Scott Hall | His Brush With Death Before Wrestling

The personal journey of Scott Hall was not always glamorous. If not for him prevailing in a traumatic incident that took place in 1983, there never would have been “The Bad Guy.”

Scott Hall | His Brush With Death Before Wrestling
Scott Hall wrestling in the AWA in the ’80s.

Scott Hall – Acting in Self Defense

When Scott Hall was 25, he was bartending at a gentleman’s club in Orlando, Florida, called “Thee Original Doll House.” On one fateful night on January 15, 1983, Hall got into a heated dispute with a patron over a woman.

After the dispute, the patron found Hall’s car in the parking lot where he proceeded to smash the glass windows in. The club’s security guard, seeing what was taking place, directed Hall in the direction of the man.

“As I closed the distance, man, I remember what he was wearing, what I was wearing, what it smelled like,” Scott Hall shared on ESPN’s E:60 special. “I mean, it’s burnt in my brain. Like, I drilled him, he went down, and his shirt went up, and he was reaching for the gun, so I reached for it too. We wrestled around with the gun, I took it and shot him in the head.”

Hall realized in the situation that his fate was in jeopardy when seeing the firearm but understood that he had to act in self-defense.

“You know, a guy pulled a gun on me, and I took it away and shot him, point-blank, with a .45 caliber. A guy’s dead, and I’m the reason. This is bad.”

Mistakes Made

Anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience, let alone life-threatening, would typically start their recovery process with counseling. Scott Hall took a different path to healing.

“I did probably the most unhealthy thing I could’ve done. I should have sought counseling like, right then, but I didn’t know anything, I was a kid.”

Four years after the E:60 special aired, Hall conducted an interview with Jim Ross for FOX Sports, where he opened up more on his past.

Following the incident, Scott Hall was arrested, spent three days in jail, and was tried for second-degree murder. The case would be dropped due to lack of evidence, and Hall was allowed to walk. However, he was far from a free and happy man.

Following the trial, Scott’s trauma took a terrible toll on him, and he contemplated suicide. Hall was raised Roman Catholic and believed all suicide victims would go to Hell. Being afraid of that outcome prevented him from taking his life.

Scott Hall repressed the incident as much as possible, turning to gym workouts, and wrestling to suppress the guilt. Hall joined various gyms around Orlando, hoping to make connections for joining the wrestling industry. He eventually found his links with the American Wrestling Association, where he would debut in 1984. From there, he would work stints in WCW, Japan, and Puerto Rico before finding fame in the World Wrestling Federation in 1992 as Razor Ramon.

Scott Hall as Razor Ramon in the WWF.
Scott Hall as Razor Ramon in the WWF.

Scott Hall was enamored with large physiques and found the then-key to size bulking: steroids. In the years following the incident, he would turn to cocaine, alcohol, painkillers, and various prescription medications to cope with his struggles.

Despite Scott Hall’s “bad guy” exterior, he was haunted by what had taken place in 1983. Hall would be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and would continue to find peace in substance abuse. Finding love, he married his first wife, Dana, in 1990. The two had a pair of children but divorced in 1998. Dana cited Scott’s substance addiction as being the root cause of the separation.

Hall has said that he used to mix downers and alcohol regularly during that time. With Xanax being his drug of choice, he would take some after a match and then follow it with beers. One of the children from Scott and Dana’s marriage, Cody, is currently wrestling on the independent circuit but came under fire in early 2020 for a controversial remark made online.

Redemption Of “The Bad Guy” Scott Hall

Scott Hall knew he had a problem but felt helpless to fix his ways. Through time, he found that the first step was forgiving himself for his past and for his troubles. This forgiveness gave Scott clarity for the consequences of his actions and felt it was then time to change his life.

“I had the inability to ask for help when I needed it. People offered to help me, but I refused. They’d ask, ‘How are you?’ and I’d answer, ‘Better than you.’”

From 2012 to 2013, Scott’s problems severely escalated. Diamond Dallas Page, who at that time was becoming viral for the success of his DDP YOGA program, received a message from their mutual friend, WWE Hall Of Famer Sean Waltman (X-Pac, Syxx, The 1-2-3 Kid) who expressed concern for Hall’s well-being. In the message, Waltman had written that Scott was talking about getting a gun.

Page made a call to Hall alongside fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who was living with Dallas at the time as rehabilitation for his own personal struggles. The call was recorded and posted to social media (as chronicled in the 2015 documentary, The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake), where a defeated and struggling Scott Hall accepted an invitation to move in with Dallas just as Jake did.

Scott Hall believed Dallas’s invitation and efforts turned his life around and put Hall on the path of a clean and healthy lifestyle. Though he and Jake hit speedbumps in their recovery, both successfully had their lives changed for the better through the help of DDP and their own self-determination. Scott Hall has since become an advocate for healthy living.

“To anyone that will listen, I honestly tell them that there are people that can help you. Find some professional that you connect with and go for it. Ignoring the problem, the real problem did not work for me, nor do I recommend it to anyone else.”

Moving Forward

After graduating from Dallas’ DDP YOGA program, Scott Hall sought forgiveness with the WWE. Hall had returned to the company in 2002 following his “Curtain Call” departure in 1996 for WCW with Kevin Nash. After Vince McMahon purchased WCW in 2001, he elected to bring in the nWo (Hall, Nash and Hulk Hogan) back into the company in early 2002; a decision only McMahon was in favor of and none of his staffers. Hall’s peak that run was feuding with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, culminating with a loss to Austin at WrestleMania X8.

Two months after the match, Hall was released from the WWE for drinking and causing mischief on the infamous “Plane Ride From Hell.” Following his release, Hall worked numerous stints in TNA Wrestling along with returning to Puerto Rico and working on the independents. Hall returned to WWE in 2014 following a twelve-year absence in order to be inducted into their Hall Of Fame. Hall has made several occasional appearances on WWE programming since.

The life of Scott Hall involved alcoholism at home, substance abuse, broken relationships, and of course, trauma from killing a man in self-defence. Despite a personal life full of struggles, Hall has shown tremendous heart and courage to achieve redemption. He was faced with a hard life, dealt with the effects, and found enlightenment to better himself.

Hall looked incredibly proud when receiving his Hall Of Fame induction honor on April 5, 2014, and summarized his life journey perfectly at the end of his speech: “Hard work pays off. Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.”

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Luke Marcoccia
Luke Marcoccia is a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Stories. He's a college graduate for broadcasting and a university graduate for health and safety. Luke is also a mail carrier in Alberta, Canada. He trained briefly in professional wrestling and has attended over 20 WWE events, including WrestleMania 31 and 32. Luke is an avid wrestling VHS tape and memorabilia collector.