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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:16 pm
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srossi
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OK, did not see that coming.  I can't even imagine how much AEW must've paid him to do this at the end of his career.  I really don't see the point for either party, but I bet Vince is pissed.  Maybe he can finally have that match with Shaq now.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:16 pm
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srossi
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Official press release:

February 24, 2021 – As 2021 shapes up to be the year for AEW’s biggest shows yet, today the promotion announced that wrestling legend Paul Wight signed a long-term deal, adding yet another universally regarded name to AEW’s roster of stars, legends, and upcoming talent. Wight will have an extensive role within AEW, and on top of his return to the ring, he will serve as a commentator on AEW’s newest show, AEW Dark: Elevation.

Complementing AEW Dark on Tuesdays, AEW Dark: Elevation will air on Mondays at 7 p.m. ET on AEW’s YouTube channel, and will showcase AEW’s established and rising stars, as well as the top independent wrestlers within the industry, competing against each other in the ring in pursuit of wins. AEW Dark: Elevation will also maintain continuity with AEW DYNAMITE, AEW Dark, AEW pay-per-view shows and streaming events, with wins and losses factoring into each wrestler’s ranking in the company.

With new wrestling programming now available three nights per week, AEW continues to solidify its position as the fastest growing and hottest promotion in professional wrestling.

“It’s been amazing to watch what AEW has built in just a couple of years,” said Paul Wight. “AEW Dark is an incredible platform to hone the skills of up-and-coming wrestlers, but I also love that established AEW talent can build out their personalities and showcase themselves in new ways on Dark. It’s no exaggeration when they say that AEW is boundless.”

“Paul Wight is one of the most recognizable and impressive professional athletes in the world,” said Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW. “He wanted to come to AEW because he believes that we’re the best promotion in wrestling, and we believe that he has a lot to offer us, both in the ring as a wrestler, and also outside the ring as a commentator, host and ambassador for AEW.”

“Paul is one of the most experienced stars in all of wrestling, and he’s eager to work with our diverse roster,” added Khan. "He can benefit and guide our young talent with his mentorship, and his expert commentary on AEW Dark: Elevation will educate and entertain our fans, and also educate the younger wrestlers on the roster. Furthermore, Paul enters AEW as a licensed wrestler, and he’s very much looking forward to studying our talent firsthand from the commentary desk in preparation for his return to the ring!”

Already a monumental day for AEW, be sure to tune in to AEW DYNAMITE tonight on TNT at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for additional announcements surrounding Wight’s signing, the new AEW Dark: Elevation show, and the identity of Wight’s commentary partner.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:23 pm
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tamalie
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This is a big surprise. I figured Big Show would be a WWE lifer, especially when you consider that he's 49 and has essentially been retired.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:25 pm
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pwinisider.com

All Elite Wrestling announced this morning that they have signed Paul Wight aka former WWF and WCW World Champion Big Show, 49, to a multi-hear contract.

So, what happened?
PWInsider.com is told that WWE and Wight were unable to come to terms on a new deal financially and his final contract with the company last month, days after he made an appearance being verbally bullied by Randy Orton on the Raw Legends Night episode on 1/4.  One source stated that Wight was very open that night about his unhappiness about the situation.  Wight, who did not publicly announce his departure, was moved this week to WWE.com's Alumni section on 2/19.

The exit ends an association that goes back to February 1999, when Wight debuted as Big Show after signing a ten-year deal with the company.

Wight was originally trained at the Monster Factory in New Jersey but credits the now-defunct WCW Power Plant for his training.  He was introduced to Hulk Hogan, who immediately (and rightly) saw dollar signs and had him signed to World Championship Wrestling as The Giant, where he was purported to be the son of WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant.  As The Giant, Wight won the WCW World Title in his first official match at Halloween Havoc '95 in a win over Hogan in Detroit.  After a run as one of the company's top heels, Wight was became a member of the NWO but was written out after deciding to sign a long-term deal with the WWF.

