Wrestler of the Day – February 8: Big Show

Today we go with someone bigger than most of the tag teams I’ve talked about: The Big Show.

Big Show is perhaps the only member of a select group of wrestlers to win a world title in his debut match. His in ring debut was at Halloween Havoc 1995, but that wasn’t his first action of the night. Before the wrestling match that night, the Giant and his opponent for later in the night, Hulk Hogan, had a battle of monster trucks on the roof of Detroit’s Cobo Hall. This is important for the match later in the night.

We go to the roof and a few things to note. First of all, Hogan stands about 7’8 apparently as he TOWERS over those “six foot tall” tires. Second, the rules are you have to get both sets of axels out of the ring, which is 100ft in diameter. Ok, fair enough. Third, we’re going to weld the trucks together. Pay no attention to the fact that they were welded together earlier (this was taped the night before but that isn’t mentioned).

Also for no apparent reason, in this ring we have two charges that will go off if you run over them. Yes, allegedly, on the roof of a building, there are BOMBS that will go off if a truck runs over them. The idiocy here is off the charts. Let’s get this over with.

First of all, we waste a few minutes welding the trucks together. Allegedly these trucks run on alcohol. So wait. There are BOMBS, as in EXPLODING FIRE, near alcohol based fuel? And this company made money??? Again, someone was PAID to make this up. That’s sad.

Oh and they have co-pilots so they’re only driving one set of axels. Hogan gets put halfway out but makes the save. Hogan’s truck has a flag kind of thing that is supposed to be the bandana I guess. One of the bombs goes off and my head hurts. Ah I think I know why Tony left: he has integrity. And Hogan wins of course. Somehow, the idiocy is just beginning.

Giant gets out of his truck and goes after Hogan, and the champ goes back towards the edge of the building. They fight some more up on the ledge and Hogan accidentally knocks Giant OFF THE ROOF. Yes, this was on a major Pay Per View broadcast by a major wrestling company. Hogan’s acting here makes Mr. Nanny look like De Niro. The monster truck dude has to sit here and not break up laughing. That’s just awesome.

And now, the wrestling match.

WCW World Title: The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan

They introduce Giant first but Hogan comes out instead, all in black and sans facial hair. Wow that’s odd to see. Was Hart being Hogan’s BFF ever explained? Giant of course walks out with no explanation at all. In what might be the funniest thing that I have EVER seen in wrestling, the camera shoots back to Hogan just in time for him to turn to the camera and blankly stare while his mouth hangs open in awe.

I laughed out loud for a LONG time. I mean the timing was better than you could have planned if you tried forever. This was hilarious stuff to say the least. Heenan sounds orgasmic over this. His hatred of Hogan stayed forever if nothing else. Hogan has black horns painted on his head. Uh….deep?

He can’t slam him though. Oh and Giant is allegedly Andre’s son. Heenan: Eat Hogan like you would eat villagers! Ok then. Giant hooks a test of strength once Hogan is on his knees already. You know that might be more effective if your muscles were flexing or if you had ANY torque on them.

Heenan says he’s never seen Hogan wrestle in anything other than yellow and red. Odd that he’s seemingly managed against him in blue or white tights but what do I know? Giant is destroying him here. Hogan makes a comeback to some SOLID face pops and knocks Giant to the floor. Taskmaster tries to get Giant to leave but Hogan, like an idiot, stops him. Giant gets a SWEET backbreaker. Hogan was WAY in the air for that and it looked awesome.

Heenan points out how stupid Giant is for not going for Hogan’s bad neck. Give the guy a break Bobby. I mean he just fell off the frekaing roof! The bear hug goes on and Tony cracks me up by making it sound like it’s perfectly normal to come back after falling off a roof. Even in kayfabe this is ridiculous. With the paint knocked off Hogan’s head it looks like there’s a Triforce on it. And back to the bear hug. He powers out but walks into the chokeslam. He powers out of that too.

He Hulks Up and the usual puts Giant down, but the referee goes down too. The fans say Jimmy did it. Just to add to the stupidity of this match, when Hogan is yelling at Hart, you can see Giant stick his head up three separate times to see what’s going on. Even playing devil’s advocate and saying he’s playing possum, you don’t have a 7’ monster playing peek-a-boo!

Anyway, Jimmy hits Hogan with the belt but Giant saves him. And it’s bear hug time again. Luger and Savage come out. Luger of course turns heel and….here it comes. This is the thing I didn’t want to talk about all night. On the previous Nitro, the Master had said he had a surprise. At the end of the show, a random block of ice blew up and a mummy came out of it. Yes, I said a mummy.

