Fans line up in Wallingford to see pro wrestler Kevin Nash

Fans line up in Wallingford to see pro wrestler Kevin Nash


WALLINGFORD — Professional wrestler Kevin Nash took time out of a busy weekend schedule to drop in at M&J Video Games & Collectibles/First Base Sports Saturday and was met with a crowd of about 50 lined up along the sidewalk to meet the World Wrestling Entertainment celebrity.

Business owner John Kelleher, who bought First Base Sports five months ago, was able to connect with Nash and arrange for the 6’10” wrestler to swing through town after filming for the upcoming movie, “House Rules” earlier in the day in Cromwell.

Nash, 56, is a semi-retired wrestler and actor from Detroit who is employed by WWE mainly for promotional appearances for its “Legends” group of Hall of Fame wrestlers. The WWE former heavyweight champion, also known as “Diesel,” won a total of 21 championships, including six world heavyweight championships, five World Championship Wrestling titles and one World Wrestling Federation championship.

Nash was available to meet and greet fans for a photo. He also signed his autograph on memorabilia, photos and shirts. A steady line patiently streamed through the small downtown collectibles store, patiently browsing as they waited their turn with Nash.

For two hours, the line outside the Center Street shop moved slowly on a mild winter afternoon. Nash posed with fans young and old, ranging from a newborn baby, elementary school children accompanied by parents, and lifelong wrestling fans. Nash said he has been spending his weekends doing promotional appearances for the Stamford-based wrestling and entertainment organization.

“It’s nice to have a fan base,” Nash said. “As your career runs down, it’s nice to be able to do things like this.”

Phil Pane of Middlebury brought his two sons, Nicholas, 9, and Noah, 7, to meet Nash.

“We’re a wrestling family, we like wrestling,” Phil Pane said, holding a replica championship belt that was just signed by Nash and bearing the signature of another WWF legend, Hulk Hogan.

“I like to see the legends,” Nicholas Pane said. “It’s cool to see the old guys.”

The comment from the young fan, one of hundreds who turned out, drew a warm smile when shared with Nash.

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