Over the course of his run with WWE, Wight held the WWF, WWE World Title, Intercontinental, United States and the WWE version of the ECW Championship as well as a slew of Tag Team Titles with everyone from Chris Jericho to Kane to The Undertaker and beyond.  As a talent, he was utilized in roles that ran the gamut from top heel monster to silly undercard character and beyond.   As an actor, he was shockingly versatile and starred in WWE Studios' first-ever sitcom The Big Show Show, which ran for one season on Netflix before being canceled.  He also appeared in WWE Studios films VendettaKnucklehead and Fighting With My Family

As Big Show, Wight feuded with everyone you can think of, including John Cena, the late Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Triple H, Kane, Randy Orton, The Undertaker and many more. Show last wrestled for WWE in July 2020 against Orton on an episode of Raw from the WWE Performance Center.  He had made numerous non-wrestling cameos until the Raw Legends Night,

Wight's last "major" WWE match was a surprise challenge to newly crowned WWE Champion Drew McIntyre in a bout that took place after Wrestlemania 36 "went off the air", broadcast the next night on Raw.

While Wight has been announced as taking part in a new weekly AEW series Dark: Elevation, one has to think it's just a matter of time before he enters the ring.  It is interesting to note that his one-time bandied about potential Wrestlemania opponent Shaq is wrestling next week for AEW....



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:30 pm
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srossi
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For those scoring at home, Big Show is 49 and had 6 matches (2 singles) in 2020 after having 0 matches in 2019 and 4 matches in 2018. So he's had 10 matches in more than 3 years.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:33 pm
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bpickering wrote: The exit ends an association that goes back to February 1999, when Wight debuted as Big Show after signing a ten-year deal with the company.

Big Show left WWE for a whole year (Feb 2007 - Feb 2008) and wrestled Hogan in the Clash of Legends in Memphis when WWE pulled Lawler from the match. How can professional professional wrestling writers forget stuff like this?


Anyhoo... I guess this is a big deal. It will certainly get them more eyes on the product, at least temporarily. I think that's what they are going for. Come for Paul Wight, stay for Rey Fenix. People might complain that they are bringing in yet another old talent, but if they can afford it, who cares? He's not going to main event, and they need this kind of story to get out of the bubble they are in. Show brings in the older demo that NXT always beats them on.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:02 pm
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srossi wrote: OK, did not see that coming.  I can't even imagine how much AEW must've paid him to do this at the end of his career.  I really don't see the point for either party, but I bet Vince is pissed.  Maybe he can finally have that match with Shaq now.
How can you not see the point for him?  The reason that wrestling has been tough on him is all of the travel.  On top of it, when he travels, he eats very poorly.  Every time he's off the road and comes back he's about 100lbs lighter and in great shape.  Then within 6 months he looks the same as he used to.  So going to AEW, at least for the rest of 2021, he will probably be working out of Jacksonville and will just drive up to Daily's every week.  When they start back on the road - he will be on TV probably exclusively, and PPV.  I can't imagine AEW having house show loops, and you know that the Khan's also have their own jet like WWE has and can fly him in wherever they want him.  It's a huge win for Big Show.  For AEW I just don't understand why they would care, unless they want the "big name" and Khan is trying to make that match with him vs Shaq.  Still, when Zack Ryder showed up, he was bigger than pretty much everybody not named Lance Archer, Brian Cage, and Wardlow.  He made Cody look like a midget, and I don't say that to put Cody down, it just looked like a man showed up to play with the boys.  So now Big Show will be bigger than the whole roster.  I don't get it on the AEW side at all.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:21 pm
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Kriss
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Big show being bigger than everyone is his gimmick. It's not the same as a jacked Matt Cardona coming in. Not sure what the fixation on size is anyway. Cardona is just vanilla bland on Impact. Whatever spark he had when he was doing his YouTube show has been well and truly beaten out of him by the WWE system.

Anyway, hasn't Show been signed to front a new series under the AEW Dark brand?



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:24 pm
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49 or not, a few more names like him show up on AEW and WWE is going to start coming off as the sinking ship people are fleeing from..



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:29 pm
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Married Jo wrote: 49 or not, a few more names like him show up on AEW and WWE is going to start coming off as the sinking ship people are fleeing from..That's what I was just now thinking...just like Bischoff did with WCW, Khan is snatching up name value stars just to boost his profile.  And it makes sense in that way, plus he's not giving creative control to guys. 



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:32 pm
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Married Jo wrote: 49 or not, a few more names like him show up on AEW and WWE is going to start coming off as the sinking ship people are fleeing from..
Bingo. There aren’t any mega stars like during the Monday night wars, but Show has been one of the bigger names of the last 20 or so years. A signing like this gives the illusion that AEW is a big deal just like when guys would jump from WWF to WCW in 1996. 
Think of it this way, Rusev was popular in WWE and the internet always wanted him to have a bigger push, and some people were excited when he went to AEW, but it really wasn’t a big deal. This feels different as Show is on a different level. 



