THE APTER MAG: THE SCOTT HALL FEATURE ON ESPN–HOW DEPRESSING

Posted October 19th, 2011 by Bill Apter

I just finished watching ESPN’s E:60 feature about Scott Hall. Actually I just finished watching it for the fourth time on my DVR. All I can say is “how depressing.” To see someone I have known for so long fall into such a horrible abyss is just too hard for me to fathom. He had it all. He was on top of the world and the crash has been so very ugly. It’s even harder to say this because I really like this guy.

Dusty Rhodes, working for the National Wrestling Alliance’s Jim Crockett Promotions, was the first one to introduce me to Scott Hall as part of a new tag team he created called “The American Starship” which consisted of Hall and Danny Spivey. The year was 1984.
Hall had the look, and I would soon find out through photographing his matches, the talent to propel him to the heights of the business.
Hall was also to become successful in the American Wrestling Association, mainly as the partner of Curt Hennig. What a fabulous team they made!

The biggest break of course for Scott Hall was when he became the character “Razor Ramon” in the WWF. His charisma and ring style made him one of the original personas in wrestling history. His trademark toothpick in the mouth and signature phrase (if that’s what you want to call it) “Hey yo,” became his indentifying signature.

Next it was his tenure in the New World Order with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan rocketed him to a higher level of fame. It was all good in terms of his career, but what was going on with his “real life” was a total opposite of the career elation he was experiencing through the years. He had become addicted to the good life, one that included drugs, alcohol, and whatever else goes with that territory.

There were times I enjoyed being with Scott Hall and other times I was damn terrified to be anywhere near him. I never knew which Scott Hall I was getting whenever I dealt with him on a business or personal level. One of the most frightening times of my life was when he “crashed” the Iron Sheik Roast I was hosting in October 2008. One of the comedians made a horrible remark about the late Owen Hart. Owen was a dear friend of mind – and of course a dear friend of Scott Hall. Scott started coming to the podium looking like he was going to kill someone, and I was dead in his line of vision. Somehow he thought I had something to do with this, so I quickly rushed away to avoid the possibility of being physically harmed by someone I thought was my friend.

The next morning Scott apologized to me and did a video interview explaining his actions. I have seen him a few times since then, the most recent being at the annual “Gathering of the Juggalos” a “Woodstock for Rappers, Punk Rock, and more” being the best way I can describe it. This was just a few months ago in August. He was hanging around outside a dressing room trailer in the backstage area and near him was Kevin Nash and Scott’s son Cody. I had never met Cody before. Scott saw me, walked over to me and gave me a “guy hug.” Then he said to his son, “Do you know who this man is?” Cody didn’t know so his dad said, “This is Bill Apter. He was one of the main guys who used to put me in the magazines. He’s my friend.” I loved hearing that. After a few more pleasantries Scott went to get ready for his appearance and I talked to Cody. I told him I was glad to see him with his dad.
“I don’t ever want to look back and say I didn’t try to help or be with him,” Cody told me. “I don’t know what I can do, but being with him seems the right thing for both of us.”

That brings me to the ESPN show tonight. From a technical point it was done so well. It actually brought the message home to us all so very dramatically.
The deep emotions of Scott Hall so up-close-and-personal in front of the cameras being so very candid, was un-nerving. I can’t shake the feeling of despair he presented and I wish I could help this so very troubled soul.

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