Thursday, October 20, 2011

Toughest Opponent Ever

Scott Hall recently
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Addiction may very well be the toughest opponent any wrestler has ever had.  Any person for that matter.  I'm of course referring to the latest E:60 documentary on Scott Hall.  It's simply titled "The Wrestler."  If you haven't watched it yet, invest 18 minutes of your time in seeing it.  I learned some things about Hall that I never knew before.

Hall admits he doesn't remember this event (2011)
I never knew Scott had that fight outside the bar in which one man was killed.  Scott was cleared of the charges he faced at the time, but just being involved in the death of another person has haunted him for years.  Add that to the fact that his grandparents and parents are alcoholics and you've got the perfect formula for an addict.  During the piece Sean Waltman places blame on the promoter for having Hall appear on the show in the shape that he's in.  In my opinion, that may have saved Hall's life.  I think it let the world see how badly Scott needs help.  Hopefully it's the push he needed to get clean for good.

In the past, I used to judge people harshly who abuse drugs.  But with a little insight from the work my wife is currently doing, I'm learning more that addiction is much bigger than just a person engaging in harmful behavior.  In most cases, they just can't simply quit.  I've blogged before about Scott, as well as the Hardy Boys and other superstars who have fallen on hard times.  I'm trying really hard to not just judge these guys.  They really do need help.

And that's the rub.  They may not realize they need help.  Some don't think they need it, they don't see a problem.  I believe once friends and family members have pointed out the problem, it's then up to the addict to seek treatment.  It's would be hard to have sympathy for a cancer patient who refuses chemo or radiation to fight their disease.  Yes, I believe addiction is a disease too.

"Big" Scott Hall
I remember watching Scott Hall when he looked more like Tom Selleck.  Bushy hair, thick 80's style mustache.  In fact, one of my first NWA wrestling shows in St. Louis featured Scott Hall on the undercard.  He was wrestling as "Coyote" and was a part of a team called American Starship.  His partner Dan Spivey was known as "Eagle."  Anyway, I watched him grow and progress and move on to the AWA where he enjoyed more success in the ring.

Do you remember his stint in NWA/WCW as Scott "Gator" Hall?  Think of a cleaned up version of Skinner from the WWF.  I had actually forgotten about the gimmick, but a friend of mine had brought it up a few years ago.  Hall went on to become the Diamond Studd in WCW.  I must admit (and this was way before the Internet) I never put two and two together that Diamond Studd was Scott Hall.  I thought his look had drastically changed.

The Bad Guy (from WWE)
Of course it wasn't until he arrived in the WWF as Razor Ramon that Scott Hall's stock started to climb.  He became in the Intercontinental champion four times.  He had great matches against the likes of Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, and Goldust.  When he first arrived in the WWF he feuded with Randy Savage, getting the best of the former champ.  I saw the two of them main event a house show in Cape Girardeau back in '92.  He also beat guys like Bret Hart and Undertaker on the house show circuit.  He was being booked like a real superstar.

I was disappointed Razor never won the WWF world title.  In my opinion, he had all the makings of a world champ.  I also believe he was better than his buddy Kevin "Diesel" Nash.  The two of them had feuded in the WWF before joining forces and "invading" WCW and forming the NWO.  And I'll be honest, after that, my interest in Hall dwindled.  While I thought the NWO angle was innovative, I still felt slighted that Hall left the WWF.  I've always been a WWF loyalist and his defection really bummed me out.

In the NWO
When he, Nash, and Hulk Hogan came back to the WWE in 2002, it was a quick lived high.  It just wasn't the same.  Our heroes get older and can't perform like they used to.  It's hard to see them come back and we expect the same glory from a decade earlier.

The rigors of the road and the ring take a toll on a superstar's body and mind.  But don't blame the business.  Not all wrestlers will become a statistic.  not all of them will loss to their demons.  I hope and pray Scott Hall gets the help he needs, and I applaud Vince McMahon and the WWE for their support of employees who are battling addiction.

Please, share your thoughts here or on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the documentary. I've been meaning to catch it on television but missed out.

    It was well done except it annoys me how every time wrestling is mentioned in the mainstream media someone has to point out that it's a "fake" form of entertainment. It's like watching a Goodfellas behind-the-scenes piece and hearing a reminder that Joe Pesci didn't actually shoot anyone.