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Underrated and Under Appreciated Wrestler Series: Scott Hall

This week the Underrated and Under Appreciated Wrestler Series takes a look at the career and struggles of the man who made being the bad guy cool.

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Wrestling has a long love affair with men who are on the wrong side of the morality spectrum. As part of the human condition, we are supposed to desire victory for those who fight for good, justice and the American Way. The villains aren't something to be admired and worthy of our cheers. We are on the side of Superman and Danny LaRusso, not Lex Luthor and Johnny Lawrence. Then there are men who shift the paradigm and make it just too damn cool to be the bad guy.

So pop in a toothpick, as we take a look at such a man: Scott Hall.

Scott Hall is one of the most charismatic superstars to grace a wrestling ring and he just had "it". There were bad guys, and then there was The Bad Guy. Hall was one of the earliest wrestlers to break down the fans innate desire to side with good. With his excellent work on the mic and his magnetic personality, he made the bad guy the person we all wanted to be. He combined an underrated ability to work a match and a willingness to put others over, which created a talented wrestler, who easily could have been at the top of the industry. Unfortunately, this potential was never realized due to his well-documented personal problems -- problems that have overshadowed the talent and accomplishments of Scott Hall.

Hall got his start down in NWA, but his time there was short before making the jump to the American Wrestling Association. It was here in the AWA that he formed a severely underrated tag team with Curt Hennig and would get his first taste of championship gold when they won the AWA World Tag Team Championship. Hall was going to be Verne Gagne's star, the centerpiece of the promotion, but as the promotion was beginning its sharp decline in 1991, Hall made his way back to NWA and WCW.

In WCW, Hall would take up the moniker of Diamond Studd and be managed by Diamond Dallas Page. Despite initial success with the promotion, he would quickly be turned into a jobber, and would soon head up north to WWF.

In WWF, Hall pitched a Tony Montana character named Razor Ramon and was proclaimed a genius by Vince McMahon (who had never seen Scarface). With the Razor Ramon character, Hall would begin to shine brightly and taste his first real success. He would be quickly put into main event feuds involving the likes of Savage, Ultimate Warrior, and Bret Hart (who he faced for the WWF Championship).

Hall's first championship run in WWF would come on October 11, 1993, when he defeated Rick Martel to claim the Intercontinental Championship. His initial run with the Intercontinental Championship would lead him into conflict with Shawn Michaels. This feud would lead to WWF's first Meltzer five-star match at WrestleMania X in a ladder match that set the standard for all ladder matches. The feud would culminate with Hall losing the Championship to Michaels on an edition of Superstars not long after WrestleMania X. Hall would win the Intercontinental Championship three more times, but would leave the promotion when he was told that his stock in the company would never rise any higher than it was currently.

Hall would make the jump to WCW in May 1996 and help to kick off the greatest wrestling angles as a member of the Outsider and the New World Order. Scott Hall and the nWo took the wrestling world by storm and took the Monday Night Wars to its ultimate heights. With Kevin Nash, Hall would be a mainstay of WCW's tag team division. As an individual, he would have runs with the United States and Television Titles. The ever-increasing grip that Hall's personal issues began to take would prevent him from ever tasting the ultimate glory of the World Heavyweight Championship.

After the downfall of WCW, Hall's professional and personal life would take a further turn for the worse. After a disappointing return to WWF (that ended due to the infamous "Plane Ride From Hell") Hall would make some short appearances for TNA and various independent promotions throughout the country.

After too many legal and health issues to name, Hall seems to finally be on the right track, thanks to the work of fellow wrestlers Diamond Dallas Page and Jake Roberts (who is also going through a similar path to sobriety). Hopefully, the path to recovery for Hall is a successful one and we can begin to look back at Scott Hall as the wrestler, not the junkie.

Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania X --

Shawn Michaels VS Razor Ramon: WrestleMania X by Middl

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