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Kevin Nash Interview

August 12, 2009   ·   0 Comments


Few wrestlers can boast the kind of resume that Kevin Nash has put together in his 20 years in the sport. He has held world titles in WWE and WCW, headlined a WrestleMania, and booked a wrestling promotion during the height of the Monday Night Wars.

And, at 50 years old, Nash is in better shape and more active in the ring than he has been in years. This Sunday, hell try to win back the Total Nonstop Action Legends championship in a match against another ring veteran, Mick Foley, at TNAs Hard Justice pay per view.

For all his accomplishments and titles, one thing Nash has never had is a female valet. And so, to keep busy out of the ring, Nash has embarked on the Big Sexy World Tour which is taking to different cities in a quest to find the perfect woman to accompany him to the ring at Final Resolution on December 20. Tryouts are underway this week in Northern California. Interested ladies can get all the details at TNAs official web site.

To promote his the contest and his match this Sunday, Nash gave this extensive interview earlier this week. In this candid, hour-long chat Nash discusses several topics, including the fallout from the Jeff Jarrett-Kurt Angle-Karen Angle love triangle, whether he would be interested in booking TNA, a recent negotiation to return to WWE, Scott Halls addicyion issues, his problems with some of TNAs booking, the wrestling media, UFC, and, yes, his hair.

AC: Tell me a little bit about this contest to pick your valet. How did that come about?

KN: They were trying to do new things to brand [TNA]. And to me, I thought it would be a nice thing. Ive never had a valet before. And I thought it would be a nice way to kind of give some people an opportunity to walk down to the ring. Of course, Ive said it [in TNAs press release] as my character would, but I want it to be open to everybody, not just a bunch of hot little 18-year-old bikini models. As you get older and youre in the gym, you realize that the 40-year-old girls are the hot ones.

AC: Youve just turned 50, right?

KN: Yeah, Im 50 now.

AC: What did you do for your 50th birthday?

KN: Two couples that we hang out with came over. It was just real low-key.

AC: Was it a number that you were dreading, or are you kind of past that?

KN: You know, it was funny because I really didnt put anything to it. I said, Ah, its just a date. But when the day came, and you realize it, its just like, you know 50s real close to, like, dying.

[Both laugh.]

AC: I think youve got a little bit of time left.

KN: Yeah, but I mean, you realize You ever go to the park and see somebody with a great dane and youre like, Hey, how old is your great dane? And they go, 21.  So its kind of one of those deals where you just kind of go, Wow.

AC: Did you ever think youd still be in the ring at 50?

KN: No, I really didnt. But at the same time I didnt think I could have the discipline to lose 35 pounds either.

AC: Did you lose 35 pounds? I dont remember you ever looking in that bad shape. When did you lose the weight?

KN: Just over the course of the last two years Ive lost right around 35 pounds. Im like 282 right now. I actually played basketball in Europe 5 pounds heavier.

AC: Wow. But for the gray hair, you dont look all that much different than you did during your run in WWE 15 years ago. Is it just genetics? Is it a good diet, or working out?

KN: I think its a combination. I have American Indian in me. When my mom passed, she didnt have a wrinkle on her face. So I know, genetically, Im not going to wrinkle that bad. But, Ive always dieted. Even though, for years, me and Scott [Hall] drank way too much beer, we worked hard in the ring every night. We probably burned 1,200 calories in the ring, and then put them back in, so we kind of stayed even.

But as I got older I just realized that my knees were bothering me, my lower back was bothering me. I went to one of those guru personal trainer guys thats in the gym that does all that stuff on the Swiss balls that you laugh at. He came up to me and he said, You know, if you were to drop like 20 pounds it would be like taking a 20-pound rucksack off your back. He said, It would really help your knees and youre lower back. So I said, All right, and he put together a kind of makeshift diet for me. Basically, he took all my carbohydrates out and just made it more high protein and added like almonds and walnuts and a lot of these natural fats. It took a while for my body to learn to use fat as an energy source, but once it did, I started to burn fat, got leaner. And I feel great. I just went into my cardiologist for my check up and he was like, I dont know what youre doing, dude. But this is the best your bloods ever been. Your blood pressures the lowest. Your resting pulse is 62. He said, If everybody I knew who was 50 was in your shape, Id be out of a job.

AC: Whats been the difference for you in the ring? Are you getting winded less often? Do you feel you could do some things that you werent able to do before?

KN: I think I move better. I think my movement is better than its been. I think, really, the biggest thing is being with Kurt [Angle] and watching Kurts work ethic night in and night out He sets the bar very, very high. He does it by example and he fires you up. He makes you want to push yourself. Im a jock. Thats just who I am. And Kurts the captain of the team. And when he sets the bar and goes out there night it and night out as beat up as he is and goes as hard as he does, it makes it very difficult for me to not at least try to do the same.

