Have I mentioned how awesome The Steve Austin Show is? Well, it’s great. Seriously. Recently, he had former WWF champion, WCW champion and original member of the NWO Kevin Nash on the show. What many people don’t know is that Nash was one of the brains behind the actual NWO storyline (along with Kevin Sullivan, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan there to make sure he won all the time). In case you don’t remember, the NWO was the angle where a faux-WWF faction invaded WCW in the mid-90s. It was the hottest angle maybe we’ve ever seen that defined so many of our childhoods.
During his interview with Austin, Nash mentioned an unexpected influence for the NWO: Tupac.
We’re throwing gangster rap into [The NWO angle] and Terry (Hulk Hogan) is old school. He wants the ‘brother, brother, brother,’ and we’re like, ‘naw, that ain’t hip.’ That ain’t what’s working. Just talk. You gotta lose the wrestling persona. You gotta be chill. Hell, I showed up with a Tupac bandana on backwards and someone looked at me and said ‘what the hell is that?! Are you Aunt Jemima?’ No, man, this is the way Tupac wears it. Look around, man. This in the middle of East Coast/West Coast rap wars. We’re trying to crossover!
This soundbyte also reminded me of Nash talking about Pac in the WWE Legends of Wrestling Roundtable about the NWO:
And at that time rap music, and especially East Coast rap music and the Death Row/Suge Knight label had become very crossover. Everyone was listening to it. White boys were now into it. The demographic had completely changed. We decided to take that and make that part of what we were. We wore the bandanas backwards like Tupac and just ran with it. We were 40-something years old…it’s ridiculous. [laughs]
If you recall, the whole NWO approach was guerrilla tactics, baseball bats and not giving a f*ck. They really took the gangster rap edge and put it into wrestling. Of course, it did sort of looked silly for these old White guys to throw up the “westside” and wear bandanas, but they used that asthetic to contribute to one of the hottest angles in wrestling history.
…as if anyone needed another reason to think Pac was the greatest.
The Steve Austin Show: Episode #37 – nWo Kevin Nash Part 3