Pretty soon, they will all be gone. Undertaker is 50 years old. Kane is approaching the milestone. Mark Henry has spent more time on the injured reserve than in a ring lately and Big Show knows his years are limited in a WWE ring. It’s just a matter of time before all the “giants” of the business will be off of the company roster, enjoying the fruits of retirement, with a huge void that may not be filled in the same capacity. Times have changed in the wrestling business, but until now, the “big” man has been a fixture in promotion after promotion. Now, the thought of not seeing these powerful giants is becoming a reality.
Brock Lesnar is still around, but he is a part-time performer and although he is good, his body of work doesn’t compare with the aforementioned superstars. Ryback wants to be part of that list, but he has been limited by the creative team and his own shortcomings. His arsenal of late has been better, and his game has certainly improved. He has even mentioned he wants the rights to Wade Barrett’s moves once the Brit leaves WWE in the summer. Stay tuned to see whether a continual rebuild of the “Big Guy” garners better results and a potential title shot or a run with another mid card belt.
For the reasons I spoke of and the possibility of not seeing ‘Taker or Show or Kane or even Henry in a ring in 2017, the company has come its senses and decided to create another super monster in Braun Strowman, which begins with his ascension in Dallas and the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. Building the perfect beast does not happen overnight. While Big Show came to this business as The Giant and immediately beat Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title, plans of action like that do not happen anymore. Strowman has been used sparingly as part of the Wyatt Family shtick, which could finally lead to him flying solo with a potentially penciled in match at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar.
It could also mean the big guy will get a WWE World Title shot, possibly against Roman Reigns before that takes place. For as big as he is and how green he is, let’s not anoint him the second coming of Haystacks Calhoun or pick any other big guy who looked the part and failed miserably. There is still a lot to do between now and August to build Strowman up. It must be in the same way Vince McMahon took a year to bring along Reigns, which still has not pleased every fan in the building.
When I think of big men in this business, I cannot help but be reminded of Gorilla Monsoon, the Wild Samoans, Rikishi and King Kong Bundy. Love them or hate them, fans took to them because of their size, their backstory and their ability to make everyone fear them in some form or fashion. Strowman has the fear factor down pat, but is it realistic to think he can succeed as the next great big man in this business? What makes him better than say Abyss or Samoa Joe, Vader or someone like Bam Bam Bigelow? There is no answer for that kind of question.
WWE is making the right chess move to push Strowman in the right direction. It remains to be seen if he can captivate the crowds like those before him. If power and fear were the only factors involved in creating the perfect giant, than Strowman wins hands down. But there is more to it than that. Is he an extension of Bray Wyatt and his cryptic message, or will he have his own brand of mayhem?
The answer to that question could be the deciding factor between success and something new, and something already tried and something that has failed miserably before.
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