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Kevin Wacholz (born April 17, 1958)[1] is a former professional wrestler who worked for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1992 as Nailz. He was also known as "Mr. Magnificent" Kevin Kelly in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in the 1980s.

Kevin Wacholz
Born (1958-04-17) April 17, 1958 (age 61)
ResidenceBloomington, Minnesota, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The Convict
Kevin Kelly[1]
Kevin The Magnificent[1]
The Prisoner[1]
Billed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[1]
Billed weight297 lb (135 kg; 21.2 st)
Trained byBrad Rheingans[1]


Professional wrestling careerEdit

American Wrestling AssociationEdit

Kevin Wacholz started wrestling in 1982 in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) as Kevin Kelly, a babyface midcarder. By 1986, he was a top heel and challenged for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. He used the moniker, "Mr. Magnificent" Kevin Kelly.

In 1987, he was managed by Sherri Martel and regularly issued arm wrestling challenges. This led to a feud with Tommy Rich, who answered one of his challenges on an edition of AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN. Rich appeared to have the contest won, when Martel interfered on Kelly's behalf. In retaliation, Rich tore off her dress. Rich would then dominate a series of matches between the two.[2]

After Martel left the AWA, Kelly took Madusa Miceli as his manager. He often teamed with Nick Kiniski as "The Perfect Tag Team" to contend for the AWA World Tag Team Championship.

He left the AWA before it folded in 1991, and wrestled for independent promotions.

World Wrestling FederationEdit

Wacholz, still performing under the name Kevin Kelly, received a tryout match on June 6, 1989 at a WWF Superstars taping in Madison, WI, defeating Tim Horner.[3] A night later he defeated Jim Powers at a Wrestling Challenge taping, but was not signed to a contract that year. After the AWA folded, Wacholz received another tryout match, this time at a WWF Superstars taping on May 6, 1991, defeating Brian Costello.[4] The following night at a Wrestling Challenge taping he defeated Gary Jackson in a dark match.[4]

In 1992, Wacholz debuted in the WWF as Nailz, an ex-convict who, in a series of promos, alleged he was abused by former prison guard Big Boss Man during his incarceration.[5] He also claimed to be innocent of his (unspecified) crimes. Following Big Boss Man's squash of Dave Roulette on the May 30 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, Nailz (dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit) attacked Boss Man, handcuffing him to the top rope before repeatedly hitting and choking him with his own nightstick.[6] Nailz easily defeated numerous jobbers en route to defeating Boss Man's ally Virgil at SummerSlam.[7] He continued to feud with Boss Man, who had recovered from Nailz's beating. The feud came to its climax when Big Boss Man defeated Nailz in a nightstick match at Survivor Series.[7] Before Nailz finished the feud with Boss Man, he began another feud, this time with The Undertaker. The two had a stare down on the October 24 episode of Superstars, a photo of which was used as the cover of the January 1993 issue of WWF Magazine.[8] This stare down was a result of Nailz not willing to leave the ring after his match in time for the next match that happened to feature The Undertaker. This face-off was well received by the WWE fans and according to sources could have been a titanic match. The commentator described the face-off as 'The unstoppable force meeting the immovable object'.

However, Wacholz was released from his WWF contract in December 1992, after he allegedly attacked Vince McMahon in his office over a financial dispute,[5][9] while John Nord watched the door. Bret Hart recalled in his autobiography that Wacholz "cornered Vince in his office and screamed at him for fifteen minutes". Hart claims he was just down the hall from the office when he heard a loud crash, which was Wacholz "knocking Vince over in his chair, choking him violently".[10] The incident led to a series of lawsuits between Wacholz and the WWF. Wacholz alleged McMahon had given him steroids on a number of occasions; McMahon denied the claim. Wacholz then filed a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming McMahon sexually assaulted him.[11] The WWF filed a counterclaim against Wacholz, but both suits were later dropped. In 1994, Wacholz testified against McMahon during his trial on charges of supplying steroids to WWF wrestlers. He claimed McMahon had told him to take steroids.[12]


Wacholz appeared at World Championship Wrestling's (WCW) Slamboree event in 1993 as The Prisoner (looking identical to his Nailz persona), losing to Sting.[13]

He wrestled In Jim Crockett's short-lived promotion, WWN, in 1994, as The Convict. He also wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling that year, as D.O.C. Nelson.

In 1996, Wacholz appeared in Paul Alperstein's American Wrestling Federation as Nails (pronounced identical to "Nailz") as many WWF wrestlers from the 1980s and 1990s were wrestling in that promotion. Wacholz officially retired in 2000.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • Oregon Wrestling Federation
  • OWF Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
  • WWWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Kevin Wacholz profile". OWOW. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  2. ^ Tommy Rich - Kevin Kelly Arm Wrestling Challenge (AWA) on YouTube
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Cawthon, Graham (2013). The History of Professional Wrestling: The Results WWF 1990–1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-4935-6689-1.
  5. ^ a b Reynolds, R.D. (2003). Wrestlecrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling. ECW Press. pp. 74–76. ISBN 978-1-55022-584-6.
  6. ^ Big Boss Man vs. Dave Roulette + Nailz Debut on YouTube, 8/29/08
  7. ^ a b Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 2: WWF 1990 - 1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00RWUNSRS.
  8. ^ "WWF Magazine January 1993". Complete WWE.
  9. ^ Santana, Tito (2008). Tito Santana's Tales From the Ring. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-59670-325-4.
  10. ^ Hart, Bret (2008). Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Grand Central Publishing. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-446-53972-2.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Nailz the Wrestler Testifies He Was Told to Use Steroids The New York Times (July 12, 1994).
  13. ^ Cawthon, Graham (2014). The History of Professional Wrestling Vol 4: World Championship Wrestling 1989-1994. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1499656343.
  14. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  15. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1992". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  16. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2010-09-15.