Kevin Nash

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For the English cricketer, see Kevin Nash (cricketer).
Kevin Nash
The TNA Legends Kevin Nash.jpg
Nash in 2010.
Birth name Kevin Scott Nash
Born (1959-07-09) July 9, 1959 (age 55)
Detroit, Michigan[1]
Resides Ponce Inlet, Florida
Spouse(s) Tamara (m. 1988)
Children Tristen (born 1996)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Chet Lemon[2]
Diesel[1]
Kevin Nash[1]
Oz[1]
(Master Blaster) Steel[3]
Vinnie Vegas[1]
Billed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)[1]
Billed weight 328 lb (149 kg)[1]
Billed from Detroit, Michigan[1]
The Steel Mines
Emerald City
North Scottsdale, Arizona
Trained by Jody Hamilton[4]
Debut 1990

Kevin Scott Nash (born July 9, 1959) is an American professional wrestler and actor. As of 2011, Nash is signed to a five-year contract with WWE under their WWE Legends program.[5] Nash has wrestled under several ring names, but is best known by his real name in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), and in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)/WWE, where he has also been billed as Diesel.

Between WWE, WCW, and TNA, Nash has won a total of 21 championships, including being a six-time world champion (a five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and one-time WWF Champion), and a 12-time tag team champion between the three promotions. Although he had only one reign as WWF Champion, Nash is recognized by WWE as the longest-reigning WWF Champion of the 1990s, having held the title for 358 days.

Nash was a member of The Kliq, a group that included Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman. He is one of the three founding members of the New World Order (nWo), along with Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall.

Early life[edit]

Nash was born July 9, 1959, in southwest Detroit, Michigan.[1] Nash's father, Robert, age 36, died of a heart attack on April 4, 1968 when Nash was eight years old.[6][7] On December 27, 1994, Nash's mother, Wanda, died after a four-year struggle against breast cancer.[1] He attended Aquinas High School, followed by the University of Tennessee, where he majored in psychology and minored in educational philosophy.[8] At the University of Tennessee, Nash was a center for the Tennessee Volunteers basketball team. He remained on the team from 1977 to 1980, during which time the team made it to the NCAA Sweet 16.[9] Following a physical altercation with head coach Don DeVoe and a series of other on-campus incidents, Nash did not play a fourth year for the Volunteers,[8][10] and he attempted to transfer to Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Nash reconsidered his options and instead moved to Europe, where he played basketball professionally for various teams.[1] His career ended in 1981 in Germany (while playing for Gießen 46ers) when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.[10] With his basketball career over, Nash enlisted in the 202nd Military Police Company in Giessen, Germany and served in a secure NATO facility for two years, during which time he was promoted to the rank of specialist. After working on an assembly line at Ford Motor Company and as the floor manager of a strip club in Atlanta, Georgia, he decided to try professional wrestling.[8][11]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Championship Wrestling (1990–1993)[edit]

Nash debuted in WCW as the orange-mohawked "Steel", one half of the tag team known as the "Master Blasters".[3] He was initially partnered with "Iron", but Iron was soon replaced by "Blade".[3] The Master Blasters, however, disbanded within a year. 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.[12] Oz, managed by Merlin the Wizard,[12] was pushed strongly throughout early 1991; he squashed several wrestlers before losing to Ron Simmons at the Great American Bash on July 14.

Nash wrestled as Oz throughout the remainder of 1991. In January 1992, he was repackaged as "Vinnie Vegas", a wisecracking pseudo-mobster based on Steve Martin's character in the 1990 film My Blue Heaven.[13] Vegas was quickly recruited into "A Half-Ton of Holy Hell", a stable of large wrestlers created by Harley Race which included 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 that also included The Diamond Studd and Scotty Flamingo.[14][15] After Studd and Flamingo left the stable, Page and Vegas began teaming together as The Vegas Connection.[14] The tag team split in late 1992, Nash spent several months teaming with Big Sky until leaving the promotion in early 1993 to work for the World Wrestling Federation.

World Wrestling Federation (1993–1996)[edit]

Debut and championship reigns (1993–1995)[edit]

Nash (as Diesel) acted as Shawn Michaels's on-air bodyguard and tag team partner for two championship reigns.

In 1993, Nash left WCW, signing a contract with the World Wrestling Federation at the request of Shawn Michaels.[16] He was given the stage name of "Diesel," with the character given the nickname "Big Daddy Cool." For the role, Nash dyed his beard and hair black. Taking on the appearance of a typical cocky biker thug, Diesel sported black sunglasses and leather garments. The name of Diesel, suggested by Shane McMahon, was a play on the fact that Nash was from Detroit, known famously as "The Motor City." To play off of his character's name, Nash's initial entrance music was a simple series of truck engine noises along with loud horns beeping.