They called him a Yeti, but he’s a large man wrapped in bandages and tape. What the heck would you call him? With Giant having him in a bear hug, Yeti comes up behind Hogan and more or less dry humps him without actually hurting him at all. It’s Reese from the Flock if you care who is under there.

Luger puts Hogan in the rack to something resembling a pop. They dry hump Savage and rack him too. Giant wins by DQ because he was Hogan’s manager when he hit the referee. They announce that the title can’t change hands on DQ.

OR CAN IT?

Yeah in this match, Hart slipped a clause in, stating that the title CAN change hands on a DQ, so the Giant is the champion. They would strip him of the title in like two weeks and put it up in the inaugural World War Three Battle Royal, which is complete nonsense as Hogan lost the title via a stipulation in a contract he signed without reading. That’s not Giant’s fault but whatever. Hogan and Savage are helped out to end the show. Heenan crying from happiness is funny.

Rating: D. This was a Hogan match with a big angle to end it and nothing more. Giant wasn’t capable of doing much here as he was just a 23 year old kid that had like 5 matches under his belt but he was 7’0 tall, athletic beyond belief and could talk. I’d push him hard like that too.

Anyway, this wasn’t that good but it was Hogan fighting a monster which was what he was best at so I can’t fault them there. A bit long with FAR too many bear hugs but to be fair Giant had no experience and no real style set yet. He would get a lot better. Yeah this was his WCW debut. I’d say this was fine given the circumstances then.

The title would be held up due to the controversial ending but Giant would be back very soon and get a title shot against Ric Flair on Nitro on April 29, 1996.

WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. The Giant

Flair hits on Debra again which would eventually set up a tag match at the Great American Bash where Mongo joined the Horsemen. Giant shoves him around to start as the camera pans up at him. Flair charges at him and literally bounces off of him with a shoulder block. We hit the floor and Flair runs. Flair gets a jumping thumb to the eye but Giant shrugs a chop off.

There’s your standard slam off the top for Flair and Giant gets a suplex for no cover. Giant tries a chokeslam but Flair holds onto the ropes and gets a low blow. Foreign object to the head of Giant and he’s out….not cold as the Figure Four goes on and it means nothing. Giant grabs him by the throat, pulls him to his feet, breaks the hold in the process and a chokeslam gives Giant his first non-shenanigan world title. For you trivia people out there, yes, Jimmy Hart did manage a legit world champion.

Rating: C-. Can’t really give this a fair grade as it was more or less a squash but they were trying at least. Giant looked great which is the best thing they could have done. Never let it be said that Flair doesn’t put people over. Giant getting the title was fine and they would protect him for months, which is the right idea indeed. Fine for a squash, bad match otherwise.

 

Giant would hold the title for the summer before losing it to Hollywood Hogan in August. He would join and leave the NWO over the fall and winter before teaming up with Lex Luger for a shot at the Tag Team Titles at SuperBrawl 1997.

Tag Titles: Outsiders vs. The Giant

Ok so there’s a backstory here. Giant and Luger are partners but Luger has a broken hand/arm and couldn’t get a doctor’s clearance in time so Giant has to go this alone. Syxx is with the champs. Hall starts off here with the idea being to tick Giant off. Hall hammers away which seems to just be getting him in trouble. One armed slam by Giant and it’s off to Nash. This was the teased match for an entire year which didn’t happen until the following January because Nash didn’t want to job to Giant.

Giant gets a dropkick to send Nash to the floor and manhandles him with ease, including ramming him into the post. Elbow gets two back in the ring. Nash gets in a shot with the Cruiserweight Title and Hall adds what was supposed to be a bulldog but Hall manages to wind up behind Giant, making it more like a Zig Zag.

Basically this is 3-1 and that’s about what was expected. Nash misses the running pelvis to the head with Giant on the middle rope in a 619 position. That move REALLY needs a name. Off to Hall again who hammers away in the corner. Giant fights them off as Syxx comes in and slips the belt to Hall who drops Giant with it. Nash manages to powerbomb Giant in a cool spot as somehow we haven’t had a DQ yet.

Here’s Luger with a cast on to clean house. He Racks Nash who hurt his back on the powerbomb. That rings a bell for a submission somehow but wait, Nash wasn’t legal. Therefore Giant (illegal) chokeslams Hall, the legal man, and pins him for the definitive pin. Naturally this was overturned the next night on Nitro for literally no reason other than “that wasn’t legal” but it was a stupid moment so I can forgive it.

Rating: D+. Match was junk for the most part but that powerbomb was indeed awesome. Nash vs. Giant would FINALLY get blown off 11 months later because WCW saw no problem with Nash screwing over a PPV audience at Starrcade. Anyway, this was more stupid stuff that meant nothing if you were paying attention but it’s WCW so there you go.

