The Anti-Antagonist: Putting on a Show

Adam Gorzelsky

Big ShowAs many of you are aware, I spent last week’s column blowing off some steam in regard to the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan feud and the WWE Championship picture in general. I stand by everything I said last week as I continue to believe that placing a high degree of prominence on this rivalry would be immensely beneficial from a business, entertainment, and most importantly, a wrestling perspective.

When writing that piece, I was cautious to ensure that I didn’t implicate John Cena in a negative fashion…My intent was to extol the virtues of two superstars, not to discredit those who alternatively stand in the spotlight. To this end, I feel that it is my responsibility this week to ensure that another superstar has not been lost in translation.

Without any hesitation, I’m happy to state that I have thoroughly enjoyed the Big Show the past two weeks. I have to admit that initially I was skeptical about the prospect of seeing him thrust back into a major role at this point in his career. Part of this skepticism stemmed from a desire to see an enhanced usage of younger talent, while part of my doubts resulted from a personal failure to recall Paul Wight’s intelligence, charisma, and unrealistic athletic prowess when given the opportunity to perform at the highest level.

While the issue of younger talent remains, the simple fact of the matter is that opportunities to scale the ranks of the roster have to be grabbed by the balls…Daniel Bryan got the memo and it looks like Dolph Ziggler may be well on his way. Nonetheless, until a youth movement fully comes to fruition, WWE can’t necessarily be blamed for relying upon an established star to carry a portion of the main event workload. In my humble opinion, these last two weeks have proven why Big Show still is considered to be one of those go-to stars.

Coming out of Over The Limit, I have to be blatantly honest in saying that I had absolutely nooooo idea where the storyline was going, why the storyline had moved in this specific direction, and who the hell came up with this brilliant idea in the first place…..Why help the man who humiliated you in front of the world? Why not wait for Big Johnny to get fired and then return? What if Johnny lost before Show’s arrival? How can David Otunga drink so much coffee past 9 o’clock and still fall asleep?

Minus that last conundrum, I had serious logical concerns that left me questioning why I should care about this angle…why should I believe that Big Show could go from a happy-go-lucky jolly giant to a calculated vigilante for a corporate puppet in the span of a week?

With this negative attitude in tow, I watched the post OTL Raw somewhat expecting the worst…What I saw was a personal masterpiece from the Big Show. He absolutely killed his opening promo, delivering an impassioned speech that went a long way toward explaining a motive that previously appeared to be unexplainable. He immediately connected with the crowd and provided a non-John Laurinaitis pure heel persona that has been sorely missing from WWE as of late….I dug it…It may not have been my first choice for an opening segment, but talent should be recognized and appreciated when it produces a compelling and entertaining performance.

The trend continued this Monday with another well thought out and well delivered promo that further provided a logical and despicable rationale for the heel turn…Yes, the promo ran a BIT long, but I’m assuming that this simply was a practice run in preparation for the segments that await us when the 3-hour Raws begin….I’m joking…I think.

In all seriousness, I did enjoy the promo, but especially was a fan of the manner in which Raw ended. It’s no secret that I’m a huge mark for the technical prowess of mid-size competitors, but sometimes I simply long to see a good old fashioned ass kicking from a larger than life superstar. It felt like we haven’t seen pure destruction like that in a looong time….maybe I’m mis-remembering, but for some reason it was a breath of fresh air to watch Kofi sail through the security railing. I joked on Twitter at the time that Big Show should complete the carnage by spray-painting NWO on Brodus Clay’s back…NO, I don’t want to see NWO version 12.0, but for some reason the segment simply reminded me of those care free days back in the mid-90’s.

Ultimately, I’ll reiterate my sentiment that Big Show vs. John Cena should not be the main attraction of Raw or any PPV in the near future. It’s my sincere belief that this spot always should be reserved for the WWE Championship match absent extraordinary circumstances. When CM Punk is battling Daniel Bryan for this Title, such extraordinary circumstances simply don’t exist.

With that said, the Big Show is making the absolute best of his opportunity at the moment. He’s perfectly playing the part of a monster heel both with his physicality and on the mic…a void that certainly has been apparent in the WWE for quite some time.

In the end, if you’re frustrated with the current main event picture, I share your pain…Just don’t blame the Big Show.

Given the strong opinions out there regarding the Big Show, I have a feeling that a lot of people may disagree with this week’s column. I’d love to hear from you either way on here or on Twitter.

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