WCW Magazine-On the Road with Big Sexy- 1/99

Kevin Nash invited WCW/nWo Magazine for an in-depth tour of life as a wrestler, not the in-ring action, but all the travel that accompanies the sport. Ross Forman spent five days touring the East Coast with the nWo Wolfpac leader: four shows, four cities, several airplane trips and rental cars, and 105.5 pounds of Nash's luggage. Hope you enjoy the time On The Road With Kevin Nash as much as our writer did...

Friday, September 25th, 10:30 PM

The Baltimore Arena was nearly empty. The matches had ended about 45 minutes earlier and the wrestling fanatics had filtered outside. They lingerede, waiting for a glimpse of their favorite star. (Such curious sights- why do hundreds, maybe even thousands, of fans wait around after shows to scream and holler at their heroes and villains?)

I had to make my way through the masses carrying three bags inside from the "talent parking" section where I was relieved to immediately spot Super Calo, Silver King, and a few other luchadors. I was glad that I hadn't missed everyone after my Chicago-Baltimore flight had been canceled, shifting me to the Washington bound flight.

Kevin Nash, Konnan, and Lex Luger sat in their closet-sized dressing room enjoying a "cold one". The three of them went through their established repertoire of jokes at my expense. "How's our cool geek today!" "Why are you late, did your Mickey Mouse alarm not go off?" "Grab our bags and load them into the car!" If I have learned one thing during my time with the wrestlers it is just to keep quiet, especially when you are outnumbered by three of the most verbose and witty around.

We left at 11 PM. Konnan and Luger, traveling together, went their own way. Nash and I waded through the sea of fans on our way north, some 2-plus hours to Newark. Next stop for the Nash-Forman Lincoln Towncar: Lookers, a bar near Newark Airport that;s a regular hangout for the wrestlers. We arrived about 1:30 AM.

Nash enjoyed bottles of Corona with a lime and evern paid for a few, until we met "The Boys". Lee and Mario, the leaders of this 10-person clan, were "connected", if you know what I mean. When last-call arrived, that didn't stop our new friends. They kept ordering and the drinks kept arriving.

One for Kevin, one for Jerry Maguire, "The Boys" said as they ordered beers and a few shots. (Editor's Note: Was Tom Cruise there, Ross? Even in your wildest dreams and after many, many drinks, nobody could mistake you for him. They probably said Jerry Lewis, but you misheard! CB)

Thanks to "the stroke" of Lee and Mario, we were set for another hour or so. Then we went with them to a second risque club. It also closed shortly after our arrival, but again that was no problem for "The Boys". We eventually hit a third establishment somewhere in Staten Island, at about 5 AM. It was appropriately dubbed One-Eyed Willie's, "because everyone who goes there then has maybe one eye open," Lee explained later.

We left at about 6 AM, with a designated driver supplied courtesy of "The Boys". Maybe it was 6:30. Who really knows after that type of night? All I can say is, I don't know how we got to the Newark Airport hotel because we didn't have a clue where we were.

About 6:50 AM, with the Hilton in sight, we approached a McDonald's. Kevin looked at me, but didn't have to say a word. We were going.

The problem: finding the entrance.

"Just go over this curb, this is a rental car," Kevin instructed the driver. Well despite his reservations, he did. After all, what would you do when a 7-foot superstar barks orders at you?

Well, I don't think the folks at the rental agency were too thrilled when they discovered the damage the curb caused.

McDonald's breakfast (two Egg McMuffins apiece and skim milk) never tasted so good.

We checked into the Hilton at 7:08 AM.

Our wake-up call was 10:30 AM.

When we got to the room, Kevin gave me five aspirin. He took eight. Man, talk about an awesome hangover cure. (Kids, and adults for that matter, don't try this at home.)

Saturday, September 26th, 10:30 AM

The phone rang and we sprung up feeling none-the-worse-for-wear.

Kevin, who had only coffee (with sugar) for breakfast, started signing autographs for Wrestlecon 2 at the Woodbridge Armory at about 11:25. (Later that evening Garden State Pro Wrestling had a few matches slated in the same facility, with the Iron Sheik topping the bill.)

