A team of referees helped a wounded Big Show to his feet, lifting the titan from the fallen steel cage wall on which he knelt.
The World's Largest Athlete hobbled up the entrance ramp, his massive arms curled around two officials in striped shirts. As the titan exited, taking pained step after pained step, the Omaha, Nebraska, crowd roared in appreciation.
For a leave-everything-out-there performance against Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage match on Monday's WWE Raw. For a career that stretches back to the Attitude Era.
The dramatic exit, the changing-of-the-guard moment, the lack of abandon in the giant's approach that night. It all suggested a farewell for the Big Show.
Wrestling announcer Brad Stutts is among those who felt that way after Monday:
Big Show began his WWE tenure by hurling Steve Austin through a cage. Ending it by being on the other end of that unenviable trip would be poetic, the big man coming full-circle in the climax of his career.
No one would be surprised if Big Show walked away at this point.
He's put his body through plenty of hell already. The 45-year-old behemoth debuted in WWE in 1999. He began wrestling for WCW in 1995, when Strowman was just a 12-year-old kid.
The World's Largest Athlete has now wrestled over 2,500 matches, per CageMatch.net.
And what does he have left to accomplish? What boxes does he have left to tick?
The list of the championship titles he has won is as long as a country road—WWE Championship, Intercontinental Championship, Hardcore Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, United States Championship, World Tag Team Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship, WCW World Championship, ECW World Championship.
He has been the headline act at WrestleMania. He has battled everyone from John Cena to The Rock. He is a slam-dunk Hall of Famer.
Leading up to WrestleMania 33, Big Show got as trim as we've ever seen him, clearly toiling in the gym to be in the best shape of his career. Word of a WrestleMania showdown with Shaquille O'Neal swirled. It seemed clear Big Show was gearing up for one last hurrah, a giant-on-giant collision against Shaq.
That fell through and never came to pass, and The World's Largest Athlete instead competed at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, where he furthered a rivalry with the rising star and force of nature Strowman.
That rivalry concluded on Monday night with The Monster Among Men overcoming Big Show.
That's not as big of a swan song as one with Shaq would have been, but it is still a powerful one. Big Show seemed to pass the torch to a new giant, a man set to play a similar dominant role in the WWE jungle as he did.
Before WrestleMania, Big Show made it clear his run was coming to a close. "My career is winding down," Big Show told Dave Schilling for B/R Mag. "There are other monsters that are coming in—and my time is done."
And Big Show has been huge in advancing the careers of those monsters. As WWE on ESPN noted, Big Show is due credit for his part in paving the way for a new generation of giants:
When Strowman needed a mighty foe to oppose and elevate him, WWE called on Big Show. The Monster Among Men had some of the best matches of his young career clashing with his fellow colossus.
The two met in what shockingly became a technical wrestling display in February. In April, their battle left the wrestling ring in ruin beneath them.
Big Cass split from his friend and tag team partner Enzo Amore and needed a massive challenge to kick off his solo run. And in stomped Big Show.
The two big men met at SummerSlam this August where the younger lion outlasted the old alpha male. Big Cass bolstered his resume that night by taking down Big Show just as Strowman did before him.
In the past few years, Big Show was pivotal to Roman Reigns' rise as a solo act. He helped make Brock Lesnar like an even more incredible predator. He put over Ryback and Rusev, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens.
It's time for that generation of grapplers to take over. Big Show, meanwhile, can slide into a normal life and step out of the spotlight until he slips on an enormous tux and takes his place in the WWE Hall of Fame.