In less than four weeks, it’ll be Sheamus vs. The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell.
Wow. Even just typing that sentence was boring.
Before I get criticized for not even really giving this feud a chance, let me start by saying that—even though I’m already bored by it and don’t see that ever changing—I get why the WWE is doing it.
Big Show is seen as a reliable veteran, and without a ton of obvious feuds lined up for Sheamus, it at least makes some sense for the two to feud during the fall, which is traditionally a down time for the WWE anyway.
There’s also the possibility that the only reason Big Show is in this match is because a post-match WMD will lead to Dolph Ziggler cashing on Sheamus to kick off a rivalry between those two.
But that doesn’t change the fact that giving us Big Show vs. Sheamus at Hell in a Cell is, quite simply, the wrong move.
In fact, I’d call it a slap in the face to wrestling fans who actually remember history and will not simply forget about Big Show’s recent history of being—as Cody Rhodes used to call him—“The World’s Biggest Loser.”
While Big Show is a big name in the wrestling world and has been around for a while, he’s also been booked so badly throughout most of his career that, despite his massive stature, we can’t take him seriously as either a No. 1 contender or a World champion.
Whether he’s a pissed-off heel or a happy-go-lucky babyface, Big Show is still at heart nothing more than a loser because that’s how the creative team has portrayed him for the last decade.
The WWE can change his gimmick, restart his push or give him time off and then bring him back all it wants, but wrestling fans have the memory of an elephant. We never forget.
We haven’t forgotten that Big Show has lost just about every one of his major matches in 2012, including Triple Threat matches for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, and the WWE Championship less than two months ago at SummerSlam, just to name a couple.
After all the losing that Big Show has done over the years, it’s borderline absurd for the WWE to expect us to emotionally invest ourselves into anything he does, much less care about seeing him in a World title feud that we know he’s not going to win and is probably just a placeholder rivalry to get to something bigger for Sheamus down the line.
That’s precisely why Big Show shouldn’t be the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship…and why Wade Barrett should be.
While Big Show has gotten plenty of opportunities in the main-event picture over the last year or so (remember his seemingly never-ending feud with Mark Henry?), Wade Barrett has been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride that took a drastic turn when he was injured on the road to WrestleMania earlier this year.
Although unfortunate, the injury actually somewhat seemed like a blessing in disguise. My hope was that Barrett would go away for a while (which he did) and then return with a big push that would take his career to the next level.
In a way, that second part has come true. Barrett has received a sizeable push since his return, squashing a number of babyfaces (Zack Ryder and Tyson Kidd, on both Raw and SmackDown).
Yet, the WWE has done little to separate Barrett from the other heels (like Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro) who debuted earlier this year and did pretty much the exact same thing each and every week: beat up lower-card babyfaces.
Though Barrett is someone who has proven to be capable of working in the main event, the WWE has still yet to utilize him in a storyline or feud since his return, instead relegating him to those short squashes.
What a tremendous waste that is.
Rather than having an up-and-coming talent like Barrett give us a fresh feud with Sheamus (they only briefly feuded once), we are being forced to sit through yet another “main event” rivalry featuring Big Show. Even though I respect the big guy for everything he’s done for the business, his time has passed.
Who should challenge Sheamus for the World Heavyweight title at Hell in a Cell?
We need to move on to something better, something different. That something—or should I say someone—is Wade Barrett.
He’s evolved into one of the WWE’s most well-rounded stars over the last couple of years, and perhaps most importantly, it’s been a while since he’s had a legitimate opportunity to compete in a main-event-caliber angle or challenge for a World title.
That’s incredibly unfortunate because there aren’t very many stars on the main roster who thrive more than Barrett does in major storylines. He has a natural presence about him that commands attention. When he speaks, people listen.
Perhaps he should speak to the WWE brass and tell them that Big Show’s time as a main-eventer has come and gone, a result of the company’s awful booking of the giant for most of his career. But that’s OK because the Barrett Barrage is here, and should the WWE decide to stop having him squash midcarders, he can feud with Sheamus like he deserves to.
Barrett’s talented, hungry and patient. He should be the man who steps inside Hell in a Cell with Sheamus later this month.
At the very least, Big Show shouldn’t be.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!