Diesel started out as the bodyguard/best friend of Shawn Michaels. He made his WWF debut at a house show on June 6, 1993, assisting Michaels in defeating Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Championship.[14] In January 1994, Diesel appeared at the Royal Rumble, eliminating seven men in under 18 minutes of in-ring time. Diesel won the Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon, following interference from Michaels on the April 13, 1994 edition of Superstars.[14][17] The duo of Diesel and Michaels defeated The Headshrinkers to win the WWF Tag Team Championship on August 28, making Nash a double champion.[14][18] The next night, Ramon defeated Diesel at SummerSlam to regain the Intercontinental Championship.[14] The alliance between Diesel and Michaels dissolved after Survivor Series when Michaels accidentally superkicked Diesel. Diesel then gave chase to Michaels, and although he failed to catch him the reaction from the crowd turned him babyface. However, Nash was no longer a tag team champion, as Michaels' actions resulted in the team being forced to vacate the titles.

Nash (as Diesel) in 1994

On November 26, three days after Survivor Series, Diesel faced Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship he won at Survivor Series from Bret Hart. In the match, held at Madison Square Garden, Diesel defeated Backlund in an eight-second squash match.[14][19] Diesel then promised Hart a match for his title, which they had at the 1995 Royal Rumble. The match ended in a draw due to interference from several wrestlers, including Shawn Michaels. Michaels was irate about his former bodyguard having beaten him to the WWF Championship and was sufficiently motivated to win the 1995 Royal Rumble later that evening, earning himself a title shot at WrestleMania XI.

At WrestleMania XI on April 2, Nash, accompanied to ringside by actress Pamela Anderson (who was supposed to valet for Michaels), defeated Michaels to retain the title. After the match he left the ring with both Anderson and Michaels' replacement for her, Jenny McCarthy. The next night on Monday Night Raw, Michaels was betrayed by his new bodyguard, "Sycho" Sid, prompting Diesel to come to his rescue. This occurrence led to the tag team being reunited, now known as "Two Dudes with Attitude". Diesel successfully defended the WWF title against Sycho Sid at the inaugural In Your House pay-per-view in Syracuse, New York, and at the In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks in Nashville, Tennessee. At SummerSlam 1995, Diesel retained the WWF title by defeating Mabel, who had won the 1995 King Of The Ring tournament.

On September 24 at In Your House 3 in Saginaw, Michigan, Diesel and Michaels challenged the reigning WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna. The match had a winner-take-all stipulation, as in addition to the tag belts Diesel's WWF Championship and Michaels' recently won Intercontinental Championship were also on the line. When Hart did not show up at the event, he was replaced by Davey Boy Smith. In the course of the match, Hart arrived at ringside, entered the ring, and was pinned by Diesel for the win and the title, making him and Michaels holders of all three major WWF championships.[18] The reign did not last long, however, as Hart and Yokozuna had the titles returned to them the next night due to Hart not being an official part of the match when pinned.

The Kliq (1995–1996)[edit]

The "Curtain Call" Incident. Nash is at the center of the picture with the three other wrestlers involved standing in front of him.

Diesel's WWF Championship reign continued until November 19, when he was defeated by Bret Hart at the Survivor Series.[14] Following the loss, Diesel attacked Hart. He later began a tweener turn and started a rivalry against fan favorite the Undertaker by costing him a potential victory in his match against Hart at the 1996 Royal Rumble. Diesel was the last wrestler eliminated in the Royal Rumble match by Shawn Michaels, which eventually led to a rift between the two men. At In Your House 6 in Louisville, Kentucky Diesel lost his steel cage match against WWF Champion Bret Hart when he was attacked by the Undertaker.[14]

Shortly before WrestleMania XII Nash's contract status was in a state of flux. At the time, WCW was offering large amounts of money to the WWF's talent by Eric Bischoff, WCW Executive Vice President, to jump ship. In fact Bischoff had succeeded in convincing several high-profile WWF stars to sign with WCW over the previous two years, including five-time former WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and his on-again, off-again friend Randy Savage, and was in the process at the time of talking to Nash's friend Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall about a contract as Hall's too was set to expire.

Nash explained on the WWE Classics on Demand exclusive series Legends of Wrestling that Hall had been the first to sign with the company and was offered a contract that paid him "above Sting money" (at the time, Sting was one of the highest paid wrestlers in the company and although Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage had been making more, Sting's contract was used as a measuring stick). Hall also informed Nash that he had been given "favored nations" status, which meant that someone of the same caliber could come in and command the same amount of money Hall was making. Hall told Nash that because he had been the WWF Champion and the focal point of the company for most of the previous eighteen months, he could realistically come in and expect a fair amount of money. Bischoff ended up offering Nash a three-year guaranteed contract with a $1.2 million annual salary. Nash said to Vince McMahon that he did not want to leave the WWF (he said that McMahon had been the first to believe in him as a wrestler, and that WCW had tried to ruin his career with his previous characters of Vinnie Vegas, Oz, and Master Blaster Steel), and that if McMahon was willing to match the offer he would stay. McMahon said no because, according to Nash, he would have had to offer matching contracts to other wrestlers and with the federation in a bad financial situation, he simply could not afford to. Nash signed his contract shortly thereafter.

