That two-word catchphrase turned a staple within the repertoire of Scott Oliver Hall, aka Razor Ramon. Hall was recognized for conserving a toothpick on the prime of his ear, having one in his mouth, and earlier than a match, his ritual of throwing a toothpick in his opponent’s face. Hall oozed machismo, hooking viewers of all ages, like myself, again within the mid-Nineties virtually instantly.
Hall died Monday after a sequence of coronary heart assaults stemming from hip surgical procedure problems. He was 63.
In the ’90s, he really was one of many first cool heels on WWE (then WWF) tv. With his borrowed Cuban accent and Scarface impersonations, Hall (as Razor Ramon) was an prompt come across debuting within the WWF in the course of the summer season of ‘92 after weeks of vignettes. If you’ve by no means seen any of those vignettes, test ‘em out. They’re hilarious now however did precisely what they have been alleged to do again then. They made Razor some of the hated heels within the firm. As they are saying in wrestling, Ramon had warmth and many it. His arrogantly crude angle was over, and Hall had lastly hit the large time and was on his manner.
Most followers have been launched to Hall for the primary time within the World Wrestling Federation with the Razor Ramon gimmick, however he’d been round for nearly a decade by the point he stepped foot in a WWF ring. Hall was a part of that closing period of stars that got here up by the previous territory system. Hall bought his begin with NWA affiliate Championship Wrestling from Florida. The first time I can bear in mind watching Hall on TV was round 1989 throughout his transient stint with NWA/WCW. Even then, he regarded like a star. He simply wasn’t seasoned on the time.
Fast ahead to ’92-’93 and the Razor character, and once I first noticed him, I assumed he regarded acquainted, however his complete persona, his swagger, was fully totally different from once I’d watched him a few years prior. Although the Ramon character was a dick initially (because it was alleged to be), his type was totally different and extra refined. Now, after all, as a child I wasn’t calling Ramon refined, however I knew one thing was totally different. Maybe it was his look, which had modified a bit, or maybe it was his in-ring type or his pretend Cuban accent. Call it machismo or no matter you need. But I used to be reeled in and have become a fan.
During Hall’s lengthy profession, which spanned elements of 4 many years, he was concerned in quite a few legendary moments in professional wrestling historical past. One of which normally will get ignored is that as Razor Ramon, Hall was the particular person to retire “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, defeating him in DiBiase’s closing match at SummerSlam ‘93. Nowadays, there would have been a big farewell tour on the way to that match, but back then, that wasn’t the way it labored. Ramon bought the rub from DiBiase with little fanfare. In reality, except you have been within the enterprise at the moment, you most likely had no clue that bout could be DiBiase’s swan tune. Hall’s largest match within the eyes of many got here in 1994 at WrestleMania X within the first-ever Mania ladder match towards Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental title. Since then, we’ve seen far crazier ladder matches, however this one, for its time, was completely on one other stage than something we’d seen within the WWF at that time. Hall and Michaels put collectively an prompt traditional that gained Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Match of the Year award for ‘94.
In ’96, on his manner out of the WWF, Hall, Michaels, Kevin Nash, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley gave followers at Madison Square Garden one final picture of the 4 mates collectively within the ring in the course of the notorious “curtain call.” The loopy half about this was 1) it wasn’t a televised match and a couple of) based on the members, it wasn’t meant to be as controversial because it turned. All 4 males shook arms, threw up the wolfpack signal, and hugged in the course of the ring after the match, primarily “breaking kayfabe,” which was nonetheless a strict no-no in ‘96.
That moment led directly into the first big shot fired in the Monday Night War between WCW and the WWF. Lex Luger had unexpectedly jumped ship the previous fall (Sep.’ 95) and popped on the debut of WCW Monday Nitro, however that didn’t have practically the impression of Hall strolling out by the Nitro crowd and leaping within the ring in the course of the center of a match and reducing a promo on WCW. When I noticed that, I actually misplaced it. I couldn’t imagine my man Razor, who was simply within the WWF a few weeks earlier than, had now proven up on the competitors’s programming. As a child, I learn some professional wrestling magazines (or filth sheets), however I used to be not ready for this transfer. Like most, I by no means noticed it coming.
Scott had a terrific thoughts for the wrestling enterprise in these days. He actually understood the psychology of creating followers imagine. Initially, Hall was alleged to stroll down the aisle, bounce within the ring, interrupt the match, and reduce his promo. But since this was alleged to be an “invasion” angle by WWF guys, Hall got here up with the thought of strolling in by the stands, hoping the rail and the remainder is historical past.
That one minor tweak to the angle made it really feel actual. By ‘96, Vince McMahon had long exposed the business, but at that moment, unless you knew, you didn’t know. Were McMahon and the WWF actually invading WCW? Or had Hall simply defected to the opposite aspect? When Hall’s finest buddy Nash quickly adopted, they finally joined forces with heel Hulk Hogan to type the New World Order. That started the subsequent important growth interval in wrestling. That second was so actual to the WCW followers in attendance that they started to throw trash within the ring. This was one of many first instances I can bear in mind followers throwing that quantity of rubbish on the wrestlers on stay tv.
So many moments and so lots of my wrestling recollections are straight attributed to Scott Hall. I do know he wasn’t an angel. Hall had demons that plagued him most of his life. I believe most of us have demons of some type we’re battling, they usually can take form and manifest themselves in some ways. This doesn’t absolve anybody from holding themselves accountable for his or her actions, nevertheless it additionally implies that we proceed to attempt to struggle to be higher and overcome them. Scott Hall fought. He fought for so long as he might. Along the best way, he simply occurred to turn into among the finest in-ring performers and entertainers of his time. To me, that counts for one thing.
So, say goodnight to the dangerous man, chico. Scott’s in-ring legacy will stay on ceaselessly, and I do know I’ll be going again to look at lots of his most memorable matches and promos.
My life is like driving down a street. I often look within the rearview mirror, however I’m not targeted on the previous or trying again anymore.
Hall’s contributions to the NWO, The Kliq, The Wolfpac, WWF, WCW, and the wrestling trade total won’t ever be forgotten by followers. Rest in peace.