Exclusive: Big Show Says He Passed The Torch To Braun Strowman, Talks Destiny 2, Recovery From Surgery, Possible Work As A WWE Ambassador

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Wizard World, Inc.

The following interview is an exclusive for Wrestlezone: 

What does The World’s Largest Athlete do when he’s relaxing at home? 

The same thing as a lot of us: playing video games.

The Big Show is currently working with Activision in promoting the online game Destiny 2, a game he is very familiar with. Recently, the WWE superstar took part in the #DestinyTheGame sweepstakes where winners got to share an afternoon of playing with him.

The last time we saw him in a WWE ring was early September when Braun Strowman slammed him through a steel cage during an episode of “Monday Night Raw”. Shortly after, Big Show underwent hip replacement surgery and has rehabbing the injury since then.

Now at the age of 45 and following a career that has spanned more than two decades, there are questions regarding his WWE future. His contract expires in February and both he and the company are contemplating what that future may entail both in and out of the ring.

Recently, Brian Fritz spoke with Big Show about his work with Destiny 2, the one place where he can remain anonymous, and his future both in and out of WWE.

BRIAN FRITZ: How are you doing at Destiny 2?

BIG SHOW: (laughs) It’s funny. I really hadn’t gotten into the PBP too much with the Destiny 2 and this was a good way to get into it. I did the open play with some people. The concept of Destiny is community and getting out there and playing together. I had a lot of fun with it. I played with some guys that are real mercenaries. They were really impressive to play with, that’s for sure. 

BRIAN FRITZ: How did you fare?

BIG SHOW: I would say I was well carried. I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much but I definitely wasn’t at the top of the leaderboard. There were some real merks out there playing.

BRIAN FRITZ: Did you have some people singling you out and trying to make a name for themselves in trying to beat The Big Show?

BIG SHOW: No, no, no. It was that at all. Everyone just has fun playing. That was the thing I really enjoyed about it. Everyone was just having fun. Most of the time while we were playing, most of the guys were asking me question about wrestling and traveling and my career and it was a sense of community just hanging out. At the same time, we were merking the opposing team. There was one guy in one round that I thought ‘this guy is coming at me pretty hard’. And he was a really good player and he did a really good job. That’s the thing about playing sometimes. If you’re famous and you want to keep your anonymity so you can enjoy the game aspect because some people will try to make an example out of you. I don’t get upset about that. I never get upset about people being better players than I am. I enjoy playing the game whether I go 0-40 or 40-0. I just have fun playing the game and chatting with the guys online. I don’t get all sweaty over that kind of stuff.

BRIAN FRITZ: When it comes to games like Destiny 2, we see how detailed they are when it comes to the graphics and the gameplay. What is it like playing those kinds of game for you? You’re someone like me who has played games for a long time and now we see how far games have come.

BIG SHOW: You and I probably started out on Pong and, what was it, Night Driver? The games have definitely evolved with he graphics. The thing that’s different now, especially with Destiny 2, is the speed of play. The reaction time with a lot of these younger players now that are used to this first-person shooter gaming and stuff like that is unreal. The reflexes, the way they put weapon on target. Even the tactics they use, you’ll see a lot of 2-on-1 shooting which is really important and why you want to be part of a group, part of a clan. If you go in there as a single player, especially if you’re not talking or communicating on the microphone, you’re dead meat. It’s definitely picked up the pace. It’s not a casual thing where you can kind of play it. You have to put time in it to be really good at it. 

I like the history and the lore of Destiny 2. That’s a thing where, a lot of people, if they don’t know about Destiny 2, there’s so much history and so much lore and background and all the weapons and the different heroes. It’s a fantasy story and a fantasy world, which is one of the things I like about Destiny — they’ve created another universe.

BRIAN FRITZ: When you are regularly on the road with WWE, is a game like this good for you in that you can continue to play with these long storylines or is it tougher on the road?

BIG SHOW: It’s definitely tougher on the road because I’ve only got so much gear to carry. I’ve got wrestling boots and knee braces and clean clothes to carry. I’m not packing my luggage down carrying a game device. Destiny is kind of my escape so when I get home and take care of all the things I need to take care of, then I can escape and unwind and play Destiny. That’s what I use it for. I use Destiny for relaxing and letting a lot of the outside world go.

