OWW Wrestler of the Week: Big Show

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

OWW’s Wrestler of the Week — Paul “The Big Show” Wight

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, takes a look at one of the bigger men in wrestling history, Paul Wight aka The Big Show. Show viciously destroyed The Undertaker at Sunday’s No Mercy.

No Mercy was a very predictable PPV, with one exception, The Big Show v The Undertaker. The two had a pretty even match until Show rammed ‘Taker into the turnbuckle and proceeded to knock out the Deadman. The ref stopped the match in what was seen as one of the most shocking wins in recent wrestling history. Some are already calling this the Ivan Koloff v Bruno Sammartino match of the 21st century. Show was the stand-out performer at No Mercy and this week’s choice for the OWW Wrestler of the Week award.

Following in his “father’s” Giant footsteps

Paul Wight was playing basketball at Wichita State when he was introduced to Danny Bonaduce (of Partridge Family fame) at a basketball game in Chicago. Bonaduce made a call to Hulk Hogan, who was working for WCW, at the time. A meeting was set between Hogan and Wight. Hogan saw great potential in Wight and arranged for him to train under Larry Sharpe at the Monster Factory. This was the same training facility that had helped create stars like: King Kong Bundy, Bam Bam Bigelow, Raven, and Chris Candido

Paul debuted in WCW in 1995 as the alleged son of Andre the Giant. He was billed as The Giant and immediately attacked Hulk Hogan. According to the story-line, Paul’s characted blamed Hogan for the untimely death of his “father”. The uproar from fans brought the story to a quick end. The parental link to Andre was severed, never to be mentioned again.

Paul won the WCW World title in his very first match in the company. Due to some underhanded dealings by Hogan’s manager, Jimmy Hart, Paul was able to win the title via disqualification. Paul spent 4 years with WCW, winning the World title on two occasions. He also held the tag titles on three occasions with three different partners.

Making a BIG impact

Paul signed a multi-year deal with the WWE in 1999. His first appearance came during a Steve Austin v Vince McMahon Steel Cage Match at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre PPV. Paul burst up through the ring canvas and attacked Austin. Paul grabbed Austin and threw him into the cage, which broke open.

Paul was first announced as “Big Nasty” Paul Wight, then “Big Nasty Bastard” Paul Wight. Eventually, his name was switched to “Big Show” Paul Wight. That was later modified to simply “The Big Show”. Wight went through a couple of other identity changes. At one time, he decided to mimic other wrestlers. He showed up as the Showster (Hulk Hogan), Shownan the Barbarian (John Nord), Showkishi (Rikishi) and The Big Showbowski (Val Venis). Charlie Haas’ current imitation gimmick is a direct lift from Show’s.

Big Show has held several titles in the WWE. He has been the United States champ (a title he eventually lost to John Cena). He has held the WWE title on two occasions. Big Show partnered with Undertaker (twice) and Kane (once) for three tag team title runs. Big Show dominated in the Hardcore Division, where he held the title on three occasions.

Big Show has moved between Raw and Smackdown on several occasions. He has been in the spotlight and battled every top star in the federation. One of the most memorable battles teamed Big Show with Vince and Shane McMahon to face D-X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels). The match ended after D-X shoved Vince McMahon’s face into the exposed massive posterior of Big Show.

The Extreme Giant

In June, 2006, Big Show moved from Raw to ECW in a huge surprise move during the WWE vs ECW: Head to Head program. Big Show and Kurt Angle were the top two contenders to Rob Van Dam’s title. A series of unforseen events led Big Show to challenge for and win the ECW title. First, Kurt suddenly “retired” from the ring, stating mental and physical burn-out. Second, Rob Van Dam and Sabu were both arrested on alleged drug charges. As a punishment for the arrest, Rob was forced to drop the WWE title on July 3rd and the ECW title on July 4th.

By winning the ECW title, Big Show became the first (and so far only) man to win the WWE, WCW, and ECW World titles. Big Show battled wrestlers from all three brands, while defendinghis ECW title. Big Show eventually lost the title to Bobby Lashley. Big Show decided to take a break from wrestling following his loss to Lashley. The official WWE website announced in December of 2006 that Big Show was taking a hiatus from wrestling to heal, both physically and mentally.

