The Big Show is one of the largest athletes that World Wrestling Entertainment has ever seen. The legendary wrestler has captured the imagination of fans since the very beginning of his illustrious career. These days, when he isn’t delivering devastating chokeslams inside of the ring, Big Show dedicates his spare time for a cause that helps make the world a better place for children with Special Needs. Big Show recently served as a guest commentator alongside WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel for WWE’s Special Olympics “Unified Play” basketball game on August 15th at P.S. 64 in New York City. The kids in attendance were in awe of The Big Show and couldn’t get enough of the larger than life Superstar. While he remains a top threat to any competitor he grapples with, the gigantic former WWE Champion proves he has a heart of gold everywhere he goes.
In an exclusive interview with Still Real To Us, Big Show explained why he has a strong connection to the Special Olympics. “I get a lot of joy being a part of programs like this because of the important message that is attached to them. Yeah, now I’m a big time celebrity and am known everywhere I go. I’ve had a great career,” Big Show said. He grinned before continuing, “You know…I was kind of on the outside when I was growing up too. I was 6’2 at 12 years old. You don’t exactly fit in, you know? I was 6’8 at 14. So I’ve been the kid on the outside who was different. It was hard for me to make friends.” Big Show is now adored by millions of fans worldwide. His journey to the top of the mountain wasn’t an overnight success story by any means. “I had to overcome a lot of adversities and turn them into positives in my life. This message really speaks to me about ‘Unified Play,'” Big Show said.
One of the Special Olympics athletes who put in an amazing effort on the court last week was Danny Davila. Big Show cheered Davila on as he soaked in the atmosphere of the wonderful event. “Once you get to know people, play through sports and you’re competitive…it builds that team spirit. We are all the same. It’s a little bit more of what we need in this world right now,” Big Show told Still Real To Us. He explained, “We need a little more understanding. A little more compassion. Competition is great. Competition is what makes us all excel. Compassion and understanding should be our main goals. That’s what I love about the Special Olympics.”
WWE’s partnership with the Special Olympics has created an engaging community that fosters genuine friendships between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Big Show said, “The WWE is all about giving back to the community and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve been very blessed. I am also very fortunate. I am probably the luckiest man on the planet to have had the career that I do. I have no problems what-so-ever giving back. It’s easy for me.” After the game, Big Show was more than thrilled to pose for pictures and talk to the players on the court.
Big Show’s best piece of advice for young people who want to follow their dreams is to be themselves. “I would never encourage anyone to be like me. I would encourage them to be who they are and be the best that they can be. Just remember the decisions you make involve your character and conscious,” he stated. Big Show continued, “We are all going to make bad decisions and we are all going to make mistakes. God knows I’ve made tons of them. Overcoming adversity and every time you are challenged with something — When you overcome that challenge, it makes you stronger.” He then laughed, “There are hundreds of cliche sayings like, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ You know, that is our dynamic. That is how we are as human beings. If we can shine the light for others and be that bright light for them, good. Hey, if this guy can do it, it’s also possible for them.” Big Show then nodded, “If I could give anybody a message at all, it would be, ‘The only person stopping you from doing what you want to do is yourself.'”
Another WWE volunteer at “Unified Play” event was “The Boss” Sasha Banks. Banks went on to capture the Raw Women’s Championship from Alexa Bliss last Sunday night in front of a rowdy crowd at the Barclays Center. Before the big pay-per-view, Show was ecstatic to see his co-worker get a major opportunity to leave a long-lasting impression. “At SummerSlam, I’m looking forward to seeing how the Women’s Championship goes down. I’m looking forward to seeing Sasha get her title back. She earned her match last Monday night on Raw and it was absolutely one of the best matches I have seen in months,” Big Show said in full confidence to Still Real To Us.
Big Show is now happily taking on the role of mentoring the next generation of WWE Superstars. One of his latest projects is helping take the dominant Nia Jax to the next level. Big Show said, “It is a testament to Sasha’s ability and a testament to Nia Jax as well. I’ve been trying to help Nia a little bit on the side.” WWE’s largest athlete sees the unlimited amount of potential in Jax and her hard-hitting style. “I want to make her understand what the business is about and what her role in it is. Those two on Raw put on one heck of an amazing competition. For me, at 45 years old and being a 23-year veteran, I got lost in the match,” Big Show gleefully said. He continued, “I got to be a fan while watching it. I was hollering up and down in the gorilla position. Seeing all those counters…it was such a great and competitive well-done match.” With an upcoming all-female tournament that is set to air on the WWE Network, the ladies of the WWE are changing the way viewers look at the product. “It was a tribute to those two athletes and also for the WWE on how they move forward and expand that division. With the ‘Mae Young Classic’ and tournaments like that…it’s just amazing with how the women’s division is changing,” said The Big Show.
The women of World Wrestling Entertainment have been generating huge numbers for the company. Their segments are oftentimes the highest rated portion of both Raw and Smackdown Live. Big Show is thrilled to see the girls leaving their mark in a once male-dominated industry. “I gotta tell the guys in the locker room to step up their game! You want some TV time? Y’all better start earning it because them girls are taking it,” Big Show exclaimed.
Before leaving, Big Show dropped one last piece of knowledge for everybody out there. “Competition and good sportsmanship are the foundation for being a healthy individual,” the former World Champion stated.
Pictures were provided by Kevin Jackson Jr. More of Kevin’s work can be found by clicking here. You can read more interviews exclusive to Still Real To Us by clicking here. You can also find out more about WWE’s partnership with the Special Olympics by clicking here.