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The Big Show

The Big Show and Shane McMahon

Real Name: Paul Wight
Born: February 8th, 1972 in Tampa, Florida
420 pounds, 7-feet tall
A.K.A.: The Giant, The Big Show

Even if he had been dubbed "Tiny Little" and forced to job in dark matches, Paul Wight would stand out in the wrestling world. At seven feet tall, it would be hard not to. But as a multi-time World Champion, the Big Show has lived up to his name on more than one occasion.

It's probably not surprising to learn that Wight played college basketball at Wichita State University.

After training at the Power Plant, Wight made his WCW debut in 1995. Initially, he was billed as Andre the Giant's son, in WCW to get revenge on Hulk Hogan for his "father". He appeared at ringside several times, most notably at Bash at the Beach 1995 to confront Hogan. A member of Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom, Wight, dubbed "the Giant", put Hogan and his WCW World title in his sites.

On October 29th, 1995, after a monster truck rally where Wight "fell" off the top of the Joe Louis Arena, he defeated Hulk Hogan in Detroit to win the WCW World Heavyweight title as a part of the Halloween Havoc pay-per-view. He won the match via disqualification, when Hulk Hogan's manager, Jimmy Hart, hit Wight with his megaphone. As it turned out, the Giant won the title when it was revealed that Hart had signed a contract with a clause stating that the titles COULD change hands on a disqualification. With manager Hart now on his side, Wight's title reign lasted just over a week before WCW stripped the Giant of the title.

A second WCW title reign came with a defeat of Ric Flair in April 1996. As champion, he would defeat Sting at the World Wrestling Peace Festival. In August, Hogan defeated the Giant at Road Wild to regain the title. Within weeks of losing the title, the Giant would join forces with Hogan and become one of the growing number of WCW superstars to join the New World Order (nWo).

As a member of the nWo, the Giant would win the 60-man World War III battle royale. However, as 1996 came to a close, the Giant would find him on the outs with the nWo after being attacked by his former team mates and kicked to the curb by Hollywood Hulk Hogan himself.

However, he was back in the group's good graces when the split between nWo Wolfpac and nWo Hollywood occurred in 1997. The Giant remained aligned with Hogan and joined nWo Hollywood.

On May 17, 1998, the Giant teamed with Sting to defeat the Outsiders to win the WCW World tag team championship. However, because the two men were on opposite sides of the nWo split, the two tagteam partners had to do battle against one another for control of the Championship. On July 28th, the Giant would team with Scott Hall and defeated Sting and his partner, Kevin Nash to regain control of the titles.

Wight left WCW for the WWE in 1999. After several television vignettes where he was referred to by his real name, Wight would make his presence felt during the Steve Austin-Vince McMahon cage match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Wight would emerge from beneath the ring and literally toss Austin into the cage and out onto the floor. Shortly afterwards, he was renamed "the Big Show".

Originally part of McMahon's Corporation, the Big Show soon broke away and teamed up with Mick Foley, Test and Ken Shamrock to form the short-lived Union.

During the summer of 1999, the Big Show joined forces with the Undertaker as a part of the Undertaker's Ministry. 'Taker and Show teamed up to win the WWE tag team titles on two occasions.

At the 1999 Survivor Series, the Big Show substituted for an injured Steve Austin and defeated The Rock and Triple H in a Triple Threat match for the WWE World Championship, a title he would hold until January when Triple H upended him.

A month into 2000, the Big Show began to argue that he had won the Royal Rumble (and not The Rock) and demanded that he be a part of the main event at Wrestlemania. Shane McMahon would second the Big Show into the Fatal Fourway main event (eventually won by WWE Champion Triple H.)

After debuting a comedic side of the Big Show (where he mimicked other wrestler including Rikishi and Hulk Hogan), the WWE decided that Wight needed to be sent to the minors, so to speak, and the Big Show showed up in OVW in Louisville, KY, in an attempt to get back into shape following a knee injury and a massive weight increase.

The Big Show returned at the 2001 Royal Rumble but seemed more out of shape than ever. He would be involved in the Hardcore title division throughout most of early 2001. He would also team with Billy Gunn and Spike Dudley.

