Vinnie Vegas

Vinnie Vegas

As I sit here mowing into my two McChicken sandwiches and small fries from the McDonald’s Dollar Menu (Thank Zod for the 24 hour drive-thru, if only these were in place when Bobby Heenan allegedly forced Ken Patera into extreme hunger), I can’t help but think how much more successful Kevin Nash is than most others in the wrestling business.

And no, please don’t ask why I think about such things as I eat such things, or we’ll be here all week.

Seriously, though, think about this. Think about how many men and women enter this business with the Rocky-like dreams that long hours of hard work and paying your dues will be rewarded in featured storylines and perhaps even the highly sought after MAIN EVENT status. It’s a Cinderella story only a handful can achieve.

I know, I know – I’m talking hard work and paying your dues AND Kevin Nash all inside the same paragraph. But before you start the “Kelly, what the hell is wrong with you?” (or worse) emails, hear me out, m’kay?

I mean, after all, it’s not like Nash was an overnight smash.

The guy entered WCW in 1990 and saw himself given such thrilling gimmicks as one half of the failed Road Warriors team rip-off “The Master Blasters” and Turner’s walking “Watch the Wizard of OZ on TNT!“ advertisement,

Frustrated by such casting catastrophes, Nash himself came up with a gimmick based on the wiseguy character in in the pseudo-sequel to Goodfellas entitled My Blue Heaven.

Sadly, he did not enlist Kevin Sullivan in the Rick Moranis role.

Too bad – that would have been gold.

Enter Vinnie Vegas. He is “bada bing, bada boom”, “fuh-get-about-it” and “gabba gool” rolled into one. He’s a wheelin’-dealin’ “in yer face, ya mamaluke!” kinda gavoun*. This is the kinda thing that would cause the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League to burn the marinara sauce and choke on their canolis over.

*Author’s Footnote: Feel free to ask your Italian friends or Sopranos fans what these words mean.

That or use Babelfish.

I ain’t picky.

Big Vin made his “debut” by defeating former NWA world champion for three days and York Foundation member, “Thomas Rich” at Clash of Champions 18 in just under 2 minutes with his “Snake Eyes” finisher. If you’ve never seen this, it basically consists of putting your opponent on your shoulder, walking to the corner, and having your opponent jump face first into the top turnbuckle.

Nash would improve upon this winning formula in later years by cutting the matches in which he would defeat former and current world champions to under ten seconds without hardly having to move himself or anyone else around in the ring.

Poor Bob Backlund. We hardly knew ye.

Almost as soon as “Vinnie Vegas” made his debut in WCW, he joined up with Harley Race to be part of Race’s big guy heel stable called “A Half a Ton of Holy Hell” which included Big Van Vader and Mr. Hughes.

Here, young Eric Bischoff interviews Race and Vegas, without that noticeable infatuated “Hmmm, Mrs. Eric Nash, guess I kinda like it” schoolgirl gaze when he’s standing next to him.

Seriously, look at Eric there. I haven’t seen a look of longing like that since the original Superman with Christopher Reeve when Lois sings that horrible “Can You Read My Mind” Song.

Anyhoo, Vegas calls Big Josh a “pancake-eating fat boy from the Northwest”.

Tut tut…who doesn’t love pancakes?

“When most’a-yas was worryin’ ‘bout whose you was gonna takes to the senior prom, I was down on Miami Beach with Johnny Vascuso collecting 253,000 dolluhs for the Tropicana Hotel” and “bustin’ scabs in the head”.

The only thing that’s missing is making offers no one can refuse and that he knows the goombas who put Jimmy Hoffa under Giants Stadium.

“Half a Ton of Holy Hell” lasted about a month until Vegas joined Diamond Dallas Page’s “Diamond Exchange” stable, along with the likes of “The Diamond Studd” Scott Hall (whom Nash would later make waves with when he returned to WCW in 1996) and Scott Flamingo.

And if you think Nash looked like a fool in a cheap tuxedo suit with neon pink cumberbund, he had nothing on Raven decked out in his acid washed jeans jacket.

With fringe.

Vinnie Vegas would go on to have an arm wrestling contest with newly arrived in WCW Tony Atlas at Clash of Champions 22. Since I don’t have a screencap of that, here’s NSYNC’s Joey Fatone arm wrestling Chyna Doll Joanie Laurer from On the Line. Trust me, the arm wrestling is just as relevant, lasts just as short and is just as entertaining in both cases.

Nash also teamed briefly with “Big Sky.” Sadly the Vegas-Sky tandem was short for this world, as Sky, real name Tyler Mane, who would go on to a decent film career, earning roles in the X-Men movies as Sabretooth and as Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s recent (unnecessary) Halloween remake.

As for Nash…well, you know the story. Went to WWF, was Shawn Michael’s bidyguard Diesel and would go on to hold all three (at the time, now there’s about twenty-five I can’t keep up with) major titles in the WWF in just over 18 months and be part of the hottest angle in WCW history.

Oh yeah, and he’d also have a hand in booking that same company into oblivion.

Wait a minute…WCW gave the book to a guy whose greatest character creation was VINNIE VEGAS?

Mamma Mia!

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