“Bad guy”? Not hardly.
That’s what Scott Hall called himself, and what the world called him.
But there weren’t many better guys.
Scott passed away yesterday. He was 63.
I worked with Scott in World Championship Wrestling from 1996-2000. He used his real name in WCW. He had been Razor Ramon in WWE. He cribbed from "Scarface": "Say hello to the bad guy!"
Scott was an all-time great. A two-time WWE Hall-of-Famer. A great, athletic worker at 6-foot-7. Charismatic persona. Great promos.
He was a legit star. Over AF. He made wrestling better. He helped everyone make more money.
Scott spearheaded the nWo invasion in 1996. He was the first guy to show up on WCW’s flagship Monday Nitro program: “You know who I am. But you don’t know why I’m here.”
Kevin Nash showed up next. Mayhem, monster ratings and big money followed.
The nWo invasion remains the biggest angle in wrestling history. The invading army from WWE. (Lawsuits were filed.) It made WCW the world’s No. 1 promotion.
It all started with Scott. He and Kevin masterminded a lot of it, especially in the early days.
But, more personally, Scott was a true friend. Those are rare in pro wrestling.
Marcus “Buff” Bagwell called Scott “a bright light in a dark business.”
Scott helped make me in WCW. He and Kevin always did our internet stuff, and always had my back.
I got fired briefly in the middle of the nWo invasion. I said something on the WCW 900# a TBS executive disliked. (Maybe I didn’t tell kids to get their parents’ permission before calling.)
Scott and Kevin told me to not get another job. (I had spoken briefly with Extreme Championship Wrestling’s Paul Heyman.) They said they would get me hired back.
Nobody stirred the ***t like Scott and Kevin. (I chipped in when the situation dictated.) They made the guys who could rehire me miserable in my absence. They were uncooperative. They were unrelenting. They wouldn’t shut up. BRING MADDEN BACK! BRING MADDEN BACK!
After several weeks, the call came from an exhausted voice: “Look, your boys are driving us nuts. You’ve got to come back.”
I did, and got a 50 percent raise. Thanks, guys.
I had barely met Scott and Kevin before they took to me right away. Sean Waltman, too, a/k/a X-Pac, 1-2-3 Kid and Syxx. Sean showed up in WCW a bit later. Another real friend. (I know Kid loves me. I introduced him to porn queen Jenna Jameson.)
Scott made me laugh, made me think and made me better.
Boy, did he make me laugh.
“Great match, guys. Now I’m gonna go out there and get a bigger pop with a headlock.”
“Love your finish. Can’t wait to kick out of it.”
Upon seeing Diamond Dallas Page squeezing a lime into a can of Coors Light like you would a bottle of Corona: “Dally, what are you doing? How Redneck Riviera is that?”
On TV: “Hey, Giant. You missed your cue, you big dummy.”
Scott once convinced two male fans to kiss each other in a hotel bar. I can’t say any more.
I hadn’t talked to Scott in quite some time, and I regret that deeply. But when I saw him, like when he and Kevin worked the Steel City Con in Monroeville a few years back, it was the same old stuff, like we saw each other all the time, and it was great.
Scott, I love you. I will miss you.
It was always “for life.” But now, with Scott gone, life won’t be the same.
Thumbnail via Getty Images.