Recently on The Steve Austin Show, 'Global Icon And National Treasure' Steve Austin caught up with fellow pro wrestling legend, well, it's The Big Show. Among many other things, Big Show talked about coming up in the genre in the massive shadow cast by WWE Hall Of Famer André The Giant.
The Big Show, who is famously known for being kind to fans, shared that he wanted to give fans positive experiences meeting him in person, unlike André The Giant.
"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. Do you know what I mean? I mean, if you've been around me, you know I can be a real asshole to people sometimes. I am. I mean, I'm a human being. Some days, I'm grumpy. Some days, I'm introverted. I get it. I'm a human being. But, usually, out-and-about, I try to be nice and patient with everyone. And, luckily, there are cellphone cameras, so I don't have to find a pen or piece of paper or stuff we did back in the day. Do you know what I mean? Now, it's a selfie, it's 25-seconds, and everybody has a good experience, and life goes on." Big Show added, "you have to understand people, in their position, they've never seen anybody like me. As long as some of those people live, they'll tell the story about the one time they saw The Big Show in Tim Hortons or 7-11. Do you know what I mean? Buying a cup of coffee. Or they saw Big Show in the airport."
When asked what it was like being billed as Andre's son in WCW, Big Show admitted that the experience was "awkward", but he remains grateful for the size 18 boot in the door.
"It was awkward." Big Show explained, "it was very awkward because [Hulk] Hogan and [Eric] 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, [Austin] know[s], 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 acknowledged that being the kayfabe son of André was a cruel trick to play on the fans, though the gimmick gave him instant credibility.
"To go as the son of André, yeah, it gave me credibility with the fans," Big Show said. "It was kind of a real crappy trick to play on the fans because everybody loved André so much and it cornered me into a position because I still have fans that come up to me to this day that tell me how much they loved my dad."
Apparently, while Big Show shared similar physical proportions to André, 'The World's Largest Athlete' really wanted to model his game after 'The Enforcer'.
"From a working standpoint, it was tough on me too because, if you remember what kind of athlete I was back then, I could do some really ridiculous stuff and you guys used to b---h at me all the time for doing too much stuff because the [pro wrestling] business wasn't ready for someone my size to be doing the stuff I did, but it also pigeonholed me into a gimmick that I think Hogan wanted for me. I think Hulk wanted me to have that attraction gimmick. That's where Hogan saw money with me, it was as an attraction, but with my enthusiasm and athleticism, I never wanted to be André The Giant. For lack of better words, I wanted to be Arn Anderson. I wanted to be a great worker. I wanted to be able to bump and feed babyfaces. Do you know what I mean? But it is completely asinine for someone who is 7-feet-tall to want to be Arn Anderson!"
Boss. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show