One of these two is arguably the greatest of all time and the other is really tall. Photo by Mandy Coombes.
Boy, that Kevin Nash, he sure knows how to "rile up the marks," doesn't he?
The artist formerly known as "Big Sexy" recently caused a fuss when he did an interview with mainstream sports and entertainment media site Grantland in which he claimed the pro wrestling business ended when Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit embraced in the ring to close WrestleMania 20 as WWE champion and world heavyweight champion, respectively.
His reasoning was that no one could buy these two as champions because they weren't even taller than the referees. This isn't true, of course, but that hasn't ever stopped Nash from rolling with his outdated notion that you have to meet a certain height requirement to succeed in the industry. My colleague, the talented and super well informed Keith Harris, rightly points out that it wasn't until JBL won the belt from Guerrero and Triple H got the strap back from Benoit (via Randy Orton) that business actually bottomed out in 2004, further making clear that Nash is full of shit.
Naturally, his comments riled up more than just fans but a select few pro wrestlers who bothered to speak out against him. Notable in the group was Chris Jericho, who called Nash out for his run as champion in 1995, one of the World Wrestling Federations (WWF) worst years for business.
That's a discussion for another time but Nash went on The Busted Open Radio Show with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman on Sirius 94 to defend his position. Here's what he had to say:
"You guys aren't backstage, you guys aren't around when the brass makes decisions. You guys aren't around when they all say, ‘God, I wish he was bigger,' [or] ‘God yeah, but the guy just doesn't have enough size.' It's their opinion. I'm just stating my opinion. I'm not saying I'm right. But am I not allowed my opinion? I pay taxes, I'm allowed my opinion. In my opinion, that's how I feel. That doesn't mean anybody else has to jump aboard and say I have to agree with him because he says so. Number one, I've always been an Internet darling and always will be and if I were to say something and was just somebody that didn't have an opinion, you wouldn't be calling me. It's just because Kevin Nash said it. Oh my God, Kevin Nash said it. Oh my God, Jericho rebutted. For Eddie [Guerrero] and Chris [Benoit], Eddie was a friend [and] Chris was a friend. When the tragedy went down with Benoit I think I was one of the few guys that went on TV and tried to make some sense of it. These people that think I'm desecrating deceased wrestlers; I'm talking about them as [wrestlers] and not the person. Sometimes I look at it and I just go you know what, don't even have an opinion, be a sheep like everybody else."
Fair enough. He's certainly allowed to have his opinion and there are those who have attempted to help him defend it while actually bothering to acknowledge his various shortcomings, of which there are many. But his acting like he's some sort of victim here is especially ridiculous considering his previous claims that he was just working up the marks.
A few more comments from Nash after the jump.
On how Shawn Michaels is different, despite his size:
"Shawn Michaels was 6-foot-1 and a half and weighed 225 pounds in his prime. That's a big difference between 5-foot-7. That's a difference between a 6-foot-8 power forward and a 7-foot-1 center. CM Punk doesn't have Shawn Michaels' physical ability. I mean, Vince Carter and [Michael] Jordan are the same size."
On stars of today being smaller and why it's an issue:
"I'm talking about them as wrestlers, I'm talking about them as their wrestling persona as far as visual. I'm not talking about anything [else]. I've stated before, these guys are incredibly great technical wrestlers. All of them. But there's a reason why Chrisitan Bale in Batman has armor on and is bigger than life. There's a reason why in all these Marvel movies if [the guys] don't have gigantic muscles and aren't oversized, they're CGIs. I don't remember Stan Lee when he started Marvel Comics making a 5-foot-7 guy."