Remember when Shaquille O’Neal surprised the crowd at AT&T Stadium by running down the ramp and joining the Battle Royal at April’s WrestleMania 32? The former NBA star didn’t do a whole lot once he got in the ring, but he could have a much bigger role come WrestleMania 33 next year.
One thing O’Neal did do during this year’s extravaganza was some grappling with WWE superstar Big Show before both were tossed out of the ring. On Wedneseday at the ESPYs red carpet, the two met up again, and Shaq accepted the challenge made by Big Show (real name: Paul Wight) to square off in 2017, when WrestleMania will be held in O’Neal’s old stomping grounds of Orlando.
Gee, never before have two guys agreed to fight, then shown so much love for each other. Actually, Big Show never challenged O’Neal to wrestle him, leaving open the possibility that they could make for a super-sized tag team. That would make some sense, given the notion of Shaq quickly developing enough wrestling skills to hang with a multi-time world champion such as Big Show would strain credulity, even by WWE standards.
The pair does have a history, though. In addition to April’s encounter, they got into it a bit in a 2009 episode of “Raw.”
O’Neal may not have the wrestling chops of Big Show, but he is one of the few people on the planet who can look down on him. Whereas the wrestling icon is billed at seven feet tall, O’Neal clearly stands at least a couple of inches taller, and likely in a similar neighborhood in terms of weight.
Other athletes at the ESPYs were split on who would win a Shaq-Big Show match. Kevin Love went with the WWE star into the ring but O’Neal on the court, although he figured that a free throw shooting contest between the two would likely be a toss-up.