Wrestling history is full of a long list of wrestlers who had to reinvent themselves several times to finally "get over." Many current and future Hall of Famers tried out several gimmicks before they found one that stuck.
Some guys like Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mick Foley went through numerous characters before finding one that worked. Others, like Sgt. Slaughter and Bret Hart, got the right character the first time.
I intend to make this a weekly series highlighting wrestlers who have tried several different gimmicks over their careers. For the first article in the series, I'm picking the man who personifies the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." None other than Kevin Nash.
In 1990, Kevin Nash debuted in WCW under the ring name Steel as one-half of the tag team the Master Blasters. The team had some limited success in quash matches, like the one above.
Yes, that guy with the stupid mohawk is the man who would someday be known as Big Sexy. I can only assume they were trying to copy the Legion of Doom.
The gimmick went nowhere and by May 1991, Nash was back under a new ring name...a name that would strike terror into the hearts of everyone. He would return as....
Just watch the video. What can I really say? The little wizard with him is Kevin Sullivan. This slide could also be called "Why WCW is out of Business: Exhibit 1."
Oz remained throughout 1991, winning match after match against a great stable of jobbers. In 1992, Nash was rebranded, yet again, as a real cool cat.
This time, Nash returned as the biggest man to ever chill in a leisure suit—none other than Vinnie Vegas. This character had a little more success and was immediately thrown into a stable with Big Van Vader and Mr. Hughes called "A Half-Ton of Holy Hell". With a name like that, the stable was short-lived and broken up in February 1992.
Nash then joined the Diamond Mine, which could be titled the "If at First You Don't Succeed Stable." It featured the likes of The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall), Scotty Flamingo (Raven) and Diamond Dallas Page. The Studd and Flamingo left the stable, and Page and Vegas began teaming as The Vegas Connection.
The team caught on but unfortunately also broke up late in 1992. Page injured his shoulder in a match and was fired. Frustrated with horrible gimmicks and more stable changes than a Vince Russo PPV, Nash left WCW for the WWF.
Nash debuted at a house show in June 1993 as a giant leather-clad biker who was the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels. The gimmick worked and by January, Diesel had eliminated an impressive seven men in his first Royal Rumble match.
In April of 1994, Diesel won the Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon. By August, he had won the World Tag Team Championship with Shawn Michaels. The tag team broke up due to heelish actions by Michaels, and Diesel eventually turned face.
Diesel was finally cemented as a character and Nash as a main event player when on November 26 he won the World Heavyweight Championship in an eight-second match with Bob Backlund. From this, Nash gave us many great memories, particularly under his real name as a member of the NWO. But it all really started here.
Gimmick change after gimmick change, stable after stable, Nash finally made it. That's why he is proof that, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."