WWE Superstar Big Show was recently a guest on WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions. Among many other things, Big Show talked about his difficult transition from WCW to WWE.
During the interview, Big Show divulged that his transition to WWE was extremely hard, especially because top talent worked at a different level than he was accustomed to in WCW.
“Even though a lot of things, I probably should have been more judicious on, and how I worked and the way I worked, I wasn’t prepared for any of that when I got to WWE,” Big Show admitted. “That’s why my transition was so hard because [WWE] guys were on a completely different level, completely different!”
Apparently, upon debuting for WWE in a coveted main event spot as an over-sized henchman for the villainous Mr. McMahon against the hardworking every-man, Steve Austin, Big Show made the mistake of telling McMahon that he would do the favors for ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’. While ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’ was originally penciled in to face Austin in the main event of WrestleMania, McMahon changed course when Big Show had no ideas to propel them to ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’.
“Vince comes [up] to me at catering, and he sits down, and he says, ‘after what happened [at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre], I want you and Steve to work.’ Vince wanted to try to get [Austin] and [me] to WrestleMania the following year. That was his plan and he asked me what I want to do with [Austin]. Again, super green, I don’t know what to say. I just know that I’m brand new here. I’m not a jerk. I’m ready to get along. That’s the worst thing you can do in that place! I said, ‘I don’t know. Whatever you guys want to do. I’ll put Steve over.’ I was trying to show that I was, again, a good attitude and a good business person. Do you know what I mean? But actually I was a s–tty business person.”
Big Show explained, “[McMahon’s] like, ‘well, f–k it. If this guy’s not going to stand up for himself, I’ll feed him to Steve.’ And that was that. And then, [Austin] and I were done and [Austin] went on to something else.”
Big Show claimed that he had a lot of backstage heat in WWE because of his big contract and no big stars except The Rock would even talk to him.
“Well, I first started riding with Public Enemy,” Big Show remembered. “That’s how bad it was, with all due respect. But the top shelf guys weren’t talking to me. Rock was good to me. Rock was very nice to me. And Rock was doing his own thing and building himself was well. I was too lightning rod-hot in the locker room to be friends with. Do you know what I mean? And since I was a new guy, I was a big guy, I had gotten that big contract, all that stuff that pissed everybody off. It was difficult.”
Big Show, who recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about getting chewed out by The Undertaker in ‘The Giant”s early days with WWE, talked with Austin about his relationship with ‘The Deadman.’
“I think after I fell on my face a little bit, Taker took me under his wing just because he wanted to feel me out and see what kind of guy I was, but I was also really good friends with Brian Adams and Brian Adams and Taker were real close,” Big Show professed. “I think Brian Adams put in a good word for me because it was like the mafia. They were a certain group of guys who weren’t like, ‘hey buddy! Come on in! How are you doing? Welcome!’ It wasn’t like that. It was like, ‘who are you and what are you made of?’ Taker was relentless on me. My God!”
According to Big Show, he was so frustrated by the competing and contradictory advice he was receiving early on in WWE that he thought about driving off a bridge.
“I’ve got Vince telling me one thing; Pat Patterson telling me another thing; Jerry Brisco is trying to help me a little bit,”
Big Show said. “Like, these are all people that I respect. Vince is my boss and he wants me to do this, but then the boys, ‘you can’t always listen to him because he doesn’t know what the hell he wants.’ So for me, it was so frustrating. I remember driving my rental car down the road by myself because I didn’t have anyone to ride with and thinking, ‘I should just run this into the bridge and get it over with.'”
On the subject of The Big Show’s demotion to OVW, the big man stated that he was recovering from having his knee scoped and he had a poor performance in a house show against The Undertaker and “Taker was livid pissed.”
“Okay, I have my own opinion on it. My opinion was I had a knee surgery years ago, just a quick scope, but we didn’t really know about physical therapy after a surgery, biking, all that stuff. I didn’t think anything about that. I had the surgery. A couple of weeks after the surgery [Jim Ross] booked me to wrestle The Undertaker in a house show match.” Big Show continued. “So, I had been off for three weeks. I had the knee surgery and I wasn’t in the ring. I was still big back then, but you can get out of ring shape real quick when you aren’t in ring shape. The little bit of ring shape you do have can go away real fast, especially when you have an injury. So, obviously, it was my fault. I wasn’t prepared. Full responsibility, I take it here. Taker didn’t know what he was dealing with. I blew sky-freakin’-high. I missed spots. I wasn’t there because my knee wasn’t right because I just had surgery.”
Big Show explained that he had heat for not living up to his contract and not being able to keep up with the other top stars in the ring from a psychological standpoint.
“I didn’t have backers,” Big Show revealed. “One, I couldn’t keep up with [top] guys in the ring psychology-wise; I wasn’t living up to expectations work-wise because you know how quick people can? a couple of wrong words in the right ear and you’re dusted. And I was in that position.”
With respect to Big Show’s time in OVW, the Wichita State Shocker was finally starting to be brought up the right way in the pro wrestling business after already having some success.
“It was really good for me because I got to reprogram myself a little bit and get out of a lot of bad habits that I had. But I met some good guys: Batista, [John] Cena, Brock [Lesnar]. Do you know what I mean? I met a lot of good guys in OVW and eventually guys that knew I wasn’t the piece of trash that I was [depicted as] because I had a lot of heat.” Big Show said, “what I had was taken away. It was humbling. I went from walking in Mr. Big s–t – I had a $50,000 Dodge Dually with semi alcoas on it – and Jim Cornette told me to pull the ring. Like, my truck’s worth more than your entire territory. Like, do you know what I mean? But that’s what we’re doing. I’m setting the ring up. I’ve never set the ring up before. I did, so I got my education that most everyone gets in the business before they ever get in, mine happened after I had already tasted a little bit of success. And that was a hard pill to swallow, a pill that at that time I think I needed to swallow.”
Also during the interview, Big Show indicated that McMahon always expected more out of Show than Andre The Giant.
“Vince never put me in an Andre category,” Big Show said. “Vince, from day one, Vince wanted more from me than Andre. He saw the size, he saw the presence, but he also saw my intelligence, saw my charisma, saw my charm. Like, Vince always wanted more from me not to settle. And I think that was a big thing that pissed Vince off when I first got there because I would settle. I would just be lumped in with the boys because I was happy to be here. Vince never wanted that for me when I first started and that was my fault for not understanding the [aggressiveness] instincts that I hadn’t developed yet. It took me a while to develop, but I just didn’t have that skill set.”
Check out the show here. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit Broken Skull Sessions with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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