After a stint in World Championship Wrestling, Kevin Nash made his WWE (then WWF) debut and rose up in the ranks to eventually become champion for what would end up standing as the longest title reign of the decade in that organization. In November of 1995, that championship run came to an end.
On a recent episode of Nash’s ‘Kliq This’ podcast, the Artist Formerly Known as ‘Diesel’ recalled a bizarre argument he had back in his WWF heyday with now-recently reinstated WWE boss Vince McMahon.
A no-good, terrible idea
Apparently, to hear Nash tell it, McMahon wanted the pro-wrestler & former basketball player to take an exhibition boxing match. Not just against any old jabroni, either, but against the 90s knockout king himself, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.
“He [Vince] had told me that I wasn’t going to lose the championship for years,” Nash explained (transcript via Sportbible). No matter what, I wasn’t going to lose the championship for years.
“Then he starts telling me about this idea he had where I’m going to box Mike Tyson in Central Park and it’s for charity. He’s going on and on about this.
“I said to him, ‘Mike Tyson will knock me the f**k out. He could conceivably kill me.’
“I’m a boxing fan. A big motherf-cker like me, he can put two or three f-cking shots, he does the f-cking old hook to the body, hook to the body, uppercut. Goodnight Irene. It’s not going to do me any favors.”
Kevin Nash was dumbfounded as to how this proposal was one that McMahon was seriously pushing on him. Tyson had just been released from prison due to a rape conviction and was looking to work his way back into the boxing world. McMahon has become well known for his ability to find the biggest and most bombastic personalities to invite into the WWE fold; even with Tyson’s baggage, Vince likely felt the spectacle would garner major media attention and eyeballs.
Kevin Nash counters with the Irish Whip
But they don’t call Kevin Nash ‘Big Daddy Cool’ for no reason, he was too savvy to sign up for a suicide mission and sagely started making demands.
“I said, ‘I’m not f-cking fighting him for less than five million dollars,” the 63-year-old added.
“We go back and forth. Then he clears his throat and says, ‘By the way, you’re going to drop the belt to Bret at Survivor Series.’
“I said, ‘You f-cking sat here for 45 minutes and told me this f-cking horsesh-t about boxing Mike Tyson to f-cking tell me that you want me to drop the f-cking strap to Bret. Motherf-cker, you could have done that on a goddam telephone.’
“Like, I don’t care. You can have it. Are you kidding me?”
How things went instead
While we never got Mike Tyson vs Kevin Nash, Tyson did go on to return to boxing that same year with wins over ‘Hurricane’ Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr in August and December of 1995, respectively. Those fights went about as well as you’d expect for Tyson’s early-to-mid career opponents.
And Tyson eventually did join WWE—in 1998. Kevin Nash was far gone by then—causing havoc in WCW alongside some of the most shocking signings in pro-wrestling history—while Tyson created his own pro-wrestling highlight. Now in his mid-50s, Tyson is still looking for challenges in boxing.
Now in his 60s, Kevin Nash is comfortably retired and doing the odd film/TV project here and there. He remains a staple personality in the pro-wrestling world, and one of the most entertaining storytelling vets in the game. It’s almost certainly for the best that he didn’t chase that check.