Wrestlemania 28: Shaq, and the Top-10 Potential Gimmick Feuds for the Big Show
The Big Show is a curious figure within the WWE landscape.
The six-time world champion was voted as PWI’s Wrestler of the Year in 1996 during his initial run with WCW.
But after debuting with the WWE in 1999 as an enforcer to Vince McMahon, the World’s Largest Athlete has been the subject of some questionable booking during his tenure with the company.
Despite winning three of his world titles with the WWE, Show has also had the pleasure of receiving an even greater number of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards, for; Worst Feud of the Year 1999 vs. The Big Boss Man, Most Embarrassing Wrestler 2002, and Worst Wrestler for both 2001 and 2002.
Over recent years, the Big Show has also managed to carve out the rather unfortunate moniker of being Creative’s go-to guy for celebrity involvement at Wrestlemania after battling sumo wrestler Akebono at Wrestlemania XXI and boxer Floyd Mayweather three years at Wrestlemania XXIV.
Heavily fancied to once again participate in a gimmick feud this April with former NBA mega-star Shaquille O'Neill, the following slideshow will consider the top-10 celebrities the Big Show could potentially face at future Wrestlemanias before retiring.
10. The Muppets
Having guest hosted the Monday Night Raw Supershow on Halloween night last year, the Muppets are still fresh in the mind of the WWE Universe.
As a huge Muppets fan, I would love to see more of the likes of Kermit and Miss Piggy on WWE programming, especially after a particularly entertaining guest appearance last year on Raw.
The logistics of this match aside, a feud with any one of the Muppets (or even a few in a handicap match), would certainly be a lot more entertaining than his Sumo Match versus Akebono at Wrestlemania 21.
Likelihood is, though, that they won’t have another movie to plug in the foreseeable future, so don’t expect this feud to happen anytime soon.
9. Arnold Schwarznegger
On the Nov. 11 edition of Thursday night Smackdown! in 1999, Hollywood action-icon Arnold Schwarznegger graced the WWE with his presence, in promoting his new release, End of Days.
Despite the stiffest choreography you will ever see in a televised segment, Schwarznegger in the end made a pretty good account of himself, slapping the taste right out of champion Triple H's mouth.
Fast forward more12 years, and the former Governor of California now sits relatively idle, having left office in January 2011.
With a revival of his acting career rumoured to be on the cards however, what is there to say that Schwarznegger could not return to the WWE in a promotional capacity for any of his upcoming theatrical releases (a la Hugh Jackman and the Muppets in 2011).
While the 64-year-old former bodybuilder may be an unlikely candidate for an actual match, at 6'2" and 250 lbs, the Austrian could definitely be a match in terms of physicality for the World’s Largest Athlete, if he were to be involved in any sort of potential programme.
8. Richard Kiel (a.k.a "Jaws")
The 7'2" actor is possibly the tallest celebrity the Big Show could conceivably face.
After appearing in Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore and subsequent appearances on popular television, Kiel has proven a great willingness to mock, and play up to, his character as Bond Villain Jaws from 1979’s Moonraker.
Possibly the best henchman in the entire Bond franchise, Jaws' size and metallic teeth made him an unflinching and determined nemesis for 007.
At 73 years of age though, Kiel would be an extremely unlikely candidate to face Show at the Grand Daddy of Them All.
Despite the iconic image such a showdown could offer, the fact that Kiel now reportedly relies heavily on a scooter and/or wheelchair due to balance issues may be the biggest stumbling block for this feud taking place.
7. CC Sabathia
The highest paid pitcher in MLB history, Sabathia is already known for is willingness to appear outside of his chosen profession, recently appearing on Sesame Street as the guest voice of Oscar the Grouch.
As shown in the interview with Letterman, Sabathia is more than happy to discuss his issues with weight management, but could this be used as ammo for a potential feud with the World's Largest Athlete, who has appeared vulnerable on the issue since his collision with AJ Lee during a match with Daniel Bryan in January.
The Yankees star could become a free agent at the end of the current season, and this could be his opening for a run in the WWE.
Unfortunately, all signs point to the 6f'7", 290 lbs pitcher NOT enforcing the opt out clause in his current deal, so it could be a few years until we see an appearance from the big man in a non-baseball capacity.
