“When I first got into WWE dude, I was a nuclear power plant. I was so radiated. There were guys who would never come within 20 feet of me. I had way too much heat. Big contract, from another territory, giant etc. I was a heat magnet,” Big Show said. “When I got to OVW, I got to be friends with Batista, Brock, Cena and Randy Orton, the next generation of main eventers, and it was good for me because I got to interact with those guys and build relationships with them. It made it easier for me once it started picking up again.”
Big Show and Brock Lesnar are synonymous with each other during their feud where they broke the ring on an episode of Smackdown. Big Show came clean on Talk is Jericho about the rigged aspects of that spot, and he also revealed that Lesnar wanted to work with him after Big Show came back from OVW. He credits Lesnar for his career resurgence that the feud brought.
“I owe my entire resurgence of my career to Brock Lesnar,” Big Show admitted. “For the longest time, I was still napalm when I came back from OVW, and Brock’s main event [opponent] somehow got stuck on a plane. Jack Lanza, in a house show, threw me in with Brock, and Brock and I tore the house down. Just before that I was working mid-card. I was working body-slam matches and stuff like that. I filled in for that main event, and Brock and I literally tore the freaking house down because Brock can flat out go.
“His character now is ‘The Beast’ and all that stuff, but Brock gets it just like how Kurt Angle got it. Their wrestling background made them a better performer. So I remember hearing the story, they were asking Brock who’s you next opponent he said, ‘I want to work with Show. He’s a giant. He can work. You guys are just sleeping on him.’ Brock and I started working tearing the house down. It changed a lot of people’s perceptions of who I was as a talent and who I was as an individual. I really owe that break because of Brock. I don’t think that’s something I’ve ever told on any podcast so there you go.”
Big Show made his return to WWE earlier this year helping out Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe against Seth Rollins’ stable. Graves asked Big Show what he wants to do before his career ends, and Big Show said he hopes to work with everyone.
“I’d like to work with the entire roster. It’s just finding the right creative that works that makes sense that allows you to take my brand to use it the most effectively. I’d like to do a couple of more live events. I’m not so crazy about doing TVs because it’s just a long day that after a while you want to bash your head inside a concrete wall. Good with that. I’ve done that for 20 plus years,” Big Show said. “I think I would be going down to some live events working with some of the guys. The environment is a little more lax. You’re not pressured for time cues or anything like that and helping them along that way would be great. I’ve talked to them too about doing a couple of overseas tours because I still have a little bit of a name so I could bump the card up a little bit, but I’d still be around these guys in a more relaxed environment.”
Graves asked Big Show to go into more detail about the long schedule of a TV taping. Big Show explained why he was tired of that schedule and prefers to work live events.
“TV, number one, you’re there at about 12:00 or 1:00 depending on the call time, and we don’t go on the air until 7:00, 8:00, or 9:00 depending on where we are. I guess now 8:00 is the latest it’ll go on. It’s a long day of you’re there. You’re at catering. You can go work out. There’s a gym in the arena. You can do some exercises in the arena if you want to run some steps or hit the ropes or do some stuff in the ring. Then maybe about 5:00 or 6:00 doors hit, and then it gets really busy really fast. Things change. I’ve had opponents change just 10 minutes before I was supposed to go out. I’ve had match times go from four-minute match to oh we need two segments,” Big Show said. “The pressure, at that level, when you’re doing TV gets tiresome after a while. You’re there for so long, and you’re held up. Then it’s a sprint, then it’s over and then it’s drive to the next town.”
Big Show continued more about the laid-back environment of a live show. He talked about chewing out members of the locker room that were taking up space despite not being booked on the show.
“With the live events, it makes things a little easier so you get there later in the day. All your workout and stuff is done. You’re prepared. You’re done. You know who you’re going to work with. Time’s not a factor. TV’s I think are a little overwhelming because sometimes you’ll have three times the amount of talent you have on a live event at a TV so locker rooms are jammed,” Big Show said. “You’re stepping over bags. That was my thing as a veteran too. I was like, ‘look if you’re not on RAW or Smackdown tonight, get your back and put in the car.’ Some guys would drag in three or four bags like they’re moving into the place.”
Big Show also told a story of Daniel Bryan having to stand up while getting dressed while other members of the locker room, who were not on the show, were relaxing. He said that those kinds of moments drove him crazy back in the day.
“I remember in Seattle one time, Daniel Bryan was the champion, he was literally standing up in the corner dressing while four guys who weren’t on TV, who shall remain nameless to protect their identity, were sitting down holding their feet up holding court,” Big Show said. “Get your bags. Get your s–t out. The champion is standing here dressing because he’s a nice guy. That’s not how Daniel was. Daniel would never say, ‘hey, move your s–t. I need a place to dress.’ That kind of thing at TV’s would drive me insane back in the day.”
Big Show compares TV tapings as a proving ground for those that can handle the pressure of the WWE schedule, and he says live events are where wrestlers truly learn. He says that overseas tours allow wrestlers to learn even more with everyone being more close together and having more time to work on a match and their characters.
“I think TV’s are where you separate the men from the boys as far as pressure goes. Live events are where the learning happens. TV’s is like where you sink or swim.
“I think a lot of the overseas tours are a good time to learn the craft too because you’re not doing a show and going home. You’re there for 10-12 days in a row on a tour. You’re usually working the same person every night so you can really dial in to get that match where it needs to be to get that psychology in the match where it needs to be,” Big Show said. “That’s why I think the longer overseas tours like when we do the Europe tours or some of the tours through Asia was a great learning environment because you’re totally immersed in the business.”
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