KEVIN NASH INTERVIEW RECAP (Taped prior to his match against PCO last month)
Kevin Nash stepped into the Main Event in June and in true big sexy style he was very cool and laid back about PCO’s allegations, Nash touches on the incidents, as well as his love for Montreal. Shares a hilarious story about himself and the kilq partying with some french hotties while snowed in during one trip to Montreal. Nash also takes time to touch on working the Indy scene, where his career is at this point, where he sees it going, TNA’s Slammiversary celebration, acting, who he sees as the future of wrestling, Scott Hall, Vince Russo, Bob Backlund and much more in this 35 minute interview. Here is the transcript…
SHOW: The Main Event, Sundays on CJLO 1690AM in Montreal
Can Be Downloaded At: http://www.MainEventRadio.com
Q: Let’s get to business. This Saturday you’re coming into Montreal for the IWS at their big event celebrating their 10th anniversary happening at the Medley. You opponent is none other than Pierre-Carl Oulette – a man who you have some history with going back to the 90’s. Maybe you can tell us your side of the story of that?
A: I guess we just had a little disagreement in the ring and it became pretty physical and let me put it this way – I haven’t gotten a Christmas card from him since.
Q: Apparently this is all stemming from a 1995 house show where Jean Pierre Lafitte (Ouellet’s wrestling name at the time) refused to do the job for you in a WWF title match which led to push coming to a halt and his eventual release from the company. How was the tension backstage between you and him at that time?
A: I mean it wasn’t only me it was guys like ‘taker and everybody else. It was almost universal amongst the boys; it was almost unheard of that you don’t put the champion over. And here’s something in his defence: he was young and he was in Montreal and there were a lot of people there to see him. But from a business standpoint, it wasn’t the right thing to do.
Q: PCO continues to blame you saying that you cost him three jobs and millions of dollars over the last few years and many other things just because of the fact that you are holding a grudge against him. What would your response be to him?
A: I think it’s the urban legend of the power of the Kliq that we are able to stop people from getting jobs and hold people back. The thing is if I would have had the stroke that he says I had he would have been fired right after that match and we wouldn’t have wrestled again the next night [in Quebec City].
Q: What were you thinking when he came off the top rope in Quebec City and landed right on your face?
A: As far as I was concerned he didn’t want to do a job and the only way to not do a job is to put me out of commission. I almost thought he was going to sneak one over me and take the strap off me. I didn’t know him that well but when a guy adamantly refuses to do a job in Montreal and turns around and drops 300 pounds of his glute on your head, what am I supposed to think?
Q: Now all these years later though what made you decide to come back here and settle the score once and for all against him in a match for the IWS?
A: To tell you the truth, Montreal is one of my most favorite cities in the world. People always say that they wish they could afford to go to Europe and I say you don’t have to; you can go to Montreal. It’s so different – Montreal is just one of those cities. Let me get this right – I get a payday, I get to go to Montreal, and worst case scenario I’ll get in a shoot fight.
Q: Are you nervous at all that Pierre may decide to shoot on you for payback?
A: What’s the worst case scenario? That he can beat me up? I don’t think he’s gonna murder me so worst case scenario is he either beats me up or I beat him up. It’s not like I’ve never lost a fight in my life – I’ve had a couple of hundred. I’m still in pretty darn good shape and pretty heavy handed. I don’t need any backup.
Q: Do you have any memories from past matches or times you’ve been here?
A: Running out of there as quick as we could to go to the clubs. I’ve probably been to that town [Montreal] about 20 times and 19 times I’ve gone from a club to the plane. I remember getting snowed in one time and Vince called the room to check up on us. It was me, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Kid, and a couple of girls that we had met at the club. Waltman had handed the phone to one of the girls and she said “Hello Mr. McMahon” in an incredibly sexy French accent. She looked at us and said that Mr. McMahon would like to talk to you and he screamed “I want you and Michaels on a train now!” I was like “Aww man, busted.” A room full of girls didn’t sit too well with the boss and me and Shawn had to take a train to Boston that night.
Q: Do you enjoy going out on the indy scene and your work outside of TNA?
