At the ESPY's last month, seven-time world heavyweight and 11-time tag-team WWE champion The Big Show (Paul Wight) challenged four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal to a match at next year's Wrestlemania. O'Neal asked Wight "You sure you want to do that?" and Wight responded "Sure! I don't have much time left, I'd rather have some fun with you."
(Wight is set to retire in the near future and has been open that within the next 18 months he'll step away after a 21-year career that began with his introduction in WCW as "The Giant.")
It was a fun video, but given that it was at the ESPY's, you couldn't tell whether it was for real or not, despite being promoted by the official WWE social media and YouTube accounts.
In an interview with Shanghai Daily, Wight confirmed that the match is indeed happening at next year's extravaganza.
At next year's Wrestlemania in Orlando, Wight will also come face to face with former NBA basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, another sporting heavyweight, for a match that might just shake the foundations of pro wrestling.
"We'll have one heck of a match and we'll see what's up. We'll give the fans a treat."
OK, well, it'll be entertaining, for sure, but let's not go towards "one heck of a match" here. Wight is 44, as is O'Neal. So I'm going to go on a limb and say we're not going to see a hurricanrana or shooting star splash. (You know O'Neal is going to request going up top, though.)
It won't be the first time O'Neal has been in a WWE ring:
Here's a brief trip down memory lane to when other NBA players were wrestling:
By the way, in 15 years, we're definitely going to see Dwight Howard in the ring.
Dwight's never going to get away from Shaq comparisons.
Shaq has great comedic timing and will likely have some great promos leading up to his feud with The Big Show.
Some things you can count on:
- There will be a "Big Show, tell me how my ass tastes" reference.
- There will be a moment where The Big Show references "Kazaam."
- Charles Barkley will make fun of this on "Inside the NBA."
- I'm hoping that at some point O'Neal will "punch" Show in the face with his "championship rings"
- Given Shaq's approach, his finisher should either be Rashiiki's or Yokozuna's. I would say the Jacknife, but O'Neal would dislocate his spine trying to do that to Show.
- The big question will be if O'Neal will take the chokeslam bump. If he does, mad respect.
This should be amusing, so be on the look for leadup over the next year.