Kevin Nash: How the WWE Royal Rumble Changed Diesel's Legacy

Ian MaloneCorrespondent IIIFebruary 5, 2011

Still think he looks better with gray hair
Still think he looks better with gray hair

Kevin Nash is a difficult person to judge when discussing the legacies of aging wrestlers. Some wrestlers forever tarnished their legacy with poor behavior (Ultimate Warrior) while others have near unanimous praise (Shawn Michaels). 

Nash is in the middle. He's had a history of abusing backstage power in nearly every company that he's been a part of. I'm not close to him, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think Nash looked visibly unhappy during the last year or two of his run with TNA. His recent money disputes with them have been well-documented, but I still don't really think the man was very happy there. 

Then there's the other side of Big Sexy. He's a fairly loyal guy who's been there for his friends, such as Sean Waltman and Scott Hall, when they needed him. I'm sure both of them would have been in much worse shape without him there during their substance abuse problems. 

There was something different about Diesel as he entered the Rumble last Sunday. The man looked happy. Really happy. He might be 51, but he looked serviceable in the Rumble. After all, wrestling is a sport where charisma means everything, and Nash definitely brought his A game. 

It goes further than that though. Nash has been no stranger to Twitter, where he constantly gets himself into trouble by badmouthing things such as TNA as a whole, and WWE's youth movement. 

Nash took some shots at TNA on his way out, but for the most part he was very complimentary and grateful for all that they've done for him. He was also very complimentary of the way WWE treated him during the Rumble weekend. 

Why was it important to see this side of Kevin Nash? It might not be to some, but I was really impressed with the way he handled his TNA departure. Too many wrestlers have their heads up their asses when it comes to self-entitlement, and Nash is really no different most of the time. But he has been lately. 

Wrestling isn't known for graceful retirements. Ric Flair delivered one for the ages at WrestleMania XXV, only to return a little over a year later. Countless others have done the same. 

But age does get to you. Nash is 51 and it's no secret that is career is starting to wrap up. The Royal Rumble brought things full circle, as Nash returned as Diesel. Hopefully we'll get to see one final WrestleMania match (God knows it can use some star power). But regardless of whether or not that happens, it doesn't change the fact that Nash restored a great deal of his image. In my mind at least.