It’s the wee hours of Thursday morning, and while Jason Moltov, Liam Stryker and Bill Neville are all California bound, this writer is quite excited to live vicariously through our New Age Insiders as they take part in all the craziness that is Wrestlemania weekend!
That includes, for those of you living under a rock or something, NXT on Friday, Axxess all weekend long, Wrestlemania itself and that little thing known as the 2015 induction ceremony for the WWE Hall of Fame. This year’s class, as most of us have mentioned at multiple points in the last few weeks, is not the strongest on record, but it does feature some top candidates, including the most recently announced inductee, Kevin Nash.
Ahhh, Kevin Nash, he of the near 7 foot height, the vulnerable quads and the infamous cattle prod. (Sorry, Jason, but I had to) Mr. Nash might be most famous for his participation in the Monday Night Wars, but here on Throwback Thursday, you know we’re not going to be talking about that - Oh, nay nay.
We’re going to focus on the bad. . . The very, VERY bad. . . gimmicks of Kevin Nash’s career.
Nash began his career in WCW in 1990 as Steel, one half of the monster tag team “The Master Blasters”. What were the Master Blasters, exactly, besides total knock-offs of the characters from Mad Max? Hard to say, really. They didn’t last long enough to know for sure - By 1991, they were pretty much done.
Next up is Oz, the great and powerful wizard.
No, seriously. There was a Wizard of Oz gimmick in professional wrestling.
Emerging from a ridiculously fake “emerald city”, Nash wore a ridiculously giant cape and, as the picture clearly shows, a ridiculously ridiculous mask. He even had a “Great Wizard” as a manager (whom I learned through the research for this column was Kevin Sullivan, also in a dumb mask).
Here’s a picture of Nash unmasked as Oz, complete with silver hair. Oddly enough, he’d be able to pull off Oz right now even better than he did 24 years ago.
I’ve got to admit - this one is my favorite. I mean, come on. . . Look at this picture.
For this gimmick, according to Wikipedia, Nash portrayed a “wisecracking pseudo-mobster”, which is as close to the real Kevin Nash as we’ve had so far. Just look at that image again - You can see Nash doing something like that in his NWO days. . .
Nash was part of a “giant wrestler” stable managed by Harley Race, which was called “A Half Ton of Holy Hell”. Don’t blame me - I didn’t make that up. After that mercifully ended, Nash was part of the “Diamond Mine”, where he was aligned with future friends and teammates Scott Hall (Diamond Stud) and Mr. Yogini himself, DDP.
Despite finally having a somewhat serviceable gimmick, Vegas never made it to any level of success in WCW, moving onto the WWF in 1993.
Kevin Nash began his WWF career as the strong, silent muscle behind Shawn Michaels, back when Michaels was the Intercontinental champion. We’ve seen plenty of these types of character over the years, usually going nowhere fast, but Diesel was different. Nash’s personality, his inner “Vinnie Vegas” if youuu willlllll, began to shine through, and Vince McMahon quickly learned what he had - a 7 foot powerhouse with charisma to match.
Before long, we went from the guy above to. . .
and the rest is WWE (or at least, what they’ll admit in the Hall of Fame video) history.
One of the common refrains from the IWC, besides the anti-Reigns and Give Divas a Chance stuff, is how tragic the gimmicks of many WWE mid-carders are. Bo Dallas. Adam Rose. Fan-flippity-dango. “How will they recover from such poor treatment?” these Twitterers cry. “You can’t come back from such crap!”
To those people, I say, our final 2015 Hall of Fame inductee came back from being the literal Wizard of Oz to have a super successful wrestling career. Passion, charisma, natural talent (be it physical, verbal, etc.) will shine through, no matter the gimmick - Kevin Nash, love him or hate him, proves that.
Oh, and just for fun, let’s showcase possibly the worst gimmick of all, one that never even took place in a wrestling ring.