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Exclusive Interview: Big Show to undergo hip surgery following Steel Cage Match with Braun Strowman
As revealed in a WWE.com exclusive, Big Show will undergo surgery on his right hip on Friday, Sept. 29, following his Steel Cage Match with Braun Strowman on last week’s Raw. The procedure, which was originally scheduled for this week but was delayed due to Hurricane Irma, will repair the giant’s hip after it was damaged during his epic Steel Cage clash with The Monster Among Men. WWE.com got Big Show on the phone to discuss the injury, the match, his thoughts on Strowman’s Universal Championship Match with Brock Lesnar and whether he regrets that big elbow off the top rope. Stay tuned to WWE.com for updates on Show’s condition.
WWE.COM: Tell us a little bit about the procedure you are going to have done.
BIG SHOW: I have to have the hip resurfaced. There’s been some traumatic injury done to the hip in the match with Braun Strowman. It’s frustrating as hell to be in the best shape I’ve been in my career, but that match, I kind of put a lot out on the table and I’m paying the price for it now. Going forward, I’m very confident in the medical team that’s doing the surgery … we’re gonna go forward from there and see what my options are.
WWE.COM: There were some pretty incredible feats of athleticism from you in that match, most notably the elbow off the top rope. At any point, were you worried about hurting yourself, or did it not matter as much in the moment?
BIG SHOW: The pain doesn’t factor into a match like that. Any of our guys that have worked, seasoned veterans, John Cena, Triple H, Undertaker, Kane, myself, even Mark Henry, we’ve all experienced pretty serious injuries in the ring, but we’re kind of the old-school warriors, we find out we’re hurt afterwards. During that match, I wasn’t thinking, “Oh, this is gonna hurt,” I was thinking at one point when I was on the top turnbuckle, “Jesus, I hope this top rope doesn’t break.” That was about the only thing going through my head. I was thinking, “Well, you’ve lost a hundred pounds so you’re probably good, but I hope this thing doesn’t break.”
WWE.COM: Once you hit that move, can you describe what it felt like? Did you think you had the match sewn up, despite the pain?
BIG SHOW: I don’t know if I had the match sewn up. It’s one of those high-risk, high-reward maneuvers. I think if I’d been able to make a cover a little bit faster, the outcome might have been different. I know when I landed on that elbow I heard a snap in my hip. So, I don’t know if that was the root cause or what started the downhill train for the injury then, but I definitely took most of that impact on my hips. But who knows? Could have been an SI joint, could have been my back cracking, could have been gas, I don’t know.
I kind of put a lot on the table and I'm paying the price for it now.
I definitely heard something, but at the time, my adrenaline was pumping, so I really couldn’t feel anything. That’s the thing about competing in that type of match. Your pain doesn’t register as pain, a lot of times your pain just sucks the energy out of you. When you’re hurt alike that, you don’t function as well. Your motor system’s not as well, your coordination isn’t as well, your base system isn’t as well. So, to go out for all that and not come through with the pinfall, and also hurt myself in the long run. There’s a lot of trainers in my career, between Terry Taylor and Arn Anderson, who’ve always told me to keep my damn feet on the ring mat, and there’s just that little kid in me — I may be 45, but there’s that little kid in me that if I get a chance to do some flying, I’m gonna do it. Half a dozen one-or-the-others, shoulda-coulda-wouldas, but bottom line is, Braun Strowman was the better man that night. He’s The Monster Among Men right now. So, good for him. But I’m not dead, so we’ll see what’s up.
WWE.COM: After the match, Strowman threw you through the cage and you were able to walk up the ramp. At that point, had the adrenaline wore off and you realized you were hurt?
BIG SHOW: Yeah. I definitely knew because [Braun’s finishing move] was the icing on the cake. I took [the Running Powerslam] and he drove my pelvis into the mat, and I really felt it there. It sucked all the energy right out of me. It’s like taking a battery and draining it immediately when he hit me with it. I didn’t even have the energy to raise my arms. Going through the cage and when I hit, I knew something was wrong, but there’s a lot of fans there, there’s lights there, you don’t want to wallow and cry and flop around and make a big scene. I was trying to be cool about it, but it was very hard for me to put weight on my foot and my hip.
WWE.COM: You’ve been in the ring with giants of every shape, size and caliber. What’s your opinion on Braun Strowman as an opponent and as a competitor in general?
