The highly anticipated fight between Shaq and Big Show at Wrestlemania 33 may not happen after all.
According to Bleacher Report, the basketball legend in a recent episode of The Big Podcast With Shaq responded to rumors that the fight had been canceled, by saying they might be true. The 15-time NBA All-Star revealed that there was a good chance that the fight would not happen, adding it was no fault of his own. However, Shaq pointed out that he was still working out and was ready to fight even outside the WWE.
“That’s probably right. It’s not my fault, that’s all you need to know…It’s not totally off yet but it’s not looking good. But it doesn’t matter. I’m still working out and I still look better than Big Show. I’ll still meet him wherever he wants to meet me.”
The 44-year-old’s retired basketballer’s Wrestlemania comments start at the 23:30 mark.
Shaquille O’neal made his WWE wrestling debut at Wrestlemania 32 at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal match, according to Hollywood Life. Participants at the match-up included Goldust, Kane, Darren Young, Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, Viktor, R-Truth, Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Konnor, Damien Sandow, Jack Swagger and Big Show.
The former LA Lakers superstar was the last one to enter the ring. The six-foot-10 newbie wrestler was a crowd favorite and eliminated Damien Sandow. Shaq had then confronted Big Show, however, the pair were both bundled out the ring as other wrestlers ganged up against them.
The rivalry between Shaq and the Big Show sparked to life in 2009 when the sporting icon, who uses a 22 shoe size, got into a fight with Big Show during an episode of Monday Night Raw. Shaq won the altercation by throwing Big Show outside the ring and the wrestler, whose real name is Paul Donald Wight II, has been spoiling for a fight ever since. However, the Big Show, who joined the WWE in 1999, officially challenged Shaq at the ESPY Awards in July last year.
The father of three who has been under the radar ever since fans chanted for him to retire is arguably in the best shape of his life. The wrestler formerly known as “the Giant” because of his seven-foot frame has lost over 100 pounds and is extremely motivated for the Shaq fight at Wrestlemania 33 because he has something to prove.
John Cena has chipped in over the upcoming fight between the two men, warning Shaq not to underestimate Big Show adding that the seven-footer is in the best shape of his wrestling life. Cena, who revealed that he had known Big Show for 15 years, warned that the burly wrestler has lots to prove after being mocked by an audience two years ago to “please retire.”
“I know that kind of hit him close. I know he’s busting a** to make sure he makes his mark on Wrestlemania…Show’s gonna take it serious.”
— Big Show (@WWETheBigShow) February 24, 2017
In an interview with WWE, Big Show slammed Shaquille O’Neal’s lukewarm commitment towards the fight, adding that the former Utah Jazz athlete was terrified of facing him in the ring.
“I don’t have foot powder commercials, car commercials, and insurance commercials. I get it. He’s a busy man. …if he’s gonna step in the ring, in my business…show me you’re serious…let me know you’re motivated…I just get the feeling he’s terrified. He shot his mouth off, he’s in over his head and he’s trying to back out.”
Feelers from WWE have revealed that the fight between the giants might not go ahead because it would be difficult squeezing it into the six-hour event. The sources say that if the fight does go ahead, one of the important match-ups would have to be nudged out.
Other observers have argued that Shaq, who is not fully trained as a professional wrestler, may not be one to deliver the magical moment required of all those who fight at Wrestlemania. However, many people believe that the fight will still go ahead, arguing that the air of uncertainty being generated is to build buzz for the fight and get die-hard fans talking.
Two fights have been confirmed for Wrestlemania 33. Bray Wyatt will defend his WWE Championship. In addition, Goldberg will face-off against Brock Lesnar with most likely the Universal Championship up for contention.
[Featured Image by Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE)