Notes from the Nosebleeds #131
August 27, 2011
By: Matt O'Brien of Wrestleview.com
Ever since SummerSlam there has been a man's name in the news that seems out of place. When Kevin Nash did a run-in at the end of the SS pay per view it caught wrestling fans so off guard that many fans still scratch their heads wondering why he is back in WWE. Some fans may even be wondering who he is. Over the past couple of weeks, the man once known and Big Sexy and Big Daddy Cool has become part of a mystery angle on the Raw roster. In his heyday, Nash was one of the voices of professional wrestling. Today, he is an aging wrestler whose star has faded to the point he barely gets a reaction from the crowd. Yet Nash left a mark on the wrestling industry, for better or worse. People can say what they want about him, but Nash is an integral part of wrestling history.
Kevin Nash didn't really hit his stride until he became Intercontinental Champion in 1994. Even though Shawn Michaels was coming off the heels of the WrestleMania X ladder match, Nash was the one who went onto feud with Scott hall for the summer in one of the better programs the World Wrestling Federation had going that summer. Nash was on fire and even his loss to Hall at the 1994 SummerSlam didn't slow him down. It was just the beginning. Nash and Michaels had an ever-growing tension between them that finally came to a head at November's Survivor Series. After becoming an accidental victim of HBK's Sweet Chin Music, Nash snapped. He had had enough of Michaels. That night, Nash officially became a baby face and broke off his partnership with HBK. A couple of days later, Nash became won the top prize in the World Wrestling Federation.
When Big Daddy Cool won the WWF Championship, his first pay per view opponent was former champion Bret Hart. They clashed at the Royal Rumble in one of Nash's best matches. After nearly thirty minutes, Nash and Hart's match was called a draw. Draws can turn of wrestling fans because no real winner is declared, but at the 1995 Royal Rumble, a draw was one of the best decisions the WWF made in regards to Nash during his title reign. Nash had just come out of nowhere and won the title, even though he had size on his side, there was no possible way he could cleanly defeat the top guy in the company. At the same time, Hart had just lost the title and could not conceivably lose to Nash. At the same time, they needed to keep the belt on Nash to continue move in a new direction.
After Hart, Nash moved onto a match with his former friend Shawn Michaels. After gaining a WrestleMania win, Nash moved onto a program with Sid Vicious. After a couple of weeks engaged in a feud with Mable, Nash found himself in up against Davey Boy Smith. After that, Nash finally had one more match with Hart where the Hitman picked up the win and ended Nash's twelve month reign. Looking back at Nash's reign, it's surprising that he was not someone who faced on challengers that were essentially built up for him, with the exception of Mabel. Instead, Nash was surrounded by men designed to build him up. It was a far cry from the days of Hulk Hogan. Nash was surrounded by guys designed to build him up as a champion. Once his reign was done, he shortly thereafter moved on to sign with WCW.
Nash became one of the founding fathers of the new World Order when he joined WCW in 1996.Over the course of the next few years, Nash became one of the most popular wrestlers of the Monday Night Wars. Fans loved his witty personality. They didn't care about what he could or couldn't do in the ring, he was the man.
He quickly fell out of favor with smart fans at the end of 1998 when he was booked as the man to end the undefeated streak of Bill Goldberg. If that wasn't bad enough to irk fans, two months later he was victorious in a tag team match forced the incredibly popular Rey Mysteio to unmask as part of losing a Hair vs. Mask match. Despite forming the NWO, Nash now found himself one of the most hated wrestling personalities by smart fans. Through the rest of his WCW tenure, he did nothing to win those fans over, but even if he tried, there was nothing he could do. Their minds had already been made up.
Over the next several years Nash bounced around, making a return to WWE and then going to TNA. Now, nearly over ten years after the demise of WCW, Nash is once again a focal point of the top program in professional wrestling. Those groaning over a decade ago calling Nash old and washed up must really be upset this time around. In the buildup to the Money in the Bank pay per view, CM Punk rose above all other wrestling personalities and shook the company to the core. Now, just a few weeks removed from SummerSlam, Cm Punk has become one of the top baby faces of pro wrestling.
After all the controversy he has created, Punk seems almost relegated to a feud with a returning Nash instead o headlining the show. Perhaps fans who feel that way have a point. After all, Nash was never a great draw, nor was he someone who made episodes of wresters so late. Yet despite all his indiscretions, Nash is a face for so many fans to remember. Forget the days of Oz and Vinnie Vegas. Nash has moved on with is life and it is time the wrestling crowd did the same. Nash is not the greatest worker of all time, nor is he still a talent that is going to make or break a company with the snap of his fingers. Instead, he stands as a symbol to the fans of his era as a man who took everything that came his way, and continued to do things his way. To hell with what others wanted, what about making some money?
Columnist, Wrestleview.com[email protected]