"1) Nash was almost all but given the book in 1995, taking complete control of storylines and booking decisions.
2) The nWo concept and ideal drew money, not Kevin Nash...you could've stuck Shawn or Bret or Undertaker in there and it would've had the same effect."
Speculative at best, totally fabricated at worst. 1995 was an incredibly bad year for the WWF and not just due to Clique influence. The clique weren't the guys loading up the undercard with every shitty gimmick imaginable to man. The Clique weren't responsible for Mabel's push and SummerSlam main event-in fact, IIRC, the Clique's preferred match suggestion was a heel-turned Razor Vs. Diesel at SS. The Clique weren't responsible for the fall-out from the steroid trials of '93-94, which saw business start tanking from the get-go due to Vince not paying a whit of attention to his company whilst trying to avoid the slammer. The bad year of '95 was already set in motion in '94-it's convenient to go back and pin blame on current wrestling bogeymen, but it ain't always true.
Secondly, the argument that "Nash was just one of the guys" in the nWo angle is totally nonsensical. Nash was an integral part of what made the nWo work-it WOULDN'T have worked with Bret stuck in there, he didn't have the easy-going cool charisma that nash sported in his best years. Both he and Hall exuded cocky heel throughout '96; saying that anyone could've played their roles and "they were just lucky" is akin to claiming that Steve Austin is a worthless bum who was handed the right gimmick.
I totally disagree. I was a huge nWo mark as were most of the people I hung out with. And to be honest, it wasn't the people we were cheering for, it was the nWo. Do you think I would cheer for Hogan or Scott Norton just because?
The entire nWo premise only needed two things (well, besides the cool shirts) and that was one major player from the WWF to get things kicked off (In this case Scott Hall) and the Hogan heel turn. If it had been Luger or Sting or Flair or someone else, the angle wouldn't have lasted near as long.
Of the three Kevin Nash was the most expendable. I dare say Michaels could have pulled off the cocky heel act better, I dare say Undertaker would have worked better, and I dare say that yes, Bret Hart would have worked better. Bret is an underrated heel and at least with Bret you're getting 4 star matches just about every time out.
What did Nash really do that was so important to the angle? A couple of good one liners? Do you really think no one else could have done that?
There was a point (and I think this was post-nWo) where Nash was powerbombing people not even bothering to cover them and getting the win.