Pro Wrestling's Detroit Dude with Attitude: The Legacy of Kevin Nash
“From Detroit, Michigan…’Big Daddy Cool’ Diesel!”
In the early 90′s, the WWE roster began taking major hits. Many of the top stars were leaving the company, while others were retiring.
1993 marked the year when a man named Kevin Nash debuted in the company.
Nash had spent a short time in WCW, but wasn’t treated properly. When he was offered a contract by the WWE, he took it.
From 1993 to 1996, Nash made a huge name for himself in the WWE. His success caught the eye of Eric Bischoff, who offered Nash a contract to return to WCW.
Nash has also spent some time in TNA. He didn’t have the same amount of success he had in WWE and WCW, but it was enough to bring some entertainment to the programming.
Even though it took a few years for people to consider him a major star, Nash went on to become a legend in the ring.
This is the legacy of Kevin Nash.
A man who has been through a lot of highs and lows in his career. A man who has been involved in controversy, yet managed to have also been a part of spectacular moments that went down in pro wrestling history.
In mid-1993, Kevin Nash made his debut in the WWE under the name “Diesel.” He started out as the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels. For the first few months, Diesel didn’t wrestle much.
It wasn’t until the 1994 Royal Rumble that Diesel actually started showing a bit of dominance in the ring.
In that April, Diesel won his first championship in the company. With a little help from Michaels, Diesel defeated Razor Ramon to win the Intercontinental Championship.
Diesel’s title wins continued, when he and Michaels won the Tag Team Championships.
He lost his IC title to Ramon shortly after winning the Tag Team Championships.
After Survivor Series, the Diesel and Michaels alliance ended. The duo separated after Michaels Superkicked Diesel, causing a major dispute.
This marked the beginning of Diesel’s rise to the very top.
Just a few days later at a house show, Diesel won the WWE Championship. He defeated Bob Backlund in less than 10 seconds.
Throughout the rest of 1994, and into early 1995, Diesel successfully defended his championship against every challenger.
WrestleMania XI marked the first, and only, time that Diesel main-evented at the grandest stage of them all. That night, he defeated his former friend, Shawn Michaels.
The feud between the two men didn’t last long, as they later reunited under the name
“Two Dudes With Attitude.”
In September, TDA won the Tag Team Championships when they defeated The British Bulldog and Yokozuna.
The following night, Diesel and Shawn Michaels were stripped of the titles. Owen Hart, who was officially replaced by Bulldog, was pinned during the tag team match.
Due to those circumstances, the titles were returned to Hart and Yokozuna.
At the 1995 Survivor Series, Diesel lost his WWE Championship to Bret Hart. After the match, Diesel attacked Hart, marking the beginning of his heel run.
During a match between Hart and The Undertaker at the 1996 Royal Rumble, Diesel cost ‘Taker the match.
‘Taker returned the favor to Diesel by costing him a match against Hart. Both men finally went one-on-one at WrestleMania XII.
Though not publicly announced, Diesel’s WWE career was coming to an end. He had been offered a deal to return to WCW (where he first competed before debuting with the WWE) and took it.
It’s Too Sweet!
In May of ’96, Scott Hall returned to WCW, and promised that something big was about to occur. Two weeks later, Nash returned to WCW.
He and Hall dropped their Diesel and Razor Ramon gimmicks, and instead used their real names. The Hall and Nash duo were named The Outsiders.
At the 1996 Bash at the Beach PPV, The Outsiders took part in a very famous moment.
Before their match against Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage, they promised a new member to their team. That night, Hulk Hogan shocked the world when he joined Hall and Nash.
The faction named themselves the New World Order. As months went by, a lot of talent joined the faction and dominated WCW.
Eventually, Nash, Hall and Sean Waltman slowly started to distance themselves from the NWO approach. The three men soon splintered into the NWO Wolfpac.
In 1998, tensions began between Nash and Hogan. Both men wanted control of the group proper. The tensions led to it becoming two separate factions.
Nash was the leader of the Wolfpac faction. Hogan was the leader of the Hollywood faction.
