Why Vince McMahon Should Pay for Scott Hall’s Operation

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Scott Hall has been one of the most unfortunate and pathetic cases in the last decade. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and inability to get out of an environment that enabled him his vices have pushed him near death so many times that we as fans have lost count.

[adinserter block=”1″]He’s been to rehab so many times as well, none of them having stuck. This time is different though, it seems. He’s under the care of DDP Yoga. Diamond Dallas Page’s yoga program has been a life-changer for many people, and in the case of Jake Roberts, it’s been a life-saver. Hall is making a lot of progress as well, but the yoga alone isn’t going to help him get completely healthy. It turns out that he needs a hip replacement as well.

Years of substance abuse haven’t exactly left Hall with a nest egg, and working in wrestling all your life leaves you with worse benefits than if you were a Starbucks barista. So he’s doing what Roberts did when he needed his surgery. He started a Indiegogo fan-donation driven campaign in order to pay for his surgery. He’s taken scrutiny for even starting the campaign, which has been criticized as tantamount to panhandling. Personally, I disagree with the campaign, but not because Hall is relying on fans to pay for his surgery. I think donating to help a guy get healthy is a way better endeavor than the people who buy stuff for wrestlers they like off their Amazon wishlists.

I honestly think this is an awful development because Vince McMahon should pay for the surgery.

I caught a bit of flak for this opinion. I was told that McMahon doesn’t owe Hall anything. In the legal sense, I guess you could say that view is correct. McMahon is not culpable for anything that has happened to Hall now. In fact, one could say he’s “done enough” for Hall by paying for rehab after rehab. And far be it from me to say what a man should do with his money. McMahon earned that money through his own vision, drive, and determination!

Except that last sentence really is a crock of bull.

Professional wrestling cannot succeed without wrestlers. No one promoter can do a show without talent, let alone carry on a business for the last thirty years like Vince has without wrestlers. He couldn’t have attained the successes he has without guys like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mick Foley, Dave Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena, and CM Punk, among others. It’s lost on so many people when discussing businessmen and women in this country that they are the ones who deserve all the money and credit because they started the companies, but almost none of them could get where they get without labor. And yet, in businesses across America, the cabal of owners, CEOs, and corporations try to depress labor costs and deny the fact they could get where they’ve gotten without labor.

It’s especially awful in wrestling because of the tolls these performers put on their bodies. In addition, wrestlers can’t easily get health insurance because their line of work is so high risk, so it’s not a surprise that the rate of attrition has gotten out of control with the escalation in physicality. In a way, McMahon, who has become a billionaire off WWE, may not be legally bound to care for all his former employees, but I feel like there’s a moral obligation that he has to help take care of his former wrestlers. To his credit, he has paid for rehabilitation for countless wrestlers, funeral costs for those who died in destitute conditions, and other acts of charity throughout the years. He has shown an uncharacteristic magnanimity of what is normally attributed to his brash, arch-conservative public image.

It sounds awfully demanding of me to want more out of him, but the harsh reality is that the attrition on wrestler’s bodies is due to McMahon’s own insanity. He’s gone far, but it’s not far enough if Hall is relying on the kindness of Page to get his yoga program for free and is so far in the hole that he can’t afford surgery. It’s fair to assume that a life of being in wrestling, in locker rooms where there was not even a paper tiger Wellness Policy to keep the façade of being on the straight and narrow, led him to his case.

The counterargument is that Hall has to bear the brunt of some personal responsibility as well. I can dig that a lot, but at the same time, the only thing that could have prevented him from that life was likely not working as a wrestler. Sure, he could have picked a different career path, but that statement, while true on the surface, shows a complete lack of empathy for someone who actually followed his heart and did the job that was presumably a dream of his. Plus, by not having a Wellness Policy and by skirting workplace safety issues by incorrectly labeling his employees as independent contractors, McMahon didn’t necessarily provide the best working environment for him.

Furthermore, McMahon has put his earnings under even more scrutiny by offering them up to fund bids for public office. Linda McMahon’s Senate campaigns were mostly self-funded to the tune of $100 million. When you spend that kind of scratch using money earned from wrestling fans such as you and me, you had better believe you open yourself up to criticism from us, since we, the WWE Universe, are basically WWE’s personal Super PAC. As a de facto investor in the McMahon campaign, I myself would feel a lot better if they didn’t spend the money I directly give them through merch and pay-per-views or indirectly through advertising monies earned from watching RAW and Smackdown on such a spurious venture that wouldn’t even benefit me as a resident of somewhere other than the state of Connecticut. I know that since it’s money earned from a business, I don’t have a legal right here other than “not buying WWE stuff” (and honestly, why should guys like Bryan Danielson and Phil Brooks suffer because of the sins of their boss?), but man, I’m not interested in a legal code that is set up to protect corporations at the expense of real people.

