August 22, 2004
Michelle Kane

Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash
Good Friends, Better Enemies?!

It was the year 1996, and the winds of change were blowing in the WWE. Stars that were once mainstays in the company, such as Hulk Hogan were moving on. The sound of cold hard cash coming from Atlanta, Ga caught the attention of many a young and old superstar. For two bright, shining stars by the names of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, that jingle of cash was too tempting to turn away from. Both had families to raise, and let's face it, that gleam of fame was something both desired. So when "Billionaire" Ted came calling, both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash came running...

But I'm jumping ahead of myself, here. The story you are about to read is about the match that was Kevin Nash's "swan song" from the company. Some of you may have been so lucky to have seen this match on the critically acclaimed "Shawn Michaels: From The Vault" DVD. Many others saw it as it took place at the "In Your House" Pay Per View, "Good Friends, Better Enemies. But, do many of you understand the historic significance behind this match? Well, today you will. For I will not only give you a blow-by-blow description of this historic bout, but I will also explain the events that transpired after this historic bout.

At the beginning of this match, Kevin Nash (then known as Diesel) throws his vest on Vince McMahon at ringside. Shawn enters, and we get underway. They slug it out from the bell and Nash ends up on the outside where Shawn follows with a moonsault from the top rope all the way to the floor. Nash rolls in and Shawn grabs the belt, jumps off the top rope and nails him with it. That gets the first two count. Shawn flips off a corner whip, then Nash waffles him and sends him flying off the apron into the guardrail. In, Nash dismantles Shawn and stares a hole through Vince the whole time. He hits a side suplex, then decides to choke the ref out with his wrist tape just for the hell of it. He undoes the ref's belt and whips the tar out of Shawn with it. He grabs a chair and goes to work, but Shawn dodges the second attempt, and it hits the ropes and backfires right back in Nash's face. Shawn now grabs the chair, but Nash thinks quickly and low blows him, then backdrops him onto the floor.

Shawn is an absolute bumping machine here. Nash follows him to the outside and powerbombs him through the announce table, which is a much different type of table than they use today. It's basically a regular table but with a cover and monitors and stuff on top of it. The monitors immediately collapse on top of Shawn despite Vince trying to move them away at the last second. Shawn is out. Nash grabs the belt and starts a premature celebration. Shawn struggles up to his feet, more pissed off than hurt, and clobbers him with a fire extinguisher. At this point you can see Vince yelling "Let it be over..." at Shawn. Shawn fights back in the ring with his flying forearm, then kips up and smacks Nash with a chair twice. Nash retaliates with a big boot, but Shawn punches out of a Jackknife attempt and hits his flying elbow off the top rope. Diesel ducks the superkick and hits a clothesline. They go to the floor where Nash hotshots him on the rail and decides to talk trash with the legendary Mad Dog Vachon who just happens to be sitting at ringside. Nash swipes his articificial leg in a move that, according to Nash himself, he did not regret doing. He, in fact, asked Vachon which leg to grab so he would not grab the wrong one! He tries to use it on Shawn, but Michaels connects with a low blow, takes the leg, winds up, and nails Nash with it instead. Shawn warms up the band and hits the Superkick for three at 17:56 to retain the WWE title.

Now, I'll bet you think the story ends here...but you are wrong, my friends! The story, in fact ends in Madison Square Garden. The real swan song went a little like this: at Madison Square Garden, Kevin Nash had his last match in the WWE, Triple H faced Scott Hall (then known as Razor Ramon) and Shawn Michaels faced Nash. These four men and Sean Waltman (we know him as X-Pac) was known as the "Clique", a bunch of friends who used their influence to play a big part in the booking department in WWE from 1994-1996. Hunter and Shawn won the matches, but as a part of Razor and Diesel's send off, they all celebrated in the ring, hugging and high-fiveing, which is clearly breaking kayfabe (the practice of keeping the inner workings of wrestling a secret). And with that Nash left the WWE.

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