The war against the NWO would continue over the summer with nothing of note happening. One of the few matches of interest during this was against Randy Savage at Road Wild 1997.

The Giant vs. Randy Savage

Nothing special to the match, but it’s the third biggest match in company history at worst. That would include being ahead of Luger winning the title on Monday I guess. Savage is NWO and Giant is one of WCW’s main soldiers against him. Savage stalls like the true Memphis man that he is. He gets in and tries to slam Giant which fails of course. Giant works him over with his usual power stuff until Savage heads to the floor.

That goes badly for him as well with Giant picking up the human shield known as Liz and moving her to the other side. Back in Savage takes out the knee and gets Giant down. He wraps the knee around the post and stomps on the knee some more. Double ax gets two but the second attempt is countered into a chokeslam for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was just a step above a squash but that’s ok for the most part. Giant would move on to feuding with Nash soon after this in one of the stupidest and most pathetic displays I can remember in a long time. Anyway, the match was short enough to keep from getting boring which is more than I can say for the rest of the show.

Giant would get caught up in the shuffle of the NWO civil war and rejoin the NWO again in 1998 to continue a long running feud with Kevin Nash. In the fall he would have a meaningless match with the monster Meng on September 14’s Nitro which is incredibly entertaining.

Giant vs. Meng

Meng slaps Giant back into the corner and kicks at the legs before they get into a brawl with neither guy going anywhere. Meng staggers Giant with a kick right to the face so the strap comes down. Giant hits him again and Meng is all FOREIGN SHOUTING. A headbutt has no effect on Meng and neither does a right hand to the head. Another kick to the face staggers Giant and Meng loads up the Death Grip, but Giant uses his reach advantage to grab the chokeslam as Meng can’t get to his throat. REALLY fun match for two minutes.

Other than a decent match against Diamond Dallas Page at the horrible Starrcade 1998, Giant was off to the WWF under his more famous name of Big Show. His first major match was at Wrestlemania XV against Mankind in a match to determine the guest referee for the main event.

Big Show vs. Mankind

The winner gets to referee the title match tonight. Big Show already cost Mankind the world title on Raw a few weeks ago and Mankind is banged up coming into this. Mankind pounds away to start but is easily sent out to the floor by the power of the giant. Mankind is all cool with a brawl though and he sends Big Show head first into the steps. A DDT is broken up by Show though and the guy in a mask tastes the steps as well.

Back in and Show chops him down before hitting a Russian legsweep for no cover. Mankind gets in a shot and loads up the Claw, only to be sent flying for a second. The Claw goes on but Show headbutts him down with ease. Back to the Claw and a low blow is enough to keep the hold on for a bit.

Despite being in a former world champion’s hold for about a minute straight, Show gets Mankind on his back and crashes down onto Foley to break the hold. Foley’s ribs are messed up bad now and Show stomps away even more. They head to the floor and Show hits him in the ribs with a chair….and that’s not a DQ. Show throws two chairs into the ring and sets them up. He chokeslams Mankind through both chairs and THAT is enough for the DQ.

Rating: D. Yeah this sucked. This would fall into the category of matches that were overbooked to overbook another match. If that doesn’t sum up the Russo Era in a nutshell, I’m not sure what does. The match sucked on top of all that, as it was a very slow power brawl. Foley would take awhile to get back into form but at this point he was just kind of going through the motions.

After forming an on again/off again tag team with Undertaker and winning a few tag titles, it was time for Big Show to turn face again in the fall. At Survivor Series 1999, Steve Austin was run over by a car and replaced in the main event by our big lovable monster.

WWF World Title: The Rock vs. HHH vs. ???

The third man is…..shockingly not Test but rather the Big Show. I mentioned Test over and over again tonight because every sign on the planet pointed to him being the guy but they went with Show instead. That’s not to say this is a horrible idea or that it doesn’t make sense because there were no clues or anything beforehand, but it was certainly a surprising pick.

Rock and HHH attack Show to start but to no avail. Show shoulder blocks them down but Rock breaks up a chokeslam on the Game. HHH is defending if that’s not clear. Rock and HHH team up to clothesline Show to the floor but Rock is quickly pulled to the floor. All three guys wind up on the floor with HHH getting dropped on the barricade. Back in and Show misses a splash in the corner and gets caught in a Russian legsweep for no cover.

The People’s Elbow gets one on Show as HHH saves. This is one fall to a finish in case you were wondering. HHH chokes Rock in the corner but Show gets back up and side slams Rock for two. Show kicks HHH to the floor and knocks the Game up the aisle. The fans don’t seem to be sure what to think of Show in this spot but they’re not bored. Rock charges up the aisle to clothesline Show down before going after HHH again.

