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Monday, May 9, 2022

Wrestling superstar’s heavy drinking contributed to his early death

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Scott Hall was a “bad-guy” wrestling superstar who was inducted twice into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, previously WWF) Hall of Fame:
• in 2014 as Razor Ramon, known for wearing gold chains and flicking a toothpick at opponents
• in 2020 as a member of the “New World Order” with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan.

In early March 2022, he fell and broke his hip, and lay on the floor for several days before being discovered during a wellness check. It was the same hip that he had replaced in 2013 at age 54. He was hospitalized in Marietta, Georgia and had the broken hip replaced again. After the surgery, he formed blood clots that caused three heart attacks, whiich sent him into heart failure and he was put on life support. On March 14, with his family’s consent, he was taken off life support and died at age 63.

Early Years and Rise to Fame in Wrestling
He was born in 1958 in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, to alcoholic parents. His father was in the military and they moved every year throughout his childhood. At age 26 he began his career in professional wrestling, and was a frightening opponent because he was huge at 6 feet, 7 inches and 287 pounds. He adopted the ring name of Razor Ramon, and told interviewers, “In my lifetime, I’ve learned hard work pays off, dreams come true, bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.” His wrestling career lasted from 1984 to 2021, with numerous changes of wrestling organizations and times away from the ring for rehabilitation from alcohol and drug abuse.

His heavy drinking and unruly behavior led to several arrests and stays in rehabilitation centers.
• At age 25, he wrestled a gun from a man and shot him. He said it was self defense but was charged with second-degree murder. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

• At age 40, he was charged with groping a 56-year-old woman. That same year, he was charged with keying a limousine while intoxicated outside of a night club, causing $2,000 in damages.

• at age 50, he was arrested for attacking a comedian at a hotel in New Jersey. Hall said the jokes were disrespectful to his friend, wrestler Owen Hart.

• at age 52, he was charged with disorderly conduct for his drunken rage at other wrestlers and bar staff..

• at age 54, he was arrested in a domestic disturbance that involved choking his girlfriend while drunk.

Multiple Health Issues
In 2010, at age 51, Hall’s excessive use of alcohol and drugs caused him to be hospitalized twice for pneumonia and he had a defibrillator and a pacemaker inserted into his chest to treat a severe irregular heartbeat. He also suffered from several seizures, was diagnosed with epilepsy and was prescribed eleven different daily medications to treat his heart and brain symptoms. However, he was again hospitalized because of overdosing with opioids and benzodiazepines

After his death, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Hall had returned to his repeated alcohol abuse brought on by his constant isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. During that period he drank too much and ate too little, and dropped from his previous 287 pounds to 210 pounds.

• Alcoholism is a disorder that often runs in families. An alcoholic person does not have to drink alcohol, but once they takes a drink, they have an overwhelming urge to keep on drinking. Alcohol can damage every cell in your body and cause you to behave irrationally and do things that you would not do when you are not drunk. Therefore, alcoholics must never have alcohol in the house, not go to places where people drink, and avoid friends who may be drinking.

• Heart Attacks: I have no record of which drugs that Scott Hall may have taken during his lifetime, but wrestlers and other athletes in sports that require great strength often take anabolic steroids to help them to recover faster from hard workouts when they lift weights. This gives them larger and stronger muscles and Hall had huge muscles and great strength. Anabolic steroids can damage the heart to cause heart attacks at a very young age (Nascimento, Mini Review of Medicinal Chemistry, 2011;11:425–429) and a very large number of professional wrestlers have died of heart attacks at a very young age (PLoS ONE, Nov 5, 2014). See my report on Ultimate Warrior

Aside from heart damage caused by drugs, heart attacks are almost always an environmental disease caused by an improper diet that cause plaques to form in arteries, and lack of exercise that causes plaques to break off and cause clots that completely block blood flow to a part of the heart. The heart muscle that is suddenly and completely deprived of oxygen then dies and is replaced by scar tissue, This causes chest pain and irregular heartbeats that can end your life.

• Seizures: Alcohol can permanently damage your brain to cause scarring and abnormal brain waves that cause seizures (Epilepsy Curr, Nov 2005;5(6):225–230).

• Broken Bones: Being drunk often causes people to fall and hurt themselves. If you fall and break the neck of the femur, the long bone in your upper leg, you can shut off the blood supply to the femur where it attaches at the hip and the hip bone then can die and fall apart, even several months later. Then the hip joint must be replaced.

Lessons from Scott Hall’s Young Death
• If you are a person who cannot stop drinking alcohol once you take a single drink, you are an alcoholic and should never take any alcohol at all because once you take a drink, you are at high risk for continuing to drink yourself into oblivion.
• Realize that heart attacks are caused by an inflammatory diet that causes plaques to form in arteries (too much of sugar-added foods, mammal meat, processed meat, and fried foods, and lack of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts). Lack of exercise can destabilize plaques so that they break off, to cause bleeding, clotting, and then complete obstruction of blood flow to a part of the heart muscle so that it dies and is replaced by scar tissue.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com

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