Paul Wight = Wasted Potential

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by relentless1, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. relentless1

    relentless1 G.O.A.T.

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    WWF horribly misused Paul Wight from day 1.

    Having him inadvertently throw Austin through the cage made Giant look like an idiot. Day one.

    Having him lose clean to Austin within his first cpl weeks was the height of stupidity.

    The Big Show is and was a dumb name for a guy who should've been dominant from day one, his original moniker was supposed to be Titan and thats a lot more akin to the vibe he should've been putting out.
    This guy should have been treated as Brock leaner is treated now; rare appearances where he shows up to annihilate anyone he wants and take off again until hes ready to cause more carnage.

    He should've been bought by no one including Vince for at least his first cpl years and he should have been World Champ for at least a year; preferably the year that Austin left. In fact, he should have been the reason Austin was out for a year in the first place kayfabe.

    At least WCW treated the guy like a genuine threat whenever he showed up on the scene.

    Does anybody else agree with this statement? how would you have booked Paul Wight any differently?
     
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  2. Deoxyribonucleic A.C.I.D.

    Deoxyribonucleic A.C.I.D. Kamehamehaaaaa!!

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    We're talking about the same guy that was sent back to developmental in 2001-2002 aren't we? Main event talent, this big attraction of yours, sent back to developmental.

    I don't really know why Big Show was used like that, but his contract was A LOT different than what we saw. Vince wanted Austin vs Show to headline WM 2000. That was a deal that was put into Show's contract before he even debuted. Show had a deal to receive a world title match at Wrestlemania.

    Now you talk about Show appearing rarely and being used like Brock Lesnar. That's so nice of you to fuck hindsight.
    What Lesnar does now, was unheard of back then and nobody would let it happen in that specific locker room first of all. Nobody would accept Big Show getting special treatment.

    I agree that Big Show deserved a better debuting storyline than the one he received, but if there's one thing wrestling taught me, it's this: if you're gonna make it, you're gonna make it. Ringmaster, Rocky Maivia, Blueblood Levesque, a white rapper, a Deadman. They all made it.

    Vince probably never saw Big Show as a big thing and the fans never really got behind him as much as they were behind the other AE stars.

    Big Show has had an amazing career and right now, he deserves a proper Wrestlemania retirement match.
     
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  3. OYDK

    OYDK King Of The Ring

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    The Big Show was used better in WCW, I doubt you'd find many people who would disagree with that statement. And having him lose to Austin so early on WAS a pretty stupid decision. Still, if The Big Show had come in prepared, he probably would have been treated better. It was pretty obvious very early on that he had little to no idea how to work a proper match. His cardio was horrendous and I remember reading that his attitude wasn't the greatest either. Once all of that became painfully apparent, there was absolutely no way he was going to be put above others such as Austin, The Rock, Taker, etc.

    He was put with Taker in the hopes that Taker could work a miracle and get something resembling a half-decent effort out of Show but even that failed. Which is why he was sent down to developmental. Once he came back, he was infinitely better, but the mystique was gone. Treating him like Brock Lesnar would not have made him a better wrestler. And they were not going to pay him full-time to show up once every 3 months when their top guys were working 300+ days a year.

    The WWE taught Paul Wight what it took to be a WWE wrestler at that time. And he became a bonafide legend because of it.
     
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  4. MartialHorror

    MartialHorror Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    If memory serves, the reason why he was sent to developmental was because his weight was problematic and he had some attitude problems. I vaguely remember an interview with Undertaker where he insinuated that Big Show had talent, but was lazy.

    Obviously there reached a point where he got a lot better and improved his attitude though. I think it was a little bit of both Show's problems and how WWE was using him that kept him from reaching his full potential. When he first came to WWF, he was billed as Paul White. Then it was changed to Big Nasty or some stupid shit like that. That's an even worse name than the Big Show and I agree that the name is a little too silly and gimmicky.

