The infamous WWF Magazine cover photo featuring Shiny Happy Diesel (Photo obviously by WWE)
Kevin Nash had a quick rise to the top in WWE. After a little more than six months in the company as Shawn Michaels' bodyguard who sometimes wrestled, he wrestled in the Royal Rumble match for the first time at the pay-per-view of the same name in 1994.
In a sequence that has since been repeated but has never gotten over as well, he eliminated everyone who came at him for a few minutes and calmly waited for the next entrant.
A few months later, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon (his best friend Scott Hall). A few months after that, he and Michaels won the WWF Tag Team Championship the night before he lost the Intercontinental belt back to Razor. A few months after that, he and Michaels split up at Survivor Series '94, vacating the tag belts.
On the same show, Bob Backlund defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF Championship and injured him in the process. A rematch was to take place a few days later at Madison Square Garden, but with Hart injured, Diesel was inserted into the match.
He squashed Backlund and won the title in less than 10 seconds. The whole scenario was a carbon copy of what led to Hulk Hogan's first WWF Championship win, just over the course of a few days instead of a month.
Diesel had never really talked much, he just stood there and looked cool. Still, his first couple promos on TV that weekend were pretty good, a logical extension of a Diesel who was still cool but was now a good guy who talked.
And then everything went to hell.
Diesel was turned into a shiny happy babyface, which didn't suit Nash or the gimmick. Vince McMahon was patient, keeping the belt on him for a year, but the experiment was clearly a failure. Diesel was the worst drawing WWF champion in company history.
At Survivor Series '95, he lost the belt to Bret Hart. After the match, he appeared to turn heel by attacking Hart.
The next night on Raw, he made sure to add more nuance to the character. He cut a great promo about how shiny happy Diesel wasn't really him, etc. etc. He became a very compelling character over the next few months, very effectively straddling the line of heel and babyface as a "tweener" before going full heel by attacking Michaels. But back to that promo. He also made sure to note that he would only high-five fans that wore black gloves like his. Black gloves that were sold at the merchandise stand.
So remember, kids, if you want Diesel to still like you, buy his merchandise so his royalty checks go up.