AC: Within the main event mafia, and even outside of it in TNA, theres a lot of guys who are around your age and maybe even a couple who are a little older. Sting is over 50, isnt he?

KN: Yeah, Sting is 50.

AC: So you dont stand out that much in terms of age. Is it a problem that that much of the TNA roster especially the guys on top are in the not even over 40 but over 45 or 50 club?

KN: You know, the biggest problem that Ive seen in our business and I remember a few years ago when Triple-H and Shawn Michaels came into Daytona Beach for a house show. Paul [Levesque] has a coach now that he travels in. We were just sitting in the coach talking. We were kind of going through the rosters and saying who are the guys who are going to replace us. Which guys are going to replace us when we retire? And everybody through names around and there werent a whole lot of names of guys who we thought were going to replace us.

You look at a guy like Edge, and now hes starting to realize and, gosh, I dont even know how old he is but he I think hes in his 30s. And hes getting to the point where hes had a ton of injuries. John Cena has had a ton of injuries. With these guys, its almost [a question of] who can last.

AC: Well whos fault is that that a lot of main event talent hasnt been created in either company? I think people are complaining about it even more in WWE where were seeing Triple-H vs. Randy Orton or John Cena or some kind of combination of those three every month for like the last two years. Ive heard that explanation of, Well, there really arent guys ready to come up. But isnt that the fault of the promoters? I mean, somebody had to give you your break.

KN: Thats true, but at the same time, the people who run these companies are very smart. They break it down by the second. And when they see that a certain guy goes out there week in and week out and every time he goes out there the numbers drop I mean, they run this as a business. What people dont understand is that it would be one thing if we were sitting in a batters box and happen to hit a curve ball. Its not. Basically, were just sports entertainers. And when you get older, you get smarter. Youre able to tell a story. You actually get better at your craft as you do an actor.

AC: Well, except for the physical part, right? Your body breaks down and its probably harder to do some things at 50 than it was at 25.

KN: When we do a pay per view and then the four TVs following in three days, by the end of that I feel like somebodys put me in a plastic bag and beat me with an aluminum bat. I need at least a week to recover physically. And for the guys that are on the WWF Im always going to call it WWF roster, theyre out three, four, five nights a week. And its just a hard life. Its a grueling life. And people break down.

I think it was Matt Hardy who not too long ago got like a little injury. And then got another little injury. And he was starting to get a push so he said, Ah, Im not going to take the time off. And then that injury ends up escalating to something where he has to, because he has to get it fixed. Its hard.

I sat one day and I was flipping channels and I saw Cena. I had read that he had injured his neck and I see John in there. I had my neck operated on when I broke my neck. I look, and heres this earthworm of a scar on his neck knowing that he shouldnt be in the ring already. And its not that Vince said, You need to get here and get in the ring, John. Its just the fact that John realizes that that spots golden. And he doesnt want to lose that spot. And as soon as he feels that he can somewhat fill that void And its just us.

I remember one of the dirt sheet guys wrote something where it should be mandatory that guys have to take months off here and months off there and do this and do that. And its just like this is the way we make out living. Nobody puts a gun to our head. If Im beat up and I cant go, I just dont go.

AC: Yeah, but your situation is different than say, even below a Matt Hardy. Take like an MVP, or someone like that. If he was getting a good push, and got hurt, I think hed be really reluctant to take some time off whether he could or he couldnt, because he may not come back to that spot, right?

KN: Well, when I was Diesel and I tore my triceps, I had it operated on, and 17 days later I was in a tag match for King of the Ring, And I was supposed to be out for 90 days. Would I do that now? Absolutely not. But at that point at that time, it wasnt even a question. The doctor said, Dont do it, and I was like, OK. Whatever.

AC: Because of the schedule, are you surprised that more guys dont look at TNA? Even with the increased house shows, its still a much better schedule than youd have in WWE, right?

KN: Yeah, absolutely. But at the same time, I considered going back to WWE and I sat down and talked to Vince.

AC: Recently?

KN: Yeah, last October.


KN: And, when he lays down like a minimum guarantee number, its like, Wow. Like, Heres you r minimum guarantee, and youre like, Wow, thats a lot of money.

AC: And for you, what was it [the reason you didnt return]? Was it just the schedule that you wouldnt be able to be home as much?

KN: Yeah, and plus he said it knows it sounds so trite but he wanted me to dye my hair back black. And I didnt have a problem with that, until I sat down and talked to my girl who used to color my hair and she said, Kevin, your hair grows so fast that youd be dying your hair every Monday.

