Big Show: ‘Thankful That I Fit In’

WWE superstar Big Show has been a heel – or bad guy – in wrestling for a long time, and bad guys typically cheat. That’s just the nature of professional wrestling.

Or is it?

“From a bad guy’s perspective, it’s not cheating; it’s improvising to win,” Big Show joked said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney.

All kidding aside, Big Show, 43, is one of the most accomplished professional wrestlers in the business. He made his debut in 1995 and has been a staple of the sport for almost two decades.

Brandon Tierney, a diehard wrestling fan, feels Big Show – who is listed as 7-0, 450 pounds – is a cross between King Kong Bundy and Bam Bam Bigelow.

“Both those guys are really great guys,” Big Show said. “Chris (Bundy) and Bam Bam both were very cool to me when I started out. Very helpful in giving advice. Those guys were really kind of breakouts for their size, too. Bam Bam was a phenomenal athlete and a phenomenal character for what he needed to do in our industry, and there was pretty much not anything athletically that Bam Bam couldn’t do. Same thing with King Kong Bundy. He was a very big, very agile, aggressive guy.”

Big Show, whose real name is Paul Wight, has also been compared to Andre the Giant, among other larger-than-life superstars.

“It’s been tough for me wrestling-wise to find out what is my mold? What can I do?” Big Show said. “ Athletically, I could do a lot of things, but there’s a lot of things that a guy like me shouldn’t do. So it’s funny. (Over) the years, the business has evolved and I’ve been able to compete with all the guys from the older generations . . . to now this newer generation coming through. It’s been a unique ride, for sure. I’m very thankful that I fit in.”

Big Show said he has also loved working for Vince McMahon, in part because McMahon genuinely cares about the fan experience.

“This is not a sales pitch,” he said, “but it’s one of the great things about working for WWE and working for somebody like Vince. Vince always gets mad that we put him over, but a company – it starts from the leadership down . . . on how the tone is set. Vince is very adamant and very serious about giving back to communities and putting smiles on people’s faces.”

Not just at wrestling events, either. Big Show, McMahon, and a handful of other WWE personalities have traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan around Christmas every year since 2003.

“We jet over, and we make sure we visit the troops and thank them and appreciate them for what they’re doing,” Big Show said. “It gives you more of a rounded sense of who you are. Because yes, you’re successful. Yes, you’ve attained some notoriety. But you’re taking that notoriety and that fame and putting a positive light in something that’s deserving and needs attention, something that needs awareness. And when you get a chance to do that, it humbles you and rounds you out as a better person. I think it makes you a better athlete, it makes you a better father, it makes you just a better person to be around because you’re aware of, Okay, I’m not just this entity. I’m not just this Big Show. I’m this guy that is involved with giving back and refilling my spirit, so to speak.

“I mean, it’s chicken soup for the soul when you get to give back. Then you’re able to really enjoy the success that you’ve had because you’re taking that success and sharing it with others. You bring everybody up. That’s the way it needs to be, man. A lot of people in this world just think about themselves and don’t think about giving back. But the people that really make it are people that want to bring everybody up and give back. That’s just my opinion.”

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