Nash, no doubt having a flashback to his University of Tennessee days, signed underneath a basketball net. (As a loyal Indiana University fan, I had always wondered why it had been UT- not IU- for this Detroit native. Kevin tells me that Bobby Knight turned him away from the Bloomington school when, during a visit to Nash's home, Knight immediately told him he'd have to cut his hair to play for the Hoosiers. Well, that answered my question.)

Autographs were $20 and several hundred graciously paid, some several times. Kevin also posed for many Polaroid moments. He drank bottled-water, chewed gum, and ate a few red and white peppermint candies that he had pocketed from a dish on the hotel counter during the appearance.

After the signing session, we returned our slightly injured car and decided to fly back to Washington National for the night's show in Fairfax, VA.

Hello, Vince McMahon

Airports are one of the most common places you can meet wrestlers. Given their hectic schedules, it is not uncommon to run into wrestlers and promoters from the "Big Two", as the crisscross the country. This was one of those days.

As we approached Continental's first-class check-in area, we spotted Shane McMahon waiting in front of us with his wife.

Hellos and hugs- the common wrestling greeting. Regardless of loyalties. It's a very small industry and when you have made it to the top, respect is the number one order of the day. Most of the wrestlers will tell you, "Be nice to everyone on the way up; you'll never know when you'll need them on the way down." It's a good credo that everyone should adhere to.

Kevin and I made our way to Gate 100, then spotted Vince McMahon along the way.

Hellos and hugs again.

Also present: Jim Ross, Howard Finkel, and a few other "WWF suits". (Yes, the internet rumor about a Nash-McMahon meeting was true, but it was a simple social chat.)

Nash slept through the 40-minute flight, despite the flight attendant's excessive interest in Kevin's shoe size. Nash pulled out his sunglasses, the glare coming through the windows was affecting his ability to sleep and, after the night we had just had, he (and I) sure needed some shut-eye.

Our rental car at National Airport seemed to be parked in Pittsburg. We walked, walked some more, and walked even further. (Yeah, Kevin did yell an expletive at one point when he realized there was still another 50-yard walk.) And to make matters worse, we were told there wasn't a luxury car available. But as we walked toward our small car, Kevin spotted a Towncar and decided to make the change, but himself. "That car will do... bring your stuff to that one." I stood transfixed for a split-second as he got into the Towncar and I pondered the sentence for grand theft auto. As drdove up to the security gate, I wondered how Kevin would handle this. Kevin handed the documents to the guard on duty who duly noted that we were in the wrong car. However, a smile from "Big Sexy", an autograph to JQUISH (why did the lady look at Kevin like he was from Mars when he asked her how to properly spell the name?), and a kiss on the star-struck woman's cheek were the only delays to our departure in the luxury car. Oh, to be a legend!

En route to the Patriot Center on the George Mason University campus, we stopped at McDonald's for a plain chicken breast sandwich and a large shake. (Kevin: chocolate. Ross: vanilla.) Nash signed autographs and pictures for fans inside, and glanced through the local sports section. All the patrons were amazed that Kevin would actually eat at their McDonald's.

"Sixty-six home runs... that's incredible," Nash said, shaking his head at Mark McGwire's amazing feat.

At the arena, WCW's trainer, Danny Young, treated Nash's ailing lower back and knees.

Lex Luger playfully fluffed Nash's hair just seconds before they walked out into the sea of supportive fans.

After the action, we hung out at the bar at the Baltimore Airport, munching on mushroom pizza. Steve McMichael, Arn Anderson, and referee Charles Robinson stopped by our table with greetings. Stevie Ray, meanwhile, was engrossed in a game of pool.

There were about 25 fans waiting for autographs. Is that a lot? Yeah. But nothing compared to the Nassau Marriott, where commonly severaly hundred fans eagerly await the wrestlers.

Sunday, September 27th, 7:30 AM

After the wake-up call, we ordered room service: six egg whites, oatmeal with cinnamon, bran muffin, banana, two glasses of skim milk, and coffee.

