Fighting

SmackDown Miami: WWE’s Big Show talks Shaq, WrestleMania

Big Show (second from left) at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami for a special announcement of a WWE Be a STAR anti-bullying rally partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Also pictured Kalisto (left), The Miz and Stephanie McMahon.
Big Show (second from left) at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami for a special announcement of a WWE Be a STAR anti-bullying rally partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Also pictured Kalisto (left), The Miz and Stephanie McMahon. Photo By Jim Varsallone

To have one WrestleMania moment is big. To have several is Big Show.

The degree of difficulty to land a single WrestleMania moment is high. To garner several, astronomical.

For WWE Superstar Big Show, he’s defied the odds thanks to his ability, size and WWE Universe. WrestleMania moments, he’s had aplenty -- big ones -- competing there against the biggest and the best not only in his profession but other professions, too.

Sumo champ Akkebono, boxing great Floyd Money Mayweather and basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal are giants in their respective field. Each confronted Big Show at a WrestleMania, the Super Bowl of pro wrestling/sports entertainment.

WWE’s biggest stage with big stars from the sports and entertainment world makes for mainstream entertainment and sports hype at its finest. That creates a bigger audience and a bigger payday for the combatants and the company.

The 7-0, 450-pound Big Show stepped up against 6-8, 460-pound sumo champ Akebono in a sumo match at WrestleMania 21 in 2005 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Quite the showdown.

The 7-foot, 450-pound Big Show and the 5-8, 150-pound Mayweather battled in a wrestler vs. boxer match at WrestleMania 24 in 2008 at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. Quite the showoff.

The 7-0, 450-pound Big Show faced-off with the 7-1, 325-pound Shaq during the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32 in April at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Quite the showcase.

“I think Shaq is like me at heart. He’s a big kid,” Big Show said. “He’s a huge wrestling fan, a huge WWE fan. He likes to get in the mix, get involved with it. We’ve been friends for a long time. I love the fact that he calls me out and talks trash.”

So what about Big Show vs. Big Aristotle, the battle of the bigs, at WrestleMania 33 next year in Orlando, where Shaq began his pro basketball career.

“I’m down with that 110-percent,” Big Show said. “I know Shaq’s done some shout-outs on social media...I’m all for it. Absolutely. If anything, he’s picking on my favorite basketball player of all-time, Charles Barkley, every week.”

Shaq, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson tag team to broadcast the award winning “Inside the NBA” on TNT.

Big Show continued: “When I was a rookie in WCW, Charles would come out and give me support when we were in Phoenix. [Barkley played for the Phoenix Suns and lives in Scotsdale, Ariz.]. So if anything, I’ll have Charles Barkley in my corner, and we’ll kick the crap out of Shaq...Barkley in my corner, giving me some advice and then we’ll go after Shaq at WrestleMania. I thank that sounds like a helluva good time...Knowing Shaq, though, he’ll probably get Mayweather in his corner, and then I’m really screwed.”

Never say never in WWE.

Records indicate Big Show has competed in nearly half of WWE’s WrestleManias. Amazing.

“Shaq knows I don’t have anything to do with the decision making on that,” Big Show chuckled. “The people who make those decisions are way above my pay grade. I would love for Shaq to slip on a pair of wrestling boots, some baggy shorts and a singlet and get on out there in the ring and have some fun.

“Shaq is a tremendous athlete. He’s probably one of the best big men to ever play professional basketball. He was a man among boys in his time on the court. For him to come out and be involved in [wrestling], that fine. Shaq’s a bg dude. He’s a strong dude. He’s athletic, and he understands the trash talking and the entertainment value of our sport. Considering a lot of people who I’ve got in the ring with over the years, Shaq is definitely somebody who I’ve had a lot of fun with. I have a lot of fun with him.

“I think that the world would love to see me chokeslam Shaq through a table.”

At WrestleMania 32, Big Show didn’t get to chokelsam Shaq Daddy, but he did stand toe-to-toe with him for a few minutes during Shaq’s surprise entry into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

“That’s a credit to Shaq,” Big Show said. “There wasn’t a lot of preparation for that because he was working the Final Four.”

WrestleMania 32 occurred on a Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington/Dallas. That was also the off-day between the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division I Men’s College Basketball Final Four in Houston, where Shaq served as part of the broadcast team.

“It was like a 15-20 minute talk we had about it, and then boom, he was back in Houston for the Final Four,” Big Show said. “Credit goes to Shaq. He really understands the entertainment value of the business and brings a great positive attitude about going out there and having fun.”

More than 100,000 in attendance, a WWE WrestleMania record, erupted when Shaq ran down the rampway. Albeit just a few minutes, but he and Big Show put on a show, creating a mainstream media and social media buzz.

“For me, I put the brakes on him to calm him down a little bit,” Big Show said. “‘This isn’t the time for all this. Maybe down the road you and I will have a match-up 1-on-1.’”

Shaq wants it. He’s wanted it since guest hosting hosting Monday Night Raw in 2009.

Big Show noted: “His exuberance, his excitement, his passion, he’s always a pleasure to be around, he’s somebody I can’t wait to some day get in the ring and just give one of those big over hand chops and see the look on his face...That’s the part when you realize -- when you lace up your boots and step in the ring -- when I give you a chop in the middle of the ring, and you’re trying to breathe, keep your wind up and keep paying attention to everything that’s going on...and get a ham hock slapped in your chest, it kind of puts things in perspective real quick.”

Big Show will be bringing his ham hock (and maybe some Arbetter’s) to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

WWE will be in Miami on Tuesday, June 28 for SmackDown TV tapings at the AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the three-time NBA champion Miami Heat. Shaq helped the Heat win its first title in 2006.

Big Show, who lives in Miami, is a big fan of the hometown Heat, and the hometown Heat are big fans of the Big Show. A bond exists as this giant from Aiken, S.C. played college hoops. He was a center for NCAA Division I Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan.

He’s ready to step onto the Heat’s court which will be centered with a WWE ring.

@WWETheBigShow

- WWE SmackDown in Miami

AmericanAirlines Arena

Tuesday, June 28

Click here to find tickets.

Scheduled to appear are Roman Reigns, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Charlotte, Bray Wyatt & the Wyatt Family, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, Sasha Banks, A.J. Styles, Kevin Owens, Alberto del Rio, Sheamus, Becky Lynch, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, The Dudley Boyz, Paige, The Miz, New Day, and more.

Bell time is 7 p.m.

TicketMasterWWEMiami

WWE SmackDown is 8 p.m. Thursdays on the USA Network.

- More WWE in Florida in June

WWE will be in Orlando at the Amway Center on Sunday, June 26.

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WWE will be in Jacksonville at the Veterans Memorial Arena also on Sunday, June 26.

JacksonvilleTicketInfo

WWE Raw will be in Tampa at the Amalie Arena on Monday, June 27. Raw is 8 p.m. live on the USA Network.

TampaTicketInfo

- WWE WrestleMania in Orlando

WWE’s WrestleMania 33 is Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Camping World Stadium, formerly the Citrus Bowl Stadium, in Orlando.

@WrestleMania

@WWE

TwitterWWENetwork

- About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms.

WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 170 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at

wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

For information on its global activities, go to

http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

- Pro Wrestling On The Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

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