Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and multi-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal have had a few face-to-face confrontations inside the ring, with the most recent one coming in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at this past year’s WrestleMania 32, but the two have never had a one-on-one match, despite the fact that Shaq has been extremely interested in stepping inside the squared-circle with the “World’s Largest Athlete.”
The confrontation between Shaq and Big Show created a lot of buzz, and it once again started the rumor that we’d eventually see a match between the two at a future WrestleMania event. Then the two men went face-to-face at the ESPY Awards, and Big Show challenged the NBA legend to a match at next year’s WrestleMania 33. Shaq accepted the challenge.
While doing promotional work in China, Big Show confirmed that he would be facing Shaquille O’Neal at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida.
“We’ll have one heck of a match and we’ll see what’s up. We’ll give the fans a treat.”
As previously mentioned, WrestleMania 33 is taking place in Orlando, which is where Shaq currently resides, and it’s where he spent the first four years of his NBA career before moving on to the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s probably safe to assume that WWE will look into inducting Shaq into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame next year, as they like to induct at least one celebrity every year. His induction would make sense because the Hall of Fame banquet will also be taking place in his hometown of Orlando.
Shaq has also expressed interest in doing an MMA fight, but at the age of 44, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever step into the cage. Furthermore, he does exceed the heavyweight weight-limit of 265 pounds, and he probably wouldn’t be a fan of trying to cut down to that weight for a fight, so unless one of the governing bodies makes an exception for him, he probably won’t be fighting anytime soon.
As for Big Show, he really hasn’t been on WWE television very much lately, and it seems like his career is winding down. In fact, his match with Shaq may end up being his retirement match. During their face-to-face encounter at the ESPYs, Big Show told Shaq that he didn’t have much time left in his wrestling career, which is why he wants to wrestle the former NBA superstar in Orlando next year.
During his media tour in China, Big Show was asked about retirement, and he said that he’s actually looking forward to his retirement, because when he retires, he’ll be able to get off the road and spend time with his family.
“I’ve had a 21-year career. I’m looking forward to retirement actually. It’d be nice to actually see my family. I’ve earned my limited schedule and now it’s the twilight for me. I get to do media, talk to fans, and tour the world and go out with a nice casual wave goodbye; and I’m happy with that.”
It’s unclear what WWE will do with Big Show in the next eight months to build up to his match with Shaq. It’s also unclear exactly when Shaq will show up on WWE television to begin building towards the match. He may be a surprise entrant in next year’s Royal Rumble, which is rumored to be taking place in Los Angeles, which is where he had the most success in his NBA career. So, WWE could kick off the Big Show vs. Shaq feud by having the NBA great eliminate the former WWE World Champ in the 2017 Royal Rumble.
[Image via WWE]