AC: So that was the deal breaker that they wanted you to dye your hair?

KN: It wasnt a deal breaker. It was just that from the maintenance standpoint Then you read your contract. When I first signed with them, the contract said that you were guaranteed 10 dates for $150. That was like the WWF, you know? In other words: You sign, we own you, and you can make fifteen hundred bucks. And then the second time I came back, it was much more extensive with the merchandising and the worldwide rights. Well, the last contract I got and Ive been doing this for a long time. I dont need a lawyer to read a contract for me anymore it gets to termination. It has about 95,000 clauses as to why they can terminate you. And, I swear to God, the last line is: or for no reason whatsoever.

[Both laugh]

AC: So why even bother with the other 94,999?

KN: Exactly. So in other words, youre giving me this thing that looks like War and Peace Ive got to go to a cardiologist, Ive got to get a brain scan, Ive got to get all this stuff done and basically you could get rid of me just because one morning you wake up and look at me and say, You know what? I just dont like the way you look. I said, I just dont think I want to put myself in that position.

AC: Were you seriously considering wrestling a full-time schedule when you were talking to WWE last year?

KN: I think I talked 120 days with Vince when I came up.

AC: For a year?

KN: Yeah

AC: Thats a lot of matches. Wow.

KN: But I knew that Id be with Shawn and I was going to count on being on his coat tails and saying, Shawn, go do that thing you do. [laughs]

AC: So were those matches or just appearances?

KN: They would have been both, a combination. But my whole thing was that I came into prominence with Shawn. And I know that Shawn is thinking about I dont think hes going to be doing it that much longer. And I kind of wanted to have that circle of life. I wanted it on my wall of shame in my house to have that 1993 picture of Shawn Michaels doing a double-bicep pose with the black headed Diesel behind him and then I wanted a 2010 photo of Shawn Michaels doing the double-bicep pose with the gray-haired Diesel behind him.

AC: With you and Shawn and Hunter all doing well and still in the business making lots of money, is there a part of you that feels bad or guilty at all for the couple guys who arent doing as well? I guess Sean Waltman is doing OK wrestling in Mexico and still involved in the business. But you dont hear that much from Scott and the last thing I read from you he wasnt in great shape. So is there any part of you that almost feels, again, kind of guilty?

KN: I dont feel guilty, but I dont think sad even begins to cover it. Because, to me, Scott Hall is probably one of the most talented guys Ive ever been around in my life. One of the most charismatic. It crushes me. Ive tried. Everybodys tried. But as much as you want somebody to live a sober life, unless they want to, its just not going to happen. And Ive been around it. Scotts been a close friend of mine. Ive seen the demon of addiction and, God, its just horrible. And people say, Well if you want, you can get clean. Im of the mindset, being around it as much as I have on so many different levels with so many different guys, that its a disease. It is absolutely a disease and it has to be treated as a disease. And, you know, some people dont make it from a disease.

AC: What do you think your legacy in the sport will be more: Your work as a singles competitor or your team with Scott?

KN: I just did the Comic-Con in Chicago and so many people came and you would see that smile on their face and they would talk about what Scott and I brought at that point. I think that was kind of the genesis of that new era of wrestling. I think Scott and I were in the right place at the right time. Im sure, of all the things that go down, that nWo run will be what Im most [remembered for.] Plus it completely changed the pay structure for both companies. So from the standpoint of the boys, I think that was the most helpful for us.
AC: Let me ask you about TNA and some of things that are going on there now. I dont how much youre at liberty to talk about this, but obviously a lot of the buzz has involved some of the backstage, inner working with this issue between Jeff [Jarrett] and Kurt [Angle]. There s been this talk of a fall out and whether theres going to be a change in management structure, whether Jeffs on the outs, whether theres going to be a new direction in creative. My point is to get to the question of whether youd be interested in booking for TNA? I know you had the stint booking in WCW that isnt remembered too well. Is there any part of you thats sort of looking for vindication and showing what you could do as a booker?

KN: No. I love that there are these books that came out about how I was like the reason that WCW failed. And it amazes me that It had nothing to do with the dot com crunch, or the fact that the stock went from like $73 to $19. It was Kevin Nashs booking. It not only caused the end of WCW it also caused them to sell the Braves, Philips Arena.

AC: Youre responsible for that whole AOL merger.

KN: Exactly. My booking, with nine guys who had creative control who could come in at 7:30, like Hulk, whod go, It doesnt work for me, brother. Oh, great. Let me rewrite nine segments. I look at that and say, anybody who was there, I did the best I could. It wasnt like I had complete control.

I did one show where I had complete control. It was the first Thunder that I ever did. And it was the reveal where we were watching the black and white guys talking crap about us the whole time. And that was the only show that I got to book from start to finish. As soon as I did that and it got kind of good reviews, it was, like, Lets sabotage this thing.