6. LeBron James
“King James” may well be the most hated #heel in all of sport, and in another life, could easily be mistaken for a top WWE superstar.
With this year’s Wrestlemania taking place in Miami, the Heat forward would have been a prime candidate to appear in a novelty bout against the Big Show.
At an impressive 6'8" and weighing in at 250 lbs, James could play a Mayweather-esque villain in a huge match with Big Show, and I’m pretty sure the NBA star could be tempted by an equally tasty Wrestlemania paycheck.
While James may not appear this year (despite reported interest from WWE Officials), do not be surprised to see an appearance by the L-Train at a future Wrestlemania.
5. Nick Diaz
The retired fighter made a brief return to mixed martial arts over Superbowl weekend against Carlos Condit at UFC 143. After losing on a unanimous decision however, an angry and disappointed Diaz has once again announced his retirement from the sport.
With Dana White extremely low on the Diaz, and a 6-month ban from MMA looming following a failed drugs test, the WWE could be an ideal avenue for the Mexican bad-boy to pursue in his future endeavours.
With both men having solid background in boxing, Diaz vs. Show could provide an extremely entertaining feud, again allowing for the World's Largest Athlete to remain face in the process.
Equally important to the potential of Diaz jumping ship, will also be the fact that Vince McMahon would love nothing more than to draw heavily as a result of poaching the former-UFC star.
4. Zdeno Chara
At 6'9", the Boston Bruins captain is the tallest player to ever play in the NHL.
The hit on Max Pacioretty in the video is truly brutal, and once again, the acquisition of Chara as a heel could create an excellent opportunity to have Big Show feud without having to end his current face run.
The Slovakian-born defenseman could square up to the Big Show pretty convincingly; but also known for his huge hits and intimidating physicality, the 34-year-old could also match the power and strength of the World’s Largest Athlete.
Still at the top of his game, it may be a few years before we see Chara potentially appear in a WWE ring, but it certainly may be a possibility given his impressive size and stature in the world of sport.
3. Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg is probably the biggest WWE fan on this list, and has already appeared on a number of occasions on both television and at pay-per-view events.
Brodus Clay's former employer could quite easily start a programme with anyone on the roster, simply by coming back to the WWE to manage his former bodyguard (Clay's new funky gimmick would be greatly complimented by Snoop's image).
I am certain the D.O.G.G. would jump at the chance to compete in a Wrestlemania match, even if he were to be paired with his former Bodyguard Clay to take on Big Show and another superstar in a tag-team match.
With Snoop’s off the wall attitude, combined with his ability on the microphone, the build up for a feud with Big Show could lead to some extremely entertaining spots and shoot promos. Whilst not really a physical match for the Big Show, likely involvement from Clay could in turn lead to a huge push for the Funkasaurus.
2. Tim Tebow
Tebow has had an amazing second season for the Broncos, having merely started as backup and then replacing first choice QB Kyle Orton at half-time of Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers.
Tebow developed a reputation for leading the team to coming from behind this season, in addition to notable rushing and completion yardage stats, and is now known predominantly for beginning the phenomenon of "Tebowing".
Now a notable pop culture icon, the NFL Quarterback appearing at Wrestlemania could draw huge outside interest in the WWE product.
Often seen as controversial in the public eye for his stances on a number of issues, Tebow vs. Show has somewhat of a ring to it, and could quite easily happen with Vince McMahon’s record of hiring NFL stars in the past to add extra spice to the Grand Daddy of Them All.
1. Shaquille O'Neill
On the July 27, 2009 episode of Monday Night Raw, the seeds for Shaq vs. Show were initially planted, with the former-NBA star shoulder blocking the World’s Largest Athlete, following his role as ringside enforcer during a match between Unified WWE Tag Team Champions JeriShow and Cryme Tyme.
In a 2011 radio interview with Abe Kanan, the legendary Miami Heat player revealed his intentions to face the giant Big Show at this year’s Wrestlemania, in the city in which he gained so much notoriety between 2004 and 2008.
Shaq’s inclusion in this year’s event could be the biggest celebrity angle in the history of 'Mania and will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the buy-rate of the already hotly-anticipated April event.
In order for the feud to fully develop, expect a heel turn from Big Show either at, or just after the Elmination Chamber PPV next Sunday, as to allow for a face Shaq to go over clean in Miami on April 1.
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