Paul Orndorff, WWE, Hulk Hogan, WWE Hall of Fame, Travis Orndorff, Professional wrestling Kevin Nash reflects on the formation of the nWo and leaving the WWE for WCW | SportsNation

Kevin nash let’s talk about the formation of the nwo man, like i’d love to hear you jump ship from wwe to wcw uh. You were champion there for a long time. When did the idea of going to another company or just the opportunity to join wcw, presents itself to you? Scott hall was the one that uh originally made the contact with the diamond dallas page and uh. Barry bloom was scott’s agent and he put together a deal memo, uh and uh. So scott told me that he was leaving and showed me the money that he was getting and then we had a that scott had a favorite nations in his contract, so i joined. I i took barry on also and uh so immediately when i went in and i asked for more money than scott had originally got, which bumped him up and uh i mean the money. Was you know i? I went to vince and asked him to to basically match you know match the deal because i didn’t want to leave because you know at the time wcw was horrible and uh. You know people think we we’ve left, you know and and it was the number one i mean it was, it was not the number one rated wrestling show we were and uh but uh. You know i was at the point my wife um. I see i made the decision in i think april. My wife was six months, yeah right at six months pregnant and it was just like at that point i was i was i was you know i was just looking for financial security more than anything else.

So, besides the finances, how much of the creative did you even know like was the nwo or just this infiltration between you and scott jumping ship from one company to another? Was that even part of the plans or something that you were aware of when you moved to wcw, initially yeah eric came out to my house and we went out, went out to a a gentleman’s club and uh we uh we talked to you know. We talked business and he you know pitched basically the angle uh. You know that then he uh kind of told me the origin that they had done it pretty successfully in japan, with two of the japanese companies and uh. So that’s pretty much what you know he. He pitched it. I thought it was a good idea. The the fact that we were coming in six days apart was was you know, i mean if scott and i didn’t have you know a six day difference in our contracts. It wouldn’t have worked. You know scott came and macon, i came the next week and then from there we had the uh build up to bash the beach uh. Who was the third person that we’re bringing with us and hulk was shooting a movie at the time and he didn’t know. If he wanted to to, you know, join, you know, go to the dark side. After all these years of math and uh, eventually, i mean actually up till the day of uh.

He was still apprehensive to to make to make the switch and then uh he saw the money train, leaving and hulk’s hulk’s a smart man, so he uh he made the move in rest. History. Let me fill in a couple gaps when you first heard of this idea, was it an immediate home run in your mind, or did you have any reservations? I mean you know it seemed like it. It seemed like it would. I had no idea that it would, it would be what it was you know, and even the night that night, like you know, somebody was asking me um on an interview not too long ago, like how was the excitement backstage before the match. Like we hadn’t worked, you know since we’ve been there. This is our first match and i mean the rings were small. I mean it was and it was still wcw. You know it was like. Oh geez, you know it wasn’t, you know it was. You know the it was, it was packed, but it was it was, you know, we’re in daytona beach, it wasn’t it’s a giant arena, it was a smaller arena and uh. You know we had a decent match with with macho sting and lex and and hulk came down and dropped the leg, and you know the response we got was was you know was was great as far as just people throwing things, and i mean you know the The turn worked, but whether i mean at that moment right there did.

We think you know that 25 years later we’d be talking about it. No, this describe those first, several months of that nwo run like you know it, it seemed like it was an unstoppable freight train and people wanted. Everyone wanted to know what would happen next, like what was it like for you living that? Well, that i mean because we we we were so involved creatively, you know um and they let us be very violent. You know, and that was one of the things that you know, vince was kind of getting away from being violent and uh to me. You know wrestling was was was sex and violence and uh, so those are the two things that we you know at that point. You know in the in the mid 90s and they let us go. I mean, i think one of the biggest uh moments was the night they let us um come to the ring with aluminum baseball bats. You know, because i don’t care who you are you know everybody knows that if you hit somebody with an aluminum baseball, bat it’s, you know it’s gon na it’s gon na make make you know to do some damage and it’s something that other other other people weren’t Doing so, it kind of was a thug life mentality. We were tagging things. You know, the uh death row was, you know, was kind of rocking the uh, the urban vibe and uh. So we just kind of you know tagged along that used some of their tag lines.

