Big Show:WWE legend the Big Show has confirmed that will face none other than fellow giant, basketball ace Shaquille O’Neal at next year’s WrestleMania in Orlando, Florida…and it’s going to be BIG.
The gigantic 7ft tall grappler with size 18 feet will go one-on-one with the NBA great at the showpiece event next April.
The Big Show, 44, is already gearing up for the scrap. He’s in the best shape he has been in in 20 years, and says he aims to be under 400lbs by the time ‘Mania rolls round. That’s still mammoth 28 stone.
Speaking to SunSport in London, the Big Show said: “I haven’t been this lean since early in my WCW career.
“We’re going to start the program around January and pick it up full force.
“It’s a spectacle match. Shaq is a world renowned athlete and he’s also a big fan. I know him. He’s going to take it serious. He’s going to train and learn. I think a lot people are going to be surprised.”
Though they have never had a match, the massive pair have clashed on numerous occasions on WWE TV over the years, and went head-to-head during the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at this year’s ‘Mania, in which Shaq, also 44, was a surprise entrant.
Despite being drafted over to Raw when the Brand Split was conducted back in July, Big Show has been off WWE TV in recent months. He has, however, been casting a keen eye over the ‘New Era’.
Big Show has seen it all during his 20-plus years in the business. He was there during the Monday Night Wars, he was there during the Attitude Era, he was there during the PG Era, and has been an eager spectator as the company progresses into their ‘New Era’.
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He said: “I think it’s good for the product. For so many years we got out of the Attitude Era, then we went into a more responsible era. I think now the product has grown where there is so much new talent and so much opportunity that they had to change the shows up.
“They had to create the brand split, they had to create separate writing teams, they had to find a way to showcase all of this talent as best as they can.
“Competition makes you better. And now that there is legit, inter-company competition with all these younger guys who are out there proving it, and are being given the opportunity to showcase their talent.
“We have so many brilliant people behind the scenes. That now with the brand split and the different writing teams they are letting people with influence to create different products.
“We want this product to no look like anything else we do. This product should not look like NXT, it should not look like Raw, it should be its own thing.
“You’ve got guys that have creative ideas and they get the chance to go nuts with it.”
One of the current crop of grappling’s big men, in particular, has received the highest praise from the Big Show – bearded brawler Erick Rowan. The Big Show has, however, questioned where the company will be heading with the big boys in the future.
Big Show said: “There’s a really good influx of big guys at the moment.
“Erick Rowan has done a fantastic job in the past year. I’ve seen this guy grow; his in-ring work has gone through the roof. I hope he gets his opportunity being on a different brand now.
“Luke Harper was a machine before he got hurt. He was one of those guys that could have a match with anybody, from someone smaller to someone like Kane and I. Luke is one hell of a hand and one hell of a talent.
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“Big Cass is coming on nicely, (Baron) Corbin’s coming along real nicely too. I like his footwork in the ring. he’s got really good balance and really good foot.
“Braun Strowman is coming along too. He’s just got to figure out what they are going to do with him. He’s at a critical stage right now. They need to help protect him a little bit but he’s going to be fine. He’s got good influences and Bray’s in his ear. Luke’s one of the best ball-breakers in the company. He’s a vicious commentator on your in-ring ability. Believe me if you do something shoddy, Luke Harper is going to call you out on it. We respect his honesty.
“Braun’s a big powerhouse. It’s just where the business goes from now. Is this a business of athletic big men dominating at the top or this going be a business of big men lurking in the shadows in attraction roles.
“My pick of the year for a guy that should get a lot of opportunities to work with the babyface champions they are trying to build is Erick Rowan. He’s got that big red beard, and he can get the work done in the ring.
“For me it is always good to see some like Erick who came in at first and struggled a little bit because he got thrown in with the Wyatt gimmick and Bray was so good and Luke was so good. He’s kind of spinning over here on the side but he asked for help, applied the knowledge and is just an absolute pleasure to watch.
“I’ve had some tags. Kane and I against him and Braun a few months ago and it was just an absolute pleasure to see how far Erik’s come along and what he’s doing in the ring. He’s going to be a real quality big man if they give him the chance to do some stuff.
“Nobody wants to fill my shoes. There’s never going to be another Andre. There’s never going to be another Big Show. There’s never going to be another Undertaker. There’s never going to be another Kane.
“All these guys can do is become the best they can be for who they are. These guys may go further in their careers than I ever did or they may not. That’s the luck of the draw and to be in the right place at the right time and take advantage of opportunities that are given to them.
“I just want those guys to get opportunities to showcase their talent.”