Ah yes, the Sunday column. What to do, what to do? No Pay Per Views to hype, and no WCW television show to review... Well, luckily, I came up with an idea while watching Smackdown this past week, and that will be what today's column will be all about!
Good feedback on the Austin column. Many oldschool WCW fans agreed with me that he was quite a piece of work back then, as he did show signs of being a great performer. It just took a long time for Austin to explode in the wrestling scene, and help to partially resurge the WWF. Now will his heel turn pan out? We'll see.
Time to get onto the Big Show.... oops, I gave away today's column idea!
Have you seen him lately? This gigantic future wrestler was brought into WCW through being discovered by a few wrestlers. They saw his incredible size and suggested that he could make lots of money in wrestling, based on looks alone! Paul Wight, the large individual discovered, took the wrestler's advice and joined the WCW Power Plant. After learning the ropes, the creative department dubbed him the Giant, and gave him tights exactly like the late Andre the Giant. It was actually a great idea by WCW, for everyone would look at this man's size and assume that he might have been the son of a legend.
The Giant fit the look, as you can see in the picture. He looked rough with the long hair and facial hair, giving him the look of someone you didn't want to meet in an alley. After gaining a gimmick, the Giant was added to the Dungeon of Doom, and the fans took notice. Before, the Dungeon was a ridiculous faction of sloths who the fans could give a shit about. The Giant had the look, and then, the CHOKESLAM! Sure, some wrestlers did it before, but nobody of the Giant's size or power.
The Giant became such a force he was immediately shoved to the top as a lethal opponent of the current World Champion, Hulk Hogan. Not bad for a rookie. The Hogan feud saw the Giant get tossed over the side of a building, and then survive to wrestle a match later on at Halloween Havoc 1995. His feud with Hogan totally put Mr. Wight or the Giant in the spotlight as one of the top heels in WCW. When Hogan decided to take a long vacation after Uncensored 1995, things got better for the Giant. Ric Flair was the current World Champion, and he made the unlikely error of throwing hot coffee into the Giant's eyes during a tag match. Flair made the mistake of giving him a title shot soon thereafter, where Flair insisted that he'd kick the Giant's "big ass".
The match was incredible in itself. You had the living legend, Ric Flair, defending the World Title against the hottest rookie in the business, ever. Well, at least they thought it back then. After lots of cheating by Ric Flair's escorts (Woman & Elizabeth), Ric Flair couldn't stand toe to toe with this hot prospect. Flair sinched in the Figure 4, to which Flair taunted the Giant that it was over. However, the Giant reached over with his tree branch of an arm, and used his large paw to grasp the Nature Boy's throat. Flair immediately released the hold, and BOOM! Chokeslam by the Giant, and we had a NEW World Champion in WCW.
Giant would go on to be a tough champ, defending against the likes of Sting and Lex Luger. Yeah, both PPV matches were tainted, but the Giant looked crisp as a champion, and that's all that mattered. As the Champ, the Giant improved his agility and overall wrestling ability. However, a wrench was about to be thrown in his spotlight, which was called the New World Order. Yeah, the NWO was successful, but you immediately knew that the Giant's good title reign would soon end once Hulk Hogan got a hold of him... which he did at Hog Wild 1996. WCW knew that Hogan would be champion forever, so they decided to have the Giant side with the NWO. With the addition of the Giant, the NWO seemed immortal.
Giant would win an impressive 3 ring battle royal at World War 3 1996, in which he'd get a future title shot. With that looming, the Giant went after the booming face, Lex Luger. Luger would get the cheap win on the Giant at Starrcade 1996, which would be the stepping stone for the great Luger push of 1997. Giant would be left in doubt against the New World Order, in which he wanted his title shot against Hogan. The NWO turned on the Giant, which set up the title shot at Souled Out 1997, which was the NWO themed show. After a run in, the Giant would fight Hogan another time, which was the inconclusive Robin Hood fight, where TNT forced WCW fans to watch their new series while the match went on during commercials.
