It’s funny though, I honestly don’t have a problem with the guy, in fact there was a time when I liked him a lot; it’s just that, like many wrestlers who’ve worked every organization in existence, he has a lot of phases to his career that were less than flattering.
That being said, Nash’s earlier turn in WCW as the emerald robed and turbaned wizard character, Oz; is easily the most embarrassing of said career blemishes.
Articulate 7-footers with charisma are a rare commodity in wrestling, such that promoters often jump at the chance to seize one for their ranks.
Kevin Nash always had these qualities going for him, but for whatever reason, WCW completely mismanaged his early career, resulting in him portraying no less 3 different characters in as many years.
Oz, was the second of these characters.
As you can plainly see in the clip above, WCW made no bones about citing Oz’s relation to/inspiration from The Wizard of Oz, even going so far as to parade Dorothy and her friends down the ramp during his debut.
Though I know it’s supposed to be another reference to The Wizard of Oz, I can’t help but snicker at the thought of Oz being from “The Emerald City” AKA my hometown of Seattle.
While Nash’s wrestling ability and magnetic personality did a lot to sustain his standing as a legit wrestler, there’s no denying that the absolutely horrid “wizard” gimmick and silly turban were severely detrimental to his career in the early goings.
Basically, Nash may indeed have made some fans during his first tour with WCW, but I seriously doubt any of them were born during his turn as Oz.
In most cases, I would expect the average wrestling fans reaction to watching Oz stroll down the ramp to be somewhat in line with that of Ian Malcolm’s: