Is Kevin Nash worth the medical risk to WWE? Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
As my colleague Geno Mrosko reported yesterday, the match between Kevin Nash and CM Punk originally penciled in for the Night Of Champions pay-per-view (PPV) on September 18, 2011, has been cancelled due to a medical problem involving Nash that was found in his recent WWE physical. According to a subscriber only update on f4wonline.com, the problem is only a minor one, something that Nash would have been allowed to work with in the past before WWE had a Wellness policy, and he may even be ready to wrestle in October. Some might call this karma for all the times Nash somehow came down with a minor health scare just before he was scheduled to do a high profile job. It's also karma for the WWE creative team who were shortsighted enough to shoot the angle for Nash's in ring return at SummerSlam before he even took his medical. After all, he is a 52-year-old man with a history of heart problems and knee injuries.
It's very rare for someone in WWE to be flagged for such a temporary medical issue. There's only two cases that I can recall that are similar. The first was when Bobby Lashley, The Great Khali and Super Crazy were found to have elevated liver enzymes shortly before the July 2006 Great American Bash PPV show and were pulled from action until their levels returned to normal. The second was when WWE's newly implemented cardiovascular testing diagnosed MVP with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which can be fatal in very rare cases, and he was sidelined for a few weeks while he recovered from treatment for the condition.
Who's to say what Kevin Nash's condition is, but one wonders why WWE hasn't made it public, if it is indeed so innocuous. Personally I think this is a big hint to WWE that they shouldn't be using such an old man with a bad heart and knackered knees as a regular performer, even if he does fit so nicely into the worked shoot storyline between CM Punk and Nash's long time buddy Triple H as a bit player. Indeed, Dave Meltzer was very blunt on his message board last year about Nash's physical condition:
You guys probably should have a different role model than Nash. Nash is pretty much a cripple at 51. If he was as smart with his health as you guys say, he'd have never done what he did to have heart issues in his 30s, tear a quad in his 40s, nor be wrestling and still taking bumps and doing matches in his 50s. He did and still does make money, without drawing any, which is a talent and he's survived in the business without doing much which is also a talent.
There are wrestlers who will be in worse physical condition at 51 than Nash, but they'll be the minority. And when you get to that age, being able to do things trumps being crippled and having a dwindling bank account because of being so heavy into the stock market and a collapsing housing industry. I'm not sure a guy who has a bad family history of heart issues is such a smart guy when he's still trying to look like a wrestler at 51.
It would be one thing if Nash's in ring return would draw money, but I don't think anyone will be click click clicking to order a PPV of someone that his babyface rival has buried verbally at every corner and exposed his "Just For Men" beauty secrets. If he isn't going to mean business, then why use someone in main events that is only going to drag down match quality several star notches? Moreover, if he was highly injury prone in his last WWE stint eight years ago and he's struggling to pass WWE physicals today, then it surely can't be long before he picks up another health problem. Thus, it looks like Triple H is going to strike out for the third time with his new talent initiative, as Kevin Nash joins the pregnant Kharma and the arrogant former Sin Cara, Mistico, on a quick ticket back home.