The Hogan feud was the last of the "great" Giant. From here, he slowly evolved into the Big SLow, not caring about his weight or improving at such an early age in the business. He'd go on to tag with Luger for a while, helping him out whenever, and he'd also start a feud with Kevin Nash. They would finally fight at Souled Out 1998, in which a reverse effect occurred that totally injured the Giant. What was it? Well, the Giant was gaining weight by the second back then, and Kevin Nash was really slacking off in the gym. This inverse effect led to the ugliest powerbomb in the history of wrestling. Nash just dropped the overweight Giant on his neck. Very sickening indeed.
Sure, the Giant would go on to win tag titles with Sting, in which it would create controversy when the Giant joined NWO Hollywood, and Sting joined NWO Wolfpac. That would result in Sting gaining a large singles win against the Giant. The Giant's contract was coming up by the end of 1998/early 1999, and so it was decided to job the out of shape Giant to death. He became Bill Goldberg's whipping boy, which was rather ironic because Goldberg was the hot rookie facing a former hot rookie. Wasn't the Giant supposed to be dominant by now? Wrong. The Giant was really starting to lack discipline and what it took to be successful in the business, gaining the attitude where everything was handed to you.
The WWF picked Paul Wight up in early 1999, hoping to get the shades of what the 1996 Giant was. After Lyposuction, they hoped to get a quick fix. D'oh, the Giant quickly ballooned the weight back, and became a sloppy worker again. The WWF constantly got on the Giant's case about his weight, and for losing about 20 pounds (minus from 500), the now named Big Show was awarded the World Title in hopes of giving him motivation and to get him more over with the crowd, for they didn't care about the "Big Show" just yet. After a stupid feud with the Big Bossman, which I won't get into, the Big Show was proved to be a weak draw as the champ. The crowds were dead silent for most of his matches, so it was decided to job him away to Triple H for the World Title.
The Big Show did have a good feud with the Rock, but back in early 2000, the fans HATED any wrestler who talked shit on the Rock. Big Show got the big win at No Way Out 2000 to win a spot at Wrestlemania for the World Title, which eventually was turned into a stupid 4 way match. Big Show was quickly jobbed out of the match, which made everyone wonder why the hell he was even in the match in the first place! The Big Show, now very far from the killer he was in 1996, became a little entertaining after his Saturday Night Live appearance. He took up some rather interesting gimmicks for his matches, including dressing up as Hulk Hogan in a crazy match against Kurt Angle. After a series of odd matches by the Big Show in a different gimmick for each match, the Big Show went down with an injury.
He returned, but in very bad shape... mentally. Wrestlers were complaining about the Big Show's poor attitude, and how hard he was to work with now. This was far different from the Giant of 1996, wasn't it? The hot rookie was now blacklisted from the WWF locker room, and was sent down to Ohio Valley Wrestling to lose weight and get a better attitude. After about 5 months, he returned to the WWF after Jim Ross boasted that he lost around 75 pounds. Many argue that he's gained that much, for he looks in horrible shape than ever.
But the point is that this guy didn't pan out on what he was supposed to be from 1996. The fierce and threatening look no longer exist. Whenever someone mentions the Big Show in a sentence, you'll usually hear a laugh along with it. His career has went from very promising, to dismal. Why? How? Well, those are the questions the WWF must answer if they ever want to mold the impressive superstar they *thought* they could develop.
How could you fixed the damaged goods? Well, I don't think the "Big Show" has the look of a tough competitor. The Big Show, if you ask me, isn't a good name. My suggestion is that the WWF ship him to the Shane McMahon run WCW and rename him as the "Giant", since the WWF owns all WCW trademarks now. Why? He's got a great past there, from late 1995 until early 1997. His WWF career isn't blooming, so back there, you have something to ride on. Maybe whip him into better shape and tell him to grow his hair again, and maybe you'll get the monster that the WWF originally intended for. Something should be done, because the great Giant hasn't been seen in years.
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