HHH gets knocked through a production table and Rock is in control. Scratch that theory as Show comes in and beats the tar out of HHH, only to have Rock hit Show with a fire extinguisher. Rock and HHH start heading back to the ring but HHH suplexes him in the aisle. Show is back because the guy can’t be kept down. Show drops HHH on the announce table but Rock drills Show in the head with the bell. Rock and HHH hit a double suplex on Show through the table for the WHOA spot of the match.

Rock and HHH head into the crowd to brawl as this has been a wild fight for the majority of the match so far. Back to the ring and the referee gets clotheslined down by Rock by mistake. The Rock Bottom and Pedigree are both countered, the latter being countered into a catapult into the buckle. There’s the Rock Bottom but there’s no referee. Shane runs out in a referee’s shirt to count two.

Another Rock Bottom hits but Show pulls Shane out of the ring. Rock goes after Show on the floor which goes about as well as you would expect. Actually scratch that as you might expect Rock to beat Show up. Show puts him on the table and goes back into the ring to knock HHH down before going back to beat on Rock some more. Rock gets thrown into the steps and HHH has the belt, only for Shane to take it away. HHH Pedigrees Shane and they’re all back inside again. Here’s DX to go after Big Show and Rock but here’s Vince as well. He knocks HHH out with the belt and a chokeslam makes Show champion.

Rating: C-. This didn’t work that well for me at all. Show has no connection to the feud at all which hurts things a bit, but at the end of the day there was no real flow to the match at all. Show winning is a good pick as it gives some closure to the week for him where his dad died and all that, but his title reign wouldn’t work all that well due to him mainly feuding with Big Boss Man. Still though, decent moment but a bad match.

The title reign would only last for a few months before turning heel (notice a patter here?) for Wrestlemania and his only main event there before Kurt Angle yelled at him for not taking things seriously enough. This led to a hilarious moment at Backlash 2000.

Kurt Angle vs. Big Show

Angle runs down Marian Berry, who is mayor of Washington DC. He’s also a former crackhead. The lack of integrity is what’s wrong with America. That means we need a Real American…..and that’s what we get. Here’s Big Show doing the absolute best Hulk Hogan imitation you’ll EVER see. He’s got a Showster t-shirt with the rips in the back, yellow boots, a bald skull cap with blonde hair down the sides, he does the hand to the ear, rips the shirt and throws it, and does the swinging arms warmup that Hulk did. And then, he talks.

Doing an even better Hogan imitation, he talks about being to the top of the mountain and says dude and brother more times than should be humanly allowed. Angle jumps him but Show HULKS UP almost immediately. Right hand doesn’t work (JR: “The old no sell!”) so Show punches him three times and hits the big boot. LEG DROP gets two and a bigger reaction than anything else so far, which is saying a lot as the fans were going nuts the entire time so far.

Angle goes for the leg and the fans chant for Hogan. Show (who has his goatee dyed too) rips off the cap and hair and destroys Angle in the corner. Chokeslam ends this quick. It’s too short to rate but as a match it was worthless. From an entertainment perspective, this is one of the best and funniest moments you’ll ever see. Check this out as it’s well worth it if you’re a Hogan fan.

Soon after this it was determined that Big Show was WAY overweight and needed to get in shape, so he was sent to OVW and spent the remainder of the year there. One of his biggest feuds was against a muscle headed rookie named Leviathan, who is more famous as Batista. Their first match was at one of OVW’s biggest shows of the year with Leviathan scoring a huge upset. This is the rematch from OVW TV in November.

Big Show vs. Leviathan

The brawl is on while Big Show’s music is still playing with Big Show sending him into the corner for an overhead chop but Leviathan shoves him off. Show comes back with a nice powerbomb but Leviathan LAUNCHES him into the air on the kickout and right onto the referee. A bunch of guys come out to brawl and Big Show kisses Leviathan’s manager Synn. Mark Henry comes in with a chair to Show’s back and the referee rolls over for the pin. More of a historical curiosity than anything else.

Big Show was back on the main roster in early 2001 and would enter the hardcore division for awhile. Like almost everything else that year, it would be swallowed up by the Alliance. After helping get rid of WCW and ECW, Big Show would turn heel to help Ric Flair before joining the short lived NWO. After the group split, Big Show was sent to Smackdown and got a world title shot against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series 2002.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar is defending here and is mostly a face now. It’s on in a hurry as the fans are behind Lesnar. Show gets in a shot to the ribs in the corner and launches Brock across the ring. Brock is all like BRING IT ON and grabs a double leg to take Show down. They head to the floor and Brock gets rammed into the post. Back in and Brock pounds away before hitting something like a belly to back suplex. Show misses a charge and Brock “hits” a German, which means Show lands on Brock’s head. Brock tries an F5 but Show knees him in the ribs.

