Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner

Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Kevin Nash’s Career vs. Scott Steiner’s Belt – WCW, 2001

History


The night after the 2001 Souled Out, WCW CEO Ric Flair and his gang had a lot to celebrate. Scott Steiner was still the world champion, and Sid had suffered a gruesome injury during the previous night’s main event that would put him out for an extended period of time.

As Flair’s Magnificent Seven celebrated in the ring, Flair warned the locker room that they should ally with them. That brought out Kevin Nash, who declared that he wasn’t working with Flair. He threatened to take Steiner’s belt and then called out his backup – Diamond Dallas Page and Rick Steiner. Flair refused to book the match and WCW Commissioner the Cat came out who did.

In the main event, Nash finally battled back and had Steiner on the ropes when Team Flair hit the ring to draw the DQ. That brought out Page, Rick Steiner, and the Cat to make the save on Nash.

The next Monday saw the premiere of the Pretender 2001 movie. Tuesday night, we had Nitro. It didn’t take long for Flair to come out and book Steiner’s opponent for Superbrawl – Alex Wright. Wright came out and danced, then had his promo interrupted by Nash. Wright started yelling at Nash in German, so Nash picked him up and powerbombed him through the stage. (In a nice touch, the rest of the night saw the hole in the stage surrounded by yellow Caution tape.)

With Wright disposed of, Nash announced that he was now the #1 contender. The Cat then came out and agreed. Flair, however, wasn’t willing to give up that easily. Flair said that Nash would have to beat Buff Bagwell in the main event that night with Lex Luger as special guest referee.

The Cat had a response to that as well. The Cat then booked Page vs. Luger with the winner becoming the guest referee. Also, Buff and Nash would be suspended if they interfered.

The guest referee was quickly decided with help from Jeff Jarrett’s acoustic equalizer. Jarrett blasted Page with a guitar and Luger easily put him in the Torture Rack.

The main event saw the odds stacked against Nash, as Luger freely interfered to help Bagwell win. Page finally sneaked through the crowd and hit a Diamond Cutter on Luger. That gave Nash the opening he needed to Jacknife Bagwell and count the three with the senseless Luger’s hand. That brought Steiner out to attack Nash, Kronik out to attack Steiner, Animal out to attack Kronik, and Jarrett out to attack Page.

The next episode of Nitro opened with Flair and Nash shouting at each other. Animal attacked Nash on the entry ramp, only for Nash to fight him off and hit the ring. Nash said it was time for some humiliation and started ripping Flair’s clothes off. When Flair was down to his boxers and undershirt, Nash reconsidered. He took Flair down and grabbed him by the head. When Flair’s allies started down, Nash threatened to break Flair’s neck. Nash said he had some demands and called out his negotiator – the Cat.

Cat started by asking Flair’s permission to take control of the show that night, and for some reason Flair was very agreeable. Cat then went on to book Steiner in three matches that night – the first would be a 4 on 1 cruiserweight match, then he’d face Page, and the main event would be a World title defense against Nash. And by the way, if Nash won, Flair would resign as CEO by midnight. Cat then added that Nash could have a mystery partner.

Steiner’s first match was against Yang and Kaz Hayashi of the Jung Dragons, Jamie Knoble, and Evan Karagias. As predicted, Steiner easily overpowered the cruiserweights and won with a triple Steiner Recliner on Knoble, Kaz, and Karagias.

Steiner’s second match saw him and Page brawling out into the crowd. Suddenly a fan jumped in and started attacking Page. The camera changed angles and the fan was revealed as the returning Kanyon.

Nash came out for the main event and brought out Rick Steiner as his partner. As you might expect, Nash covered Scott for the three count and Rick attacked him, thereby giving the win to his brother. After the match, Page came out with a chair and attacked.

On Thunder, Flair and his Magnificent Seven came out for an interview. Suddenly Nash’s music hit and we saw Nash, Page, Cat, and Brian Adams in the crowd.

Nash talked about his mistake in trusting Flair and set up a match between Luger and Adams.

The main event saw Nash and Page against Jarrett and Rick Steiner. In the end, Nash hit the Jacknife on Steiner for the win. That brought Scott Steiner, Bagwell, and Luger out to the ramp to look threatening, so Kronik joined Nash and Page in the ring.

