By Michael Chapman
If you are a pro wrestling fan, with any knowledge of how to use the internet, you may have recently stumbled upon a, once self-important, superstar trying to drudge up some free press. I am, of course, referring to the delusional (and apparently drunken) ramblings of Kevin Nash. Nash was being interviewed by the ‘Huffington Post for white-middle aged suburban dads’ known as Grantland.com, when he uttered a slew of ridiculous, quotable lines.
“When Benoit and Guerrero hugged [at the end of WrestleMania XX], that was the end of the business,” he says. “Has business been the same since that WrestleMania? Has it come close to the Austin era? Has it come close to the nWo or the Hogan era? You put two fucking guys that were great workers, that were the same height as the fucking referees, and I’m sorry, man…“*
Funny (not really) how Nash seems to be oblivious to the fact that he had his greatest in-ring successes, excluding one, to shorter wrestlers. King of the Ring ’94, Royal Rumble ’95 and Summer Slam ’95 were all with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. In Your House 7 and Wrestlemania XI were both in 1995 and were both with Nash’s close friend, Shawn Michaels.
What do both Hart and Michaels have in common? Both measure in at a generous 6’1”. They both struggled to overcome Vince McMahon’s size fetish. Yet they did. And wrestling fans in general are better for it.
Also funny, (not really) that the nearly seven foot tall Nash conveniently forgets to mention that his reign as WWF champion was the worst financially in the companies history. [Big man =/= Big $$$]
Another gem from Big Dummy…
“They [Bryan Danielson and C.M. Punk] are not bigger than life,” he says. “I bet they could both walk through airports and not be noticed unless they have a gimmick shirt on and the belt.”*
With that quote Kevin Nash demonstrates just how little he truly knows about the modern world of professional wrestling. Kevin Nash found stardom in an era of pro wrestling where size did sometimes matter… as did flashy costumes, big budget pyrotechnics and, most importantly, air time on national networks. These things, the same as size, matter very little to the modern wrestling fan. With the rapidly increasing quality of internet pay-per-view coupled with wrestling fan’s (as with most youth culture) desire to find new and different entertainment, the WWE is finding it harder to reach the heights of popularity and profit they once saw during the Attitude Era.
Besides John Cena, a man that has found overwhelming success despite little to no fanfare or marketing by the WWE *smirk*, two of the rosters biggest stars are exactly the two gentlemen Big Dummy mentioned in the above quote.
C.M. Punk and Bryan Danielson have succeeded where others may have failed, because they are simply… better. They do not require height or tanned, sculpted bodies to attract the viewer. They are more charismatic, when they speak and in presentation, than any number of taller or “bigger” wrestlers.
Lets flip this around. The REAL question is, would Kevin Nash have been HALF as successful coming up in an industry dominated by one man with a size fetish if Kevin Nash was 6’1”? I think we all know the answer to that question.
You can follow Michael on Twitter @NUFC_monkey as he discusses Wrestling, Football and the importance of growing a beard.