Before Gangrel (David Heath) rose to fame in the WWF as part of the Brood with Edge and Christian, he was an accomplished wrestler in various territories and independents dating back to the late 1980s. Most notable was his tag team called the Blackhearts with Tom Nash, who spent some time with All Japan and were also tag team champions in Joel Goodhart’s TWA (the precursor to ECW).
Fight: Gangrel vs Tom Nash
Date: late 1991
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Source: X-Pac 1-2-360, Professional Wrestling Historical Society
A lot of people think Tom Nash was married to Luna Vachon for a long time, and that she had an affair with Gangrel which led to the Blackhearts breaking up once Nash found out. It was even reported as such in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter when Luna passed away in 2010, but later interviews with both men have proven these things false.
In reality, Tom Nash was only married to Luna Vachon for about half a year. And while Gangrel and Luna did hang out together a lot, they did not become romantically involved until after the Blackhearts split up. And Nash was fine with that.
What IS true, however, is that Gangrel and Tom Nash had a nasty fight that could’ve ended up Nash almost dead and Gangrel convicted of murder.
Background: The Tension Builds
According to Gangrel, tension had been building for quite some time between he and Nash. Gangrel claimed Nash had been bullying people around, which he felt was wrong and he held it in for a long time. Gangrel also said Nash had every right to be mad at him because of all the time he and Luna were spending together (even though they weren’t dating yet), but Nash in later interviews said it didn’t bother him and that he really didn’t want to be married and that he just wanted to be single again.
Additionally, Gangrel felt betrayed by Nash regarding All Japan. The Blackhearts had done two tours with All Japan, which was arguably hotter at the time than New Japan. Gangrel said All Japan wanted to make he and Nash the All Asian tag team champions and stay there for a year, which would’ve been a great push and career break for the team. But he claimed Nash didn’t want to go, and that Nash called the All Japan office and lied, telling them Gangrel had just gotten married (he was engaged at the time) and wouldn’t be coming back to Japan. All Japan promoter Giant Baba, who loved the team, didn’t book them again. This angered Gangrel, and while he dealt with it, it did build up inside him because he never expressed his feelings to Nash.
Nash’s side of the story is that he wanted to be a singles star, and that Dory Funk Jr (who was booking for All Japan at the time) was telling him he needed to be a singles wrestler. Nash also claimed Gangrel was angered by the PWI 500 list in 1990 or 1991, which had ranked Nash ahead of him and he felt he was the better wrestler of the two. He claimed Gangrel made a remark that he would wrestle as a single to prove he was better.
As this was all going on, the Blackhearts were tag team champions in Joel Goodhart’s Tri State Wrestling Alliance (TWA). TWA was famous for running bloody indie shows in the Philadelphia area, most notably the Eddie Gilbert vs Cactus Jack matches that put Mick Foley on the map. It was TWA that later morphed into ECW when Tod Gordon took over in 1992.
After one of the TWA shows, Gangrel got loaded on halcyon and alcohol. Halcyon is also called H-Bombs, which wrestlers like X-Pac often did and he claimed that’s how he lost his eyebrows. If you take H-Bombs and don’t sleep when you’re supposed to, you can do crazy things and not remember them at all. Gangrel said he ended up naked in Japan sometimes after taking them, and that he’d see Steve Williams naked on the elevator too when Williams would take them.
Nash was not a partier, but the two were out drinking, with Luna, and things got heated. Gangrel already had animosity towards Nash, and in most versions of the story, Nash was inebriated and arguing with his wife Luna. It’s possible things had gotten violent between Nash and Luna, but that’s not what Gangrel said in his version of the story (not that he would remember anyway).
Whatever the case, Nash said something “smartass” to Gangrel, likely when Gangrel tried to jump in between he and Luna. Nash ended up taking a swing at Gangrel, and he kinda blacked out but he thinks he got him down and choked him out. As Nash was out, Gangrel beat him very badly, swinging back and forth repeatedly with hard punches to the face. Gangrel was on drugs and alcohol during all this, so he had no wherewithal to know what he was going. Luna had to pull him off, screaming that he was going to kill Nash if he continued any longer.
The beating was so bad that the cops were called, and they arrested Gangrel for attempted murder. They sat him down Indian Style, with handcuffs on, for about an hour as they tried to sort out what happened. When the cops came back to Gangrel, they asked him if Nash had been drinking or doing drugs. Gangrel was honest and told them Nash wasn’t really into that, and that he had only been drinking a few beers. The cops then told Gangrel that Nash was the “biggest asshole they had ever met.” They were so angry with Nash that they let Gangrel go, even though he was covered in Nash’s blood.
Gangrel felt horrible about the incident. He saw Nash the next day at the airport and his eyes were swollen shut, all blue and purple. Kevin Sullivan (who was affiliated with TWA) asked Gangrel what happened, even though he already knew and was just making Gangrel feel guilty (by most accounts Nash was well liked, except by the cops but it’s understandable how Nash wouldn’t be in a good mood after nearly being murdered). Gangrel looked at Nash and felt bad he could ever do something so horrible to another human being.
The two worked together a few more times after this incident, and then that was it. They split up, with Nash having a short stint in WCW later in 1993. Gangrel became a significant star with the WWF, but it wasn’t until several years later.
Nash and Luna divorced not long after the fight. At one point they lived with Gangrel in the same apartment, but it’s not clear when that was. Gangrel later broke up with his fiancé and began dating Luna, and the two of them eventually got married. They divorced amicably years later, and in 2010 Luna unfortunately passed away.