After walking out of WrestleMania 36 the new WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre, never thought he was going to have to face another challenger that same night. McIntyre was surprised to see the Big Show bring a referee down to make their match, official. Though McIntyre retained the championship, Big Show was more than happy to see McIntyre become the new champion, and a fighting one at that.
“Obviously, it was great timing for me, but horrible timing for Drew McIntyre. But, that’s exactly what I wanted,” Big Show stated on WWE’s The Bump. “I saw that incredible match between Brock and Drew. I’ve competed against Brock hundreds of times; too many times to count, really. I know what it’s like to be in the ring with Lesnar.
“I saw the change in Drew McIntyre. I saw it happening. I saw whatever that light is, whatever it is that champions go through when they change and become champions. I saw that switch happen. I, being a fan of Drew, I’m a fan of his work and of him as a human being, I did an old school thing. I didn’t talk a bunch a crap. I went out there and proved to himself, and more importantly, to the WWE Universe that he is a legit WWE Champion. He deserves to be our champion on Raw. So, believe it or not, it might sound a little bit twisted, but that’s an old school tough love way of proving yourself to everyone. I’m not going to go out there and say, ‘Oh Drew, you’re amazing,’ and clap my hands and shake his hand and all of that; that’s just pandering. I put Drew out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak. He came through. They didn’t show it on camera, but after the Claymore kick – that put my molars down the back of my throat, he comes over to me and I’m smiling at him. That’s a smile of pride.
“I love our business, I love our industry, I love our athletes and what they’ll do to entertain our audience. I’m proud of Drew for everything he’s done and everything he’s going to do. It wasn’t about challenging him for the WWE title, or getting a position at Money In The Bank, it was you’re dressed, I’m dressed, we’ve got a referee, and let’s see what you’re made of.”
Big Show noted that if the shoe were on the other foot, and Lesnar would’ve retained, he wouldn’t have gone out there and challenged him for the title.
“No, there’s no purpose for that,” Big Show informed. “One, I’m not crazy. But, Brock doesn’t need anyone to prove that he’s a champion. Brock’s been an incredible champion and a dominant champion for a long time. When you step in the ring with Brock Lesnar, you’re stepping in the ring for a fight.
“My goal with Drew was to prove to anyone that Drew is not a transition champion. He’s not a, ‘Hey, let’s see what happens champion.’ Drew is a locker room leader. Drew is a champion. Drew is the Raw Champion. It was my way of endorsing Drew the most solid and professional way I knew how.”
When reflecting on his career highlights over the years, Big Show noted two big ones that came to mind.
“If I had to pick a promotion that I thought was the best, I’d have to pick with Floyd Mayweather [Jr.] and I during WrestleMania 24,” Show mentioned. “That was an incredible opportunity for me, and the media pushed into it. [Plus], all the trash talking going into it. I mean, that is an exceptional one that will always stick out in my mind like, ‘Wow, that was an incredible WrestleMania [moment].’
“There’s also WrestleMania 20, where I competed against John Cena. I know that comes up a lot, because John Cena was so successful. But, I remember going into that WrestleMania and I was asked who I wanted to work with. I said I wanted to work with this kid, that kid being John Cena. That day, I had eight little private meetings where guys were telling me why I shouldn’t work with this kid, because he’s a flash in the pan, and this, and that. I said, ‘No, I think there’s more to this guy. Then years later, those same people that questioned him now line up to shake his hand and tell him how amazing he is. I just would like to say for the record that I knew he was going to be something before he was something. I’ve got a nose for talent.”
You can view Big Show’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.