I’m overjoyed to see Scott Hall – excuse me, Razor Ramon – get the call for the WWE Hall of Fame.
I’m not sure why the character is getting inducted, not the man. But there was plenty of overlap. When Scott became Razor, he talked that way 24/7 for a long time. He got it down. He was a pro.
To this day, lots of people who know Scott say “mang.” It rubbed off.
In some part, this honor validates Scott cleaning up his life. That’s a noble intent. WWE wouldn’t have taken this chance a year ago.
But make no mistake, Scott is one of the best working big men in the history of pro wrestling. 6-foot-5, and he could GO.
He loves it, too. Always did. Scott had some tense moments. But he wanted to excel. It was really important to him. Not just to get over, but to deserve to be over. There’s a difference. Scott wanted to earn it.
I’ll never forget sitting with Scott before a Nitro when he was scheduled to wrestle Ric Flair. He suddenly broke into a huge grin and said, “National TV. Me and the Naitch. What could be better?”
Smart to the biz, too. No matter what anybody says now, the early days of the nWo were booked largely by Hall and Kevin Nash. They would talk about the “big show” – WWE – and knew how to add that “big show” feel. The promos, the gear, the black-and-white commercials, going half-babyface and making the marks pick sides…that was mostly them.
Scott’s just a good guy. I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth telling again: WCW fired me for saying something on the 900# some vice president didn’t like. This was long before I got on TV, and just when the Internet was starting to make big impact on wrestling. It was also right in the middle of the nWo invasion.
Nash called and said, “Don’t go anywhere else. We got this.”
Hall and Nash made it clear that they weren’t happy that I got fired, frequently berated those they felt responsible, refused to do certain things for those people and said, constantly, “Yo, when’s Madden coming back? You got to bring Madden back. When is Madden coming back?”
No one can beat something to death like those two. It’s a point of pride.
So I got the call: “You gotta come back. Hall and Nash are driving us nuts.”
So I did. For double the pay.
First day back, Scott said, “See? No problem. You’re with us.”
Stuff like that just doesn’t happen in wrestling. Especially two stars going to bat for a nobody like me. I’ll never forget that. Two real friends.
I have countless Scott Hall stories. But here’s one of my favorites:
I was sitting in the bar at the Baltimore/Washington airport Marriott with Scott and Kevin. You weren’t allowed in the bar unless you had a room key, so that kept the number of marks down.
Two men approached Scott and Kevin. Early 20s. Stereotypical wrestling fans: Decked out in all the merch. Maybe a bit too enthusiastic. Mickety-marks. Seemed OK, though. Scott and Kevin were gracious.
And then Scott said, “Hey, do you guys ever kiss?”
The two fans blanched. “W-w-what?” But Scott said, “Hey, it’s not a gay thing. Me and Kev kiss sometimes. Best friends kiss. You guys are best friends, right? I can’t believe you’ve never kissed.”
So, at Scott’s behest, the two fans kissed. A peck on the lips. About as tentative as a kiss has ever been.
And Scott proceeded to yell out every homophobic slur known to man. “Look at the ***s! Look at the ***s!” and so forth. LOUD.
And then, “Ah, I’m just ribbin’ you guys. You’re all right.” The big smile.
The regrettable verbiage aside, it was FUNNY. It wasn’t nasty. I witnessed lots of nasty during my time in wrestling. Scott made you feel part of things. You think those fans ever forgot that? Much more than an autograph and a handshake. It was banter. Ball-busting. That’s what friends do.
They usually don’t kiss.
When I got fired by WCW, one reason given was because I talked about Scott on TV while he was suspended. (So did Kevin, but he didn’t get fired.) I was told not to, but did anyway. That’s OK. Scott’s name needed to stay alive. I would do that for Scott Hall any time, every time.
Congrats to Scott Hall, WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2014.
Can Diesel be far behind?
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX