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Fightin' Fanboys: WWE's Big Show

The World’s Largest Athlete talks Marvel, SummerSlam and his new movie, Knucklehead

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Photos © 2010 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved

By Arune Singh

© 2010 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In the world of sports entertainment, you've got larger-than-life athletes...and then you've got The Big Show.

Appearing every week on World Wrestling Entertainment's Friday Night Smackdown, the "World's Largest Athlete" stands 7'4", weighs in at 480 pounds and doubles as a fan favorite as well as one of the deadliest in-ring competitors in the game. As he prepares for a handicap match with the Straight Edge Society this Sunday on pay-per-view at SummerSlam, Marvel.com caught up with Big Show to discuss his love of Marvel Comics and his plans for the biggest party of the summer.

Though he will be facing three men on Sunday, it's folly to assume even the combined might of the SES's C.M. Punk, Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury will mean a loss for Show.

"My strategy is simple: to crush my enemies, to see them driven before [me], and to hear their lamentations," says the giant Superstar with a touch of humor. "I just need to stay on my feet and knock down anything in front of me. I don't have much of a finesse game [laughs]. I'm like a Bradley tank--park me somewhere and let me fire away."

Confident in his chances to defeat the Straight Edge Society, Big Show says he's aiming his cannon--and his fearsome "knockout punch"--at the World Heavyweight Champion after SummerSlam.

"I'd like to have a shot at that title again," he notes. "That's the pinnacle. It's why we're in the business. So, yeah, I'll take care of C.M. Punk and then make a run for the championship."

The Big Show earned his place in the history books as the only man to ever hold all the major heavyweight championships from both WWE and the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, a feat that can never be repeated again.

© 2010 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved
"I think I've won every title but the Intercontinental championship and the Cruiserweight championship," Show recalls. "There's really a lot of pride and accomplishment that goes along with being able to say I've done that. Sometimes you sit back and say, 'Look at all the greats I've worked with and what I've accomplished,' but at the same time I'm in the middle of the game and driven to stay on the top. That's the thing with being a good WWE Superstar: You have to appreciate things you've accomplished and things you've contributed, but every time you walk down that ramp you've gotta strive to do better. To be better. You're only as good as your last show, which for me was yesterday."

A man of immense ambition, the Big Show has made a name for himself with roles in hit movies including "The Waterboy" and "MacGruber," along with television programs such as "Royal Pains." Next, the mammoth actor will take the lead in "Knucklehead," a new feature from WWE Studios, and can't wait for fans to see it.

"I play a 35-year-old man that's lived in an orphanage his entire life and I'm a monster of a guy--over 7 feet and 480 pounds--but very innocent and sweet.," Show divulges. "I'm also a bit clumsy and end up destroying several things at the orphanage. I wind up doing underground boxing to raise money for the orphanage and I've never been in a fight before, so I'm coming of age as I travel on the road for the first time and experience the world. It's a comedy with a lot of heart."

While wrestling remains his greatest passion, Big Show admits that he loves the challenges offered by acting in film and television projects.

"I especially like taking roles that you wouldn't expect from someone my size," he says. "I try not to do the stereotypical big bad guy roles unless it's a real meaty role with some depth. It's fun to take a normal character and then add in someone with my style and dynamic to give the role a different twist. That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for because I love experiencing new things and the challenge of acting. Working with other actors to improve my craft is great motivation. I'd especially love to work with Gary Oldman. He's great in everything he does."

A self-professed "big Marvel fan," Show has been a card-carrying member of Marvel fandom since his youth.

"I grew up as a fan of the Incredible Hulk and of course the X-Men," he shares. "I'm really excited about the new movies coming out. It was awesome see Thor's hammer at the end of 'Iron Man 2.' I love comic books for the same reason I've always loved wrestling: the characters are the ultimate heroes. When I was growing up, the big things we debated were comic book heroes and wrestlers. Who's gonna win--Hulk Hogan or Andre the Giant? Hulk or Thor?"

There's no debating, however, which Marvel Universe heroes Big Show feels best represented his multi-faceted life:

The Incredible Hulk
"I'm a cross between Peter Parker and The Hulk. As wrestlers, we deal with double lives. In the ring I'm like The Hulk, smashing anyone who gets in my way, but outside the ring I'm a regular guy just trying to do my thing. Peter Parker was always relatable in that way because he dealt with the same issues we all face."

Life as one of the WWE's top superstars doesn't afford Big Show a lot of chances to read--he's an avid audio book listener--but he's always blown away when he does get to check out a new Marvel comic.

"The way comics are today, they're so fast and amazing," he marvels--pun intended. "It's beyond me; the stories are incredible."

And just which Marvel movie has Big Show most excited?

"'Thor,'" answers the Superstar. "What's better than swinging a hammer, having super powers and being part of the Avengers?"

You can catch The Big Show in action at SummerSlam this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on Pay-Per-View, as he takes on the Straight Edge Society. He also appears ever Friday on MyNetwork TV's WWE Friday Night Smackdown. For more on The Big Show and WWE, check out WWE.com.

 

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