The Bad Guy was born Scott Oliver Hall in Maryland on October 20, 1958, making him 58 years old today. The 6’7” giant was trained in wrestling by the legendary late, great Hiro Matsuda, known for his brutal shoot-style training of future greats Hulk Hogan and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff.
His early career started in the Florida territory of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). It was here that he met future tag partner and WWF/WCW talent Dan Spivey.
Spivey and Hall as a team were called “The American Starships” and were sent to the Carolina territories. The Starships did nothing of any significance and earned no title runs.
After about one year, Hall switched promotions and joined Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association (AWA). Sporting a rather Tom Selleck-like mustache, the handsome Hall was paired with the late Curt Hennig as a team. The two had great success, winning the AWA Tag team Championship belts from “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal. The two would have some successful defenses, but would drop the straps to “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers and the late “Playboy” Buddy Rose.
Soon after losing the tiles, Hall and Nash broke up and the AWA was showing signs of crumble. Hall sensed this and left the promotion to return to his old roots of the NWA.
His run in the NWA this time around was not much different than the first given that he received no major pushes and generally jobbed to other talent. He soon became frustrated and left the promotion later in 1989.
For about the next year and a half Hall made some short stops in Puerto Rico and Germany to gain some more experience and exposure. He then had the opportunity to join Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
Hall debuted in WCW as “The Diamond Studd”, an arrogant heel that was managed by Diamond Dallas Page early in Page’s career. The Studd’s career in WCW at this point was checkered, winning some matches against the likes of Tom “The Z Man” Zenk and losing others. He briefly was involved with Paul E. Dangerously’s (Paul Heyman) “Dangerous Alliance”, but Hall left before anything could really happen as he had an offer from the WWF.
In 1992, Hall appeared on WWF programming as “Razor Ramon”, his most popular and notable persona. His character was a send-up of the Tony Montana character played brilliantly by Al Pacino in the movie Scarface. With greased hair, long gold chains, toothpick hanging out of his mouth and thick Cuban accent, Hall was the exact opposite of his clean-cut self from his AWA days as “Big” Scott Hall.
Ramon was first introduced in the preceding weeks by short vignettes which was commonplace for new talent in the WWF at the time. He then appeared on televised WWF programs defeating jobbers with ease. He also started to develop Pacino-like catchphrases such as “Say Hello to the Bad Guy”.
Hall’s first notable feud was with Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Hall had interfered on behalf of Ric Flair by attacking Savage and costing him his title shot. On a later encounter between the two, Savage was saved by the Ultimate Warrior which led to a tag match of Savage and Warrior against Ramon and Flair. What really happened though was that Warrior was fired from the WWF prior to the match and so his position was replaced by old Ramon ally “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig.
Warrior’s departure opened a great opportunity for Ramon. WWF Champion Bret “Hit Man” Hart was slated to defend his title against the Warrior who was now replaced by Ramon. Despite losing via submission, Ramon started to gain notoriety with the fans at this point and gain respect as an in-ring talent.
Ramon had agreed to job to a young face known as the “1-2-3 Kid” aka Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, one of Ramon’s future close friends. When Ramon as a heel lost to Waltman, the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase mocked him for the big man’s loss to the cruiserweight. This marked a face turn for Ramon and he ultimately defeated DiBiase at the “SummerSlam” Pay-Per-View event.
Fame came to Ramon when he defeated “The Model” Rick Martel to capture the WWF Intercontinental Championship on an episode of Raw. This win for Ramon led to a feud with “HBK” Shawn Michaels that ultimately led to career changing classic matches between the two over the gold.
Their rivalry culminated at WrestleMania X in the first-ever ladder match won by Ramon, solidifying him as a top tier talent in what many consider to be the best match of his career.
Ramon would drop the title to Michaels’ bodyguard and future WCW buddy Kevin “Diesel” Nash and would later regain the belt from Nash for a second run during the “SummerSlam” Pay-per-View event.
Ramon next feuded with Jeff Jarrett who was hungry for the Intercontinental title. Ramon dropped the strap to Jarrett at the “Royal Rumble” Pay-Per-View event and after several failed attempts to regain it, Ramon eventually won the strap for the third time by defeating Jarrett in a ladder match in 1995.
His reign proved to be short-lived as Jarrett won the title back three days later. This marked the beginning of a career slump for Ramon. Plagued by a rib injury, he formed a tag team combination with Savio Vega and did not partake in much in-ring action. The team would lose to the likes of Men On a Mission (Mo and Mabel) and also a shot at the WWF Tag Titles held by the late Owen Hart and Yokozuna.
After parting ways, Ramon attempted over time to win back his coveted IC title, but lost in efforts against champions Michaels, later Dean Douglas and later Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes.
Ramon was slated to face Goldust in a street fight at WrestleMania XII, but prior to this was suspended from the WWF due to drug use which would haunt him throughout his life. The match ended up happening with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper replacing Ramon.
