WHITHER THE GIANT?
It's hard to feel sorry for a giant.
It's even harder to feel sorry for a giant that makes umpteen times the salary you do AND gets to be on national television atleast twice a week.
Yet, I still feel sorry for Paul Wight.
Brought in years ago in the WCW, former college basketball player Wight impressed wrestling fans with his height, then his agility and ability for a big man. Winning the World Championship very quickly, Wight seemed to be the young star that "Giant" Gonzalez was not. It seemed that there was a huge future for the huge man.
But he didn't count on a low ceiling.
Instead of settling into a long run as the biggest and baddest of WCW stars, Wight found himself eternally behind hulk Hogan, then piled on by other "big men" Sid Vicious and Kevin Nash. With Sting, Randy Savage and Bret Hart (among others) on the roster, where could the giant fit in the mix? The answer? He didn't. After injuries and uncountable heel and face turns, as well as angles that never really went anywhere (remember the "Smoking Giant?), the giant headed to the WWF, and what was hopefully greener pastures.
He DID get the World belt, in a three-way match in November of 1999, but gave it up to Triple H in January of 2000. He gained some out-of-ring notoriety for his Chef Boy-ar-dee commercial, as well as his scene-stealing moments on The Rock's guest host appearance on Saturday Night Live. He also acquired some out-of-the ring notoriety for what was percieved as a lackadaisical work ethic, and for being overweight. He could still win over the crowd as a face - reference: Showster and Showkishi - but, again, he was being turned back and forth. He even spent time as the foil for Shane McMahon. Finally, after management had run out of ideas, they sent the big man to the minors, ostensibly to "lose weight" and "lose the attitude."
And he did. Wight came back determined to make it back to the top tier of the WWF. Again, he found a low ceiling. Did you know that since August of 1999, the WWF World title has been exchanged among the big four (Rock, Angle, Triple H and Angle) exclusively but for TWO exceptions: Wight, and Vince McMahon himself.
With the fearsome foursome in the way, and others like the Undertaker and Kane taking up the prime "biggest, baddest" roles, the Giant is again left in a career mess. Shunted off to the Hardcore Title, and into "Mutt and Jeff" tag teams with the likes of Spike Dudley. One has to wonder, why bring him back at all?
As I said before, it's tough to feel sorry for a giant. But in this case, I wonder whether wrestling fans will ever get to see if the biggest of the big men will ever get to really be as big as he can be.