AC: Yeah. So, again, are you interested in taking on that role in TNA?

KN: My answer is this. I have a 13-year-old son who needs a father way more than TNA needs a booker.

AC: Would the demands be that much.

KN: I think it is, because I dont do anything half-assed. If you put me in there, it means Im thinking about it 24/7. You have to, because when youre lying there in the sun, you get an idea and its like, God, thats way better than I thought. And youve got to get up and youve got to write it down. And youve got to change in and so on.

Im really good friends with [Vince] Russo. And I see what he has to go through and the situation that happened where kind of right before the pay per view, some political things go down, and hes left with a show with a bunch of gaps in it and hes got to do his best to fill it. And those are the things that take years off your life. And at this point, right now, like what we talked about earlier Im closer to dying. So, I dont need the stress and they cant put enough zeros at the end of my paycheck.

AC: Do you think youd be able to do it in some kind of committee atmosphere where it wouldnt be all on your shoulders? Maybe working with Russo?

KN: I told Vince [Russo] when this situation went down, I said, Hey – we have always talked, and its mostly been about my stuff But I said, If you have anything that you need to run by If you want somebody just to run something by to be an ear, as a friend I would always do that. But I, in no form or fashion, want to be calling the shots. Its just not there anymore for me. I mean, if I was out of the ring maybe I could do it. But Im in the ring, and Im having fun in the ring. I mean, I love what Im doing in the Main Event Mafia. My focus is doing that right now. Let somebody else come up with the ideas. Ill perform their ideas to the best of my capabilities.

AC: What is kind of the atmosphere right now backstage? Has it been kind of exaggerated as far as these pictures of chaos, Whos in charge? and We dont know where were going to be a year from now”?

KN: You know what? Taz came in the other day and there was all the talk about everything that was going on. And somebody said something to him and he said, God, this is the most laid back place Ive ever been in in my life. And I said, Yeah, dude. And today were in a torpedo drill. You think its chill now? Wait until a couple weeks when everything blows over.

I live 71 miles from my garage to the Universal back gate. Theres never a time when I throw my bag in the trunk and put on my tunes and drive over there and go, God, I dont want to do this. I couldnt say that when I was working 23, 24, 25 days in a row for the WWF. There were so many times I would just look at those bags and Id just go, God, I cant believe Im going to do this again.

AC: Is that a good thing, though? Some people might take that to mean that its not being taken seriously that theres not much of a structure or organization. Maybe things shouldnt be that laid back.

KN: Theyre laid back until it comes time to lay something out. When it comes time, when you get there and its like, OK, what do we got? Weve got 12 minutes. Im blessed because Im doing things with a lot of veterans that could work without a net.

I dont know. The business has changed so much. Its like, Lets sit down and Guys actually go over matches in the ring and actually take bumps. I remember I sat there one day and watched guys practicing moonsaults. I thought to myself, Oh my God. Do you realize how many of those you have in your body in your life? And you just gave away nine of them for free. Its a different group of guys. Its a different era.

On top of that The first time I walked into a pro wrestling locker room and I was under contract, there were probably two dozen guys who weighed 300 pounds. It aint like that no more. Its a very small [locker room.] Theres way more small guys than there are big guys. Theres few guys that look that big. You look at guys like Kip James, who was not that big of a guy. Kip, now, is a monster in our dressing room. So, the business has changed. The athleticism has changed.

AC: Should TNA be happy with where they are right now? I know there are people that think at this point, with this amount of talent, on Spike, on primetime, you should be doing a lot better than you are. But then theres the point that you look at where you were just a few years ago, and the fact that you are on Spike with this deal shows that youre doing quite well.

KN: I look at when I first got there and we were on Fox, or whatever it was.

AC: Right, in the afternoons.

KN: It was like one of those moments in your life when you just rub your eyes. Youre told that youre in like the 27 largest metropolitan areas in the country, and youve got Dusty [Rhodes] cutting promos on the back of a pickup truck with a bail of hay. Were kind of in an urban environment and our boss is cutting promos on a hay bail.

AC: I remember that.

KN: I was thinking to myself like, Does anybody know what our demographic is here? So I look at where we are now, and its just like for me I just love the dirt sheet guys. Another horrible this. Another horrible that. I just had 20,000 people come up to my booth in Chicago and tell me how much they love TNA, how much they dont love WWE, how much they dont watch them anymore. So for the three or four guys who are going to watch it anyway, and hate it, you know, its just like, there are a lot of people who like out program.

