Among gamers who are aware of professional wrestling, the Big Show is second only to Xavier Woods in terms of being a diehard video game geek. The world’s largest athlete is also one of the world’s largest fans of Destiny and Destiny 2.
At a recent event for Destiny 2, Big Show took the time to talk to us about video games, his in-depth thoughts on Braun Strowman, and a whole lot more. This is just a portion of the conversation we had with him. For the full story, you can check out the latest episode of the With Spandex Podcast.
WITH SPANDEX: Have you been playing Destiny since day one of the first game, or how did you get into it?
Big Show: Yeah, since day one of the first game, just been a fan. I’ve always been a first person shooter fan, other than like God of War — I played that a lot on the old PS2. Then when Destiny came along, it’s the only thing I’ve played for the last couple years. There’s so much work that I’ve put into it. This week, to do this [event], I actually a made Big Show profile and built a character this week, which I did it in a couple of days, which is a monumental task actually, to get enough equipment to get together to be halfway respectable, but my main character I put years into.
Even with the new expansion, I was a little sad that I couldn’t carry over from year one, but I’m already caught up and ahead now in year two, so it’s not that big a deal, I’m not that upset over it. I was a little upset at first, I was like, “What do you mean this doesn’t carry over?” But that’s part of the fun sometimes building a new character, and sweating it out to get the right exotics, and get the right gear.
You’re a legendary gamer at this point; how did you get to be so into video games? How did you come to it, and what was your journey like to get to this point, where you’re getting invited to eSports tournaments?
It started out, I don’t know, years ago, I think. In 1995 or ’96, I made the cover of a video game, a WCW game. That was a surreal moment for me, because I grew up … I didn’t have access to a lot of games. I think the neighbor kid had an Atari, and my cousin had a Nintendo. When I went to college I traded a guy a pair of sneakers for a Nintendo for my room, so I played a lot of Super Mario Brothers 3 in college. So I’ve played games, but the first person shooter really has taken me by storm. I’ve done a few different games, I’ve done the flying games, the airplane games. Never really got into sports games that much, I think I did a little bit of NBA Street Jam for a while, I enjoyed that.
[With] Destiny, there’s always just so much to do, I think that’s why I liked it. There’s always so much to do, there’s something every week to do, there’s challenges and quests, and new gear. It’s funny sometimes it feels like … I know when I sign on to Destiny, I know that I’ve got stuff to do, I’ve got challenges to meet. I think that’s part of the attractiveness of the game for me is knowing that every week I’ve got challenges to keep up with.
You are The Big Show; you’re The Giant. Has your size ever been an issue for playing video games, or do you just stick with the big ol’ Xbox controllers?
Yeah. No, what’s funny is I started out with an Xbox, and then I went over to a PS4. It is a little bit of an issue sometimes, especially if I get in a tight firefight, or if I’m in a tight raid, I’ll end up hitting the wrong button and the main screen menu will come up, that’s just gonna happen. I got to remember that slow is smooth, and smooth is fast, you know what I mean? I’ve got to remember to slow down a little bit, because if I get too excited I’ll end up wiping myself out to the main menu. I’ll end up looking at PlayStation menu while my game’s going on.
It’s definitely been an exercise in patience. Early on, I was known for grabbing the remote and twisting it in half, just out of frustration. I just snap a remote, then I’d be at Best Buy buying a remote. After a while, the Best Buy people started asking me every time I walked in, “Are you coming in to buy another remote?” After the seventh or eighth time I learned a little bit of patience, which is getting better. I need to reach out to somebody and see if I can get a billet aluminum remote made, that’s a little bit bigger.
When can we expect to see you back on WWE television?
Hopefully soon. I had some hip surgery at the end of September, which has been fantastic for me. It’s what they call hip resurfacing, now I gotta nice shiny titanium joint that’s really smooth, and more range of motion, it’s even stronger. I’m just following my physical rehab protocol right now, and making sure all that’s strong and healed up. I gotta give it a few months for the metal to grow into the bone so to speak, so it becomes a more solid unit, then hopefully first of the year I’ll be back of action.
A lot of fans were really excited about the last year that you’ve had in wrestling, especially year feud with Braun Strowman. What was that trilogy like with Braun Strowman; to go up against him in such crazy matches that were so well-received?
I’m very proud of that run I had with Braun, because we didn’t really do your typical storyline buildup. Braun and I, usually if something happened, maybe it was a week out or day of when we were going to have a match. To have the matches that I’ve had with Braun, to have them received as well as they’ve been received … Because you’ve got two very big guys being as athletic as possible, and also telling a story. I think that’s one of the things that I’m most proud of. There’s a lot of great athletes in our business, but there’s very few storytellers left in our business.
I think one thing that I’m very proud of Braun is that he’s really come into his own on being a powerhouse, being a monster, being that next evolution of giant that’s more explosive, that’s more athletic. That has perceivable devastation just looking at him, the way he walks, and the way he looks, and the way they built his character.
For me ,to work with him, I got a chance to unload what little bit of athleticism I have left. Braun Strowman would have been a fun guy for me to run with 20 years ago. I think 20 years ago, I think we’d have blown everybody’s mind. I’m just real proud of what we did, and how he did, and am very happy that the fans enjoyed it.
