Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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How Matt Millen got the Nasty Boys involved in professional wrestling

Brian Knobbs, one half of the memorable tag team the Nasty Boys, was a guest on the most recent Steve Austin Show podcast.

How Matt Millen got the Nasty Boys involved in professional wrestling

Matt Millen. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Matt Millen. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

Brian Knobbs, one half of the memorable tag team the Nasty Boys, was a guest on the most recent Steve Austin Show podcast.

Knobbs and Austin are good friends dating back to their days in World Championship Wrestling and have remained good friends throughout the years, which made for a very entertaining conversation between the two.

Among the topics of discussion was how Knobbs and his partner Jerry Sags got involved in the wrestling business.

Knobbs and Sags didn’t simply get the idea on their own apparently. As he told Austin, former NFL linebacker/general manager Matt Millen gave the idea to them.

On television, the Nasty Boys were known two big fun-loving guys that were loud and rowdy and did not care who were offended by it.

Knobbs and Sags weren’t just playing characters on television, however. They earned that reputation all they way back during their days growing up in the Lehigh Valley.

Knobbs and Sags were good friends even as teenagers as they both graduated from Whitehall High School.

Upon graduation, Knobbs and Sags attempted to go down the straight and narrow path. Knobbs enlisted himself into the Army and Sags attended college.

That didn’t last long, however, as Knobbs said he was “politely” asked to leave the Army and Sags was unceremoniously kicked out of college.

After these sudden turn of events, Knobbs and Sags found themselves back in Whitehall together.

Back in Whitehall, the duo began raising hell all across town as they were frequently in bar fights. They seemed headed down a path of trouble until fellow Whitehall native and Whitehall high school grad Millen stopped through his old hometown.

According to Knobbs, Millen was already in the NFL at the time and was playing for the Raiders. Millen knew both Knobbs and Sags and felt it was necessary to sit the both of them down and give them a motivational talk to keep them out of trouble.

“He [Millen] was good friends with me and Sags,” Knobbs said. “He was a couple years older and he sat us down and said, ‘Hey, man. You guys are going to wind up in jail. You guys need to do something with yourselves.’”

Millen knew that Knobbs and Sags were both big wrestling fans and drummed up the idea for them to become wrestlers themselves.

“We both looked at each other and went, ‘Hey, that’s not a bad idea,’” Knobbs said.

From there, Knobbs and Sags set out to get into the business. Since the World Wrestling Federation used to frequently run shows in the Lehigh Valley back then, Knobbs and Sags would run into wrestlers on a regular basis.

One in particular, George “The Animal” Steel, was the victim of constant bugging from the two, as they wanted to know what it took to get inside the business.

Steel eventually became irritated by the them, according to Knobbs, and as punishment sent them to the legendary Verne Gagne’s camp in Minnesota.

Now, Gagne is a great person to hone your craft with, as he was responsible for training legends such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter and a slew of others. But Gagne was also known for having a very tough training regimen that focused mostly on cardio and testing the limits of one’s pain threshold.

Knobbs and Sags managed to survive Gagne’s school and the rest, as they say, is history.

Knobbs and Sags were eventually given the Nasty Boys name and rode their rowdy reputation to a victory over the Hart Foundation at WrestleMania VII for their first WWF Tag Team titles.

To listen to the full episode, click HERE.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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