Diesel lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XII on March 31, after which he finally turned heel and went on to feud with Shawn Michaels once again after he turned on him at a Madison Square Garden live event. 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. He wrestled Michaels for the title once again in a steel cage match at a house show on May 19, but was again defeated.[20] 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.[20] This incident, later referred to as the "Curtain Call" or "MSG Incident", was a serious breach of character, as it showed heels and babyfaces consorting with one another.[21] Shortly thereafter, with his obligations to the WWF now completely fulfilled, Nash left for WCW.[20]

Return to World Championship Wrestling[edit]

New World Order (1996–1999)[edit]

Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman called themselves The Wolfpac and made hand gestures the crowd are seen giving Nash here.
Main articles: The Outsiders and New World Order

After two weeks of Scott Hall returning on WCW programming and taunting announcers, wrestlers, and the company, Nash also returned alongside his friend on June 10, 1996, after Hall interrupted Eric Bischoff. The duo were known as The Outsiders, and the storyline originally pushed them as "invaders" from the WWF (which WCW eventually had to scale back due to legal concerns from the WWF). At Bash at the Beach, Hall and Nash fought the team of Lex Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage and promised to add one more man to their entourage. After Luger was taken out of the match, Hulk Hogan came out to make the save, only to turn on Savage and reveal himself as Nash and Hall's third man. Immediately after this, they began cutting promos calling themselves the "New World Order" (nWo).

Through late 1996 and into 1997, Nash normally teamed with Hall as the Outsiders, and they held the WCW Tag Team Championship.[14] Nash also began to show his leadership qualities in the nWo, and became a sort of "second in command" alongside Hogan. Nash, Hall, and Sean Waltman distinguished themselves from the rest of the nWo, calling themselves the "Wolfpac" in 1997.[14]

After a while, 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 Heavyweight Championship. During the match, Nash interfered on Savage's behalf and jackknifed Hogan to the mat, signaling the breakup of the nWo into two separate factions (Nash's interference was not enough to prevent Hogan from regaining his championship, thanks to Bret Hart's interference shortly thereafter). Nash became the leader of nWo Wolfpac, alongside Savage, Curt Hennig, and Konnan. Hennig, however, shortly thereafter defected over to Hogan's nWo Hollywood faction. Then, during a match between Hall, Nash, 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. The Wolfpac, however, was not down for long as Lex Luger joined 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 title at the Great American Bash that June, Nash became Sting's partner.[14] They defended the championship until July 20, when they were defeated by Hall and The 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 and lost via count-out. Shortly after the victory, Nash became WCW's new booker.[citation needed]

The following 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 after literally clearing his ring out and big booting Lex Luger, who had Scott Hall in the Torture Rack, over the top rope, and earned his shot at the title. At Starrcade, Nash won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Goldberg (who had an officially-given 173–0 win-loss record before the match) after Scott Hall shocked Goldberg with a stun gun.[14][22] In doing so, Nash broke Goldberg's long running undefeated streak.[14]

On January 4, 1999, Nash and Goldberg were set to meet in a rematch, but the match did not happen because of Goldberg being arrested for stalking Miss Elizabeth. That night also marked the return of Hulk Hogan after his "retirement" two months prior. With Goldberg unable to wrestle, Nash challenged Hogan instead. Hogan simply poked Nash in the chest, who proceeded to fall down and willingly allow Hogan to pin him for the title.[14] The gesture marked the reunion of the feuding nWo factions into one.[14] The return, however, was short lived, and by the midpoint of 1999, the nWo reunion was over.[14] Meanwhile, backstage, Nash wrote some of the later angles for WCW. 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"). The name had previously been coined by The Honky Tonk Man on several radio interviews.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship reigns (1999–2001)[edit]

In May 1999, Nash won the WCW World Championship for the second time by defeating Diamond Dallas Page at Slamboree.[14][22] He then appeared on The Tonight Show and put up a $250,000 challenge to Bret Hart for its May 24 program. Bret's brother, Owen, died in a wrestling stunt, however, just as Bret was flying to Los Angeles; this immediately canceled their match and feud. Nash then entered a feud with the returning Randy Savage, who was later joined by a returning Sid Vicious at The Great American Bash in June when he powerbombed Nash during the match, thus giving Nash a disqualification victory. This rivalry culminated in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach in July 1999 which pitted Nash and Sting against Savage and Sid. A stipulation was added that whoever got the pin in the match would become WCW World Champion. Nash was pinned by Savage and lost his championship, but would get his revenge the next night on Nitro in a title match between Savage and a returning Hulk Hogan, and in a similar situation to Savage's first title defense from the previous year, he used a Jackknife Powerbomb on Savage, preserving the victory for Hogan. The following week, however, Nash attacked Hogan during a match pitting Hogan against Vicious. Nash, Sid, and Rick Steiner then feuded with Hogan, Sting, and a returning Goldberg until Road Wild, where Hogan defeated Nash in a "retirement" match.[14] On October 4, 1999, Nash returned to WCW along with Scott Hall, which was later revealed to be a new version of the nWo involving Nash, Hall, Bret Hart, and Jeff Jarrett. This would not last long either due to the injury of Hart, the group's leader, 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 on August 28, 2000 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[22] He eventually lost it back to Booker T later on at Fall Brawl. He even had a stint as WCW Commissioner,[14] and he served as a coach/mentor to the Natural Born Thrillers, who would eventually turn on Nash. Nash aligned himself with Dallas Page, forming a team called The Insiders. They feuded with the Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo) and won the WCW World Tag Team Championship at Mayhem on November 26, 2000.[23][24] Shortly after, they were stripped of the title by Commissioner Mike Sanders in mid-December. Weeks later, they won the title back at Starrcade.[25][26] In 2001 (WCW's final months), the Insiders continued their feud with the Natural Born Thrillers. Nash lost another "retirement" match to Scott Steiner at SuperBrawl Revenge,[14] 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.