I’ll definitely say that those matches I’ve had with Braun, even though it’s been the twilight of my career, they’ve been three of my favorite matches. And I’ve had a lot of good matches with some guys later in my career. I’ve had some matches with Sheamus that I’m real proud of, and with Braun as well. That’s all you can ask for; if you pass the torch to someone, the next generation, the next evolution, you want to put them in the best position available for them to succeed, and I think Braun’s definitely taken the work that we’ve done together, and cemented himself to becoming a Hall of Famer himself one day.
That’s what you think the future holds for Braun Strowman, that he’s going to be one of the all-time greats?
I think so. As long as he stays healthy, he’s just got too much to offer. He’s got the right attitude, he’s got the right intensity and hunger for it, and he understands there’s times to be a monster, and there’s also times to make other guys look good. You can run out there and make yourself look good all day that’s not what our business is about. Our business is about making … I’ve always had a standard philosophy it’s: Get the match over, get your opponent over, then get yourself over, if you can do those three things in that order you’ll have a long career. That’s what you’re here for.
You’re here to entertain our fans, give our fans the best competition, the best product possible. And also keep yourself in this business for as long as possible where you’re dependable, you bring something unique to the table in any situation you’re in, whether you’re wrestling a guy that’s 5’2 or you’re wrestling another guy seven [feet tall]. Versatility and dependability is the key. I think Braun’s definitely one of those guys that can take that and go forward with it.
Now while we’re talking about the all-time great big men, I know that you’re a very humble guy, but if you had to put some money on it who would you say gets into the Hall of Fame first, You, Mark Henry, Kane, or Undertaker?
Oh, if I had to put some money on it, I don’t even think I’m in the same category as those caliber of athletes. I think I’d be the guy holding the door at the Hall of Fame.
I don’t know; it depends on who goes out first. I think all those guys are definitely first bid, first-round Hall of Famers. It just depends on who decides to step away first, whether it’s Undertaker, whether it’s Mark, or whether it’s Kane. Whichever one of those guys decides to step away first will definitely be the first one in. That’s a decision that’s up to them when they decide they want to step away from the ring completely.
You can’t ever tell with Undertaker. We all know Undertaker’s the greatest 6’10, 6’11 big guy that’s ever been in our business, with his athleticism, and just the thousands of incredible matches that he’s delivered, and the people that he’s worked with, so we all know he’s a shoo-in. As soon as he says, “Okay, I’m gonna hang up my hat and my spurs,” you’ve got Undertaker [in the Hall of Fame].
Mark Henry is the same way, incredible long career in our business, so many feats of strength, and all the different programs, and angles, and guys he’s worked with, same deal. Kane’s one-of-a-kind, and a monster, he’s definitely a Hall of Famer, so it’s up to those guys. You’re not going to make me pick and make my three friends get mad at me, so it’s on them.
So you’re not convinced the Undertaker’s hung it up yet?
No, man, I’m telling you: the Undertaker, they don’t call him the Phenom for nothing bro, I’m telling you. An Undertaker at 30 percent is better than most everybody else at 90 percent, I’ll tell you that much. If that makes any sense at all. He’s just that damn good.
Yeah, it makes sense. I wanted to ask you, through the past couple years you have done such an incredible job of transforming your body, and revitalizing your career, and getting the people back behind you again, having some of the best matches of your entire career. Was it frustrating at all for you to have that match at WrestleMania get built up, and then end up not having a spot light at all at WrestleMania?
Well, that’s business. There’s no one really to get mad at in that situation. You try to create a hype, you try to create an interest, you try to create an angle, then it comes down to … I’m working with entities that are outside of WWE.
Shaq had a fantastic attitude with everything and really wanted to do it, at the same time he has a lot of commitments that he’s committed to. When it comes down to getting availability and time, and trying to schedule the right thing all the way around, it was just a conflict of interest and timing. That doesn’t mean the door’s shut on that at all. I think Shaq will always have an open door with WWE, we always had a great time working with him, and he’s such an incredible charismatic dude, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t do something again with us in the future.
Did we miss the opportunity a Big Show/Shaq feud at WrestleMania? Yeah. If I was being honest about it, we probably should have had that feud 10 years ago, you know what I mean? We tried to pull something off maybe a little bit too late, and the timing didn’t work out. But that’s okay, one door shuts, another door opens. I never look in the past or believe in should’ve, could’ve, would’ve … It’s always today and tomorrow, and onward and upward.
I’ve got one last question for you. However long in the future it might be — five, 10, 15 years, when you finally decide to call it quits in WWE, what do you —
15 years, what’s wrong with you man?
You could do it man, I believe in you.
I love you for that, I’ll give you a big hug next time I see you.
Whenever you finally decide to leave your in-ring career behind, what do you think the future holds for you? More acting? Just playing Destiny 2 all the time? What’s it gonna be?
Probably a lot of game playing. Probably venturing out and doing some projects that I can help support, whether it’s movies, acting, producing, charity work, community work — just things that I’ll have more time for that I want to do for me personally, where my time isn’t dominated so much as working five nights a week on the road with WWE, 200-and-some days a year all over the world. That eats up a lot of your time.
When you’re home a day and half a week, it’s very hard to build momentum to do projects that are important to you, whether it’s building a gazebo in the backyard or washing the car, sometimes you just don’t have enough time to get it done. Those are challenges that I look forward to when I decide to make that transition. Whether it’s soon, or later … we’ll see.
That’s awesome. Maybe you can do a Piper’s Pit type segment, Big Show’s Gazebo.
Big Show’s Gazebo, I like it man. I’m going to steal that and trademark it. Big Show’s Gazebo.
To hear the rest of the conversation with the Big Show, click here or use the player below.