Big Show recounts his early days with the Undertaker in the WWE and how he finally earned the Deadman’s nod of approval.
The WWE saw the acquisition of Big Show from the WCW as a major heist. However, the company realised he was still an unpolished diamond and he was therefore paired with the locker room leader; The Undertaker.
In a recent conversation with talkSport Big Show revealed that while he learned a lot from being under the Undertaker’s tutelage, it was very hard to earn his respect.
“I had to fight really hard to earn Undertaker’s respect because one I got to quote-en-quote ‘sit under the learning tree’. I didn’t get free passes, I didn’t get exceptions, I didn’t get ‘oh, it’s OK. Don’t worry about it,’ Big Show said. “My ass got chewed out every single night and the only thing I could try to do was not make the same mistake twice.
“He held me at a different level to the way I conducted myself out of the ring; the way I conducted myself in the locker room. He was just really instrumental in my career and shaping me into the talent and mentor I am now. I find myself transferring a lot of the lessons I learned to the talent now. Just common sense and experience things that help them on their way.
Big Show recounts when the Undertaker told him he’d made it in the WWE
In the same interview, Big Show narrated a story of the time the duo worked together during a European tour. The pair had grown so comfortable with each other that they fought a 40-minute match without once discussing the finish beforehand.
“I remember working with ‘Taker in France in a coliseum that was built in 300AD by the Romans,” Big Show started. “I wrestled ‘Taker that night and we probably went close to 40 minutes, maybe 43, 44 minutes.
“Mike Chioda was the referee and he nearly had a heart attack that night because ‘Taker and I wouldn’t tell him the finish. We were getting dressed in the locker room and Chioda comes in ‘OK guys, OK, OK, OK, OK! What’s the finish?’ and Taker goes ‘I don’t know, Show, what’s the finish?’ and I said ‘I don’t know, boss. You’re in charge, whatever you say.’
“And that’s as much planning as ‘Taker and I put into it going into that match that night.’
‘Good job, kid. You made it’
After the match the Undertaker finally gave Big Show his seal of approval; One that Show had long desired.
“At the end of the night, after the match when everything was done – I think I ended up tapping out to the Gogplata [Hell’s Gate] after Chokslams and all kinds of crazy stuff that we did that night – we toasted. And he said ‘good job, kid. You made it.’
“And that was, for me, my crowning [moment]. I made journeyman that night, I was no longer an apprentice; I became a journeyman.
“It’s a pretty big deal and it was pretty emotional for me. I’ll be honest, I worked for so many years and so hard to get that nod and I think I drove him nuts for the next couple of days because I was so appreciative of it.”
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