Hosted by Sean Oliver
Presented by Kayfabe Commentaties
In this shoot, Kevin Nash is going to break down how he would have booked the situation if he and Scott Hall had never left the WWF in 1996.
Nash compares this to his real life as he was recruited to play college basketball on a team that ultimately won a National championship, but he chose a different college.
As a booker, Nash believes the money is drawn from having strong heels to build babyfaces against.
The Sheik was the local top heel in Michigan when Nash was a kid.
70’s star Pampero Firpo was spotted by Sean Waltman and Nash in New Orleans during Wrestlemania a few years ago. They marked out for the old guy.
Bookers need to find ideas from anywhere in the world, be it TV, the news or wherever.
Bad bookers are dictators, and do not allow the talent to express their own ideas.
The fans can be a booker’s guide. Merchandise sales should be a good indicator of who is over and who needs exposure.
Kevin blames people meddling with his booking plans as the reason his WCW booking tenure was a failure.
JJ Dillon, Mike Graham, Dusty Rhodes, Kevin Sullivan and others were part of the booking team at the time.
More action and less talk is always a formula to strive for.
Writers scripting the promos for wrestlers is a really never a good idea.
WWE needs to put an edgy show on their Network. Nash puts “Deadpool” as the marker for where adult entertainment is at today.
Nash predictably names Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman as guys who had the smarts to book but were never given the chance. Oliver asks for a “surprise” choice, and Kevin goes with “Raven”.
NXT is very much a “fight” oriented show, where the B.S. is kept to a minimum.
Eric Bischoff told Nash that wrestling has only 5 basic storylines, just told in different ways.
TNA has allowed it’s production to fall to such a low level that they’ll never be able to be taken seriously again as a TV show.
Nash’s favorite angle from his teenage years was the long term heel turn of Paul Orndorff on Hulk Hogan.
Pat Patterson and Vince McMahon used to have a year’s worth of booking laid out at any given time. Now they have 20+ writers and no long term plans because the main focus is now ratings quarter by quarter each show, which causes creative to miss the big picture.
Hall and Nash had a great deal of power in the WWF with the Kliq. Shawn was willing to bury anyone, and nobody had the numbers they had, so Vince pretty much went with their whims.
In WCW Hall and Nash would wait until the last second to step in and “save” matches and angles, and by forcing their hand so late in the process, they got their way.
JJ Dillon was an “old school” guy, who thought before he spoke.
Kevin Sullivan was a great mind, and one who could still contribute to the WWE if they allowed him to.
Nash makes fun of Greg Gagne for claiming to have created the n.W.o. angle. He also makes fun of Gagne’s body.
Dusty Rhodes was loaded with ideas. He could toss plans out with little problem.
Rhodes tried a power play and wrote a Nitro show with a few others to compete with Nash’s script. Bischoff could have picked either, but Nash threatened to go home and get paid to do nothing if his team’s wasn’t used. Kevin then threatened Dusty to never try that shit again.
Bill Dundee was full of wrestling knowledge. Dundee had to have been a hell of a hand to get over as a major heel despite being very small.
Kevin Sullivan was short too, but he could transmit danger in his words and action.
Ric Flair was given the book in WCW in 1989. Nash doesn’t think Ric was fair to Sting and Lex Luger. Flair was used to being the man and perhaps didn’t know any other way to produce a show.
Vince Russo had several young boys at home, and since they had no attention span and did not care about “work rate”. Russo looked at them as his test market and booked RAW to be full of short matches.
Mike Graham was a good office guy since he learned so much about the business from his father Eddie.
Hulk Hogan knew how to draw money. He was stale before jumping into the n.W.o angle though. Hogan found ways to get over in the WWF, WCW and even as an old man in the WWE.
When he first turned heel Hogan cut long promos where he tended to ramble. Hall and Nash realized this would be death to their angle, and told Bischoff they needed help. Bischoff ended up having the pre-taped promos edited and aired as basically quick cuts and one-liners, which was a new concept for wrestling. It helped get the whole angle over.
Eric was a very visible person, so you had to lay out your ideas to him as if he was watching them on TV as you spoke.
Nash wanted the Outsiders running the Steiner’s car off the road to lead to the Steiners taking them to court, with updates on the trial being aired over a number of weeks- perhaps with a real CNN reporter being used. Then the final bit of the trial would be aired where the tape of the incident was to be shown to the jury. The tape would be found to be blank, at which point Hall and Nash would be seen with the police evidence officer, who would open up his shirt and reveal an n.W.o shirt. It could have been perhaps up to two months of TV to get the angle over.
Kevin looked at wrestling booking from the angle of the fans know it’s fake, so don’t try and insult their intelligence.
WCW way overspent on the Master P angle. Nash thinks having Master P singing one week and Snoop Dog a few weeks later would be enough to paint WCW as hip to pop culture. Instead P and his men were made into a faction and became part of the show.
Nash has no regrets about calling Benoit and others ‘Vanilla Midgets”. Kevin was huge compared to them, so calling them midgets was done to keep them in their place.
The small guys did carry the undercard for two years, and Kevin was planning on giving them all a big push just as they all jumped en masse to the WWF in 2000.
Kevin explains how Nitro going to 3 hours shortly after Thunder debuted led to a hell of a headache for booking as they had to have 5 hours of TV ready by Monday afternoon so that week’s show would make sense, but at the same time you had to have the following weeks shows sketched out as well so you’d know what to build to.
Creative control would mess up things too as Hogan and others could change everything on the fly.
Nash booked WCW while at least seven main eventers were injured. Ric Flair carried the show as he could be entertaining – a feat not many could pull off. This is the era of Flair being put in the nut house on Nitro.
