May 30, 2011
An Open Letter to Scott Hall
I have been playing the thoughts for this piece over and over in my mind for a few weeks now. Every week or so there seem to be a couple of fresh Scott Hall stories that go around, each as bad (if not worse) than the one before. I’m not intending this to be a sugary, nice story to counteract all the other stories that there have been recently. Far from it. At one stage in the last month it even looked like Scott might not be long for this world. But I’m getting ahead of myself……
I’ve been a wrestling fan since the early 1980’s – brought up on the old time British wrestling scene with Giant Haystacks, Catweasel, young up and comers like Davey ‘Boy’ Smith & Bret Hart (when he would tour the U.K.), Dave ‘Fit’ Finlay, Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco and, obviously, Big Daddy (“Easy, easy, easy, easy……”).
Fast forward a few years and we got NWA/WCW on TV, and these guys made the British guys look like chumps. Then I finally got to see the WWF – and that changed my wrestling viewing for life (hey, I was young and impressionable!).
Scott Hall, as Razor Ramon, was a star from the get go in WWF. Many fans were drawn to his character even though he was a bad guy (pun intended). He went to WCW and arguably was one of the top five stars of the late 1990’s in the wrestling business. Certainly he was higher than that until Rock & Austin caught on in WWF/E. But behind the front that we saw on TV were demons that he was battling with – although at times WCW played his problems into storylines, which, although unsurprising given the history of wrestling promoters, was still somewhat of a shock.
Demons that are even more glaringly obvious now than at any time in his life.
If anyone has seen the video from early April at his appearance for Top Rope Productions then you know what I’m talking about. Or if anyone has read anything that Kevin Nash or Scott’s ex-wife Dana have said then you know the point we are at in his life.
They genuinely didn’t expect him to be alive for much longer only a few weeks ago.
I had the privilege of interviewing Scott right before this year’s WrestleMania. In fact, it turns out to have been one of the last interviews that he has given to anyone to this point.
I don’t claim to know him well – even at all. I know him firstly as a fan. I know him secondly for the stories that I’ve read over the years. And I know him thirdly for the few months that we were in contact this year.
Scott and I emailed back and forwards for a few months as we were arranging a suitable time for me to interview him for this site. We had to postpone once or twice, but things fell into place in late March. I called him on his cell phone and we chatted on the phone for just over 30 minutes or so. I have included the interview again at the bottom of this piece.
As you can see in the interview, he was due to be accompanying Kevin Nash to the UK this past weekend for some events, but understandably he didn’t travel.
Do I think that by writing this column that he will read it and sort himself out? Absolutely not. Will it prick his conscience? Who knows, but again it’s doubtful. I guess I’m just writing to get some stuff out of my own system.
Since I interviewed Scott several weeks ago a lot of people have been asking me questions as to what he was like and whether he truly believes that he has and problems at all.
What I can say is this; he was very honest during our interview – to the point of being over honest with a guy that he barely knew. He knows he has problems, and talked of wanting to fix them. Was he being truthful? I think so. I know what his tone was like as he talked about his struggles & he knows that he has to sort himself out. I’ve had family & friends in the same situation and they have to hit rock bottom before they can pick themselves up. Sad as it is to say, it looks like he still hasn’t reached that point.
Or more ominously, maybe he has and he just doesn’t care anymore.
As I said above, he does recognise his problems but either doesn’t care enough about himself to stop putting getting into these situations or he really is that stupid to keep doing so.
I guess it’s somewhere in the middle, as best I can see. He’s not oblivious to his problems, and has tried over the years to eradicate them, but he doesn’t seem to be able to help himself. There are things that have gone on with him for years, before wrestling, but that can’t excuse his behaviour & what he has put those closest to him through over the last months & years.
Scott, regardless of where you are in your life there are people who care for you and are looking out for you. There are fans, real fans, who want to see you back on your feet & entertaining as only you can, chico.
But if I can say it – forget the fans and forget the industry. Forget some of your so-called friends and concentrate on your true friends & family. But even, to an extent, forget them – you have to do it for you.
You’re not a bad guy Scott, despite what has been said - you’re THE Bad Guy!
Click here to read Gary's interview back in March with Scott Hall