Paul Wight appeared on the latest episode of Talk Is Jericho speaking with Chris Jericho on his latter years in WWE as well as his AEW signing. He revealed that he was slated to win the first Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and talked about the fallout of Cesaro winning the battle royal.
“I went through the that first Andre Battle Royal,” Wight stated. “I was supposed to win that, and then the day of, they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re going to go with Cesaro.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, Cesaro’s a great dude, incredible talent [and] speaks five languages. This is a guy that absolutely I’ll get behind, no problem,’ and I put him over the best way I could.
“He slammed me over the top. I shook his hand at the end. That’s what you do in this business. You want to make guys, and then I watched Cesaro just wither on the vine because they didn’t do nothing with him. And basically, he was a piece to give a chance for Paul Heyman to be on TV until Brock came back.”
Wight continued noting the dynamics of the WWE system. He explained the way he was used in WWE and the missed opportunities.
“That was the stack of the cards [and] the stack of the pieces to get to the talent that they really want to market, they really want to use and they really want to depend on for everything,” Wight said. “So it’s really weird when you try to sit and look at the dynamic of it, and I’m not bitter. That’s my main thing I want people understand. I’m not bitter, but it’s one of those kind of things that I feel a little bit sad that I didn’t get to do as much as I could have done for them.
“And finally, just after a while, when the opportunity came up, I got tired of trying to prove to them what I could do for them. I can walk down the street. I can’t walk down the street without being recognized. I can’t go to the grocery store without — I’m a constant billboard of everything that I’ve done, and I never felt like WWE really took advantage. They kind of half-assed did it on some things, and it was like, oh, maybe that’s too much. Let’s pull back. That’s too much. Let’s pull back because this is not the direction we want to go.”
Wight has starred in various films and TV shows including the Netflix show, “The Big Show Show”. He revealed on the podcast that he had an idea to release a “Big Show Burger”, and he talked about how those talks to release it went.
“There was a couple of business deals that I tried to do with WWE using my own brand and it was incredible to me, after 20 years of building a brand, because they own the intellectual property, I wanted to do a ‘Big Show Burger’,” Wight revealed. “It would have been a half-pound patty, no antibiotics, no hormones [and] anywhere in the US, in 36 hours, you can order it online. It’s a great, humane [and] everything done properly.
“So I went to them and said, ‘Hey, this is what I want to do. I reached out to Wolfgang Puck, and we’re going to do a meatloaf together to promote it on an infomercial and stuff like that. Talk about Big Show Burgers’ and you would have thought that I was some guy that walked in off the street with the numbers that they hit me that they wanted me to use a brand that I helped build. We’re talking seven figures up front. 18 months later, another installment of seven figures. 30 something percent of profit. They wanted me to cough up seven figures right off the bat, then 18 months later, another seven figures. It just killed the whole deal for me.
“This is before COVID, but I wanted to get some food trucks, wrap them in Big Show Burger trucks and then at WrestleMania, with Fan Axxess, I was going to cook burgers and sell them to fans and help promote. You know the whole gimmick. It’s fun to interact with the fans. It’s fun TV. ‘Here’s the Big Show Burger’, but for whatever reason, the people that I were dealing with it — it’s not one of those things where I could have gone to Vince [McMahon] and been like, ‘Hey, what the hell?’ But it just turned me off so bad and put things in real perspective.”
Wight continued discussing how the Big Show character is viewed by WWE. He then talked about his current standing in AEW and how he is treated by Tony Khan.
“I’ve been playing The Big Show for 20 years, but as far as they’re concerned, anybody could play the Big Show not just Paul Wight because they look at it like it’s a Marvel character or a Disney character, and they own that intellectual property,” Wight explained. “And then I’m thinking about the prices they were hitting me with to do the Big Show Burger, you know, and I know I had done Honeycomb and I’ve done some other things over the years. They weren’t even remotely close to that kind of payoff. I see the writing on the wall. So the writing on the wall was either A, we don’t want you to do this. We don’t want you to be successful, or you know what, we see a chance here to to make it a cash grab.
“I just don’t understand, and the attitude was very blasé of, well, this is what it is, like they’re doing me a favor. And there’s so many instances over the years you have to look at and say that’s okay because that’s business. I get it, and the problem was is I put personal feelings and family and all that stuff that they say, ‘oh, you’re family and all that.’ And when it comes down to the nuts and bolts, it’s family when it suits them, but when it doesn’t suit them, it’s business. So in all actuality, it’s just business all the way around, and it’s not a negative thing. Look, I know people are probably going to think I’m bi**hing, and I’m really not.
“I’m just saying there comes a point in a talent’s life where you have to do what’s best for yourself mentally. It’s not about the the financial dollar and all that kind of stuff, not saying that I’m not making it great. I’m blown away by the deal that I got here. So somebody named Chris Irvine (Jericho) must have put in a good word for me because I’m blown away by the way is Tony’s treated me, the way AEW’s treating me. The opportunity for me to do so many things between create shows and work with TNT and some other stuff. There’s a lot of big stuff happening now. It’s so surreal to me because a lot of those opportunities were denied to me before because I wasn’t in that wheelhouse. I wasn’t John Cena. I wasn’t Triple H. I wasn’t who they wanted those opportunities for.
Wight discussed his meeting with Khan. He called his negotiating period “literally the easiest contract negotiation I’ve ever done in my life.”
“It was really interesting because I started talking to Tony after my contract expired because I waited until I was done with WWE before I reached out,” Wight recalled. “I needed to make it clear to Tony because there were things in the past where people would try to come over here and then they would go back. I wanted Tony to know that my intent was I was coming here, and I wanted to be here and if it worked out with him and I, but I was free in the clear to come here.
“And I wasn’t playing a bidding war game, and I think the first time we talked on the phone we probably talked for three hours about wrestling and psychology. And it was really interesting to talk to someone who is also very knowledgeable and has an incredible database in his brain of everything that’s happened but also understands what I’m saying when I talk psychology, and what I think and what I can contribute. We just had a great time chatting, and we talked probably three or four times on the phone for a couple hours at a time. And then I drove up on a Wednesday afternoon.
“It was real quiet. You guys had taped the week before and him and I watched Dynamite in the office and ordered out some Morton’s, and we did my deal in about 15 minutes. That was it. Terms of were fair. Everything was good. I was comfortable and secure. We shook hands, and that was that. It was literally the easiest contract negotiation I’ve ever done in my life. For so long, I’ve had to be so paranoid with everything because if you took something for granted, ‘well, it’s not in your contract pal,’ and then with Tony, every single question I had was answered, was already thought of, already taken care of.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.