Wrestler of the Day – July 5: Kevin Nash

Today is one of the best big men ever: Kevin Nash.

Nash got his start in 1990 in WCW as Steel of the Master Blasters tag team. For once we’re getting started very close to his debut. From Clash of the Champions XII.

Brad Armstrong/Tim Horner vs. Master Blasters

Armstrong is in another failed gimmick here: the Candyman. The Master Blasters are two monsters named Iron and Steel who look like they belong in a futuristic action movie. Iron would only wrestle a handful of matches and then be replaced by a new Master Blaster named Blade. Steel is more famous as Kevin Nash and this is his (and the team’s) debut. Steel throws Horner into the corner and it’s off to Iron for some power brawling.

Horner avoids a charge in the corner from Steel and a headbutt from Iron, allowing for the hot tag to Brad. Iron immediately pounds Armstrong down in the corner but Steel misses an elbow drop. A flying tackle puts Brad down again though and a legdrop gets two for Iron. Armstrong scores with a dropkick and makes the tag off to Horner as things speed up a bit. Horner puts on a sleeper and everything breaks down with the Blasters hitting a double shoulder block for the pin on Tim.

Rating: D. The match was nothing more than a squash and the Blasters certainly destroyed Horner and Armstrong, but they looked very sloppy in doing so. A lot of their offense wasn’t connecting cleanly and most of what they were doing didn’t look good. To be fair though it was their first match and the more talented (though still a rookie) Al Green would replace Iron very soon to settle things down a bit.

Now a singles match from SuperBrawl I under a rather infamous gimmick.

Oz vs. Tim Parker

And here it begins. For the life of me, I will never understand this. Ted Turner bought up the rights to a ton of movies, so he decided to use WCW to build up hype for them, like he’s doing here. When I say Oz, I mean the title character from the movie. Kevin Nash is billed as being from the Emerald City and has Merlin the Wizard (Kevin Sullivan) with him. We actually have Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Lion and Toto, in costume.

I wish I was making this up but sadly, it’s true. They’re actually doing a scene with the movie on the stage. The fans are LIVID. I mean this goes on nearly 5 minutes, until Oz says he’s going to go show people who he really is. He comes to the ring in lime green pants and with a big white wig and reveals himself to be the at the time unknown Kevin Nash. The match goes thirty seconds as he puts him up for a powerbomb and then just spins him around and lets him go so he crashes in a great visual.

Rating: F-. Since this went on for three months plus. I mean dude, the Wizard and Oz? Who in the world thought this was a good idea? Also, Merlin in the Wizard of Oz? I know this company wasn’t known for its intelligence but how can you possibly get that wrong? Read a book or watch a movie people!

Another gimmick from Clash XVIII.

Vinnie Vegas vs. Thomas Rich

Vegas is a greasy gambler from his namesake city and portrayed by Kevin Nash, formerly known as Oz. Jim Ross of course acts like he’s never seen the man before. Vegas hammers away before taking his jacket off and choking Rich against the ropes. He lifts Rich onto his shoulder and drops him face first on the top turnbuckle in a move called Snake Eyes for the pin in less than a minute.

It was off to the WWF after this, as Shawn Michaels thought Nash was perfect as a bodyguard. Nash wanted to go and told WCW that he was leaving the business. He was in the WWF like a day later. Here’s one of his first major matches from Survivor Series 1993.

Team IRS vs. Team Razor Ramon

IRS, Adam Bomb, Diesel, Rick Martel
Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Mr. Perfect

IRS and Ramon are feuding over Razor’s IC Title, Martel was the guy Ramon beat for the title, Diesel and Adam Bomb are just there to fill in spots, Jannetty and Kid are a semi-regular tag team and Perfect….isn’t here. Ramon talks about Perfect leaving (his back messed up again and he just kind of left for five months) but he’s got a treat for us. He’s got a surprise partner and it’s……RANDY SAVAGE! Heenan LOSES IT and the crowd does too. This is when Savage wanted to murder Crush, who is in the main event tonight.

Heenan apparently called Perfect no showing this and Vince says Heenan was right for once. Bobby: “FOR ONCE???” Oh yes Bobby is feeling it tonight. Ramon and Martel start things off with Rick working on the arm. They fight for the arm and hit the mat for a bit before popping back up. Razor slaps him in the face and rolls through a cross body for two. Martel gets caught in the fallaway slam (BIG pop for that) for two.

Razor hits a pair of atomic drops and a clothesline for two. Off to Adam Bomb who shoves Ramon into the corner with ease. They collide and Razor is knocked down in something which shouldn’t surprise anyone. They have a test of strength with Bomb controlling again before Ramon fights up and suplexes Bomb down.

Martel tries to save but elbows Bomb by mistake. Harvey Whippleman (Bomb’s manager) gets up on the apron and is knocked down, causing a big fight between IRS’ team. Ramon’s team, somehow thinking coherently given how many drugs must be in them, actually uses common sense and lets them fight. We get things settled down and it’s the Kid vs. Bomb. Kid tries a sunset flip and Bomb (about 6’8 and 300lbs) is like boy please.

Off to Diesel who throws Kid around even harder. Who thought it was a good idea to put the Kid in there against the biggest and strongest opponents? A gutwrench powerbomb from Diesel leaves Kid laying and a big boot does the same. Kid finally hits a spin kick and it’s off to Savage who destroys the entire team, including sending Bomb into Diesel. A slam puts Diesel down and the flying elbow makes it 4-3. Write that down as you may never see Nash do another clean job.

Martel charges in and rams Savage face first into the buckle. Since it’s 1993, Martel’s offense has almost no effect and Savage takes over. Off to IRS who has a bit better luck as he takes Savage into the corner but gets cross bodied for two. Back to Ramon who works on the arm but as he hits the ropes, Martel hits Razor in the back to slow the Bad Guy (Razor’s nickname) down.

Bomb comes back in to power Razor around a bit but it’s quickly back to Martel. Make that IRS who works on Razor’s back. We hit the chinlock and the heels switch a few times without tagging. Off to Macho Man again who knees IRS into the corner. A slam looks to set up the Elbow but here comes Crush. Savage sees him and immediately goes after him but is sent back into the ring and rolled up by IRS for the pin and elimination.