“The Finger point of Doom” was Nash’s mea culpa because he fooled the smarks and they can’t stand when they don’t know everything.
Konnan was given a huge contract by Nash and handed a title, and then he double crossed Nash and bashed creative.
Bischoff and Nash could fight all week, but make up over a beer in a hurry.
Hogan was asked to be turned into a commissioner role by Nash but Hogan wanted to stay on the top because his contract was incentive loaded.
Lenny and Lodi doing a gay comedy gimmick was nixed by Turner’s standard and practices. Nash was going to have it be all ambiguous and the blow off would be that they were actually long lost brothers.
The dirt sheets did not bother Nash, as he did not read the opinions of someone who never worked or booked in reality.
“Fuck Dave Meltzer”
He makes fun of Meltzer’s car and wife in a classy move.
Scott Hall went to Vince McMahon and asked how he could do more in the WWF because for 2 years his salary did not move.
Since business was down, payoffs were down – but that did not stop the guys from wondering why they were not making cash like the 80’s boom guys did.
Bret Hart wrecked the system for the boys by accepting the World title without a big pay increase. Since Bret settled for a low ball pay out, the next guys like Nash and Shawn were expected to as well.
Nash started to chart attendance and his pay offs to use against the office when pay time came.
DDP went to Bischoff to get an offer for his buddy Hall in 1996. Hall was offered 700 grand for the first year and raises each year after that. Nash asked for a deal as well after hearing that. They ended up with a deal where they would get raises based on what the other top guys were being paid.
Bret Hart balked at having Undertaker interfere in his “In Your House” title defense against Nash in a cage because he felt he was being set up to look weak. Taker freaked out on Hart backstage about how the whole show isn’t about him and he needed to let Diesel and Taker get their feud over too.
Nash can’t fathom why Hart cared about looking weak at that PPV when he was losing at Mania in a few weeks anyway. Incredible logic here as Nash questions why the guy headlining the biggest show of the year would want to be heated up before the show. I’m sure Nash would have laid down without further comment… grrrrrr
Bret not going along with the angle pissed Nash off enough that he decided right there to jump to WCW.
Nash claims the WWF was low balling him to the point that he was not even sure he’d be able to pay his bills. Vince refused to guarantee him a $600,000 a year contract.
He also had a kid on the way and wanted a way to know what his income would be.
WCW gave him a raise to sweeten the deal, and then a few months later Hall and Nash were given a raise because of the Fake Razor and Diesel angle which had Bischoff convinced they were somehow going to get out of their WCW contracts. Bischoff denies that this happened, but Nash swears it did.
McMahon was not angry at Hall and Nash…just disappointed.
The WCW locker room was less than receptive to Hall and Nash. Same thing happened in 2002 when Hall, Nash and Hogan returned to the WWF.
The early n.W.o angles were violent and out of control, which set them apart as special right off.
Steve Austin and The Rock would have been stars even if Hall and Nash had stayed in the WWF. They were natural, amazing talents.
The WWF would have won the war either way, but with Hall and Nash not creating the n.W.o angle that sparked business, the ratings win would have been 3’s beating 2’s not 7’s beating 5’s.
Nash looks at the WWF roster in 1996 and questions why some good hands were stuck in such crappy gimmicks. Ron Simmons was an All-American football stud and Vince made him a Roman gladiator…Barry Windham was a good hand who didn’t need a “bounty hunter” gimmick… Jim Neidhart was worth more without wearing a mask as “Who” etc…
Nash convinced Vince to hire Steve Austin, even though McMahon saw him as bland.
Kane was a huge dude and the best gimmick he could get was a dentist with bad teeth?
Had Nash not jumped to WCW, there was a good chance he’d go over Taker at Mania 13 to heat him up for a run with Shawn.
Nash starts to fantasy book, and decides Scott Hall would be turned heel and be built to beating Shawn Michaels at Summerslam for the World title.
Hall’s motivation is that the WWF is not giving him chances to make big money on top, so he’s going rogue.
HHH beats Goldust at the Rumble to win the IC title, then beats the returning Ultimate Warrior at Mania 12. Oliver comments on how much the Smarks are going to hate on this Kliq lovefest of a booking plan.
To add to that, Shawn works HHH at the King of the Ring and ends HHH’s year-long unbeaten streak. (Considering how unover HHH was at this point, that PPV would have died a death).
Bret Hart would be salvaged by having him go over Razor at Wrestlemania 13 for the World title.
Shawn and Austin end up feuding over the IC title after Summerslam.
Ron Simmons and Bradshaw are put together as a tag team of big raw-boned guys.
Nash also gives Yokozuna a big push, not accounting for his horrible health issues that ended his WWF career this year.
Had Kevin had the chance, he would have gone after the Steiners and Sting and brought them into the WWF.
The Warrior doesn’t really fit into Nash’s plan as Kevin wants to make his WWF a more PG heavy show, and the Warrior is a cartoon.
Aldo Montoya was a good worker, so lose the goofy mask and let him work some solid matches.
The Godwins would lose the hog farmer gimmicks and become more of a hardened country boy gimmick.
Nash makes fun of ECW using 911 as a monster when he was really 6’4 or so.
ECW had their guys hit each other with a ton of weapons, then had a roll up for a finish –very silly.
Raven may have been brought into WWF by Nash to use as the cult leader to kill off a bunch of mid card gimmicks in this WWF.
Ultimately, Nash would bring himself, HHH, Hall, Shawn and Sean Waltman together as a supergroup to fight the Undertaker and his BSK group or whoever.
Austin and Bret Hart would remain “lone wolves”.
Final thoughts: Nash is fun to listen to, but this was largely a wankfest where he absolved himself of blame for WCW failing and booked all his friends to rule the WWF at a time when that very group had helped tank the business.