Breaking into the industry in 1990, the 6-foot-10 monster joined up with WCW, taking on the personas of a post-apocalyptic warrior, a mystical being from the emerald city of Oz, and a wise-cracking Las Vegas gambler. But it was when Nash jumped to WWE in 1993 that the big man began to leave his mark on the sports-entertainment world.
Clad in black leather from head to toe, he embraced his Motor City roots, taking on the name Diesel while serving as the stoic bodyguard for the cocky Shawn Michaels. Though his main duties were to protect the Heartbreak Kid, Diesel soon stepped into the ring himself. The WWE roster found it quite difficult to combat the giant who demolished the opposition with his trademark Jackknife Powerbomb, while the WWE Universe found it difficult to jeer someone who oozed coolness.
Within a year of his WWE debut, Big Daddy Cool put in a dominant Royal Rumble performance, eliminating seven Superstars on his own, along with capturing the Intercontinental Title and World Tag Team Titles with HBK. However, an errant Sweet Chin Music from Michaels at Survivor Series 1994 infuriated the big man, ended their partnership and altered the course of WWE history. Just three days later, Diesel demolished Bob Backlund in eight seconds to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden.
After a championship reign that lasted close to a year, Nash began to plan his exit from WWE. Following an infamous MSG moment known as “The Curtain Call,” where he, Razor Ramon, Michaels and Triple H let the WWE Universe in on their close friendship, Nash joined Ramon (aka Scott Hall), wreaking havoc on the Atlanta-based WCW. The two shocked the world when they convinced Hulk Hogan to ditch his trademark red and yellow and turn to the dark side. The three formed the notorious New World Order and ran roughshod over WCW.
As The nWo grew and split into separate factions, so did Nash’s trophy case. He and Hall captured the WCW Tag Team Titles before the big man branched out on his own. One of Nash’s crowning moments came at Starrcade 1999, when he (with an assist from Hall) ended Goldberg’s 173-match winning streak to take the WCW World Championship.
Nash held the WCW title four more times before the company was sold to WWE in early 2001. One year later, he reunited with Hall and Hogan to bring The nWo’s brand of carnage to WWE. Eventually, the outlaw band dissolved and Nash set his sights on former friend Triple H and the World Heavyweight Championship, even clashing with The Game inside Hell in a Cell.
Though his appearances in WWE have become more sporadic over the years, Nash still pops in from time to time to let the world know that Big Daddy Cool can still hang, whether it’s donning his Diesel gear to enter the Royal Rumble Match or reuniting with his Kliq buddies. Now, he will be immortalized in sports-entertainment history as a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com, the SAP Center box office, and by calling 800-745-3000. The ceremony will also air live this Saturday on WWE Network, starting with the Red Carpet Special at 7/6 C!