AC: Is that to say theres not room for improvement? I mean, the criticisms of TNA – whether or not you get a bunch of people coming up to you and saying they like your work, it doesnt mean theres not something to the criticisms, right?

KN: Oh, I agree. But its the same thing as, for years Stallone and Shwarzenegger they said what horrible actors they are. But you know then they do $240 million at the box office. So, I believe theres something to critics. But, you know what, I believe that the 10-16-year-old kid, whos really the meat and potatoes of your demographic, and then from there the 18-35 year-old demographic Ive never had a 9-year-old kid come up to me and say, I think you need to pick up your workrate.

AC: Yeah, or, You need more wrestling per segment.

KN: Yeah. If I was 14, I would say I dont want to see anything but the Beautiful People, you know. If I was a 14-year-old boy, Id just say, I dont care. I want to see the Beautiful People for two hours. So you kind of have to look at it like a variety show.

AC: Youve mentioned the dirt sheets a couple times. I know you did a long-form interview with Wade Keller a couple years back. Whats your take on it? It sounds like youve been pretty cooperative. Youre being cooperative with me, right now, answering questions.

KN: To me, its our media. But a guy like Bruce Mitchell I read this sheet and he says, Why would Nash become so massively jacked up at his age? Hes a smart guy. And Im thinking, Dude, Im 52 pounds lighter than I was when I came back to the WWF in the nWo gear. Im massively jacked up? I dont have a pair of pants I can keep on me. But what he doesnt understand is that, if you get lean and get your body fat down to about 10 percent, you look a lot bigger on TV, because youre lit from on top. Massively jacked? I played basketball at 282. Im 282.  And then you give the pay per view a 2? And I say to myself, So let me get this right Youre somebody that cant boil an egg, and youre coming to my restaurant and your criticizing my food as a chef?

AC: Ive never really bought that argument, because Ill go to a movie I cant make a movie. I cant act in a movie but I think I know what I like and I dont like in a movie. So is that to say that somebody whos never wrestled cant be a critic of wrestling?

KN: Ill tell you something right now. Somebody whos never been in the ring sure as hell cant tell me who can work and who cant work.

AC: You can say what you enjoy. I mean, at the end of the day, the performers are putting on a performance for the spectator, right? So you can say, as the spectator, whether you appreciated their work or not.

KN: Is work tumbling?

AC: No, Im not talking just about high spots and that sort of thing.

KN: I know that, but to me, the slow turn that Hogan does when somebody is behind him is a work of art as far as when you look at what I consider work. To somebody else, Hogan cant work and never could work. Ive been in the ring with him. Theres another aspect that goes, you know, if youre going to work 300 days a year the last thing you want is somebody that is so stiff out there and punches you in the face every third punch. The marks say, Wow. He really brought it. It was a brutal match. You know what? Thats great, but thats not the art of pro wrestling.

Mick Foley being thrown off a cage to a table 40-feet below him was the worst thing that probably ever could happen in our sport. Because what we do is we go out and we put on a performance, and you should never, ever hit each other. Thats not the art of what we do. When you light yourself on fire and jump 40 feet, thats a stunt. Thats not a work. To me, ECW was pornography.

AC: But TNA is keeping that kind of brand of wrestling alive more than WWE is, through Abyss, and the thumbtacks, and the Monsters Ball and all that.

KN: And every time I see it, I go back there and I shake my head and I go, I dont get it. I dont know why you would do this to yourself and I state my opinion. I say its wrong. Its like when you watch the old Dusty things and everybody says, Dusty! Dusty! Dusty! You know, you take a blade to your head and bleed for 25 minutes while people pound on you that aint working. Thats a shortcut. Thats all that is.

AC: One of the best hardcore-type matches I can remember was your match with Shawn at the In Your House after WrestleMania Good Friends. Better Enemies.

KN: Yeah, in Omaha.

AC: I dont even remember if there was any blood in that match. There was no blood, right?

KN: There was no blood.

AC: What made that match work so well?

KN: Number one, we had had a great match in Berlin about a month before. We went about 31 minutes. We didnt do any hardcore stuff, but he did a bunch of stuff off the top. And we kind of decided we wanted to use some props. And when [Mad Dog] Vaschon said, Hey, you can use my leg, we went, Oh Jeez. Now we could take it to a different level.

Shawn said, Put me through the table. We used a fire extinguisher. And, I knew it was the last time Shawn and I touch for probably three, four or five years. So we wanted to make it special. You know, you cant have a bad match with Shawn. Its impossible.

AC: And the thing at that time, too, as you pointed out, you didnt see that all the time. Even going back a few months before that to your match with Bret [Hart] at the Survivor Series where you dropped the belt. That table spot blew everybodys mind.