Savage chases Crush into the back and looks for him in the locker rooms as the match is still going on. Savage doesn’t find him so we’ll continue this game later. We come back to the ring to see Adam Bomb choking away on Jannetty and stomping him in the corner. Martel hooks an abdominal stretch for a few seconds but a corner charge hits the post and it’s back to Ramon.

Razor pounds away on IRS and hits a chokeslam followed by the Razor’s Edge for the pin and the 3-2 advantage. Everything breaks down and as Razor loads up the Edge on Martel, IRS hits him in the ribs with his briefcase. Ramon rolls to the floor and gets counted out to tie things up again. So it’s Jannetty/1-2-3 Kid vs. Martel/Bomb. The Kid gets sent to the floor and slammed down by Bomb who hits a slingshot clothesline to take the Kid down back inside.

Off to Martel as the Kid is in a lot of trouble. Martel drops some knees on the back for two as Vince says the Kid has a lot of heart. Heenan: “THEN KICK HIM IN THE HEART!” Martel jumps into a right hand to the ribs and there’s the tag to Jannetty who cleans house. Back to the Kid way too soon for a double back elbow and a sunset flip to eliminate Martel. Kid immediately tags in Jannetty who sunset flips Bomb for the pin ten seconds after Martel was eliminated. REALLY hot ending here.

Rating: B. I really liked this match as it was fast paced and a ton of fun. If you cut about five minutes from this, it’s a classic. Having Jannetty and the Kid be the survivors was a very nice surprise and it gave the fans something to cheer for. Really liked this one and it puts the show off on the right foot.

It was off to a singles run after this, including this match from Superstars on April 13, 1994.

Intercontinental Title: Razor Ramon vs. Diesel

Razor is defending. Razor charges to the ring and the brawl is on fast as Ramon is actually big enough to hang in a fist fight with Diesel. The champion ducks a big boot and punches Diesel to the floor but Diesel snaps Razor’s throat across the top rope to take over. Back in and the side slam gets two as we take a break.

Back with Diesel dropping an elbow on Ramon’s back for two. Razor fights out of a reverse chinlock with an impressive electric chair. The middle rope bulldog gets two and Shawn gets on the top rope, only to get knocked off when Diesel is sent into the buckle. Shawn pulled the buckle pad down with him though, allowing Diesel to whip Ramon into the steel, setting up a Jackknife for the pin and the title.

Rating: C-. This was intense while it lasted but it wasn’t all that great. Amazingly enough the Kliq would rarely work hard against anyone outside of their group and that’s pretty much what happened here. Luckily we got some good matches as a result, but this wasn’t one of the better ones.

Shawn and Diesel would win the Tag Team Titles a few months later before splitting at Survivor Series. Three days later, this happened in Madison Square Garden.

WWF Title: Diesel vs. Bob Backlund

Bell, kick to the ribs, Jackknife, new champion.

Diesel would defend against Bret Hart at the 1995 Royal Rumble.

WWF World Title: Diesel vs. Bret Hart

Diesel is defending in case you’re really slow. Bret tries to brawl to start but is almost immediately knocked down by a big shot to the face. A clothesline puts Bret on the floor where he chills for a bit. Back in and Bret goes after the knee like a smart Hitman. He puts on a quick Figure Four and after a good deal of time in it, Diesel gets to the rope. Bret does something you hardly ever see enough: he puts the same hold back on. Why don’t more people do that? He had Diesel in trouble, so why mess with what was working?

Diesel makes the rope again and heads to the floor where Bret hits a suicide dive to have the champ reeling. Diesel shrugs it off and sends Hart into the steps to get a breather. With Bret in the ropes, Diesel hits the running crotch attack to his back. There’s a backbreaker to Bret and Diesel bends him across the knee a bit. Bret fires off some right hands but gets whipped hard into the buckle to stop him cold.

The champ loads up the Jackknife but instead puts Bret on his shoulder for a backbreaker. Why he doesn’t JACKKNIFE HIM WHEN HE HAS THE CHANCE is beyond my intelligence as Bret escapes. A big boot (Diesel’s leg seems fine) puts Bret down for two, but Bret gets a boot up of his own, followed by a middle rope clothesline for two. Hart goes up and Diesel tries to slam him off, but the knee goes out, giving Bret a two count.

The kickout sends Bret to the floor and he pulls Diesel’s legs out for the figure four around the post. Actually scratch that as he ties Diesel’s legs together instead and pounds away. The Five Moves of Doom get two but Diesel grabs a rope to block the Sharpshooter. Bret clotheslines him to the floor but a dive is caught in mid-air. The tall guy rams him into the post and hits the Jackknife in the ring, but Shawn Michaels runs in to break up the count.

Shawn beats on Diesel’s leg which isn’t a DQ for no apparent reason. Shawn and Diesel had split up at Survivor Series if you’re wondering why this beating is happening. We get a ruling that the match must continue to the delight (yes I said delight) of the crowd. Bret goes back to the knee, hooking another Figure Four. Diesel can’t get to the ropes so he hits Bret in the bad ribs to escape. Ah selling, how I love you.

Diesel is all ticked off now and pounds away on Bret in the corner. A gutwrench suplex of all things gets two for the champ but a big boot in the corner misses. Bret wraps Diesel’s leg around the post and blasts it with a chair. There’s the Sharpshooter but now it’s Owen coming in for the save and a beatdown on Bret. I would say there’s a great tag match in there, but Bret and Shawn teaming up would mean the end of the world as we know it.

The match is going to continue AGAIN though and Diesel gets two on Bret. The place is starting to lose its minds over these near falls. Bret sends him into the buckle that Owen exposed and pounds away as Diesel is rocking again. Diesel comes back AGAIN with elbows and forearms to the face before punching Bret into the ropes where Hart’s legs are caught. Bret is holding his knee but you never know with him.

