For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.– Sir Isaac Newton
August 29th, 1992 in front of 80,355 at Wembley Stadium in London England the WWE held SummerSlam. The show is notable for a few reasons…
1. Davey Boy Smith defeats Bret Hart for the WWE Intercontinental title.
2. The Ultimate Warrior defeated Randy Savage by count out due to outside interference from Ric Flair.
3. The attendance of 80,355 was the largest ever for a Summerslam event and 3rd largest in WWE history (Wrestlemania III and 29 )
4. Nailz vs. Virgil
Huh?!? How the heck is a curtain jerk match like Nailz defeating Virgil…notable? Not only was it notable, but it was perhaps the biggest catalyst in WWE history! Bigger than any of the other matches on that card…bigger than the Montreal Screwjob…bigger than the Monday Night Wars…perhaps the biggest ever. Why? Let me explain…
Four months after one of the most successful shows in WWE history…Kevin ‘Nailz’ Wacholz stormed into Vince McMahon’s office to confront him about the pay out he received for his SummerSlam squash match against Virgil. His pay for the match was believed to be around $8,000 to $9,000 dollars. Not bad for a quick day’s work, but Nailz wanted more of the cut.
A good friend of Nailz from the AWA days, John ‘The Bezerker’ Nord stood watch at Vince’s front door to make sure no witnesses or anybody could run in to help.
The conversation quickly escalated into a physical assault as Wacholz threw McMahon to the ground and proceeded to choke him violently. After several wrestlers and road agents tore Wacholz off of McMahon…the authorities were called and Kevin Wacholz brazenly claimed that it was Vince McMahon who sexually assaulted him. Following the incident, Wacholz and John Nord were fired from the WWE and essentially blacklisted from wrestling almost anywhere….almost.
As some of the smaller, weaker promoters were afraid to cross Vince McMahon…Eric Bischoff thought it would be great to bring Wacholz into WCW virtually under the same gimmick as Nailz just renamed the Prisoner. That didn’t last too long either, and for the most part Kevin Wacholz and John Nord disappeared from pro wrestling….but Kevin Wacholz wasn’t done yet.
In 1993, Vince McMahon was indicted on steroid charges and went to trial in 1994. Along with Hulk Hogan and Superstar Billy Graham…Kevin Wacholz was called to be a star witness for the prosecution. While on the stand, Wacholz may have had a flashback to his low SumerSlam pay out and blurted out that he “hated Vince McMahon’s guts!” The prosecution cringed because they felt that statement would make Kevin Wacholz look like just a bitter former employee looking to get revenge. It would also put into question all the other star witnesses they had lined up.
Sure enough, that’s exactly how the jury felt and Vince McMahon was acquitted. That brings us to the what if portion of this piece….
What if Kevin Wacholz maintained his poise and became a credible witness? Mr. McMahon might’ve been found guilty and faced 8 years of prison time…plus a fine of up to $500,000 dollars. His wife Linda would remain CEO of the WWE and would have to meet head on with Eric Bischoff and WCW alone. Sorry, but a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Linda McMahon rivalry just wouldn’t have the same cache.
The acquittal also forced Vince to open his eyes to smaller less muscular talents like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels as main eventers.
The WWE may have almost certainly lost the Monday Night Wars without their true leader running the company. We might have been talking about WCW owning the WWE and not the other way around. So it brings us back to that seemingly insignificant match in London for SumerSlam 92. What if?