Return to World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2002–2004)[edit]

Reformation of the nWo (2002)[edit]

Following the expiration of his AOL–Time Warner contract, Nash, along with Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan, were rehired by the WWF.[14] Their rehiring was announced several weeks before their debut, with Vince McMahon claiming to have hired the nWo in order to destroy the WWF – of which Ric Flair was now a co-owner, which McMahon could not tolerate. Billed as the original nWo, Nash, Hall, and Hogan returned to the WWF at No Way Out on February 17, 2002. In the course of the evening, the nWo delivered an interview in which they claimed to have reformed, gave a six pack of beer to Stone Cold Steve Austin (which he refused), and traded insults with The Rock. They interfered in the main event of the evening, helping Chris Jericho retain his Undisputed WWF Championship against Austin. At WrestleMania X8, Nash continually interfered in the match between Hall and Austin to the point where he was forced to return backstage. Later that night, he and Hall turned on Hogan after he had offered congratulations to The Rock for defeating him. In March, Nash suffered a biceps injury that put him out of action for several weeks and almost immediately upon returning, suffered a quadriceps tear in a tag match on the July 8 episode of Raw.[14] On the July 15 edition of Raw, the nWo was officially disbanded by Vince McMahon as Eric Bischoff became Raw General Manager.

Various feuds and departure (2003–2004)[edit]

After a nine-month injury, Nash returned as a face on the April 7, 2003 episode of Raw, much to the delight of both Shawn Michaels and Triple H, who were feuding with each other. As part of the storyline, Nash was given a choice to remain friends with either Michaels or Triple H. After Nash would not make the decision, Triple H made the decision for him and turned on him with a low blow. This led to Nash and Triple H feuding with one another. Nash teamed up with Michaels and Booker T against Triple H, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho in a Six-man tag team match at Backlash which ended in Triple H picking up the win for his team, pinning Nash after hitting him with a sledgehammer. Following Backlash, Nash was granted a shot at Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship, and the two squared off at Judgment Day with Michaels and Flair in their respective corners. Triple H would get himself disqualified and kept the title as a result, but this did not stop Nash from attacking Triple H following the match, putting him through the announcer's table with a Jackknife Powerbomb. The next month, they fought again in a Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood with Mick Foley as the special guest referee but Nash lost the match.[14]

In August 2003, Nash feuded with Chris Jericho and was forced to cut his hair after losing a hair vs. hair match against Jericho – this was to cover for Nash having to cut his hair for his role as "The Russian" for the 2004 Punisher movie. His last match in WWE was at SummerSlam in an Elimination Chamber match for the Heavyweight championship against Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Jericho, and Randy Orton.[14] He was the first to be eliminated after Jericho pinned him following Sweet Chin Music from Michaels. Before leaving however, he executed a Jackknife Powerbomb on Jericho and Orton. Nash then stepped away from in-ring action and underwent neck surgery.[14] The WWE decided not to renew Nash's contract in January 2004.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2011)[edit]

Kings of Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit]

Main article: Kings of Wrestling

Nash debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling alongside the returning Scott Hall on November 7, 2004 at the inaugural monthly TNA pay-per-view, Victory Road, with the duo helping NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett retain his title in a ladder match with Jeff Hardy.[14] In subsequent weeks, the trio identified themselves as the Kings of Wrestling and began feuding with Hardy and A.J. Styles. At Turning Point on December 5, the Kings of Wrestling were defeated by Hardy, Styles, and Randy Savage.

Hall left TNA in early 2005, and Nash and Jarrett separated after Nash made clear his desire to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Nash received a title shot against Jarrett on February 13, 2005 at Against All Odds, but lost following interference from the debuting Outlaw.[14] Following the defeat, Nash joined forces with Sean Waltman and began feuding with the newly formed Planet Jarrett. At Destination X on March 13, Nash lost to The Outlaw in a First Blood match following interference from Jarrett, who struck Nash with his title belt. The rivalry between Planet Jarrett and Nash and his allies culminated in a scheduled Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown on April 24 pitting Nash, Waltman, and Diamond Dallas Page against Jarrett, The Outlaw, and "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown. Nash, however, was removed from the card and replaced with B.G. James after contracting a staph infection, which left him sidelined for much of 2005.

Nash returned to TNA on October 1 for the first episode of TNA Impact! on Spike TV,[14] attacking and powerbombing Jarrett. Nash went on to challenge Jarrett to a match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory on October 23. In the weeks preceding the event, Nash and Jarrett had several heated confrontations, on one occasion brawling with one another and with guest referee Tito Ortiz. On October 22, one day before Bound for Glory, Nash was hospitalized with chest pains. At Bound for Glory, a battle royal was held to determine the number one contender; Rhino won and then defeated Jarrett for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Nash was later discharged from the hospital, having suffered a mild cardiac episode. He made a partial return to the ring in December 2005, wrestling several matches on a tour of South Africa.

Paparazzi Production and alliance with Samoa Joe (2006–2007)[edit]

Main article: Paparazzi Productions
Nash in TNA in 2008.

Nash returned to TNA once more on the April 27, 2006 episode of Impact!, announcing in a pre-taped segment that he would give a private interview to Alex Shelley one week later. The interview saw Nash claim to be the most profitable WWF World Heavyweight Champion of all time and describe the X Division as "basically filler". Nash went on to announce that he intended to destroy the X Division in order to reassert his position within TNA. He began his campaign at Sacrifice on May 14, powerbombing Puma and continued his campaign on the May 19 episode of Impact! by attacking Chris Sabin shortly after he had defeated Petey Williams to win the TNA 2006 World X Cup Tournament for Team USA. Nash continued to attack X Division wrestlers over subsequent weeks, leading to Sabin challenging him to a match at Slammiversary. Nash's attacks were also coupled with pre-taped segments with Shelley (some appearing only on the internet website YouTube) and his "X Division debut" on the June 15 episode of Impact!, where Nash wrestled a comedy match against a midget Shelley dubbed a "Sabin-type wrestler". Nash defeated Sabin at Slammiversary in his second televised match in almost a year, albeit with the assistance of Shelley.

Around this time, Nash and Shelley formed a stable known as Paparazzi Productions, with Johnny Devine as a cameraman. Nash then decided to go for the X Division championship. He got penciled into a Number One Contendership match for the title against Sabin at Hard Justice. He claimed that he had developed an 840° somersault splash that he would unveil in the match. However, over the weekend, he suffered a mysterious neck injury, supposedly while practicing it with Tito Ortiz, and named Alex Shelley as his replacement in the match. From a wheelchair, Nash was helpless as he watched Shelley lose the match to Sabin. Nash remained out of action due to the injury, but returned prior to Bound for Glory, and announced The Kevin Nash Open Invitational X Division Gauntlet Battle Royal. Austin Starr won the match. Nash took an interest in Starr, which seemed to be at the behest of Shelley. Nash then worked with the X Division stars in a weekly segment known as the Paparazzi Championship Series (a play on the "Bowl Championship Series"). He also began continuing these skits along with Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal, in a segment called "Paparazzi Idol". Nash became a manager of sorts for Lethal, helping him adopt a gimmick where he impersonated "Macho Man" Randy Savage. At Sacrifice, Lethal and Dutt had an altercation. Nash broke it up, but Sonjay kicked him. Sonjay apologized, and Nash forgave him. Dutt then became the Guru with Nash humming mantras backstage.

He then began managing the Motor City Machine Guns, but this was short lived before he next appeared in the role of Dr. Nash, psychiatrist and adviser to Kurt and Karen Angle. Nash then engaged in a brief program with TNA Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, which eventually culminated in Nash aiding Angle. Nash warned the Angles about how dangerous Sting can be based on Nash's experience feuding with Sting in WCW. At Bound for Glory, Nash interfered on Angle's behalf during his World Title defense against Sting. However, it was for naught, as Sting captured the title from Angle via Scorpion Death Drop after fending off Nash and Angle's wife, Karen. The following Thursday on Impact!, Nash and Angle had an altercation because Angle blamed Nash for him losing the World Title. Angle eventually attacked Nash, who retaliated by Jackknife Powerbombing Angle in the middle of the ring. The following week, Sting defended the TNA World Title against Angle in a rematch from Bound for Glory, and Nash had a ringside seat. After the match went on a bit, Angle and Sting were out of the ring and when Angle pushed Sting onto Nash, Sting turned around and hit Nash in the face with a right hand shot, leading to Nash interfering on Angle's behalf, even though earlier he said he wasn't going to help Angle. Following the match, which Angle won, Nash offered a hand shake to Angle only to be "flipped off" by the new champ. An enraged Nash demanded a match with Angle, but TNA Management's public face, Jim Cornette, instead booked Nash into a tag team match as Angle's partner against Sting and a partner of his choosing, with the stipulation being that the person gaining the pinfall or submission would be crowned the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. After a red herring that Scott Hall was the mystery partner, it was revealed to be Booker T.

Main Event Mafia, The Band and departure (2008–2011)[edit]

Kevin Nash with The Main Event Mafia

At Final Resolution, Nash and his partner Samoa Joe lost in a title match to TNA World Tag Team Champions A.J. Styles and Tomko after Nash abandoned and seemingly betrayed Joe. Yet on the following Impact, when Joe stormed into Nash's locker room looking for a fight, Nash was actually able to persuade Joe into accepting his Machiavellian mentorship. Nash lost to Kurt Angle in a one-on-one match on Impact! with the winner qualifying for the Three Ways to Glory match at No Surrender. On the September 11 edition of Impact, prior to No Surrender, he seemingly parted ways with Joe on good terms. One month later, Nash returned at Bound for Glory IV and in a swerve, struck Joe in the back with Sting's bat, helping Sting win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On October 23, he formally joined Sting, Booker T, and Kurt Angle to create a villainous stable called The Main Event Mafia. He explained that he never forgave Joe for his scathing comments directed at his best friend Scott Hall's no-show almost a year prior, and befriending him was all part of a long term plan to screw him out of the title. He then went on to defeat Joe at Turning Point. Nash, however, was removed from the card for Genesis due to a staph infection, and was replaced by Cute Kip. Nash returned on the January 29 edition of Impact! when the Main Event Mafia took over the show. On Impact! on April 23, he began an on-screen relationship with Jenna Morasca, who subsequently began acting as his valet. At Slammiversary, he was reunited with Joe and helped Angle win the World Heavyweight Championship.

