October 21, 2005
REAL NAME: Kevin Nash
As a young man, Kevin Nash believed his future lay on the hardwood of the NBA. He played for three years at the University of Tennessee, helping the Volunteers to the NCAA Sweet 16. Nash travelled to Germany and played pro basketball there, until a knee injury curtailed his hoop dreams. Nash remained in Germany, however, enlisting in the U.S. Army. It was during his stint in the Army that Nash met Dusty Rhodes, who pointed the big man towards pro wrestling.
Nash graduated from the WCW Power Plant and debuted in World Championship Wrestling in 1990, initially as Woman's bodyguard. Later, he was known as Steel, one-half of the Master Blasters with Al Greene. The Master Blasters did not last long, and Nash returned as Oz in 1991, defeating Tim Parker at Super Brawl 1.
Vegas and Page teamed up for a short run as the Vegas Connection but a year later, Nash, renamed Diesel, was in WWE, acting as the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels. Although at first Diesel was simply the silent muscle in Michaels' corner, he soon became active in the ring, defeating Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) for the Intercontinental Championship on April 13, 1994. Diesel became a double champion (for one day) when he and Shawn Michaels defeated the Headshrinkers to win the tag team titles on August 28, 1994. The next day, at SummerSlam '94, Ramon regained the Intercontinental championship.
The team of Michaels and Diesel ended when HBK left Diesel at the Survivor Series, and Diesel turned face. The break from Michaels paid immediate dividends three days later, when Diesel defeated Bob Backlund to win the WWE Championship at Madison Square Gardens in a match that lasted 8 seconds.
Diesel successfully defended the WWE title against Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble when the match ended in a draw due to massive outside interference from Backlund, Michaels, Owen Hart, Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie (BG James). At Wrestlemania XI, Diesel retained the title against former tag partner, Shawn Michaels, but came to HBK's aid when Sycho Sid attacked him.
Teaming with Michaels (including an unofficial reign as tag champs), Diesel remained WWE Champion until the 1995 Survivor Series when he lost the title to Bret Hart and began to turn heel. Even as he attempted to regain the title from Hart, Diesel began feuding with the Undertaker, who defeated Nash at Wrestlemania XII.
When Michaels defeated Hart for the title on the same card, Diesel took aim at his former best friend and the World title he held. Approximately a month after Michaels defeated Diesel in a pay-per-view defence of the WWE title, the two men, along with Razor Ramon (Scott Hall), Triple H and X-Pac (Sean Waltman) embraced in the middle of the ring at Madison Square Garden. Days later, Diesel left WWE for the greener pastures of World Championship Wrestling.
Hall and Nash, wrestling under their real names, arrived in WCW in the spring of 1996. Known as the Outsiders, they represented an "invasion" of WCW, shocking the world when they joined with Hulk Hogan to form the New World Order, or NWO, at Bash at the Beach.
The NWO took on the best WCW had to offer, injuring opponents as often as they got WCW talent to join their ranks. On October 27, 1996, Hall and Nash teamed to defeat Harlem Heat to win the WCW Tag Team titles. With Eric Bischoff enlisted by the NWO, the Outsiders managed to retain the titles even when teams like the Steiners seemed to have defeated them for the belts. It was only after Nash was sidelined with a knee injury that Hall and Syxx (Waltman) lost the titles to the Steiners.
When Nash returned in January 1998, it wasn't long before he re-teamed with Hall and regained the tag titles, a championship they would retain until May when Sting and the Giant (Paul Wight, now Big Show) won the belts.
As the spring of 1998 progressed, the NWO began to split apart, with Hogan and his NWO Hollywood on one side, and Nash and the Wolfpac (including Randy Savage, Sting, Lex Luger and Konnan) on the other.
Nash was soon one-half of the WCW Tag Team Champions again, when Sting chose him to be his partner after gaining control of the titles. After battling the members of NWO Hollywood for much of 1998, Nash was given a World title shot against the undefeated Bill Goldberg at Starrcade '98. Thanks to the seemingly unwanted interference of Scott Hall, Nash won the WCW World title. (Note, Nash was one of the bookers of WCW at the time.) Soon it was revealed to be a complete hoax, as Nash dropped the title to Hollywood Hogan after the infamous "fingerpoke of doom" on the January 4, 1999 episode of Nitro. Hogan, Nash, Hall, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger reunited and reformed the NWO.
After helping the NWO feud with the Horsemen, and feuding with Rey Mysterio, Jr, Nash defeated Diamond Dallas Page to regain the WCW World title. By mid-1999 however, with the World title gone, the NWO soon began to disintegrate again, with Nash losing a "retirement" match to Hollywood Hogan at Road Wild. The retirement lasted only until November, when Nash returned and on December 16, 1999, he and Hall regained the WCW Tag Team titles again only to be stripped of the titles when Hall went down injured.
At Souled Out 2000, Nash defeated Terry Funk to become the new commissioner of WCW, a position he used in his feud with Sid Vicious over the vacant WCW title, although Sid still managed to win the championship. After the "reset" of WCW, Nash joined Hogan and Sting, among others, as part of the Millionaire's Club, battling the New Blood like Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio, Jr. He also crossed paths with Jeff Jarrett in his quest for the WCW World Championship.
But it would be Booker T who Nash defeated on August 28, 2000 to regain the WCW Championship yet again, only to have Booker T regain the belt in a cage match at Fall Brawl. Nash would then serve as a mentor to the Natural Born Thrillers who eventually turned on him in the fall of 2000. Nash formed "the Insiders" with Diamond Dallas Page to feud with the Thrillers and Page/Nash enjoyed two reigns as WCW Tag Champs.
Nash lost another "retirement match", this time to Scott Steiner at Super Brawl and left WCW shortly before the company went under. Rather than head to WWE when WCW folded, Nash sat out the remainder of his contract, only to re-sign with WWE in January 2002. Reteamed with Scott Hall and Hollywood Hogan, the NWO reformed in WWE. After Hogan lost to the Rock at Wrestlemania X-8, the NWO turfed him, but their numbers were quickly increased by the addition of X-Pac, Big Show and Shawn Michaels. On July 8, 2002, however, Nash went down with a torn quad at the conclusion of a 10-man tag match on Raw, and would be out until April 2003.
Upon his return, he took aim at a former friend, Triple H and the World Heavyweight title. Triple H and Nash would feud for the title until meeting at a Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood. With Mick Foley as the referee, Triple H beat Nash, and even then Nash and HHH would meet again in the Elimination Chamber at SummerSlam.
Nash would leave WWE shortly after to have neck surgery and appear in the movie The Punisher. Save for a couple of tag matches with Hall in Japan, it would be over a year before he returned to wrestling.
Nash's return would not come in WWE, but in NWA-TNA, when he and Hall joined forced with Jeff Jarrett at Victory Road. Calling themselves the Kings of Wrestling, Hall, Nash and Jarrett attempted, with varying degrees of success, to run roughshod over TNA. The union of those three stars was not long, and Nash eventually began challenging Jarrett for the NWA World title. At Against All Odds, Jarrett retained the title against Nash when the New Age Outlaw (Kip James) and Syxx Pac (Sean Waltman) interfered. Nash would remain in TNA for several more months, only to disappear and then reappear on the first edition of TNA Impact on Spike TV.
Nash was set to challenge Jarrett again for the NWA title at Bound for Glory only to be rushed to the hospital on the night before the pay-per-view.
KEVIN NASH STORIES
--- compiled by John M. Milner