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:36 pm
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I dont think he's 'the guy' that gets people to watch-try it out but it is the WCW formula that worked.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:36 pm
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srossi
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Superstar wrote: srossi wrote: OK, did not see that coming.  I can't even imagine how much AEW must've paid him to do this at the end of his career.  I really don't see the point for either party, but I bet Vince is pissed.  Maybe he can finally have that match with Shaq now.
How can you not see the point for him?  The reason that wrestling has been tough on him is all of the travel.  On top of it, when he travels, he eats very poorly.  Every time he's off the road and comes back he's about 100lbs lighter and in great shape.  Then within 6 months he looks the same as he used to.  So going to AEW, at least for the rest of 2021, he will probably be working out of Jacksonville and will just drive up to Daily's every week.  When they start back on the road - he will be on TV probably exclusively, and PPV.  I can't imagine AEW having house show loops, and you know that the Khan's also have their own jet like WWE has and can fly him in wherever they want him.  It's a huge win for Big Show.  For AEW I just don't understand why they would care, unless they want the "big name" and Khan is trying to make that match with him vs Shaq.  Still, when Zack Ryder showed up, he was bigger than pretty much everybody not named Lance Archer, Brian Cage, and Wardlow.  He made Cody look like a midget, and I don't say that to put Cody down, it just looked like a man showed up to play with the boys.  So now Big Show will be bigger than the whole roster.  I don't get it on the AEW side at all.

Big Show probably hasn't been full-time on the road in 6 years or longer.  He's basically retired and in goodwill ambassador mode, he makes his Legends Night appearances, he wrestles the odd match on TV that lasts 3 minutes, and he's looking for acting gigs that his WWE star power can help with while waiting for his HOF induction.  So yes, I'm very surprised from his end that he wants to make this jump, but obviously WWE is in penny-pinching mode with the talent while raking in record-setting profits and Show is making a statement.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:43 pm
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srossi wrote: Superstar wrote: srossi wrote: OK, did not see that coming.  I can't even imagine how much AEW must've paid him to do this at the end of his career.  I really don't see the point for either party, but I bet Vince is pissed.  Maybe he can finally have that match with Shaq now.
How can you not see the point for him?  The reason that wrestling has been tough on him is all of the travel.  On top of it, when he travels, he eats very poorly.  Every time he's off the road and comes back he's about 100lbs lighter and in great shape.  Then within 6 months he looks the same as he used to.  So going to AEW, at least for the rest of 2021, he will probably be working out of Jacksonville and will just drive up to Daily's every week.  When they start back on the road - he will be on TV probably exclusively, and PPV.  I can't imagine AEW having house show loops, and you know that the Khan's also have their own jet like WWE has and can fly him in wherever they want him.  It's a huge win for Big Show.  For AEW I just don't understand why they would care, unless they want the "big name" and Khan is trying to make that match with him vs Shaq.  Still, when Zack Ryder showed up, he was bigger than pretty much everybody not named Lance Archer, Brian Cage, and Wardlow.  He made Cody look like a midget, and I don't say that to put Cody down, it just looked like a man showed up to play with the boys.  So now Big Show will be bigger than the whole roster.  I don't get it on the AEW side at all.

Big Show probably hasn't been full-time on the road in 6 years or longer.  He's basically retired and in goodwill ambassador mode, he makes his Legends Night appearances, he wrestles the odd match on TV that lasts 3 minutes, and he's looking for acting gigs that his WWE star power can help with while waiting for his HOF induction.  So yes, I'm very surprised from his end that he wants to make this jump, but obviously WWE is in penny-pinching mode and Show is making a statement.
I agree that he hasn't been full time on the road, but he had a reason.  Now?  He will be driving 100 miles each way once a week.  Big difference.  The HOF induction doesn't mean anything, it's a mark deal and while us fans can bitch and moan, not too many wrestlers bitch if they aren't included.  They get a ring and a small paycheck.  If Show's paycheck right now has a 1 with six zeroes after it, he can buy his own ring.  Plus, Khan got Cody a nice gig at TNT or TBS with that stunt show, who's to say Big Show doesn't get some sort of TV gig out of this as well?  Because I would think TNT would be alerted to the fact that he was available and do they want him on their  TV show every week.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 05:00 pm
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These days I have a distortion filter for my once-photographic memory, but I believe Paul Wight debuted under his given name on WWE programming by interfering in a cage match between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. Big Show was added quickly after, but Jim Ross threw his name out there originally with alacrity.

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