At Victory Road, Nash defeated A.J. Styles for the Legends Championship, his first title in TNA.[27] However, Nash lost the title only three days later to Mick Foley.[28][29] Under a month later at Hard Justice, Nash defeated Foley to reclaim the Legends Title.[30][31] At Bound for Glory Nash lost the Legends Title to Eric Young in a 3-way match, which also included Hernandez.[32]

On the following edition of Impact!, after Angle announced the death of the Main Event Mafia and turned face, Nash also became a face as he began feuding with Eric Young and the World Elite.[33] However, the following month at Turning Point Nash helped World Elite members Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus retain their TNA World Tag Team Championship.[34] On the following edition of Impact! Nash congratulated Young on outsmarting him at Bound for Glory and aligned himself with the World Elite, while also hinting at the return of the nWo once Hulk Hogan arrived in TNA, as when a paranoid Mick Foley came to him for information on who Hogan would be coming with, he facetiously suggested names such as Syxx-Pac, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, and Scott Hall. Further suspicion was aroused to Hall’s return when Nash said that he was getting "the band" back together, hinting at an nWo return.[35] At Final Resolution Nash took part in the "Feast or Fired" match and won the briefcase containing a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship.[36]

On the January 4, 2010, special live, three-hour Monday night edition of Impact! Hogan made his debut in TNA, and Scott Hall and Sean Waltman made their return to the company to greet him. Nash, Hall and Waltman quickly reformed their alliance, but Hogan kept himself out of the group, claiming that times have changed.[37] At Genesis in their first match back together Nash and Syxx-Pac, who replaced Scott Hall in the match, were defeated by Beer Money, Inc.[38] On the February 4 edition of Impact! Hall and Syxx-Pac turned on Nash.[39] At Destination X Nash and Young faced Hall and Syxx-Pac in a tag team match, where the Band's TNA futures were on the line. Nash turned on Young and helped the Band pick up the victory, which finally gave them contracts with the company.[40] On the March 29 edition of Impact! Nash offered Young a spot in the Band, claiming that what happened in Destination X was just business and nothing personal. Young refused the offer and in the main event of the evening, teamed up with Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy to defeat the Band in a six man tag team steel cage match.[41] Nash gained a measure of revenge on Young by defeating him in a steel cage match at Lockdown. Later in the night, Nash replaced Syxx-Pac, who no-showed the event, and teamed up with Hall in a St. Louis Street Fight, where they were defeated by Team 3D.[42] On the May 3 edition of Impact! Eric Young turned on Team 3D and joined The Band.[43] On May 4, at the tapings of the May 13 edition of Impact!, after TNA World Tag Team Champion Matt Morgan had been attacked by Samoa Joe, Nash cashed in his "Feast or Fired" contract, teaming with Hall, and pinned him to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.[44] Nash later named Young one third of the champions under the Freebird rule.[45][46] At the June 14 tapings of the June 17 edition of Impact! The Band was stripped of the Tag Team Championship, due to Scott Hall's legal problems.[47][48] The following day it was reported that Hall had been released from his contract with TNA.[49] On the June 24 edition of Impact! Nash and Young decided to part ways, as Nash intended to go after Hogan, whom he blamed for what had happened to Hall and Waltman, and didn't want Young to get into trouble for it.[50][51]

After Nash was unable to convince Hogan to re–hire Hall and Waltman and failed to secure a meeting with Eric Bischoff, he set his sights on renewing his feud with Jeff Jarrett, who claimed that Nash had tried to hurt TNA by bringing Hall and Waltman in.[52][53][54] On the August 5 edition of Impact!, Sting, who had feuded with Jarrett prior to his 30 day suspension, returned to TNA and, together with Nash, beat down Jarrett, Bischoff and Hogan.[55] On the August 26 edition of Impact! Nash defeated Jarrett in a singles match, after an interference from Sting.[56] The following week Nash helped Sting defeat Jarrett. After the match Samoa Joe aligned himself with Jarrett and Hogan and drove Nash and Sting away.[57] At No Surrender Jarrett and Joe defeated Nash and Sting in a tag team match, after Jarrett hit Sting with a baseball bat.[58] On the September 16 edition of Reaction, Nash and Sting were joined by D'Angelo Dinero,[59] who claimed to have gotten inside information from Bischoff's secretary Miss Tessmacher, that would suggest that Nash and Sting were right about Hogan and Bischoff being up to something.[60] At Bound for Glory Nash, Sting and Dinero faced Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe in a handicap match, after Hulk Hogan, who was scheduled to team with Jarrett and Joe, was forced to pull out due to back surgery. At the end of the match Jarrett abandoned Joe and left him to be pinned by Nash. At the end of the event it was revealed that Nash and Sting had been right about Hogan and Bischoff all along, as they aligned themselves with Jarrett, Abyss and Jeff Hardy.[61] On October 13, 2010, Nash's contract with TNA expired and he announced his retirement from professional wrestling.[62][63][64] His last TNA appearance was a taped broadcast on October 14, 2010, when Nash and Sting both announced they were walking away from TNA rather than being a part of Hogan and Bischoff's regime.[65] In January 2011 Nash signed a new contract with TNA, but was granted a release before reappearing on television, after being contacted by WWE.[66]

