Billed at 7-foot and 441 pounds, Paul Wight, aka The Big Show, is not only the biggest man in the WWE locker room, he’s also the company’s biggest gamer.
In fact, in order to help make the WWE road trips more comfortable, Wight purchased a rock star-esque tour bus, complete with big screens and video game systems. So while his driver takes the big man from city to city, he can kick back and kick some butt on his PlayStation 3.
“I’m a big ‘Call of Duty’ fan, and I used to play a lot online while I was in the bus, but I hate to be the guy who is lagging everybody out,” Wight explains. “The Internet connection from the road can be spotty, so usually when I’m on the tour bus, I’m playing ‘God of War.’ Then when I get back home and can get serious, that’s when I jump back into ‘Call of Duty.’
“Kofi Kingston plays a lot, Hornswoggle jumps in and tries to play, but I’m a serious ‘Call of Duty’ guy. I have about a 4-to-1 kill/death ratio in the game, so when they get on the game, I try to help them out. They’re pretty much gun fodder. I point them in different directions to go get shot, then I take out the people who killed them.”
Wight will see his massive frame transformed into the world of polygons, with the new WWE world heavyweight champion starring in the video game “WWE 13,” which comes out Tuesday.
“They have the Attitude Era in the game, so they have me in there as Paul Wight with the long hair, and they have me as The Big Show,” Wight said. “I can even fight myself; then again, I seem to do that every day.”
Here’s what else the world’s largest athlete has to say about the game, the Attitude Era, and who he sees as his dream opponents.
ESPN Playbook: "WWE 13" revolves around the Attitude Era, which you helped shape back in the day. What is it about that time period that makes for a perfect video game?
The Big Show: The Attitude Era was so great because you had the best collection of superstars of any one time period. You had The Rock, Stone Cold, Undertaker, Mick Foley ... all of these guys are legends, but it wasn’t just about the top of the card. We had house shows where you had Rock versus Stone Cold, you had Triple H versus Mick Foley, The Undertaker against Kane, The New Age Outlaws versus LOD, Edge and Christian against Jeff and Matt Hardy, and Big Show against Mark Henry in a bodyslam match. That might sound like a dream card, but that’s a card we ran almost every weekend. We would have sold out show after sold out show, no tickets available, because we had such incredible superstars who were really established as characters, and everyone couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next.
Do you have a favorite memory from the Attitude Era?
My favorite memory happened after the show would end. The Rock would bring his guitar to the ring and Stone Cold would sing and everyone would spend the night BSing, then they would break out The Rock Bottom or the Stone Cold Stunner to end the night. These guys were just so entertaining, but the main difference is that in the Attitude Era, there weren’t as many rules. We weren’t so corporate, we weren’t in the PG era, so back then, it was more of that crazy, rock and roll atmosphere. That’s the big difference about the Attitude Era -- it was just really out there, rock and roll.
They actually show the TV ratings in the video game to compare Raw’s ratings to WCW Nitro’s. Everyone always talks about how toxic that WCW locker room was at the time, but you were there. Was WCW really as screwed up behind-the-scenes as it is made out to be?
I think it got too big for its britches too quick. We had the NWO and we were beating the WWE in ratings, but then I started to see the infrastructure start to break down. My contract was up, and a lot of the more seasoned and experienced guys told me that I needed to go to New York, that I needed to go to WWE in order to take the next steps in my career and really make my mark. It was about then, WWE started killing WCW in the ratings and WCW caved in on itself.
What was the atmosphere like back then when it seemed like every week, you had guys jumping from WWE to WCW or from WCW back to WWE? Was it fun not knowing who was going to actually show up on a week-to-week basis, or was it too chaotic to even get a handle on?
It wasn’t really chaotic, it was more of competition and a place to go. If you’re talent, it’s better to have options, and you had more freedom to experiment with things. Now, it’s very structured, very rigid, and basically, we’re the only game in town. In terms of the talent, if you don’t make it here, you have no place else to go. If you had competition, if it didn’t work out for you here, at least you still might make it somewhere else. So I think there’s a lot more pressure on guys to be successful now, because if you don’t make it here, there’s really no where else to go.
We might have a great clash between an Attitude Era guy going up against a current star at The Royal Rumble, with The Rock against CM Punk. What do you think will happen if these two get the chance to work a program together?
Punk is a guy who you can’t shake his confidence, and The Rock is the same way, you can’t shake his confidence, so I think anything Punk says to Rock, any of his wittiness, you know Rock is going to be right there competitively. I think the biggest difference is Punk is right here every week doing this, he’s been the champ for over 300 days, and he’s a great athlete, so I can see Punk pulling this out. Rock’s an explosive athlete, while Punk is a showman who is also gritty and tough, so I think if these two end up coming to blows, you can pretty much flip a coin. When The Rock beat John Cena, I was actually pretty surprised, so I have no idea what will happen.
You’re currently locked in a feud with Sheamus. Have you been impressed by the big man’s skills in the ring?
I’m really impressed with Sheamus. The thing about Sheamus is he’s very, very physical. He’s a brawler. He’s strong, he’s hungry, and if he’s smart, he’ll learn to avoid my right fist. [laughs]
Have you ever shot Sheamus in “Call of Duty”?
I don’t think Sheamus is a “Call of Duty” guy, but if I ever did see him in the game, I’d snipe him, no problem.
You’ve been around the ring a long time. Is there anyone left who qualifies as a dream match for you?
I’d like to have one more match with The Undertaker. He was very influential in my career and always one of my favorites, so I’d like to have one more run with him. I’d like to have another match with Stone Cold. I’m a big fan of Stone Cold, both as a person and as a talent, so I’d like another run with Steve. I wouldn’t mind getting another shot at The Rock, either. Any of those three guys in a high-profile, main-event match would be pretty exciting, and a pretty good payday, too.