WWE fans are an odd lot, if you think about it. As fans, we watch anywhere between two and 10 hours of programming each week (depending on your dedication) and probably spend just as much time debating how each and every one of us would improve the product if we had our way.
Yet, we rarely take the time to admit we were wrong when certain ideas we suggest actually take place and end up creating a worse product. In this case, I am talking about "The World's Largest Athlete," The Big Show.
I, like many others, was sick and tired of the happy-go-lucky giant face that plagued our TV screens for the past few years. Since his 2010 face turn, Big Show's notable achievements have been as follows:
First, he continually made World champion Jack Swagger look weak but didn't take the championship off of him—making the champion and belt both look worthless. Later, he completely buried all three members of the Straight Edge Society in a handicap match. After that, he failed to let The Corre faction look dominant at any point unless fighting all members at once.
This was followed by a series of tiresome matches against Mark Henry, immediately followed by failing to help legitimize Daniel Bryan as World champion. Finally, he disrupted Cody Rhodes' great momentum by interrupting his Intercontinental Championship reign.
For almost two years, Big Show has been a nightmare for up-and-coming heels to work with. Constantly remaining dominant over champions whilst not really taking anything worthwhile from his victories. Short title reigns and squash matches have taken their toll on the prestige of the titles he has competed for and the legitimacy of the men he has faced.
It makes sense with a track record like this that the majority would want Big Show to turn heel.
After all, one of the most logical reasons as to why Big Show was so unstoppable for the past couple of years was that he was a leading face within the company at a time when they were portrayed as near invincible superheroes.
Much to the chagrin of the audience, upon turning heel, Big Show has been put into yet another main-event spot, as he will face off against John Cena at this Sunday's PPV. To look like a legitimate threat, he needs to be portrayed as an unstoppable villain. As proven at the expense of Brodus Clay, the WWE tag team champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, Zack Ryder and the United States champion Santino Marella.
Despite the change, he is still a hindrance to up-and-coming talent and the belts of any champion he comes into confrontation with.
But thinking back to before the 2010 face turn, Big Show's time as a heel was one of the most boring and uneventful runs in recent memory. After a pointless mini-feud for the ECW Championship, he was placed in an overly long feud with The Undertaker. It was during this time he debuted the Knockout Punch.
The ridiculousness of the move was proved when he used it to defeat Taker by KO at No Mercy 2008. Undertaker, a man who in WWE storylines has managed to survive countless beatdowns (and possible attempted murder at the hands of his brother) was defeated by a punch.
Shortly after, he began a feud with John Cena, which ran for a couple of PPVs in 2009. Many critics (including myself) declared the matches among the most boring of the year.
The problem was that heel Big Show uses a lot of moves that don't let the momentum of the match pick up. He'll stand on them, smother them, set them up for chops in the corner. Moves that slow the match down, all in the name of making him look dominant and nasty.
But not all of Show's last heel run was pointless. From late-2009 to mid-2010, he found a good niche as an enforcer-style tag team partner. Whether tagging with Chris Jericho (as Jeri-Show) or The Miz (as ShowMiz), The Big Show was tolerable.
He was rarely competing in singles competition and was limited in how much he could ruin the momentum of a match. In essence, when he was used in a limited capacity, he was bearable.
Having worked for the WWE since 1999, he could easily land a more prominent backstage role. While his size might make him an awkward trainer, he could be used in public relations matters. After all, Paul Wight seems very much like a nice guy who anyone could get along with. His recently ended face run was basically Big Show playing his real-life self.
He could still be rolled out for the occasional match at milestone events (e.g. anniversary shows), but WWE maybe needs to start thinking that he has nothing left to offer as a full-time competitor.
Before I wrap up this article, I feel I should address some points as to why I know this won't happen soon.
WWE has a severe lack of main event-level heels active within the company. With Brock Lesnar on limited appearances and Lord Tensai proving to be a bust, Show is having to try to fill a void WWE has created with bad decisions.
Also, Big Show's aura of invincibility may only last for his rivalry with John Cena. After he is done with the leader of the Cenation, he could revert to role similar to the one he played around 2002 to 2005. It was during these years that he was portrayed as a powerful force to be reckoned with but not unstoppable.
This meant that while he could be used in main events, he could also put over rising midcard talent by allowing the audience to see how clever and resourceful his victorious opponents could be.
The best example would be his series of matches against Chris Benoit in the early days of the draft. In some matches, he would overpower him and win, but in others, Benoit managed to use great cunning to bring the giant down.
So for now, I feel Big Show's run as a full-time competitor should wind down to a close. However, if certain changes are made as to how his character and in-ring work is portrayed, I could be willing to change my stance.
You can now follow me on Twitter: @AlBleacher
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