Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Kevin Nash vs. the X-Division Ã¢â‚¬â€œ TNA, 2006
On the April 27th Impact, we saw Alex Shelley knocking on a hotel room door. Inside was Kevin Nash, who was preparing to do an interview with Shelley. Nash had been absent from TNA for several months, following a heart scare.
The next week we saw the interview begin. Nash started by talking about how nobody from TNA had contacted him while he’d been out. Nash showed Shelley a (hand-drawn) graph that showed the popularity of the greatest WWF champions of all time. There was one man who towered above names such as Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and the Rock. That name was Kevin Nash.
Part two of the interview aired the following week, despite Shelley mentioning that his teammates on Team USA didn’t like him. Nash promised to rebuild TNA’s identity himself and entered himself into the X-Division before promising to be at Sacrifice.
At Sacrifice, the World X-Cup ended with a tie between Team USA and Team Canada. Nash came out to the ring and gave Team Mexico’s Puma a powerbomb before grabbing a microphone. Nash claimed that even a mediocre big man could take out the most talented X-Division wrestler.
The following Impact saw the end of the X-Cup tournament as Chris Sabin of Team USA defeated Team Canada’s Petey Williams. Afterward Nash attacked Sabin. Nash pulled the now-bloody Sabin into the ring and powerbombed him, then grabbed a mic and repeated that he’d just proved that size mattered.
A week later we had a four-way X-Division match between Senshi, Jay Lethal, Shark Boy, and Alex Shelley. After Senshi won the match, Kevin Nash came out and obliterated Lethal. Nash then claimed that he was the Cruiserweight Bully.
The next Impact had Jeremy Borash talking with Alex Shelley. Shelley said that whatever he did on his time off (notably the Nash interview) was none of TNA’s business. That brought Nash over, who claimed that he could make a star out of Shelley.
After that we saw Jay Lethal taking on Alex Shelley, who had Nash in his corner. During the match, Nash slowly raised his elbow up and Lethal turned the tables by smashing Shelley into it. Lethal used that momentum to get the win. After the match Nash attacked Lethal, who was rescued by Sabin. Afterward, Sabin challenged Nash to a match.
Nash and Shelley were talking the next week and Nash said that Sabin had done exactly what he wanted. Nash then ordered Shelley to find him an exact duplicate of Sabin to wrestle the next week.
The main event of Impact saw Sabin and the James Gang (BG and Kip, the former New Age Outlaws) taking on Team Canada’s A-1, Bobby Roode, and Eric Young. During the match Shelley and Nash appeared at the top of a scaffold to scout Sabin.
Borash talked again with Nash and Shelley a week later. Shelley advised Nash that he’d succeeded, but the Sabin clone would be under a mask because the face didn’t look right.
Nash had his match later in the night as Sabin, Lethal, and Sonjay Dutt watched from the back. The Sabin clone turned out to be a midget that Nash easily defeated, even hitting a big boot while sitting in a chair that had been brought into the ring. Nash finally ended things with a Jacknife.
At Slammiversary, Nash easily obliterated Sabin.
Three weeks later, Nash headed down to the ring with a bodybag, Alex Shelley, and Johnny Devine. He opened the bag and revealed Sabin inside. That brought Jay Lethal out who attacked Shelley and Devine while Nash cleared out.
That brought us to Victory Road, where Jay Lethal and Sabin faces off against Nash and Shelley. Lethal and Sabin won and Nash attacked Sabin after the match. This time, X-Division pioneer Jerry Lynn ran in to make the save.
The next episode of Impact showed that Shelley and Devine had a new plan. They were flying in adversaries from Madagascar to take on Nash.
A week later Sabin faced off against Sonjay, Devine, and Shark Boy. Nash and Shelley were again in the rafters to scout him.
Later in the show we saw Nash training against the foreign wrestlers. Shelley would demonstrate an athletic takedown to Nash, who would then simply bend the wrestler over and club them with his forearm until they collapsed.
The next episode of Impact saw TNA Management Representative Jim Cornette booking a six man tag match for the next week. Nash, Shelley, and Devine would face off against three mystery partners.
The mystery team turned out to be Sabin, Lethal, and Dutt. Sabin’s team came away with the victory.
That brought us to Hard Justice. After the fire in the building was extinguished, it was set for Nash to take on Sabin in a #1 contender’s match for the X-title. However, Nash came out in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace. He claimed that while practicing his new 840 splash with Tito Ortiz, he’d suffered a neck injury and was unable to compete. He therefore inserted Alex Shelley (who, in a nice touch, wore a black armband with the word Kev written on it) into the match. Nash wound up sending a steel chair into the ring only for it to be intercepted by Sabin who used it to defeat Shelley.
This angle was made by the video interview that started it. In it, Nash appeared arrogant and deluded about how important he was in wrestling history Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which fits perfectly with rumors that have flown about Nash for years. The difference was that TNA picked up those rumors and ran with them.
Further, Nash’s insistence on the X-Division catchphrase (It’s not about limits, it’s about no limits) was perfect. He was focused on entering the division which consisted mostly of cruiserweights.
Also, Shelley played the sycophant role perfectly. He was in awe of Nash’s accomplishments and continued to buy into (or help build) Nash’s self-hype.
Overall, TNA was able to use this angle to help discover Nash’s strengths and weaknesses. Nash’s next excursion into X-Division waters would consist of zero ring-time for him and his charisma on the microphone would carry the angle with no problems.
Where are they now?
Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley remain with TNA today. Shelley has ditched his Paparazzi Productions gimmick and the two are currently tag-teaming as the Motor City Machine Guns.
Kevin Nash (who was not really injured but instead working out a contract renewal) also remains with TNA. He continues to appear in backstage segments, most recently where he offered marriage counseling to Kurt Angle.