Things turned up for Ramon when he was contacted by the WCW to come back home. At this time, Ramon had formed a tight friendship with Nash, Waltman, Michaels and Triple H and collectively called themselves “The Kliq”. Michaels and Triple H would remain in the WWF while Waltman, Hall and Nash would venture back to Turnerland.
It was in 1996 that Hall changed the scene of wrestling forever. He appeared on an episode of WCW Nitro wearing street clothes and assuming the same “Razor Ramon” persona. He announced he was an “outsider” about to wage war with WCW. In the future Nash would be introduced as would Hulk Hogan in a heel turn. The trio were the New World Order (nWo) and the faction started gaining such momentum, the underdog WCW would defeat WWF in the ratings game for more than a year.
Before you new it, everyone and anyone was joining the red-hot nWo including Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff. Hall and Nash would go on to win the WCW Tag Team Championships from Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray).
Over the course of time, the nWo would drop the title back and forth between the Steiner Brothers (Scott and Rick) as well as the team of Sting and the Giant (a pre- Big Show Paul Wight).
Despite his success, Hall was still plagued by drug and alcohol addiction and was suspended from WCW television for a period. During his absence, the nWo starting splitting up into rival subgroups like nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac.
When Hall returned, Hulk Hogan chose him to face Bill Goldberg who was the US Heavyweight Champion at the time. Hall lost, allowing Goldberg to face Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight title which Goldberg won. Hogan blamed Hall for the loss and this started the demise of the core nWo.
Hall and Nash would then face each other in singles completion and tag team matches. In one noteworthy match, Hall was slated to fight against Nash, but was clearly intoxicated in the ring. After decimating Hall, Nash walked out of the ring for the showers, deliberately losing by countout as an act of mercy to his lost friend.
Hall and Nash would eventually reunite when Hall made a sneak attack on champion Goldberg prior to match against Nash. This attack would cause Goldberg to drop the title to Nash, ending Goldie’s undefeated 173 match streak.
Hall would have a short feud with Goldberg thereafter and would eventually win the WCW US Championship from Piper. Unfortunately, he had to forfeit the title due to injuries and was absent from television for a period.
Upon return, Hall reclaimed the US title in a Texas Tornado ladder match and, while US Champion, would also win the WCW World Television Champions by forfeit of Rick Steiner.
Despite the fact that he had two titles, Hall went on a series of forfeits. He was stripped of the TV title by throwing it in the trash can on television. He was stripped of the US title as he needed time off for injuries. He later teamed with Nash to win the WCW Tag Team Championship (again) but forfeited it shortly thereafter again due to injuries and personal issues. He phased out of WCW thereafter.
For the next two years, Hall would appear sporadically in the independents, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling, mostly to losses.
In 2002, Hall was given the opportunity to reunite with the nWo and appear on WWE programming. While the angle seemed very promising for fans, it ended up being largely a dud. Hall had some bouts against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and JBL, but was released before the year was up.
Later in 2002, Hall gained employment with Dixie Carter’s Total Nonstop Action (TNA) promotion. He would make TNA his home base for a lengthy period of time, albeit it largely with sporadic appearances.
He reunited with old running mate Nash and soon enough Waltman and Hogan would join as well. Waltman was now calling himself “Syxx-Pac”. Hogan, however refused to be part of their faction as he was developing a role in talent management with TNA newcomer Eric Bischoff.
Nash, Waltman and Hall now called themselves “The Band” and over time recruited members just like the nWo of old. There was some dissention in the ranks when Hall and Waltman had a brief separation from Nash, but soon things were patched up and they were a trio once again.
Hall and Nash would team up and win the TNA Tag Team Championship from Matt Morgan who was wrestling by himself despite having a tag team title. They would soon be stripped of the belts owing to Hall’s legal and personal problems. He would be released from TNA after 8 years of sporadic appearances.
For the next several years, Hall would appear on the independent scene, wrestling in the World Wrestling Council (WWC) and Juggalo Championship Wrestling amongst others.
In 2014, Hall was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and had some one-off appearances on Raw and at WrestleManias XXX, XXXI and XXXII.
Throughout his lengthy career, Hall was a notorious alcoholic and drug abuser. He has suffered seizures, double pneumonia and cardiac issues. He went through a rehab program funded by WWE and later turned his life around by becoming clean and sober courtesy of old pals Diamond Dallas Page and Jake “The Snake” Roberts as part of Page’s “DDP Yoga” program.
He has also been in and out of legal hot water, having been arrested numerous times for spousal abuse, resisting arrest, drunk and disorderly conduct and sexual assault. The largest charge of all was a second degree murder charge dating back to 1983 when Hall shot and killed a man after taking the gun away from him in self defense. The charges were eventually dropped, but Hall has been forever tormented by the event and this was cited as the explanation for his drug and alcohol problems.
Scott Hall is truly the stuff of legend; re-inventing himself, creating wrestling history, having classic memorable encounters and having more charisma than most. When he was low, he was rock-bottom, but things seem to be on the rise for Hall once again and he is to be applauded for his efforts at defeating his demons.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.
Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.