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Paul Wight


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You know, 10 years ago, I think it would have been totally reasonable to suspect that Wight would be the biggest star in wrestling (not just in stature) today, if only because of his size, natural charisma and the fact that guys his size are typically protected and pushed hard. Instead, he's been jobbed out, had major bouts with laziness and apathy, has had totally inconsistent booking in two major promotions and is a *total* waste of potential. Most of the time, guys like RVD and Jericho are the ones people think of when they think of the can't-miss superstars the business has missed the boat on, but I think this may even be a bigger case, because you don't even have to try all that hard to get the most out of him, to make him credible and to book him effectively. He's become a much better worker in the past year or so, and here and there, he's always been capable of having a good match opposite a guy who puts some thought into the match and how to approach it.

 

Giant not making it in WCW didn't surprise me at all. I don't think they even knew what they had, and he was green and around guys who taught him the underbelly of wrestling without really teaching him anything else. But because of his size, he's the type of guy tailor-made for Vince McMahon to get over huge, and he's failed on every level imaginable. Now that he knows how to work, he's been too damaged by bad booking to be reestablished, if only because someone that size doing jobs should be a monumental occasion and because he's done far too many, and he's turned more times than even Lex Luger ever did.

 

Someone else to throw in the "should have been a no-brainer superstar" category whose name doesn't get mentioned as often as it should ...

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Can't argue with too much of that.

 

Wight received the same treatment a lot of the Benoits and Jerichos received upon entry into the Federation. Didn't Big Show lose fairly early in the company, cleanly, to Steve Austin? Granted, Austin was on a serious roll at the time, but jobbing Wight to him right away did nothing for Wight and didn't allow him to be built and established in the WWF. It's right up there with Benoit losing to HHH in his first match in the company. Both Benoit and Show were established as second-tier, in their respective cases.

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Vince Russo booked that because he wanted to book a "biggest RAW ever", and apparently, people in the company did question it at the time since it was going to be the main event of Wrestlemania 2000. That changed as the year wore on and the usual "he can't work" stuff started that always starts with new guys.

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Vince Russo booked that because he wanted to book a "biggest RAW ever", and apparently, people in the company did question it at the time since it was going to be the main event of Wrestlemania 2000. That changed as the year wore on and the usual "he can't work" stuff started that always starts with new guys.

Wasn't even aware that Austin-Show was going to be the main event of the following year's Mania... :blink: Thanks for that info.

 

I remember when they did a RAW in February of '99 in Toronto at SkyDome (last show at SkyDome before WMX8) and it was billed as the "Biggest RAW ever". I need to check, though, because I don't even think Wight was with the company then (it was early February, IIRC). Then again, Russo had a nasty habit of trying to make every night "the biggest night ever".

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Wight is an interesting case to me. He's a giant, with good charisma. At first thought, you'd think that's a good thing... but, I think it's actually hurt him. It's sad how Wight has turned face/heel probably like 50 times in his career... but I wouldn't know what to do with him, either.

 

If you're going to play off that he's a giant, you basically need him to be a heel who's angry and grunts a lot. But, that's wasting his charisma, and a character like that today just wouldn't be successful. But, when you show his charisma, he loses that killer giant aura.

 

Whatever, I'm probably not making sense. I think it's just a shame that Wight came into the business when he did.

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I always laugh when they make fun of WCW giving away Goldberg/Hogan for free because they gave away that match for free.

 

I think the WWF really blew it with him a lot of times. The Showster days was probably the closest they came to hitting with him. I think his WWF Title run could've worked had they not sabotaged him by having his first big defense been against the Bossman.

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I think the loveable big sap who becomes a warrior when you piss him off but is the nicest guy in the world the rest of the time who takes up for his friends would have been great for him. I think he's been great in tag teams with small guys as well, but they've never stuck with that for any length of time.

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Guest EastCoastJ

The problem with Paul Wight always was in my opinion that they pushed him way too hard way too fast in WCW. If someone debuts in wrestling and defeats Hulk Hogan for the World Title in his first high profile pay-per-view fued, where is there really left to go with him. He's pretty much done the most impressive thing anyone could do in WCW without even doing it slowly so that fans could take to him and get to know him, and then it pretty much became "now what".

 

He's not Andre and the problem is he has always been booked like he. He doesn't have the aura or marketability of Andre. He's way out of shape as well.

