WWE star nearly died from demons as trauma of killing man was ‘burnt in brain’

By his own admission, WWE superstar Scott Hall "should have died 100 times".

The Hall of Famer's searingly honest words nod to a particularly arduous battle with drink and drug addiction.

Hall, who wrestled under the name Razor Ramon in WWF in the 1990s, competed for almost 30 years.

A 6ft 7ins man mountain and gifted showman, he won world championships in WWF and WCW.

But his story away from the ring is not for the faint hearted.

Like so many others who wrestled in the 1980s and 1990s, Hall's lifestyle was not always healthy.

Heavy drinking and drug dependency gave way to erratic behaviour, run-ins with the law and chronic health problems that almost claimed his life on more than one occasion.

However, it might be that his problems can be traced back to a harrowing incident a year before his professional wrestling career got going.

In 1983, Hall killed a man. At the time he was 25 and working as a bartender at a strip club in Orlando, Florida. One night, he got into a fight with a man outside "over a girl". It ended with that man losing his life.

Hall shot the man with his own gun after wrestling it from him.

He was charged with second degree murder, but insisted he'd acted in self defence and the charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence. Hall avoided a jail term, but the mental damage was a life sentence.

In a 2011 ESPN documentary, he recalled the incident, saying: “He smashed all the windshields out of my car. I walked outside and a security guard was there who watches the cars. I said, 'Where is he?'

“As I closed the distance, man, I remember what he was wearing, what I was wearing, what it smelled like.

"I mean, it’s burnt in my brain. Like, I drilled him, he went down, and his shirt went up, and he was reaching for the gun, so I reached for it too. We wrestled around with the gun. I took it and shot him in the head.

"You know, a guy pulled a gun on me, and I took it away and shot him, point-blank, with a .45 caliber. A guy’s dead, and I’m the reason. This is bad."

A year later, Hall made his wrestling debut, swiftly rising through the ranks to become a global superstar in the 1990s.

His issues with drink and drugs didn't become apparent until the late 1990s.

He's since told how he would use steroids to enhance his performance in the ring, then take cocaine after a match and mix downers and booze, washing anti-anxiety med Xanax, down with beer.

Hall told how he never touched drugs until he met the late Curt Hennig, aka Mr Perfect, who died of drug intoxication in 2003 at the age of 44.

He said: "Well, if you look at my life, I never drank or did drugs until I met Curt. I smoked a little bit of weed and I worked out. All-of-a-sudden, anyway, it was what it was. If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably live the same way.”

As Hall's issues emerged, he was arrested for inexplicably keying a limousine in the car park or a bar.

Then in 1998, he was accused of groping a 56-year-old woman outside a hotel in Louisiana.

A decade later, having largely slipped out of the public eye, Hall hit the headlines after he was arrested again.

It followed an incident at a comedy roast in New Jersey in October 2008.

Referencing the death of wrestler Owen Hart in a freak accident, comedian Jimmy Graham said: "After The Sheik and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got caught snorting coke in the parking lot, his career fell faster than Owen Hart."

Hall didn't find it funny. He charged at Graham, knocking down the podium and yelling at him to show some respect.

He was arrested again in May, 2010 and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer. According to the police report he had been "drinking heavily".

His last arrest happened in Chuluota, Florida, in 2012, after he was accused of choking his girlfriend Lisa Howell in a domestic disturbance.

He was taken to a hospital in Seminole County to be medically cleared before being taken to a drunk tank. The charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

After officially retiring from wrestling in 2010, Hall was put through rehab, paid for by WWE.

He then suffered congestive heart failure and began having seizures. He had a defibrillator and pacemaker fitted in his chest, was twice treated for double pneumonia and diagnosed with epilepsy.

In 2011, he appeared at a show in Fall River, Massachusetts, where he sparked concern among fans after he needed help walking.

That same year TMZ reported he spent three days in hospital after overdosing on opioids and benzodiazepines.

Hall was born into a military family in St Mary's County, Maryland, US, and moved once a year until he was 15.

His old friend and tag team partner Kevin Nash insists Hall suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to events from his younger years even pre-dating the fatal shooting.

He told the ESPN documentary: "Nobody knows what Scott has gone through since early childhood to what he has gone through up until this point, except for me.

“I can tell you Scott Hall has neither a drug or alcohol addiction. Scott’s problem is he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Drugs and alcohol aren’t the problem – to Scott they are the solution.

"He is a fragile and broken human being, not a race horse that you take a whip to to perform. Scott Hall is in bad shape and each time I talk to him I feel it may be the last."

Thankfully, in recent years Hall has turned a corner in the battle against his demons.

The twice-divorced dad-of-two is now an advocate for healthy living and focuses on why he should stay on the straight and narrow and out of harm's way.

He said: “There’s got to be some reason that I’m still here. “I should have been dead 100 times."

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