Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Big Show: A Giant's World

A Panther Joe Hip Toss
Oh man, Ben's March Madness is upon us and what better way to kick it off than a documentary about one of the largest entertainers in the world, The Big Show, Paul Wight.

The 3-disc set was released by WWE last week, but Netflix only offered the biopic which came in at a cool run time of 59 minutes. While the other two discs are dedicated to full matches, the story of a man going from car salesman to world renowned wrestler in a couple of years is what will captivate a full breadth of viewers, not just the wrestling fans and historians.
A Giant's World takes us all the way back, when Paul Wight found his large frame a blessing in the sports world and eventually to the twists and turns of finding out he had acromegaly, a hindrance of the pituitary gland that causes excess bone growth in humans. After several years of basketball, including a run for the Wichita State Shockers, Wight burnt out on athletics and took a job as a car salesman. While busting his ass in the cutthroat world of sales, Hulk Hogan and other WCW executives discovered the giant, even admitting "they saw dollar signs in front of them."

From here, the producers did an excellent job of chronicling Wight's instant success, including focusing on the somewhat surprising spot of Wight (now dubbed The Giant) becoming the youngest WCW World Champion at only 23 years old...by beating Hulk Hogan. Like I said before, this isn't just for wrestling fanatics; the heart of the tale is how Wight was having to constantly adjust to his larger than life predicaments and "just add water" success.
The ups and downs of his past are surprising, yet heartwarming. Everything from being demoted to WWE's minor league, Ohio Valley Wrestling, for complacency, to pushing for a more lighthearted, comedic character that kids seemed to love. Wight also openly talks about the very controversial angle back in 1999 that featured another wrestler, The Big Boss Man, and his relentless tormenting of Wight (now The Big Show) over his recently deceased father. Even though in real life Wight's father had succumb to cancer seven years prior, the angle was so heated that The Big Boss Man received several death threats while on tour.

In between the struggles of a seven foot, 450 pound man that the Average Joe may not even think about, we are greeted with exactly how The Big Show turned himself into an icon by making the strides from the wrestling ring to the entertainment business. Cross promotions with superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather at Wrestlemania to landing lead roles in zany comedies help to prove that Wight is way more than a brute Buick of a man who stumbles slowly across the ring.
One of my favorite moments in AGW glosses over this incident between Wight and then WWE main-eventer Brock Lesnar. On an episode of Smackdown, Lesnar went for a superplex on Show from the top rope and upon completion the sheer mass of humanity caused the wrestling ring to buckle. While Wight and others imply that the ring collapse was an accident, the risk and safety elements of the stunt have always led me to think otherwise.

All in all, this was a solid effort on the part of the WWE; the hour long biopic never felt like it dragged and the bountiful amount of other wrestlers providing commentary gave us rounded perspective and a different vantage point of a performer that remains extremely difficult to miss.

3 comments:

The Real Alan Trehern said...

Weeeellllll, it's the MADNESS!!! It's the Big March Madness Tooniiiiggghhtt. UGH!

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