 

The Big Show has never been anything special but because of his size he has always been treated as such. If it were 30 years ago he could get over as a heel growling and throwing headbutts and bearhugs around, but it isn't enough these days and he has little beyond that. He's a funny guy and a charismatic prankster, but so was Al Snow and he never really drew any money for WWE. The problem is, you can't have a 7 foot monster as a comedian, because no one wants to see him out there selling for an entire match to heels half his size. It's not believable. If he would have stayed on Smackdown and stayed heel, he could have had some good big man programs with Batista and The Undertaker, but on Raw he's just another guy like Kane that is absolutely brutal to watch because you know he'll just be doing the same tired routine he has for years.

 

In my opinion, he's never really had what it takes to be a main event draw, but promoters have always been fooled by his size.

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TBS sucks in the ring, moreso than he should. He's big, he drools when he yells and that's about it. The Big Show's moveset has always been ass and someone his size should be using moves like powerbombs, lariats, powerslam variations, etc. There's nothing impressive about him when he hits the ring and is forced to wrestle. Instead, he comes off incredibly lazy and unimaginative when he's in the ring with someone who he should be killing with the aforementioned moves above. He's also *terrible* at knowing how to sell for guys shorter than him. He lets dinky punches phase him when he should be no-selling that crud. The Big Show, or Paul Wight, as a wrestler is just an incredibly dense worker. His personality has shown *nothing* to indicate he could carry a company if given the chance to take the ball and run with it. He doesn't need to cut 20 minute promos but his personality, aside from doing goofy goober shit like dressing up as Hulk Hogan, has never, to me, been an interesting case to watch. He does the slow and intimidating, snarling monster routine when he tries to act serious and it's the same thing choads like Snitsky have been taught to do, that we, the fans, have blasted before in the past. Vader would at least show some intensity and fire in his promos, which helped reflect the type of wrestler he was in the ring. The Big Show's promos and in-ring matches have, and always will, indicate what a lazy and uninterested wrestler he is when he wrestles. He should have taken more liberties with match lay outs when he wrestled. No one, and I mean no one, no matter how much we like the wrestler in question, should be tossing this guy around or dominating him in a match. When Chris Benoit actually got TBS off the ground with a German Suplex during an SD! match a while ago, I shook my head in disgust. That should have never happened. I think the real kick to the nuts for the Big Show, as an in-ring rag doll, came from his early '00 series of matches with the Rock. The Rock is a *lousy* in-ring worker who exposes his opponents weaknesses instead of trying to cover them up and make himself and the other guy look strong and entertaining. When the Rock is *murdering* the Big Show with his crappy jumping lariat and the Big Show sells it like he's been shot, while standing a good foot taller than the Rock, the "realism" of wrestling gets blown out of the water. I did not have a problem with Brock Lesnar throwing Big Show around since Brock's a beast and strong looking enough to pull off such throws.

 

Kurt Angle throwing the Big Show around with a German Suplex and the Angle Slam on the otherhand is just wrong. The Rock and Kurt Angle's series of matches over the years have always exposed those two guys as dense and unimaginative workers. Angle should have always been trying to work the Big Show's legs instead of trying to throw him over the ring ropes with an Angle Slam.

 

The Big Show will go down in wrestling history as one of the biggest underachievers, ever. The blame should be handed out to both him and Vince McMahon though. I always thought Vince, the wrestling genius, was an overrated hack since he had no clue how to book someone like the Big Show. Vince the booker is also a sick joke when you think about all of the shit he's green lit over the years.

 

Vince owes more credit to Hulk Hogan getting wrestling onto prime time than Hogan owes Vince. Hogan was already hot before him and Vince hooked up in '84. Without Hogan, there would be no Mr.McMahon today.

 

The Big Show's lack of success should always be a black eye on Vince McMahon's resume. Paul Heyman, for all his short comings, would have probably been the best promoter and booker the Big Show could have ever had. He helped prop up 911, a hack at best, as this big badass who just chokeslammed guys but would never get hurt or forced to lay down for anyone. When Taz managed to choke out 911, it was a big fuckin deal since no one had ever gotten the upper hand on the big man like that before. That's what the feeling should have been like when the Big Show and Brock Lesnar finally met up. But, by then, the Big Show had been mangled by the Rock, Kurt Angle, HHH, the Undertaker, and even Booker T by the time their feud happened.

 

Whatta a fuckin mess.

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The biggest issue is whether or not a novelty attraction can really cut it in wrestling these days. Acts like the Andre the Giant were perfectly suited to the 1970s/80s because they could stampede over their competition and move in to the next territory with a fresh audience. With a wrestler like the Big Show, he needs to be completely dominant or else he loses credibility. There is only so much you can do with him before you exhaust the possibilities and the audience loses interest in him as a top draw. With just one promotion, it is too easy to over-expose a character.

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I think they could have made Show a novelty if they debuted him in the same way the WWF debuted Diesel in '93 -- pair him with a smaller, charismatic worker the company is trying to get over as a heel and push him hard as a bodyguard. Put him in matches maybe once or twice a year, maybe in an occasional tag here and there and absolutely never on free TV.