When the brand split occurred in 2002, the Big Show was drafted by Raw and feuded briefly with Stone Cold Steve Austin, turning on Stone Cold to rejoin (for a third time) the nWo.

Traded to Smackdown in October, the Big Show immediately targeted WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. At the Survivor Series, the Big Show got some help from Lesnar's manager, Paul Heyman (who jumped ship to manage the Show) in winning the title.

December's Armageddon would see the Big Show's reign as WWE Champion come to an end at the hands of Kurt Angle. The Big Show would move on to a feud with the Undertaker and teaming with A-Train. At Wrestlemania XIX, however, the Undertaker defeated A-Train and Big Show in a handicap match.

After feuding with Brock Lesnar again, the Big Show turned his attention to Eddie Guerrero. Although Eddie would embarrass the Big Show by feeding him a burrito filled with laxatives and spraying the Show with sewage, the Big Show would get the last laugh by defeating Eddie at October's No Mercy to win the U.S. title.

The Big Show would hold the U.S. title until Wrestlemania XX (where he lost it to John Cena) but came under criticism for his lack of title defenses. A short time later, the Big Show went on the disabled list to have knee surgery but recently returned in a big way as he plowed his way through the Smackdown roster during an Eddie Guerrero-Kurt Angle lumberjack match.

After a Show and Guerrero/Angle & Reigns tag match in September, Angle shot the Big Show with a tranquilizer dart, then shaved his head. At No Mercy, the Big Show defeated Angle but the war between the two was not over, and spread to include WWE Champion JBL. Even Diva Joy Giovanni became involved as her friendship with Show made her a target for Angle and JBL.

Big Show would challenge for the WWE title, first in a triple threat match (involving Layfield and Angle) at the Royal Rumble and then in a barbed wire cage match against JBL at No Way Out.

Still a top contender for the WWE title despite his losses, Show would cross paths with sumo wrestler Akebono, leading to a Wrestlemania XXI sumo match meeting between the two big men.

Although he would lose the match at Wrestlemania, the Big Show would still lay claim to the number one contender's spot, a claim disputed by several other members of the Smackdown roster. The Big Show would compete in the Championship Series, only to lose in the Fatal Fourway Finals.

The Big Show would turn down Carlito Cool's offer to serve as Carlito's bodyguard and initially paid for it with his stomach, as Carlito had given him a bad apple. No matter, Show recovered and took on Carlito at Judgment Day but lost thanks to the interference of Matt Morgan.

The Big Show continued to feud with Carlito and Morgan until being drafted to Raw on June 27 2005. Snitsky was the first Raw superstar that Big Show crossed paths with, and the two big men clashed on Raw for several months, until Show defeated Snitsky at Unforgiven.

The Big Show was named one of the three possible participants in the WWE Title triple threat match at Taboo Tuesday, along with Kane and Shawn Michaels. Michaels won the voting but Big Show and Kane teamed to defeat Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch to win the WWE Tag Team titles.

The team of Kane and the Big Show were certainly the muscle in Eric Bischoff's crusade against Smackdown, targetting World Champion Batista and Rey Mysterio.

Back on Raw, however, the Big Show clashed with Triple H after Helmsley attacked the Big Show and injured his hand with a sledgehammer, then defeated the Big Show using the same weapon at New Year's Revolution.

The Big Show would battle Triple H (along with Rob Van Dam) n more time in the finals o-f the Road to Wrestlemania XXII tournament, with Triple H getting the victory.

Big Show and Kane then turned their attentions back to defending the WWE Tag Team titles, getting a victory over Carlito and Chris Masters at Wrestlemania, only to lose the belts to the Spirit Squad the next night.

The team's quest to regain the title was hampered by Kane hearing voices and eventually turning heel. After a short feud between the two partners, the Big Show shocked everyone by defecting to ECW, where he clashed with Tommy Dreamer.

