The latest WWE rumor is that the Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal match is off for WrestleMania 33. That has left the door open for a different direction for “The World’s Largest Athlete” as this is considered to be his final WrestleMania appearance in the squared circle. Based on last night’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, will Big Show instead become a two-time winner of another special match on “the grandest stage of them all” or have a new opponent in place?
It’s been reported by WWE Leaks that a special bet available for whether Shaq would appear at WrestleMania was recently taken off the boards by Betfair sportsbook. For a while, rumors were off and on about the match actually taking place. However, in more recent weeks Big Show began to say Shaq had backed out of it. While some fans thought it might be a work, others felt maybe Shaq would get another opponent. Rumors speculated that maybe the legendary Hulk Hogan would even step in for a match against the retiring giant. That seems to have been put to rest as of Monday, although surprises are always possible.
According to ProWrestling.net, as of last night’s episode of Raw from Detroit, Michigan, the Big Show was officially announced as an entrant into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It will be the fourth edition of the annual WrestleMania match, which Big Show has previously won the trophy for. Other entrants that have been named so far include Mojo Rawley and Apollo Crews, but it’s expected more competitors will throw their names into the field in the coming weeks on Raw and SmackDown Live. Former NBA star Shaq could still show up for that match, but unfortunately, it appears he’s unlikely to participate at the big event.
While there are only three competitors so far, two guys already stand out as potential winners. The Irish sportsbook Paddy Power is listing Big Show at 8 to 1 odds to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. He’s currently tied for that spot with both SmackDown’s Luke Harper and soon-to-return Raw superstar Finn Balor. Ahead of those three are Big Cass at 9 to 2 odds and Samoa Joe at 7 to 2 odds, although neither superstar is entered in the match. The favorite to win for weeks now is Braun Strowman at 4 to 7 odds to claim the trophy. Ironically, Big Show and Strowman put on an entertaining match on Raw several weeks ago, with the big man Strowman emerging victorious ahead of his pay-per-view battle with Roman Reigns.
Both Strowman and Big Show seem like logical choices to win this upcoming match based on their body of work. For Braun, it’s been the past year or so with his push to monster heel status on Raw. For Big Show, it’s his entire career, which is supposedly going to end as far as wrestling with WWE in February of 2018. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the two behemoths battling it out for the big win in the finale of this match. When it comes down to it, both of these huge superstars deserve the win, which could really make the finish exciting for fans. It’s unfortunate that Shaq has seemed to back out of a match built up for months, but the “Show must go on” for the grandest stage of them all.
Ironically, WWE also ran a poll asking fans to vote on who Big Show should face if Shaq doesn’t get in the ring with him. Among the options were a rematch against boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., or first-time matches with NFL star Rob Gronkowski, former NBA star and WCW wrestler Dennis Rodman, former NBA star Charles Barkley, and highly outspoken UFC star Conor McGregor. It’s no surprise that the WWE Universe spoke up in favor of McGregor, although that doesn’t seem very likely at this point unless the payout for Conor is big enough to help him take a loss.
WWE fans, who do you think will win the 2017 edition of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal? Does Big Show deserve it for his career resume with WWE or does someone new deserve the trophy?
[Featured Image by WWE]