With an undefined future staring directly into his eyes, there remains but one sole certainty for the Big Show in pro wrestling: wrestling’s most talented giant of all-time still has more to give to the business.
Could his next stop be commentary?
“That’s definitely a possibility,” said 45-year-old Paul Wight, better known as the Big Show. “That’s something I’ve discussed quite heavily with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL. I need to sit down with Vince and Hunter to see what’s next for the Big Show.”
The charismatic Big Show may stand out for the wrong reasons in the broadcast booth, considering he will tower over today’s talent. Yet there is historical precedent behind the move: Gorilla Monsoon was a feared monster during his time in the ring but later became one of the most beloved announcers in WWE history.
“Vince is all about giving opportunity, and Hunter is, too,” said Big Show, who is currently rehabbing from hip surgery. “Doing color commentary to help get the talent over is not something I’m opposed to doing. I could speak from my experience, but my number one goal would be to highlight why you should pay attention to what you are seeing in the ring.”
Big Show is currently working with video game publisher Activision to promote the online game Destiny 2. He noted that video games have allowed him to better connect with his fellow wrestlers in the WWE locker room.
“I started gaming to relate to the guys I work with, and found out that I liked it,” said Big Show. “And Destiny 2 is a great game to play. Being at home and off the road, I’m looking for something to occupy my time beside the gym and the things I have to do around the house. I’m looking for an escape, and Destiny is a quality game that is a lot of fun.”
As Big Show contemplates his future, he was also asked if he would ever entertain the idea of a Cody Rhodes-esque run away from the WWE on the indies.
“That’s never crossed my mind, and it’s something I’ve never been asked,” admitted Big Show. “But let’s be clear–I don’t have the talent that Cody Rhodes has. I think Cody is one of the most underrated and underused talents that we ever let go. I was a huge fan of Cody, his ideas, and what he could have brought to the table, and I’m so happy that his success outside of WWE has been so good. Sometimes in this business, you have to go away to come back. You have to find out who you are.
“For me, at this stage in the game, I’m enjoying helping the next generation. I did everything I could to pass the torch to Braun. I had a hip resurfaced a couple months ago, so Vince and Hunter want me to finish on my main goal, which is getting healthy. Then we’ll discuss my future. There are a lot of projects I want to do with producing and acting outside of wrestling. As far as an indie run, I don’t know, but you never say never.”
Big Show watched Raw closely this past week as the feud between Strowman and Kane continued to advance, despite the fact that the WWE viewers seem disinterested in the program.
“Sometimes, when stories are rushed or put together too fast, people can’t enjoy them,” said Big Show. “That’s the only criticism I have with our industry right now, it’s really tough to build stories like we used to.
“The writing was on the wall for my fight with Braun Strowman, because he looked like my replacement as the next dominant giant. When I came out in ‘95, even though it was part of the storyline, I was known as the next evolution of Andre, the next giant. I was that young, athletic, trash-talking monster. That was my introduction to the industry, and I was able to build on that. Braun Strowman is the next evolution of that monster. He’s athletic and explosive.”
Show also responded to critics who do not believe that Kane should still be main-eventing WWE shows in 2017.
“I think Kane is fantastic, but I don’t think people were ready for the angle between Kane and Braun or their match,” said Big Show. “Technically, psychologically, mechanically, there is nothing wrong with the matches, but people don’t like the story of the two opponents in the match. The crowd hasn’t been able to get into it yet, but with social media and our business, criticism is going to be a lot more prevalent.”
The Big Show recently spoke at the Play Fair toy convention in New York and reminisced about his entry into pro wrestling at the age of 23 back in 1995.
“I owe my start in professional wrestling to the red-headed kid from The Partridge Family,” said Show. “I was discovered by Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart, and Ric Flair in Chicago when I was introduced to those three gentlemen by Danny Bonaduce.”
The wrestling business seemed like a foregone conclusion for Big Show, who was 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds by the time he was 12. He grew up a wrestling fan, particularly of Flair and Arn Anderson.
“I loved the Four Horsemen and Arn Anderson and Ric Flair were my favorites,” said Big Show. “Arn always looked like a man’s man, like a mean, tough, rugged son-of-a-gun. Flair had the blonde hair, the jewelry, the jet planes and limousines. Just the way Flair talked trash would entertain me so much.”
Even with over two decades of experience in the business, Big Show still has ambition running through his veins, especially when he watches the WWE’s newest crop of stars.
“I’d love to wrestle Baron Corbin and Finn Balor,” said Big Show. “My favorite to watch is Becky Lynch. I love her hustle and her drive. As far as the prettiest guy that makes our business look effortless and easy, it’s Randy Orton. I really want to beat him up and put him in a closet because of that.”
Big Show recently teamed with the often-controversial Enzo Amore during a storyline, and the veteran admitted to enjoying his time with the young buck.
“I like Enzo’s enthusiasm,” he said. “Enzo is not a big guy, he’s a little guy, but he’s the kind of guy who thinks he’s a lot bigger than he is. He has a lot of fighting spirit. He fights every night with 110 percent, and I respect that. I appreciate his fight.”
As for his biggest rival, Big Show struggled to name just one.
“I’ve had big rivalries with John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Braun Strowman,” said Show. “But the most brutal experience, where every night after the match I’d be asking myself, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ was when I fought Sheamus. After every night I’d fight Sheamus, I’d be in the locker room covered in bruises, with my nose bleeding, my ears bleeding, and something else bruised. It was like fighting a bag of hammers every night. He’s one of my toughest rivals, physically.”
Big Show noted that John Cena belonged on a list all to himself in terms of opponents he has faced in the ring.
“Not that I’m on the ‘You Can’t See Me’ train, but John Cena is the toughest opponent I’ve ever competed against,” said Big Show. “I’ve been around this guy since he came in, and John’s character, work ethic, and his nonstop delivery, night in and night out, are things he’s brought to the table that have never changed.”
Big Show knows his future with WWE is filled with more questions than answers. Although he knows what career path he would have chosen had he not entered the business, the wrestling giant is more than content with his career choice.
“If I could have had any other career, I would be a high school basketball coach and a history teacher,” said Big Show. “But I’m going down in WWE history as the guy who broke four rings.”