July 19, 2020 | News | No Comments
The Big Takeaway: Well-told, sensitively put together and thought-provoking, the freshly released “Living On The Razor’s Edge: The Scott Hall Story” documentary and collection of matches is well worth your time. Undoubtedly, his story is a remarkable one.
As Scott Hall stands outside the club in Orlando, Florida, where he used to bounce in the 1980s, we’re shown a man whose life has in one way or another been centred around one event for the last 33 years. For Hall, an altercation with an armed man outside a strip club in 1983 that resulted in a fatal shooting has meant that life has never quite been the same since. Despite being cleared of all charges, the events of that night have never left him.
What is refreshing about this DVD release is that it very much focuses on Hall’s whole story. It doesn’t make out that the be all and end all was The Clique or the Attitude Era or when a man recognisable to all wrestling fans turned up on WCW Nitro in a denim jacket and jeans, hopped over the railings, and grabbed a mic. These are just stop off points on what is a story arc that tells us what it is that makes Hall who was then and still is today.
To get a sense of things, WWE Network subscribers can check out the WWE First Look to watch the first 20 minutes of the 1hr 20 minute documentary that accompanies the set. What is perhaps lacking in terms of match quality is made up for in documentary footage and vignettes. (A full listing of the DVD’s content can be found here.)
The number of wrestlers who grew up as sons to military fathers is astonishing. As one of those kids, Hall’s nomadic adolescent existence is one that was wholly suited for the wrestling industry: on the road for 300+ days a year, moving from town to town, with very little sense of what ‘home’ really means or where it really is. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the outlet for a young man who rarely stays anywhere long enough to make friends is likely to be sport and once collegiate competition dries up, friends can be found in gyms and around dumbbells. Hall’s route into wrestling was entirely that.
Hall’s striking resemblance to Tom Selleck in his early days certainly did him no harm, but watching him work back then shows that a lot of what he was doing in the boom period in both companies was really being honed in the AWA in the mid-1980s. Stockier with colossal shoulders that seem to make his arms hang at his sides like a bear, he’s quite frankly enormous.
Fast-forward to his WWF run and we see some of those amazing vignettes and the story of how the Razor Roman character came to be. Vince McMahon himself gives us the background — quite the rare public appearance for McMahon as a talking head these days. The footage of Hall as an ambassador for the company when he was the Intercontinental Champion and a fledgling babyface really backs up what everyone says about him: he’s genuinely a pretty good guy when he isn’t battling his demons.
Those demons are certainly well documented here. They didn’t stop him from having some stunning matches, most notably with Shawn Michaels in that wonderful ladder watch at WrestleMania X, with the likes of Chris Jericho in WCW, and even a gem of a tag match against Harlem Heat as part of The Outsiders. But the issues undoubtedly cut his career short which is where this makes an excellent shelf partner to The Resurrection of Jake the Snake – a documentary that was a released last year that I cannot recommend more highly.
What that film shows you is more of his rehabilitation under the guidance of the utterly heroic DDP and his full road to recovery from the bloated 300lbs Hall to the man who now works at the WWE Performance Center.
Seeing Hall sharing advice with new talent in Tampa and working with son Cody makes you feel very hopeful and positive. He is able to return to the club where that life-altering incident in 1983 happened and confront the issues he has had. And, crucially, he gives us some advice: don’t wait to get help with whatever it is that torments you because waiting only makes it worse. That kind of statement from him shows you that this was the right time to bring him back to the company.
Although Scott Hall is always going to be living on a ‘razor’s edge’, he’s perhaps more together now than ever.