KN: You have to remember also that nobody had hit anybody with a chair for like a year and a half. So when I picked that chair up and he turned his back to me, everybody thought he would spin around and kick me in the stomach. And when I hit him with that chair, that crowd you could just see the people sitting on the end of their seats. They went, Oh my God. You captivated them, because you werent used to seeing that. And when I pushed him through the table, it was like, Oh my God.

AC: So youre just shaking your head in TNA when you see, on the same card, a Monsters Ball match, and a cage match and some kind of high wire match all in one night again, the kind of thing you used to get a taste of once every several years.

KN: Right. But you know what, maybe its because Im a dinosaur. But, to me, its just like theres nothing more entertaining to me than a really, really good, thought-out, 30-minute tag match. Its just real solid, in and out, because you could do so many things in a tag match. But the worst thing on earth to me is any kind of triple threat match, because its always the same psychology. I dont care who has it, its always, OK. What can we do to double you down while we do a high spot, while that guy goes down, and  we do a high spot, then that guy goes down, and we do a high spot. Its just like, Ugh.
AC: Is the problem and this kind of goes against what we were saying before that there are too many main event wrestlers that when it comes time to book a show theres too many guys that you have to consider. I just think of WrestleMania. When WrestleMania comes along obviously the biggest show of the year youve got to have all your stars at WrestleMania. So, theres only so much room for one-on-one matches, because youve got to have Cena, and youve got to have Edge, and youve got have this guy. So you end up with the three-ways or four-ways just to fit everybody on a show.

KN: Yeah, and its so hard, just sitting in that creative process. And thats the whole thing. I would love to take the [Pro Wrestling] Torch, take the entire group of the Torch guys and say, OK, book the show for a month. Its your show. Book it. And then have them walk into a room and say, OK, this is what were going to do and have five guys go, I aint doing that.

AC: Well, what do you think theyd do? What do you think the Torch guys would book?

KN: I dont know. I talk to Wade as a friend, and 90 percent of the time I talk to Wade Keller in my life, we talk about politics, we talk about current events, we talk about the stock market, real estate. When I did that Torch talk with him, that real long one, we became friends. So the rest of the guys, I dont even know. I wouldnt know if they walked in here. I just know that Mitchells picture in the Torch looks like, super creepy.

AC: [Laughs] I think its a little dated.

KN: It doesnt matter. Hes one of those guys that if I lit myself on fire, he would say, Nash lit himself on fire last night, but the flame just wasnt high enough.

AC: Hes a smart guy, though.

KN: I dont know how smart he is.

AC: I mean,  listen to the shows, and he certainly has a large knowledge base of wrestling. Hes been watching for a long time.

KN: Im not a fan.

AC: You like Wades work, though?

KN: Yeah, I think Wade has some good ideas. We talk about furthering the business and things like that. If I was put in charge of something, I would definitely think of bringing in Wade to consult. I think that he has a good balance of whats needed. But at the same time, when we do talk about the business, well sit and argue back and forth for an hour, because my opinions are so different than his on so many different levels.

AC: Youve got a reputation for being a smart guy in the business a student of the game, kind of thing. Do you think that Jeff Jarrett, whos obviously been very influential in TNA, is similarly that kind of a person? Do you think hes knowledgeable about wrestling what works and what doesnt? Because thats been the bad rap about him How can a guy whos been in the sport for this long, and whose father is in the sport and whos run his own wrestling company, make some of the mistakes that he does? Even some of the things that youve pointed out having these kinds of matches that are not efficient, for the lack of a better word. A lot of gimmick matches, a lot of needless crazy bumps and stunts and that kind of a thing.

KN: Ive said this 100,000 times. I would write a show and Id go to bed and I would say, That show is going to be brilliant. And then three guys miss two spots and the execution All of a sudden its like this domino effect. This guy screws up a finish in match one. This guy does something in match two. And all of a sudden everybodys saying, Your show is horrible. Well, yeah, but if they would have executed those three things, it would have been a lot better. But I take the rap because I made the soup.

AC: But do you think Jeff is a smart guy for wrestling?

KN: I think he is. I think Jeff has some good sensibilities, but the thing is, its so hard to book. I dont know how many times I would sit and watch a show and had read the format and had looked at it backwards and format and looked at it as it was executed and played out. And then I would go home and watch it next Thursday, and watching the show sitting in my house I go, God, why didnt I see that it would have been so much better if we had done this or we would have done that? But when youre doing it especially if its live When its live, you get what you get. Thank God we have some ability to sweeten and trim and do what we do with our edit crew.

But all in all, the creative process Vince[McMahon] has brought in people from Hollywood for Christs sake. I look at it and I say to myself, How were we so successful in the WWF when the only two people booking it were Pat Patterson and Vince? And you could sit with Vince and it would be March 7th, and you could say, What am I doing at SummerSlam? and he would open his book and say, OK, youre going to be against so-and-so

AC: Mabel!

