WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall, a key figure in pro wrestling’s massive growth in the 1980s and ‘90s, has died, WWE said Monday.
Hall, 63, was best known for playing campy Cuban bad guy Razor Ramon, as pro wrestling's popularity boomed in the late 20th century.
He had been hospitalized and was on life support, according to industry officials familiar with the situation.
WWE in a statement called him “a hugely influential superstar” and said it was saddened to learn of his death. The organization did not list a cause.
Hall was part of a 1990s revolution when he and other famous performers, including Hulk Hogan, jumped from Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment, to Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling upstart, shaking the industry to its core.
Even though Turner's WCW eventually collapsed and was taken over by WWE, the moves by Hall and others are still considered huge moments in building individual brands for performers.
Pro wrestlers like Hogan, Jesse Ventura and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have gone on to fame well outside the mat.
"By the time Razor was wrestling, Vince McMahon pretty much controlled the territory by himself," said Syracuse University professor Robert Thompson, who regularly incorporates lessons learned from pro wrestling into his teaching of American TV history.
"It [Hall's defection to WCW] gave people a sense of agency that there were other places to go," Thompson said. "And that sounds so obvious now, but that was a big deal then [in the 1990s]. You're not just one of the soldiers in Vince's army."
Hall's tag-team partner, Kevin Nash, said he loves "Scott with all my heart."
"My life was enriched with his take on life," Nash wrote on Instagram early Monday morning, with a picture of his wrestling partner. "He wasn’t perfect but as he always said 'The last perfect person to walk the planet they nailed to a cross.'"
News of Hall's failing health had spread quickly through the tight circles of pro wrestling.
"Scott Hall, pulling for you my friend," Johnson tweeted Sunday. "Stay strong! We need the 'bad guy' back in the game."
Wrestler Triple H said Monday night that he was “gutted” and “lost a brother.”
“I love you Scott!! I’ll see you down the road,” the wrestler tweeted.
Wrestler Mick Foley, who famously wrestled as Cactus Jack and Mankind, said that "Scott Hall was a towering figure among his contemporaries — a legend inside and outside the ring."