By Thomas “Encyclopedia” Crawford
They are the outcasts, they inspire awe and fear as their massive size makes ordinary men and women look like children. Giants and monsters have been a part of wrestling since the beginning. In fact, many of the old time strong men and giants of carnivals were some of the main attractions of early wrestling. However, as wrestling has changed, so has the place of the monsters. They still are the unstoppable engines of destruction, yet now they have personalities. They dance, sing, and pat kids on the head making them smile. These two extremes, monster, and massive entertainer, are regularly seen in the wrestling world. In the WWE, the focus is on Big Show, Brodus Clay, and Ryback. The question is, what is WWE doing with these big attractions?
The first, Big Show, is the epitome of giant. Standing over 7 feet, and weighing around 500 pounds, this man makes professional football lineman look tiny. For the last 12 years this man has played the part of the unstoppable tank in the WWE arena. He has also been one of its biggest entertainers. He has danced, dressed in costumes, and lost matches due to his huge size and clumsiness. Within the last several months, he made a switch. He went from being an entertainer, to being the giant. He has been knocking people out left and right just for breathing too loud. His heel turn has been long overdue. As he lashes out against the crowd, telling them he isn’t an entertainer, he is a monster and he hurts people.
This was a great move by the WWE at first. However, there is a problem. Weeks leading up to PPV No Way Out, Big Show destroyed many opponents. He flattened his PPV opponent John Cena on a weekly basis with his massive WMD punch. John Cena deserved a victory at No Way Out, this can’t be denied. However, after weeks of showing Big Show as unstoppable, he loses to Cena after an impressive cage match. The WWE has taken the biggest, meanest Big Show that has been seen in years, lets him go a few weeks tearing it up, and then makes him lose to Cena?
Anyone who watches wrestling should be a little confused by this. Historically, a massive giant heel runs rampant for months, with a long buildup to a big time PPV event, a sort of David versus Goliath. Only after that buildup, is the hammer dropped and the giant defeated. This feud is still ongoing, yet there isn’t any excitement in it anymore. Big Show is back to beating Cena on Raw, however Cena has already beaten Big Show. Truthfully, this could have been written better, just to keep it interesting.
Moving to the next big attraction, Brodus Clay. This is a great character with a lot of personality. Anyone who hasn’t seen this behemoth of a man is missing out, not to mention missing out on his ring girls. He shakes, dances, and laughs at opponents who try and stop him. He has even brought in kids to dance with him after his victories. He is a classic example of a big man that is there to entertain.
In the beginning, Brodus was up against scrubs, and won usually within seconds of the opening bell. This is to be expected, as the WWE was testing the crowd reaction to his entrance and wrestling style. At first, this was okay, then it got a bit boring. The WWE seemed to not have a clue what to do with this fan favorite. They slowly put him up against better competition, but even those led to squashes. This includes the likes of The Miz, who really shouldn’t be in a squash match at this point in his career. The matches were not even interesting, as people knew the outcome because of his continued winning streak.
After this, Big Show and Brodus Clay got into an argument, which led to a match. The match never happened as Big Show attacked him before it started. Big Show made short work of Brodus Clay, as well as Kofi Kingston and R-Truth who tried to come out and help. This event tried to cement the invincibility of Big Show while at the same time keeping Clay’s win streak intact. In the end, Brodus Clay came out to stop Big Show from exiting the cage at No Way Out, and helped Cena obtain the victory. Clay’s win streak was ended by Big Show on this week’s Monday Night Raw SuperShow. The big question, what is the WWE going to do with Clay now? He no longer has an unstoppable win streak. Can they really start putting him up against scrubs again? This would be stupid and boring. They also can’t really make a Big Show versus Clay feud, because Show is still feuding with Cena. This might lead to better story lines for Clay, however only time will tell.
The last big man that the WWE has is Ryback. He stands 6’3, and weighs around 300 pounds. He sounds like a monster, yet if anyone has seen him they are even more impressed. The man looks as if he has been carved out of stone. He comes out, screaming for more victims, as he pummels opponents into submission. His speed and power are devastating as he almost takes opponents heads off with a simple clothesline.
When first seen, he is impressive. Like most new big men, the WWE started him on his round of scrubs to demolish. Much like Brodus Clay, this got very boring. Watching this mountain of a man destroy men half his size is only fun a couple of times. Of course, was WWE now going to put him in a main storyline and give him some competition?
Actually, no they haven’t. Instead, Ryback is still fighting scrubs. The gimmick now is that he is fighting two scrubs at the same time. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that he blasts through these tag teams with ease. As he stands over their carcasses, he shouts into the camera to feed him more. It is assumed he means more opponents. It has gotten to the point that the crowd now starts a Goldberg chant anytime Ryback has a match. Anyone familiar with the old WCW should know what this is about: the man with the unbeatable streak.
Honestly, this gimmick got old fast, as the two men are always local wrestlers who look like they might combine to weigh 200 pounds. Ryback smacks them around and then tends to pick them up at the same time for a slam. Ryback hasn’t been on the mic, as lack of mic skills may be a reason he hasn’t gotten into a major storyline. Though if anyone remembers the Samoan monster Umaga, he was no master of the microphone and still had great matches and storylines. Is the WWE still going to try and force feed this “monster” who doesn’t face anyone of value in the company? How many two-on-one handicap matches are they going to put together before pushing this guy to an actual feud? Hopefully, it will not last much longer. The man has the power and physique to be a force in the WWE. They should stop playing around and get him into the game.
These three men are the current monsters of the WWE. Big Show is the unstoppable force, Clay is the dancing entertainer, and Ryback is the newcomer with power and athleticism. The problem is that the way they are being used seems weird. Big Show shouldn’t have been beaten at No Way Out, in fact he should probably not have even been Cena’s opponent. Clay was on a winning streak and now has a sort of feud going on with Show, who is still feuding with Cena. He doesn’t really have a place to go or anyone to face. With his personality he should be in the limelight as a face with a good heel to feud with. Finally, Ryback is a beast. This can’t be denied, yet the lack of storyline or character development is painful. It is old and boring to watch a guy destroy unknowns for weeks and weeks on end. There is no feud in sight or even a move to higher competition for this monster. At this point, he is just a few minutes of filler on SmackDown in between the actual matches. The biggest question of all, with all of this talent, what is the WWE doing with their big men?
Thomas Crawford is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of TricycleOffense.com.