[adinserter block=”2″]But even if the McMahon family never spent a red cent on trying to get Linda elected, it’s still the right thing to do make sure their former employees had major stuff that they couldn’t handle themselves. No matter what anyone says, whether communist, arch-capitalist, or anyone in between, it doesn’t just take a vision to execute a business plan. It takes hard work, and there are very few professions harder on the human body than professional wrestling. It shouldn’t be up to the fans to help pay for Scott Hall’s health, especially since so many of us have our own aches and pains that we have to tend to and might not be able to afford easily.

And since McMahon wants to have presence in Washington to have a say in how they want to handle my money, well, it’s only fair that I have at least an opinion on how he handles his.

Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Truth is, HBK, HHH and Nash have 10's on millions between them. They should pay to help their friend. On a shoot Nash saud he got a dvidend check from his investments that what 10x Halls surgery. Not that they should be obligated to do so, but witl how great DDP is doing with Jake and they early progress with Hall, 80,000 is a drop in a bucket for them

  2. I made similar statements on an Awesome wrestling f/b post AMD got deleted. So tell me what is Awesomes deal. I liked them simply because they weren’t WWE . But they are advertiseing people under contract with WWE are they just a sub or was it just the one guy who was brown nosing for Vince. Myproblem with Vince is his trying to own everything wrestling so that everything is his way. Also the way he didMachoman. As far as helping The Greaser hr should. If it puts him in a tight he might have to tell his old lady she can’trun for election next time. She would just lose again anyway. However its his money and that’s just my opinion. As always if you not down with me voicing then I got two words for ya! I believe you know what they are!

  3. "and working in wrestling all your life leaves you with worse benefits than if you were a Starbucks barista."

    Starbucks doesn't pay 6 figures to send you to rehab 10 times when you're not even an employee

  4. Sign Hall to a legends contract, put him in some video games and that legends contract could have a down payment which could pay for the surgery.

    Both men get what they want in the end. Or at least, I might cause it’d be fun to play as the outsiders vs new age outlaws or team hell no in WWE ’14

  5. As I understand, Vince has paid for rehab a couple times i think. Vince cant be his daddy. BUT i think vince should pay for the surgery. Its pennies to vince and the world to hall. That said, im sure theres alot we dont know about so cant slam down the hammer on anybody.

  6. did hall get paid during his time with the wwe? so because he chose to blow all his money on drugs vince should pay for his surgery? he tried to help get him cleaned up many times so he does not owe him anything. if he paid for what is to stop hall from going right back to his lifestyle once he recovers from it?having to do this on his own might be the thing that forces him to clean up for good.

  7. Great Blog. I don’t think Mr. Holtzerman is blaming Vince for Scott’s problems, or has sympathy for Hall.

    No one told Hall to pop pills, or to sniff coke, or do whatever drugs he took. Vince never told him to do that. All that falls on Scott Hall. Hall is responsible for Hall’s actions.

    That being said, with the installation of the Wellness Policy, WWE started, and continues to put former stars through rehab. I admit Hall is a mess. Should WWE pay for his hip replacement? Well, considering that , and this goes for just about all promotions, but we are talking about WWE here, WWE (and back then when Hall worked for WCW) pretty much works their talent hard, and there is very little to no time off given to the talent (except to recover from a bad injury), and even if talent ask for it, they have to worry about “their spot” (except for the Top , top talent), and the atmosphere is that it is better to work through injuries than to take time off, well, I think it would be a nice gesture on Vince’s part if he did.

    Besides, like the author said, Vince would NEVER have gotten where he is without wrestlers like Hall, HHH, Hart, Edge, Punk, Taker, HBK, etc. putting their bodies and their health on the line every night, and making money for his company.

    It would be a nice gesture if Vince did, but that would be up to him.

  8. There are perks for backers, so it's not just panhandling. The fans get something out of it too. Some truly unique experiences they might not get the chance to otherwise, like the ability to talk to Hall face to face.

    Also, it's not a Kickstarter. It's on Indiegogo. Hall didn't start it. Dallas Page did. You should at least get the easy facts right!

  9. You’re blaming McMahon for all of Scott’s problems. McMahon has done more than enough, and Hall never worked his entire career in the WWE, I’d be more prone to agree with you if he did. But he worked for WCW and made a TON of money. If he choose to burn through all of that, and McMahon STILL pays for his rehab, WWE has done more than enough. McMahon can do whatever he wants with his money, it’s his, it’s not yours.

  10. I get your sentiment but is Vince now responsible for financing surgeries for ALL former wrestlers?

    If not, what makes Hall special?

  11. You do realize that Scott Hall was in ground-breaking matches that helped bring the WWE to the level it is now, as he did in WCW. The Monday night wars brought huge revenues to both franchises which eventually became Vince's revenues. How does not offering health insurance for a physically detrimental profession make sense? This isn't about sense, it's about ethics and morality. Very rarely does doing the selfless thing seem sensible, but we still aspire and encourage others to do selfless things. This is why parents rarely praise their children for picking on others in order to gain the approval of their peers.

  12. So because you f%*ked around with drugs, your ex-employer should pay the bill?

    How the hell does that make sense?

    Here is anothe suggestion, why don’t you pay his bills since you seem to have empathy for the guy?

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