The Slow, Painful Death of Scott Hall
In the 1980's, professional wrestlers were superheros, and they were supervillians. Stars of the squared circle such as Andre the Giant, Jake the Snake Roberts, Rick Rude, The Hart Foundation, etc. were all villians. Some of them had the evil genius leaders in the form of managers. replica watches these included people like Jimmy Hart, and Bobby Heenan, among others. The superheroes were led by Hulk Hogan and included others such as Tito Santana, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The Rockers, and many more. Some of these were led by the counterparts to the evil genius such as Capt. Lou Albano.
In the 1990's, professional wrestlers were more akin to rock stars. Shawn Michaels, The Ultimate Warrior, Razor Ramon (Scott Hall), Bret Hart, Owen Hart, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and a slew of others. replica rolex Whether good guy or bad guy, these individuals generally acted like rock stars, dressed like rock stars, looked like rock stars and naturally were idolized and/or worshipped as rock stars.
When the century and millenium turned, things changed yet again. Pro wrestlers evolved into athletes. Enjoyment of pro wrestling evolved as well. No longer did anyone really wonder if it was real or not. rolex replica More and more, viewers tuned in to follow the stories told by the wrestlers and to watch how they would enact those stories with agility and athleticism.
Some of the 80's and 90's stars made the transition to the 2000's. Some did not, usually because of advancing age and the inability to keep up with the younger stars, accumulated or chronic injury, or different careers.
In today's wrestling world, it's generally acknowledged by the fans, promoters, and wrestlers that it is a showcase event - "sports entertainment", so dubbed by WWE's Vince McMahon. It's been that way pretty much since about 1998. Wrestlers who got their starts much earlier can be a bit of a different story.
Up til the late 90's, wrestlers actually "lived their gimmick", a practice of being your in-ring character even in every day life. Bret and Owen Hart were two perfect examples of this, with Bret relating a story of how they would stay as far away from each other on the road, in hotels, on planes, only to get "caught" one day on a flight home when a flight attendant caught Bret and Owen discussing something or other. Eventually most were able to separate their characters from their personal existence.
Unfortunately there are those who are still alive who give the impression they either can't or won't let go of the person they portray in the ring. Even more unfortunate and tragic is the fact that a lot of those are now dead, having succumbed to such excesses that rock stars are infamous for, either rightly or wrongly. As morbid as this may be, the fact exists that there are people on this planet who have or have had betting pools on who might be next. I was never really one to play into these betting pools, but if you asked me to speculate on the next death, I can name only the first individual to come to mind who lived the rock star lifestyle of the 90's: Scott Hall.
Best known for his stint as Razor Ramon (the original) in the then-WWF of the early to mid 90's, Hall was well-known to partake in both drugs and alcohol on any given night. This behavior led to numerous run-ins with authorities, resulting in several different charges ranging from posession to public intoxication to assault charges. These incidents would continue for the rest of his life up until present: Hall was recently arrested and charged with domestic abuse earlier this month (April, 2012).
After leaving WWF, Hall went to then-rival WCW as a member of "The Outsiders", paired with long-time pal Kevin Nash (Diesel in WWF at the same time Hall was working as Ramon). The Outsiders wound up being joined by Hulk Hogan to form WCW's arguably most famous stable, the nWo, bent on taking over WCW and running things their way. Throughout this time, Eric Bischoff incorporated more and more of Scott Hall's real life problems into several storylines used in WCW. this in turn led his ex-wife to write an open letter, accusing WCW, Hall's friends, and Bischoff in particular as enablers of Hall's addictions and behaviors.
Over the years, friends of Hall have come out in support of him and tried to explain, or in some cases, defend Hall's repeated abuse of alcohol and drugs, explaining them as the result of "demons" (my word). Kevin Nash has gone on record stating that Hall is not an addict but is suffering from "post traumatic distress" (his words) and using drugs and booze as a crutch. Eric Bischoff has recently stated he wished he knew how to help Hall. Hall himself stated in a distressing phone call with his ex-wife that he wasn't going to be alive much longer.
These friends of Hall, including the aforementioned in the previous paragraph are, in the public eye, no more than apologists for Hall's actions and behavior. Demands have been made far and wide for Hall to get help, pleas have been issued to these friends to force him to get the help he needs. This article is neither condemning nor praising his companions, just the statement of facts. The fact is that Scott Hall has been in and out of rehab more than anyone's been in a $20 hooker.
He's done stints at centers that obviously have not helped. When you continually check yourself out of rehab before you conclude the program, you are not benefitting from treatment. WWE has a policy in place to pay for treatment for any and all past and present employees. the trick is you have to want to be helped. It's painfully apparent Scott Hall doesn't want that help. the reason is painfully simple: He is punishing himself and this has become self-perpetuating.
There are a lot of people out there who wonder what the root of Hall's problems is. Many do not know that in 1983 he shot a man dead during an altercation outside of a nightclub. This led to a charge of second-degree murder. The case was eventually thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence, but what is known is the gun belonged to the dead man. Whether he drew it and Hall grabbed for it causing it to discharge is up for debate, but in a 2011 ESPN documentary, Hall admits to killing the man and stated that he's been haunted by it ever since, unable to forget the incident.
If you are looking for a trigger for certain destructive behavior, then being haunted by taking a life certainly ranks up there. The self-perpetuation of his problems arises in the destructive behavior itself. The longer he went on being "the bad guy", the more damage he would have done. The more adversely affected his friends and loved ones would become, the more the behavior would continue, naturally causing more grief, naturally enabling more substance abuse.
I am not a psychiatrist, but I would point to this incident as the genesis for Hall's problems, and the source that needs to be addressed. Hall does need treatment, but that would be the initial problem frst addressed, and not his substance abuse problems. For all anyone knows, this has been talked about to death with Scott, but if he has had it planted in his head for decades that he has no business being happy or free of the guilt, then he is beyond help.
Hall's descent into his own personal hell did not start in WCW. It did not start in WWF. It didn't come about on the Indy circuit. No, the slow, lingering death of Scott Hall began in 1983. One can only hide things for so long bfoere they become highly visible to everyone on the planet, not just yourself or your closest of friends or family.
I can only conclude that Scott Hall began dying long before he became a "rock star of wrestling". At this juncture, it seems painfully obvious that it won't be long before the final death takes place. If and when it does happen, where will you point your finger?
Your comments below are appreciated.
Source: Tim Stein
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