    WCW didn't utilize him very well either though. It should be noted that he was incredibly athletic during that time period, doing drop kicks, jumping off the turnbuckle and even kip-ups. He looked good, although his weight problems started being an issue even then. WCW had a much lazier atmosphere, so it wouldn't surprise me if Show picked up some bad habits from them. But anyway, Show had a pretty good start, but quickly became relegated to jobber status. Much like now, he'd win matches against other jobbers, but rarely the matches that counted. He was usually used to put others over. Yes, they still made him look like a threat. When Warrior took him out, it was treated like a big deal. I remember Goldberg wiping out NWO (who was bullying DDP) and the show ended with a big showdown between Goldberg and the Giant (it sadly ended before things got physical between them). But is that any different than now?

    Big Show is usually booked to look like a threat. He just puts over the more relevant people, like Braun Strowman or Roman Reigns. I've always been a huge fan of the guy though. I think he's actually a very underrated performer, as on the mic, Show can either be really funny or menacing. He has a great physical presence (even when he's fat) and performs pretty well in the ring, very well for a big man.
     
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  5. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I remember hearing that the original plan for Big Show was that he was going to be billed as "the son of Andre The Giant". Let that sink in for a moment.

    Show is rare for a big man that he actually is very good on the mike. He can play things for laughs, or be menancing.

    I think part of the problem, which no-one has touched on here, is his constant face/heel changes. I think that they brought him in as a heel, and soon after, turned him face.

    It soon seemed that a Big Show turn became an annual event.

    This also tells me that they kept changing their plans for him. Part of this was that he got injured, and also carried too much weight.

    I think that he also had a lazy attitude. Show signing with WWE was a big deal at the time, as it was Vince stealing a WCW superstar back (as WCW were stealing away many WWF stars) and being tall always appeals to Vince's "big man" fetish. So he signed him to a ten-year, million dollar plus a year contract. When you have that attention paid to you, it is easy to take it for granted. Show probably thought that he would have everything handed to him.

    Also, his Wrestlemania winning record is very poor, and when you have it being made a storyline of, when he feuded with Cody Rhodes, and when you have non-wrestlers like Akebono and Floyd Mayweather beat you at Wrestlemania, it doesn't make you look like a star. He didn't even get on the card at WMX8, but was interviewing at the "WWE New York" restaurant instead.

    I think the fact that Big Show was not in the Royal Rumble speaks volumes about where he currently sits in the pecking order.
     
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  6. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    He WAS billed as the son of Andre, in WCW. That might be where you heard of this "rumor". Haha! Sorry, I don't mean to make fun, but that struck me as so funny. It's like saying "I remember hearing that the original plan for Glenn Jacobs was that he was going to be an evil dentist."
     
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  7. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    Wasted potential?

    If you call 18 years on a million a year downside wasted potential then PLEASE let me waste mine...

    Paul Wight is a unique case, he is the ONLY true "giant" they ever had who had his pituitary sorted young. It meant he avoided most of the problems that literally killed guys like Andre and Gonzales and is able to be active well into his forties. Right now he is one year off when Andre passed and the difference between them is night and day.

    Show is jacked, in shape and while he has injuries etc, he is as healthy as anyone on the roster. Andre was literally a cripple before 40.

    How does this mean his potential wasn't wasted? Easy, in 2000 they took a look at him and saw too many bad habits in and out of the ring, he was sent to OVW STILL on a million bucks a year and worked those tiny shows... Mark Henry had the same deal and was made to do the same... rather than take it as an insult, both knuckled down and improved to the point they've been fixtures ever since...nearly 20 years on that big money. Vince gave both guys 10 year deals at a milllion, by the end of the 10 years, Show had probably done enough to justify that deal but to be there at nearly 20 shows the faith was well placed.

    In Big Show's case, there have been times he's been "the guy" and times he was a glorified jobber, times he was a monster and other times a goof. If he'd been used purely as Brock is then his star would have dimmed far sooner than it has. As good as he is, he is NOT the guy you build your company on... but he's the guy you keep around as an attraction. He even managed to make a match with Mayweather work, when it had no business being even considered.

