As noted, Big Show returned to WWE on last week’s RAW after undergoing 5 different surgeries. In an interview that was recorded before last night’s Fist Fight main event on RAW, Big Show spoke with ESPN and said he had a long, painful road back to the ring.

The first of the 5 surgeries was a resurfacing of the hip, putting a titanium cap on his ball joint and a titanium receptacle on the pelvis. Show then developed a surgical infection, a low percentage occurrence. Show underwent another surgery that was meant to clean it up, coupled with a PICC line that connected through his arm to his heart to pump his body full of antibiotics, 3 times a day for 6 weeks.

“But the problem with an infection is that once it gets on the metal, you kind of have to take the metal out and start over. The infection is so smart now that it literally hides from antibiotics,” Show said. “I’ve learned more about infections and antibiotics and physical therapy than I ever, ever wanted to know.”

In hindsight, The World’s Largest Athlete said he may not have required 5 surgeries if it weren’t for an error in judgment. Show was concerned that a full hip replacement would have hurt his ability to wrestle.

“I was angry I had to have the surgery done, and I felt like my career was getting pulled away from me. It wasn’t on my terms,” he said, admitting that a full replacement from the start would’ve been the right way to go.

“Everything happens for a reason. It tested me. It tested my faith. It tested my commitment to myself as an athlete and a performer to push myself,” Show said. “[Last] Monday night was the culmination for two years of headaches. Two years of stress. Two years of doubt, and other people having doubt about whether I could be competitive again.”

Show didn’t find out about last week’s return to TV until 3 days before RAW. Show said his return to RAW was known by 3 people, and information about his return was kept off the grid. It was revealed that WWE talents have what’s called a “talent app” on their phones, where details of their travel plans are uploaded for them. Show’s details were texted to him, and not shared in the app. Show mentioned receiving a late phone call from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

“If I had had a fax machine, they probably would have faxed it. I’m surprised a pigeon didn’t drop it off at my front door,” Show said, laughing. “It was really old school. One of those 2 a.m. phone calls from someone who never sleeps and also built a billion-dollar company.”

Show has missed the last two WrestleMania events but he’s hoping for an appearance at WrestleMania 36 in Tampa this April.

“That’s every competitor’s dream,” Show said. “I’d love to get one more in. Especially because it’s in Tampa, where I have a house, so I can drive home after the show.”

He continued, “The planets aligned. The universe aligned. It feels right to be back in the WWE and be competitive again. Not just an ambassador that says hi and cuts ribbons at county fairs. That’s all cool, too. But to walk into that locker room and look at the guys and know that I’m in the trenches with them again and being competitive, that’s what did it for me.”