KN: Yeah,  Youre going to be against Mabel, and this and this and this. I mean, we were booked so far in advance with storylines. It used to be that you would work a 25-day tour with Duke the Dumpster Droese before you ever touched him on TV. So you worked your kinks out on the road, and then when you went on TV you had a match that you had a match that you had 25 times.

AC: Is the problem that theres too much being given away on TV?

KN: Oh, absolutely. I remember what a big deal it was when King of the Ring was added as the fifth pay per view. Now youve probably got 90 wrestling pay per views.

AC: I did the match and it works out, if you get every TNA pay per view and WWE pay per view, it works out to something like $1,000.

KN: Yeah, and if you look at that, its just like how could you possible follow a Hell in a Cell on one pay per view? Its just like, OK, then weve got to have a ladder match. Then weve got to have this. Then weve got to have a tables and chairs, oh my! And then if you dont its just like UFC 100. I actually bought that fight. I wanted to see Brock. I knew Brock [Lesnar] was going to kill [Frank] Mir and I wanted to watch. I knew St. Pierre would do well.

AC: And they did 1.5 million buys.

KN: Exactly. But then Im looking in the newspaper and its like Forest So-and-so against somebody else, and Im like, No. Im not going to buy that. Its just not the same quality as 100. 101 aint the same quality as 100, so I know Im not going to buy it.

AC: Going full circle here and going back to talking about valets, and sort of tying it into some of the turmoil in TNA right now: Historically, has it been a problem to have women in the locker room? I sort of liken to the difference between going to an all-boy high school and a co-ed high school. You dont have the distractions of women at an all-boy high school. Has there been a problem over history with guys getting their wives or girlfriends involved in the business?

KN: I remember I was on the road with Rick Rude God rest his soul who was kind of, I would say, my first mentor. And he looked over at me and he said, Nash, whatever you do, dont bring your old lady around the business. Not backstage. Not anywhere. And I never ever My wife has been to three matches in 22 years. One of them was WrestleMania XI in Hartford, because she was asked by Linda [McMahon] to please come. And the other two were like early when I was Master Blaster and we had some shots down in like Pensacola, and my wife and I would just make a vacation out of it and hang out for a couple days afterward, and it just kind of worked out. Those are the only matches shes ever been to. My son has never seen me wrestle.

AC: Why? Especially as far as your wifes concern, why do you think its a problem and why did Rick Rude tell you that it would be a problem?

KN: I dont know. I dont think theres on of us in which theres not a Jeckyll and Hyde. Youre different when youre in your character. You have to be. Sex and violence sells. We all know that. Thats why its important to have females there, because you have to have that sexual content. And guys fight over two things. Guys fight over the fact of whos the toughest and guys fight over women. Thats about it. So youve got to have women to fight over. And thats essential. And for me, I dont want to sit backstage all day in a sausage farm. I like to have some pretty girls that arent walking around scantly dressed. It kind of makes the day more interesting. I personally, I enjoy looking at beautiful women.

AC: When guys have brought their wives or girlfriends around, is the notion, Be careful. This is, essentially, a shark tank around here.

KN: If they didnt tell them that, then theyre so nave. The thing is, too, theres so many times that you see a pretty girl walking backstage and the guys will walk by and youll see them go, God, whos that? And whos that? And whos that? And you find out, eight minutes later, its some guys wife.

One of the greatest stories of all time was Scott Hall was at the curtain, and he was sitting next to Bad News Brown who was a bad dude. I think he was like a brown belt. I think he was actually in the Olympics in judo. And there was this really buxom blonde that kept walking out front by the curtain. And Scott like five or six different times was going to say something to bad news about how bad this girl was. Like, Oh God, she was amazing. And for some reason he didnt say anything, and she walked through the curtain and gave Bad News a kiss. It was his wife. It was one of those deals where, like, Oh God, he would have beaten me to death if I had said what I was going to say.

And thats the whole thing. The boys are the boys. They see a pretty girl and it does cause controversy. Theres no doubt about it. The girls that we have, like the Christy Hemmes, and the Beautiful People, and Tracy I look at those girls as sisters. Theyre part of the team. But its always that fresh piece of meat that comes in. Thats the one that causes [problems]. Its almost like putting chum in the shark tank. Thats the one that the boys all start sniffing around especially the single guys. And you cant blame them.

My whole philosophy has changed so much at 50 years old that I see a 25 year old girl and I dont have the real estate in my brain to even think where to lie. Im just like, No thanks.

AC: So they need not apply for your valet contest?