Yep, he stands up and lays back down in some classic Hart goldbricking. Diesel goes for the Jackknife but Bret fakes him into a small package for two. Bret tries an O’Connor Roll and the referee is bumped. Backlund, Michaels, Roadie and Jarrett run in and that’s FINALLY enough for the double DQ.

Rating: A. These two had MAD chemistry together and this was no exception. They knew how to work the David vs. Goliath (I’m not sure how fair it is to call Bret David actually) formula to perfection and the matches were great as a result. Why the company kept going with Diesel vs. power guys is beyond me, because his best stuff comes against small guys like Bret and Shawn and always has.

And again at Survivor Series 1995.

WWF World Title: Bret Hart vs. Diesel

Diesel is defending and this is No DQ and No countout. Diesel immediately takes a buckle pad off, so Bret takes another one off to match him. Bret immediately charges him into the corner and goes after the leg but Diesel pounds him over the back to take over. Diesel knocks him to the floor and Bret is limping. The champ follows him out and hits a HARD ax handle to put Bret down again. It’s a slow start so far but they have a lot of time.

Hart gets sent into the barricade and goes back in but he bails to the floor immediately. Back in and Diesel wins a slugout, knocking Bret to the floor with a big right hand. Diesel whips him into the steps and keeps the pace slow. A theme of the promos had been wearing Bret tiring Diesel out so there’s some good psychology going on here. Diesel puts Bret down with a hard chair shot to the back and Hart is reeling.

Back in and Diesel loads up the Jackknife but Bret keeps grabbing the leg to block it. Now he bites the champ’s hands to escape. The fans are starting to get into this too. Bret goes for the knee and the champ is in trouble. They do the same opening sequence as Bret goes for the knee but Diesel hits him in the back. This time though, Bret gets him down and cranks on the knee. See, THAT is storytelling.

Perfect says the line that always gets on my nerves of “they’re all the same size on the mat.” JR properly says “the size and power advantage are negated on the mat.” What JR says is true. Diesel is still however bigger than Bret on the mat or standing up. Anyway, Bret cannonballs down onto the knee and there’s the Figure Four. Diesel makes the rope but Bret stays on the bad leg.

Hart tries the Sharpshooter but Diesel thumbs him in the eyes before kicking him into the exposed buckle. Bret picks the leg again and wraps it around the post before tying a cord of some kind around the post. He ties the other end of the cord to Diesel’s leg, making the champion a sitting duck. Bret gets a chair but Diesel uses the free leg for a big boot. Diesel crawls for the chair but Bret gets to it first and wears out the knee with chair shots. The leg is still tied to the post.

With the leg still attached, Bret pulls off the backbreaker. Bret takes the chair to the top but Diesel punches him down to crotch Bret. Hart gets slammed to the mat, giving Diesel the chance to untie his ankle. Diesel chokes Bret with the cord and hits the side slam for two. Diesel sends Bret chest first into the exposed corner and puts him in 619 position for the running crotch attack, but he can’t run because of the bad leg. Instead he jumps into the air and crashes down on Bret, which looks more painful than the running version.

Diesel can barely hit Snake Eyes onto a covered buckle and Bret is in trouble. He tries another one but Bret escapes and rams Diesel into the exposed buckle. A Hart Attack clothesline gets two on the champ and Bret starts his comeback. That would be his second comeback if you’re keeping track. A middle rope clothesline gets two as does a Russian Legsweep. Bret clotheslines Diesel to the floor and tries a plancha but Diesel just steps to the side and lets Bret crash.

Bret starts getting back to the apron but Diesel knocks him off, and for the first time ever, through the Spanish Announce Table. They head back inside and Diesel calls for the Jackknife but Bret falls onto his face from exhaustion. Diesel picks him up to try again but BRET IS GOLDBRICKING and rolls Diesel up for the title out of nowhere, shocking the fans.

Rating: A. Outstanding match here with both guys looking awesome. It takes the right kind of opponent to get a great match out of Nash, but when you put a smaller guy like Bret or Shawn in there, you’re going to get a good result almost every time. These two had some masterpieces against each other and this was one of the best ones. I had a blast with this and it worked really well with Bret getting more and more violent and sadistic before faking Diesel out and using a wrestling move to win the title. That’s psychology people, and it’s great.

Diesel would turn heel soon after the title loss and lose a feud to the Undertaker. One of his last matches in the WWF was against Shawn Michaels at In Your House VII. It’s one of my all time favorite matches.

WWF World Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel

Remember this is no holds barred so anything goes. We see Omaha resident and legendary wrestler Mad Dog Vachon at ringside who will become important later. No flashy entrance from Shawn as he just power walks to the ring and takes the belt off on the way. He pounds away on the much bigger Diesel but a knee to the ribs puts the champion down. A big dropkick sends Diesel to the floor and a moonsault press takes him down onto the concrete.

Shawn steals a boot from the Spanish’s announcer and lays out Diesel back inside for two. Back up and Diesel whips Shawn up and over the corner before hammering him off the apron and face first into the barricade with a nasty bump. Back in and Diesel runs Shawn over again before walking around very slowly. Snake Eyes (a face first drop onto the buckle) drops Michaels again and Diesel yells at Shawn’s trainer Jose Lothario that this is how we do it in the 90s.

A big side slam drops Shawn again and Diesel chokes the referee with his wrist tape for no apparent reason other than evil. Diesel steals the referee’s belt to whip Shawn even more before wrapping it around Shawn’s neck and hanging him over the top rope. He even ties the belt around the middle rope so he can grab a chair to blast Shawn in the back. They get back in the ring and another chair shot to the back puts Shawn down yet again. A third shot hits the top rope, sending the chair bouncing back into Diesel’s head.

Now Shawn grabs the chair but Diesel hits him low before Shawn can swing it. A BIG backdrop keeps the pressure on Shawn’s back and gets a two count. Diesel cranks on Shawn’s neck but Michaels fights up, only to be dropped with a series of forearms, knocking him out to the floor. In the big spot of the match, Diesel Jackknifes Shawn through the announce table (big deal back then), further destroying his back. That looked AWESOME and Vince begging Shawn to “just let it be over” makes it even better.

