In wrestling, there used to be a clear line between good and evil, heroes and villains. The distinctive nature between both couldn’t be more far away when discussing wrestlers outside the ring. Once the ring gets stripped down and those last cheers ring out, they turn from modern superheroes to mortals with issues, problems and common factors that lead them down the dark paths Average Joes face every day.

The 90s held serve for a generation of wrestling fans who grew detached from the ideals of Hulk Hogan and instead wanted something they could touch, something that could hit home and feel real. For a minute, the 90s blurred the idea between what was real and what wasn’t. Somehow, Scott Hall stood at the forefront of that, having revolutionized a match with Shawn Michaels and became the centerpiece for arguably the most shape shifting angle in the history of wrestling.

Now? His demons have stripped him of what made him a hero in the eyes of many and have made him a tragic figure. One that seemingly makes the story of Ric Flair, the modern day version of Randy “The Ram” Robinson, normal by comparison.

Flair wrestles to support bad investments, divorces, etc. Hall still does it to fight his addictions to alcohol and drugs. ESPN’s weekly documentary show E:60 recently chronicled Hall and his tumble from stardom as the Intercontinental Champion and a hot shot in both major wrestling companies to a man working matches inside of high school gymnasiums.

You feel for both, only Hall’s story is more grotesque due to the physical changes Hall has gone through during this period and still decides to climb between the ropes at 53, knowing by and large that he shouldn’t but for the sake of it all – he still does.

That’s the sad thought of wrestling. In a business where you think your heroes can walk away like cowboys under the sun, you then realize their addiction happens to be something you love watching and when you beg for them to quit, you yourself get lost in the storyline.

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