    If, when Vince had that first creative meeting with him he'd said..."You'll be a monster for the 10 years of your deal...or until the fans get bored." or "You will lose a lot of matches, but you'll be on this contract for the next 20 years and we will ALWAYS employ you in some capacity and you are guaranteed to be alongside Andre in the HOF..." which do you think he'd have taken? Which outcome shows the most belief in his potential? and that he met one of those, shows he actually lived up to that potential and past it.
     
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  8. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    I was just going to write the same thing. This guy had one of the longest and most financially successful runs in WWE history. He was always at or near the top of the card. Headlined multiple WrestleMania's and PPV's and feuded with every major star in the company. Guys like Big Show were never going to be "the man" the traveling and numerous promotional appearances would be too taxing on a seven foot 500 pound body.

    He didn't need a belt. He was 7 foot 500 plus pounds. He drew a lot of money and made a lot of money. He had a long and decorated career. He will go down as one of the top 5 "giants" of all time if not top two alongside Andre so I don't see where he was 'wasted."
     
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  9. relentless1

    relentless1 G.O.A.T.

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    He could've been so much more than he was; Andre was used correctly because of the territory system, he was an attraction; he was used sparingly and was seen as a mythical figure because of it. Wight could've been similar had Vince seen that potential in him instead his first year was shit compared to how he should've been used; he should've been a wrecking ball especially in his first cpl years. Instead, hes jobbed out to Austin and Mankind right away, put into the Union which was a shit stable that went nowhere, had some dumbass story about his dead dad and during that time he had an "intense" feud with BOSSMAN... not HHH, austin, Rock, Taker, Mankind... Boss fuckin Man....held the belt for a month and was an afterthought the entire time... the next time he got a title reign wasn't until 2002!!! and again; one month...

    unacceptable for a guy as special as he could have been IMO; say what you want but just because he coasted for 10 years in the upper mid doesn't make his potential realized, not even close.. ask Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko and those guys about wasted potential... they were getting paid very well in WCW and left because they wanted to reach a higher level within the industry... the money didn't matter as much as that did...same applies for Show, he could and should have been a lot more throughout his career.
     
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  10. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

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    I think he could have been so much better in the WWE. Given his size... the type of aura Brock Lesnar has today.

    However its a different era to the Andre push (remember he wasn't pinned on WWF television for 15 years till WM3- though Andre did lose outside the promotion)- so by 1999 onwards, the WWE was producing car crash TV- where storylines and fueds were resolved much quicker than the slow building stories of the 70s/80s.

    That said, Wights conditioning must have been deemed poor for WWE to send him to a health farm in late 2000 to lose weight. By that point the invincible push was never going to happen.
    Though he has been with the company 19 years- Big Show has lost too many times- against much smaller compertition to have been considered an Andre level threat.

    Every now and again they would push the Show to look monsterous and decimate his opponents in short order... then have him lose, then demoted back to the midcard.
    A few months later the bookers would consider 'who can we give a push to?.... enter Big Shows 162nd push .... and the process repeats itself.
    It happened too many times for people to believe that a long term monster was going to last
     
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  11. AndrewC316

    AndrewC316 Dark Match Jobber

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    He could be seen now as an Undertaker level legend but it never worked out for one reason or another
     
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  12. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    Depends on how you look at it.

    When you look at Big Show's history in WWE, I have to agree that there's a long line of misuse and just plain crappy storylines with him. Stuff like having him do impersonations, such as he'd do with Hogan, stuff like "Shonan the Barbarian", the whole love affiar thing with Vickie Guerrero, dressing up like and dancing with Pee Wee Herman, having him break down in the ring crying and begging not to be fired etc. were all lousy. What made them so lousy was that, for me, it's hard to go back to portraying Show as a badass, which is mostly what they've done the last several years, when you look at how tarnished his credibility as a badass has been.

