You’d never mistake Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags aka The Nasty Boys of being catch as catch can technical wrestlers. They punch, kick, bite and do something with their arm pits. In other words…they were brawlers….stiff…tough as nails….brawlers.
They were able to parlay that style of wrestling into pretty successful careers as a tag team. They won tag team titles practically everywhere they competed including WCW and the WWF. While their reputation inside the ring was as a couple of tough guys, they were known pretty much the same way outside the ring. It was not uncommon to hear Knobbs and Sags involved in their fair share of skirmishes.
Despite their often times unruly behavior outside of the squared circle…The Nasty Boys were a very hot commodity in the wrestling world. They had a distinct look….a true old school pro wrestler persona and most importantly…fans cared. They were making money for themselves and the companies they worked for.
Then, according to Brian Knobbs, it all stopped. What happened? How did the Nasty Boys go from a top tier tag team to being no longer a wanted team and in some instances…not even being a team altogether?!?
You need to go back to 1997 to find the answer to those questions. By that time, the Nasty Boys were established for over 11 years. They were in their second run in WCW at a time where that company was red hot. Knobbs and Sags were put into a program with the hottest commodity WCW had in the nWo and to be even more exact…Scott Hall and Kevin Nash….the Outsiders.
While doing shows all over the country…Jerry Sags injured his neck during a match. The pain was so severe, Sags felt that he couldn’t continue the tour. It took WCW brass such as J.J. Dillon and Kevin Sullivan to convince the Nasty Boys to finish their days because they were heavily advertised on house shows as a “marquee match.” Feeling partially obligated and after getting assurances by management that Sags would be protected in their matches…The Nasty Boys continued working the house show circuit.
During a match against Hall and Nash…it was Knobbs who worked the majority of it. Jerry Sags would do a few moves…but for the most part…stayed on the outside. At a moment when Sags was inside the ring, he felt somebody hit him in the back of his injured neck…in immense pain…..Sags rolled out of the ring and onto the floor. When he looked up to see who stiffed him…he saw Scott Hall holding a chair and thought it was Hall that clocked him from behind.
Enraged, Sags slid back into the ring and turned the scripted match into a legit shoot fight. He began pummeling Hall…knocking him unconscious and allegedly knocking out a few of his teeth. After the match ended…the Nastys returned to the back and entered the showers. While in the dressing room…Kevin Nash came storming in with a baseball bat and started swinging it against the walls. Nash was livid about what happened to his friend and wanted a piece of Jerry Sags. Nash then shouted out…’We’ll see who has the stroke in this company’ and walked away. It was the death knell for the Nasty Boys because little did Sags realize that it wasn’t Scott Hall who hit him from behind…it was actually Kevin Nash.
Not long after the incident, Jerry Sags was fired from WCW. Unemployed and now facing severe neck issues…Sags filed a lawsuit against WCW for wrongful termination. Sags won the case…but according to him…the money barely covered his medical expenses. With Jerry Sags out of the picture and essentially out of wrestling, Brian Knobbs was brought back and repackaged as a singles wrestler.
The Nasty Boys would eventually reunite a few years later and compete in places like the ill fated XWF and TNA but never again reached the level of success that they once had. In fact, their very brief run in TNA ended in somewhat of a controversy as Knobbs reportedly acted inappropriately in front of Spike TV executives. An accusation that Brian Knobbs vehemently denies to this day. As for there being any lingering heat with Hall and Nash…Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags insist it is all ‘water under the bridge’ and everybody is friends with one another. One thing that does hurt according to both Knobbs and Sags was the incident in WCW that cost them steady jobs and millions of dollars.