With the passing of two-time WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall, The Inner Sanctum pays tribute to one of professional wrestling’s greats with a look back at some of our favourite moments from the career of ‘The Bad Guy.’
The impact that Scott Hall had not just on the wrestling industry, but in mainstream society as part of the nWo and as Razor Ramon, was tremendous and will live on in the minds and hearts of fans across the globe.
First induction into the WWE Hall of Fame
Scott Hall was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as Razor Ramon in 2014 ahead of WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. This was the first time I had the chance to see Hall in person, given the peak of his career was during the early years of my life.
I had only watched past videos of Hall in the ring and was always mesmerised by his charisma and the energy he brought to his performances, and his in-ring work was absolutely amazing to watch. It did not matter whether it was in a match on Monday Night Raw, WCW Nitro, or various pay-per-view events, Hall always turned up to perform.
The induction stood out to me because it gave me an opportunity to actually go back and see more of Hall’s career outside of the matches that were featured as part of different compilation DVDs released by WWE, such as ‘The Ladder Match.’
A career deserving of the induction culminated that night in New Orleans, and I felt absolutely honoured to be there in person to witness one of, if not the greatest endings to a WWE Hall of Fame induction speech.
“Hard work pays off. Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.”
The creation of the nWo
Though wrestling stables had been a thing long before 1996, no stable has revolutionised the business more than the nWo did, with their iconic formation at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 one of the most memorable moments in wrestling history.
Up to the mid-nineties wrestlers who were portrayed as the ‘bad guys’ were often booed and hated by crowds, yet Hall and the rest of his nWo members totally changed that dynamic. Though he’d do the typical ‘lie, cheat and steal’ schtick most heels did, Hall and the rest of the stable made being bad cool. From the trendy wrestling attire, entrance theme and logo, Hall helped establish a new era of bad guys in wrestling.
Influencing stables such as DX in WWE, wrestling today still draws inspiration from Hall’s old group. The Bullet Club in Japan and AEW’s The Elite, are all heavily styled on the ground breaking work of the nWo.
The Curtain Call
Being of the younger generation, I missed most of the greatness of Scott Hall and his friends, ‘The Kliq.’ Watching these moments back makes me truly wish I was there to see it all.
Friends that were genuinely there for each other until the very end, no matter what happened. You could tell the camaraderie that Hall had with his closest allies in wrestling was going to last a lifetime.
There is no greater moment that shows this than the Madison Square Garden ‘Curtain Call.’
A seemingly routine live event from the famed arena in New York became a special moment for those in attendance, as they got to witness a break in ‘kayfabe’ between the four best friends of Kevin Nash, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall.
As Helmsley defeated Hall and Michaels defeated Nash in the final two matches of the night, it was the last time the four were to work for the same company until WCW’s eventual demise. Hall and Nash were moving to the rival organisation, which would eventually lead to the creation of the famous nWo. As the event came to a close, all four members returned to the ring and embraced, not as performers, but as friends.
This show of love that went against everything the company was protecting showed just how special this relationship was, and how much Hall meant to these men and so many others.
Hall’s passing is a painful loss and will be one that is felt and remembered for years to come.
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WCW Monday Nitro May 27th 1996
The first ever two hour broadcast of Monday Nitro gave fans a night that would live in the annals of professional wrestling history forever. Steve Doll was facing off against The Mauler, when suddenly the crowd all stood up as one confused, shocked, and stunned. The camera soon zoomed up to a man dressed in a denim vest and denim jeans making his way to the ring through the crowd.
Oh my god it’s Razor Ramon (Scott Hall). One of the World Wrestling Federation’s greatest characters of all time had just turned up on the enemies flagship program live on primetime television. The match between Doll and The Maluer was then called off as Scott Hall stepped into the ring with a microphone.
Lifting the microphone to his mouth, he uttered one of the most iconic lines in wrestling history. “You people know who I am, but you don’t know why I’m here.” This single sentence blurred the lines between scripted television and reality for years to come.
We were all left wondering, was Scott Hall a legitimate WCW talent, or was this Vince McMahon’s Trojan Horse behind enemy lines? Without the help of the internet or social media in 1996, nobody knew, which made for must-see television.
Scott Hall unexpectedly showing up on Nitro was the catalyst for what was and still is the biggest boom period Wrestling has ever seen. Without this moment there is no nWo, wrestling doesn’t escalate to the levels of popularity it did, and most importantly, Monday Nitro, & Monday Night RAW don’t become the unmissable weekly television juggernauts that they were
Scott Hall was a legend, an icon, and of most of all he was ‘The Bad Guy.’
Rest in peace, Chico.
Wrestlemania X ladder match vs Shawn Michaels
Although it is not the first official ladder match in WWE history, this match paved the way for what would become a staple match type in wrestling for decades to come.
Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels put on a masterclass and gave the WWE Intercontinental Championship the respect it deserved in an instant classic at WrestleMania X.
This proved that the ladder match was an eye-grabber and undoubtedly gave WWE the faith to continue to run with the match type as a regular fixture.
Not only did the blaze a trail for more legendary ladder matches, they continued to give the belt some more credibility and showed the fans it is worth fighting for, no matter how big of a superstar the wrestler is.
What Scott Hall did for ladder matches and the Intercontinental title will be remembered forever and his legacy will continue to live on through both.
Razor Ramon, Scott Hall, ‘The Bad Guy,’ you will be deeply missed by the entire Wrestling community and we will never forget the legacy you created and your involvement in some of the biggest moments in wrestling history.
With a toothpick proudly in my mouth, rest in peace Scott Hall.
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