WWE – Living On A Razor’s Edge – The Scott Hall Story (Cert 12)
2 Disc Blu-ray / 3 Disc DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 81 minutes approx.
“I’m the poster boy for all the things you can do wrong in wrestling”.
This is just an example of the sort of candour you’ll hear from Scott Hall, whose achievements in wrestling have been overshadowed in recent years by his notorious self-destructive lifestyle away from the ring. The fact Hall is even alive to make such comments is miraculous enough as this latest WWE career retrospective reveals.
As far as wrestling careers go, Hall’s story is fairly standard, starting off in the territories, doing well in AWA, feeling stultified in WCW until arriving in the WWF where things finally took off. However, the career portion of the story occupies half of the feature presentation, the second half devoted to the near fatal downfall in his personal life and eventual road to recovery.
Hall’s beginnings were typically humble, growing up in a decent family, represented in interviews by his mother and brother, and discovering wrestling aged 8. However he didn’t pursue wrestling as a career at first, instead getting a job as a bouncer in strip clubs. It was during this period we learn of what may have been the psychological trigger for Hall’s emotional problems.
In 1983 Hall was fighting off an armed man outside the Cathouse club and the gun went off, killing the attacker. Circumstantial evidence saw Hall charged with second degree murder but this was later overturned and ruled an accident. However the incident traumatised Hall, just 24 at the time, and he carried the guilt of the man’s death with him throughout his life.
Hall’s entry into wrestling came about in the familiar way of working being spotted in the gym by Florida legend Kevin Sullivan, who got Hall a shot working for Dusty Rhodes in the CWF. Hall then went to Jim Crockett’s Mid-Atlantic Wrestling with Dan Spivey as the American Starship – Hall was “Coyote” and Spivey “Eagle”. The team didn’t last long, with Spivey ending up as curtain jerker in the WWF while Hall went to the AWA.
Oddly not mentioned in previous WWE releases about the AWA, “Big” Scott Hall had quite a four year run in the promotion and was groomed by Verne Gagne to be the next Hulk Hogan. Hall however didn’t want to be the champion of a dying promotion and left in 1989. Prior to that he was a tag champion with Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig and became one of the top stars in the AWA.
Rather amusing is the commentary of the AWA matches featured here. No-one is able to agree on Hall’s height, with claims ranging from 6’7 to 6’9, when he was probably 6’5 tops. His work was very generic at this point, his physique thick and bulky and he sported a porn moustache and permed hair, resembling Magnum TA and their TV influence Tom “Magnum P.I “ Selleck.
Hall notes that Hennig was the one who introduced him to the wild side of wrestling. Because Hall didn’t drink thus avoided the bar, Henning said this made Hall look standoffish to the other wrestlers, so Scott rectified this and we all know how that ended up.
After a surprisingly potted history of Hall’s WCW run as the Diamond Studd, his career turn around as Razor Ramon in the WWF and his second WCW run in the nWo, the focus switches to his darker days, beginning with his marriage breakup in 1998. Eric Bischoff admits regretting using Hall’s alcoholism as a TV angle instead of getting him help which is the WWE eventually did.
For someone with the reputation of being difficult, Hall comes across as a rather humble and grounded person, as affirmed by his friends – Kevin Nash, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, DDP, Jake Roberts. An example is shown when, as Razor, he gave away the actual IC belt to two kids dying of AIDS on the Jerry Springer Show, which Vince McMahon endorsed.
While it is hard to watch Scott’s son Cody talk about being estranged from his father as a result of his behaviour, more upsetting to watch is the footage from an Indie show in 2011 which Hall checked himself out hospital following a seizure to attend. Unable to walk unaided and clearly heavily medicated, this is a desperately sorry sight to witness.
Reaching out to Hall was DDP, shown making a call to a blitzed Scott boasting of drinking vodka for breakfast. Many spells in rehab and hospital couldn’t stop Hall from drinking but when his pacemaker blew up from the booze, he eventually took up DDP’s offer for help and began his comeback.
The feature closes with Hall enjoying his new lease of life, his coherence, mobility and general physical health now largely restored He has patched things up with Cody – now working for New Japan – and is shown giving advice at the WWE Performance centre.
In all honesty 81 minutes feels too short to recall the career of one of the few wrestlers who bridges the gap between the old days and Monday Night Wars, yet we are grateful the early days in the NWA, AWA and even his two night stint in ECW are covered for completion sake – just don’t expect any mention of his disastrous short runs in TNA.
A good selection of matches from the vaults are included as ever, starting with an American Starship squash from Mid-Atlantic followed by some AWA stuff (look out for Leon “Vader” White and Kevin “Nailz” Kelly in a Battle Royale). A few rarities from the WCW and WWF days are featured alongside the omnipotent WM 10 ladder match.
The Scott Hall Story is as arguably less a celebration of “The Bad Guy’s” career, more a stark and frank cautionary tale about the true dangers of excess and decadence, closing with the message that redemption is there if one truly wants it.
One of the most affecting WWE DVD releases so far for both the wrong and right reasons.
English HOH Subtitles
WCW Power Hour – September 28th 1991 – Diamond Studd & Oz vs. Z-Man & Big Josh
Non-Televised WWF Match – Cincinnati, OH – May 18th 1992 – Razor Ramon vs. Jim Powers
WWF Summerslam ‘93 – August 30th 1993 – Razor Ramon vs. Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
WWF In Your House – May 14th 1995 – 2-On-1 Handicap Match – Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie
WCW Monday Nitro – January 25th 1999 – Ladder Match – Scott Hall vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
WWE Hall Of Fame – April 5th 2014 – Razor Ramon Hall Of Fame Induction
Rating – ****
Man In Black