WrestleMania is all about the spectacle. This could be another case where Big Show makes a performer on the grandest stage of them all.
I’m sure you’re either fuming with rage and/or curious because of the title of this piece. Here is my vision for a Kevin Owens vs. Big Show match that would take place on WrestleMania 32 from AT&T Stadium in front of a potentially record-breaking crowd.
Sometimes performers need to be put together in mandatory fashion in order for their chemistry to click. That’s what happened on this week’s SmackDown, where Big Show put his larger than life body into the frame, and more importantly, injected himself into the conversation of contender’s for Kevin Owens’ Intercontinental Championship. “You haven’t beaten me yet,” says Show, and the air is filled with curiosity as to how the match will go between them. As I start to think of possibilities though, I get brought back to reality with banter being thrown at both sides of the matchup parties. Here is my original recap, posted on my February 25, 2016 SmackDown review, of said segment under the current microscope:
“He points Big Show towards the road to retirement, but Big Show grabs Owens and explains that the tour can provide one pitstop. How about he KOs KO?! Big Show’s opponent for tonight…is Kevin Owens. He’ll be seeing Kevin later, and refers to him as sunshine. This is the best banter-filled backstage segment since Cesaro and Owens on an older edition of SmackDown. I’m now a billion times more invested in the match because of simply the banter, and how it’s an interesting combination.”
Notice MY train of thought in this situation; now I don’t mind if you’ve already exited off because of how ridiculous the matchup sounds to you, but likewise, to me, I didn’t know I really wanted more of this until watching SmackDown unfold itself. That’s the mentality you have to have. You can’t hate-comment, much like “hate-watching”, on the potential of something as it hasn’t happened yet. That’s why, when I saw the matchup in a slight spoiler on Twitter, I told myself to take everything at face value, and it may end up even being good for what it is…at face value.
That’s exactly what went down, as the reoccurring theme of the night on SmackDown was very short matches. This was one of the shortest, yet told the best story. There’s something that appeals to me, seeing cocky Kevin runaway from the famous giant, yet try to bring his customized fight in form of chopping down the tree that is Big Show. Big Show goes on to sell for Owens — putting over Owens’ deadly offense as Show can’t help but nearly flop over on his knees and tremor because of the dominant Intercontinental Champion. Then came the short but sweet ending. I thought to myself, if this match was legitimately booked on the WrestleMania card; they can build off of the foundation they paved during this match. There is SPECTACLE to be had. That is what WrestleMania is all about. If you want to establish your mega-heel midcard champion, why don’t you do so against a giant leap in kayfabe, a man that has stated that he willingly wants to do whatever it takes to put over the next generation of talent, and a man that seemingly fits right in with the bigger-the-better offense, banter-filled, midcard type of larger than life personality in Kevin Owens. The Big Show.
Big Show is a Vince guy. If you put up a previous indie worker, who was essentially a Triple H endorsed call up, who still may not be as appealing to Vince as say a Strowman regarding the future heel big man slot, against one of Vince’s guys, and a man that embodies what the WWE and Sports Entertainment mean to Vince — who ALSO so happens to be the largest man on the roster, you have a safe route to success. You have a safe route to success more than you do with any other purposed matchup as a counter-point. Not from an in-ring perspective, but from a political stance, from 3 years from now in hindsight, and regarding the fact that at the end of the day, this will do nothing but good for Kevin Owens and the Intercontinental Championship that so desperately needs more prestige.
