Bob Collins, a long-time promoter with WWE who worked on WrestleMania III, has been regularly covering the Detroit area in the build to WrestleMania 23. He has been telling Ford Field officials that the only match WWE has decided upon for the show is Hulk Hogan vs. The Big Show. However, that match is not 100% certain for the time being. Though, if it does end up taking place, it could very well be the final wrestling match for not one star, but both stars.
Big Show’s contract expires in February and he is in a great deal of physical pain nowadays. Big Show legitimately weighs 520 pounds, finds traveling very difficult, and has already been taken off of most minor ECW house shows. Due to these problems, plans are being made to get the ECW title off of him soon. The problem with this is that Rob Van Dam is the only ECW wrestler in a good position to win it, yet Vince McMahon has been said to be determined to not to let him be the champion again following his arrest the last time around. McMahon also feels RVD cannot draw as a champion, although other WWE officials believe the crowds will be the same no matter who has the belt.
Big Show has been telling people that he is considering leaving wrestling next year and going into acting, since his size and comedic personality makes him rather unique and should get him plenty work. His original contract, signed in 1999, was $950,000 a year for ten years. It was renegotiated in 2000 when management felt he wasn’t working hard enough and sent him to Ohio Valley Wrestling, with Jim Ross cutting it down to $1,000,000 a year for eight years. Eventually, Vince got irritated about paying that much for anybody in developmental and they just took him as he was in early 2001.
John Laurinaitis started talking to him about a new deal recently, which involved a major pay cut. After Kurt Angle left the company, WWE had more money available for wages and he was offered a five-year extension at the same wage, which he turned down. The company was shocked by his rejection, yet Big Show doesn’t believe that he can continue due to the severe pain he is experiencing. His back is shot and he fears that he may start rapidly physically deteriorating like Andre the Giant did at around the same stage of his life.
Because they cut back his dates, he has agreed to work through February unless things get extraordinarily bad. He will then take a hiatus and hopefully recover enough to return for WrestleMania. Big Show is in a secure financial position, but he may never be able to handle a full-time schedule again. He has not confirmed anything about WrestleMania yet, but the feeling is that he will work the show due to Hogan’s involvement unless he is physically incapable.
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