Acrylic and spray on 24″ x 24″ wood
People tend to fall into two camps when it comes to Kevin Nash: They love him or they hate him, but regardless they have a strong opinion about him. Regardless, no one can dispute that he’s a man who made his way to the very top of the industry. He began in WCW, going from one ridiculous gimmick to another. He first debuted in 1990 as the orange-mohawked Steel as a part of the tag team the Master Blasters (wow) before being repackaged as the silver-haired, green-robed Oz, based on the Wizard of Oz (double wow). As Oz, he was managed by Merlin the Wizard (for real? For real.) as played by Kevin Sullivan. Believe it or not, this gimmick went for nearly a year before someone got off the drugs and realized how ricockulous it was. In 1992 he was again repackaged as Vinnie Vegas, based off of Steve Martin’s character from My Blue Heaven. In this guise, he was managed by both Harley Race and Diamond Dallas Page, before he left the company for the WWF.
In the WWF, he worked under the name of Diesel, first as Shawn Michaels’ bodyguard, then going on to be a WWF Champion for nearly a year, the longest reign of the 1990’s. There he would feud with Michaels, Bret Hart, Sid, and the Undertaker. He also formed very strong friendships with Michaels, Triple H, Sean Waltman and Scott Hall, a group that became infamously known as the Kliq. Hall and Nash would leave the company together for the large amount of money WCW was paying at the time.
Back in WCW, Nash found himself in the middle of quite possibly the most famous angle in wrestling history: The New World Order. Scott Hall first debuted on WCW, apparently still in his Razor Ramon gimmick, making it appear that the WWF had sent him there. Nash would debut two weeks later, following the same plot, and the two became known as the Outsiders. Later, they would team with Hulk Hogan and officially become known as the NWO, and they put the wrestling world on notice: They were taking over. Set up as a separate, competing brand to the WCW, the NWO took off like wildfire making it cool for fans to like the bad guys. The angle ran its course, but Nash would eventually win five separate WCW World Championships.
Following the WWE’s purchase of WCW, Nash would briefly reform the NWO with Hall and Hogan, before having a singles feud with Triple H and later Chris Jericho. Following an injury, he left WWE and made his way to TNA. In TNA he was part of several stables such as the Kings of Wrestling, Paparazzi Productions, and the Main Event Mafia. There he would work with fellow legends and the rising stars of TNA.
In 2011, he would briefly return to the WWE to feud with the mega-popular CM Punk and to resume his rivalry with Triple H. Following an untimely injury, he transitioned to a Legends Contract with WWE, working with their developmental talent in NXT and also making appearances on the Independent scene and in Japan.
Nash has also had a few interesting roles in Hollywood, first as the Super Shredder in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (I SO need to draw that) and my favorite of his roles as the Russian in the Punisher. His scene in the Punisher is my favorite of the whole movie, and pretty much the saving grace of that film, which unfortunately also saw him get accidentally stabbed by star Thomas Jane.
About the piece: This one was relatively straight-forward. Stylistically, you’ll note that it’s similar to the Samoa Joe and James Storm pieces. I painted the figure first, then framed him with a layer of spray paint. I then used white paint to outline the figure again. When I first did that with this one, it looked like he had an orange beanie on, so I put the top layer of spray paint back in. Then I added the expressive Jackson Pollock-inspired drips of paint in the corner to balance the composition out.