Article - "IF THE SHOE FITS, STEAL IT"
IF THE SHOE FITS…STEAL IT!
By Robert J. Bledsoe
Courtesy of WWF Magazine
What happens when a 7’2”, quarter-ton adult resorts to imitating his heroes? The result is the Big Show: a small boy in a giant’s body.
When Big Show appeared on Saturday night Live along with Mick Foley, Triple H and guest host, The Rock, it was a dream come true. For someone who craved attention when growing up, the popular TV comedy show proved the perfect outlet to showcase his penchant for making people laugh.
“I finally got to let my personality out,” said Big Show. “People who know me personally know that I’m a funny guy. So, I might as well take the Big Show, take Paul Wight, roll them into one, entertain people, and at the same time, kick some @$#.”
But some of the other Superstars in the Federation think that Big Show has let his appearance on SNL go straight to his head. According to a former Federation champion who wished to remain anonymous, Big Show’s new attitude is troubling: “Big Show has become so obsessed with being loved that if he doesn’t find it, it could prove disastrous.”
Indeed, Big Show’s actions lately do warrant some attention. In his quest for fan adoration, Big Show has become guilty of the crime of “gimmick infringement”-all in an effort to get a reaction from the fans. Instead of trying to harness his own personality and display his own creativity, Big Show has instead commandeered the personas of other Superstars, taking a “one size fits all” approach in the process. Superstars from Rikishi Phatu to Val Venis have all been victims.
”I think that in our business today there’s not one single person who hasn’t infringed on somebody’s gimmick in one way or another,” said Big Show in his own defense. “So, it’s a matter of taking something, seeing it, liking it, maybe changing it, or just flat out doing it better. As far as people liking it, hey, I’m with it. They’ll let me know when they don’t like it.”
But the fan’s reaction has been a mixed bag for Big Show. And this is something he can’t be too happy about. He runs into major problems when a Superstar is more popular than he is. For example, when he was seen dancing with Rikishi, fans appreciated Big Show’s dnace attempts, but when Rikishi gets ready to bust-a-groove, Big Show takes a backseat in their reactions. It becomes painfully obvious that fans enjoy the real thing better than the imitation. After one such episode, Big Show was caught backstage pondering what had just happened-the need to be accepted was easily seen in his face.
Part of the frustration Big Show feels with the fans can be blamed in himself. He has shown time and again that he’s a sore sport if his acts aren’t well received by those whose gimmicks he steals, or if fans like the original more than the counterfeit. Grandmaster Sexay of Too Cool was put out of action for several weeks due to an injury he sustained at the hands of Big Show. Plus, Big Show stole the Grandmaster’s do-rag and braids. His crime? Saying that Big Show’s dancing wasn’t all that bad, but also saying that it wasn’t all that good, either.
Asked if he felt sorry about what he did to the Grandmaster, an unrepentant Show became enraged. “Let’s face it: I’m sensitive and I don’t like critics,” Show said. “If [Grandmaster Sexay]’s got the intestinal fortitude to stand there and make fun of the way I dance when I try to express myself, then he’d better have the backbone to back it up. And, quite obviously, he didn’t.”
As for the do-rag and braids, “Right now, I’ve got them hanging on a lampshade in my garage,” he said.
Though some see him as a fraud who infringes on gimmicks, other believe he’s genuine in his antics-all of which Big Show maintains are for the entertainments of Federation fans. It’s a touchy subject for the big man who’s still trying to fill a void inside of himself; one that seems as deep as a canyon.
“I’m entertaining,” he reiterates. “Everybody knows that I can snap somebody’s neck with a twist and snap of my fingers. Right now, I’m doing what I think I want to do. I’m doing what the people want me to do. I’ve got talent and I’ve got personality. I’m having fun. That’s all that matters.”
But maybe it’s this attitude that’s going to eventually lead to Big Show’s “big fall”. How long can he continue to infringe on others’ gimmicks and expect fans to appreciate him for who he is? As the old saying goes, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” In other words, perhaps the fans will finally accept Big Show for who he is when he actually shows them.