Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big Show: WWE's Go-To Stepping Stone




It was announced on last night’s RAW that Big Show is the new number one contender for the Undertaker’s World Heavyweight Championship.

According to Show, he struck a deal with Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long prior to Sunday night’s Bragging Rights pay-per-view.

The deal was simple enough: if Big Show turned on the RAW squad and helped Smackdown win the inaugural Bragging Rights match, Long would name him the number one contender.

Big Show did his part and chokeslammed Kofi Kingston off of the top rope, leading to a win for the blue brand, and Long upheld his end of the bargain as well.

At the opening of RAW, Big Show let the world know exactly why he’d turned on RAW—as if any of us are supposed to believe that brand loyalty exists anyway—and proclaimed himself to be the next in line to attempt to dethrone the Undertaker.

With that announcement the world let out a collective groan.

You see we’ve seen Big Show versus Undertaker about a million and a half times.

In fact, for those who don’t remember, Big Show and Undertaker squared off last year at Survivor Series in a very forgettable Casket Match.

Prior to that they’d had a confrontation at Unforgiven, a match at No Mercy, a Last Man Standing Match at Cyber Sunday, and following the aforementioned Casket Match they concluded the feud with a Steel Cage match on Smackdown.

The oversaturation of the Big Show/Taker feud isn’t what bothers me. It’s annoying and only further proves that the booking team is struggling to keep things fresh, but it’s a forgivable offense.

I mean seriously, after sitting through some combination of Cena/Orton/Triple H in the main event on RAW for the better part of—well—forever, I can handle a stale, rehashed feud on the blue brand every now and then.

What really bothers me about this is that no one in their right mind believes Big Show is going to win this match.

In the past year the WWE has shown us that it has no problem playing hot potato with the two marquee championships. Since last year’s Survivor Series the WWE Championship has changed hands ten times and the World Heavyweight Championship nine times.

Despite those gaudy numbers, does anyone think Big Show has a chance of walking away from Survivor Series with a third gold belt slung over his beefy shoulder? I didn’t think so.

For all the WWE’s work to build Big Show as an indestructible monster—generally a biannual event—they seem to put just as much work into turning him back into a joke.

He spent the early part of his year destroying Cena and Edge and knocking out wrestlers left and right only to be the guy on his back at the end of every feud.

This is no new thing either; it’s been that way throughout his entire career.

The WWE brought Big Show in to plenty of hype and hysteria and played him up as an unstoppable force. Seven feet tall. Five hundred pounds. Blah Blah Blah.

In the end, he was just another bad-guy for Stone Cold and The Rock to topple on their way to the top.

To this day he’s been given two runs with the WWE Championship; both times he was a transitional champion. Neither of his reigns amounted to anything memorable. He was given a shot with the US Title and the first big run with the ECW Title after the reboot. He’s held tag titles numerous times and that’s about it. Nothing overly impressive in the grand scheme of things.

That’s who Big Show is. He’s a second-tier giant.

The WWE will build him up a couple times a year—after misusing and/or burying him the rest of the time—and stick him in a main event with the hopes that the WWE Universe will jump to their phones to order the next pay-per-view because Big Show could win the big one.

The problem is that Big Show is never going to win the big one.

Sticking him into a feud with the Undertaker for Survivor Series won’t sell any more tickets or garner any more PPV buys. If anything, it’s a lackluster main event that could turn away fans, especially when coupled with a potentially-great, yet equally played-out main event on the RAW side of things.

Big Show may be a main event wrestler in both status and stature, but when it comes to the opinion of the fans, he’s just an unthreatening stepping stone.

A big stepping stone, but a stepping stone nonetheless.

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