We flew back to Newark for a second autograph appearance, this one at a small neighborhood trading card store. En route, Nash read about finishing holds in Gene LaBell's wrestling books. (At Thunder a few days later, Nash would repeatedly apply some of the moves, like the Japanese armbar, to Konnan- much to Mike Tenay's amusement.)

As he read the book, I asked him questions about wrestling and wrestlers today, and who makes him sit up and watch.

"Kanyon does some cool stuff, and so do the Steiners," Nash commented.

Before boarding the plane, Kevin stretched out on the floor of the gate area. "That's the key to surviving these flights, especially when your legs are as long as mine," he explained.

Beer before take off. Sparkling water during the flight. A limo to the card store. Nash signed for two hours, 15 minutes.

WCW up-and-comer Evan Kouragious stopped by, as did "The Boys" from the other night/morning in Newark.

We returned to Newark Airport for the trip to Erie, PA, where the stuff really hit the fan. Uh, seat 18C ain't first class. When Kevin asked that I rearrange all our flights at one point, I specifically asked for first-class. I know I did. But when we got to Newark Airport, he couldn't be guaranteed a first-class seat from Pittsburgh to Erie.

Talk about one grumpy 7-foot man.

To add fuel to the fire, we stopped for pizza at Newark Airport, but the register broke and it took forever. Then we had plenty of time to call home, but wouldn't you know it, no phone in sight.

Our first flight en route to Erie was first-class, fortunately for me. After kissing his cross before take off (a daily tradition), Kevin slept with his arms folded in front of him for most of the flight. Despite minor turbulence, he didn't stir once, not even for a drink or snack.

Nash's travel attire? Sunglasses, a brown Gold's Gym baseball hat, Gold's Gym t-shirt, Zubaz workout pants, Birkenstock shoes with white socks. Or maybe his orange FUBU baseball jersey.

After the matches, Konnan joined us for the four-hour trip. This was now the total "sports junkies" car. Who's the greatest pitcher of all time? The best running back? Is Michael Jordan the best ever? We debated all the vital sports issues. At dinner at Perkins, Nash enjoyed turkey, potatoes, corn and a strawberry shake.

"I always tip 20 percent. If you don't tip service, especially when it's good service, why go out? Stay home," he said.

Monday, September 28th, 1 PM

Kevin, Konnan, and I departed the Rochester Marriott for a local gym. Kevin worked on his shoulders and upper body. He finished the 90-minute workout with a 30-minute bicycle ride. Then a quick tanning session.

The two walked back and forth as they tanned, critiquing movies and actors.

Itw as then back to the hotel for a quick shower and, of course, to sign a few autographs in the lobby. Blue Cross Arena: A yelling contest. As we ate lunch with Sting, Konnan and Norman Smiley, the subject somehow shifted to a yelling contest as a way to relieve stress. Imagine five grown men, from all different walks of life, joined together by their lungs. Sure enough, Kevin first let out a scream that could be heard around the building. Sting was next. Then Konnan. Smiley. Me. You can try this at home. Yell for maybe four seconds as loud and as long as you can. You're drained, and sweating.

The fare for the day at the arena catering room was meat and broccoli.

I accompanied Kevin back to his locker room, where we were joined by Rick Steiner, who handed Kevin the latest acquisition to his gun collection.

"Sweet, real sweet," Kevin purred as he looked down the sight and pointed it toward one very nervous reporter. "Is it loaded?" he asked Rick.

"Only one way to find out!" Before Rick could finish and Kevin could test out Rick's theory, I quickly made my excuses and rushed out of the locker room, leaving the pair of them rolling around laughing their brains out.

Next up: Monday Nitro.

Tuesday, September 29th, 6:40 AM

Bound for Chicago, then onto Phoenix for Kevin. Home for a few days, only to do it all over again, in different cities and different arenas. The life of a wrestling superstar.


During the trip Kevin shared some of his travel picks and pans with us.