The match that should have headlined Wrestlemania 23

There was a huge call for Hulk Hogan to wrestle at Wrestlemania 23 in a re-match of his Hogan vs Andre the Giant match. Since Andre was dead, many people figured that Paul Wight would step in and face Hogan in a Hogan vs The Giant match. That match did occur, but not at Wrestlemania 23. It took place on April 27, 2007 at a Memphis independent wrestling card. The match was almost a move for move remake of the original match, including Hogan winning with the Leg Drop O’ Doom.

Wight refused to be billed as “The Big Show” for his match against Hogan. He claimed that “Big Show” was his “slave name” and chose to be listed as Paul “The Great” Wight.

Outside the ring activities

Paul Wight has performed in 5 films and numerous television shows during his career. His most famous part was as Captain Insano in the Adam Sandler film, The Waterboy.

Wight also created a grill that used a bowel shaped surface for cooking. This would allow the oils and juices of the meat to flood back onto the meat, making it more juicy. The product never took off, as research showed that the test groups rejected the product for its’ unhealthy re-introduction of fat to the cooking product. Many felt that the grill was a joke, but the research was real and the product was in a proto-type mode, awaiting test results.

Welcome Back to the (Big) Show

Paul Wight returned to FCW, a WWE developmental territory, in early 2008. He had lost a lot of weight and looked healthier than he had looked in many years.
At the 2008 edition of No Way Out, Wight returned as “The Big Show” to confront Rey Mysterio, Jr. Big Show got into a confrontation with Floyd Mayweather, as well, and suffered a broken nose due to a blow from Mayweather. The Big Show lost his battle against Mayweather at Wrestlemania 24.

After Wrestlemania 24, The Big Show bounced around between the three brands. He first showed up on Raw, the night after losing to Mayweather. He sent a severely sarcastic congratulations to Mayweather (and his brass knuckles) for their win. The Great Khali strolled out from the back and stared at Show. Show, who wasn’t in the best of moods, challenged the Punjabi Nightmare to a battle. Khali backed off, but they would continue their rivalry for several weeks. Khali would even offer a “peace offering” to Show, who refused. Show would eventually defeat Khali is what was billed as the Battle of the Giants.

After defeating Khali, Show moved on to ECW and a feud with Mark Henry. Show wanted his ECW title back. He also challenged Kane, the reigning ECW champ, for the battle. Show jumped through numerous hoops to make it to the Triple Threat match against Kane and Mark Henry. At Night of Champions, Mark Henry dashed the hopes of Big Show by taking the title. Show then moved from ECW to Smackdown.

The Big Show became increasingly angry as the summer of 2008 progressed. He felt slighted by being passed over for championship opportunities. He crashed a 10-man battle royal, set up by Vickie Guerrero (Smackdown’s GM). The winner of the match would get an opportunity to battle in the Smackdown Championship Scramble. Unfortunately for Big Show, he didn’t notice that Ezekiel had caught Brian Kendrick. Kendrick never hit the floor. When Big Show stepped over the ropes, he basically eliminated himself. Show began to destroy everyone in sight. He was set to battle rookie sensation, Vladimir Kozlov, when Vickie stopped them.

After Edge’s destruction at Summerslam, Vickie wanted revenge for the annihilation of her “husband”. At Unforgiven, Vickie was being threatened by The Undertaker. Big Show came out and attacked Undertaker. This led to their confrontation at No Mercy. In that match, Big Show and Undertaker threw everything they had at each other, only to have Big Show knock out one of the best strikers in the history of wrestling. The Big Show’s stock rose 1000% after Sunday’s outing. Triple H should be watching for The Big Show to make a bid for the WWE title, soon.

In Conclusion:

Some called Big Show v Undertaker a Squash match. Others said that Big Show got lucky. Regardless, The Big Show completely dominated a Legend on Sunday at No Mercy. His performance will be the one in all the highlight reels over the next few weeks. For his years of dedication and his stellar performance on Sunday, I proudly award this week’s OWW Wrestler of the Week to Paul “Big Show” Wight.

–Jay Shannon
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