I like Big Show. I think he's really come into his own in the last few years and had one of WWE's best matches last year with his World Heavyweight Championship win over Sheamus. He's an effective actor/talker, too, to the point that last year's angle in which he begged John Laurinaitis for his job showed huge audience growth in the Nielsen ratings.
If he got on a roll, he could be much more of a difference-maker in WWE, except for one pesky little problem:
They're always turning him at the first opportunity.
The exact number depends on exactly what you count as a turn (since he never quite stopped being a heel during his feud with The Shield this year), but it's at least 17 and realistically 19 turns since he started in WWE in 1999. He turned five times in his first year in the company, with a sixth coming right after the anniversary because he was funny when The Rock hosted Saturday Night Live.
Seriously—that's what happened both onscreen (he turned by deciding he wanted to be funny) and off (people realized he could be funny).
This year, he started off as a heel but switched to being a de facto babyface when he feuded with heels The Shield. He went back to a heel when he didn't get the hot tag at WrestleMania, turned face with no explanation a few months later when he came back from an injury and is now (reluctantly) a heel again.
How is he supposed to build up any momentum?
The sad thing is, regardless of legitimate criticisms of Big Show's multiple personality disorder and the haphazard storyline in general, he's been turning in some great performances. The Laurinaitis angle worked so well last year because he was able to get so much sympathy as a gigantic celebrity millionaire, and while the booking is holding him back this time, he's done a fine job echoing that performance.
Part of the problem is WWE's habit of booking stars as babyfaces whenever they return from injuries. I didn't mind Big Show's semi-turns in WrestleMania season, because they were well done and didn't require his character to do a 180. Then he got hurt, and when he came back a few weeks ago, he was suddenly a babyface because he was a star coming back from an injury—and because it was a good setup for his current storyline, I guess.
It's all the same issue, though: Why am I supposed to believe Show is Daniel Bryan's friend, someone who doesn't want to hurt him? Bryan has been a babyface for a year, Show was a heel most of the year, and they're pro wrestlers who have feuded before, anyway!
Why should any of this matter if he's constant switching sides? Why does anyone trust him? And why are we supposed to be so sympathetic to a guy who apparently blew all of his money in terrible investments in the last year?
When Big Show had to beg John Laurinaitis for his job last year, it had nothing to do with needing the money. It all had to do with his love of performing for the WWE Universe. As WWE.com put it when recapping the angle, "With tears streaming down his face, Big Show passionately explained to Laurinaitis why performing in WWE means so much to him and expressed what he loves most about being a WWE Superstar."
So did he blow all of his money in the last year? I'm supposed to be sympathetic to someone who invested in real estate in this economy? That's so dumb that it makes him an even bigger heel to me.
The obvious direction of the angle is Show fighting back against The Man and somehow embracing his freedom. Well, at least I hope so: If he goes full heel, it's the exact same angle as his heel turn last year. I'm not sure Big Show could get over something that ridiculous, especially so late in his career.
If he goes back to being a full-on babyface, does anyone want to take bets on when he turns heel again?