Big Show and Daniel Bryan: Of Faith, War and Betrayal
"should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, " — , Beyond Good and Evil
For months, Big Show has battled the monstrous Mark Henry over the World Heavyweight Title. While the matches haven't exactly been classic, they have been exactly what they should be: Contests of brute strength and little finesse.
As Superman proved with the villainous Doomsday, sometimes the only way to win is with brute force.
The two living embodiments of the term "behemoth" collided twice without resolution. The first resulted in the destruction of the square battlefield as it simply gave way. The second resulted in a violation of the rules of battle that ended the match with Henry retaining the coveted prize.
At WWE TLC 2011, to resolve the issue of rule violations, the two men simply did away with them. A plethora of folding steel weapons were put at their disposal. As the contest began, Big Show discarded any pretense and threw as many of the weapons into the battlefield as he could.
In a quick and barbarous contest, Big Show finally defeated Henry after his W.M.D. to Henry's temple. Henry was rightfully angry. The World's Strongest Man took his revenge on Big Show and nailed a nasty DDT onto a pile of those steel weapons. In the end, not only was Big Show victorious, but also vulnerable.
The Opportunistic One
"A man who misses his opportunity, and monkey who misses his branch, cannot be saved." — Hindu Proverb
During his war to vanquish Henry, Big Show took a "big brother" liking to a man who held what can only be described as a golden opportunity. Daniel Bryan possessed the right to challenge any champion, at any time he saw fit.
Big Show grew a kinship with the man known as the American Dragon. The bonds of friendship are ever a fickle thing to predict, but Show protected Bryan on numerous occasions from the wrath of other men including Henry.
Big Show understood one thing as well. The call of greatness, the possession of a World title was all that mattered. Bryan wanted to cash in his opportunity at the biggest stage of them all, the "Showcase of the Immortals." Technically, this was his right, though it wasn't executed in such a matter.
Whether the culmination of a dream or simple hubris, Bryan was simply unwavering in this idea. But Big Show saw another way. He prodded Bryan to try and cash in his contract when the monster Mark Henry was vulnerable. Although unsuccessful in two attempts, Bryan tasted the gold and immediately understood Big Show's point of view.
Bryan then made it known that holding the World Heavyweight Title superseded his desire to be in the main event at WrestleMania, the so called "Showcase of the Immortals," and altered his priorities accordingly. He was unabashed in this proclamation and issued it as a general warning.
What Big Show never took into account was that he could become a target for Bryan's ambition.
While Big Show lay in the ring at TLC, Bryan's music hit the arena and the opportunistic one charged to the ring with a referee in tow. The result was Bryan becoming the the World Heavyweight Champion and Big Show being humiliated and betrayed by the one he helped mold.
The Mountain of Despair
"Each betrayal begins with trust." — Phish, Farmhouse
On Raw, CM Punk worked his hardest as the "Voice of the Voiceless" to put over the new face of SmackDown while Big Show lay seething in his fury and sadness. Josh Mathews caught up to the Big Show before Bryan was to take to the battlefield again to legitimize his reign.
During an interview, Big Show was visibly choked up over his title loss. For nine years, he had been without the gold. He tasted it for 45 seconds and it was taken away again in even less time. When the point was brought up, Big Show struggled to contain his emotions and walked off camera.
After a wild battle, Daniel Bryan forced Alberto Del Rio to tap out to his LeBell Lock submission maneuver and all was right with the world. Bryan was victorious over a man who was the WWE Champion one month ago and celebrated as he should have. He accomplished an ambition few men will ever know.
Looming like a foreboding mountain that must be overcome, Big Show came to a pointed understanding of Mark Henry's pain. The Big Show promised to take away the World Heavyweight Title from Henry as it legitimized everything about Henry's existence.
For 15 years, Mark Henry sought the title of World Heavyweight Champion. Through all the pain and tears of injuries and bad gimmicks, he finally achieved that goal only after succumbing to the monster within.
The World's Strongest Man tore through all who opposed him. For months, Henry was the epitome of a juggernaut. He couldn't be reasoned with or coerced. He was simply a force of nature
Henry's reign of terror ended at TLC thanks to the efforts of the indomitable Big Show and uncanny timing. Big Show achieved a title that had eluded him for almost a decade. He was the World Heavyweight Champion. The title would legitimize him as a legend.
However, in a scant three seconds, that was taken away from him by a man with ambition that he helped create. For months, Big Show fought against the monster. To regain what was is his, Big Show seems to be realizing one single fact.
The desire to be great is born in the light of the human spirit, but the tools needed to stay that way are born of the darkest recesses of our hearts. You have to be willing to compromise to hold that status.
In the end, it comes down to one simple question. What price is he willing to pay for overcome a the betrayal of the American Dragon?
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