A new episode of WWE Untold premiered earlier in the week on Peacock/WWE Network that was about the history of Shawn Michaels and Diesel known as “Two Dudes with Attitudes.” It’s available on-demand now.
The episode begins with Kevin Nash talking about playing basketball in college and then going to Europe to play until his career ended after blowing out his knee. Afterward, he would enroll in the military before taking a job as a floor manager at Cheetah Gentlemen’s Club in Atlanta. While working there, he would meet wrestler Barry Windham who would convince Nash to get into the wrestling business.
Shawn Michaels would talk about wanting to become a professional wrestler after watching Southwest Championship Wrestling. He would join Southwest Championship Wrestling and wrestle around Texas for five to six years before making his way to WWE. There he would be part of a tag team called “The Rockers” with Marty Janetty. While the team was relatively successful, Michaels and Jannetty would never become Tag Team Champions. After being in a tag team, Michaels would go in his own direction to a singles career. For Michaels, he knew he would not be a main event draw like Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior due to his size. However, that would not stop him from obtaining singles gold as “The Heartbreak Kid” and would win the Intercontinental Championship.
Nash would be offered a contract by WCW and placed into a tag team called “The Master Blasters”. After the tag team, Nash would then be repackaged as Oz, an idea created by Dusty Rhodes. Shortly after, he would debut a new character named Vinnie Vegas which was inspired by Steve Martin in “My Blue Heaven”. The Vinnie Vegas character would catch the attention of Shawn Michaels who liked the character a lot. Michaels presented the idea of bringing in Nash to be his bodyguard who would help him win matches and get heat. Luckily for Michaels, a conversation with Rick Steiner would help the two connect, resulting in Nash leaving WCW.
In 1993, Nash would fly up to Stanford to meet Vince at his house with the idea of him debuting with Michaels at the live event. The Detroit native recalls Michaels saying he liked him and also being warned about his heat within the locker room. Nash explains that while Michaels was a prick, he was such because people were mean and jealous of him. Other than his boys, no one liked Shawn until they were facing him because of how big of a name he was. Speaking on how Nash received the name “Diesel”, Bruce Prichard explained that the name was a descriptive term for his jacked stature. Nash would also explain his leather gear which was inspired by Elvis Presley, who he thought was cool.
At the time, it was said Nash was not polished which Prichard said could be seen during the Heartbreak Hotel since all he did was tighten his glove. However, being paired with Michaels would help Nash learn quickly about in-ring psychology. Diesel recalls watching Shawn facing Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania X and learning how to call spots in the ring. He also spoke about riding with Shawn and Razor, breaking down matches, and forming a brotherly relationship with them. When Nash won the WWE Tag Team Championships with Michaels, he remembers Shawn saying he never won the titles with anyone before. Michaels says the pairing worked and was getting over, which led to Vince being more focused on Diesel.
With Nash’s popularity rising and the company trying to adjust to the 1990s environment, the decision was made to have Diesel defeat Bob Backland to win the WWE Championship quickly. Interestingly, Nash would admit to being green at the time when given the WWE Championship in late 1994. He also knew Shawn lobbied to be the champion which did not upset him since he knew it was Shawn’s dream. Michaels spoke about telling Nash how proud he was of his accomplishment and clarified there was no jealously between them.
With Diesel as champion, the two would feud heading into Wrestlemania for WWE Championship. During this time, it seemed like WWE was trying to figure out if Michaels and Diesel could carry the main event since they were not the last match on the card (Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bag Bigelow went on last at WrestleMania 11 in 1995). Many spoke about the great quality match the two put on with Prichard adding that he realized Shawn was capable of doing anything after that match. Michaels says he was trying to show them the Attitude Era three years before it happened.
The next night on Raw, Michaels would turn babyface before pairing up with Diesel again as “Two Dudes with Attitudes.” During this time, Shawn would be Intercontinental Champion and Diesel still holding WWE championship. The two of them would go on to win the Tag Team Championships while still holding their singles titles. Nash says while he enjoyed the success he had in WWE, he wanted to get paid which is why he left for WCW in the spring of 1996. The five-time WCW Champion explained he wanted to be wealthy while Michaels wanted to be a wrestler.
Looking back at the infamous “Curtain Call”, Prichard found it disrespectful but Shawn went with it because of how personal it was to see his friends leave. Shawn would say while Nash learned a lot from him as a wrestler, The Heartbreak Kid learned from Nash to look at wrestling from a business perspective. We would see backstage footage of Michaels and Nash together during the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. Nash says he has been blessed and did what he did with no regrets. Michaels ends by saying Nash is a true friend who told him to get his life together since then and has never looked back since.
This documentary has a runtime of 52:03 on Peacock/WWE Network.
Aneil’s Take: Unfortunately, I missed out on watching Diesel and Shawn Michaels wrestling together or against one another. However, watching this WWE Untold was great because I learned about their history together and their feud. It was cool to see the full circle storyline of Shawn bringing in Nash as his bodyguard, having success as Tag Team Champions only to have friction and splitting up. Nash would go on to win the WWE Championship and being challenged by Michaels at Wrestlemania. Afterward, both would turn babyface and find more success by holding all of the gold.
For me, the pairing of Shawn Michaels and Diesel is often imitated but never duplicated because of how authentic their partnership was. I think the one thing I found ironic was that Shawn originally brought in Nash as his bodyguard to help elevate him into main event status and hopefully lead him to the WWE Championship. However, it turned on Michaels at the time, as Diesel would become champion before him, which supported the adage of Vince loving big men. Also, after watching this, I had a few “what-if” questions. What if Shawn did not watch the episode of WCW where he spotted Nash? What if Diesel and Razor not make the jump to WCW? What if the “Curtain Call” never happened? What if Michaels joined his friends by making the jump to WCW? In conclusion, I found this to be a great documentary, which I would recommend watching!