A: I never had done an indy show in my life and when the movie The Wrestler came out people asked for my take on it. My career never really started that way and it’s not ending that way. But I think Rourke did an incredible job, Tomei did an incredible job, the acting was incredible, and I think it got a lot of the realism of what the guys go through. The thing for me is when you go out on the indy scene and you see that one ‘Diamond in the Rough’; that one kid when you watch a match and say this kid has something. You go back to TNA and you say I saw this kid the other night and they actually take a look at him and it makes me feel good. It’s such a hard business to break into now. If my opponent’s in good shape and can work a match I’d be more than happy to help him get into TNA. Show me what you’ve got – can you draw money?
Q: Tell me what the main differences are from the time you started and nowadays?
A: Umm..nothing. Michaels and ‘Taker stole Wrestlemania. You know, before that Hulk and Vince stole it. It seems to me like everybody screams to get rid of the old guys and bring in the new guard. I don’t have any problem whatsoever with somebody taking my job. I haven’t had a problem putting over anybody – I put Joe over at the last Pay-Per-View. I don’t mind putting anybody over as long as they’re worthy and that they can draw money. I’m not going to put somebody over just to put somebody over. If it’s good for business and it makes sense. I’m nearing 50 years old in July and at this point if you don’t start looking for somebody to hand the torch to, you’re an idiot.
Q: How much longer do you plan to wrestle? Is retirement on the horizon at all for Kevin Nash?
A: Right now I don’t even put it in my hands anymore. I’ve been hurt so many times and for some reason why I keep coming back. So G-d will tell me when it’s time to go. When I get cut out and I can’t come back that’ll be the end of it. As long as I can keep coming back and it gives me a reason to get up in the morning, to train harder. The other night I had a match, and after I got up in the middle of the ring and the people applauded me. A small crowd – maybe 1,000 people in the Impact Zone – but they stood and applauded me for a solid minute or maybe even two. But to get that adoration at this level in life and there is no better compliment than for people to stand and applaud your performance. At my age if I can still get the people to applaud like that there is no reason for me to walk away.
Q: I bumped into you in Houston a couple of weeks back when you were doing the signing for Booker T…your arm was in pretty bad shape at that point… how’s the healing coming along?
A: That’s right. I had surgery the night before. It’s still slow but my strength is coming back. It’s the twentieth time I’ve been operated on – mostly on my knees but the third or fourth time on this elbow. After your break your neck, rotator cuffs, and rods in both of your ankles; if you’re going to be miserable the rest of your life, why stop now? My most painful injury was my quadriceps. The quad is so large that it felt like it took a week before it tore across and my leg fell from beneath me. The rehab was brutal and gruelling. They said I wouldn’t come back but you know.
Q: What about Scott Hall? What’s he up to these days? Is he doing alright? I remember at Turning Point 2007 where it seemed like he was in good spirits and was going to do the six-man tag but then no-showed…
A: Scott is Scott. He’s always going to have his demons but he has his good days and his bad days. I’ve told him a hundred times that when your gear is basically posing shorts; he’s basically worked in underwear that it’s time to switch your gear because it’s so hard at 50 years old to keep yourself in the kind of shape you need to pull off that look. He was having a good time with the hockey jersey on and all of a sudden he put his tights on and said oh G-d, I’m not gonna do that. I told him to switch his gear up – put on a singlet like I did. He was the guy who told me when I first broke in to never make it about your body, to make it about your character because your character will never die. Your body goes but the character stays alive. That’s why I let my hair go gray. I want people to say “I remember him 20 years ago – I saw him in an opening match in Montreal.” Nobody’s really aged in this business, everybody dye’s their hair and I wanted to be that guy who aged.
I’m proud of the fact that I’m 50 years old and still in shape. In the past year I’ve actually gotten leaner, my work’s gotten better, I’ve gotten crisper because I lost weight which puts less pressure on my knees. And I’m having fun. I was sitting backstage at the last PPV after my hair was split open having a cold beer and a guy came to me with a camera for DVD extra features and asked me “When are you going to stop doing it Nash?”. I said “There’s not a time on this planet when a cold beer tastes better than right after you get out of the ring.” I said when I find that a beer tastes better than that – it ain’t gonna happen. I’m sitting across from Kurt Angle and Kurt was bleeding, I was bleeding. We had those first two sips of those beers together. Ricky Steamboat said it best – that first beer after a match is just amazing, after that all they do is make you fat. And that’s the truth. That first beer is just amazing after a match.
