Remember the infamous WWE night that Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H broke kayfabe in Madison Square Garden? Stone Cold Steve Austin does and he grilled Nash about what would be known as the Kliq Curtain Call in a fascinating podcast interview.
I have become a huge fan of Austin’s podcasts. Austin has developed an uncanny knack as an interviewer. Austin asks tough questions and always has a unique perspective on controversies discussed on his show. This interview with Kevin Nash is probably Austin’s best and one you should absolutely go out of your way to hear.
Nash, Hall, Triple H, and Michaels all ran together back in the 90s and were known as the Kliq or clique in WWE circles. Nash and Hall had given their notice and were finishing up dates on the road with their last night being in Madison Square Garden. After Michaels beat Nash in the main-event, all four guys got in the ring together, broke character, and acknowledged Nash and Hall’s final night in what would become known as the Kliq Curtain Call. Today that wouldn’t be a big deal at all. In May 1996 it was a huge deal as Hall and Michaels were babyfaces wrestling Nash and Hunter and while most knew the deal, the business was still protected. I would go as far as to say that kayfabe was never the same after this night and there were plenty of people in the business not happy about it…including Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Steve Austin: So then we roll into Madison Square Garden and it’s you guys in a cage right?
Kevin Nash: Yep and this was back in the days, and people think that it was bullsh*t, that whole drug testing era…we were drug tested. For three years there wasn’t a f*cker in the WW, from when I walked in that door to the day I left, there wasn’t a f*cker taking steroids, nobody smoking pot. Booze and pills, well you can get them from a doctor and alcohol is legal, but anything illegal was not being allowed in that locked room. We’re driving up to the building and Scott looked at me and he goes, “This is the last time we’re going to be at the Garden. Let’s work this mother f*cker stoned”. I said, “Man I hadn’t been stoned for three years.” We rolled one out, he had a little bit of weed, we smoked one, you walk into Madison Square Garden and the house was like a $350,000 house.
Steve: So what’s the card? You guys come in a little bit lit. What’s the card?
Kevin: The last two matches are Triple H vs. Scott Hall and the main-event is in a cage for the world title, Diesel against the champion Shawn Michaels.
So it was you and Shawn at the end, they had already worked, I was jerking the curtain that night, I worked the third or fourth match and was at the curtain because that’s what I did watching the matches and I watched everything go down. Who was in the main-event, was that Shawn and you?
Kevin: Me and Shawn
Steve: It was you and Shawn, the match is over, and here comes Triple H, X- Pac, and f*cking Scott.
Kevin: No X-Pac wasn’t there. Hunter and Scott came down the aisle way but then came back down the aisle way after the match. Shawn superkicked me, walked over my body AKA Bruno style, walked out the door, hit the floor, and took another two steps, turned back and looked at me and then he kind of shook his head and walked back in the door and then picked me up. If you remember he kind of picked me up by my head like the wounded warrior type thing and I came to, and I didn’t want to not sell his kick, so he went to the ropes to give those guys time to come down, we all did our things, and thing was we said “Hey you know this is our last time at the Garden, can we do this thing?”, and Vince didn’t think anything of it. We were supposed to be going out to dinner afterwards, it wasn’t like we just did it.
Steve: You all didn’t break it down, you all didn’t say, “Let’s go out there and give one big f*cking hug, it was just kind of an in the moment type thing that happened?
Kevin: Yeah, yeah.
Steve: Because man as it was going down you have to understand man. People that listen these days, everyone is kind of smart to what’s going on but back then the business was still, even after all of the exposes, the 20/20s, and all of that bullsh*t, the business was still somewhat protected and damned sure it was protected in Madison Square Garden in a steel cage. All the sudden you guys go out there and hug and I’m thinking, “What in the f*ck is going on!” from the curtain. I can’t believe what I’m seeing, it was shocking dude, that’s a shoot. I didn’t know whether to sh*t or to wind my watch, you guys are hugging in the Garden!
Kevin: Yeah, it was one of those things man, it wasn’t planned, it was organic, it was four guys that had been f*cking through hell and back, through so many years, thousands and thousands, a thousand days at least on the road together, it just kind of. Man, we hugged and we went to the corners, I looked out in the crowd and there were people crying because everybody knew we were leaving.
Steve: People crying in Madison Square Garden, when you get over in front of a Garden crowd whether they love you or love to hate you, they love you, and you’re over, and you are part of that family so to speak and they pay money to see you’re a$s, if you can get over in front of a Garden crowd, you can get over anywhere.
What made this exchange so great is that you get to hear how the incident was viewed from two different perspectives. Nash of course was involved in the incident and gives some insight into what he was thinking at the time but you also get Austin’s perspective which was much different. Austin was not only a part of the WWE roster at the time, but he watched the whole thing go down from backstage. Listening to him tell Nash what he was thinking as he watched it may have been the best part of the entire exchange.
Listen to the entire podcast here – http://www.podcastone.com/pg/jsp/program/episode.jsp?programID=436&pid=260486