    As has been pointed out, however, the notion of using Big Show like Brock Lesnar when he arrived was unheard of since nobody had a million to multi-million dollar deal where they made a grand total of 10 to 15 times per year, and that includes a combined total of promo segments and matches. Even Hulk Hogan didn't have a deal like that in WCW. Such a deal is only possible today because of the mainstream success and recognition of Brock Lesnar and the fact that WWE's revenue today is about triple what it was 20 years ago so they've got the money for such a deal.

    However, as others have alluded to, Show has made huge money over the course of his career. A million dollar downside guarantee is sorta the stuff dreams are made of for most wrestlers and Show's made that for most of the past 20 years. He's a 6 or 7 time World Champion, depending on whether or not you count the ECW Championship, Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, and an 11 time Tag Team Champion. So, factor all that in with the money he's made and I think it's a safe bet that Paul Wight himself would disagree that he was wasted potential.
     
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  13. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    Did you watch his WCW run, the guy was booked as poorly as he was in WWE. They started him before he was ready because Hogan needed a opponent for Halloween havoc. They booked him in that awful monster truck segment were he supposedly die before coming back from the dead and after winning the title by DQ, he started dry humping Hulk hogan with the Yeti.

    Then became pretty much just another monster for hogan to destroy for a couple of months before giving him a title run. Drop the belt to hogan and instead of capitalizing on his new found popularity and have him chase hogan for the title, one month they have him join the NWO like the would beatdown and spray paint stuff the month prior never happened.

    Then he pretty much the fouth wheel of the NWO before they turn him baby face again which lasted a few month then they turn him heel again and i think he join the nwo at less three of four time during his run and left them at less as many time. He's was pretty much the punching bag of goldberg for the last part of his WCW career, Before he left for WWE.

    So yes, WWE didn'T use him to is full potential, But WCW did even worst with him. Plus while both company could have done a better job with him, some of what happen is kinda is fault since he wasn't always the most motivate guy in the locker room and while he could get away with it in WCW, in WWE that attitude wouldn't work and they let him know about it really quickly.

    Paul wight could have been more but i feel he did pretty well for himself considering everything and he was better booked in WWE then WCW in my opinion.
     
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  14. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    Paul Wight came with a lot of problems, not the least of which was that he had to shake the stigma of being a WCW guy.

    Vince getting Paul Wight was huge for the time, WCW still had a few years left on their death clock and they had to endure those years without one of their definitive world champion mainstays. I don't think that Vince was considering anything other than sticking it to the rival that almost ran him out of business. Paul comes in, and they didn't have a catchy gimmick name for him, I remember he would wear a shirt that said "no gimmick needed". He got a huge push with an immediate world championship against Rock and HHH, and then he was allowed to carry the belt over the new year into the year 2000. HHH might have gotten to win the belt back clean in a subsequent rematch on tv, but Paul Wight has the distinction of being the WWE's millennium man.

    I don't think that the WWE wasted Paul's potential, I think that they did everything in their power to help Paul realize his potential and in spite of that he still put on weight and he still treated his fellow wrestlers like shit.

    I think that, unlike WCW, the WWE had the courage to confront Paul about his lack of commitment and that he ended up being better off for their disciplinary measures. Sure, we could have done without seeing Paul clutching his Dad's casket while Bossman dragged it while driving a speeding car, or seeing him suffering from Montezuma's revenge.

    Paul gets to look back on his career as being someone who was born to be a prowrestler, and he entertained millions as a prowrestler. He's a multi-time world champion and an obvious Hall of Fame induction is in store for him. I don't think that anyone else could have done better by him regarding what the WWE did with him.
     
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  15. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    Did he treat his fellow wrestlers like shit when compared to someone like Triple H? After all, he has jobbed to 90% of the major talents over the years, he has been the stepping stone for a LOT of guys. Does he have to be the nicest guy backstage? Hell no, if you're that size you don't do ANYTHING you don't want to do for anyone... if they have a problem, they can try and take you on. Andre knew this and if Wight decided to take a leaf from his book then that in itself is no bad thing.