At World War 3, Kevin Nash earned a shot at the WCW Championship. The champion at the time was Goldberg, who was undefeated.
Nash got his championship match at Starrcade. After receiving help from Hall, who used a taser gun on Goldberg, Nash won the title and ended the streak.
On January 4, 1999, Kevin Nash took part in an incident that angered a lot of fans.
Nash and Goldberg were originally set to have a match for the WCW Championship on Nitro, but it was cancelled. Instead, Goldberg was replaced by Hulk Hogan.
When the bell rang for the match, a lot of stalling occurred at the beginning. After a few minutes, Hogan poked Nash on the chest, who fell on his back.
Hogan pinned Nash, and won the championship. Afterward, both men celebrated along with Scott Hall and Scott Steiner.
By mid-1999, the reunited NWO started to break down again, but that didn’t stop Kevin Nash from winning championships.
At Slamboree, Nash defeated Diamond Dallas Page to win the WCW Championship.
The following few months weren’t good to Nash.
At Bash at the Beach, Nash lost the title to Randy Savage. Then at Road Wild, Kevin Nash lost to Hulk Hogan in a Retirement match.
In October, Nash returned, and formed a new version of the NWO. The new version included Nash, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, and Bret Hart. The faction broke up shortly after Hart was injured.
In August, Kevin Nash defeated Booker T to win the WCW Championship. He lost it later to Booker at Fall Brawl.
He then found himself a new tag team partner, Diamond Dallas Page. They won the Tag Team Championships at Mayhem, but were shortly stripped of the titles. They won the titles again at Starrcade.
At the 2001 SuperBrawl, Nash was defeated by Scott Steiner in a Retirement match. His WCW career officially came to an end in March.
The WWE bought WCW, and all of the talent was now a part of the company. A year after the WCW purchase, Nash made his way back to the company where his true career began.
Inject the Poison
After being bought by the WWE in March of 2001, many of the WCW talent was used for the Invasion angle that occurred that same year. Many big stars weren’t part of the angle, and several debuted (or returned) after it ended.
Kevin Nash was one of those men.
At the 2002 No Way Out, Nash, along with Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall, returned to the WWE and were once again known as the New World Order.
Heading into WrestleMania X8, Nash wasn’t involved in any big feuds. Hall was feuding with Stone Cold Steve Austin, while Hulk Hogan was feuding with The Rock.
That didn’t stop Nash from appearing at the big event. He accompanied Hall for his match against Austin, and even got involved. Nash’s assistance wasn’t enough to give Hall the win. Later on that night, he and Hall kicked Hogan out of the group when he shook Rock’s hand after losing his match.
In July, Nash suffered an injury that put him out of action until April of 2003. He returned to Raw that month to aid Shawn Michaels, who was being attacked.
Nash went on to feud with Triple H, and challenged him for his World Heavyweight Championship. Nash wasn’t successful in defeating his former friend.
He had another shot at the title, this time competing inside an Elimination Chamber at SummerSlam. He was the first man to be eliminated.
Kevin Nash disappeared from WWE programming afterward to have surgery. In January 2004, the WWE decided to not renew his contract.
Destination: Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling
When his contract was not renewed by the WWE in 2004, Kevin Nash decided to join another company. That company was TNA.
In late-2004, Kevin Nash made his debut, along with Scott Hall, to help Jeff Jarrett retain his NWA Championship.
The following year, Nash got a shot at the NWA Championship, but lost. He, along with Sean Waltman and Diamond Dallas Page, began to feud against Jeff Jarrett and his Planet Jarrett faction.
Early on in the feud, Nash suffered an injury, and took time off to heal. When he returned in October, he continued his feud with Jarrett.
Just as Nash was set to face Jarrett for his NWA Championship at Bound For Glory, he began to suffer chest pains. He was offically replaced by Rhino at the event.
Nash returned to TNA in April 2006. Upon his return, Kevin Nash began an angle where he set out to defeat every X-Division wrestler on the roster.
