WWE's resident giant and current World Heavyweight Champion, Big Show, won't be going away any time soon.
Big Show, even at nearly 41 years old, looks like he can perform at a high level for another four or five years. Barring major injury, we should see him swing his knockout punch on a full-time basis into 2017 and beyond.
Thus far, The World's Largest Athlete has defied the limitations of his body. Most men his size don't often have 18-year-long careers. His height and weight haven't caused the health problems men like The Great Khali and Yokozuna have endured.
In many ways, Big Show is an anomaly.
WWE hasn't seen such a durable giant in its history. He is most often compared to Andre the Giant, who noticeably slowed as he got older—He was not nearly as good a performer in the later stages of his career.
David Shoemaker (aka "The Masked Man") wrote on Deadspin that Andre's "still-failing physical state was hidden in multi-partner tag matches."
Andre, like Big Show, suffered from Acromegaly. The hormonal syndrome led to Andre's passing in 1993. The condition is responsible for Big Show’s immensity just as it was for Andre's. The difference is that Big Show stopped the progress of the condition when he was much younger.
So it won't be Acromegaly that stops him from performing; it will be Father Time.
However, that event doesn't appear to be near, as Big Show has been thriving as of late.
No Signs of Stopping
In 2012, Big Show was one of WWE's biggest workhorses.
As complied by Matt Davis of TJR Wrestling, WWE's 2012 stats reveal that Big Show wrestled in the sixth-most televised matches of any superstar.
A look at his recent performances shows that he isn't just limping along in those matches either. Big Show often comes across as a convincing and dominating force.
In this Smackdown match in March 2012, Big Show moves about smoothly and quickly for a man his size. He doesn't appear to be a man near retirement at all.
At the age of 40, he delivered several hard-hitting matches against Sheamus. These weren't five-move mini-matches—their brutal battle at Hell in a Cell 2012 lasted over 20 minutes.
Eventually Big Show's workload will have to be lessened. Eventually his body will turn into a creaky old house. Right now, though, he looks to be far from those inevitable fates.
No Debilitating Injures
The WWE life can slowly devour a man's body. Curt Hennig's back, Steve Austin's knees and Edge's neck all shortened their respective careers.
Big Show has been lucky that, for the most part, he's managed to avoid major injury.
For a career as long as Big Show's, the brevity of his injury history is astonishing.
In 2006, he took time off to heal herniated discs and other nagging injuries. WrestlingNewsSource.com reported in 2011 that Big Show was injured in a confrontation with Ezekiel Jackson and The Corre. He suffered a minor back injury in January 2012.
The sharp edges of the ring steps sliced a gash above Big Show's eye in 2008.
His is certainly a longer list of injuries than the average man, but Big Show's medical record doesn't look anything like Mick Foley's, who seemingly has had every portion of body subjected to a surgeon's knife.
It's that fact that may lead him to outlasting the younger Rey Mysterio, who has spent a significant percentage of this current decade in recovery.
Perhaps Big Show has yet to endure severe neck issues because his neck is the size of a fire hydrant. His body is built for causing injuries, not suffering them.
Even if it is harder to break his large frame, it has to eventually wear down from the abuse that comes with being a WWE superstar.
The Undertaker, now 47 and riddled with injuries, can only muster up enough to perform at WrestleManias. Eventually Big Show's path may parallel Undertaker's.
A wrestler's mid-to-late 40s is usually as late as one can drag their prime into. Everything after that is twilight and darker.
That gives Big Show quite a large window should his body hold up.
There is a WWE life beyond that, though. Undertaker has stretched out his career by dramatically shrinking down his schedule. Wrestlers much older than him have continued to hang on, appearing on a part-time or sporadic basis.
Long after Big Show is effective in the ring, he will have the opportunity to be part of WWE until his body completely fails or he decides to walk away for good.
In an interview with Peter Rosenberg, Big Show joked about winning a Hall of Fame Battle Royal at 80 years old. About his final match he said, "It will be years down the road."
The World Heavyweight Champion looks primed to fight on for a number of years to come. His massive frame has held up well and it's clear from where WWE has him positioned that they believe he is still a top-level talent.
Fans can expect to see another half-decade of the giant chopping chests and chokeslamming whoever gets in his way.
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