Sunday, November 25, 2007

Performer Analysis: Scott Hall

4 time WWE Intercontinental Champion
7 time WCW Tag Team Champion
2 time WCW US Champion
1 time WCW TV Champion
1 time AWA Tag Team Champion
1 time USWA World Champion

1) Innovation- 8

When Hall showed up on WCW Nitro back in June of 96, the wrestling world stood up and took notice. What followed was arguably the most successful wrestling "angle" of all time, the New World Order. To make it work, it took Hall and Nash as the backbone of the group, on camera, to be stirring the pot. What happened is they created a whole legion of fans who thought they were the real stars of WCW. They had the cool catchphrases, they were trendy, they were fun and they were innovating every week. Now, we know there came a time when the NWO got staler than the bag of potato chips under your bed, but for a long time, they were on top and Hall was at the forefront of that. Hall was apart of the new trend of revealing what was going on behind the curtain, to show the fans that everything wasn't as real or fake as they thought it was. And don't forget he helped popularize the ladder match with Shawn Michaels after their historic Wrestlemania encounter.

2) Conditioning- 4

If you've seen Hall on a recent edition of TNA Impact, you know what i'm talking about. The guy used to be ripped and have some stamina, but that has all but disappeared. What we have now is a near 50 year old man trying to compensate for the tools he used to have. Hall's physique is gross and his stamina is near non existent. His addled drug and alcohol abuse have taken a horrible toll on him and have dampened his stature amongst the wrestling community, especially in light of all that has happened in the last year.

3) Skill- 6

Hall is a competent perfomer, or at least he was for most of his career. He knows how to pace himself and not burn out everything he can do in the first few minutes of a match. He has had some really great matches with a wide variety of opponents over the years. He used to take some serious bumps in his younger years, but i don't think that's relevant anymore. On occasion, he is known to "over sell" and over act to the utmost degree, which is completely ridiculous. Even a two year old can determine he looks more like a cartoon character than an athlete when he's in that mode. Hall had some really devastating moves that he used regularly, especially the Super Back Suplex and the Razor's Edge.

4) Psychology- 7

Hall has a great psych game. His limited offense only goes so far, and that's when you need time and skill to build a match upon. Hall knows exactly how to pull a crowd into a match, whether it's against him or for him. He also is very adapt at working over a body part and making it look halfway legit. He doesn't sell pain well on his face and his over the top comedy act gets pretty redundant, but he strays over to the comedy side quite often, especially now since he's getting older, he's having to use more tricks up his sleeve.

5) Interviews- 10

"Hey, yo!" That one line has made him a lot of money. Hall has been using his Scarface-wannabe accent for years and it has always paid off. He has a quick wit that makes him fun to listen to and an unpredictibility that makes him fun to watch. It could be argued that Hall is more entertaining when he's talking than when he's wrestling. Hall has always had a handle on his Cuban trash talker gimmick and lived it up to it's potential, therefore nearly adapting his own persona as Scott Hall into a Cuban.

6) Character- 8

As Scott Hall, in his early days, he pretty much floundered. As the Diamond Studd, he failed miserably being a character who nobody really knew what he was supposed to be. As Razor Ramon, he flourished under the guise that i'm sure many Cuban refugees who came to America pretened to be: Tony Montana, a tough guy, a guy that was going to get his and become rich and powerful. It was pretty identifiable and i'm surprised WWE didn't have a bigger following down there because of Ramon. Hall played this part better and more convincing than he does as himself, which is saying something. Hall teters between face and heel most of the time, easily able to bat between the two roles, as his is pretty much undefined.

7) Basics- 5

I know early in his career Hall was pretty well versed in the basics but ever since his first WWE run that has pretty much went out the window. His abdominal stretch is pretty sweet though. He has a great punch, although it has a tendency to turn into a blantantly open hand slap a lot of the times. His ring style has slowed down to a lethargic crawl these days, but that doesn't condemn him with a low score.

8) Fans- 9

Hall gets a reaction, everywhere he goes. He's a big name in the sport, due to his run in WWE and in the NWO. Fans love a catchphrase too, and Hall has several in his aresenal to unleash each and everytime he returns. I'd say Hall makes returns more than anything because he only ever has a short run no matter where he turns up. Even as a heel, Hall will still get cheered simply due to the NWO association when that kind of fan response was so common.

9) Match/ Opponent- 7

Hall will forever be remembered for his ladder match at Wrestlemania XX with Shawn Michaels which was a classic.
But, he has had some other great matches and feuds with the likes of Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Goldust, and Sting. Hall has gotten to compete with the biggest names in the wrestling world during his career and has held up decently with most of them. I don't know the last really great Scott Hall match i've seen and i'm sure he doesn't either ,but he's still had a handful of great matches with some of the biggest names in the business.

10) Gutcheck- 3

Very few guys stick around the wrestling business because they have a honest passion for it and love doing it. A few more guys stick around because they have never done anything else and like the traveling, the backstage gossip and the comraderie. But, i'd say 90% of performers that stick around past their prime do it because of the money or hope of money and i'd put Scott Hall in that category. Despite all the great things he's done for the business, he's also been one of the blackest eyes on it with his famed drug and alcohol abuse. It's even been the subject of numerous wrestling storylines. I think there should be another factor when weighing a performer's grade in this category and that is Integrity, and call me out if i'm wrong on this one, but Hall has zilch as far as i'm concerned.

Final Score: 67
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs down

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