    Did he put on weight? Sure, and he has equally fought to get in insane shape at various points. Acromegaly is a unique condition, you can't pretend to know the battles he faces daily with his body. If he gets heavier, it still works for his gimmick, if he is in beast mode all the better, but it's clear somewhere he decided the latter is best for him...and he's clearly doing it FOR HIM, not WWE or Vince or the fans.

    He has clearly done what was required of him over the years, but he's gone above it a LOT of times. Early in his run he had the WCW attitude and a year in OVW took that out of him. Has he ever really "coasted" since? No... but WWE have been complacent in using him at times, just as they were with Andre for much of his run.

    When it comes to potential, if anyone could ever be accused of wasting it, it would be Vince... but he didn't have the "perfect" Giant in Paul Wight... what he did have was a talented, hard working guy who had WAY more personality and charisma than any other giant he has ever employed... they COULD have done better a lot of his run, but it also worked in relation to who else they had on the roster. Was he born to it? no... he is the definition of "right place, right time, right guy" and his WCW baptism was invaluable in creating the Hall of Famer. For someone who "fell into this" he's arguably the best of all time.
     
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  16. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    What you don't take into account with Andre was that during the later years of his run, He was really sick and vince knew that so has a friend he tried the best he could to protect him so that's kinda what happened with him. Look at Andre'S run when he was younger through the 70's and early 80's and he was
    used perfectly in that role of a special attraction which he was.

    As for big show, The guy really had attitude problems when he came in WWE, so much so that they paired him with undertaker just to keep his attitude in check. He wasted a lot of his potential and the first part of his career because in WWE because he still had the WCW mentality in him which is normal since he Started wrestling at a young age and didn't have any experience in the business when he debut in WCW. So to him, that's was o.k.

    Then, the other problem you had with Big show after he came back from OVW was that he had the same medical problem that Andre had, so for a long time you couldn't really use him on a regular bases because his health was slowly getting worst. The only difference is that when he came to a point we're Big show could barely move, he was able to get treated and then was able to get in shape.

    I think considering, everything he went through on a personal level, the guy had a great career, the fact that he will always be known as the only guy to win the ECW, WCW & WWE championship prove how great of a career the guy had and the only time he wasted his potential is from his own doing and nobody else. The guy had a Hall of fame worthy career and should be proud of everything he did even if sometimes it was ridiculous.
     
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  17. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

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    I think this sums up Big Show/Paul Wight.
    He has had a great career.... 4 years in WCW and 19 years in the WWE is a heck of the run... and he is a certified hall of famer in waiting.

    However Andre was used the right way- Andre had an aura, and for many many years was unbeatable. If you book your giant this way- people will believe that he is unbeatable.
    Remember up until WM3 Andre had been unbeaten in the WWE for 15 years (even though he has the odd loss outside the promotion to somebody considered his equal such as Inoki).
    That's why when Hogan beat the giant at WM3 it was such a big big deal.
    Andre had been built for years that he never suffered a pinfall loss and always won a Battle royal. That's why fans believed he was unbeatable because he was booked that way.
    Imagine today if a guy today goes unbeaten for a decade and a half... and then suffers their first televised loss. It would be massive... but of course would never happen in the modern era of crash TV and short championship reigns.

    Big Show had a few monster pushes.... but they were short term... 2 months later he was was demoted back to the midcard suffering losses to guys half his size, and over his career suffered too many losses to mediocre opponents, or a non wrestler (Mayweather) to be as believable as Andre.
    Sure the booking (Vince and co.) can be blamed for not using Wight to his full potential- but in the non-kayfabe era, wrestling is totally different.
    Being around the same era as Rock, Austin and Hogan (WCW) meant that Big Shows runs at the top were short.... however in the era between Bruno and Hogan... Andre WAS the biggest star in wrestling. Its often said that Andre was the 2nd most recognisable person in sport after Muhammad Ali at the time.

