Ring name for Paul Wight, a monstrous professional wrestler. Wight began his career in World Championship Wrestling billed as The Giant, allegedly the son of Andre the Giant. Wight immediately began to feud with Hulk Hogan over the WCW World Championship. He apparently won the title from Hogan at Halloween Havoc in 1995 when Jimmy Hart turned on Hogan, but the change was voided. Giant won his first world title by defeating Ric Flair on an episode of Monday Nitro in 1996. Often times lost in the shuffle during the New World Order era in WCW, Wight jumped to Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) in 1999.

In Wight's WWF debut, he assaulted Stone Cold Steve Austin during a Steel Cage Match with McMahon, but accidentally cost McMahon the match. After a series of matches with Austin, Wight moved on to a feud with Mankind. Wight, by know known as "The Big Show" Paul Wight, turned on McMahon soon after, joining The Union along with Mankind, Ken Shamrock, and Test. After a couple months as a face, Wight turned heel again and forged an alliance with The Undertaker, winning the WWF Tag Team Championship at Summerslam in 1999, and dropped the Paul Wight moniker totally. After the pair lost the titles, Show turned face again, shockingly defeating Triple H for the World Wrestling Federation Championship at the Survivor Series.

When Show's ensuing feud with the Big Boss Man floundered, he dropped the title to Triple H on an episode of Monday Night Raw in January of 2000. Big Show turned heel yet again to feud with The Rock, and allied himself with Shane McMahon, defeating Rock at No Way Out in February of 2000. Big Show main evented WrestleMania 2000 in a fatal four way match for the WWF title, along with Triple H, Rock, and Mick Foley. Unfortunately for Show, he was the first man eliminated from the match.

After WrestleMania, Big Show again turned face, becoming a fun-loving comedy act, mocking Hulk Hogan and Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies. When Shane McMahon antagonized Show over the change, the two began to feud, with Show losing to Shane at Judgment Day in May of 2000. Soon after, Show was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to improve his weight (which had ballooned to nearly 500 lbs.).

Show returned at the Royal Rumble in 2001, although he still seemed very overweight. He remained a heel, and was mired in mid-card feuds with the likes of Kane, Raven, Test, and Rhyno. With the WWE Brand Extension of 2002, Show was part of the Raw roster. After rejoining the nWo and being pushed again alongside Ric Flair as antagonists of Steve Austin, Show was again shunted down the card, losing a series of matches with Booker T. WWE Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff traded Show to SmackDown, where he was immediately pushed to the top again, feuding with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. At Survivor Series 2002, Show shockingly ended the undefeated title reign of Lesnar when Lesnar's manager, Paul Heyman, turned on his protege. Show's reign lasted only a month, as he lost the title to Kurt Angle the next month.

After losing the title, Show again feuded with Lesnar, finally losing to Lesnar at the Royal Rumble in 2003. Show then moved into a program with Undertaker, teaming with A-Train to battle Undertaker and Nathan Jones at WrestleMania XIX. Despite taking out Jones prior to the match, Undertaker managed to defeat the pair. At this time, Big Show is feuding with cruiserweight sensation Rey Misterio, Jr.

It remains to be seen what Show's legacy will be. Will he improve his conditioning and once again become one of the most athletic big men in professional wrestling, or will he continue to slip down the card as his weight increases? Only time will tell...

Titles Held:

  • WCW World Championship
  • WWE Championship (2)
  • WWF Tag Team Championship (2)

The Big Show
Radio variety, 1950-1952, NBC Radio

On November 3, 1950, the NBC Radio Network launched one of the last great variety programs to appear on network radio. The program, called The Big Show, was a 90-minute extravaganza that featured (as the press release called it) “scintillating” guest stars: mainly famous actors, comedians, and vocalists. Even though television was rapidly siphoning off radio’s audience, NBC thought there might be a bit of life left in the variety show format.

True to its hype, The Big Show did have quite a guest list every week, featuring such names as Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, Ethel Merman, Fred Allen, Judy Garland, and Ella Fitzgerald. One of the show’s main selling points, however, was its hostess, the “glamorous, unpredictable Tallulah Bankhead”. Miss Bankhead had been a well-known actress and notorious personality for years, and NBC figured listeners would especially tune in to hear her, in that trademark deep voice of hers, trade barbs with her famous guests.

Each week, the show began with Miss Bankhead announcing that, “You are about to be entertained by some of the biggest names in show business. For the next hour and thirty minutes, this program will present in person such bright stars as …”, and then each guest would say their name. The introductions were invariably followed by, “… and my name, dahlings, is Tallulah Bankhead!”

In the time that followed, there’d be songs, comedy, witty banter (lots of that), and perhaps a dramatic performance or two. The show had the feel of a late-night showbiz party, replete with famous guests, to which the listener had been invited. One of the best-remembered parts of the program was its closing, in which Miss Bankhead and her guests would each sing a verse of Meredith Willson’s “May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You”.

The show’s format worked and worked well, for nearly two years. Finally, though, it became clear that nothing radio could do would bring back its vanishing audience. The pull of television was just too strong. The Big Show can still be heard today; many of the programs were recorded and are available from old time radio vendors.


Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill. The Big Broadcast 1930-1950. New York, New York: Avon Books, 1973.
Salomonson, Terry. “Audio Classics Archive”, Radio Broadcast Log of The Big Show. 1992. <http://www.audio-classics.com/lthebigshow.html>. (26 - 29 January 2004).

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