Former wCw Referee Nick Patrick Talks Working As The nWo’s Ref – Former wCw referee Nick Patrick spoke with Chris Van Vilet about turning heel as an official and helping The nWo out during their matchups. Patrick revealed that Kevin Sullivan was the one who originally came up with the idea.
That was Kevin Sullivan’s idea. He approached Eric [Bischoff] and I guess they two of them pretty much hatched it, but for the most part, at the beginning, almost everything was Kevin. He was the one that came to me and told me what they wanted me to do. They actually wanted it to progress a little slower than it did. But, man, it just ignited all of a sudden and people were pissed off at me.
Patrick says that the original plan was to slow play his turn, but that a staged incident with Lex Luger helped facilitate the turn a little faster.
I think the one where they realized where they had to quit milking it and start going with it was when we were at Sturgess. Lex [Luger] went to rack a guy and he clipped me with his feet and I went down. I went down and i took his knee out, clipped his knee. Was it an accident? Was it not an accident? I’d been denying all these things, but when that happened, from that point on, they [the audience] were hot at me. Milking it and trying to do it slow wasn’t going to work anymore. So they went ahead and green lighted it and, man, I ended up getting some heat out of that thing. That was a lot of fun.
Finally, Patrick says that he looks back on that period of his career as the most fun he’s ever had in the business.
That was probably the most fun I had in the business other than, you know, when you’re learning and beginning working stages. That’s awesome fun too. As far as being in an international company where it pretty much all becomes about business, that was the most fun I had working for big companies.
Patrick looked back on a match he had with former AEW world champion Chris Jericho back in wCw.
Oh man, that was a blast. They came to me and asked me if I wanted to do the match and I said yeah. I got to know Chris and went to a concert with him. And we talked and he constructed the whole thing, man, and I knew from very early on that he was going to be a big star. It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time and giving him a chance. But he come up with all of that man. The only thing I come up with was him slamming me off the top at the end to set up a kick and the rest was him. And it was so fun. I wasn’t in shape either man. I tried to start working out a little bit, back then I smoked cigarettes, I’m an idiot, right? But I smoked cigarettes and stuff back then man and I had man I had to go out there I got going 13 minutes live with a kid like Jericho, we will have one hand tied behind his back, you gotta go a little bit. And I was taking the hip tosses and stuff, you know, but I always bail out of the rig and regroup, catch my wind. And he was gracious man, he let me get some heat on him. And it lets me do a couple of things to him to set him up to beat me up in the end. And it got a great reaction, man. And it’s funny. We did a German tour right after that happened. And for some reason, I guess they had trouble getting buses, so they rented a bunch of cars, and we had drivers for every car man. And it was so cool. Me and Booker T got in one car. And they let us just have our own car. We let people pile their extra bags in there. It was me and Booker T and our driver. And we went to all these different towns and it was fun. It was hey, but let’s stop here, where can we eat? We wanted a good bar. It was a lot of fun. So anyway, it was the last day of the tour. And we all kind of gotten to know our drivers a little bit and everybody got to let their hair down and drink because we didn’t have to go anywhere. Last night, you know, last show was over. And we’re in the bar and all of a sudden on the damn Sports Network on the bar that match comes on. And we’re all in there hammering getting drunk. And now these drivers of the cars they’re like haha! They hadn’t seen it yet, right. And man, those that whole bar went wild man, they were laughing their butts off at me every time I’d make it one of them on faces or I do something. I made a lot of my mean faces that they popped for me, man. And at the end of it. They all gave me the round of applause at the end. And we all drank a beer to it. It was really a cool experience. But the match itself was so much fun. And Chris is so good and so smooth. And like I said I knew back then he was gonna be a big star. And then he did and still is.
Another marquee matchup that Patrick wrestled was against legendary referee Earl Hebner at the WWE/WCW Invasion pay-per-view back in 2001. Patrick recalls how hot the crowd was for the match and how much fun it was to do.
Oh, that was fun too. Earl is a good friend of mine. And it was funny, they got us together, and Earl had heat from doing the Montreal Screw Job. And they weren’t sure who was going to really be the heel in this thing because they knew. First off when WWE bought us, all the WWE fans hated everybody from wCw. They hate us. Even if you were a babyface they hated you. So, I already had heat from being the nWo thing. Plus, they hated me because I was wCw. So, I said, they’re gonna hate me. And I guarantee they’re gonna take me as the heel. They said, Really, you think so? I said watch this, because I had the next match. And I popped out through the curtain and I did like I used to do and I was a heel in wCwand I was on my way to read I bust out through the curtain with that mean mug face and looking at everybody, like I was challenging the whole dang world. Because to me, it really gets heat. Which if you see somebody and in your mind, you know like that I can whip this guy’s ass. You know, and he’s given you the mean mug and that gets heat to me, you know? And I did it. I walked up to that curtain and I walked to the top of the ramp and I looked at both sides of the arena with my face and man, they went off booing me. They already hated me because I was wCw and the nWo thing too. But doing that ignited it man, and so when I come back to the match, they went okay, that’s okay.
Former wCw Referee Nick Patrick Talks Working As The nWo’s Ref