    Sure Big Show did a miles better interview.... but Andre had an aura about him. He was a spectacle, a true giant, rarely taken off his feet... and people believed that when they say him.

    Big Show is up there with the best giants in wrestling history- but given the way wrestling is booked at a much faster pace.... I don't think any giant will get the opportunity to overtake Andre at the top of the list.
     
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  18. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    I don't like to play the comparison game as a means of judging a percentage for how much at fault someone is for something. By Paul Wight's own admission when he gave a speech for one of the Tough Enough casts, he came in to the WWE thinking that because he had worked with Hogan and had been a World Champion that he could expect that same treatment in a rival company. Maybe Vince led him astray with his own over-enthusiasm and for famously having the attitude that a toxic locker-room is a healthy locker-room. Either way, Paul Wight admitted without any caveats that he came to the WWE with a bad attitude and that he rightfully suffered for it.

    As you likely know; Paul Wight coined the phrase "You can't fake gravity". I get that being a naturally huge person means that you're going to have to fight harder to stay in good athletic shape and take extra precautions to ensure that you'll live past 40. I have no doubt that Paul gets extra pats on the back by his fellow wrestlers for being able to even run the ropes at his size and age. I'm not saying that Paul wasn't motivated enough to stay in shape, if anything I'm crediting him for finding the will to prove that a even a giant can bounce back from letting himself go physically. The WWE essentially sent him to remedial training likely because Paul acknowledged his excess weight and wanted to get better.

    I realize that I had been implying that Paul was punished for being lazy, when I should have more-so implied that Paul willingly cooperated with the WWE's recommendations. Complacency runs rampant in prowrestling, sometimes for good reason. Paul's been able to be a convincing face and even an underdog on a few memorable occasions, but I don't think that most casual fans are capable of jumping out of their seats with excitement for anything more complicated than another Rocky story. Not for lack of talent in Paul, but if the WWE could have used Paul in a more interesting way, then I'm not capable of imagining it.

    I think that if there was a definition for the perfect giant, Paul Wight would come closer than any other giant prowrestler. Happy Humphrey would be booed out of the building if he tried to be taken seriously as a wrestler today. Maybe Paul could have been better in terms of how he was used, but you have to admit that it's going to be very difficult for the WWE to replace him.
     
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  19. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    It will be hard to replace ANY giant in the modern era... medical science has moved on for people with Acromegaly as seen with guys like Lars Sullivan who has some characteristics but he is smaller than he would have been 30 years ago... those truly giant-like guys will be fewer and farther in between and it's likely there will NEVER be another guy the actual size of Show or Khali. The surgery will get done younger, as in Show's case and their proportions will become more even. Too many kids with the condition would rather live than be famous for being big...great for them and the right call, but bad for Vince and the business.

    There will be "big men" but the era of Giants is ending, add the roid problem into the mix and we're heading into an era where a "giant" will be someone like Strowman or even guys like Drew at 6ft 5".

    I don't think he's ever been lazy as such... he came in having been in the worst possible place, around the worst possible people when he left WCW. The OVW stint was more based on how horribly green he really was rather than his attitude... it helped to correct that, but ultimately that the two famous cases were both big men on big contracts over 10 years means it was more about protecting an investment than any genuine issue with behaviour.

    The proof is, Paul Wight has announced he's resigned a multi-year deal... He ISN'T going away. Maybe that's cos they can't replace him, maybe he just doesn't want to go... but personally, I would rather watch Big Show at 45 than Lars Sullivan in his twenties or thirties.
     
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  20. BigSexyHBK

    BigSexyHBK Dark Match Jobber

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    The problem with the Big Show was that he was a Giant. So the only way to properly use him is by having him destroy everyone in his path and going over everyone. Which you can only do so much and obviously they weren't going to have him cleanly beat Austin/Rock/Undertaker and etc all of the time. So basically without being on a Goldberg type of streak. It's kind of hard to do something with someone like that. You can't have him lose to someone like Benoit/Guerrero and then a month later act like he's some big unstoppable force.
     
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