Fighting

SmackDown Miami: Big Show talks Mayweather, Granny, WrestleMania

WWE SmackDown TV tapings return to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday, June 28.
WWE SmackDown TV tapings return to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday, June 28. Photo By Jim Varsallone

For WWE Superstar Big Show, his WrestleMania moments are not just wrestling matches. They are attractions.

He’s competed 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 boasts 32 WrestleManias, and records indicate Big Show has competed in nearly half of them. Amazing.

With all his big matchups, probably the roughest occurred afterward, backstage, fending off an irate purse swinging granny. We’ll get to that later.

Including big stars from sports and entertainment worlds on WWE’s biggest stage makes for mainstream entertainment and sports hype at its finest. With a growing interest in WrestleMania, that creates a bigger audience and a bigger payday for the performers and the company, and Big Show is to thank for some of it.

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 Money 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.

Next year WrestleMania is in Orlando, marking the second time Orlando will host a WrestleMania. The first occurred in 2008 when Big Show squared off against Money Mayweather.

“It’s not how hard Floyd punches,” Big Show said. “Obviously he’s one of the greatest boxers ever. Regardless of how you think his fights are, boxing is very simple. You throw punches. You count em up, and you don’t get hit. Floyd is amazing. He understands the psychology of promotion. He is a very, very intelligent businessman.

“Just like [Muhammad] Ali did back in his day, he understands how to motivate people to want to see him fight or to see someone want to kick his ass. Mayweather was a great, great transition to come from boxing and do that spot at WrestleMania..... He was a fantastic representative of his sport, representative of his own brand. He brought that flash, flair and the big money. His professionalism was over the top. I would work with Floyd again in any circumstance. He’s one of the most professional people I’ve ever worked with behind the scenes as far as attitude and what needs to get done, the story that we’re telling. He stepped up to the plate.”

Big Show continued: “When he hit me in the face in Vegas, when I was on one knee, I only thought he hit me three times. When I looked back and saw the tape, he hit me like five or six times. He’s so fast. Holy smokes, this guy is amazing. The work that he did, the trash talking he did, really set that WrestleMania up. Then his performance at WrestleMania I thought he did outstanding. I thought he told a good story about boxer vs. wrestler, boxer vs. giant. He had a chair and [brass] knuckles. So he found an equalizer, and we told a good story.

“And like WWE always does, we always make sure that any of our guests who participate have a good time, and that they look well being a part of our program.”

Big Show knew Money Mayweather would be professional, promote it and bring it, but that doesn’t mean it was easy afterward.

Big Show explained: “The only trouble I had with the whole angle was when I got to the back, and Floyd’s grandma beat the crap out of me with her purse, because that’s like her baby boy. She was legit [mad]. Floyd had to come over and save me from his grandma who was kicking my ass for real. She was pretty upset with the Big Show, but we made up and had a slice of apple pie later on. So Floyd’s grandmother and I made up, and it was all good.”

Take note. You don’t ever want to anger a giant or a granny.

Plenty of grandmas in South Florida, so Big Show be alert as 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.

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 sporting bond also exists. This giant from Aiken, S.C. played college basketball at NCAA Division I Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan.

He’s ready to step onto the court again but this time when it holds a WWE ring.

@WWETheBigShow

- WWE SmackDown in Miami

AmericanAirlines Arena

Tuesday, June 28

Click here to find tickets.

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

Bell time is 7 p.m.

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

- 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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