The Big Show has had a long career in wrestling, debuting back in 1995 with WCW, and the larger-than-life athlete had many landmark moments throughout his career. From being a member of the New World Order to his numerous championship reigns in WWE, the Big Show is quite the big deal. While his in-ring career has slowed down a bit, Show has been on a roll starring on the new Netflix series The Big Show Show, in which he plays a fictional version of himself that’s retired from professional wrestling.
The move from the ring to the screen in a scripted series is something Show has wanted to do for years. He told us that being on Saturday Night Live with The Rock, Mick Foley, Triple H, and Vince McMahon–to promote Wrestlemania 2000–was something he really enjoyed. “And I started driving Vince nuts back then about it,” said Show. “I wanted him to know that I could [be on a TV show]. This is something within my wheelhouse; this is in my gut. I can do this. And I think I drove him nuts for probably 14, 15 years.
“And when the partnership came up, Netflix had this idea of a retired WWE superstar, readjusting to being home all the time. And they wanted to do a comedy show. So when they partnered up with WWE, I had aggravated everybody so much, that I think WWE was just happy to give me this opportunity, to shut me up, I think.”
However, the reality of filming The Big Show Show was much different than he was originally told. “It’s been an incredible experience. I’m really good friends with Kadeem Hardison (A Different World, K.C. Undercover). And when I’d asked Kadeem about it, he was like, ‘Oh man, it’s so great. You go in about 10:00, and you learn your scripts. There’ll be a couple of walkthroughs. You’re out by two. If it’s on shoot days, you’re out in two hours.
“Well, he lied. He lied right to my face because it was nine in the morning until eight o’clock at night, every day, and Friday is usually 10 until midnight. But that being said, I don’t think I’ve ever had any jobs where I’ve had more fun and more pressure because this is really outside of my learning curve, like I had to really step up my learning curve a lot, and I didn’t have time for mistakes.”
Given the setup for the show, it’s only natural that there was going to be some WWE memorabilia around the house that documents his career, of course. One of those items that’s seen a few times in the first season is a WWE Championship title, next to the staircase. And Show wanted it to be authentic. “That actually was one of my belts at home,” the WWE superstar told GameSpot. “So when we were originally doing that they had gotten a replica belt offline. I said, ‘What the hell is this?’ Our fans will know the difference. Absolutely not. And then I had that one FedEx’d out and that one’s 30, almost 32 pounds.”
Show is used to having a championship coming with him on the road. During his time in WWE, he’s been WWE Champion twice, ECW World Champion, World Heavyweight Champion twice, Hardcore Champion three times, and Tag champ a total of eight times, just to name a few. However, many people get very excited to see a championship in person. “Everybody was freaking out that day,” Show said. “And trust me, you carry this thing in your bag, all over the world, and every X-ray machine you go through. If you could see it in the X-ray machine, everybody has to pull it out and hold it up.”
When it comes to his house, Show may have a lot of wrestling memorabilia, but only a few things are on display. “The only [Championship] I have up, which I have one from competing against Brock Lesnar in Madison Square Garden. When I beat Brock in the garden when Paul Heyman did this big turn. Paul Heyman put that into a nice trophy case, took a picture. And that’s the only one I have up. I have two things, wrestling memorabilia-wise, hanging up. I have that title hanging up, and I have a picture of myself, John Cena, Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels. That I have on my desk.”
Show isn’t ready to put out the rest of the things he’s collected throughout the years though. “I don’t want to put all that stuff up because I think you put that stuff up when you’re ready to sit down and bask in it,” he explained. “So right now I’m ready for what’s today. What’s tomorrow. I’m still moving forward and still accomplishing goals. So, who knows? I may never put that stuff up in my lifetime, and they go to a very small Big Show museum someday. That would be the irony of it. The world’s smallest museum for the world’s largest athlete.”
You can check out The Big Show Show on Netflix, as Season 1 debuted earlier this year. At the time of this writing, it has not been picked up for a second season, but the show’s star remains optimistic.