WWE legend, Big Show was recently a guest on the Steve Austin Show where he reflected on his early career where he was portrayed as Andre The Giant’s son. Below are some highlights of the interview with a H/T to WrestlingInc.com for the transcriptions.
Being portrayed as Andre’s son:
“It was awkward. It was very awkward because [Hulk] Hogan and [Eric] Bischoff came up with this idea and that’s why Hogan latched onto me right away. That’s why I got a career and opportunity. I’m thankful that he noticed me because, [Austin] know[s], back then, just going to a wrestling school or signing up on the internet wasn’t an option. You had to know somebody to get trained! It was a very select business to get into back then and it wasn’t quite as ‘open door policy’ as it is now. And, the fact that Hulk took the time and set this up, and here I’m making… in WCW, even compared to a lot of guys, I’m still making more money than my father ever made. Do you know what I mean? So I’m happy to be here.
“To go as the son of André, yeah, it gave me credibility with the fans. It was kind of a real crappy trick to play on the fans because everybody loved André so much and it cornered me into a position because I still have fans that come up to me to this day that tell me how much they loved my dad.”
Treating fans differently to Andre:
“I’ve learned to handle things differently. I engage people. I make them laugh. André went the other way with it. André was kind of bitter. He didn’t want to sign autographs. He didn’t want to deal with people. He didn’t want to deal with the attention. There are two ways you can deal with that. Some days I don’t want to deal with people, so I stay home. I know I’m going to be a grumpy ass, so I stay home. I don’t want people to have a bad day by interacting with us. Do you know what I mean? I mean, if you’ve been around me, you know I can be a real asshole to people sometimes. I am. I mean, I’m a human being. Some days, I’m grumpy. Some days, I’m introverted. I get it. I’m a human being. But, usually, out-and-about, I try to be nice and patient with everyone. And, luckily, there are cellphone cameras, so I don’t have to find a pen or piece of paper or stuff we did back in the day. Do you know what I mean? Now, it’s a selfie, it’s 25-seconds, and everybody has a good experience, and life goes on. You have to understand people, in their position, they’ve never seen anybody like me. As long as some of those people live, they’ll tell the story about the one time they saw The Big Show in Tim Hortons or 7-11. Do you know what I mean? Buying a cup of coffee. Or they saw Big Show in the airport.”
Wanting to wrestle like Arn Anderson:
“From a working standpoint, it was tough on me too because, if you remember what kind of athlete I was back then, I could do some really ridiculous stuff and you guys used to b—h at me all the time for doing too much stuff because the [pro wrestling]business wasn’t ready for someone my size to be doing the stuff I did, but it also pigeonholed me into a gimmick that I think Hogan wanted for me. I think Hulk wanted me to have that attraction gimmick. That’s where Hogan saw money with me, it was as an attraction, but with my enthusiasm and athleticism, I never wanted to be André The Giant. For lack of better words, I wanted to be Arn Anderson. I wanted to be a great worker. I wanted to be able to bump and feed babyfaces. Do you know what I mean? But it is completely asinine for someone who is 7-feet-tall to want to be Arn Anderson!”