Big Show's time chasing world championships and headlining events is done, but the WWE tag team division offers him a more viable option than lumbering into the sunset.
"The World's Largest Athlete" still possesses enough star power to make him a valuable member of the roster, but he's too worn down at this point to take on a lead role. The tag division offers him the chance to split his in-ring duties while he boosts its profile.
He's no stranger to being part of a tag team.
Big Show has been tag team champion eight times for WWE and three times for WCW. Whether or not he adds to that collection of gold, the big man would be better off competing in the tag division than floundering elsewhere.
Big Show has been wrestling since 1995.
He was certainly no speedster back then, but the wear on body in the years since means that he struggles to keep up an entertaining pace in his matches. It's his opponent who is most often the star.
Take his SmackDown match against Bray Wyatt for example. Wyatt provided the bulk of the offense, charging around the ring while Big Show served as the axis around which he spun.
Big Show's last standout singles matches came against Sheamus when those two were battling over the World Heavyweight Championship in 2012. Since then, he's done little to grab our attention, regardless of where WWE places him on the card.
He appears on WWE.com's list of the best matches of 2013 exactly zero times.
Against Randy Orton at Survivor Series 2013 for the WWE title, he underwhelmed. Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net called the main event match "as forgettable as most people expected it to be when it was announced." Blame the anticlimactic victory-by-distraction ending for some of that, but much of the finger-pointing has to be aimed at Big Show.
He's just not able to sustain our attention in a longer, high-profile match any more.
He had compellingly brutal battles against Brock Lesnar in 2003. This year, WWE didn't let him have a real match against "The Beast Incarnate." Instead, Lesnar throttled him with chair shots in a beatdown/match combo.
The company has booked him shorter matches of late and asked him to play the victim. He was the man Cesaro last eliminated to win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal as well as Kane's latest victim since slipping his mask back on.
While Big Show may not be able to deliver as a headliner anymore, he has far more value than just playing the guy other wrestlers use to gain momentum.
The Andre the Giant Route
The Andre who wrestled in the '70s and the Andre who competed in the late '80s seem like two different men. His body didn't hold up well. His lost athleticism hampered his performances greatly.
The gap between the Big Show of the present and the giant still battling today isn't as great, but WWE would be wise to have him mirror the man he is most often compared to by sending him into the tag team fray.
Andre spent many of the last years of his career as a tag team wrestler. He joined Haku to form The Colossal Connection in 1989. Haku, just 30 years old at the time, did most of the heavy lifting during their matches.
Andre's star power made the duo highly relevant. The younger, quicker and more agile Haku made their matches more exciting.
This is the best way to utilize Big Show today.
The big man has shown that he can thrive as a tag team specialist. With Chris Jericho in 2009, he was half of a dominant, obnoxious and, most importantly, interesting team.
Big Show is still a spectacle and still a star. Putting him back in the tag team division adds name power to a division that just lost Cesaro and Jack Swagger and appears to be losing Cody Rhodes and Goldust soon, as the brothers showed signs of tension on the April 21 Raw.
Adding a five-time world champ to a division that now has to lean on Los Matadores, RybAxel and 3MB improves its prestige.
The Usos would benefit from surviving against Big Show and his partner much the way the Rhodes boys did last last year against Big Show and Rey Mysterio. His team added to the mix would give WWE several more booking options.
Depending who gets the call to be his teammate, moving him to the tag division could also help boost an emerging star.
Continuing the tradition of "thunder and lighting" teams, WWE could pair Big Show with Xavier Woods.
Woods has done little since joining the main roster. His partnership with R-Truth made sense because of their history together, but they have not come off as a formidable duo.
Alongside Big Show, Woods would suddenly be a contender for the tag titles.
He gets the boost of being alongside a marquee name while getting a large percentage of their matches to impress in the ring. WWE can also sell the story of Big Show being a mentor to him, sharing his experiences of capturing tag team gold in the past.
Another potential athletic partner is Darren Young.
After The Prime Time Players split, WWE has seemed unsure of how to sell Young. He was best as a sidekick, but outside of that role he hasn't made an impression.
Big Show and Young wouldn't be as fun as that group, but "Mr. No Days Off" would instantly be more relevant than he is today. For Big Show, he'd be able to ward off injury by having a younger ally take much of the pounding that being a Superstar requires.
The Young and Show duo would have to wait, though. Young is sidelined with an ACL tear for up to six months, per WWE.com.
However, Evan Bourne, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd sit on the bench now, ready for an opportunity.
Any of those men could prolong Big Show's career as Haku did for Andre. Big Show, meanwhile would elevate those stars simply by choosing them to go into battle with him.
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