The referee gets bumped and Brock THROWS Big Show down with an overhead belly to belly. Heyman throws in a chair and Brock cracks Show over the head with it. There’s the F5 and a new referee but Heyman pulls the referee out of the ring. This makes no sense and I’ll get to why in a second. Lesnar figures out what’s going on and gives chase, but charges right into a pair of chair shots to the ribs. Show chokeslams Brock onto the chair for the pin and the title. That’s Brock’s first ever loss.

Rating: D+. Most of that is for Lesnar’s INSANE power. Here’s why this match ticks me off: Lesnar had to get the title taken off of him because of injury. That’s fine. So they pick BIG SHOW to take it from him? This is the same idea as Nash beating Goldberg: you have an unstoppable monster and you take the title off of him for the sake of this old dude? You have Angle, Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Edge on the Smackdown roster and you pick BIG SHOW? Now to be fair Angle got the title in a month, but why not just cut out the middle man and make a new star?

As for why Heyman’s turn makes no sense, the whole idea of the match was that Heyman didn’t think Lesnar could suplex, F5 or beat Big Show. He did the first two things and had Show beat until Heyman turned. Heyman is a lot of things, but he’s always been someone that knows what kind of a monster he’s got and sticks with them to the end. This is out of character for him, especially when an injured Brock had proven he could beat Show. So on top of being a bad match with bad booking, it makes no sense. Nice job WWE.

The title reign would only last a month before Kurt Angle slayed the giant to take the title. It was soon back to the old stomping grounds of feuding with Undertaker for a few months before back to even older stomping grounds of fighting a small man, in this case Rey Mysterio at Backlash 2003.

Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show

 

Apparently Mysterio embarrassed Show recently. A fan things Big Show loves Cher. Is that an insult? Rey gets Show to chase him which frustrates the giant. Things go exactly as you would expect: Rey fires off some offense, Show uses power, Rey speeds things up again. Backbreaker puts Rey down and Show takes over. Rey gets sent to the floor and gets in a chair shot and seated senton for two. A pair of 619s take Show down and a third staggers Show but he jumps into the chokeslam for the pin.

 

Rating: D. I can’t stand these matches. The one perk here is that Show didn’t look like an idiot for the most part. At the end of the day, without making the giants look stupid in these matches, there’s no real conceivable way to have a competent giant lose these matches. Rey’s offense would have no effect here and for the most part it didn’t. The ending helped it but the rest of it was junk.

Big Show would win the US Title later in the year and never defend it before losing the title to a young phenom named John Cena at Wrestlemania XX. He would miss about five months in the middle of 2004 before coming back to win a feud with Kurt Angle. Next up was another world title chase, culminating in a barbed wire steel cage match against champion John Bradshaw Layfield at No Way Out 2005.

Smackdown World Title: JBL vs. Big Show

Basic stuff to start as JBL takes Show down with a flying tackle. He goes up but is afraid of the barbed wire. He tries a cross body and guess how well that goes for him. They’re staying away from the wire so far and it’s just a basic match for the most part here. Show is busted open after eating some cage. Bradshaw in full control here.

He rips the tag rope off the corner and chokes away with it. Show hits something like a superkick to put JBL down. Does Cole have Show’s measurements tattooed on the inside of his eyelids? He can snap those things off like they’re nothing. Powerbomb by Show and JBL is in trouble. The fans chant RVD who was hurt at the time.

Cole says the cage is a carnivore. Why do steel structures always have to have lives of their own in this company? Show gets a slingshot (Cole says monkey flip) into the cage. Here’s Jordan to climb the cage. The Bashams cut through part of the cage but Teddy comes out, saying to leave. Jordan manages to slip some bolt cutters to JBL who pops Show with them and adds the Clothesline From JBL for two.

For some reason there’s more or less no reaction for the kickout from the world champion’s finisher. Chokeslam hits for two as well which gets kind of a reaction but nothing huge. Another chokeslam is blocked though as JBL kicks the little Shows and adds a boot to the face. The door is closed and locked and isn’t eligible for escaping.

Bradshaw climbs up and uses the bolt cutters to cut through some of the wire. Show gets up and knocks them out of his hand. JBL is slammed into the cage a few times as the wire has more or less meant jack so far in this match. Show grabs him by the throat and chokeslams him through the ring, prompting a pretty weak holy crap chant.

