Downriver native Kevin Nash entering WWE Hall of Fame

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Kevin Nash is bringing a bit of Detroit muscle into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The Downriver native (he grew up in Southgate) who shot to the top of the professional wrestling business in the 1990s as the strong-arm enforcer Diesel, will be inducted into World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Rolling Stone reported the news on its website Monday. The event precedes WrestleMania 31, which will be held Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Nash, 55, entered the wrestling business after a college basketball career that saw him playing center at the University of Tennessee. His in-ring career took off when, after several failed gimmicks, the 6-foot-9-inch wrestler became Diesel, personal security detail for superstar Shawn Michaels. In 1994, Diesel won the the then-WWF’s championship belt and held on to it for nearly a year.

Nash later defected to Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling and led a hugely popular “invasion” angle with the company along with his pal Scott Hall. Together, they formed a rebel faction known as the NWO, or New World Order, which reignited the professional wrestling business in the late 1990s.

Following his wrestling career, Nash appeared in several movies, most notably “Magic Mike” as veteran male dancer Tarzan. Nash will also appear in the sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” which opens in July.

Nash joins a Hall of Fame class that also includes the late Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Hall of Fame ceremony will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. Saturday on the WWE Network.