Q: TNA Slammiversary… what have been your favourite moments from your time in the company?
A: I think the growth. To watch the growth on so many levels from the young talent mature to the growth of the office, the marketing people, and even the growth of our president Dixie. How she’s learned the business and gotten smarter and better. Everybody just seems to continue improving. There’s so much areas for growth and continued improvement . It’s exciting; it’s kind of a genesis – it’s a new company. I think in a couple of years if things continue to go the way they are we’ll start getting a 2.0-2.2 rating. I think we are competition – competition right now.
Q: What would you say should be their next step to take to make it to that next level?
A: I remember when we went against Vince and Eric Bischoff would say that we were going to put him out of business. And me and Scott would look at him and shake our heads like “dude you have no idea – until you see the machine you don’t understand.” Turner was a television company that had wrestling, WWF/WWE is a wrestling company. That’s what they are; that’s what they’re always been. We [TNA] we’re a wrestling company. But you look at the WWWF and its seven-year anniversary and look at the comparisons. Their TV tapings were done from Madison Square Garden. You look at the growth patterns of the two companies. When you’re Kia Motors it’s hard to go up against GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota but there’s a lot of Kia’s on the road. And I think it has caught fire.
The thing that makes me the happiest is that I was at an autograph signing last week in Detroit. There were guys that had Vinnie Vegas pictures, Diesel pictures, Big Sexy pictures, and then there were 7 and 8 and 9 year old boys who had Kevin Nash grey-haired TNA pictures. I did it – this is the third generation of kids that I’ve been able to been a part of their lives. The thing that really moves you that you don’t realize when you first get in the business – after you’ve been in it for 20 years and a kid comes up to you and hands you a Polaroid and it’s me with balck hair with a mullet back in the early Diesel days; and he says do you know who that kid is that you’re holding? I look at the picture and I’m holding a little baby in my hands. He then said – “that’s me.” Not only have you been doing this a really long time because you’re talking to a 19 year old kid but it’s the fact that he kept that for 19 years. That’s what kind of moves you. It mean’t something to him. To be a part of the industry; it’s just a blast.
Q: Announcing the latest project in his acting career…
A: I’d love to do a romantic comedy. I’m so typecast because of my size that I would have to write something specifically for myself and then try to find funding for it. Something low budget to show that I could do something outside of the box that they don’t think I could do. I think I’ve shown that I can do comedy but do romantic comedy and to be a leading man at 6’10 it’s going to take the perfect actress who I think I have. That’s where my head’s at right now. In order to take that next step forward I’m probably going to have to write a screenplay which I’m in the process of doing on my computer. In my mind I’m storyboarding shots so I could go ahead and take that next step. I don’t want to be the creature of the Black Lagoon just because I could wear the suit. I’m probably going to have to produce, direct, do everything in this to keep the budget down. It’s amazing what you can do nowadays with a camera crew of three guys and a couple of high-def cameras. I’ve seen some work on some indy films which had a $150,000 budget and made it look like a $5 million movie. If you’ve got four or five hats on and you’re not getting a pay check for any of them, that cuts it down a lot because you could get an actress that can carry me through a lot of it. Then the next thing you know you can take that next step.
Q: Getting back to wrestling – who do you think has potential to take over from you once you retire in TNA?
A: I think that from the nucleus that we have right now – Storm and Roode are really good. I think Roode’s going to be a babyface in his career. I think that that’s where he’s going to become a star. I’ve worked heel against him on a couple of indy shows just to see if he could work face. He really has great fire and makes an amazing comeback. He makes a comeback like guys used to make comebacks like you don’t see. As long you feed him he will make a comeback. He’s a not a three-move let’s go home kind of guy. I think he’s amazing.
AJ [Styles] – once his mic skills get better, which I think they’ve improved immensely. He has that intangible that Shawn Michaels had. He’s electric and you kind of have to just be there for him. He can create so much movement around you that you can just basically, you know – he just uses you as a prop. He really is phenomenal.