Show finds a safe spot and climbs down but he’s not sure what to do. Some things never change I guess. Instead Show pulls on the chain and lock which he rips apart with his bare hands. Well why mess with what works? He opens the door and climbs to the floor as JBL is declared the winner and still champion. While Show was wasting all kinds of time, JBL climbed through the hole in the ring and hit the floor first to retain. I love that ending because JBL followed the rules perfectly and Show’s reliance on power cost him.

Rating: D+. I REALLY wasn’t impressed here. If this was a regular cage match then it’s ok I guess but the barbed wire was just stupid. It did a total of nothing other than acting as a deterrent I guess, which a regular cage would have done just as fine or a cage with a top on it. This was a waste of time for the most part and didn’t work that well at all. Weak main event.

The rest of the year was spent in a bunch of worthless feuds until Big Show teamed up with Kane (again) to win the Tag Titles (again) before feuding with Kane (again). Big Show would eventually be drafted to the revived ECW and win its title on July 4, 2006. His first defense was against Ric Flair the following week.

ECW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Big Show

Extreme Rules again. Show throws him to the floor and we take a break. Back with Flair pounding away in the corner. Joey calls this historic. Not exactly the word I’d use but whatever. Show press slams him and Flair is busted open from something. Knowing him it was a stiff breeze. Flair tries chopping him but gets knocked down by one from Show. They head to the floor for another slugout, won by Show.

To keep up the tradition, Flair chops and punches but Show chops him down with one or two shots. Show measures him but Flair hits him low. Keeping with the tradition theme, Flair hits him low a second and third time. Make it four and Show is in trouble. Flair finds a barbed wire ball bat from somewhere and hits Show in the head with it before digging it into Show’s face.

Trashcan shot to the head staggers Show as does a chair to the chest and back. Show goes down but it only gets two. Flair busts out some tacks and knocks Show into them with about five chair shots to the head. That just ticks him off though so he pulls Flair into the chokeslam and a cobra clutch backbreaker. He keeps the clutch on for the knockout win. Show throws Flair into the tacks post match.

Rating: B-. I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to. Flair is still a master of making you believe that it could happen, which is what he did here. Also, notice that he puts Show over by making it look like Show shrugged off all that offense and won with ease. That’s hot you make someone look good, which Flair made a career out of.

Big Show would defend the title for the rest of the year before losing it in the Extreme Elimination Chamber in December. He would leave the company for a year before coming back to face boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Wrestlemania. After a summer of nothing special, he would turn heel (after turning face earlier in the year) by joining Vickie Guerrero and facing Undertaker at No Mercy 2008.

Big Show vs. Undertaker

JR talks about how Undertaker is like a Sasquatch that has wrapped his arms around us and how Big Show is Cyclopean. He has two eyes. WHAT IS WRONG WITH JIM ROSS??? Sasquatch and Cyclopean? With smoke still in the ring Taker goes right at him but gets hit in the ribs to slow him down. Taker gets knocked to the floor but lands on his feet. They slug it out on the apron and Taker Stuns him on the top rope.

Out to the floor and Show pounds away on the ribs. Show throws him into the barricade and Taker throws him into the post. This is a total war so far. Now Undertaker’s right hands are malignant. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? Legdrop on the apron and they head inside. Taker gets a boot up in the corner but Big Show clotheslines him down. Show slams him down and drops an elbow for two.

Show tries a Vader Bomb elbow but Taker moves to send Show crashing. They slug it out again with Taker punching him into the corner and working over the ribs. Show misses two WMDs so Taker clotheslines him down and drops a leg for two. Taker tries Old School but jumps into a chokeslam for two. WMD (it wasn’t called that back then but you get the idea) misses and they both try chokeslams.

Show wins the battle but Taker pulls him down into a DDT for two. Taker punches him down in the corner but stops to chase the referee, allowing Big Show to expose the buckle. A shot into that and the big punch, a second big punch (this one is pretentious according to JR) and a third one (this one a rabbit punch) makes the referee stop the match.

Rating: B. This was ten minutes long and they beat the tar out of each other the whole time. It’s probably the best Show vs. Undertaker match I’ve ever seen which is quite a selection as I’m sure you know. Good match here and while it didn’t quite get any better after this, it’s a great match from these two which is shocking for me.

He feuded with Cena for about the 58th time and chased the title for about the 983rd time before filling in for an injured Edge in a World Tag Team Title match with Chris Jericho at Night of Champions 2009.

UnifiedTagTitles: Legacyvs. ChrisJericho/???

So Edge snapped his ankle and has no partner, meaning anyone that’s paid attention for the past few months knows who this is going to be. We get the video of Edge’s injury saying he’ll come back and take care of Jericho. That’s going to be an awesome feud. And it’s the Big Show. No one got this and the rumor was they picked him seconds before with the video being shown to buy them some more time.

