Thursday, January 25, 2007

WCW - Kevin Nash

Kevin Scott Nash (born July 9th, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American professional wrestler and actor. Nash has wrestled under various ring names for WCW, the WWF and, currently, TNA.

Nash attended Aquinas High School in Southgate, Michigan, and was placed on the varsity basketball team by coach Ron Gulyas in his freshman year. In his senior year of high school, Nash was the second most recruited player in Michigan behind Magic Johnson.

WCW, wrestling, wrestler

Nash attended the University of Tennessee, majoring in psychology and minoring in educational philosophy. At the University of Tennessee, Nash was a center for the Tennessee Volunteers. He remained on the team from 1979 to 1980, during which time the team made it to the NCAA Sweet 16. However, Nash frequently clashed with coach Don DeVoe, who was unhappy with his work ethic; on one occasion in Kentucky, the two became embroiled in a shoving match. In 1980, the University of Tennessee announced that Nash would not play a fourth year for the Volunteers, and he attempted to transfer to Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He later reconsidered and instead relocated to Europe, where he played basketball professionally for various teams. His career ended in 1985 in Germany when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament. With his basketball career over, Nash enlisted in the 202nd Military Police Company in Gießen, and served in a secure NATO facility for two years, during which time he was promoted to the rank of specialist fourth class.

Upon his release from the military, Nash returned to the United States and began working on an assembly line in Detroit. After he attended a World Wrestling Federation show at the Joe Louis Arena, he became interested in professional wrestling. Deciding to pursue a career in professional wrestling, Nash relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked as a bodyguard and bouncer while pursuing his interest in bodybuilding. After meeting World Championship Wrestling employee Dusty Rhodes, Nash began training under Jody Hamilton, and debuted in WCW in 1990.

Nash debuted in WCW as the orange-mohawked "Steel", one half of the tag team known as the "Master Blasters". He was initially partnered with "Iron", who was later replaced by "Blade". The Master Blasters disbanded within a year, and in May 1991, Nash was repackaged as the silver-haired "Oz", a character based on the Wizard of Oz from the 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Oz, managed by Merlin the Wizard, was pushed strongly throughout early 1991, squashing several wrestlers, before losing to Ron Simmons at the 1991 Great American Bash on July 14, 1991.

Nash wrestled as Oz throughout the remainder of 1991. In January 1992 he was repackaged as "Vinnie Vegas", a con man, card sharp and gambler. Vegas was quickly recruited into "A Half-Ton of Holy Hell", a stable of large wrestlers created by Harley Race and also including Big Van Vader and Mr. Hughes. The stable separated in February 1992, and Vegas joined "The Diamond Mine", a stable led by Diamond Dallas Page and also containing The Diamond Studd and Scotty Flamingo. After Studd and Flamingo left the stable, Page and Vegas began teaming together as "The Vegas Connection". The tag team split in late 1992, and Nash left the promotion in early 1993.

In 1993, Nash left WCW, signing a contract with the World Wrestling Federation at the request of Shawn Michaels soon thereafter. He was given the character Diesel, the heel bodyguard of Shawn Michaels, dyeing his hair and beard black in the process.

Shortly before WrestleMania XII, both Diesel agreed to return to World Championship Wrestling as part of WCW President Eric Bischoff's drive to lure employees from the WWF to WCW with the offer of lucrative contracts. Diesel lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XII on March 31, 1996, then went on to feud with Shawn Michaels once again. In his last televised WWF appearance until 2002, Diesel challenged Michaels for the WWF Championship (which he had won from Hart at WrestleMania XII) at In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies on April 28, 1996. He wrestled Michaels for the title once again in a steel cage match at a house show on May 19, 1996, but was again defeated. After the match, Diesel, Michaels, Razor Ramon and Hunter Hearst Helmsley - a group of off-screen friends known collectively as "The Kliq" hugged one another in the ring and wished each other farewell. This incident, later referred to as the "Curtain Call", was a serious breach of kayfabe, as it showed heels and faces consorting with one another. Shortly thereafer, Diesel and Ramon finally left the WWF and joined WCW.

After two weeks of Scott Hall appearing on WCW programming and taunting announcers, wrestlers and the company, Nash finally debuted alongside his friend. The duo were known as The Outsiders, and the storyline was pushing them as "invaders" from the WWF (the WWF legal team would eventually sue WCW because of this). At Bash at the Beach 1996, Hall and Nash fought the team of Lex Luger, Sting and Randy Savage and promised to add one more man to their entourage. In a shocking move, Hulk Hogan returned to WCW and attacked the WCW team, aligning himself with Hall and Nash. The three formed the New World Order (nWo). This incredibly hot concept would help WCW Monday Nitro to win in the ratings against WWF Monday Night RAW for 84 consecutive weeks and arguably helped WCW reach its prime in the mid to late 1990s.

Through late 1996, and into 1997, Nash normally teamed with close friend Scott Hall as the Outsiders, and they would hold the WCW tag-team titles off and on for the better part of a year. Kevin Nash also began to show his leadership qualities in the nWo, and became a sort of "second in command" alongside Hulk Hogan. Kevin, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman would distinguish themselves from the rest of the nWo, calling themselves the "Wolf Pac" in 1997.