I think [Samoa] Joe is going to come into his own. They’ve moved him around into some different places but I think that the thing about him is that he’s not the quintessential wrestling guy. He’s very different but his uniqueness makes him come across. I wrestle him often – it’s not a night in the park. He’s very physical, the things he does to you hurt, and I think all those things add to his believability.
I think Matt Morgan is a very talented big guy. He’s still at that stage in his career that he wants to show everybody how athletic he can be instead of just working like a big man…Just those four guys alone are a good nucleus to move forward. You’ve also got the Black Machismo. The Motor City Machine Guns – I watched them have a match in Tokyo and it was off the chart. They can both talk, they’ve funny, they’re current, they’re really hip guys, and chicks dig ‘em. I’ve always said that if you want to find the intangible in a wrestler and you want to know if you can make money off them – chicks have got to want to be with him and guys want to be him. And if they don’t have those two qualities – if guys don’t want to be you and girls don’t want to be with you – then you’re not going to get over. I don’t care what you do.
Q: So that’s the secret to your success?
A: I think so. I think guys look at me and say hell I wouldn’t mind being in that big 6’10 body for a couple of days and smack somebody around. And I’ve been very successful in my entire life…I’ve a beautiful wife and I had a slew of beautiful girlfriends behind her. I’ve never not had a beautiful women in my life.
Q: How was it like working with Mr. Bob Backlund in TNA? And do you have any idea where did he disappear to?
A: I have no idea. It was great to see Bob. I think the only reason he got that run was because we did those stupid Paparazzi things and we kept making reference to Bob Backlund rules. I was glad because Bob did such a favor for me. And to this day he’s still bitter like he didn’t feel like I thanked him. I don’t know if it came across aloof to him that night at Madison Square Garden. At the same time, people forget that I had been in the business a little longer than four years and three of those years I had been a piece of garbage job guy. To be standing in the middle of MSG with the WWF belt, to say it was surreal would be an understatement. I hadn’t probably had 300 matches. So I mean people can say what they want to about that. Randy Orton may have been the youngest champion in the WWF but I guarantee he probably had three times the amount of matches that I did. I look at it and I say people can pick and push at my career and call me the big lazy but there’s never a night that I don’t go in there and give it whatever I’ve got.
Q: What is your response to criticisms from fans or from other media members towards you?
A: I always say this: until you take that first step in the morning that I take when I get out of bed and have for years and years. I was pretty much crippled when I was 25; they told me I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life when I had destroyed my knee playing ball. I’ve still been able to do this physical of a job for 20 years. Everybody gives [Roddy] Piper credit because he’s got a bad hip – hell I’ve got a bad hip, bad back, bad knees, neck, everything. Until you’ve taken in a step in my shoes there’s no judgement.
Q: Thoughts on Vince Russo – Is he a changed man?
A: I’ve been a fan of his since Day One. Always have been. There’s a lot of people who don’t like his style of booking. But it’s just like people who watch a movie like Closer with Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman and say “I don’t really like the movie”. And then I say “Did you not like the movie or did you not get it?”. I think he writes smart TV and you have to pay attention. There’s a lot of nuisances that can make sense that kind of connect the dots if you don’t really pay close attention they don’t make sense to you. For me the show Damages on F/X is one of the smartest written shows because you can’t be on the phone and watch that show. You have to commit yourself to watching the show – and you have to do that with us. If you’re going to criticize Russo and fast-forward or TiVo the show, you won’t get the nuisances and what he’s trying to accomplish. He doesn’t sit down and write a two-hour show and expect you not to watch the pre-tapes and say you don’t understand it and say the writing is bad. Try watching a movie with no sound. That’s the beauty of living in the United States or Canada – we have those rights to criticize. I don’t really care if you like my work, don’t like my work, like me, don’t like me; as long as you’re watching I’m happy.
Q: What can we expect from your current faction, the Main Event Mafia, in the coming weeks?
A: I don’t think that it’s the proper fit to have Sting as the Godfather. I don’t think the other four of us like the direction that he’s going to steer us. He won it fair and square. I’ve worked with Sting for many years and I have a feeling that there might be a mutiny – I just have a feeling.