Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper | Heated Backstage Fight at Slamboree ’97

0

During the height of the Monday Night Wars, there was a rift growing in WCW between Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper. A 6-man match was planned for May 18, 1997’s Slamboree pay-per-view in Charlotte, North Carolina which pitted the nWo’s Wolfpac members Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Syxx (Sean Waltman) against Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and NFL great, Kevin Greene. Leading up to the match, there was much disagreeing over who would go over as well as Waltman’s inclusion in the match.

Flair and company were booked to lose which did not sit well with Piper, particularly because the match was taking place in “Flair Country”. Flair also felt Waltman wasn’t big enough a star to be in the match in the first place. This rubbed the nWo guys the wrong way as Waltman was considered to be the worker of the group who could go out there and take big bumps in the match. The nWo had creative control over storylines as well as the way the business was handled inside and outside of the ring. This didn’t sit well with many in the back. At the same time, Piper also had creative control in his contract which allowed him the right to refuse to lose any match of his choosing. This muddled things up and caused much dissension between the two groups leading to an altercation between 7’0″, 300lbs Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper. As we will soon find out, Piper wasn’t called “Rowdy” for nothing!

A fight between Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper took place backstage at WCW's Slamboree '97 pay-per-view. Here, both men give their differing takes on what happened. [Photo design: JP Zarka of ProWrestlingStories.com]
A fight between Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper took place backstage at WCW’s Slamboree ’97 pay-per-view. Here, both men give their differing takes on what happened. [Photo design: JP Zarka of ProWrestlingStories.com]

“I got up, charged Kevin Nash, leg-dived him, and threw him out of my dressing room!” – Roddy Piper


In the wrestling business, stories are often skewed to fit the narrative that benefits whoever is telling the story. In this case, both Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper have told very different versions of what had happened that night.

“Kevin Nash and I got into it, and he lied too!” Piper began in an episode of his podcast “Piper’s Pit”. “This was backstage politics. [The nWo guys] were trying to run roughshod on the people that own the business. We had a horrible match and [Nash] didn’t know how to work. He didn’t know how to wrestle. Good basketball player, maybe, but I don’t know, he didn’t make a living there either…”

Before the match took place, both groups got together to plan how things would play out in the ring. The idea was that they’d get heat on Piper leading to a hot tag to Flair, who would then clean house. A post-match brawl would commence thereafter.

“We sat in the back with [Piper] and Ric and said, ‘No matter what we do tonight, we can’t start this angle. We can’t start the match hot as we’ll have nowhere to go when we go to Moline for the pay-per-view,'” Nash explains. “So we all agreed and we kind of got an idea of what we were going to do. When we [went out for the match], Piper attacked. It was the exact opposite thing we discussed. I tried to cut him off and throw him outside but he wouldn’t sell anything I was doing.”

Flair, Piper, and Greene ultimately won the match but not without problems. Piper appeared to have abandoned the plan which did not sit well with Nash.

“I came to my dressing room [after the match],” Piper explains. “I was maybe fifteen feet from the door. Flair is in there and Bischoff is in there. I’m just kind of getting my feet up on a bench taking my laces out and all of a sudden the whole door comes kicked in and [Nash] is standing in the doorway saying, ‘What? You think you’re running things around here?’ I stopped. Nobody had an answer for him. So I got up, charged him, leg-dived him, and threw him out of my dressing room!”

Piper stated that a number of people broke them apart and carried Nash away.

“Nash was being taken away and he was pointing to me because I was set to fight him at the next pay-per-view [WCW Great American Bash] in Moline. He goes, ‘Moline! I’ll see you in Moline!'”

Kevin Nash tells a completely different version of the events, a version that doesn’t include being leg-dived and thrown out of the dressing room.

According to Nash, he attacked Piper after Roddy jumped up out of his seat in the locker room. Nash said he anticipated that Piper was going to go in for the attack so he pie-faced him with an openhand palm but Piper did nothing because he didn’t want any part of Nash.

“It turned into a clusterfuck,” Nash described, “and when we got in the back, I was in the locker room and Hogan stirred me and I went in there just to confront [Roddy] like, ‘What the fuck were you thinking?'”

Nash continued, “Roddy jumped up like he was going to come at me so I just openhand smacked him. I just smacked him and that was it. I knocked him down and he didn’t want nothing to do with me.”

According to Piper, Nash’s version of the story was false.

The Great American Bash pay-per-view took place a few weeks later on June 15, 1997, in Moline, Illinois, where Nash and Hall would defeat Flair and Piper. Everyone was professional in the match and no further altercations occurred. After this PPV, Piper moved on to different storylines and was kept away from Nash.

