I had the chance to see an early cut of the E:60 piece on Scott Hall that will officially debut on tomorrow's episode on ESPN. Watching it, you get a really sad, depressing feeling that it's only a matter of time until Scott Hall is going to die…and unlike a lot of stories that have been produced about professional wrestling and those who have passed away, the feeling is that the clock starting ticking on that death for years before he ever took a bump.
The early portion of the story paints the story of Hall's life before he entered pro wrestling, being raised in a family of "hard drinking rednecks" that places Hall as the self-professed head of the household at the age of only 15. As if that wasn't enough to mentally process, Hall is charged with second degree murder after getting into a fight with someone over a woman he was dating. While the charges were dropped, the mental scars of the incident and Hall's decision not to seek help coping with the fallout of the experience really set the stage for the mental issues he was compensating for by turning to self-abuse.
Hall's career is recounted with clips from the AWA, WCW and WWE as Hall recounts pitching the Razor Ramon character to Vince McMahon, who had never seen "Scarface." The business, with the NWO at the forefront of the big boom of the 1990s is presented as the largest scale it had ever been – with all the pitfalls of the rock and roll wild, wild west lifestyle talked about by Hall (including a haunting story about a hotel room conversation with Shawn Michaels as both are in a stupor), Sean Waltman and Eric Bischoff.
Like every bubble, the wrestling one crashed and with it came the crash of Scott Hall as a well edited sequence shows the difference between the young and vibrant Hall before thousands of fans and the bloated, pale Hall of today working before sparse crowds while fighting to stay both relevant and on top of the issues that have now defined his life and career. 911 calls made to check on Hall's well being are played during the piece.
The infamous incident in Fall River, MA where Hall stumbled through an Internet PPV broadcast is both the centerpiece and the most depressing thing in the piece where Hall, walking like a slow motion jellyfish is making his trademark mannerisms as if he was trapped in molasses. Justin Credible talks of switching the pills Hall was taking with aspirin while the promoter of the event defends himself for putting Hall out there in that condition. In the end, Hall admits he didn't even know what country he was in.
The reality of Hall's life in 2011 is that he now has to take and maintain close to a dozen medications daily due to congenital heart failure brought on by so many of his self-abusive traits. Hall is close to a dozen rehab stays at a cost of six figures. The physique and chiseled good looks that were once his trademark have been weathered and chipped away. His friends, including Kevin Nash, admit that they've been preparing themselves for the worst for over a year.
The lone beacon of hope is Hall's son Cody, long estranged, has tried to reconcile with his father, moving in with him. The younger Hall admits that at this point, he's more concerned with helping his father stay alive than whether Hall can finally get himself clean. However, in one of the more surprising moments of the feature, it's revealed that Cody himself is now training as an independent wrestler, a revelation that comes only a few minutes before Scott's ex-wife Dana declares that Scott is as addicted to his alter ego and wrestling as he is any substance.
Absolutely a deep, well edited piece that is worth going out of your way to see.