Being a Kevin Nash fan for many years, I was as excited as anybody to see him return at SummerSlam this past Sunday. Seeing him back in the ring quickly prompted me to go back and take a look at the last time we spoke. Of course, much of it can be found in the WWE Championship book. But here’s some that didn’t make the book:
You competed as several different unsuccessful characters prior to coming to WWE. Did you ever think it wasn’t going to happen for you?
There was actually a time before I came to [WWE] where I was going quit and go back and bounce at a bar. I just didn’t think it was going to happen. There was so much nepotism going on in WCW; everybody had a kid that they were pushing. And if you weren’t in the good ol’ boy crew, you weren’t even gonna get looked at it.
When I came into WCW, I was in shape and I had long black hair. The first thing they did was cut my hair into a Mohawk. I was like “geez, that’s brilliant. Take a decent looking guy and make him as ugly as possible off the bat.”
Before ’93, before I signed with WWE, I was definitely thinking that this wasn’t going to work.
Are there any regrets that your WWE Title win was never immortalized on a historic pay-per-view or Raw?
At that time, that was the first year that we went to the fifth pay-per-view, which was King of the Ring. We just had the four pay-per-views back then. Of course, in those days you would have loved to win the title at WrestleMania. But WrestleMania was several months away. Plus at that time we were starting to get a little bit of an upswing in the house show business and it was good for the fans to know that titles did change hands at house shows.
To me it was a moment in my career like no other. It didn’t matter where it was. But that fact that it was in the Garden was special enough for me.
Were you shocked that success came so fast for you in WWE, considering your past with WCW?
I was amazed. I’m a goal-oriented person. I set a goal to become champion and when I won the Intercontinental title, I remember going back to the hotel and sitting on the bed and looking at it saying “wow, I’m a [WWE] champion. I’m the IC Champion,” which at that time meant sooner or later you would have a match against the champion. For me, I think it was the first King of the Ring when I had my first championship bout against Bret and it ended up in a DQ.
The next thing you know I came back from a European trip and Vince asked me to come out to the house … that’s when I knew. I was like “oh my God, I’m going to be the champ.” In my mind, I can picture it like it was a movie. The title didn’t jump around much back then. As Bret would say, “it’s real, it’s all real.” But like I said, the belt didn’t jump around, so it was a real honor.
Did you experience any fears from being on top?
I wasn’t scared because I had such a great crew of guys around me. I was wrestling with Shawn and Scott (Hall) a lot. I was wrestling with ‘Taker and Bret a lot. I was wrestling with Yoko. The six of us I considered really good friends … I had guys that could really go around me. My supporting cast was incredible. Everybody cared, everybody worked hard. You were gone 25 days on the road, then go home for four then go back on the road with these same guys. You spent more time by far with them than you did anybody, especially Shawn and Scott who I traveled with and later Hunter. It’s those guys in the car, you spend more time with them that you did anybody.
After nearly one year, you finally lost the gold to Bret Hart. A lot of people didn’t have a great relationship with Bret. Were you ok, so to speak, with losing to Bret?
It’s funny that people say they don’t have a good relationship with Bret, but I just think they misunderstood Bret. I always thought I had a really good relationship with Bret. A lot of times he and I would be on an European trip … I’d be in a jazz club in Germany, I’d look over and see Bret by himself, I’d be by myself, so we’d just sit and have some beers together. Bret was very much a lone wolf. But Bret had a very dry, budding, great sense of humor. Very sarcastic. We always had a respect for each other. And he was a pro. There was never a time when he didn’t lace ‘em up. You know if you were in there with Bret, you were gonna have a great match.