Friday 17 May 2013

Big Improvement

His legs are like steel girders. His hands are like sledgehammers. His head is farm-like. He's seven feet two inches tall and weighs five hundred pounds. He is the Big Show and he is 'The World's Largest Athlete'.

For much of his WWE career Show has been labelled with these stats and had to put up with these ludicrous comparisons. But then for much of his WWE career he hasn't encouraged anyone to give him anything better. He was a lazy slob who was paid nearly a million dollars a year no matter what shape he was in or how well he performed. There was a distinct lack of motivation for him to improve as a performer.

Things changed last summer. There's no obvious reason or a particular performance to point to as a starting point. Show simply developed a wrestling style that was good enough to sit alongside his above average promo skills. Finally he was the main event talent WWE had always hoped he'd be. It only took a mere thirteen years!

It didn't just happen overnight. Years of gradual improvement came together in the latter half of last year. Those promo skills? Show's always had them. He's a naturally likeable and funny guy that shines in mainstream media interviews. Talking has always been something he's good at. Maybe because it doesn't require any time in a gym or the skipping of meals to improve at it.

Show had slowly become a better worker since returning from a year long absence in February 2008. Appearing more confident at the whole wrestling thing Show put more thought into his matches, displaying a greater intensity and understanding of his role as a big man.

Look at that head. Looks like a farm (apparently)

When he returned he debuted the WMD KO punch. It was a significant addition to his repertoire. It's only a punch to the face (hardly impressive by wrestling standards) but Show's size adds a deal of legitimacy smaller performers would lack. That it's a striking move that can be hit in a variety of situations is an added positive. Striking moves have become popular in WWE in recent years thanks to the influence of MMA and indy wrestling.

It doesn't require much in the way of physical exertion either. It's like it was tailor made for the Big Show.

The second half of last year saw Show enter some of the best performances of his career. Along with Sheamus he amazed practically everyone in the world (maybe a slight exaggeration) when he had the best match of the night at Hell in a Cell. He entered solid performances opposite Alberto Del Rio at the January 8th SmackDown taping, Randy Orton on September 25th, and opposite fellow former WWE champions at Money in the Bank. He even managed to make his summer programme with John Cena not seem completely like the uninspired rerun it was.

At the unlikely age of forty-one Show seems to have finally hit his stride. Well done to him. And well done to WWE for having patience with him.


  1. What a huge transformation he went through last year at this time. It seemed like one week he was crying over hurting AJ and then the next he came out as a heel and just started being bad ass all of a sudden. I, like everyone else Im sure, was very reluctant to except his new persona because he was so wimpy and nonthreatening just weeks before. But its worked.

    It says alot that a guy can stay at the top tier of talent and not really need to be mentioned in the title hunt.

    As far as where he stands in the "Best Big Man" category:

    1. Undertaker - The ring entrance, the signature tombstone, Paul Bearer, the old school rope walk, the streak... just untouched when it comes to ring work and aura.

    2. Kevin Nash - Too high you think? Maybe not, Im taking into account memorable matches/memorable angles and Nash fits both bills pretty well. HBK's bodyguard, carried WWE until Bret Hart and HBK brought it out of the "In Your House" dark period, founding member of NWO/WCW invasion angle, the kliq. Pretty good ring, work but great talker.

    3. Big Show - the long haired monster who came after Hogan at Halloween Havoc, joining NWO, WWE debut before it became the norm, enough title reigns to justify his legacy, good tag team runs, his current heel persona. It all adds up to a top 3 booking.

    4. Andre the Giant - The Babe Ruth of big men, Hogan at WMIII, feud with Big John Stud and Jake Roberts, his presence walking to the ring, Bobby Heenan as his mouth piece. He gets the #4 nod out of pure respect.

    5. Kane - ring post flames, the mask, Undertaker alliance, good ring work, funnier than he looks, nickname. Would be tough to put in Top 5 if he never went back to the mask.

    What you think? Whats your top 5/10?

    1. I'd say Undertaker is certainly the best ever. Kane would rank highly too because of how long he's managed to last. I'd probably put Bam Bam and Andre in a top list too.