Two years ago, it looked like the WWE universe was going to get a Shaq and Big Show match at WrestleMania 33. When the two met each other in the ring during a battle royal at WWE WrestleMania 32, fans went nuts. The idea of the WWE giant squaring off against the NBA giant thrilled fans worldwide, but unfortunately, a singles contest between the two never came to fruition at WrestleMania 33. Different rumors started circulating on why the match fell through.
In an interview with ESPN from March of 2017, Big Show, real name Paul Wight, blamed O’Neal and speculated that it had to do with him gaining weight.
“It’s on Shaq. He has to figure things out in his own camp. Maybe he is just too scared to show up because he’s too busy riding around singing karaoke with John Cena and going to Krispy Kreme and getting fatter every week.”
Shaq claimed it wasn’t his fault, but didn’t provide any further details at the time. In the ESPN interview, Paul Wight disputed that claim.
“Maybe he doesn’t want to put on spandex and show the entire world that Shaquille O’Neal, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, looks like Jabba the Hutt. It’s on him. He has to weigh these consequences in his own mind. Does he want the world to know how fat and out of shape he is? Or does he want to sit back and talk sh*t into a podcast?”
Though those are harsh words, both superstars have said that they like one another numerous times in other interviews. It’s assumed that Wight was simply trying to promote a match that may happen, or that he was trying to entice that contest to actually occur. Either way, that would-be bout never took place at WrestleMania 33.
Then once again, during the months leading up to WrestleMania 34, rumblings of the two giants squaring off started to surface. But history repeated itself, and fans never got to see Big Show versus Shaquille O’Neal. As seen in the video below from last January, TMZ Sports caught up with the Paul Wight and asked him if the highly-anticipated contest was ever going to happen.
Big Show said that he doubts the match will happen, and that the contest was one that should have taken place years ago. The former WWE champion said that Shaq’s a great dude, remarked that O’Neal is very busy, and that it’s hard to nail him down for a time to get a match done. Paul Wight did say that hopefully they can do business together in the future.
Shaq is busy indeed, and as Ringside News documented, and as seen in the footage below, during a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet to promote his movie, Uncle Drew, the NBA legend was asked about potentially wrestling Big Show at WWE WrestleMania 35. O’Neal stated that Big Show is one of his favorite people. He said that he thought the Big Show was retired, and he made a joke calling the WWE superstar a liar (regarding his rumored retirement). O’Neal remarked that he has time to get his guns ready for WrestleMania 35, and that he would think about doing the match.
This is far from actual negotiations, but as fans know, anything can happen in the WWE, even Big Show facing Shaq.