Kevin Nash and Scott Hall left the WWE in 1996 and promptly signed for World Championship Wrestling. Their debut in WCW was one of the biggest in wrestling history and kicked off the biggest war in professional wrestling history – the Monday Night Wars.
Without Hall and Nash jumping ship, there would have been no war and no Attitude Era. If they did not form the NWO the wrestling world would be completely different. Then joining WCW was the catalyst for the biggest boom period in pro-wrestling history.
But why did Kevin Nash and Scott Hall leave the WWE to sign for WCW in 1996?
Why Did Kevin Nash & Scott Hall Leave WWE?
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall did not want to leave the WWE, but WCW offered them more money than Vince McMahon could afford to pay them. This twisted their arm and they had to leave due to the amount of money they would make by leaving the WWE.
In the WWE, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall had been under a contract with no guaranteed money. This meant that they did not know how much money they were bringing in yearly. If they were not booked to wrestle then they would not get paid and could be forced to sit him without pay if Vince McMahon wanted them to.
However, the contracts still stipulated a number of dates you needed to be available for. WWE wrestlers worked up to 300 days per year and could be on the road for longer than they were at home. This was for less money than the top stops in WCW were making at the time.
The WCW contracts were some of the first “guaranteed contracts” in wrestling. Nash & Hall joined the company with a promise of money, regardless of how much they worked. They had multi-million dollar deals with the company, with a clause that matched the highest earner in the company which benefited them greatly.
The dates offered by WCW were nearly half of what WWE wanted them to work. Kevin Nash revealed in his “Kliq This” podcast that he and Scott Hall joined WCW because they only had to work 180 dates a year. With Nash recently having a baby at that time, it was a no-brainer for them to leave WWE to join WCW in 1996.
They Debuted As The Outsiders In WCW
The Monday Night War truly began when the first big shot was fired by WCW on May 27, 1996. During a throwaway match between Steve Doll and The Mauler (me neither), the man formerly known as Razor Ramon walked through the crowd and made it to ringside.
This dumfounded fans. One of WWE’ stop stars, a former Intercontinental Champion, was live in WCW. The broadcast of the show did not pay close attention to Hall and they framed it in a way that he was not supposed to be here.
WWE was invading WCW, it seemed like, and Scott Hall had fired the first shot in the war between the two companies. He quickly grabbed a microphone (whilst the match was still going on in the ring, although nobody was paying much attention to it) and pulled off an all time great promo, starting with the immortal line “You know who I am. But you don’t know why I’m here”
Just two weeks after Scott Hall first appeared through the crowd on WCW Nitro, he introduced another former WWE star to WCW. The man formerly known as Diesel in the WWF, Kevin Nash joined Hall as they cornered Eric Bischoff at the announce desk, on June 10, 1996 in front of a packed crowd.
His appearance was a complete surprise and one of the biggest “jumping ships” moment in wrestling history. Nash was a former WWE Champion and one of the biggest stars in wrestling. He had also inked a deal to become the highest payed wrestler in WCW, matching the pay of stars like Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger.
When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash interrupted Eric Bischoff on commentary, fans were beside themselves and could not wait to see what the former Diesel was going to say. Why was he in WCW? Was he part of the WWF? What was going on?
It did not take long for Kevin Nash, in his surprise WCW debut, to let the fans know who he was and why he was here. He tore down WCW and Bischoff, mocking them (“This is where the big boys play, huh?) before showing his poor grasp of the English language by claiming that play was an adjective.
Scott Hall & Kevin Nash Formed The NWO With Hulk Hogan
Hall and Nash made waves in WCW, but it was not until Hulk Hogan joined the duo at Bash at the Beach 1996 that they went stratospheric. They became the biggest thing in wrestling, even to this day, when Hulk Hogan (the ultimate good guy) turned his back on WCW and the fans and formed the dastardly New World Order.
The match was originally a three on three match at Bash at the Beach. Lex Luger, Sting and Randy Savage were tasked with taking down The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall), but the latter duo were missing a partner. However, they assured everyone that he would be there when the time came.
And he was. Hulk Hogan ran down the aisle mid match, appearing to attack Hall and Nash and saving team WCW. However, he soon turned heel, dropping the leg on Savage in the most shocking moment in WCW history (and a match that was ranked as one of Hulk Hogan’s greatest).
This would start the formation of the New World Order. The NWO became the biggest faction in wrestling history – both in popularity and sheer amount of people in the stable – with the classic “black and white” shirts still selling out on WWE.com to this day.