August 14, 2010
Big Show at home in current role
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
As The Big Show, 38-year-old Paul Wight has often played the monster, the indestructible force.
And that's fine with him. But he's happy he's getting to show a bit more of his real personality ... a smiling, happy-go-lucky giant of a man -- seven feet tall, 450 lbs. or so, while still retaining his edge.
"This is me being me," he says. "I am the guy who's going to laugh, the guy who's going to poke fun at himself. But when the handle breaks on one of my bags, when I'm somewhere across the world, I'm going to be the guy who's pissed off. It's the first time I've gotten a chance to go out there and show the fans who I am. I like to have a good time.
"Over the years, at times they've wanted to be this aggressive mean killer. That's one-dimensional and boring."
A five-time world champ, Big Show wants to avoid comparisons with another big man, legendary Andre the Giant.
"My career has been all over the place, but I'm a company man. I do what they tell me to do. I hope I can leave a legacy. But I'll never be the greatest giant of all-time. That's Andre the Giant."
The Big Show will have a handicap match on WWE's Summer Slam pay-per-view on Sunday, taking on the three members of the Straight Edge Society.
"What CM Punk stands for ... drug free, yadda, yadda, yadda, I don't disagree with that. But he's got those crazy-looking eyes, he looks like some of those Charles Manson photos we've seen. He's got an L. Ron Hubbard way of presenting things. We'll see what's more righteous -- him or my right hand."
"With Jericho, we've both been through the trenches together. He had a different way of doing things and I could see the insight that went into it.
"Then I rolled over and worked with The Miz, a guy who's really scratched and clawed to get where he is. Nobody would have thought the guy had a snowball's chance in Haiti to get to where he is.
"He does have that intangible gift that he can annoy anyone. He can make anyone hate him. I'd bet if he spent time in a car with Mother Theresa, she'd stab him, too. That's how annoying he is."
The Big Show loves entertaining. He loves performing. And he loves the fans of the WWE Universe.
"We really thrive off the energy of the crowd," he says. "I hope nobody hears me say this, but I'd probably do this job for free. Just to hear that roar of the crowd. It's like you're landing on the moon. Or stepping onto another continent. It's that exciting every night."
"The tumor shot me up to what I am now. In 1991, I had it removed (which halted the progress of the condition). Even without it, I probably would have been about 6-foot-8 anyway."
Being as large as he is provides its share of challenges.
"I have to shop for my shoes at Friedman's in Atlanta," said The Big Show, who wears size 22 1/2. "Hotel beds are not made with me in mind, so I usually sleep corner to corner. A lot of shower heads hit me in the chest. I hit my head on door frames. I just make the adjustments and make do.
"I look at it this way, the world was not made to fit me, but I've gotten a chance to meet a lot of great people. I may never drive a Ferrari, but thanks to the gift of my size, I'm able to buy one."
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org.