Diesel tries to pull Shawn back in but Michaels finds a fire extinguisher under the ring and blinds the big man so he can pound away. The fans are going NUTS over this comeback. Shawn pulls in a chair and goes to town on Diesel but lets Diesel get back up for a clothesline and a big boot to the jaw. Diesel loads up another Jackknife but Shawn punches his way out of it and drops a top rope elbow to the big man’s chest. Shawn tunes up the band for the superkick but Diesel blocks the boot and clotheslines Shawn down again.

A third clothesline puts Shawn on the floor as Vince gets in the very almost famous line of “We said it would be no holds barred but we didn’t expect this.” Diesel drops Shawn throat first on the barricade before going over to Mad Dog Vachon. He chokes Vachon down and RIPS OFF HIS PROSTHETIC LEG. Back in and Shawn hits Diesel low, blasts him in the face with the leg and hits Sweet Chin Music to retain the title and blow the roof off the place.

Rating: A+. This was a WAR and one of the best brawls you’ll ever see. They were beating the tar out of each other out there with Shawn bumping around like a maniac and making Diesel’s offense look great. This gave Shawn the credibility that he needed as champion to show he could fight as well as wrestle and it was a great performance to boot. It’s one of my all time personal favorite matches and still more than holds up over seventeen years later. Probably the best In Your House match to this point.

Now it’s off to WCW where Nash formed the Outsiders and challenged for the Tag Team Titles at Halloween Havoc 1996.

Tag Titles: The Outsiders vs. Harlem Heat

That original NWO music is still awesome. Then again so is Harlem Heat’s. The Heat had recently lost and regained the titles from Public Enemy for a pointless reign that lasted like two weeks. The Outsiders grab the belts and hold them up to a pop. Seeing the whole rebellion against the angles is very interesting. It was clear that the fans wanted something new. WWF realized that and made Austin, the rebel character, the top guy in the company and a face. Moral: listen to the audience. They’ll never let you down.

Apparently Sherri is the quarterback of Harlem Heat. Well I wouldn’t mind seeing her in the pants I guess. Stevie knocks Hall over the top rope which they immediately explain is NOT a DQ here. Why didn’t they just drop that stupid rule? I never got a straight answer to that. Anyway, Heenan says this is the first real test for the Outsiders, because clearly fighting Luger and Sting at Hog Wild wasn’t a test right? Or Savage, Luger and Sting or any other big combination they had. I love idiotic lines like that.

The fans loudly boo Harlem Heat taking over. I feel sorry for the announcers at times and then they say something stupid enough to make me lose any and all sympathy I have for them. The Heat dominate early on which is different than what you would expect. Crowd is totally behind the Outsiders here. Hall uses a chokeslam which he used back in like 93 I think. It’s weird to think he’s been using that since Giant was in high school.

Hall kisses Sherri. Can we get a sexual harassment lawsuit from the congregation? Booker hooks a sleeper and gets booed out of the building for it. Stevie gets the hot tag and cleans house, setting up the Harlem Hangover on Hall. Parker comes in for no apparent reason at all and swings the cane at Nash. This of course doesn’t work and two cane shots from Nash to Booker give the Outsiders the tag titles.

Rating: C-. Eh nothing great here but not that bad. This is far more important for the historical aspect than anything else. The ending made sense at least and the cheating was minimal, but the heels won with nefarious activities so that’s all fine. This wasn’t terrible, but the crowd told a lot of the story here as the heels got cheered and few liked the faces.

After a long feud with the Steiners, Nash would have to face Rick Steiner for the Tag Team Titles in a singles match at Spring Stampede 1997. Don’t ask.

Tag Titles: Kevin Nash vs. Rick Steiner

Only in WCW. Nick Patrick is referee because we need more gimmicks in this. Rick jumps him but gets knocked down almost immediately. DiBiase and Syxx are at ringside so this is 4-1. Nash pounds on him in the corner and hits his knees but runs into a boot. Belly to belly suplex looks like Rick is picking up a boulder. That suplex/powerslam move he uses gets two.

Syxx pulls the top rope down and Steiner crashes to the floor. Back in the side slam gets two. Why isn’t Patrick fast counting him? The Outsiders are the champions coming in here. DiBiase gets in a right hand and Nash hits the running crotch attack while Rick is in 619 position. Big boot puts Rick down as we’re totally in squash territory. There’s the Jackknife but Steiner kicks out. I don’t remember many people ever doing that other than Undertaker.

Steiner hits him low on another Jackknife attempt which Patrick actually doesn’t DQ him for. He’s kind of doing a bad job of being an evil referee here. Rick hits the bulldog but it only gets two, even though Nash’s shoulder never came up. Down goes Syxx but Nash comes back with a clothesline to take over again.

Syxx takes off the buckle pad and Snake Eyes onto the buckle sets up Snake Eyes on the buckle which sets up Snake Eyes on the buckle which sets up Snake Eyes on the buckle which sets up the Jackknife for the pin and a forced count (Patrick was hesitant) for the pin. The interesting thing here is that DiBiase says that’s enough in the middle of this and Nash yells at him. DiBiase walks out.

Rating: D-. So Nash wins a squash on PPV in a one on one match for the titles. I guess the more important part here is that DiBiase looks to be defecting which would mean more if he was an actual wrestler. This would lead to him managing the Steiners which would last for awhile until I think February. The match sucked.

We’ll jump ahead a bit to this big time main event from Nitro on March 9, 1998.

Hollywood Hogan/Outsiders vs. Sting/Randy Savage/The Giant

Thankfully Sting actually wears the belt again. Giant is in a neck brace and street clothes but goes after Nash anyway. It’s a big brawl to start with the three pairs fighting all over the arena. Sting and Hogan get things going with the champion pounding away and getting two off a right hand. Hogan sends him into a few corners and hits Sting in the back but the champion blocks a ram into the corner to get control back. Hall and Nash have their arms stretched out but Hogan doesn’t seem interested in tagging.