Return to WWE (2011–present)[edit]

On January 30, 2011, at the Royal Rumble, Nash, billed as Diesel for the first time since 1996, returned to the promotion, taking part in the Royal Rumble Match. He entered the match as number 32 and was eliminated by Wade Barrett. It was announced that he had signed a five-year WWE Legends contract.[67] On April 2, Nash, along with Sean Waltman, was on hand to celebrate the induction of Shawn Michaels into the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame. Triple H inducted Michaels, and after Michaels gave his speech, Nash and Waltman joined the two on stage to celebrate.

Nash, no longer billed as Diesel, returned at SummerSlam in August, attacking CM Punk after he became WWE Champion, which allowed Alberto Del Rio to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and win the title thus turning heel. The following night on Raw, Nash claimed Triple H, on-screen Chief Operating Officer of WWE, had instructed him by text to attack the winner. Punk verbally berated Nash on the microphone,[68] so Nash attacked him the next week. He also distracted Punk in a match, making him miss out on a championship match. Nash was signed to an on-screen contract the next week by John Laurinaitis and demanded a match against Punk. After Triple H put himself in the match against Punk instead, Nash assaulted them both at a contract signing and was fired on screen.[69] At Night of Champions, Nash interfered in their match, alongside The Miz and R-Truth. Triple H would then attack Nash with a sledgehammer before winning the match.[70] Nash returned at the following pay-per-view, Vengeance to help Miz and Truth beat Punk and Triple H. After the match he jacknife powerbombed Triple H and attacked him again the following night with Triple H's sledgehammer, preventing him from receiving medical attention and taking him off TV. The following Monday, October 31, 2011 Laurinaitis once again signed Nash to a new contract. Nash has wrestled on Raw house shows in Europe and Japan since returning. He would continue to appear on Raw after the assault on Triple H, delivering his Jacknife finisher to Santino Marella and cutting promos about how Triple H was more of a boss than a friend. On the December 5, 2011 episode of Raw, Nash competed in his first televised WWE match in eight years, defeating Santino Marella.[71] Nash went on to face Triple H at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a Ladder Match with a sledgehammer hanging above the ring which he lost by pinfall after receiving a sledgehammer shot to the face, ending the feud in the process.[72]

In late 2012 and early 2013, Nash would begin appearing on WWE's developmental training show, WWE NXT. Nash initially appeared as the guest Match Commissioner for the night, a title given to him at the request of Dusty Rhodes. After announcing this to the crowd Nash was interrupted by Heath Slater to whom he promptly delivered his finisher, effectively turning face. Nash later again appeared on WWE NXT to reunite with members of the Kliq, allowing him to effectively settle all issues with Triple H, embracing him once again. The reunion also turned into a reunion of D-Generation-X and Nash was awarded the title of being an honorary member of the stable. Nash then helped DX take down Damien Sandow.[73]

Nash competed in the 2014 Royal Rumble match as the 14th entrant, eliminating Jack Swagger before being eliminated by Roman Reigns. On February 20, 2014 it was announced that Nash would be on the NXT Arrival pre-show panel, on the WWE Network. He inducted former tag partner Scott Hall in the WWE Hall of Fame on April 5, 2014 in New Orleans, LA. Nash appeared on the August 11 edition of Raw to reunite with Hall and Hogan as part of Hogan's birthday celebration.

Independent circuit (2011–present)[edit]

Nash in 2013, wearing an "nWo" T-Shirt.

Nash along with Hall and Waltman made an appearance at the 2011 Gathering of the Juggalos. Nash teamed with Waltman for a win against Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.

On September 23, 2012, Nash made his debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling, teaming with Keiji Mutoh in a tag team match, where they defeated Seiya Sanada and Taiyō Kea with Nash pinning Sanada with the Jacknife Powerbomb for the win.[74][75]

Other media[edit]

In 1991, Nash made his acting debut in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze[76] as the genetically enhanced version of the villain, Shredder called the Super Shredder. He also had a very minor role as a jackhammer worker in the 1998 movie Family Plan.

