Monday, February 4, 2013
Augusta, GA -- 290 days a year, he's the Big Show, the world's largest athlete.
But every super star starts somewhere, and this one came from our own back yard.
"I'm a small town kid from Aiken, South Carolina, and I've put my hands on the Great Pyramids," Big Show said. "At ten or eleven years old, if you'd have asked me what I was doing, I definitely wouldn't have said that I would have been a super star traveling the world."
That's exactly what Aiken's Paul Wight is doing these days, and it all started with a chance meeting.
"I met Hulk Hogan, and he said, 'You got a big dollar sign on your forehead, brother,' and I was like, 'Well, please show it to me because I am broke.'"
18 years later, he's one of pro wrestling's biggest villains.
Of course, that isn't exactly the persona his friends know him for.
"They know how I really am, so it's a little bit awkward to go out there and put on the, 'I don't like this town. I don't like these people,' ya know I do whatever I can in my role."
That role includes traveling to different cities every week and sometimes around the world. Not an easy task for a man who's seven-foot tall, 450 pounds.
"I've flown on a lot of flights where my head's tilted to the side because it's in the baggages, in Japan my feet hang 'that far' off the end of the bed, and sometimes the showers hit me about right in the chest."
So for some of you out there who are complaining about leg room on an airplane...you were saying?
"If I'm cramped on a flight, fine," Wight said. "Sometimes I'll go 26, 27, 28 hours without sleeping and I'll still go right to the arena and compete. Am I tired? You betcha. But when I'm done at the end of the night, and I've torn the house down, there's a sense of accomplishment and pride in me because it didn't break me."
Big Show says he hasn't had a weekend off in nine months, but with his birthday coming up this Friday, he doesn't plan on heading to the ring this weekend.
He won't stay away long, though. He just signed a five-year extension with the WWE.