Both the Big Show and Andre the Giant are considered as some of the greatest big men in history. It seemed unfathomable that anyone could match or even surpass Andre as the greatest Giant of all time, but Big Show may have done enough to have eclipsed him, in an in-ring nature.
Both men stood over seven foot tall and towered over everybody they stepped into the ring with. Andre the Giant was also one of the most beloved men in wrestling and had huge shoes (size 58 shoes, to be exact) to fill for the next Giant to step onto the scene.
Luckily, Paul Wight AKA The Big Show seems to have taken the ball and ran. He is a multi-time world champion in WWE, WCW and ECW and is considered a legend of the business. Big Show in the WWE Hall of Fame is set to happen in the next few years but for now sits behind the announce desk for All Elite Wrestling (AEW), while occasionally wrestling.
However, during his time in WCW, The Big Show and Andre the Giant were linked in a way that may shock you.
Big Show and Andre the Giant
In WCW, Big Show was brought in as “The Giant”. He was named as such due to his immense size and was immediately paired with the Dungeon of Doom to take on WCW Champion Hulk Hogan. This was a huge success, as in Big Show’s first match he defeated Hulk Hogan to become the WCW Champion, an obscene result for someone so early in their career.
He was a star immediately. To make sure fans would accept such a new wrestler immediately becoming a main event star, they came up with a clever back story for the Giant.
WCW decided that Andre the Giant is Big Show’s dad. Both men suffered from the same condition that made them the size they were (acromegaly) and they were both wrestlers. However, that is where the comparisons ended.
The Big Show spoke about Andre the Giant and the pressure of being billed as his son on an episode of Steve Austin‘s Broken Skull Sessions on the WWE Network. He recalls his struggles about being billed as the son of one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time, and how “awkward” it was when he was first pitched the idea by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.
“It was awkward. It was very awkward because Hogan and Bischoff came up with this idea and that’s why Hogan latched onto me right away. That’s why I got a career and opportunity. I’m thankful that he noticed me because, you know, back then, just going to a wrestling school or signing up on the internet wasn’t an option.”
“You had to know somebody to get trained! It was a very select business to get into back then and it wasn’t quite as ‘open door policy’ as it is now. And, the fact that Hulk took the time and set this up, and here I’m making… in WCW, even compared to a lot of guys, I’m still making more money than my father ever made. Do you know what I mean? So I’m happy to be here.”
Big Show also noted that he took inspiration from Andre the Giant on how not to deal with fans. He chronicles how Andre was “kind of bitter” and how Big Show “learned to handle things differently”
“I’ve learned to handle things differently. I engage people. I make them laugh. André went the other way with it. André was kind of bitter. He didn’t want to sign autographs. He didn’t want to deal with people. He didn’t want to deal with the attention.“
“There are two ways you can deal with that. Some days I don’t want to deal with people, so I stay home. I know I’m going to be a grumpy ass, so I stay home. I don’t want people to have a bad day by interacting with us.“
While the Big Show and Andre the Giant never interacted or had a match together (Andre died years before the Big Show broke into the business), Big Show clearly took a lot of inspiration from the WWE Hall of Famer and modelled his career partially on what he learned from Andre the Giant.
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