Starrcade 1997 was a monumental pay-per-view for WCW for a number of ways. On one hand, it was the highest-grossing WCW ppv in history and highlighted by Hulk Hogan vs. Sting in the main event. On the other hand, that main event finish was botched and many see this event as one that contributed to WCW’s downfall.
A scheduled match for Starrcade that didn’t take place was Kevin Nash vs. The Giant aka The Big Show. The match was supposed to decide who the “real” giant of WCW was but was scratched at the last minute. Eric Bischoff explained why in the latest edition of his podcast.
“To set the record straight, I got a call from Kevin’s wife right away,” said Bischoff. “Kevin thought he was having a heart attack. It was over the holiday season. There was a lot of partying going on. Kevin had family and friends over and all that kinds of stuff and had a couple of glasses of wine. Kevin had gone to the gym the night before when he got sick or was concerned he was having heart issues… Kevin had done a heavy, heavy leg workout the night before and got up that morning, was socializing, getting ready to go on the plane to get ready for the event, but then he started to feel uncomfortable.”
Bischoff then says that Nash’s father died at a young age due to a heart attack so Kevin was always aware that heart failure was in his DNA. Nash also had a young son at the time, so he was overly cautious in regards to his health.
“So going back to that day, Kevin wakes up in the morning and doesn’t feel well. His blood pressure was up from probably what he was eating and drinking at the time. He was feeling uncomfortable, he had shortness of breath, he had done the right thing – he had gone to the hospital,” stated Bischoff.
Nash took a blood test which showed an extraordinary high level of enzymes – the same enzymes produced when muscle breaks down after a heavy workout. But the blood test didn’t specify what caused the high level of enzymes so it was thought that Nash had a heart attack.
“The initial diagnosis was that he was suffering a mild heart attack. That was the last conversation I had with him. At the moment, the decision was made, and I was in contact the entire time with him. I had originally doubted it, I am not going to lie,” admitted Bischoff. “When I first got the phone call I was sitting in Atlanta and I was like, great, right before Christmas Big Grouchy didn’t want to come to TV. It had nothing to do with doing a job for The Giant. That is more dirt sheet BS…
“When I hung up with Kevin Nash, I was convinced that he had suffered a mild heart attack. It turned out later, after another blood panel or two when those enzymes went down that it wasn’t caused by the heart muscle breaking down it was caused by the heavy leg workout that produced the same enzyme.”
Neither Nash nor The Giant wrestled at Starrcade and the two would finally square off a month later at Souled Out. In their match Nash accidentally dropped The Giant on his head during his Jackknife Powerbomb which resulted in a legitimate neck injury for The Giant.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.
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