Kevin Nash Talks About His First WWE Run, Road Stories, The Original nWo & More
Former WWE and WCW World Champion Kevin Nash was interviewed on this week’s edition of the Big WrestleShark Show, ahead of his upcoming appearances alongside Scott Hall and Sean Waltman on the UK Takeover Tour. In the near hour long interview, Kevin discusses who took him under their wing, the feeling in the locker room when he joined WWF, jumping to WCW, the early days of the NOW, his thoughts on TNA as competition for WWE, working a ladder match at 52 years old and more. Here are some highlights from the interview:
Moving to WWF the first time: “The biggest difference was I was in WCW, which was a television company that had wrestling and I went to the WWF, which was a wrestling company that did wrestling. It’s what they did, they specialized in it. From production, to professionalism, to direction, it was so night and day. Business was down then when I got there in ’93. But at the same time business was ten times better in WWF than it was in WCW. We’d get to buildings and the guys would be complaining the house was down, and I’d look through the curtain and it’d be the biggest crowd I’d ever worked in front of.
“There was always a perception when you were in WCW of ‘would you like to go to WWF?’ and the reaction was always ‘I don’t know if I’m ready.’ At the time all the guys that were in WWF who were all seasoned good workers with established persona’s. Then when my era came along, the New Generation, a lot of those guys were leaving the business. Check out Wrestling Inc.When I came in to WWF, Hulk was going to Turner, there was a kind of a changing of the guard, it was a very young crowd… Bret had been there, but had spent most of his time as a tag team entity at that time, Shawn was on his up and coming, Scott Hall was becoming a star, the Undertaker was a star, Yoko was there and we were really starting to build a nucleus.”
Stories from the road: “We spent 300 days a year on the road when I first came in, and we would spend a ton of time in the UK because we did so well there. I think it kept the WWF alive. I remember doing a 19 day tour, being home for clothes and going back for a 21 day tour; only setting foot in the states to do TV’s. At the same time, those trips were the craziest because you had a driver …when you have a driver and you’re on a bus, there isn’t much to do but drink beer and play cards, and that’s what we did.
“We were all young guys, we knew we had to do this together, we were a team, and it was just like stone by stone, we had to build this thing back to what it once was. I think that group of guys on that bus, those 12 – 18 guys… I’ve got a picture of that group in the back of the bus; it’s Taker, the Kliq, Stone Cold, the only person who’s really not on that bus is The Rock. It’s like the Attitude era and the NWO Era combined in the back of that bus. It makes me feel good that I was fortunate enough to be part of that group of guys. It was the perfect storm.”
Recreating that atmosphere/lack of competition in wrestling: “There was such a changing of the guard. Turner really put out money to get name talent off of Vince. Even when Scott [Hall] and I left [WWF], I asked I asked Vince to match Turner’s offer, and he just told me monetarily he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get into a bidding war with Turner, he would just have to build another star.
“I just think that because there is not a strong alternative to WWE now, I don’t believe there will ever be another situation like that, where guys are jumping back and forth, and it’s really that competitive, where there really is a war. Erich Bischoff made it known he was trying to put Vince out of business, and anyone who knows Vince McMahon knows that you’re not going to put him out of business.
“I think it’s missing. It’s hard to be your best without having somebody push you. There’s just not a strong second to WWE, there’s just not. I’ll work independent shows, there’s nobody on the card but myself and we’ll draw 1,200 people. Visit Wrestling Inc.TNA put on a loaded card someplace in Texas and they get 480 paid people… it just doesn’t make sense. I was there almost four and a half years and people at the airport would know who I was and ask what I was doing. I never felt that the Spike Channel pushed TNA. I felt they were so UFC based for so long that they just never… when was the last time you seen a TNA ad during a WWE program? Never, right? Go the opposite way and on Impact you’ll see a WWE PPV ad! That’s the whole thing, you can’t compete against them. You no longer have to even say what the card is, it’s just that Raw or Smackdown are coming. It doesn’t matter. It’s the brand.”
Reservations about adding Hogan to “The Outsiders”?: “For me, there will never, ever be another Hulk Hogan. So when they pushed the idea around that this would be the first time Hogan would do a heel turn and be part of us, I mean we were over but to get the Hogan rub and the fact that he was turning? It ensured success! It was such a water and oil mix of personalities and psychologies, that was the hard thing: but the selling of standing next to Hogan? When I was a mark he was my favorite, so here I am in the same ring with the guy and we’re on the same team I’m just like ‘wow, this is special.'”
Personal differences between the three: “At the beginning he was such a character, that bigger than life ‘Brother, brother, brother, let me tell you something brother’ type guy and me and Scott, we just talk like this. We didn’t screw around, we didn’t yell or scream, we were kind of sarcastic wise guys and that’s who we are. I’m Kevin Nash and he’s Scott Hall, that’s what it says on our drivers license. So that was the real difference, but I think it was part of what changed the perception of people. People all of a sudden seen guys come to the ring with baseball bats and then they actually hit people with them; people just realized this wasn’t the pro-wrestling they grew up with.”
His last run in WWE against Triple H: “If you would have told me at 50 years old, that at 52 I’d be in a ladder match [laughs]. I think it was a rib. I think they booked it, they called me up, put me on speaker and were waiting for me to start cursing and then I said ‘alright fine I’ll do it,’ I think they just thought ‘oh my god he’s going to do it.’ Visit Wrestling Inc.I knew it was against Paul, and I’ve always said I’ll work against anyone good enough to carry me! I can’t ballroom dance on my own. Gimme someone who can dance and I can do my part.
“He’s so busy from a running the company stand point, we basically called it on the fly because we didn’t have time to do anything. I got out there, picked up the ladder and I’m like, ‘oh my god this thing is heavy.’ I’m waiting for him to get up, and I know when he does I’m gonna swing it at him and I know just from the physics of it, I’m not gonna be able to stop this ladder once I swing it… so it’s comin. That’s the thing about working with your friends; you’ll take real good care of somebody you don’t know, but you’ll beat the hell out of your friends.”
You can check out the full interview at this link, which included Nash discussing his original run as Master Blaster, Oz, who was instrumental in his early years, the UK Takeover Tour, beating Bob Backlund in 10 seconds and more.