Giant gets the tag and Hogan staggers away, falling right into Nash which counts as a tag. Hall and Hogan try to jump Giant from behind but he picks both of them up AT THE SAME TIME in a double bearhug. That guy is so strong it’s unreal. Nash breaks it up though and Giant is in trouble. The NWO goes after Giant’s bad neck and the beating goes on for a good while. Hogan puts on a front facelock but can’t get the brace off.

Sting finally comes in without a tag to give Giant a breather but the brace has been removed. A triple beatdown has Giant in trouble but he shoves all three guys down and makes the hot tag to Savage. Giant gets back up and Nash runs off as Savage pounds on Hogan. Sting and Hall finally have some contact with the champion hitting a few Stinger Splashes before they fight to the floor. In the melee the Disciple comes in with the Stunner on Savage to give Hogan the pin.

Rating: C-. Not a terrible match but it was much more hype than actual substance. I’ll let the shock of a Nitro main event fitting that description sink in for a minute. Anyway the Sting vs. Hall match continues to be given less attention than even the TV Title match but any other solution might take some of the spotlight of Hogan vs. Savage and we couldn’t have that.

Nash would lead the NWO Wolfpack and become one of the top faces in WCW. This (and being booker) got him the World Title shot at Starrcade 1998.

WCW World Title: Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash

Goldberg is defending and it’s No DQ. Nash won the shot by winning World War 3. They’re treating this like it’s a big showdown ala Hogan vs. Warrior in 1990 but it just doesn’t work with these guys. They pose at each other to start with the fans pretty split. A lockup takes both guys into the corner and the referee splits them up. They circle each other some more until Goldberg ducks a right hand and suplexes Nash, sending him out to the floor.

Back in and Nash takes him into the corner for all of his usual stuff but Goldberg just shoves him down. The champion chokes away but Nash tries a freaking cross armbreaker of all things. Goldberg laughs his way out of that and tries his ankle hold, sending Nash to the ropes for another reset. Goldberg knocks Nash to the mat with right hands but gets pulled face first into the middle buckle.

The spear connects out of nowhere but Goldberg can’t pick him up for the Jackhammer. The delay allows Nash to hit him low and both guys are down again. A bad looking side slam gets two for Nash and he hammers in forearms to the back. The swinging neckbreaker puts Nash down again and there’s the superkick for good measure. Goldberg muscles him up into a powerslam for two but here’s Disco Inferno to distract the champion. That goes as well as you would expect so here’s Bigelow to get beaten down as well. Scott Hall of course sneaks in with a tazer to Goldberg’s chest, setting up the Jackknife to give Nash the title.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it feels like such an anti-climactic way to end the Streak. After all that, it’s an ending that doesn’t make a ton of sense and almost makes Nash look like a heel, even though the fans popped for the ending. I’d assume it’s because it’s a big moment but they still liked Nash no matter what. It felt like a pro-Nash pop rather than an anti-Goldberg one as the fans weren’t booing Goldberg throughout the rest of the match.

Nash would lose the title eight days later in the Fingerpoke of Doom. He would get another shot at Slamboree 1999.

WCW World Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kevin Nash

And Buffer’s mic doesn’t work right. Seriously, fold already. You can hear him in the arena but not over the PPV feed. Page is champion. Early Cutter attempt is blocked and Page hits the floor. We actually get a reference to the Vegas Connection. Page hammers away but runs his mouth to get himself sent to the floor. Back inside and Nash hammers away. Page charges at Nash and finally kicks him low to take over.

Page rips a buckle off and hits him with the mic for two. He gets sent into the exposed steel though and both guys are down. Page takes over and sends him to the floor. A baseball slide puts Nash down and there’s a Diamond Cutter to kill Nash out there. It only gets two in the ring but at least there was a delay. Now Page goes for the knee for no apparent reason.

He wraps it around the post a few times and pounds on Nash again. There’s something going on in the crowd so they change the camera angle, which is pretty smart. Nash makes his comeback and hits Snake Eyes onto the buckle. Back to the regular angle. Nash….at least limp. Big boot and Jackknife….but here’s Savage to break it up for the LAME DQ. So is he a heel now too?

I would rate it here, but Eric comes out AGAIN and restarts the match. Russian legsweep gets two for the champ. Discus lariat gets the same. And here’s a sleeper, which looks awful because Nash is so tall. Now Nash hooks an even WORSE sleeper but Page jawbreaks his way out of it for two. A chair shot hits the rope and Page takes it in the face for two. Low blow gets two for Page. And then Nash kicks the chair into Page’s face, takes the straps down and wins the title via the Jackknife.

Rating: D. The fans popped for the ending, but I’m just spent at this point. There’s nothing interesting here and the run in and restart made no sense, which is what the name of the show should be. Nash would hold the title for a few months before dropping it to Savage before Hogan took it the next night. This was nothing interesting at all and the knee selling coming and going hurt things.

As WCW was dying, their stipulations started to get weird. Here’s Nash vs. Terry Funk for control of the company at Souled Out 2000.

Terry Funk vs. Kevin Nash

The winner is the Commissioner, which Funk is at this point. If Nash loses then the NWO disbands. Funk’s music sounds like Demolition’s for a few seconds. The brawl starts in the aisle as this is a hardcore match. Chair to the back of Funk as it’s all Nash to start us off. There’s a Jackknife through the table less than two minutes in. You would think that would end it, but Nash wants to talk.

He says that if Funk can crawl back into the ring, Funk can still be Commissioner. Funk gets in and Nash says that he’s a lying SOB so the fight goes on. We only have Tony on commentary. Funk is busted open so we go to a wide shot. He gets a chair and cracks Nash a few times with it and adds a DDT for two. The people are booing the heck out of Funk here. But hey, he was a world champion 23 years ago! And some of the fans were alive then so he must be worthy of giving a big push to!

Nash cracks him in the head multiple times with the chair and Funk no sells them to beat on Nash even more. Funk sets up multiple chairs for absolutely no apparent reason. And of course he gets powerbombed through them and Nash becomes Commissioner as the man in his late 50s is probably crippled. Don’t you love WCW?