You know i mean the the the uh the whole for life thing was from from a mac, 10 uh track. So i mean basically we just you know just just stole stole some urban uh. You know some some urban culture and put it put it on wrestling. I want to ask about celebrities so obviously famously dennis rodman part of the nwo uh. We know from the last dance now that he famously skipped on a nba finals practice to go be part of nitro i’m curious, maybe there’s a story that’s not out there, that you find funny or endearing from dennis rodman’s time with the nwo or your interactions with Him any fun backstage stories of dennis rodman with wcw and the nwo and dennis is just like, i think, he’s one of the most misunderstand people like have you spent. If you sit down and spend like quality time with him, he’s a really quiet introverted, you know he just he’s chill. You know he had carmen electra with him. I mean it was just like you know, and i mean he was on top of the world at that point, and you know to get that rub. You know from from the bulls and and the success that they had uh. You know i mean i’m, not detroit boys. I mean i watched. I mean i watched rodman when he was with pistons, so i mean you know i was a fan of his. You know probably the greatest rebounder for his size ever in the nba, so the nwo was around when wrestling was really in the mainstream right attitude era, but also the nwo a huge part of that like well.

We were before the attitude era yeah you guys, really. They did what, basically, what we did was we created the attitude era, i’ve always equated it that we built the saturn v and right before we took off. Vince mcmahon, kicked us off the ramp and said okay i’ll put austin in the capsule we’ll. Take it from here that’s, basically what they did. You know they because they knew we had standards in practice and vince just said, let’s go and vince just took, you know, took everything off, you know, val venus was a porno star with jenna jameson. I mean they just really. You know they. They revved it up to where we couldn’t, so that was kind of that. You know the beginning of the end. I’M. I’M curious. If there are any athletes like there were plenty of athletes and celebrities that got involved with wcw. As we know, even carl malone, kevin, green, etc, but were there any celebrities that surprised you that you know you maybe saw in an airport or somewhere some appearance or something like that? Even at an arena that kind of threw up the nwo sign and you were like – oh wow, you know yeah, we actually uh we’re like the running gag during the cable ace awards, uh the nwo was there. I think we kidnapped drew carey or something who was hosting it, but i mean that you know before it it started. There was an open bar which we were told not to go to, but somehow somehow scott and i didn’t listen.

Imagine that and uh, but uh yeah they were, i mean we uh. We were definitely well received people people were watching. I remember we did the napty and uh. They had all the different uh turner entities and you know it’s, like our line was like you know out the building. You know which was um and people. You know that that don’t know the backstory of it, the the other tower. You know the the the turner uh hierarchy: they they hated us, no matter what we did. We were always the redheaded stepchild they hated wrestling, but it was. It was dear to ted because they pulled him through at the beginning when he started the superstation. You always had wrestling so uh yeah. It was uh, it was a lot of you know. They’D spend you know 25 million dollars on some horrifying movie that they originally would produce. That would do a 0.9 and we were doing 5.7 for three hours every monday and they were bitching because you know on their books. We were losing money, but you know your revenue at that. At that point in time, was your pay per view and turner home entertainment was where the the pay per view revenue went to it: didn’t go to wcw, when’s, the turner home entertainment. So basically we were a shell company. So so this sunday, you have a uh interview with stone: cold, steve austin on peacock broken skull sessions, uh in celebration of nwo week, 25 years, the anniversary of the nwo.

Let me leave you with this question uh. If there’s one memory it doesn’t have to be the formation, it could be anything that just happened during the nwo era that sticks with you the most. What is it and why i mean? I guess i you know you when we did, we did like seven. I think was seven mondays in a row that we did nitros and we did them from dome shows. We did it about what i think was like. We did from the superdome the rca dome, the alamodome, the georgia dome um, the astrodome we did like these dome shows and they did like 30 40 000 people every every show that we did – and i just said to myself like – and this is this – is the First time that they’d never put on the marquee, you know who was fighting, who was, it was just nitro was all they they were selling. They were selling the fact that it was nitro and that that that raw that uh the nwo would be there. So i mean to me: it kind of gave us it gave me the feel that we were. You know it left the uh arena and went to the stadium like we were drawing stadium crowds, and i just you know kind of felt like a rock star from for for a split minute, but that that was i mean that was huge. It was huge to walk in, and you know, and to see those crowds and to know that you were, you, know, instrumental in drawing them kevin nash joining us here on espn and sportsnation.

Kevin really appreciate your time and all these years later, we’re still talking about the nwo. If you can believe it and you know what they they still sell, those t shirts about a hundred thousand of them a quarter so get out there and get your t shirts. All you guys, uh, all you guys out there in in those gray in the bureau, shirts gon na, get you new and happy happy 25th, a hundred thousand a quarter that’s incredible. Still today, that’s amazing wow holy moly, my goodness they so nostalgia, hits hard kevin. You know what, though, man it’s just it’s one of those things where it’s, just whoever put that logo that’s, one of the most gimmick copied logos that you’ll ever see. I mean that is the most. I see a shirt every day of my life. I see a shirt that has that exact same three letters box with whatever it is, i mean it’s, just but there’s only there’s, only one original sorry and you were one of the founding members kev thanks for your time.

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