Part 1: Interview with Florida Supercon guest and WWE legend Kevin Nash
07/01/2014 5:49 PM
07/01/2014 5:50 PM
Florida Supercon is July 3-6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The event will be attended by upwards of 40,000 fans and features more than 250 comic book, film, television, cosplay, entertainment, and anime guests along with pro wrestling stars Jerry The King Lawler, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Shane Hurricane Helms, Scott Steiner, and Kevin Nash.
“It’s amazing, The last couple of years they’ve really picked up with these events,” Nash said. “For me, during my wrestling career, I was pretty isolated from the fans. You go to the back of the arena. You perform. You’re in your car, and you’re off to the next stop. You really don’t get to spend any time with your fans. At the cons, you get a chance to say thank you to the people who have basically been supporting you for the last 25 years. So it’s special. It’s nice.”
It’s also a reunion for Nash.
“Ted was a part of the nWo. Scotty Steiner was a part of the nWo. The King’s been part of WWE since I first came there in 1993, and Hurricane was a guy who broke in and got a good push [3 Count] in WCW when I was there. He was one of the first high-flying cruiserweight guys. It’s a great collection of guys [at Florida Supercon], and I consider each one of them a friend.”
Florida Supercon is a fan friendly experience, growing so much that organizers moved it from the Miami Airport Convention Center to the Miami Beach Convention Center, which has its own rich history hosting Championship Wrestling from Florida shows.
Nash wrestled in Miami as Diesel for WWF and as a founding member of the nWo for WCW. With the success of the nWo in WCW, his Kliq friend birthed DX in WWF. Two of the top factions in wrestling history.
“They both had members of the Kliq,” Nash said.
The Kliq consisted of Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Sean Waltman and Nash.
“DX is what really made Triple H,” Nash said. “He was playing the blue blood, and then Triple H went away from that persona and kind of took over DX, and that’s when Paul Levesque got to be himself. That’s when I think he really took off because he’s got an incredible sense of humor, a really fun loving guy. They kind of took our [nWo] formula. They [DX] were younger guys, and they made it a little hipper. Anytime WWE produces anything it’s going to be produced better.
“The nWo was the Beatles. We were there first, but they [DX] were definitely fantastic.”
The nWo fantastic, too. A game changer in the business.
Nash knew the nWo struck a big chord when Hulk Hogan turned to complete the formation at the WCW Bash at the Beach pay-per-view in Daytona Beach. When Hogan duped fans at the Ocean Center, they littered the ring with cups and trash.
“I thought, ‘Wow, they really don’t like us,’” Nash said. “This is actually blurring the line a little bit, and we continued to blur that line. The fact that two guys [Hall and Nash] from [WWF] were able to opt out of their contracts six days apart, and Hulk gone and doing a movie and not really in the mix, and then those three entities kind of show up together. The big thing was that [mystery] man was Hulk. That kind of solidified us. He gave us a stamp of approval. [Hall and Nash] were the two guys who turned the ‘say your prayers’ and ‘eat your vitamins’ guy into a bad guy. It gave us credibility. It gave the nWo credibility. To add Hulk to any aspect of anything you do is fantastic.”
The nWo marked Hulk’s first heel turn.
“[Hulk] was watching the show, and he saw the momentum really shifting,” Nash said. “He saw Scott and I as heel personas were perceived as being cool. He thought if there was a time to switch, it was now, because he could see the momentum going with Scott and I. So when he jumped, it was a shock, but it was a tsunami that pushed the thing for almost three years.”
Nash puts it into perspective.
“It’s so hard. You look at John Cena. He plays the guy in the white cowboy hat,” Nash said. “Our society has gone with the anti-heroes probably since Brandon Lee in ‘The Crow.’ Times have changed. It’s no longer waving the flag as much as it was. There’s a lot of disgruntled people in society. When you look at the demographic, you ask, ‘Where’s the money at?’ Well, the money’s in this kind of tweener guy -- a bad guy with a cool persona.
“One thing about Hulk. If he smells dollar signs. it doesn’t take him long to make a decision. He saw the way it was going and made the decision.”
Hogan learned as did Nash. It didn’t happen overnight.
“My first three years with WCW [1990-93] were miserable,” Nash said. “I went from character to character [Master Blaster Steel to Oz to Vinnie Vegas]. There were times I thought I was going to be let go. Finally I got a call from [Rick] Steiner, and he said, ‘Shawn Michaels wants you to come up [to WWF] and be his bodyguard. Are you interested?’ I said, ‘I’ll see if I can get out of my contract.’ I got out of my contract, and I was his bodyguard.”
Nash began a new chapter.
“There was a big difference back then. [WWF] was like major league baseball. WCW was like Double-A [minor league baseball]. People were like, ‘Why don’t you go to [WWF].’ I didn’t think I was ready.
“When I got the opportunity to go there as Shawn’s bodyguard, Shawn got an injury, and I was put in his bookings, working with Scott Hall [Razor Ramon]. Then I became the [WWF] Intercontinental champion. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ Shortly after that, me and Shawn were the [WWF] tag champs, and shortly after that, I became the [WWF] world champion.
“We used to keep the belts back then. I went back to my room at the hotel with the belts in my bag. I took them out of my bag and laid them on the bed, and I thought, ‘Wow, how did this happen?’”
In Nash’s three years in WWF [1995-96], there totaled five WWF champions. Yokozuna, Bret Hitman Hart, Bob Backlund, Michaels and Nash.
“Vince [McMahon] made the decisions,” Nash said. “He was the king. When the king made a decision, you accepted it and moved forward. So the rest of guys helped that guy get over.
“When I got the belt, when I was the champion, I had 300 matches under my belt, and I had not worked a lot of singles matches. I was green. It was on the job training. I did the best I could. I wasn’t a much better wrestler in 1997 than I was in 1995.”
Still, Nash succeeded.
“I had great guys around me. Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Paul Levesque, my buddies,” he said. “They brought in Jeff Jarrett. I got a chance to work with him, and it was good for me to work with him. Him being athletic, he was a good dance partner for me.”
At Florida Supercon, dance parties will be part of more than 700 events, including celebrity Q&As, industry panels, writing workshops, video game tournaments, cosplay contests, cosplay photo shoots, Florida Super Championship Wrestling and more.
Florida Super Championship Wresting is a unique concept where wrestlers become anime, comic book and video game superheroes and villains.
Nash, who turns 55 on July 9, is a Captain America fan. He is also a Ted DiBiase fan.
“Ted was always a good guy,” Nash said. “When I really became friends with Ted, he had found Christ. So Ted was always an anchor on the road, when everybody else was kind of insane. There’s plenty of stories before where Ted was king of the party boys, but when we became friends, Ted was at a different place in his life, and tt was good to see someone do that and something for all of us to kind of emulate.”
Complete information on guests and hundreds of events occurring throughout Florida Supercon weekend can be found at:
Convention hours are: Thursday, July 3: Noon-Midnight. Friday, July 4: 10 a.m.-Midnight. Saturday, July 5: 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday, July 6: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tickets start at $25 in advance and $30 at the door. The Miami Beach Convention Center is at 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, 33139.
Join the Discussion
Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.