He claimed that the division was a joke, and was out to set an example out of it. Many X-Division wrestlers that got in his way weren’t successful in defeating him.
As the angle began to die down, Nash started managing a few of the X-Division stars.
When Nash began managing Jay Lethal, he came up with the idea for Lethal to have a new gimmick. Nash’s idea had Lethal impersonating Randy Savage, which became very popular.
Nash was also manager of Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. During that short period of time, the Motor City Machine Guns began to become very successful with Nash by their side.
In late-2008, Kevin Nash joined forces with Kurt Angle, Sting, Booker T, and Scott Steiner, to form the Main Event Mafia.
The faction was out to prove that they were the true stars of the company. When the homegrown TNA wrestlers heard that, they began to feud with the MEM.
For months, the Main Event Mafia and the TNA Originals were at war.
At the 2009 Victory Road, Nash won his first TNA title when he defeated AJ Styles to capture the Legends Championship.
Nash, shortly afterward, lost the title to Mick Foley. At Hard Justice, Nash recaptured the title, but later on lost it to Eric Young.
Shortly afterward, the Main Event Mafia faction disbanded.
At Final Resolution, Nash was a part of the Feast or Fired match. He successfully obtained a briefcase, which guaranteed him a shot at the Tag Team Championships.
On May 2010, Nash cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase to win the Tag Team Championships. He and Scott Hall, who re-joined the company earlier that year, were the official champions.
After Hall and TNA had major problems, and was fired, he and Nash were stripped of the Tag Team Championships.
Months later, when Hulk Hogan began having too much control of TNA, Nash took notice, and disapproved.
In October 2010, Kevin Nash and Sting formed an alliance to go against Hogan’s faction. He and Sting were in no mood to be a part of the change that was happening, so they left the company (storyline-wise).
Though Sting returned to TNA months later, Nash never did. He was granted his release from the company, and once again made his way back to the WWE.
Big Daddy Cool Goes Back Home
At the 2011 Royal Rumble, Kevin Nash made a surprise return to the WWE. He entered the Rumble match at number 32, and received a huge, positive reaction from the fans in attendance.
Nash didn’t appear on WWE programming again until SummerSlam, where he powerbombed CM Punk.
Though it seemed a feud against Punk was set to happen, Punk instead feuded with Triple H.
At the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view, Kevin Nash lost his match against Triple H. It was the last time Nash was seen on WWE programming.
Title Wins and Accomplishments
Kevin Nash has been in many great angles, and in some good matches. In total, he has won 21 championships.
During his time with the WWE in the 90′s, Nash won the Intercontinental Championship once. He won the Tag Team Championships twice with Shawn Michaels.
His WWE Championship reign in the ’90′s is the longest of the decade. He held the title for almost a year.
Within the three years that Kevin Nash was in the WWE in the mid-90′s, he became a Triple Crown Champion.
After jumping ships to WCW, Nash won the WCW Championship five times. He also won the Tag Team Championship nine times.
Nash won the Tag Team Championships six times with Scott Hall, two times with Diamond Dallas Page, and once with Sting.
After joining TNA in 2004, it took Nash a while to actually win any gold. When he finally did, he won the Legends Championship twice.
He also won the Tag Team Championship once. He, along with Scott Hall and Eric Young, defended the titles under the Freebird Rule.
Love Him or Hate Him, Kevin Nash Is a Legend
The pro wrestling world is full of many controversial figures. Kevin Nash is one of those men.
He has been through a lot of controversy, but his career isn’t fully filled with negativity. Nash was involved in many great moments, and had a few great feuds every now and then.
Many wrestling fans despise Nash, but I am one of those rare fans that actually respects him.
Yes, he did cause many fans to get angry by making controversial moves, but who hasn’t?
Nash may be hated by the masses, but there is no denying he is a legend.
Kevin Nash was the Diesel-powered madman that entered the wrestling world to make a name for himself, and he successfully accomplished that.
His career is just too damn sweet
Originally published on July 3, 2012 at WrestleEnigma.com
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