Since the inception of Monday Night Raw, the WWE has treated its super heavyweights as bigger versions of their heavyweight colleagues.
The commentating team will inevitably remark on the strength advantage of the bigger man, and sometimes there will be a mention of the super heavyweight gassing due to their size, but that has been the extent of the difference between these giants and everyone else.
Excitingly, this has slowly started to change. Super heavyweights like Sheamus, Big Show and Kane are kicking out of smaller wrestlers' finishers on a far more regular basis. These big men may even start to kick out of each other’s finishers, if Hell in a Cell is any measurement of accuracy.
It is this ability to take amazing amounts of punishment that makes these men different. They have bigger frames and thicker bones that simply take more effort to wear down than a normal man’s. Consistently representing this on television distinguishes the big guys from the more traditionally sized wrestlers.
An additional, and more importantly negative, attribute has also started to creep in to the super heavyweight’s matches. This is the use of fatigue as a giant’s achilles heel. Both Sheamus and Big Show have been on long winning runs, but they both have also had to get themselves out of trouble by using their finisher in desperate circumstances.
The effect has been more pronounced on other big wrestlers—like Wade Barrett and Kane—who have not been chasing a title. The change in Barrett’s style has been especially enlightening, as his use of a methodical pace to preserve energy makes a really interesting change from his previous style.
Fans can postulate that Barrett could win quicker if he worked with more urgency, but this would open him up to tiredness—a common cause of silly mistakes. This different tactic creates far more depth to the big man’s style than simply trying to wear his opponent down.
Old-school fans will say that this has already been the case for many years, but the important transition from implied to actual consequences adds real depth to one of the WWE’s most important groups.
If the WWE instigate the next logical step and give these giants the additional weakness of being bettered by mat wrestlers, who can keep them floored and so negate their size and strength advantage, then these super heavyweights will become fully rounded members of the WWE roster.
Giving the giants unique attributes will really add another dimension to the WWE’s cast of characters. This added complexity to the way super heavyweights work might even make the WWE more intriguing.