In an extremely sad and troubling story, Scott Hall was hospitalised a couple of days ago for what his publicist Geena Jinev Anac described to TMZ as "cardiac issues". That would be troubling enough if it was true. But clearly Scott Hall has fallen off the wagon yet again, as his farcical performance at a Top Rope Promotions independent wrestling show earlier that same day proved. He was in much worse shape than even Jeff Hardy was at TNA's Victory Road PPV last month, as he had to be helped to the ring and held while he did a few clumsy spots in slow motion. After the jump, you can see a video of the incident that shows how haggard, immobile and frail Hall looked. In further dubious claims to TMZ, Anac suggested that the deterioration of his motor skills and speech was wholly due to his multitude of prescribed medication interacting poorly. It must be just a coincidence that he looked wasted!
So shame on the promoter for sending him out in such horrid shape. Even more shameful was the fact that the appearance wasn't cancelled after Hall was hospitalised for a "health scare" the day before the show. Anac suggested that was due to "extremely low blood pressure" denying the rumours of a drug overdose. However, Dave Meltzer's update on Saturday suggested that the latter was unfortunately more likely:
Regarding reports he was hospitalized for an overdose earlier in the week, that we can't confirm, only that he was hospitalized, and that he was a complete mess the night before his hospitalization.
Meltzer confirmed on his subscriber only radio show today that Hall went through with the appearance, despite his likely self inflicted medical problems, because he is broke and desperately needs the cash. If wheeling out an addict while wasted wasn't sleazy enough, Top Rope Promotions is even using their footage of Hall performing while in no condition whatsoever to do so to shill their iPPV of the event.
Hall has had substance abuse problems for well over fifteen years. They first became apparent when the WWF suspended Hall for six weeks without pay for failing a drug test in February 1996 on the same day he gave the company his notice so he could sign with WCW. These problems escalated while working in the more lax environment of WCW and he's been in and out of trouble and rehab ever since then. A good overview of Hall's checkered history was given by my colleague David Bixenspan when he reported Hall's arrest last May for disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest that led to his dismissal from TNA:
Hall has had a high-profile substance abuse problem for a long time now. He has claimed that he was not a "hardcore" drinker or pill popper when he came to the WWF in 1992, where, on his first day in the company, he says he witnessed Vince McMahon telling Brian Knobbs to drink more and take more pills since he couldn't have him testing positive for marijuana. Bret Hart's book details how he saw many wrestlers go from pot smokers to guys who passed out in bars from being loaded up on alcohol and various prescription drugs. Hart, one of the few people still in the company who were around in 1985 when undercard wrestler Rick McGraw died, was very worried that Hall and others would overdose.
Hall's problems became very public during his WCW run, where his drinking problem was turned into an on-screen gimmick at one point. His behavior in public was embarassing (including groping a woman in her 50s, passing out in a parking lot only to wake up screaming when a car ran over his ankle, and crashing multiple rental cars), and his estranged wife spoke out publicly against the company for enabling him.
Years later, when he went back to the WWF, he appeared to be making some effort to clean up, as he was taking Antabuse, a medication that would make him violently ill if he drank. During this period, there was an ugly incident where Steve Austin poured beer on Hall after a match, causing him to become violently ill. Not long after that, he relapsed on a flight home from the UK, got into a fight, and was fired. Since then, he's been less than dependable whenever he showed up in TNA and elsewhere, as well as looking ill from his years of substance abuse.
Not long after that incident Hall is believed to have undertaken WWE sponsored rehab. After initially indicating he would be at this year's WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony to see in person his best friend Shawn Michaels' induction, he opted against it, as he believed that he was not yet ready to be around the WrestleMania party environment. Clearly this was sadly true, as he wasn't even ready to make a sober appearance at a small independent wrestling event. Nor may he ever be, clearly being around wrestling is the worst thing for him as a constantly relapsing drug addict and alcoholic.