Might WrestleMania 33 signal the end of the road for the Big Show?
Appearing at a press conference in Manila to promote an upcoming WWE event there, Big Show addressed his challenge to Shaquille O'Neal for a match at WWE's signature event, which is happening in Orlando this year. Comments made by the former seven-time world champion suggested that it would be the last time he stepped into the squared circle as a competitor:
I’d take him [Shaq] on in a free throw contest. I would kick his ass in a free throw shooting contest. But at the ESPYs—which was hosted by John Cena—on the red carpet, I asked Shaq, “Let’s do it at WrestleMania,.” He said yes, so WrestleMania is in Orlando, Shaq’s hometown, we’ll have a Big Show vs. Shaq match. I think that’ll be a good one for me to retire on. So I’ve already done the sumos, football players; I think if I finish up with Shaq, I can peace out, and grow avocados in California or something.”
Big Show holds the distinction of being the only wrestler to hold the WWE, WCW and ECW world championships.
The former Wichita State basketball player made his wrestling debut for WCW in 1995 and immediately entered a main-event program against Hulk Hogan. He wrestled there for the first three-plus years of his career as The Giant, but is most identifiable for his tenure in WWE, which began in 1999 and has included 18 separate championship victories -- including two as WWE Champion, two as World Heavyweight Champion (using the "big gold" belt that became eponymous with WCW), one as ECW Champion and eight tag title reigns with four different partners.
Now 44 years old, Big Show has been what is best described as a part-time member of the roster for the entirety of 2016, although he was drafted to Raw last week in the revival of the WWE brand split. He and Shaquille O'Neal already have crossed paths a couple times in the ring; most recently at WrestleMania 32, when both participated in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
By John Moorehouse
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