Scott Hall, one of the most influential men in the history of professional wrestling, died Monday, according to WWE. He was 63.
Hall, a two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee, broke his hip last month, PW Torch reported, and had severe health complications during surgery to repair it over the weekend.
Kevin Nash, Hall’s longtime best friend and former tag-team partner, wrote Sunday on Instagram that Hall was on life support, which he was later removed from Monday, according to close friend Sean Waltman.
“He’s gone,” Waltman wrote Monday night on Twitter.
Hall, nicknamed “The Bad Guy,” made his biggest mark in wrestling as a founding member of the group that would go on to be called the New World Order (nWo). He left the then-WWF in 1996, where he was known as “Razor Ramon,” to sign as a free agent with WCW. It was a major contract that ignited a series of lucrative free-agent signings going back and forth between WWF and WCW, during one of the hottest periods in pro wrestling.
The storyline that was portrayed once Hall arrived in the company was that he was an invader, perhaps working on behalf of the WWF, attempting to take over WCW.
Nash, known as “Diesel” in WWF, would sign with WCW, too, and join Hall to become The Outsiders. In July 1996, Hulk Hogan, a longtime wholesome “good guy” and massively popular name, joined Hall and Nash to form the villainous nWo, launching one of the great groups and storylines in the history of pro wrestling.
“A short while ago, a good friend of mine just passed away — Scott Hall,” Hogan said during an appearance Monday night. “He took care of me when I was down and out and when everyone thought Hulkamania was dead. Scott Hall resurrected me. He put me back on the map. … I love him so much I can’t even explain it to you .
“Bad times don’t last but bad guys do… So for the original bad guy who took Hulk Hogan and taught Hollywood (Hogan) how to be a bad guy, I’ve gotten nothing but love.”
The 6-foot-7 Hall, a Maryland native who moved around often as a child due to his father’s service in the military, got his pro-wrestling start in Championship Wrestling of Florida in 1984. He bounced around across the AWA, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, WWC in Puerto Rico and WCW in the late 1980s and early 1990s, before hooking on with WWF in 1992. It was there that he starred as Razor Ramon, a Miami-Cuban character based on Scarface.
In WWF, Hall performed in a historic ladder match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X and won the WWF Intercontinental title four times.
In WCW, Hall won the tag team titles seven times (six with Nash as The Outsiders), the United States Heavyweight championship twice and World Television title once. The nWo was a revolutionary concept, because it broke down the fourth wall in pro wrestling like never before. The WWF ended up suing WCW, claiming WCW was using its intellectual property — that Hall and Nash were playing the same characters they did in WWF and were pretending to still be working for WWF.
Booned by the buzz created by the nWo, WCW beat WWF in the head-to-head cable television ratings for 83 weeks straight, something that would have been unheard of just a year earlier.
“Scott was one of the greatest performers I ever saw,” former WCW wrestler and head of creative Kevin Sullivan said on his podcast in 2020.
Hall and Nash were cast as heels, or bad guys, but fans embraced them anyway, because of their magnetic charisma that popped off the screen. The toothpick-chewing Hall had an iconic look with long, dark, slicked-back hair and a single curl on his forehead. He had memorable catchphrases, like “hey, yo” and “survey says.” His finishing move, a slam while Hall is holding up his opponent by both arms outstretched, was called the “Razor’s Edge.”
“There was nobody cooler than Scott Hall,” former WCW and current AEW broadcaster Tony Schiavone told ESPN last summer. “Kevin Nash was cool, too, but freakin’ Scott Hall was ahead of his time.”
The pop-culture impact of Hall and the nWo is still felt today. NBA star Kevin Durant wore an nWo jacket last year before a Brooklyn Nets game. Comedian Aziz Ansari and model Kendall Jenner were spotted wearing nWo shirts in recent years. In 2018, Drake was pictured wearing a Razor Ramon shirt. Rapper Westside Gunn and brother Conway the Machine go by the handle “Hall n Nash” as a duo.
“I didn’t wanna be Jordan I wanted to be SCOTT,” Westside Gunn tweeted Monday.
After WCW went out of business and was bought by the WWF in 2001, Hall returned to the now-WWE with Nash and Hogan to reform the nWo. In 2002, Hall was released by WWE due to issues related to substance use. Hall later sought treatment and had reportedly gotten sober in recent years.
Hall had several runs in Total Nonstop Action (TNA) during the 2000s. In 2014, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as his individual character from WWF, Razor Ramon. A second induction followed in 2020. Hall went in as part of the nWo with Nash, Hogan and Sean “X-Pac” Waltman.
“We were the ‘Outsiders’ but we had each other,” Nash wrote on Instagram. “Scott always felt he wasn’t worthy of the afterlife. Well God please have some gold-plated toothpicks for my brother. My life was enriched with his take on life. He wasn’t perfect but as he always said ‘The last perfect person to walk the planet they nailed to a cross.'”
Hall capped his 2014 Hall of Fame speech with a line that has been shared all over social media in the past few days.
“Hard work pays off,” Hall said. “Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last. But bad guys do.”