Favorite Domestic City (tie): Los Angeles, Las Vegas

Least Favorite Domestic City: Erie

Favorite International City: Paris

Least Favorite International City: Bombay

Best Airport: Atlanta

Worst Airport: Dallas

Favorite Pigout Food: Pizza

Favorite Drink: Beer

Favorite Fast Food: Wendy's grilled chicken sandwich (plain)

Favorite Hotel Chain: Hyatt

Favorite Airline: United

Favorite Rental Car Company: Budget

Favorite Rental Car: Navigator or Avis Cadillac

Favorite Flight: "Any flight going home."

Longest Road Trip: 57 days.

Tans: Twice a week

Favorite Gyms: Gold's Gyms, Lex's Main Event Fitness in Atlanta, and East Coast Gym in Daytona Beach.

Always Buy When On The Road: "I usually always run out of hair conditioner. I usually switch brands every month or so."

Postcards: Rarely, if ever. "I'm a telephone man."

Sight-seeing: "If it's something I haven't seen, sure. But how many times can you see the St. Louis Arch?"

There's No More Beautiful Place On Earth Than: Arizona

Religious Habits: Kisses cross before flights, says prayer before every match that no one gets hurt and that everyone makes it home to their families safely.

Ritual: Hall and Nash would traditionally hit their hands seconds before walking out to greet the crowd, followed by "Let's rock it."

Car Miles: 25,000+ annually.

Air Miles: He's a Million Miler with Delta, has 500,000-plus on USAirwars and Continental, and more than 100,000 on several other carriers.

Best First-Class: America West

Worst First Class: MD-80

Coach Class: Has flown only once over the past five yeras. "I now have a new appreciation for first... I almost forgot how horrible coach class seating really is."

Key To Surviving Travel: "Laugh at all cost. Be organized. Don't be a nervous traveler. Check everything possible. Buy good luggage. Spend $500 on good luggage if you're going to travel for a living. You'll go through 10 $100 bags before you go through one $500 bag. It's important to have good luggage. Remember to have a place to put dirty clothes."

Travel Music: Hall likes some country, but mostly, it's rap music.

Key To A Good Co-Pilot: "Keep the pilot awake."

Key To A Good Night Sleep: The "Do Not Disturb" sign.

Can't Travel With: "Anyone who smokes. I can do it for a day, in a pinch, and that's about it."

Carries With Him: A guardian angel given to him about seven years ago by a fan. "Who knows I carry it with me? Probably nobody."

Supplements: 12 per day, including creatine and whey protein.

On Other Travelers:

Scott Hall
"He was my travel-mate, day in and day out for eight years. I've always said, "If you have to spend time on the road, it's best if you spend it with a friend."
Hall never drove, "unless you want to go 50 MPH (on the highways)".

Lex Luger
"He gets platinum Road Warrior status. Lex is an Android- no one can train harder and on less sleep than Lex. When he drives, well, Lex ain't afraid to hit triple digits."
Very organized traveler.
Nash and Luger are constantly trying to find the "ultimate travel bag."
(Nash has a 10-day bag, a 5-day bag and a 3-day bag.)

"Know that anytime you stop, he's gonna cost you 30 minutes. He's just always moving kinda slow.
"The travel DJ. Might travel with 150 cassettes."

Steiner Brothers
"Traveling with the Steiners was like traveling with two Tasmanian Devils. Rick chews tobacco and spits it in the back seat. Scott leaves tuna cans and apple cores.
"One thing about traveling with the Steiners, you'll laugh the whole time. They're such characters. Plus, if anything breaks out, you know you've got your back covered. They're close friends of mine."

Diamond Dallas Page
"He's a classic. He's got 45 bags... and that's for a 2-day trip. He's got a TV, a VCR, and a massage table. Everyone else has a handheld shaker, (but) he's got a blender. He's not afraid to drag 100 bags across the country, with as many comforts of home as possible, from neckrolls to fluffed, feathered pillows. Plus, he's like Elvis- he can't have any light in the room. So he tapes the windows shut, or uses those pushpins into the wall. You laugh at him when he's doing it, but, when it's noon and the room is still pitch black and you got some good sleep, you like him."

Bill Goldberg
"A good traveler. Can go on zero sleep."

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