On Nitro things seemed to be going Flair’s way. He’d just thrown Dustin Rhodes out of the building and Lance Storm had just won the Commissionership of WCW from the Cat. As the Magnificent Seven taunted the Cat, Nash suddenly appeared on the Turnertron. He informed Flair that he’d forgotten something. As Flair confidently said he had all the bases covered, the camera pulled back to reveal a bound and gagged David Flair.

Nash used this advantage to make a few demands. First: Cat vs. Lance Storm for the Commissionership at Superbrawl Revenge. Nash also set Dustin vs. Rick Steiner that night with two stipulations – if Dustin won he got reinstated to the roster, and also if he won Nash got a title shot against Scott Steiner in the main event.

Flair put Mike Sanders in charge of getting Dustin to agree to the match. Dustin did, but he’d get a United States title shot against Rick Steiner at Superbrawl if he won.

Dustin won the match after Shane Douglas clocked Rick Steiner with the cast on his injured left arm. After the match, Steiner and Animal attacked Douglas until Dustin ran back for the save. Meanwhile, Scott Steiner was hunting David and Nash backstage.

When the main event arrived Nash dragged David out with him. Flair came out so Nash hit David with the Jacknife before security could pull him out of the ring. Nash was taking control of the match when Luger and Bagwell tried to get into the ring. The Cat and Kronik put a stop to them, so Flair hit the ring and attacked Nash, which disqualified Steiner.

That brought us to Superbrawl. Before the match, Flair hit the ring to announce that it was a retirement match. Nash came out with a cast on his leg. As Steiner laughed, Nash climbed out of his wheelchair to reveal he was fine. He clocked Steiner with the belt and covered for the three count.

Flair went ballistic and said that now this was a two out of three falls match. We saw Page in the back heading for the ring only to be waylaid by Luger and Bagwell. Steiner clocked Nash with a pipe only for Nash to fight out of the attempted Steiner Recliner and start fighting back. Nash Jacknifed Steiner and Midajah hit the ring to attack the ref. Nash slammed Steiner and covered him again only for Flair to hit the ring and then hit the referee. Steiner then nailed Nash with a chair and covered as a second referee made the count. Just like that the feud was over and Nash was gone.

Analysis

This was an interesting time for WCW. Fusient had bought the company (although they could still back out of the deal) and Eric Bischoff was back in charge. Bischoff was booking to prepare for a WCW relaunch at the May PPV – Big Bang, which would relaunch WCW.

It was clear that change was in the air. Nash appeared more motivated than he had in some time and his overall shenanigans were on the decline as opposed to helping the company. Steiner was getting the biggest push of his career, and the product was starting to show signs of improvement.

This feud worked that as well. By pairing Nash and Flair as rivals on the microphone, Steiner was able to see his feud continue without even being in the ring at times. Flair in particular needs to be commended for how well he sold when Nash attacked him and when David was threatened.

And then we get to the overbooked horror that was the main event of Superbrawl. Run-in after run-in after rule change is not a way to end a feud. While it should be remembered that the original plan was to send top guys home to prepare for a triumphant return, it never turned out that way. Instead Vince McMahon bought WCW after Fusient backed out, Steiner lost the belt to Booker T on the final Nitro, and Nash was never seen on WCW programming again.

Where are they now?

Kevin Nash returned to the WWE as part of the rejuvenated New World Order in 2002. Following the group’s disbanding, Nash feuded with Triple H and later lost his trademark long hair to Chris Jericho in a hair vs. hair match. Nash left the WWE in late 2003 and joined TNA nearly a year later. He remains in TNA today and is currently managing Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin.

Ric Flair remained with WCW until the buyout and was signed by the WWE later that year. He debuted in November of 2001. Flair remained on Raw for nearly six years and was recently drafted to Smackdown.

Scott Steiner lost the WCW title to Booker T on the final episode of Nitro. Afterward he joined the World Wrestling All-Stars before signing with the WWE in 2002. After a brief feud with Triple H, Steiner found himself teaming with Test and managed by Stacy Keibler. Steiner left the company in late 2004 and had surgery on a foot that had given him problems for some time. In 2006 Steiner debuted in TNA, where he remains today. He has currently reformed the Steiner Brothers tag team with brother Rick and they are feuding with Team 3D.

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