Big Show would win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship after Paul Heyman turned on Rob Van Dam during a TV match. A five-month title reign would see Big Show wrestle multiple title defences against Sabu and various tag matches. Bobby Lashley would emerge as a contender and beat Big Show at December To Dismember.

Following a failed bid to regain the belt on TV, Big Show left the WWE, apparently taking time off to heal nagging injuries. Big Show returned to the ring under his real name (Paul Wight) nearly five months later, losing to Hulk Hogan at the PMG Clash of Legends in Memphis.

Show would spend about 14 months of his hiatus training as a boxer before making his shocking return at No Way Out. Looking 100 pounds lighter, he attacked Rey Mysterio and taunted welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who responded to the goading by breaking Show's nose. The two would build up their planned WrestleMania match-up with numerous confrontations, and at WrestleMania 24, Mayweather used every trick he could pull out of his hat in order to knock out Big Show.

Big Show then had a brief feud with the Great Khali that culminated in him chokeslamming and beating Khali at Backlash before he again went after the ECW title. But at Night of Champions, Mark Henry defeated Kane and Show in a three-way to win the belt.

Big Show would become entangled with Vickie Guerrero, showing up at Unforgiven to save her from the Undertaker. He would ultimately fail to protect Vickie as she was given a Tombstone piledriver on Smackdown, but he managed to beat Undertaker at No Mercy. Undertaker, however, evened the score at Cyber Sunday, winning a Last Man Standing match. But Show would not be denied and challenged Undertaker to a Casket match. 'Taker won that Survivor Series match as well, and would also submit Show on Smackdown in a steel cage. Show, however, managed to poke the dog with a stick one last time at Royal Rumble, pulling the Undertaker out of the battle royal.

Along with his waistline, Big Show's ambitions would expand as he set his sights on the main heavyweight belts. He wrestled in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship at No Way Out, although fell short when Triple H came out on top. A couple weeks later and Vickie named Big Show the number one contender for Edge's World Heavyweight title. Edge started to get suspicious about his "wife" Vickie's relationship with the Big Show, and as it turned out, he had good reason to. John Cena, after being included in the WrestleMania championship match, revealed Vickie and Show were indeed having an affair. Cena, Edge and Show would be involved in various skirmishes leading up to the main event, but Show would come away empty handed as Cena pinned him and won the three-way match and the World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania 25.

Cena, however, wouldn't hold the belt long. Big Show, who'd been drafted to Raw a couple weeks earlier, interfered in his Last Man Standing title match against Edge at Backlash, chokeslamming Cena through a spotlight on the stage and putting him down for the count. The next night on Raw, though, Cena interfered in Big Show's match against Batista that was to determine who'd be the number one contender for the WWE belt. As Show and Batista fought on the outside, Cena staggered out and distracted Big Show long enough for him to get counted out.

Big Show got his revenge a week later, mugging Cena when he accepted a challenge from The Miz. Cena, however, would come back by winning their bouts at Judgment Day and Extreme Rules. But Show managed to get a win in, getting the duke against Cena on Raw with some help from The Miz, who had been hounding Cena for weeks.

--- compiled by John M. Milner and Richard Kamchen

BIG SHOW STORIES

  • March 2012: The Streak: Two is not better than one
  • Feb. 19, 2011: Big Show DVD hits the mark with doc
  • Nov. 9, 2010: Big Show 'not a diva at all' says Knucklehead's Melora Hardin
  • Aug. 14, 2010: Big Show at home in current role
  • Mar. 30, 2008: World will be watching for the Money and for the Show
  • Feb. 27, 2008: The Big Show a smaller man
  • July 5, 2005: ECW: The Big Show wins ECW title
  • Aug. 14, 2005: Hitting the links with Rosey and pals
  • May 31, 2005: The Big Show revels in ring success
  • May 8, 2001: Big Show humbled but still nasty
  • Apr. 27, 2001: Big Show ready for Backlash
  • Nov. 21, 1999: Big Show now understands champ's role
  • Mar. 11, 1999: Wight aquitted of assault
  • Mar. 10, 1999: Wight testifies in his own defence
  • Mar. 9, 1999: Wight goes to court