It’s often been said that the best characters in wrestling are guys who are simply being themselves with “the volume turned up.” Dwayne Johnson has often said that about his Rock character, and countless Steve Austin shoot interviews have had him mentioning that he is, in fact, a southern redneck. When you have two of the biggest stars in the history of the business as prime examples, it’s probably not a shock that a lot of folks want to follow this game plan.
Leave it to WCW, though, to take a man’s self-destructive behavior and have it become “his character.” Such was the case in 1998, when Scott Hall was once again facing “personal demons.”
It seems this would be the place in an induction where I would make a snide comment, or a nasty little joke, but I will refrain here. The reason? Not so much because I have always thought Hall was a hell of a performer (which I do), but rather because if you look at his past, you see a man that very clearly was in need of help. During 1998-1999, he was arrested countless times for drunken behavior. His wife Dana actually got to the point where she was pleading publicly for the company to do something about his behavior, no doubt thinking that a stint in rehab would certainly help her husband.
As requested, WCW did something about Hall’s conduct.
Unfortunately for Dana, they made it into a storyline.
And thus, wrestling fans were treated to “Last Call” Scott Hall, a man so consumed with the hooch he could not wrestle an entire match without going outside to take a swig.
Gotta assume it was Jager in there, because if it was Coors, he’ll need to drink about 40 of them just to get a slight buzz.
Once sufficiently liquored up, Hall would go to lock up with his foe, as he does here with Lex Luger…
…only to start laughing instead.
Now while Luger wasn’t, say, Bret Hart in the ring, I think guffawing at the poor guy was maybe a bit much.
Still, no matter how bad things got, you love Hall if for no other reason than his “Look at me, I’m a goof!” facials.
After taking another booze break, Hall proceeded to get back into the ring.
And then promptly fall on his face.
Finally, in the most bizarre run-in this reporter has ever seen, Eric Bischoff came down to talk some sense into Hall…
…who promptly morphed from the “Bad Guy” to the “Barf Guy.”
And it wasn’t just in the ring where Hall was partying hard on Nitro, as we soon got honest to God vignettes of him hanging out in bars.
In order to make the skits more realistic, I guess, Hall would go out wearing his trunks, ring vest, and his title belt. Back in my bar hopping days, I can honestly say I never wore anything like that.
Which is too bad, because such an outfit appears to attract ugly women by the boatload.
Eh, hindsight’s 20-20 and all that.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get much dumber, we’d soon have Hall’s former running buddy turned arch nemesis Kevin Nash swigging as well.
Eventually the two squared off.
That is, if hooking your arms and drinking like you are getting married is considered “squaring off.”
I think that would be more like “square dancing off.”
As soon as Hall turned his back, though, Nash flipped his cup upside down, revealing that it was empty.
I’d hope so – after all, it took him 15 minutes to get down to the ring!
Oh wait, I’m sorry. We were supposed to conclude that Nash faked being drunk! That wacky Kevin.
I’m very thankful my friends never played this particular drinking game with me.
So what was the big payoff to all this, you ask? Well, Hall basically vanished from WCW television for over a year. Where did he go? No one knew. And when we say that, we don’t mean in storyline – he basically just was GONE.
But don’t fret…WCW still picked up his bar tabs until well into 2000.
Mike Tenay: “He’s in no condition to wrestle.”
Tony Schiavone: “And what disgusts all of us, many things, but as much as anything else is the athlete that is inside Scott Hall, the performer.”
Kevin Nash: “Whooo!!”
Tony Schiavone: “And Big Sexy is in no condition to go at it here.”
Bobby Heenan: “Maybe his thinking is if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
” – The WrestleCrap Radio Crickets make a rare appearance!
Kevin Nash: “Have another drink baby, here’s one! BAM! How about a double? You want a double? BAM! BAM!”