How The NWO Ruined Paul Wight’s WCW Career
Paul Wight, most famously known as the Big Show, is one of those wrestlers, you are uncertain overachieved or underachieved in wrestling. On one hand, he has gone on to have a Hall of Fame career in the business that has lasted over two decades. But on the other hand, he was never the top babyface or heel in wrestling, as companies seemed to struggle to find the best role for him.
It was during his early career in WCW when he seemed to have the best chance of becoming the top name in all of wrestling, as he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in his very first match in the company.
Soon though, the NWO storyline would kick off and Wight soon found himself as a mere afterthought in WCW. He was both parts of and feuded against the NWO at different stages, but was never quite able to recover his early momentum.
The Giant Came Out Of The Gates As A Main Event Star In WCW
Wight was packaged as The Giant in WCW, the storyline son of Andre The Giant, although this aspect of his character would soon be dropped.
He was pretty much signed based on his incredible look and personality, because before joining WCW, Wight had only had one match on the independent circuit.
The Giant would come out of the gates as a main event player, and feuded with Hogan, as WCW tried to recreate the magic of the Hogan-Andre feud from the 1980s.
The Giant made his in-ring debut in WCW at Halloween Havoc 1995, fighting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In a confusing turn of events, Jimmy Hart betrayed Hogan and got him disqualified intentionally. Later on, it was revealed that Hart had put a stipulation in Hogan’s contract that he would lose the Championship if he lost via disqualification.
Thus, The Giant won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in his very first match in the company, but WCW would end up vacating the belt due to the controversial circumstances in which it had changed hands.
The Giant would soon regain the title but ultimately ended up losing it to Hogan at Hog Wild 1996, after the formation of the NWO a month earlier.
The Giant Joins The NWO For Some Reason
The Giant’s booking was pretty confusing from the start, but it stopped making any sense when he joined the NWO.
He had lost the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Hogan but ended up joining the NWO less than a month later. While his motivation in doing so was revealed to be Ted DiBiase’s money, it was not the best route for his character. Immediately, The Giant became the fourth most important member in his own group and was being booked like a typical heel, who constantly needed help to win, when he was destroying people just a month ago.
It is hard to understand why WCW decided to put him in the NWO in the first place, but fortunately, his run with them was not long. Just a few months later, he was thrown out for wanting a shot at Hogan’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship and turned back babyface.
WCW Pick Lex Luger Over The Giant!
The Giant would go after Hogan after being thrown out of the NWO but failed to recapture the title from him. In fairness, it was a bit too early for Hogan to drop the belt.
The Giant would end up becoming an extremely over babyface after this while teaming with Lex Luger. The crowd’s reactions to him were incredible. Thus, it felt like he was ready to be crowned champion once again.
Instead, WCW picked Luger as the man to end Hogan’s nearly year-long reign as WCW World Heavyweight Champion, when The Giant made more sense in every way. What’s more, Luger would lose the title back to Hogan just 5 days later. What was even the point?
The Giant Would Never Win The Big Gold Again
At times, it felt like the WCW World Heavyweight Championship changed hands for just the sake of it in the late 90s, and yet, The Giant would never end up climbing the top of the mountain again.
It was a classic case of bad booking, where the company dropped the ball on what was a blue chip prospect.
The Giant would leave WCW in 1999 and signed with the WWE, where he was repackaged as the Big Show and went on to achieve the biggest successes of his career. At times though, it felt like his WWE booking was just as bad as his WCW days.