Rating: D. This was short and had a lot of Funk either no selling or not moving. The fans flat out didn’t buy Funk as the big face he was supposed to be but WCW kept going with it anyway because they had decided that they knew what the fans wanted to see instead of what the fans told them they wanted to see.

Nash and Diamond Dallas Page would hook up as the Insiders to face two of the Natural Born Thrillers for the Tag Team Titles at Mayhem 2000.

Tag Titles: Perfect Event vs. Insiders

Perfect Event is Palumbo and Stasiak. Sanders comes out AGAIN to talk. Yep he’s doing commentary. And I was right: the other Thrillers are the new security tonight. The fans want Hall. Nash and Palumbo start us off. Palumbo couldn’t do much other than look good in tights but he could throw a VERY good punch. And of course Nash beats him down with relative ease.

Nash and Page manage to beat up ALL of the Thrillers with ease. And here comes Flair and the normal security to get rid of the Thrillers. So yeah they can beat up seven guys but we’re supposed to believe that two of them can give the old guys a legit challenge. Sanders gets to stay on commentary and has a manager’s license apparently.

The Insiders beat up Stasiak with ease here. Oh wait there’s a DDT that is supposed to make us believe the challengers are in trouble and might not be getting the belts here. Stasiak gets Page down and walks around him. That’s all he does: just walks around him. He always was the weakest of the Thrillers. Nash gives a crotch chop to the referee because that’s about the extent of what he does anymore.

We see Stasiak’s trunks come downand he doesn’t get it for the vast majority of the time. Yep it’s bad comedy. Madden points out the odd idea that the champions are underdogs. He is promptly brushed off. Nice referees there. Page fights out of the corner but Palumbo stops him. Madden says this is the match of Palumbo’s life so far. If that’s the case he doesn’t have much of a life.

Page vs. Stasiak now and nothing special is happening. Classic old school tag move as the referee misses the tag to Nash. Tony: I’ve never been in the ring but it would seem to me that the first person to get a tag would give his team an advantage. You can’t buy analysts like these. Nash comes in and TOny immediately sucks up to him. Sanders tries to interfere and it means nothing as the Jackknife ends it.

Rating: C-. This was the second best match of the night and it’s formula tag stuff at its best. This is nothing at all to talk about but that would kind of defeat the point of this match so you get the concept. The old guys were in about a total of zero danger here at all and there was never any real doubt of the title change. The titles would be returned to the Perfect Event in eight days, making this, say it with me, TOTALLY POINTLESS!

WCW would go under soon after this and Nash would eventually make it to the WWF, where he was injured in one of his first matches back. He would come back later and somehow get into the World Title hunt, getting a title shot at Judgment Day 2003.

Raw World Title: Kevin Nash vs. HHH

Shawn, Flair, Nash and HHH all get entrances. Remember that Shawn and Flair were listed in the ad for the match. Naturally Flair gets the biggest pop of them all since we’re in Charlotte. Nash jumps him in the aisle and we pair off. Is there a reason why this isn’t a tag match? Flair and Michaels fight to the back and they’re gone without even a bell.

There’s the bell and it’s all Nash so far. By the way, we won’t be seeing Flair or HBK for the rest of the match. So glad that they got a PPV payday here. Nash gets a backdrop and HHH tries to run and hide. Back in the ring and down goes the Game. Side slam and an elbow drop by Nash. There’s another elbow and HHH shoves down the referee. Somehow that’s not a DQ but whatever.

HHH finally gets a neckbreaker to take Nash down. HHH is in purple here. Back off to Nash who hammers away and then shoves the referee too. Hebner is underappreciated for doing stuff like this. After a brief chase HHH accidently clotheslines the referee and low blows Nash. There goes the turnbuckle and HHH goes…into another corner.

Sidewalk slam sends HHH down and Nash goes through some of his favorites like the elbows and a big boot. Snake Eyes is attempted into the exposed buckle and Nash shoves the referee down AGAIN. HHH reverses it and rams Nash in so that the Pedigree can get two.

Another attempt is reversed into a backdrop over the ropes and HHH finds the sledgehammer. HHH hits Hebner in the chest with it and finally it’s a DQ after less than 8 minutes. The fans are not thrilled and boo heavily then die. This set up Hell in a Cell in two months in one of the weakest major gimmick matches ever. HHH takes a Jackknife post match.

Rating: F. This was there to set up Bad Blood and that’s all there is to it. The match sucked beyond belief and no one cared at all about this. Nash was here because he was one of HHH’s friends and no one bought that the title was changing. 2003 was the worst year in the history of Raw and this is one of the major reasons why.

It was off to TNA after this where Nash got a title shot at Against All Odds 2005.

NWA World Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash

If Jeff uses the guitar, he loses the title. So a cello is ok but a guitar isn’t? The annoying chant of the match: Super Shredder. Nash controls with the power to start and throws Jeff pretty high across the ring. There are some knee lifts in the corner as well as the elbow smashes. Jeff goes for the knees but misses a charge in the corner. Nash clotheslines him out and mixes up his offense. I mean now he’s punching him on the floor.

Jeff hits some punches and back into the ring we go. Nash throws him right back over the top because he’s a better brawler than wrestler. There wasn’t any sarcasm in that statement. They go into the crowd and Jeff is in trouble. The food on the catering table is destroyed so Nash picks up the table and rams it into Jeff. Why don’t more people do that? They fins a chair and trade some shots with Nash in control.

Jarrett is busted open and they head back to ringside. Nash pulls back the mats at ringside but a Jackknife attempt is countered by a low blow. Jeff goes under the ring and pulls out a case. AND IT’S A CELLO! I WAS KIDDING!!!! I’ve never seen this match before and they actually did that. I’ve been watching too much TNA. Jeff slams the case on the knee of Nash and it’s time to go in for the kill.

After some cannonballs onto the knee here’s a not great Figure Four. Nash finally gets to the ropes but Jeff is right back onto the leg. Nash comes back up and uses his usual power arsenal. Jarrett escapes Snake Eyes and clips Nash. As he brings back in part of the cello he walks into a ball shot. Nash powerbombs him onto the cello but there’s no referee due to a bump.

