As a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, one of my all-time favorite wrestlers was Scott Hall. I remember first watching him on television in the mid-1980s during his time with the now-defunct American Wrestling Association (AWA). I was only around 11 or 12 years old at the time, but I remember him vividly. He had a physique like nobody’s business: Big, buff, ripped, and just plain badass! It’s been really interesting witnessing the lives of my childhood pro wrestling heroes (and villains) play out over the years, as they transition from one wrestling company to the next, but most importantly, the adversities many of them have faced over the years and how they overcame them. Scott Hall’s life, wrestling career, and the demons he’s battled over the years are beautifully chronicled in the new World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) 2-disc documentary set entitled, Living on a Razor’s Edge: The Scott Hall Story.
The documentary is chock full of Hall’s most memorable matches, promos and vignettes over the years during his time in the AWA, WWE and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Seeing old footage of his Razor Ramon character during his WWE years (with the faux-Scarface Latin accent, his cool swagger as he walked to the ring, his “Razor’s Edge” finishing move, and the omnipresent toothpick that he loved to arrogantly flick in your face), as well as his time in WCW as one of the founding members of the NWO (New World Order) fills me with so much respect and admiration for the great performer he was in the ring and on the microphone. He had that “it factor.” He indeed “Ooozed machismo!”
It’s the stuff you don’t see, however, which the documentary sheds light on, that really grips your heart, and, as in my case, might even bring a tear to your eye. These are the real-life events and circumstances that cause so many pro wrestlers to ultimately spiral out of control and descend into an abyss of personal self-destruction, exemplified by broken marriages, shattered families, and drug and alcohol dependency, no longer able to maintain the facade of the big, strong character they portray in front of fans night after night (which, in Hall’s case, was the main thing keeping him going while his personal life had all but imploded). In Hall’s case, it all started with a horrifyingly traumatic and life-threatening encounter with a man with a gun at the strip club where he worked as a bouncer in 1983 before his pro wrestling career began that changed his life forever. As he recounts, Hall regrets not seeking professional help soon after the incident happened, and how the ensuing psychological trauma he tried so hard and for so long to bury deep inside of him was eventually his undoing.
As heartbreaking as it is to relive Scott Hall’s descent into his own personal Hell, it’s not how often you get knocked down in life, but how often you get back up and keep moving forward! What makes this documentary so special and uplifting is how he finally decided to get back up and fight his way back into the light. Thanks to the support of the WWE, his family, the undying love of his children (son Cody, an up-and-coming professional wrestler currently working in Japan, and daughter Cassidy, a college student in Florida), and his pro wrestling friends “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash (“Big Daddy Cool” Diesel), and Diamond Dallas Page, Hall has not only picked himself back up, but with the help of counseling and therapy, he is staying up and writing a new chapter in his life – one full of hope, forgiveness, and salvation.
No longer living life on a razor’s edge, Scott Hall’s new life looks to finally be on solid ground.