There are cool banners with pictures of the belts hanging from them. It looks sweet. Rhodes and Show start us off. Show just beats the heck out of both guys as you would expect. You could bet on Jerishow retaining here even from the perspective of watching it live. In a nice move, Legacy hits a tandem chop block and clothesline. Not bad at all. Rhodes whispers something into the ear of Jericho but he does it just subtly enough that unless you knew to look for it you wouldn’t notice it. Well done.

Rhodes busts out a nice moonsault to Jericho. He’s underrated in the ring as his offense keeps changing up. The problem with this match becomes apparent quickly: Jericho and Show are the default faces even though they’re supposed to be the heels. We hit insanity mode and Show puts down both guys and after a Codebreaker, the Colossal Clutch ends it.

Rating: C+. It was fine. That’s the only thing I can think of to say for this one. It was designed to be a pure squash for the new champions to get them over and that’s exactly what it did. Rather boring match but it served its purpose very well.

Jericho and Big Show would hold the titles for the better part of five months before losing them to DX at TLC 2009. He would hook up with Miz to win the titles back about two months later and hold them for another two and a half months. After a world title chase went nowhere, it was off to a feud with CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society at Summerslam 2010.

Big Show vs. Straight Edge Society

Three on one handicap match. Punk has already grown his hair to a bit shorter than it is in 2013. We continue the awesome that is CM Punk as he wears a shirt saying “I Broke Big Show’s Hand”, which is a reference to Greg Valentine’s “I Broke Wahoo’s Leg” shirt from about thirty years ago. Show takes off his cast to reveal that the hand is fully healed and to freak Punk out a bit.

Mercury charges right into a chop and Gallows gets the same. The Society has to tag in and out here so Punk calls a conference on the apron. Gallows and Mercury jump Big Show and apparently tagging isn’t required here. Show easily throws away the lackeys and palms Mercury by the head, throwing him over the top and onto Gallows. Punk is the only one left now and a few shots to the back easily put him down. Show misses a chop and hits the steps, giving the Society an opening to go after the hand.

The Society pounds away with really basic stuff as we’re just waiting on the comeback. Punk charges into a back elbow and Show cleans house for a bit until Punk hits a high kick to slow him down. Some running knees in the corner stagger the giant before a double DDT from Punk and Mercury gets two. Punk goes nuts on the hand but Show picks him up on his shoulders. After dropping Punk over the top, the lackeys are destroyed again and Show chokeslams Mercury onto Gallows for a double pin.

Rating: D. Another dull match here as Big Show never once felt like he was in any kind of danger at all. That was the problem with this whole feud: Show treated Punk like an annoyance rather than an opponent. This would lead up to the destruction of Punk in a one on one match next month because Big Show needed that push right?

Most of 2011 was a waste of time for Big Show as he teamed up with his on again/off again heterosexual life mate Kane to fight a Nexus knockoff called the Corre. That went nowhere (shocking) so Big Show tried to stop Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain, resulting in a broken leg. Big Show returned a few months later and eventually challenged Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship at TLC 2011.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Mark Henry

It’s a chairs match, meaning they’re legal. Show’s singlet is now camo. Show immediately goes to the floor and throws in like ten chairs. Him just casually tossing them about ten feet in the air is scary impressive. They both have chairs now but Henry drops his and gets out. He grabs the title and says this isn’t happening. Show goes after him and ducks a title shot so he can wear Henry out with chair shots.

They start slugging it out and Henry cracks him with a chair. Henry goes after the hand so that Show can’t use his two finishers. Show tries to come back but his hand is worthless. Henry makes a pile of chairs but the Slam is broken up. He goes for a chair shot but Show fires off the big punch. AND IT GETS THE PIN AT 5:35????? REALLY?????

Rating: C. Call me crazy but I liked it. There’s something cool about two guys just going off on each other with chair shots. This worked pretty well for what it was and keeping it short was the right idea. The important thing is coming though so I’m cutting this short.

The important thing would be Daniel Bryan cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. After losing the title, Big Show got this idea that he needed a Wrestlemania moment, despite being in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000. This led to an Intercontinental Title match against Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania 28.

Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show

Cody is defending and the idea here is that Big Show has never had a good Wrestlemania moment. You know, because winning a meaningless midcard title in 2012 is more important than main eventing the show in possibly the biggest and best year the company has ever had. During the entrance we get some “highlights” from Show’s career. Naturally the pin in the 8 man tag last year is never mentioned at all.