Cue the man “formerly known as Billy Gunn in the WWE” to knock out Nash with a Fameasser. That only gets two. His shirt says “No introduction needed. You already know my name.” That translates to “We can’t come up with anything that won’t get us sued.” He comes back for more but the referee stops him, allowing Sean Waltman to hit a spinwheel kick, a Bronco Buster and an X Factor to Jeff for two. Billy comes back in with the belt but Road Dogg comes in to stop him. Nash takes Gunn out but walks into a belt shot…for two. Stroke gets two. A second Stroke finally gets the pin.

Rating: C-. Well other than the Cello, the three run-ins, the 6 low blows, the two ref bumps, the belt shot and the kicking out of finishers, this wasn’t too terrible! For the life of me though, Billy Gunn and X-Pac? Those are supposed to make me want to see the show again? There’s a reason they’re out of WWE you know. Anyway, this wasn’t horrible but it didn’t need to be 20 minutes, period.

A few years later, Nash would help defend the World Title in a tag team match at Genesis 2007.

TNA World Title: Kurt Angle/Kevin Nash vs. Sting/???

First person to get a fall wins, making it more or less a fatal fourway or four corners match. The mystery partner is the debuting Booker T which was spoiled by the time it happened. They had a graphic with various clues (they were trying to do their own SAVE US thing) but it said Huffman which gave things away. One day someone will have to explain to me how you can be returning to the ring after months off (Nash) or debut like Booker and be in a title match.

Sting vs. Angle gets us going and Sting takes over with some speed stuff. Well, speed for a guy in his late 40s. The fans chant “tag in Booker”. Instead it’s off to Nash and the fans still want Booker. It looks like we’re saving him for the big hot tag which isn’t a horrible idea. Or not as when I flip back to the video player Booker is legal. Booker takes over on Kurt with a side slam for two.

Nash comes back in and hooks a side slam for two on Booker. Booker fires off a spin kick and brings back Sting who goes nuts on everyone. Everything breaks down and Kurt hits a snap German on Sting. We’re running through the time in this match quickly running down. Off to a rest hold but they get up and Sting counters the Angle Slam into a DDT to put them both down again.

There’s the moderately warm tag to Booker and he beats down the heels. Spinarooni is debuted in TNA but a Book End only gets two. Booker totally messes up a spin kick on Nash for two. It was more or less a back shot to Nash. A Jackknife puts down Booker but Sting grabs the Death Drop on Nash. Here’s AJ who is sent right back out but Tomko takes out Sting. It’s implied that Karen brought them in. Sharmell, Booker’s wife, debuts and gets in a fight with Karen. Nash takes forever to load up a Jackknife on Sting so Kurt hits Nash with the belt and pins Sting after an Angle Slam to retain.

Rating: C. We’ve seen this a dozen times before which is what’s holding this back. It’s not a bad match or anything but how many times do you remember hearing about something like this? Booker’s debut was cool but it was pretty flat after the initial pop. The turn by the tag champs wasn’t bad either.

Here’s an interesting match at Turning Point 2008.

Kevin Nash vs. Samoa Joe

Joe is big here but not incredibly fat which is a nice change of pace. It’s a slugfest to start which is what you would expect I think. The tall guy (I can’t really say big here as it would be confusing) is in trouble. West says some people think Joe is the best in the world. Find those people so I can smack them with a fish.

This is more of a brawl than a match but that’s what a grudge match is supposed to be about. Nash goes to a toolbox as he harkens back to his Hell in a Cell days. That goes nowhere of course for no apparent reason. Joe’s shoulder goes into the post so Nash goes for his back. Sure why not.

The fat man makes a comeback and this is FAR more fast paced than you would expect it to be. A chair shot from Nash gets two. Jackknife gets two and Nash is STUNNED. A shot to the exposed buckle and Joe is busted open. ANOTHER Jackknife gets two. Joe gets an armbar out of nowhere and Nash is almost in trouble.

The referee goes down somewhere in there and Nash hits a low blow. That and the feet on the ropes get the pin. I kind of get that but at the same time I kind of don’t.

Rating: B. That’s likely high but I really liked this. Nash has had something close to a career revival in TNA as he’s just clicked in there the whole time. Joe losing here wasn’t horrible as the Mafia was brand new and needed some wins. Also he kicked out of two powerbombs. That’s rare enough so I can live with this. Solid match too.

After this came the Legends Title which Nash thought was perfect for him. Here he is challenging for it at Victory Road 2009.

Legends Title: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Nash

The Legends Title is now the Global Title and AJ holds it here. This is back when AJ is the awesome version of himself that was on the rise back through the ranks and would win the world title in a few months. He was more or less considered the best in the world at this point and with good reason. I was one of those people, but Punk was about to turn full Straightedge Messiah and the race was on.

AJ hits and Nash runs which is a weird combination. AJ goes for the knees as you would expect. By the way, if a match like this happened in WCW (with AJ being replaced by Benoit or Malenko), the company could have had a fighting chance at the end. Nash goes into his normal stuff but here it works for some reason. Nash was in a groove around this time with the whole in it for the money character trait.

It worked very well for him though as that completely fit his character and it came off perfectly. Nash kicks the tar out of AJ and knocks him to the floor where AJ hits his head. The Jackknife is blocked though and even I’m starting to cheer for AJ. He hits the forearm while Nash is sitting on the mat in a cool spot. AJ hooks a weird looking leg lock on Nash which is working quite well. It looks like a highly modified Sharpshooter but it’s working.

There’s the forearm which is one of my favorite moves of all time so I love it of course. Pele puts Nash down and West is refusing to believe AJ can lose…even though he’s the heel commentator…..he was new at it I guess. In a very anti-climactic ending, AJ goes for another forearm but Nash shoves the referee at him so AJ has to jump over him. That’s enough for Nash to catch him in a chokeslam for the pin. It came out of nowhere but it’s not horrible.

