MIAMI – On the March 30 episode of SmackDown, Big Show proclaimed to the WWE Universe that he would finally have his WrestleMania Moment in his Intercontinental Championship Match against Cody Rhodes two days later. After years of floundering on The Grandest Stage of Them All, the importance of Sunday’s bout has built exponentially as the countdown clock ticked down, putting the weight of the world squarely upon the giant’s shoulders. But on Sunday night in Miami, the giant came ready for a reversal of fortune, and his victory over Cody Rhodes reverberated throughout the WWE Universe. ( PHOTOS)
When The World’s Largest Athlete entered Sun Life Stadium to challenge Rhodes for his title at WrestleMania XXVIII, he would not only have one of the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champions in the history of that illustrious title to contend with — Big Show would also have to ward off the ghosts of past WrestleMania disappointments.
In the weeks leading up to their bout at WrestleMania XXVIII, Rhodes blasted his immense challenger, playing mind games in an attempt to poison his competitor’s confidence. The titleholder did not just poke at the giant, though. Instead, the daring Rhodes took his verbal attacks as far as he could, leaving no stone unturned in his opponent’s inglorious WrestleMania record.
Going so far as to label his challenger "The Reverse Undertaker," Rhodes continually appeared on episodes of SmackDown armed with video footage of the giant’s loses on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The defending champion has done everything in his power to remind the WWE Universe of Big Show’s now well-documented WrestleMania woes, which have included a loss to grand champion Akebono in a Sumo Match at WrestleMania 21 and a defeat at the hands of Floyd "Money" Mayweather at WrestleMania 24.
During Rhodes’ replaying of Show’s not-so-great moments, the giant’s frustration was evident. But, as the saying goes: "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it."
When the familiar strands of Big Show’s entrance music blared through the sound system in Sun Life Stadium Sunday night, the giant was poised to forget about days gone by and focus instead on the incredibly talented Intercontinental Champion standing between him and his thus far elusive WrestleMania glory.
For his part, Rhodes entered WrestleMania XXVIII coming off one of the most impressive championship reigns of all time. Going into his Sunday night showdown, Rhodes had held the title for 233 days, putting the second generation Superstar in an elite class of WWE Legends that includes The Rock, Mr. Perfect and "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
Right out of the gate, Big Show displayed the power befitting a man his size, delivering monstrous chops and thundering slams. Show trapped the champion in the corner in a rather undignified fashion, toying with his smaller opponent.
But Rhodes hasn’t held the Intercontinental Title for over 230 days by accident. The lightning fast Rhodes struck back with quick moves intended to bring the giant down to size, taking away the power game.
Show countered, however, and knocked Rhodes out with a ring-shaking WMD, leaving his opponent lying prone in the middle of the ring. The giant covered Cody and claimed both the Intercontinental Title and a WrestleMania Moment all his own.
The giant’s resounding KO of Cody Rhodes put an end to weeks’ worth of mind games on the part of the now-former Intercontinental Champion. More importantly, however, Big Show’s victory in Miami finally brought an end to years’ worth of unfinished business on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Big Show can now finally add a WrestleMania singles victory to an already impressive list of career accolades. The World’s Largest Athlete has worn an array of championship gold, but Sunday night Big Show officially became one of the most decorated Superstars in WWE history.
And he did so by delivering much-warranted comeuppance to Cody Rhodes.