Though he made his surprise WWE return in January at the Royal Rumble, Kevin Nash got his pro wrestling start in Atlanta with now-defunct World Championship Wrestling in the early '90s. His second stint with WCW was even more successful as he, alongside Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and other wrestling legends, was a huge part of the infamous Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWE (then known as the World Wrestling Federation). With WrestleMania coming to town, Nash returns to Atlanta, kicking off the weekend with his own party (not affiliated with WWE) at Sutra with wrestler pals Sean Waltman, Raven, B.G. James, Amber O'Neal, Melissa Coates and others. Before he gets his party started, he takes a moment to talk about returning to his old stomping grounds.
Tell me about the party you're throwing at Sutra to kick off WrestleMania weekend.
Yeah, it's real chill. It's not run by the federation or anything. We had a chance to get a pretty cool place in Midtown, and I wanted to kick off WrestleMania with fans and get a chance to have a little one-on-one time with them. Throughout the night there will be several different wrestlers that stop by.
This event is right around the corner from the Cheetah, where you once worked as a bouncer.
The last two months that I worked at the Cheetah, I had a red Mohawk because I was breaking into wrestling at that time. Of all the jobs I've ever had, I never once woke up and said, "Boy, I don't want to go to work today" at the Cheetah.
I broke into wrestling at the old Center Stage when WCW was smaller. Then [Eric] Bischoff came along and made WCW bigger with "Nitro" and all that. I was fortunate enough to be part of that run. I actually still have a loft in Buckhead that a cardiologist friend of mine rents.
Before the Royal Rumble, you worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling for a few years. What is your role with WWE now?
For me, right now at almost 52 years old, I really don't want to be bouncing around too much. I'm blessed that I can get around as well as I can after being beat up for so many years. But I'd still like to do anything I can do to help the young guys and help the federation move forward. So we're going to sit down over 'Mania weekend and the weeks after that, look at some options, and see what works for them and what works for myself and move forward.
Will you be involved in WrestleMania at all?
I haven't been told anything, but like any good pro wrestler, I'll definitely pack my gear because you never know when somebody's going to go down and they need a body. So I'll make sure I have my gear on me in case I am needed. But I will be signing at the fan Axxess for them under my Legends contract. It'll be nice to get back down there, and WrestleMania's always special. It's the Super Bowl of wrestling, and it's nice to be part of the whole weekend. And to do our own little thing to kick it off is something that's special to me because I've never tried to do anything like this before and it's gotten a good response.
Atlanta's a sweet town. Great food, great nightlife, good people, so it will be good to spend a couple of days in Atlanta going to my old gyms and hanging out in my old stomping grounds.
During your Wizard World panel last December, you were talking about being at the point where you had to consider having one last run with WWE. Was it a difficult decision to return to WWE instead of re-signing with TNA?
I was with TNA for the better part of four or five years. I'd walk through the airport and people'd come up and ask for my autograph and ask if I was ever going to wrestle again. I'd be like, "I have been for the past five years." There's that much drop-off between WWE and TNA. Then coming back at the Rumble and running out in front of 20,000 people — well, walking out in my case — it was special. The reaction was nice and it's nice to be back. To me, it was the right move. Everything goes full circle and I became a money player with WWE, and I'd like to finish my career with them.
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