Rating: B. This really worked for me. AJ was able to make the David vs. Goliath thing work very well but I really do question putting a title on Nash. He wouldn’t hold it long at least but that’s another story. This was a fun match though as the dynamic was there which is usually the hardest part to get.

And defending it against Hard Justice 2009. This has an interesting story as Nash wanted the belt to bring him more money at conventions and Foley wanted it because wrestlers are supposed to win titles.

Legends Title: Kevin Nash vs. Mick Foley

Foley is champion and the Legends Title would evolve into the TV Title. I can’t believe it but the video package actually made me want to watch this again. Oh and Foley won the title from Nash in a tag match. Never been a fan of those but at least Foley pinned Nash for it. Foley waves at Nash just after the bell which is funny for some reason. Nash’s right hand is taped heavier than usual.

Surprisingly technical stuff to start as they lock up a few times. Naturally it turns into more of a brawl but that’s what these two likely should do. Foley hits a running knee lift but a double arm DDT can’t hit. There’s your first hard bump of the match as Foley gets kicked into the guardrail. They brawl outside and Nash takes over. The fans chant “over here” which is kind of a cool chant to me for some odd reason.

Chair shot by Nash hits post but Foley’s hits Big Sexy’s back. Foley tries the elbow off the apron but Nash gets the chair in to block it. Foley’s eye is busted now. Oh man that’s a bad one too. Nash drops some F Bombs and wisely fires jabs in at the eye. There’s blood on the camera which is kind of a cool visual. That’s a sick blood flow and in a very dangerous area too.

Half of Foley’s face is bloody and half isn’t. That’s a creepy/awesome look indeed. Foley says bring it on and actually fires back. A forearm puts Nash down and we get the Mankind rocking back and forth. Foley pulls his hair out as he’s all fired up now. That blood is flowing everywhere. BANG BANG as you can’t even see his eye anymore.

Nash’s forehead is busted a bit now too. Make that a lot now. That’s a GREAT looking cut. Ref is bumped and it’s barbed wire bat time. Tracy Brooks of all people comes out and the distraction is enough for Nash to hit a big boot and something we can’t see that wasn’t the powerbomb for the title.

Rating: C+. I liked it. This was a surprisingly good match here as these two actually had some chemistry. Fun match as their characters and philosophies were perfect opposites and the story made the match for the most part. The ending is fine for the most part and while it was kind of boring from an in ring match, it was still good I though. At least I liked it. Good thing I’m writing this too.

Then Eric Young wanted to be part of the Band and had to beat Kevin Nash at Lockdown 2010 to get in.

Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young

Young has to win here but he won’t because of the Band. Young is wearing some kind of green tights. Ok then. Apparently Hogan has told Hall that he has to get a partner tonight or he goes it 2-1. Ok then. I say that a lot. Nash is dominating for the most part here but Young is getting some stuff in.

That’s fine with me as they’re going with the traditional formula to get to the Young comeback. No problem there. And Nash just hits the powerbomb to completely kill Young’s credibility. This show is a success even if nothing else happens.

Rating: C. Too short to be good but not long enough to be bad. That sounds like in the middle to me. I’m not sure on how quick this was but I’d go with Hall and Nash reuniting here. And a quick Nash promo says that I’m right. I smell Pac being there anyway.

Then Nash would show up in WWE in a WAY too complicated storyline which wrapped up at TLC 2011. I’m still not exactly sure how this worked. In case you’ve somehow never heard of it, there was something about Nash sending himself a text because he wanted one more roar from the crowd and he beat up CM Punk as a result. Somehow that gets us to this match.

HHH vs. Kevin Nash

This is the sledgehammer ladder match. They pound on each other to start with the power moves and head to the floor. HHH gets a ladder but gets kicked into it. Nash sets one up on the floor but HHH dives off the announce table with a clothesline to take over. Nash into the crowd now but he gets an elbow up to a charging Game. Snake Eyes onto the barricade puts HHH down and there’s a one man Vinnie Vegas chant.

They head into the ring and HHH takes over, using the ladder onto the knees. Now some of the weakest ladder shots ever onto said knee. HHH wraps the ladder around Nash’s legs and hooks a Figure Four in it. It’s better than the one around the post at least. Nash manages to whip HHH into the ladder and out to the floor in a solid bump. Side slam onto the ladder and HHH is in trouble.

Nash puts the ladder onto the bottom rope and does the slingshot into it instead of the rope. And then the crowd goes silent for a bit. Out to the floor and Nash sets for the Jackknife through the table, but HHH backdrops him onto said table instead. HHH makes the first climb up the ladder, 13 minutes into the match. He just gets a hand on it as Nash makes the save. Remember that you have to get a pin after getting it down.

There’s a chokeslam of all things and Nash goes to the floor again. He sets up a table in the ring and there goes the strap. HHH kind of spears him into the ladder and knocks him to the floor. The Game goes up but Nash is back and they slug it out on the ladder. HHH knocks the hammer into Nash’s head and Nash actually goes off the ladder through the table. I didn’t think he had it in him.

HHH gets the hammer down and Nash is on his feet a minute after falling that far. HHH destroys Nash with the hammer but Nash is back to his knees in a minute. The first Pedigree attempt doesn’t work and the second doesn’t actually involve Nash’s face touching the mat. We’re still not done yet though as Nash is on his knees again less than a mintue later. HHH gets the hammer and Nash flashes the Kliq sign. A hammer shot ends this at 18:12.

Rating: D+. It wasn’t that bad, but at the end of the day is Kevin Nash vs. HHH getting 18 minutes and we’re less than two weeks from the year 2012. Also the completely absurd lack of selling at the end of this really hurt things. Nash is painfully slow but I think everyone knew that was coming. Not as bad as it was expected to be, but I still don’t see why this needed to happen.

Overall Nash isn’t the best in the world but he was really good at what he did. There’s nothing wrong with a good big man who can cut a decent promo and wrestle the same power style for so many years. You can’t argue with his resume either and how big a star he was at his peak. Nash is a good cat.

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1 comment

  1. ted says:

    My least favourite wrestler of all time. Selfish, lazy, fuck.