KN: Yeah, please dont. If you dont know that the dial is like at 93, please just dont.

AC: Before I let you go, I want to ask you about one last thing as far as your legacy. The WWE Hall of Fame is running out of guys to induct. Theyre starting to let in guys who are questionable, to say the least. I mean, they got Koko B. Ware in last year. Would it mean anything for you to be inducted? Would you like for it to happen? Do you think you deserve it?

KN: This is one thing Ill say. When Kevin Nash is gone, there wont be another one. Theres not going to be another Kevin Nash. Theres just not going to be. And so, I dont know.

AC: Do you think that their hall of fame has grown in credibility over the last several years, to be looked at as the reputable wrestling hall of fame. Theyre bringing in guys from the AWA and NWA now who have never wrestled for WWE and are trying to pass it off now as sort of the legitimate wrestling hall of fame.

KN: I think, of course, it would be an honor to be chosen into the hall of fame. But, at the same time, its just like, I never hit a curve ball. Every belt Ive ever won has been because someone, on a piece of paper with a pencil, determined that at the end of the night, Nashs music on the way out.

As an entertainer, I think Ive been entertaining. I think Ive been entertaining. I think Ive been witty. I think people have enjoyed my humor way more than theyve enjoyed my matches. So I look at it as a broad spectrum of things. Did I have some good matches? Yes. But did I have to have somebody out there with me who could absolutely work? Yes.  I didnt go out there with Sid and tear the house down.

AC: Or King Mabel.

KN: Yeah. I need somebody, but I could do my part, as I did with Thomas Jayne in The Punisher. I can do my part.

AC: Well, thats more than other guys your size can do.

KN: Yeah, I can do my part. I can have a match. I think the match I had with A.J. [Styles]  last month was good.

AC: I think youre the one who coined the phrase in that Torch interview that I hear used a lot: creating movement. Theres really something to that.

KN: Yeah, there is. Its an art. And a lot of guys dont know how to do it. And they try to create it themselves and they look like a cement mixer going down in the sand.

AC: I back to that match you had with Triple H in the Hell in a Cell during your last run. I dont think there was much hope that that match could be much good, and it was very good.

KN: And all that was was psychology. We told a story. And my whole thing is, if you really put thought into it Like with me and Mick [Foley] right now. Weve got a week left before we go in there. And you know, Micks beat up. Im beat up. Micks not going to create movement for me. So, its like, what smoke and mirrors? We dont want run-ins. We want to go out there and do the best we can with our brains, and hopefully our bodies will be able to push the stories through. But this is something that Mick and I are taking pride in because, you know, on paper this could be Oz-Kazmaier II.

AC: [Laughs] A classic.

KN: But, at 50 years old, thats a challenge that I want. If I could come out of that with people saying, God, it wasnt as bad as I thought it would be, Id be happy with that, you know?

AC: You two make an interesting case study. I think you guys are around the same age. Maybe youre a little older than him?

KN: Yeah, Im a little older than him. But I think his odometer has got a few more miles than mine.

AC: Right, and obviously just from looking at the two of you guys, you look to be in a lot better shape than he does. How do you sort of compare and contrast that? Do you think that looking at the two of you gives some evidence that youve made some better decisions than he has along the way?

KN: I just think that Mick was never a gym guy. And Ive always been a muscle head. I got in here last night to San Francisco, got to my room around 1:15. I was on the Danny Bonaduce show at 5:30 a.m., our time, Pacific Time. And when I finish with you, Im going to put my gym clothes on and go to the gym and work out. Thats just what I do. Its what I do every day. And that is, I think, why I look how I look at 50 years old. I dont know if Im crazy or dedicated. My wife says Im a narcissist.

AC: One last question, which I believe Bruce Mitchell, your favorite journalist, has brought up. Your hair doesnt look as sort of luxurious and flowing as usual. Have you been doing anything different with your hair lately?

KN: You know what it is? They came out with this product. My hair was like white, white, white. And so they came out with this product that put color back in your hair but its like a dark gray and it matches the back of my hair. If you pull up the back of my hair, the back of my hair still has some pigment in it. So the lady put it in, and it was fine for a couple weeks, but Im in the sun all the time. I live in Florida and Im on my boat or my Jet Ski. So it kind of gave it a yellow tint. And on top of that, I have curly hair naturally, and its so humid in Orlando. And the building has been so hot lately. You cant breathe when you work. And your hair just becomes like a frizz ball.

AC: So thats what it is.

KN: I havent changed conditioner or anything else. But you know what, I apologize. For the last three or four days, Ive been noticing that my hair has been really good, so hopefully, Bruce will be able to bite his tongue this Sunday and say, if nothing else, Nashs hair did look better.


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