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WWE Legend Big Show joins rival brand AEW; Reason behind shocking exit

Big Show (image courtesy

Bengaluru, February 25: In what appears to be a shocking turn of events, WWE Legend Big Show has now gone All Elite! He's officially joined WWE’s rival brand All Elite Wrestling, as announced by the company, a few hours ago. It was confirmed that Paul Wight (Big Show’s real-name) has signed a long-term contract with them, securing a bright future even in his 50s.

While Wight is expected to wrestle down the road, he'll also serve as a commentator for AEW’s brand new show on YouTube, AEW Dark: Elevation, Mondays at 7 PM ET. It's an extension of the weekly AEW Dark show airing on Tuesdays at 7 PM ET, to portray the mix of AEW’s established and rising talents, alongside some top independent wrestlers.

In a press release, Big Show mentioned that he is amazed to experience the progress that AEW has made since its launch in 2019. He also mentioned the company’s future, 'boundless'.

“It’s been amazing to watch what AEW has built in just a couple of years. AEW Dark is an incredible platform to hone the skills of up-and-coming wrestlers, but I also love that established AEW talent can build out their personalities and showcase themselves in new ways on Dark. It’s no exaggeration when they say that AEW is boundless.”

AEW CEO, General Manager, and Head of Creative Tony Khan was also thrilled to welcome the veteran talent to their pool.

“Paul Wight is one of the most recognizable and impressive professional athletes in the world,” said Khan. “He wanted to come to AEW because he believes that we’re the best promotion in wrestling, and we believe that he has a lot to offer us, both in the ring as a wrestler, and also outside the ring as a commentator, host, and ambassador for AEW.”

This big career move by the former world champion was expected by a very few close to him while the majority of the WWE locker room had no clues about it. Fightful Select reports that someone close to Paul Wight said that a big life change was expected after he was done with obligations with Netflix comedy series - The 'Big Show' Show.

He has also just sold his home in Tampa, Florida indicating he was moving away from WWE's home territory. Additionally, his WWE deal expired, opening the door for him to exercise offers from outsider promotions.

As per PWInsider, WWE did try to sign him to a new deal but the two parties couldn't agree, financially. Big Show was reportedly very unhappy with his final WWE appearance that is the January 4th Legends Night episode of RAW.

As seen on that night, Randy Orton bullied him during a backstage segment in a way that showcased that behemoth star isn’t physically capable of firing back, anymore. He was vocal about that creative dispute in the following weeks while eventually his WWE deal also expired following January 4.

“WWE and Wight were unable to come to terms on a new deal financially and his final contract with the company expired last month, days after he made an appearance being verbally bullied by Randy Orton on the RAW Legends Night episode on 1/4.

One source stated that Wight was very open that night about his unhappiness about the situation.”

Big Show competed one last time in WWE, on the July 20, 2020, RAW episode, a loss to Randy Orton. Before that, he challenged Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, right after the champion won the title from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 - Night II.

He had only worked in a handful of matches after spending all of 2019 on the sidelines due to injuries. Notably, he was in attendance for The Undertaker’s “Final Farewell” segment at the Survivor Series back in November.

Under The Giant gimmick, Big Show first signed with WWE all the way back in February 1999 to become one of the few Grand Slam Champions of the company – a two-time WWE Champion, ECW Champion, a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, a three-time WWE Hardcore Champion, WWE United States Champion, WWE Intercontinental Champion, and an eight-time Tag Team Champion.

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Story first published: Thursday, February 25, 2021, 11:57 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 25, 2021