In 1999, Kevin Nash created and co-wrote a comic book titled Nash, set in a dystopian future and featuring himself as the primary character.[77] Image Comics published an ashcan preview edition and two regular issues.[78]

He was the first choice for the role of Sabretooth in X-Men, but the role ultimately went to his former tag team partner Tyler Mane.[79] Nash appeared in a fight scene as The Russian in the 2004 film The Punisher.[80] While filming the scene, Nash was accidentally stabbed with a real knife by actor Thomas Jane.[80]

He made guest appearances in three different TV shows. He appeared on one episode each of The Love Boat: The Next Wave (episode "Captains Courageous")[76] and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (episode "The Crucible")[76] and in two episodes of Nikki as The Big Easy (episodes "Gimme Shelter" and "Stealing Nikki").[76] In 2009, he appeared on Fox's show Brothers, in which he came to get his stolen championship belt back.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Super Shredder Film Debut
1992 Freejack Extra [81]
1998 Family Plan Jackhammer Guy
2004 The Punisher The Russian
2005 The Longest Yard Guard Engleheart
2006 Grandma's Boy Mover #2
DOA: Dead or Alive Bass Armstrong
2011 River of Darkness Jayden Jacobs
Almighty Thor Odin Direct-to-Video
Monster Brawl Colonel Crookshank
2012 The Association Gordon
Rock of Ages Body Guard for Stacee Jaxx
Magic Mike Tarzan
The Newest Pledge Merkhaus' Dad
2015 Magic Mike XXL Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1992 Swamp Thing: The Series Quixo Episode: "The Old House of Mayan"
Super Force Lau 2 episodes
1997 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Giant Episode: "The Crucible"
1998 The Love Boat: The Next Wave Rocky Williams Episode: "Captain's Courageous"
2000–2001 Nikki The Big Easy 2 episodes
2004 The Wayne Brady Show Himself
2009 Brothers Episode: "Snoop / Fat Kid"

Video games[edit]

Kevin Nash has appeared in twenty-two video games, WWF Raw, WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, Virtual Pro Wrestling 64, WCW Nitro (video game), WCW/nWo Revenge, WCW/nWo Thunder, WCW Mayhem, WCW Backstage Assault, WWE WrestleMania X8, WWE Road to WrestleMania X8, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE Crush Hour, WWE Raw 2, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, TNA Impact!, WWE '12, WWE '13, WWE 2K14, and the upcoming WWE 2K15 as Diesel and Kevin Nash.

Personal life[edit]

Nash and his wife Tamara wed in 1988 but separated in 2000,[82] although they later reconciled. Together, they have a son named Tristen who was born on June 12, 1996. The family resides near Daytona Beach, Florida.

Nash is part Native American.[8]

He is real-life friends with Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Paul "Triple H" Levesque, the first of whom was instrumental in Nash's WWF signing in 1993. They formed the backstage faction known as The Kliq. He has also been outspoken about supporting gay wrestlers in the business.[83] He is a friend of Stone Cold Steve Austin; they first met early in their careers on the independent circuit.

On January 11, 2009, Nash was admitted to a Charlotte, North Carolina, hospital because of a staph infection that developed in his elbow following a tour of Japan. The staph infection was diagnosed as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.[84]

In wrestling[edit]

  • Entrance themes
    • World Championship Wrestling
      • "Ride the Bus" from AirCraft Music Library (1991)
      • "Rockhouse" by Frank Shelley (Used while a part of the New World Order; 1996–1998)
      • "Ready or Not" by The Fugees (Used while a part of the New World Order; 1996–1997; House shows)
      • "Kevin Nash/Wolfpac Theme" by Jimmy Hart (1998–2001)
    • World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
      • "Diesel Power" by Jim Johnston[94] (1993-1995)
      • "Diesel Blues" by Jim Johnston (1995–1996; April 7, 2003 – August 24, 2003; January 30, 2011)
      • "Jackknife" by Jim Johnston (2003)
      • "Rockhouse" by Frank Shelley (Used while a part of the New World Order; 2002; August 22, 2011–December 18, 2011. January 26, 2014)
    • Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
      • "Dre" by Dale Oliver (November 7, 2004 – December 2005)
      • "Big" by Dale Oliver (2006–2008)[94]
      • "Main Event Mafia" by Dale Oliver (Used while a part of The Main Event Mafia; October 23, 2008 – 2009)[95]
      • "Saturn Rock" by Dale Oliver (2009–2010)
      • "The Band Theme" by Dale Oliver (Used while a part of The Band; 2010)
      • "Kevin Nash/Wolfpac Theme (Instrumental)" by Jimmy Hart (Used while a part of The Band; 2010)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Kevin Nash (left) and Diamond Dallas Page were WCW World Tag Team Champions twice.

1 Nash defended the championship with either Hall or Young under the Freebird Rule.

Lucha de Apuesta record[edit]

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Mask Kevin Nash and Scott Hall Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Konnan Oakland, California February 21, 1999 Mysterio's mask vs. Elizabeth's hair match at SuperBrawl IX.[111]
Hair Chris Jericho Kevin Nash Grand Rapids, Michigan August 18, 2003 Hair vs Hair match on Raw.

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Bibliography[edit]

  • Davies, Ross (2001). Kevin Nash. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8239-3492-6. 
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  • Mcmahon, Vince (1995). And here comes Big Daddy Cool Diesel!. The WWF Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8239-3492-6. 

External links[edit]