BRIAN FRITZ: It’s an interesting way to wind down after maybe a long week on the road and then to chill out, let me sit back and play a game like this and see if I can take some people out.

BIG SHOW: Yeah exactly! Another thing I like about the game more so than the PBP is the PBE, for me, is the community works together to beat the game. That’s really challenging for Destiny 2, to build a game that the players are going to pick and take apart. You have millions of players online, some super-savvy, super-intelligent guys online that are developing strategies to beat the challenges in the game. I get a big kick out of that community that works together to overcome the goals. That’s what is relaxing for me because I like the team atmosphere of it that kicks into play. It is fun. 

Now, sometimes, is it fun when the Internet isn’t running right? Yeah, that’s aggravating but that’s just gaming. There’s going to be good days and bad days when it comes to gaming. 

BRIAN FRITZ: When it comes to you playing in a community, do you ever allow people to know who you are or do you stay anonymous?

BIG SHOW: I stay anonymous. I’m not there to be The Big Show. Today was a chance to say you’re going to play with The Big Show if you want to and I’m going to let you ask me questions. Most of the time when I play, I prefer to have my anonymity. I prefer to just be another player if I screw up on my fire team, my fire team will give me grief over it. It’s kind of like Clark Kent; I can put on the glasses and I don’t have to be Superman. I can just be a regular guy. That’s part of the escape too.

BRIAN FRITZ: That’s one of the few places where you can be anonymous considering you’re a WWE star and you’re obviously a big guy. You can just be you and be anonymous and people will just take you for who you are.

BIG SHOW: Sometimes, I have to be careful because my voice sometimes is a little recognizable. ‘Hey man, you sound like The Big Show!’ I’m like really? Cool. I’m not going to say no or yes. I’ll just say cool and hope they leave it alone. I’m there to play the game. I’m not there to be Big Show or do any of that kind of stuff although I did create a game tag for the event we did and I think I’m going to keep it because some of the guys I played with were amazing! I want to keep them and play with them. It was awesome.

BRIAN FRITZ: You had hip surgery a few months ago. How is the recovery coming along?

BIG SHOW: It’s doing great. Everything is moving forward. For the past four years, I’ve been dealing with a pretty aggravating hip injury. We had the hip resurfacing done and it’s been fantastic. Dr. Su in New York did the surgery.  Dr. Alvarado here in Miami is doing all the follow-up stuff with it and my rehab is going fantastic. Right now, I’m just following protocol so I can get stronger and return to competition ASAP.

BRIAN FRITZ: I saw that you were about three weeks out and you were back in the gym doing a light workout and walking about a mile. You’ve undergone this big transformation when it comes to the shape you’re in and how much weight you’ve lost. Was there any concern with the surgery that it was going to be tough to keep the weight off and continue being in the shape you’ve been in?

BIG SHOW: It’s definitely been tough. I would say, without a doubt, having hip surgery has put a hell of a hit in my training shape that I was in before I had the surgery. I also know that I made that transition with an injured hip. Now, I have a nice, new, shiny, titanium hip so I think the journey for me will be a lot more pleasant this time. I know what meals to eat. I know what time I need to put into the gym and that’s part of the journey and part of the fun of doing it. Sure, it was kind of a kick in the teeth to be set back six, eight weeks in your gym plan and have to reboot and start over but I’ll have the time to do that and this time it will happen even faster and hopefully even better. 

BRIAN FRITZ: With that titanium hip, it is tough to get through airport security or though a metal detector with that?

BIG SHOW: Yeah. It’s a pat down every time because I’m too big for the machines that scan you all over. So, from now on, it’s a full shoes off, pat down, swipe your bags every time. It’s turned traveling into a nightmare. Even though I have pre-check and all that other stuff, I still have to get patted down because I beep and they can’t scan me. The traveling part, that’s the only thing that sucks now. Flying commercial through airports has definitely turned into a bummer.