BIG SHOW: I’m not going to take anything away from Braun Strowman. You could say I’m 100 pounds lighter, but I’m going to give credit where credit is due. I’ve wrestled some of the strongest, most athletic guys this business has ever seen. Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Mark Henry, Kane. These guys are phenomenal, phenomenal athletes and powerhouses. You can feel the power when they grab you, and I’m a big dude, so believe me: When someone makes me feel that power, I’m telling you they’re a strong guy. Braun Strowman has a great combination of all those put together. He has some of Brock Lesnar’s crazy athleticism, he’s got a lot of John Cena’s crazy power with that powerlifting background. He’s got a lot of my size and weight, which comes into play.
What’s going on in Braun Strowman’s head right now is he’s hungry. It’s palpable. It’s coming off of him. He’s hungry for that championship.
So, Braun is a super-hybrid of Brock Lesnar, Big Show and John Cena. He’s a newer evolution of what the big man of the future is. The big man of the ‘70s and ‘80s was Andre. Andre was athletic for his time; Andre could do a lot of things, but Andre always kept his feet on the ground because he didn’t have to move, and he made a very successful, wonderful career out of that. I came along, and modeled myself a lot after guys like The Undertaker and some of the smaller bigger guys that I thought were amazing. Bam Bam Bigelow was an amazing athlete for his size. These were all guys that were big guys that you weren’t used to seeing being as athletic as they were. And I thought to myself when I started my career, “Hey, you know what? I can be athletic too.” And then fast-forward 23 years, you’ve got this new athlete like Braun Strowman who is a powerhouse, who is fast, who is strong, and who is cunning. Braun Strowman is not a stupid competitor. Is he young and a tad bit aggressive? Sure. But he’s also a very cunning, malicious big guy, which is something that you can’t really pull off if you’re not that way.
A lot of big guys in our business haven’t been successful because they’re just not mean enough. You’ve got to have a mean streak to be a successful big man. Brock is a successful big man because he’s got a mean streak. Kane has a mean streak. Mark Henry has a mean streak. I have a mean streak. Braun Strowman definitely has a mean streak. So, to see the future of the big-man role and how it’s evolved in our industry, our fans are much more demanding than they were 10, 15, 20 years ago. Our fans don’t want to see lockup, wristlock, turn into a hammerlock, float over to a headlock, shoot up, double down, grab me again, or whatever. They don’t want to see that now. They want to see competition. They’ve been influenced by outside influences like martial arts that have been introduced into our sport and submission holds and stuff like that. The modern big man going forward is going to have to be a chameleon of a lot of different things. Braun is definitely on that track.
WWE.COM: Do you think he has a chance to defeat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship?
BIG SHOW: I think out of our entire roster, if anybody has a chance of beating Brock Lesnar it’s Braun Strowman. Because no offense to Roman Reigns and no offense to John Cena or any other competitors who’ve stepped up against Brock like Dean Ambrose — I’m talking about what’s going on in a guy’s head right now. What’s going on in Braun Strowman’s head right now is he’s hungry. It’s palpable. It’s coming off of him. He’s hungry for that championship; he’s hungry to establish himself. He’s going to establish his legacy as the next big man in WWE, and you can feel that hunger with Braun. I was the same way in 1995, ’96. I was hungry the same way. Is it hard to keep that focus all the time? Sure. But now, Brock better flips some tires and swing a sledgehammer and do those crazy farm workouts that make him the beast that he is, because I got a feeling that Braun Strowman’s going to bring it to him. I look forward to seeing those two compete. I think they’re gonna blow the roof off the joint.
This is part of the life I chose. I don’t have any single regret.
WWE.COM: Is there anything you want to say to the WWE Universe before your surgery?
BIG SHOW: Before my surgery? I mean, you know, this is part of the life I chose. I don’t have any single regret. I’m going for surgery now. Will it impact the rest of my life and career? Absolutely. Anytime you have major surgery like this, there’s a change that happens. Am I downtrodden or depressed? Absolutely not. I’ve had a brilliant, fantastic career. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the greatest people in this entire industry, and I’m not just talking about talent. I’m talking about production, I’m talking about our TV show, I’m talking about our Live Event people, our talent relations people, our travel people. Everybody that’s part of WWE. I’ve worked with some amazing people over the years and I’m thankful. And I’ve worked in front of some amazing crowds from England to India to South Africa to Japan and Mexico, all over the world, and I‘m thankful for all that.
At this stage in my career, it’s about going forward and getting a better quality of life for myself, making sure that I can still function and am not in a lot of pain, and rolling forward and seeing what the next opportunity is for me. WWE will always be home for me and I’ll always be around as much as I can, but I’m really proud of that match I had with Braun; I’m really proud I threw everything out there. Probably, in a good way, it’s a good thing I didn’t win; now I don’t have to back it up. [Laughs]