Big Show Talks WWE Future, How He’s Been Booked, Vince McMahon Relationship, Talent Advice, More
– Tonight’s WWE Network podcast with Steve Austin opens up with Austin backstage. He’s waiting on his guest Big Show, who was just in the main event segment on RAW. Austin gives a shout out to Daniel Bryan for his retirement promo, saying it left a tear in his eye. Austin also gives a shout out to Bret Hart for his battle against prostate cancer.
Show finally comes in and brings Austin the Slammy Award he won back in December for best WWE Network Original. Austin thanks the WWE Universe. Show says Bryan’s speech made him cry also but acknowledges that everyone already knows he cries a lot. Austin gives Show one of his own branded beers as a gift. Show asks if he can drink it now and Austin tells him he better check with Vince McMahon. Austin says he dug Show and Braun Strowman locking up on RAW. Show says Strowman is doing well for himself and has a long way to go but if he keeps his head right, he’ll be a major player. Show says he’s an incredible athlete and gets a little better every day, and doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Show says it’s not easy being in Braun’s position. Austin asks how Show is feeling. Show says he was fine in the match but he blew up running down the hallway trying to get to the interview.
Show says he can’t sleep on airplanes and Austin says they will talk off camera. Austin asks if this is still fun for Show after 20 years. He says absolutely and that’s why he still does it. Show says he’s done all he can as a performer and won titles, faced greats and future greats, and he loves going to work every day. Austin asks how the in-ring product has changed. Show says he misses the old tag teams when a babyface could make a comeback on two heels at the same time off a hot tag. Show says because we’ve tried to modify the product and give referees credibility, there are a lot of situations where comebacks aren’t as good as they used to because they can’t be executed correctly. Show says he doesn’t care if referees have credibility. Austin says Show seems hot about it and he says he is. Show says the business is polite these days. Austin brings up how people have asked him to tell Show to please retire. Show laughs and says that’s usually people just having fun and being part of the show. The ones that do take it serious don’t understand the business and recognize what he does for the younger talents. Show dismisses people saying he buries talents and says he’s won just a handful of matches in the past few years. Show says he’s had more turns than NASCAR. He says he’s universally able to switch back and forth in those roles. He says he has tenure and he’s been here but he also helps the younger guys as far as in-ring timing, character development, in-ring presence and more. Austin asks how many more years Show thinks he has and he says 2 years.
Austin talks about Show still has bills coming in and they do a “Hard Times” Dusty Rhodes promo. Austin wants to get into some serious stuff now. Show says unless he gets injured, he’s not going to retire any time soon. He says he loves what he does and most of the people probably enjoy having him around. They briefly talk about meeting each other years ago. They display some photos from Show’s youth and Show talks about always being big and being diagnosed with acromegaly or giantism at age 19. They believed he suffered the tumor at age 9 but he didn’t learn of it until 19. Show says some parents wouldn’t let him play with their kids when he was younger. Austin says Show is one of the funniest guys in the business. Austin says he thinks he’s funny too and developed his sense of humor because he was so shy as a kid, so shy his sister had to order food for him. Austin says Big Show’s self-deprecating style is probably to un-intimidate people and Show agrees, saying it’s to show people he’s a nice person. Show says he’s naturally very nice. He’s not mean, loves kids and animals. Show talks about his college days at Wichita State and it being a rough time due to his father passing away, learning of the tumor and having surgery, and falling behind in school. They show an old photo of Show’s dad and he gets emotional. Show says he doesn’t know how they found the photo because he hasn’t seen it in a while. Show talks about going through a low point after college and putting a gun to his head. He said he had to do it for a mental reset. He says everything was so dark and he’s not a dark person. Show says there were no rounds in the weapon and it was just a theoretical thing. He says he kicked out and got a job opportunity, loading tractor trailer trucks for $50 per day. He became best friends with the man who hired him. This led to Show moving to Chicago and the man tried talking to the Chicago Bears for him, then WCW.
Show talks about meeting Hulk Hogan in WCW. He does his Hogan impersonation, which isn’t bad, and says he did that for Hogan the first time they met. Hogan told him he has a dollar sign on his forehead. Show was trained by Triple H and Terry Taylor. He jokes that Triple H tells him not to tell people he trained him. Show says they were both very nice to him because he had the right attitude. He didn’t come in like “Hulk’s boy” as he came in wanting to learn and he was a fan of the business before. Show was getting paid good money to train but they tried talking him into going to WWE, where Triple H was headed as he knew WCW wasn’t being ran right. He says after the match with Hogan and 8 months into his WCW contract, Jim Ross called him and offered him double the money to come to WWE. Show told him he wanted to honor the WCW deal and keep his word but he would be happy to talk again once it was over. Show admits Hogan was influential. Hogan could see how things were going and about a year and a half before WCW started going down, Show says Hogan told him to go to WWE if he wanted to be a star because Vince would make him. His original WCW deal was for one match because they needed an opponent for Hogan and he would be signed if everything went right. Hogan told him he was going to do something he never does – Show would walk out with the World Heavyweight Title and put him on the map. Show says he was truly terrified. He knew what the carrying the title meant and what the responsibility meant but he had no idea what to do. He says the title is put on you to draw and your co-workers are looking at you to produce. He thinks the win was alright with the established stars. Guys like Randy Savage, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson were pulling for him because they saw he was a crazy athlete and had potential. He said their money wasn’t affected either way. Hogan told him everyone needed to know there’s a new champion so he should walk through the airport with the title. Austin asks if he fell for that and he did. He says The Steiners and everyone else was walking through calling him champ. Sting finally came over and told him he looked like an idiot, to put the belt away. Show then realized that everyone was making fun of him. Austin looks at the camera and calls that Jabroniville, saying you never wear your title in the airport, heel or face. Show says he was proud but may have been a little Markville.
