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Standing on the shoulders of a giant

Standing on the ring apron at WWE Over the Limit, Big Show held the end of John Laurinaitis’ tenure as the General Manager of SmackDown and Raw in the palm of his massive right hand.

After single-handedly carrying a fleeing “Big Johnny” back to ringside from the stands, the giant - who was fired in humiliating fashion less than one week earlier by “Mr. Excitement” himself - literally had his former boss by the throat. ( PHOTOS) He needed only to hurl the GM in John Cena’s direction to set up an Attitude Adjustment that would cement the end of the "People Power" administration once and for all.

The fact Big Show chose to bail out the "People Power" administration by belting the Cenation leader with a wicked WMD should come as no surprise to the WWE Universe, though. The World’s Largest Athlete made a controversial choice at the May 20 pay-per-view, but history shows that it’s a choice he’s made countless times before.

In that respect, Big Show simply opened a new chapter in his long history of assisting some of the most devious players in WWE history as they assert their power. It’s a troubling pattern that harkens all the way back to his WWE debut in 1999 and now rears itself once more to the benefit of John Laurinaitis.

The higher ups needing hired muscle

John Laurinaitis is hardly the first to stand on the shoulders of the grappling giant to further his own agenda. In fact, he appears to be reusing a tactic previously employed by WWE Chairman, Mr. McMahon.

At the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre edition of In Your House in 1999, Mr. McMahon stepped inside of a steel cage with WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to keep The Texas Rattlesnake from facing WWE Champion The Rock at WrestleMania XV. To hedge his bets against his beer-swilling rival, The Chairman called upon the newly acquired Big Show to introduce himself to the WWE Universe by busting through the ring apron and clobbering Austin. ( WATCH)

“Stone Cold” quickly fell prey to the newest addition to the WWE roster, but the boss’ backup plan still came up short. That’s because Big Show’s formidable strength inadvertently sent Austin through the cage wall and onto the ringside floor for an unlikely victory.

Although Big Show and the WWE Chairman parted ways shortly thereafter, their partnership revealed a blueprint for how the massive Superstar could help those seeking massive muscle to reach their lofty goals in WWE. The giant made it clear that he was ready, willing and nearly able to fulfill anyone’s requisite need for fierceness. With a little more fine tuning, one could hone the towering rookie into a destructive force within WWE.

The scorned leaders with scores to settle

Inspired by Mr. McMahon’s plan to defend The Corporation with help from Big Show, others recruited the 441-pound colossus to handle their personal vendettas through the years.

Upset with Rob Van Dam’s lack of interest in renouncing the WWE Championship in favor of the ECW Title, Paul Heyman stepped in to capitalize on Big Show’s challenge for the latter title on the July 4, 2006, edition of ECW. To ensure that The World’s Largest Athlete succeeded in his title opportunity, Heyman used his powers as the ECW General Manager to deny Van Dam a win and execute a fast count for a pinfall that forced the ECW Championship to change hands. ( WATCH

During her tenure as the SmackDown General Manager, Vickie Guerrero also enlisted the skyscraping Superstar’s help in taking down The Undertaker after Unforgiven 2008. ( WATCH) Big Show’s size and strength helped him score early victories against Guerrero’s undead nemesis in the weeks that followed, before The Phenom overcame The World’s Largest Athlete in a Casket Match at Survivor Series 2008.

The plans of Heyman and Guerrero to decimate a singular pest met different ends, but the means for each was the same: Bring Big Show on your side and immediately receive an imposing force that can go toe-to-toe with anyone in WWE. 

Championship gold diggers

Not just WWE dignitaries make use of Big Show’s formidable strength to further their causes. Some of the most charismatic Superstars also cast their spell on The World’s Largest Athlete in their respective missions for championship gold.

Unified WWE Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho solicited the services Big Show at Night of Champions 2009 due to an injury to Jericho’s original partner, WWE Hall of Famer Edge. Blending their surnames to coin the tag team moniker “Jeri-Show,” Jericho benefitted from his behemoth partner as the twosome ran roughshod over the likes of The Legacy, Cryme Tyme and Rey Mysterio & Batista. Their reign as Unified WWE Tag Team Titleholders lasted 140 days and only came to an end when they collided with D-Generation X. ( WATCH)

DX would loses the titles back to Big Show less than two months later after the latter paired with a self-interested partner in The Miz. Big Show’s encore reign as one half of the championship duo known as “ShowMiz” lasted half as long as his first one with Jericho - largely due to his inability to coexist with the always-expanding ego of The Awesome One. When The Hart Dynasty finally won the titles from “ShowMiz” in April 2010, Big Show promptly ended his alliance with The Miz by knocking him out in the middle of the ring. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)

While Chris Jericho benefitted from the size and strength of his last-minute replacement, The Miz happily rode the coattails of his unlikely partner to boost his own pride. Both knew Big Show could make for a championship combination. Each, however, gained more in terms of reputation and prestige than a prolonged friendship with The World’s Largest Athlete when their respective title runs came to a close.

Hearing the pleas of "People Power"

Dressed to the nines in a gray wool pinstripe suit and looking comfortable with his decision, Big Show sauntered out on Raw to explain why he did what he did to John Cena one day earlier at WWE Over the Limit. ( WATCH | PHOTOS) He explained about feeling disrespected until John Laurinaitis came calling to court him into shouldering a specific responsibility.

When Laurinaitis lured Big Show back to WWE on the eve of Over the Limit, he likely did not want to woo him with the praise or the raise that could come for The World’s Largest Athlete with a win over Cena at No Way Out. ( MATCH PREVIEW) However, “Mr. Excitement” wanted to stand on Big Show’s broad shoulders to rise above the Cenation leader – just like so many others did in the past against their respective rivals.

That’s basically been the towering competitor’s M.O. since the day Mr. McMahon hired him to cast his shadow over WWE. Recruit Big Show to lift a movement like the "People Power" administration to new heights and The World’s Largest Athlete will dutifully respond with the necessary strength to make it happen.

Luckily for Laurinaitis, Big Show’s shoulders can still support the weight of those lofty expectations.

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