After awhile, however, the nWo began to fight within its ranks, with Hogan and Nash battling for control. The situation came to a head on April 20, 1998, during a match between Hogan and recent nWo inductee (and rival) Randy Savage for Savage's recently won WCW world championship. During the match, Nash interfered on Savage's behalf and jackknife powerbombed Hogan to the mat, signaling the breakup of the nWo into two separate factions. (Nash's interference was not enough, however, to prevent Hogan from regaining his championship, thanks to Bret Hart's interference shortly thereafter).

Nash became leader of nWo Wolfpac, alongside Savage, Curt Hennig, and Konnan. However, Hennig would shortly thereafter defect over to Hogan's nWo Hollywood faction. Then, during a match between Hall and Nash and Sting and The Giant (who had recently rejoined the nWo after being kicked out two years prior), Hall turned on Nash by hitting him with his tag team title belt and leaving the ring. However, the Wolfpac wasn't down for long as Lex Luger joined with Nash's team. Sting would eventually become a member as well, after being recruited heavily by both sides towards the middle of 1998.

After Sting won Giant's half of the tag team titles at the Great American Bash that June, Nash became Sting's partner and they would defend the championships until July 20, when they were defeated by Hall and Giant. Nash then set his sights on his former partner, and the rivalry came to a head at Halloween Havoc on October 25. During the course of the match, Nash jackknifed Hall twice, but instead of pinning him left the ring, taking a countout loss.

The next month at World War 3, Nash entered the 60-man, three ring battle royal that was a staple of the pay-per-view, with the winner getting a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade the following month. Nash survived to the end, and earned his shot at the title.

At Starrcade 1998, Nash would capitalize on his opportunity, and won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Goldberg. In doing so, Nash managed to break Goldberg's long running undefeated streak. Also, in doing so, Nash won controversially. Goldberg was setting up for a spear late in the match when Hall, who was still a member of nWo Hollywood at the time, shocked Goldberg with a taser while he was in the corner. Nash pinned the incapacitated Goldberg to win his second world championship and his first since 1994.

On January 4, 1999, Nash was to face Goldberg in a Starrcade rematch, but the match didn't happen because of Goldberg being arrested for stalking Miss Elizabeth (kayfabe). That night also marked the return of Hulk Hogan to the show after his "retirement" two months prior. With Goldberg unable to wrestle, Nash challenged Hogan instead for the championship. In a controversial moment known as " The Fingerpoke of Doom," Hogan took his finger and poked Nash in the chest, who proceeded to fall down and willingly allowed Hogan to pin him for the title. This event would reunite the nWo for another run, but the entire circumstance actually would begin WCW's declining ratings.

Backstage, Nash wrote some of the later storylines for WCW. Nash's booking abilities (or lack thereof) are widely considered as one of the many reasons the quality of wrestling in WCW suffered while he was lead booker. In his 2006 autobiography, Controversy Creates Cash, former WCW President Eric Bischoff criticized Nash's work ethic, dubbing him "Big Lazy" (a reference to Nash's nickname, "Big Sexy").

Nash would eventually win the WCW Championship again in 1999 from Diamond Dallas Page, and the nWo would disintegrate. He would then find himself in a rivalry with the returning Randy Savage, who was now heel with a new attitude and look, and his partner Sid Vicious. This rivalry culminated in a tag team match featuring Nash and Sting vs. Savage and Sid, in which Nash lost the championship via pinfall by Savage. Nash would get his revenge the next night in a title match between Savage and the returning Hulk Hogan, and in an eerily similar situation to Savage's first title defense from the previous year, he Jackknife Powerbombed Savage, preserving the victory for Hogan.

The following week, however, Nash turned heel and attacked Hogan during a match, aligning himself with Sid and Savage against Hogan, Sting, and a returning Goldberg. This ran until Road Wild, where Hogan defeated Nash in a "retirement" match at. (The "retirement" would allow Nash to take some time off.) In the fall, Nash returned to WCW along with Scott Hall and announced that he was "getting the band back together." This was revealed to be an all-new version of the nWo involving Nash, Hall, Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett. This group would not last long either, and Nash spent most of 2000 feuding with the likes of Terry Funk, Mike Awesome, Scott Steiner and Booker T. Nash won the WCW Championship again from Booker T, but would eventually lose it back to him later on at Fall Brawl. He even had a stint as WCW Commissioner (where he demanded wrestlers call him "Lord Master") and served as a coach/mentor to the Natural Born Thrillers, whom would eventually turn on Nash. Nash aligned himself with Dallas Page, forming a team called "The Insiders." The Insiders managed to win the WCW Tag Team Championship at Starrcade that year.

In 2001 (WCW's final months), the Insiders continued their feud with the Natural Born Thrillers. Nash would lose another "retirement" match to Scott Steiner at Super Brawl, but it would not be long before WCW announced the sale of the company to the World Wrestling Federation. As he had a guaranteed contract with AOL-Time Warner, Nash chose to wait out the remainder of his contract, which expired on December 31, 2001.

Nash has a son, Tristen, who was born in June 1996, with his wife, Tamara. The couple wed in 1989, however separated in 2000 but have since reconciled.

He is real life best friends with Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the former of whom was instrumental in Nash's WWF signing in 1993. Michaels and Nash were friends during the entire of Nash's first WWF run, with Triple H joining the pair in 1995. Along with Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, they formed the backstage faction known as The Clique. They all remain very close friends to this day

Syxx, Kevin Nash, The Giant, Scott Hall

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