Are Shaquille O’Neill and Big Show, two of the largest and most intimidating men around, going to be butting heads at WrestleMania 33 on April 4? Although the Big Show vs. Shaq matchup was already officially set up, recent cryptic comments from Shaq throw the match’s status into doubt in a non-committal sort of way. Then again, Shaq’s “denial” that the match will happen very well may be a way to put WWE fans in more suspense before what would definitely be an epic showdown.
During yesterday’s episode of Shaq’s podcast, The Big Podcast With Shaq, the seven-foot, one-inch former Los Angeles Laker was asked about recent rumors that his planned WrestleMania 33 bout with Big Show might not actually happen.
“That’s probably right,” Shaq stated, but then followed it up with some fightin’ words to show everyone it is not that he doesn’t want to face Big Show.
“It’s not my fault, that’s all you need to know. It ain’t my fault. 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 first part of what Shaq said sounds like he wants to prepare fans for the worst; he doesn’t want to get their hopes up in case the Big Show match doesn’t end up materializing. The second half, though, sounds like the same provocative “stoking the fire” rhetoric that Shaq has been hurling at Big Show ever since the two challenged each other at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32 last April.
And speaking of stoking the fire, Big Show does not seem to share any of Shaq’s hesitancy to say the fight will happen. In an interview published last Friday on WWE’s official site, in fact, the hulking wrestling veteran said with no hesitation he was ready for Shaq to come to him for a fight whenever he’s ready. Of course, in classic WWE fashion, he also talked some trash and refused to show any sign of doubt he could dominate Shaq in the ring.
“He needs to step up. I’m not trying to be mean, but my time’s valuable. I get it. I don’t have foot powder commercials, car commercials, insurance commercials. I get it. He’s a busy man. But if he’s gonna step in the ring, in my business, at our biggest event of the year? Show me you’re serious. If anything, talk a little trash. Let me know you’re motivated. Because right now? 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. So just let me know what’s going on, brother.”
Big Show’s recent social media posts do an even better job than his words of showing he is all in for a Shaq matchup at WrestleMania 33.
For example, he recently posted to Twitter a photo in which he was showing off his rock-hard abs. The photo is captioned, “With my trainer Dodd. We’re training for ‘Mania — hope you are too, @Shaq. #CountingTheWeeks @WrestleMania”
The buildup to a Big Show vs. Shaq one-on-one has been going on for a long time now. The Inquisitr published a report of the initial challenge being issued at WrestleMania 32, and the actual acceptance of the challenge happened at the ESPYs in July, as seen in the video below.
Is it possible that Shaq is trying to build suspense for the match by playing coy in regards to whether it will actually happen or not? It would be a big let-down if the meeting of the two rivals was actually shut down?
What do you think? Will the Big Show vs. Shaq fight happen at WrestleMania 33? Make yourself heard in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]