WWE News: Company Punished Former World Champion For Being Too Obese, According To Jim Ross
The Big Show has been a fixture on the WWE roster since 1999, making him one of the longest-serving superstars in the company. However, there was a time in the early 2000s when management feared that he wouldn’t live long enough to make a significant impact in the sports entertainment promotion.
Citing Jim Ross in the latest edition of the Grilling JR podcast, Sportskeeda reported that officials were worried about the giant wrestler’s obesity. They also feared that the Athletic Commissions in the United States would take away his license to compete due to his weight, similar to what happened to Yokozuna a few years before.
The company ultimately decided to Big Show to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) from August 2000 until the following January to slim down and improve his conditioning. He returned at the 2001 Royal Rumble still looking out-of-shape, however, which worried Ross as he was concerned that the superstar was going to “shorten his life.”
Ross revealed that the decision to send the former World Champion back to the aforementioned territory was for him to get into better shape. However, the legendary announcer also admitted that it was a punishment that they hoped he’d learn from as it affected his bank balance.
“The only way you can get the talent to take you seriously is to affect their money. That’s it. What else is it going to do? You gonna write me a theme? You gonna go in the classroom and write, ‘I will eat less, I will lose weight, I will lose weight’ 100 times? So, we hadn’t got his attention. Now look at him today, looks great.”
Ross went on to say that he always thought that Big Show had all of the necessary tools to succeed. At the same time, he noted that the veteran was led astray and influenced by the wrong people during his younger days.
The Hall of Famer also claimed that many people tried to model Big Show after Andre the Giant, which may have hampered his progress at the time. His ring attire in WCW was similar to the singlet worn by Andre, and his name was The Giant. The comparisons were uncanny.
The legendary wrestler has improved his physique since then. In an interview with WWE.com, he explained that he’s not getting any younger and staying fit is more important to him than ever before.
Big Show might be part-time at the moment, but he recently assured fans that he has some gas left in the tank, provided that he can be an asset to the business.