A Twitter war between Nash and Piper reignites a feud from seventeen years before

Seventeen years later, you would think bygones would long have become bygones, but that was not the case. Far from it. Piper had a popular podcast going called “Piper’s Pit” where he made the quotes referenced to above. Nash had heard about Piper’s comments on the show so he took to Twitter in April of 2014 to address them. Here are his comments in full, grammar and spelling errors and all (H/T: armpit-wrestling.com):

  • Piper is a deranged old fool. He got bitch slapped to the floor. Hulk, Pac, Scott and Eric were in the room. Let it go Rod. Pod cast invite?
  • When you strike a see fear in his face at my size you realize your playing the bully. I was bullied as a 6-10 212 pound 14 year old.
  • You’re a bitch and a liar. I had respect for you but no more. I smacked your bitch ass to the grown. Never come around me cunt.
  • Not shooting an angle. Have had his tweets sent to me. Can’t take the high road with a bitch. Wanted to give respect now deal with me.
  • Hot Rod can have me on his pod cast. It’s that easy.
  • Was his podcast hacked. This dude knows he’s off my radar my boys aren’t.
  • Want to play this game thur or follow me for a way out. Sorry I tell the truth. You got bitches slapped. See you in Moline!
  • My crew said thew cut off some heads. I hope it was haters. Now their saying Piper has dementia. Your running a pod cast let me remind you.
  • Do you respond when a man says your a liar and a cunt? Or go on in your fantasy world? Don’t stand within 10ft of me bitch.
  • Just take care of the situation Detroit style. Night twitter.

Piper responded, “Don’t degrade your status with such language! There’s kids on here! Have some class! Your welcome on my Pod-Cast!”

Nash followed up by responding with, “Set it up. Follow me we’ll exchange numbers. There’s a whole lot more for you to worry about on Twitter than bad LANGUAGE. Don’t degade your status with stories of you ever standing up to me. Your the coward. Saw it in you eyes when I smacked you.”

Sean Waltman, who had been present when the altercation took place, chimed in on Twitter as well.

  • On the life of my children Roddy is bold face lying & I hate to say that, because I love Roddy. You (Nash) kicked the door in and everyone sh*t. Flair was more concerned about it not having to do with him.
  • The Bodyguard tried to get between you. You said something to him and he stepped aside. Then you proceeded to open hand slap Roddy, because he was out of place and went into business for himself, causing you to re-injure your knee. I remember one second you were in the locker room pissed. The next sec causing you to re-injure your knee in all that clusterf*ck. I’ll give him credit for a nice leg sweep that came up a it short. He called you a liar over your description of the incident. No one wanted a piece.
  • Way to back up your wing man Naitch 😉 There were only 3 of us. We were outnumbered if you count the bodyguard. I just heard the podcast and it was an out and out lie. Can’t believe from Roddy. Hopefully it’s a memory issue and not pride. I know Kev’s still hot, but let it go Big D. He knows what happened and that’s the real of it.
  • And Kev let that go yrs ago. Brought Roddy and his son to our tour of Aruba. We had a great time. Whatever need Roddy has to perpetuate his image as one though SOB is not going to be tarnished by that incident. Your still Rough Roddy.

Dave Meltzer, in the April 20, 2014 edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, wrote of the incident after things kicked off on Twitter between Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper.

“The gist of the story is that there was a backstage incident where Nash got into it with Piper,” Meltzer began. “Piper’s bodyguard (who appeared on Nitro for a short period of time as his sidekick) decided at the moment he didn’t want to be a bodyguard anymore. I don’t know Piper well at all, but I did speak with him & even years later he brought it up out of nowhere & was very bitter about the incident. I think he brought it up on his podcast, or somewhere, in the last few days, but in telling the story, may have told it in a way that was more favorable to how he did in the skirmish. Nash’s version was pretty much how I heard it the next day.”

Piper was said to be very upset by what Nash said and couldn’t believe things escalated to the point that it did on Twitter. Both men talked on the phone a day after Nash’s tweets went out and made plans to make money together by sharing the real story on Piper’s podcast.

Nash never did appear on Roddy’s show.

Despite never sitting down to discuss what had happened, according to Kevin Nash, he and Piper became friends before Roddy passed away on July 31, 2015.

Nash has since said in interviews that he is sorry for slapping Piper, saying that you are never supposed to hit a legend and that he was too busy at the time trying to be a young wolf marking his territory to show the proper respect.

WATCH: Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper each discuss their backstage fight

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to read these other recommended articles from our site:

Want more?

Choose a Story | ProWrestlingStories.com
Follow us:  Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Your favorite Pro Wrestling Stories, on a tee!
Geries Tadros
Geries Tadros is a contributor for Pro Wrestling Stories and has written for Furious Cinema and Grind House Database. He was born in Chicago but lives in Iowa. He has a masters degree in international relations and a bachelors degree in political science. He currently works at Wells Fargo as an account specialist. He can be reached by e-mail at tgeries@gmail.com.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here