BRIAN FRITZ: We last talked WrestleMania weekend you mentioned that your WWE contract was coming up in February and you were trying to figure out what was going to be happening going forward. Is there anything new with that and you possibly sticking around longer?

BIG SHOW: I don’t know. It’s still coming up. Right now, the main focus that I’m working on and Vince (McMahon) wants me working on is getting healthy first. We’ll worry about contracts and positioning once I’m healthy and ready to make a choice from a strong standpoint. I don’t know. It depends on what role WWE has for me. I don’t know if there’s any benefit to me going back in the trenches and being a soldier in the trenches five nights a week anymore.

I think to use my experience and recognizable factor to assist in other areas, maybe an ambassador or maybe work on a more limited basis, maybe work with some big guys down at the Performance Center privately, doing some tutoring or something like that, helping them on the side. I think they have so much great, young talent there now that I think it would be a hindrance to see me on TV every week in a full program or featured every week on TV. You know, I’ve had 20 years of it. I’m good. It’s time for these young kids to carry the ball.

BRIAN FRITZ: That being said, do you think you’ve had your last match?

BIG SHOW: I wouldn’t say I’ve had my last match. I get asked all the time is there another title run, another tag team title run or championship title run. You never say never in this business because anything is possible and anything can happen on Monday Night Raw” or “SmackDown Live”. I personally don’t see any of that in the future but I’ve been around long enough to never say never. Anything can and will happen so we’ll see. 

I think my job, so to speak, whatever you want to call it, that last match I had with Braun Strowman, I kind of passed the torch to Braun Strowman. He’s the next big monster. He’s the next giant, if you will. He’s got such athletic ability, such presence, and he’s on fire right now with what they’re doing with him, the way they’re booking him and how he’s competing in the ring. I was very proud to hand the monster title that I held for so many years off to him. I think he’s going to take it above and beyond anywhere I’ve taken it. When you leave the business and you step back, you want to leave your responsibility in capable hands and I think I’ve left my responsibility in very capable hands with Braun.

BRIAN FRITZ: You never say never in this business, you never know what opportunities come along. Chris Jericho has said he’s still a WWE guy but he’s doing this match in New Japan Pro Wrestling for their Wrestle Kingdom show in January. Do you think you could see yourself doing something similar where there’s a match somewhere else outside of WWE?

BIG SHOW: I think it would have to be a very special thing with a significant number of zeros at the end of the check for me to do something like that. It would probably cost a lot more than anybody would be willing to pay to get me to wrestle anywhere else other than WWE. Again, you never say never. If the right opportunity comes along but I’m definitely a WWE guy, always will be a WWE guy. I’m a Vince guy. I’ve been through too much with him over the years to ever really think about going anywhere else. Don’t get me wrong. If something comes along with enough money, I’ll be out there in a pink tutu-waving hello. I don’t care. Whatever it takes but I’m really happy with everything I’ve done in my career. I don’t feel the need that I have to prove anything. I’m very happy and very thankful and very blessed from all the guys I’ve worked with from Hulk Hogan to Randy Savage to Ric Flair to Arn Anderson, all the way up through Rock, Stone Cold, John Cena, ‘Taker,. Everybody that’s ever been anybody in the past 30, 40 years, I’ve had a chance to work with them all. I’m very blessed and thankful. Sometimes you have to know when you’ve done a good thing and be appreciative. 

BRIAN FRITZ: You’ve done a couple of movies, some have been voice roles and some acting. Has there been some more opportunities coming up? Is there anything recently you’ve been approached about?

BIG SHOW: Yeah. I’ve got several scripts right now that are in my office and some other projects that I’m helping produce and being involved with. All that’s coming out in the future. I’ve got a pretty good team put together and we’ve got some projects, some things I’m producing that I’m in and some things that I’m producing that I’m not in just because the script and the actors that are involved and the directing. It’s a really good project. There’s a lot of things I’m looking forward to creating some energy outside and doing my own thing a little bit. That’s definitely on the venue for this coming year and then going forward. 

Brian Fritz is a freelance writer who has covered pro wrestling for The Orlando Sentinel, AOL FanHouse, and Fox Sports and currently contributes to Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @BrianFritz.