Iconic US wrestler Scott Hall, who competed for New Japan Pro-Wrestling in tours spanning three decades, passed away on March 14 2022, it was announced earlier today. He was 63.
Hall made his debut in the National Wrestling Alliance’s Florida territory under the guise of Starship Coyote as part of the American Starship tag team alongside Danny Spivey. He would get his big break in the AWA organization in the latter part of the 1980s, where a connection formed with Masa Saito would see the door opened for him to compete in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Hall would make his NJPW debut as part of the fifth IWGP League in 1987, and would wrestle sporadically in NJPW rings up until the beginning of the ’90s. A highlight was challenging Saito and Shinya Hashimoto for the IWGP Tag Team Championships alongside partner Punisher Dice Morgan, who would later be best known as The Undertaker.
Both challengers would be a part of the WWF roster soon enough, and as Razor Ramon, Hall was a successful and charismatic figure. Yet it was in WCW that he had arguably his most famous turn. As part of the infamous New World Order, Hall turned heads in the US and back in Japan. As nWo Japan fever took hold, Hall would make an appearance at the May 3 1997 Osaka Dome card, where he teamed with Kevin Nash and Masahiro Chono to defeat Keiji Muto and the Steiner Brothers.
In September 2001, Hall would return to Japan still with memories of Muto, who was by now All Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Triple Crown Champion. En route to challenge Muto for the title in Osaka that month, he would face a young Hiroshi Tanahashi, then barely one year into his career. In the midst of a dominant performance, Hall would take the microphone to trash talk Muto, only to be rolled up and pinned by the future Ace; even in defeat, Hall would tell all who listened that night about Tanahashi ‘that kid’s money’.
As both an in and out of the ring presence, Hall has left an indelible imprint on professional wrestling. The thoughts and deepest sympathies of all at New Japan Pro-Wrestling are with Scott’s family, friends and fans.