Show talks some about his early WCW days. He thought the DX invasion outside of WCW Nitro was hysterical. He remembers Eric Bischoff running around talking about fighting Vince McMahon and Terry Taylor said Vince would tear his eyes out. Show wanted to go out and say hello to Triple H but didn’t because he would get heat for it. They talk about how Scott Hall and Kevin Nash coming to WCW changed everything for the business. He says the WCW locker room was easy when he first started. Guys played gin and dominoes until The Outsiders came. Once Hall and Nash came, everyone started doing push-ups and got worried about their spot. He says babyfaces didn’t want to work against them because they were more real on the mic and gimmick guys didn’t want to work with them because their gimmick wasn’t put over. He talks about how morale got bad, saying it went from a very fun place to work to everyone was like vicious dogs in a corner snapping at each other. He came to WWE and saw that everyone was so professional and hungry to have the best match on the card. He says that was the most intimidating part. Show says Austin was so intense back then and good at what he did in the ring. Show says everyone trying to be the best was overwhelming. They also look back at Show’s WWE debut at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Austin says it was like working with a grizzly bear. Show says he had brutal heat when he came to WWE. He knew Triple H and The Undertaker took him in. He says Taker used to wait for him after matches. He would try to sneak off to the side but Taker would find him. Taker would always give him pointers on what he needed to work on. He says Taker poured so much knowledge into him. He says he didn’t deserve it and he’s blessed to have received it. Show thought everyone absolutely hated him to the point no one would care if he drove his rental car off a bridge.
They talk more about Big Show’s early WWE days and how Austin changed his career with their match. Austin says people e-mailed him questions on the many heel and face turns he’s had in his career, over 30 now. Show says on one hand, it makes him a little sad because his character deserve a little more integrity. At the same time, it proves hes a very valuable hand to the company. When they need something done, whether it’s get this new guy over or work with Floyd Mayweather, he can fill the various roles. Austin asks what his real deal assessment on how hes been booked in his 17 years. Show says he’s been booked horrible, horrendous. Show says he’s a victim of his own success because this business is always trying to find the next big fix as fast as they can and he’s always been a team player and looked at it like Vince gives him a lot of money and a contract so if he’s asked to go dance in a baby diaper, he will. Show screw what should have been, he’s damn thankful for what he’s done. Show says he has no regrets.
Austin asks about Mayweather and the shoot punches he hit Show with. Show praises Mayweather as a businessman and says he understood parts of wrestling. Show says he told Mayweather to break his nose because blood runs green and they were shooting a big angle. Show says he really was upset and if Shane McMahon wasn’t there, he might have ripped Floyd’s spine out. Show says the match was awesome with Mayweather. Austin asks how his relationship with Vince has changed or developed. Austin tells any talents listening that they have to establish a relationship with Vince and sometimes that’s hard to do. Show says at first Vince had a lot of expectations but Show says he didn’t deliver to Vince. He says when he started working with Bock Lesnar, Brock put him back on the map. Show says his attitude and everything was different then. He remembers Austin having a talk with him about being consistent and that’s what he did. Show says he started spending time with Vince and Vince learned he’s not what other people said he was, Vince learned about him as an individual. Show says Vince has been like a dad he lost in a lot of ways. He says Vince pisses him off like a dad, challenges him like a dad and takes care of him. Austin asks about Show doing acting. Show talks about how being 7 foot tall doesn’t necessarily land him every role, he still has to be able to deliver lines. Show says he’s always open to criticism and is doing a lot of cold reads now. Austin asks how Show wants to be remembered when he retires. Show says as someone who loved the business and loved the guys he worked with, who was appreciate of everything. Show says he’s just thankful. He doesn’t care about big accolades or Hall of Fames. He’s had respect for the guys he worked with and his boss. He knows what he’s been able to do in his heart and he’s happy with that. Austin asks if the business has been what he expected to be or 10 times more. Show says it’s been so overwhelmingly more than he could have expected. Austin asks his greatest achievement in WWE. Show says respecting his peers. He goes on about leaving on a positive note and with respect. Austin asks for a quick piece of advice for people in NXT trying to get in the business. Show tells them to stay versatile, stay hungry, stay attentive and be open to new things because your future isn’t defined yet. Show says it’s not your gimmick or how you pose, you have to have in-ring skills, fundamentals and adaptability to change, mold and grow. He says if Vince gives you an opportunity, make the most of it because sometimes they don’t come twice. They wrap the interview after that and it was a really great watch.
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