional wrestling, but in the entire human race.
Now, Hall is taking 11 different daily medications and is currently assisted by a pacemaker after suffering congestive heart failure and battling seizures in 2010.
“I tell my kids this, ‘I can’t tell you not to drink and do drugs, they are fun. It’s fun. They work.’ But what sucks is when you want to quit, but you can’t. I don’t wanna die, you know…what is there to live for anymore? What do you do when they stop chanting your name?”
Of course, Hall’s era in wrestling was a bit different than it is today–as the video alluded to, wrestling was ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.’ And it really was. Guys like Pillman, Shawn Michaels, Sean Waltman, etc. will all back that up. What makes matters worse, though, are those who continue to say ‘wrestling is fake’ as a reason for why Hall’s case is fraudulent or why we shouldn’t care about this. Nothing is more real than this. This is as real as it gets.
Worst of all–not his second-degree murder charge, not his arrest and four charges since 1998, not his 10 rehab stints–is that Hall is not just disappointing himself, his family, friends or the fans–he’s disappointing his son, Cody, who’s tried so hard to be there for his father, but can no longer stand by as Hall continues to kill himself. Now, Cody has dropped wrestling altogether in order to avoid any lifestyle of Scott’s that could rub off on him. Cody, who had visited Hall in the hospital when he had checked in after his April wrestling appearance, said it was just the third time in the past three years that he had seen his father. The one person that was supposed to be there for Cody–through good times and bad, thick and thin–wasn’t.
“There’s gotta be a reason why I’m still here. I should’ve been dead 100 times.”
The only solace in Hall’s sad story is that it serves as a model life of what not to become as a human being or a professional wrestler. Scott Hall is at rock bottom, and allowing the wrestling business to consume your life, allowing drugs to consume your life, is a highway to becoming the Scott Hall of today.
Just as Eric Bischoff said,
“Wrestling is not killing Scott Hall, Scott Hall is killing Scott Hall. Scott Hall’s demons are killing Scott Hall.”
“All I ever wanted to do was be a big-time pro wrestler. I never quit fighting–I may not win, but I won’t quit fighting.”
“Life on the Razor’s Edge…I just laugh as a defence so I don’t cry.”