Cody runs to the floor to start but Show easily throws him back into the ring. There’s a beal across the ring and a hard chop in the corner, followed by a Stink Face for good measure. Cody comes back with some dropkicks to the knee and pounds away as much as he can. Rhodes pounds on Show’s back a bit and is LAUNCHED off on the kickout. The champion works on the knee a bit with a standing leg lock and a DDT to take it down. After some stomps to Show’s head, he shoves Cody away with ease but gets caught by the Disaster Kick. A second is countered with a spear though and the WMD makes Show the champion.

Rating: D+. What were you expecting here? At the end of the day, Cody has nothing that was going to keep Show down and with all the building up of the match about Show’s past embarrassments, there was only one way this could end. That and it’s only about five minutes so it didn’t have enough time to suck or anything. Not great but it was exactly what it was expect to be.

We’ll wrap things up with what might be Big Show’s last good match to date, from Hell in a Cell 2012.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Sheamus

Sheamus is defending. Show throws him around to start and Sheamus tries to brawl with him. That results in the champion being knocked down into the corner and Show is in command. Ziggler is watching with the case in the back. Sheamus knocks Show to the floor and as the challenger gets back in, Sheamus fires away with all he’s got. It does a bit of damage but Show shrugs it off and knocks Sheamus to the floor again.

We head to the floor with Show throwing Sheamus into the barricade. Back in and Show keeps pounding on Sheamus very slowly. He steps on Sheamus’ head and knocks the champ to the floor before sending him over the announce table. This has been almost all Show so far and Sheamus is looking like a ragdoll. Back in and Show hits the Eye of the Hurricane for two. I think he used to call that the Final Cut. Sheamus tries to fight back with some punches to the ribs but Show throws him over the top to the floor.

As Sheamus comes back in, he hits the slingshot shoulder but charges right into a superkick for two. Show knocks him down again with Sheamus only being able to get in some punches before charging into a bearhug. Show gets on his knee instead of picking Sheamus up, allowing Sheamus to hit some forearms. A slam doesn’t work at all and the Vader Bomb Elbow gets two for Show. He calls for the chokeslam but Sheamus counters into a DDT but the kickout sends Sheamus out to the floor.

Sheamus tries the ten forearms in the corner but Show shoves him off. The chokeslam hits but it only gets two. Show is getting ticked off now but he can’t hook the Colossal Clutch. Sheamus avoids an elbow and tries the Cloverleaf of all things but Show kicks him off. They head to the floor and Sheamus drives Show into the post a few times. Back in and Sheamus goes after the knee before hitting some ax handles to take Show down.

Sheamus hits White Noise and does it with EASE. That looked better than a lot of the AA’s Cena hits on Show. That only gets two and Sheamus charges into the WMD…..for two. Show tries another punch but Sheamus kicks Show’s head off…..FOR TWO. This is getting AWESOME. Sheamus gets WAY fires up but the Brogue Kick charges into the WMD for the pin and the title at 21:37.

Rating: B+. This was exactly what it was supposed to be: a heavyweight slugfest with Sheamus pounding away with everything he had but it just wasn’t enough. I would initially say that Show winning the title was a bad thing but the way they were going with the feud it was probably the best idea. This was a great match though and WAY better than I was expecting. The kickouts were great and the match worked really well. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but match of the night so far.

After losing the title to Alberto Del Rio in January, Show would go on to feud with the Shield and then get into a story with HHH and the Authority/Randy Orton which would be some of the stupidest stuff I’ve seen in years.

Big Show is a guy that had a ton of talent but has become VERY repetitive over the years. I can’t count how many times he’s become the big evil monster then turned back into the fun loving giant and gotten a small guy or a giant as a tag partner before starting the whole thing over again. At the end of the day, he’s turned so many times over the years that it’s hard to care about almost anything he does. Stick him in matches like the one with Sheamus where he can have someone fight him down in a big brawl and let it be entertaining for awhile and that’s it. Back in 1996 the guy was slim and insanely athletic but then he just relied on his size and nothing else.

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2 comments

  1. MikeCheyne says:

    I liked the beginning of the ADR/Big Show feud a lot; Show’s no-frills “big mean guy” character was a solid presence on Smackdown fighting Sheamus and ADR (the last man standing match where ADR wins the title was probably ADR’s only shining moment as a face).

    You’re right that he really improved as a wrestler–watching old Giant matches is weird because he’s basically just there as a freak gigantic guy. He moved and looked pretty sharp in logical matches that played to his strength last year and this year–his spear is impressive. That said, the character was just written and treated insanely in 2013.

  2. Ted says:

    Big show is one of my favorites he just gets it In the ring. Unlike Gonzales or khali and is the most entertaining super heavyweight ever.