Since 1995, Paul Wight has been a widely known name in the world of professional wrestling. Whether he was known as The Giant or The Big Show, Wight has been a big part of major pro wrestling for 15 years.
Even though he is not in the shape he was in then, Big Show was as athletic as a guy that was 7 feet tall and close to 500 pounds ever could be.
His early years saw him as an agile giant, while his middle years saw him as a very ground-and-pound star. Now, a slimmer Show, who has taken better care of himself, is kind of in between.
This current heel run for Big Show is well-justified. His emotions following SummerSlam and how he cannot get a singles title match are pretty accurate. Big Show has only managed six world titles in his career, but two were from WCW, another lasted just 45 seconds, while another was from WWE's version of ECW.
In his career, between WCW and WWE, Big Show has collected 22 championships and many other accolades along the way. As The Giant, Wight was a juggernaut before the time of Goldberg. In 1995, The Giant came into WCW in his early 20s and won the WCW Championship in his debut match at Halloween Havoc 1995.
It was later taken from him due to a controversial finish, but he would regain it in April 1996 by defeating Ric Flair on a Nitro episode.
That year would be the year of The Giant. In a year where Wight turned just 24 years old, he held the WCW title, won WCW's World War 3 match, won the King of Cable tournament, and was named Rookie of the Year according to both Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The two organizations have not had matching Rookie of the Year recipients since, except for two years later, when Goldberg would get both awards. Wight would also be named Wrestler of the Year in 1996 by PWI and debut at No. 2 in their PWI 500 rankings.
Things fizzled from there for The Giant in WCW. He would join the New World Order, only to be thrown out later. He would also be a three-time tag team champion with three different partners. Ultimately, his contract would run out on his 27th birthday in 1999.
The following day, Feb. 9, 1999, Wight signed a 10-year contract with WWE. Initially billed with Big Nasty as a nickname before it became The Big Show, Wight would debut in the main event of St. Valentine's Day Massacre as a hired gun to help Mr. McMahon. His help would actually give Austin an escape victory in a cage match.
Big Show would leave The Corporation to join the faction known as The Union, a fan favorite group in the Attitude Era, before feuding with The Corporate Ministry.
Big Show was after The Undertaker and, in his first chance at becoming WWE Champion against The Deadman, reversed a chokeslam attempt and threw the champion through the canvas, ending the match in a no-contest. The two would later form a tag team, known as The Unholy Alliance, which won the tag team titles.
After losing The Undertaker to injury, Big Show would be back on the world title hunt. Big Show entered an unusual storyline with Big Boss Man, where Big Show was being hassled for his terminally-ill and eventually deceased father.
His actual father had been dead for years, but the infamous moment of this feud was when a grieving Big Show hopped onto his father's casket at the funeral while it was being dragged away by Big Boss Man, who had chained it to the hearse. This led to Survivor Series 1999, the biggest night of Big Show's WWE career.
That night, Big Show won a 4-on-1 handicap match against Big Boss Man, Viscera, Prince Albert and Mideon. After Stone Cold Steve Austin was injured and could not compete in the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship, Big Show stepped into the main event and defeated The Rock and Triple H to become WWE Champion.
He is the only WWE Champion to have his reign begin and end in two different millennia. Just three days into 2000, Triple H would win the title from Big Show.
In the 2000 Royal Rumble, Big Show would be the last man eliminated and would get the same thing done to him four years later, making him the first of three men (Triple H and John Cena) to be the runner-up in a Royal Rumble match twice. Unlike those two, Big Show has never won one.
He would use his runner-up status, along with a controversial video replay, to get himself into a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 2000. Big Show, as he often is, was eliminated first by being teamed up on by the other participants.
Following WrestleMania 2000, Big Show assumed a role he would have for a lot of the remainder of his career: a comedic character who helped get other superstars over. In late 2000, however, was his first major setback. Big Show was sent down to developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling to improve his cardiovascular health and lose some weight.
The year 2001 was a rough one for Big Show with little success, unless a Hardcore Championship and being the first man eliminated in the Winner Take All match at Survivor Series between WWE and The Alliance sounds good to you.
The following year started with a forgettable nWo reunion, but Big Show would really turn things around later in the year, going to Smackdown and feuding with perhaps his greatest opponent: Brock Lesnar. Lesnar would lose his title to Big Show at Survivor Series 2002, but Big Show would only hold it until Kurt Angle won it a month later.
Big Show would get suplexed into a ring that broke and claim to be the one to end Hulk Hogan's career, which would be his highlights until WrestleMania XX, when Show, as United States Champion, would lose to John Cena. It would be Cena's first title in WWE and Show's first experience of taking an Attitude Adjustment.
Big Show got written off shortly afterwards until mid-2004, when he returned and got put into some odd angles, including Kurt Angle using a dart gun to tranquilize the big man and shave his head. He would destroy JBL in a Barbed Wire Steel Cage match, but chokeslammed him through the ring, allowing the champion to crawl out from underneath the ring to retain the WWE Championship. His reward for WrestleMania 21: a sumo match with Sumo Grand Champion Akebono.
Following that forgettable return, Big Show started one of the best things he would be at for the rest of his career: teaming with other superstars to form great tag teams. The first one was Kane, who had a very dominant 153-day reign together before Kane snapped and Big Show went to ECW.
On ECW, Big Show would become the first non-ECW Original to hold the ECW Championship and the first man to ever be WCW, WWE and ECW Champion in his career. His 152 days as champion made for the second-longest reign in WWE's era with the title behind Christian's second reign.
Big Show would take some time off to heal and try to start a fighting career. Big Show would return to WWE in 2008 after losing more than 100 pounds and ultimately would pick a fight with prized boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and lose to him at WrestleMania XXIV. Even with a new knockout punch finisher, Big Show barely made a dent that year, but made it into a triple threat world title match at WrestleMania XXV, only to lose.
Big Show would be used more as a prop than anything from there, like when he was the guy who threw Cena into a spotlight to cost him his match with Edge at Backlash. There was no real direction for Big Show until he replaced Edge as Chris Jericho's partner as one-half of the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions.
Jeri-Show was born, but would eventually falter. Big Show would rebound with The Miz as ShoMiz would win the same unified tag titles, only to split themselves.
Big Show would be back to making the youngsters look good, feuding with Jack Swagger during his World Heavyweight Championship reign, as well as getting over The Straight Edge Society and The Corre as factions. Big Show has brought the Brodus Clay character down to size a bit when he collided with him and has been the big and dominant heel that WWE simply does not have right now.
Alberto Del Rio is only coming into his own now and other big-time heels are cheered by certain fans. Few people actually like Big Show and the allure of seeing a giant fall at the feet of a hero never gets old. That's you, John Cena. Cena's career was given a stamp of importance at WrestleMania XX when he AA'd Big Show in Madison Square Garden for Cena's first title.
Nowadays, it is Big Show trying to stop John Cena from his next world title run. As other young stars begin to be a face and climb up the ladder, Big Show is a measuring stick for if they can make it. Have a good match with Big Show and you can have a good match with anyone.
There are no more titles in Big Show's future. He has done all that he can possibly do in WWE. The Hall of Fame career writes itself. All that is left is for the big, bad Big Show is to issue in the next generation.
That was something Big Show did not have the luxury of when he joined WCW all these years ago. It was up to him to become a big deal from the very beginning. Big Show has the great ability to leave WWE in a better state than it was when he came. That's a chance Big Show simply will not pass up.
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