I’m playing fantasy booker right now, in hopes that this match happens in comparison to any other combination with Kevin Owens or Big Show on the WrestleMania 32 card. I’m not saying it’s bound to happen. But others have been forcing narratives that AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens has to happen on the grandest stage of them all. “It can’t possibly be a bad match.” “How can said match be a letdown when that’s a favored entity in comparison to other pitched matchups?,” and so on were thrown back like darts wanting to stick on my booked bullseye, but this dart board is all about spectacle. Kevin Owens and Big Show going back and forth, with tension created by Show’s stature in opposition to the champs, with his hand on shoulder approach, almost like something Jericho would do to AJ, except way more effective, is spectacle. Big Show nearly superplexing Kevin Owens is spectacle. Kevin Owens putting away Big Show after a Pop Up Powerbomb to retain his title, in front of a potential packed AT&T Stadium, is the embodiment of making a talent in his first WrestleMania appearance, and…spectacle.
AJ Styles is the poster boy in terms of getting over in the company currently, well, besides Political Hit co-star The Game, who’s doing a great job with assistance from the office and the like, but AJ is being positioned in the smart tag team with Chris Jericho after their multi-match feud which culminated at WWE Fastlane. The fans who didn’t know Styles before (taking note that not every crowd is the Orlando Rumble one…) got used to one of the best in the world through his huge talk segments with The Miz, Chris Jericho, and his matches with both; along with a few squashes. He merged the gap between sports entertainment and independent wrestling mindsets incredibly fast, but also had all the confidence in the world because the company is behind him. He is not being buried because he’s in this tag team, he’s being pushed to success, with potential tag gold around his waist coming this year, with a legend in so many fans’ minds; the guy is a big deal. The fans know it. Why take him away from a fantastic run this far, only to either:
A) Lose to Kevin Owens, and still not be in the position where he’s with Jericho is either a singles feud or tag run, unless if Jericho were to get involved in the match; but that’s bizarre.
B) Beat Kevin Owens, which gives AJ Styles singles gold, yet stunts Styles growth in terms of what could be coming up with the Jericho run, or bigger plans that don’t involve the Intercontinental Championship.
AJ Styles has already lost, but how big of a deal is that upon him building up the Calf Crusher and teaming with a legend, in which he can’t be more excited to do in the first place? How big of a deal will the Kevin Owens booking patterns become when another “made man” moment happens for him at WrestleMania when he beats Big Show? Although Owens was the one to throw him out of the Rumble, it’s nearly too late to switch gears from the Y2AJ alliance currently forming, conveniently on the Road to WrestleMania.
A Sami Zayn dream WrestleMania match is one that needs less in-depth discussion, as it’s way less likely to happen than a Styles program at this point in time. Anything could happen in wrestling. The catchphrase commonly uttered is “never say never,” but for this to happen, it would either be a one-off on the main roster, or Sami would have to say his farewells to NXT completely, which is something that won’t be happening anytime soon by the looks of it. ‘The Underdog from the Underground’ should be staying in that Underground for still months to come, in which he has many more dream matches and first time encounters before leaving the brand he’s cemented his legendary mark on.
Placing two WrestleMania debuts against each other is something I would not like to see, when it can be done in the future, whilst for these first-time experiences, both guys in AJ & Kevin get to be put over in the presences of two legends helping them out to the best of their abilities. Show taking the pin will be like Jericho pushing Styles out of the way to take the Trouble in Paradise on this week’s SmackDown.
With that being said, that sums up my reasoning behind the fact that Kevin Owens vs. Big Show being placed on the books for WrestleMania 32 is best for business for both men. Big Show wants to actively be putting over talent, and who better to put over than a future face of the company (which is a goal that is still attainable for Owens), at the show WWE’s calling the biggest of all time, with a potential Cesaro-like feat of strength that can cause an uproar of reaction unlike anything else, and gold, plus a victory over another fallen victim filled with accolades — a legend in the business, as the reign continues on. For that, a Styles or Zayn or other-workers victory means that much more. And regarding this match, there’s only one label you can place upon it if it happens on April 3, 2016…
(Note that I have no problems with any pitched match for Kevin Owens at the event, but merely am sharing my thoughts on who the best matchup would be for his first WrestleMania, and one that’s going to benefit both parties in the match, as well as the man with the belt, the most in the future to come).