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"His obesity was going to shorten his life" - Jim Ross on WWE getting tough with The Big Show

The Big Show in the early 2000s (left); The Big Show in 2017 (right)
The Big Show in the early 2000s (left); The Big Show in 2017 (right)
Danny Hart
Modified 14 Jan 2021, 21:12 IST

Jim Ross has reflected on the time that WWE affected The Big Show’s pay in an attempt to motivate him to lose weight.

From August 2000 to January 2001, The Big Show did not appear on WWE television. Instead, he worked in the company’s Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental system while he tried to get down to 400 pounds.

This week’s Grilling JR podcast focused on the 2001 Royal Rumble, which featured the return of The Big Show. Ross told Conrad Thompson that he was disappointed that the seven-foot Superstar looked just as heavy as he did before he was sent to OVW.

“Yeah, and this is where I was disappointed, Conrad, I thought his weight and his obesity was going to shorten his life. It wasn’t about, ‘Well, he can’t do a hurricanrana, he can’t do a tope suicida.’ No s***. I’m thinking that he’s a step or two away from being un-licensable.”

Ross said he was concerned that Athletic Commissions in the United States would no longer give The Big Show a license to wrestle. The same thing happened several years earlier with another WWE giant, Yokozuna.

Jim Ross felt The Big Show had been badly influenced

The Big Show joined WWE in 1999 after leaving WCW
The Big Show joined WWE in 1999 after leaving WCW

Jim Ross also made it clear that WWE had little choice but to send The Big Show to OVW. While the punishment was designed to help the former WWE Champion lose weight, it meant he did not earn extra money from being on television.

“The only way you can get 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.”

The Big Show always had the ability to succeed, in Ross’ opinion, but he felt that Show got influenced by the wrong people. He added that people should not have encouraged the up-and-coming Superstar to be the next Andre the Giant.

Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to SK Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

Published 14 Jan 2021, 21:12 IST
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