 

It's weird to say that WWE can't have novelties now, because aside from a period from 1997-2003 or so where he was around pretty consistently, the Undertaker has been a novelty act his entire run in the company. With the booking Undertaker gets, Show could have been a megastar. Of course, Taker had a bankable gimmick, is a superior worker and reinvented himself with the times to stay fresh in every change of direction WWE has had, while Show's character isn't nearly as versatile or adaptable.

 

The problem with Big Show is that he was misguided early on in his career and now he has a reputation for being lazy and uninspired when the past year has shown him be anything but lazy and uninspired. The matches with Lesnar, Angle and Benoit molded him into someone who, for better or worse, finally had the right attitude and took pride in putting on a good match, even if he didn't always succeed. The Smackdown match against Eddy Guerrero last year showed that the right guy can bring something special out of him.

 

Sass mentioned Vader, but Vader was knocked off of his feet all the time. He played pinball for guys like Sting and Davey Boy on a regular basis, but he could get away with it because he had more convincing offense and had the kind of timing Show will probably never have. Truthfully, Vader was a 450-lb Ric Flair in terms of clowning to make his opponent look like a million bucks, but because he was so believable as a killer, he could do whatever he wanted. I remember Sting tossing Vader around the ring with ease, but the spots were set up as momentum spots and were built up big before they happened, so those moments meant something when they finally occured.

 

Show just can't do the Vader act.

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Yeah, but Vader was 6'4" and grossly overweight. Him and Sting stood at about the same height. DBS was only a couple inches shorter than Vader too. TBS on the otherhand is about a foot taller than most of the top dogs he faced in WCW and the WWE, sans Nash, Kane and the Undertaker. If TBS was 6'4" instead of a legit 7 feet, than I wouldn't have a problem with him getting tossed around. It's much easier, squirming be damned, to toss around a fat guy about the same size as you compared to trying to toss around the guy who stands 6 + inches taller than you. Plus, the Big Show's girth and weight also would need to be taken into account. TBS isn't going to get tossed around or taken down like UFC heavyweights Wes Simms or Tim Sylvia since he outweighs those guys, both 6'8"ish slugs, by about 200 pounds legit. You either hammer the shit out of someone like TBS with kicks and punches or else you pack it up and go home. You're not going to man handle or knock down someone TBS' size in a fight.

 

Vader, like you mentioned earlier Loss, would get tossed around with momentum spots. Sting could hit a german suplex on Vader and, to me, it would be "realistic" whereas seeing someone the size of Benoit dropping the Big Show with a German Suplex would just make me shake my head in disgust. Sting's a strong guy but *no one* should be able to toss around a guy the size of the Big Show unless they're looking like Brock Lesnar or Scott Steiner. TBS shouldn't fall down on his back after getting hit with a clothesline. No one should be able to knock this guy down unless they look like a tank or Vader himself. Getting tangled up in the ropes after falling backwards from a stiff clothesline should have been a signature spot in TBS matches since it would have allowed the big guy to keep his balls in tact.

 

There are no momentum spots with a guy the size of the Big Show. In fact, there *shouldn't* be any spots, like an irish whip powerslam or some such spot, with a guy like the Big Show. It's just too goddamn hokey and forced. Not even someone like Kane should be manhandling the Big Show like that. It's okay if he tries to Tombstone the Big Show but getting TBS up for a chokeslam is goddamn ridiculous.

 

I remember in '01 when TBS and the Undertaker had like only their 2nd televised singles match, the first being the bat angle match in '99, where Taker threw the Big Show off the top rope with a powerbomb and pinned him clean. This was around the time Taker was still using the Last Ride as his finisher and the set-up for the move, where TBS was climbing the ropes, and it looked so fucking forced. This, I felt, was the pinnacle of bad Big Show booking. The Undertaker popped up between TBS' legs and got a running start and just threw TBS to the mat and pinned him. TBS never went up to the top rope before that and I just thought this was one of *the* prime examples of bad in-ring booking where TBS gets made to look like a chump at the expense of another wrestler's lack of creative in-ring story telling.

 

Vince should have never, ever, allowed the Undertaker to do that to the Big Show. TBS never went up to the tope rope except twice in the WWE prior to this match where he hit the shittiest flying dropkick I've ever seen and one of the fattest elbow drops that missed it's mark. This all happened when he was the champ I believe. But, TBS going up the tope rope, only so Taker could actually finish off TBS with his shitty finisher, just exposed the match and ruined the escapism in my view. That should, never, ever, ever happen in a match.

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