Paul Wight: 2022 Biography Net Worth, Family, Income
Paul Wight, also known as the “Big Show” and “The Giant,” is a professional wrestler, commentator and actor who was born on February 8th 1972. He was born with a disease known as acromegaly which causes accelerated growth, explaining his unusual height of 7 feet 2 inches. In the early ’90s, he underwent surgery on his pituitary gland, which stopped his excessive growth.
After playing basketball and American football in college and university, Paul Wight was introduced to Hulk Hogan, who upon witnessing Wight’s impressive charisma invited him to a meeting with World Championship Wrestling Vice President Eric Bischoff. As a result, Wight was signed to WCW in 1995. He made his debut at Slamboree 1995 as part of Kevin Sullivan’s “Dungeon of Doom” faction under the name “The Giant,” being billed as the kayfabe son of legendary wrestler Andre the Giant. Wight and Andre the Giant had no biological connection in real life, but both were known for their superhuman height throughout their careers, which led to the association.
In his debut match, The Giant beat Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, thanks to underhanded tactics from Hogan’s manager Jimmy Hart. Wight was stripped of the championship due to the controversy, later regaining it on the April 29th 1996 edition of Nitro, beating Ric Flair. Later in 1996, Wight joined the famous wrestling faction the nWo, which was led by Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall at the time. During this period, in which he was kicked out of the nWo and subsequently let back in, Wight capture the WCW Tag Team Championships on three occasions, once with Lex Luger, once with Sting, and once with Scott Hall.
After a pay dispute with Eric Bischoff, Wight allowed his contract to run down and left WCW in February of 1999. Less than a week after leaving WCW, Wight signed a contract with rival promotion World Wrestling Federation, where he debuted at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999 to attempt to help Vince McMahon in a match against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Under the name “Big Show,” he joined McMahon’s Corporation faction. This association wouldn’t last, however, as Big Show left the stable after a falling out with Vince McMahon.
Later in 1999, Big Show became a two-time Tag Champion in a team known as “The Unholy Alliance” with The Undertaker. The Undertaker suffered an injury, however, leaving Big Show to go on a solo run. This solo run brought him great success when, following a critically panned feud with the Big Bossman, he won the WWF Championship at Survivor Series 1999. He lost the title soon afterwards in January of 2000, later trying and failing to regain the belt in a Fatal-4-Way match at WrestleMania 2000.
Despite headlining WrestleMania, Big Show transformed into a comedy character, where he imitated other wrestlers such as Rikishi and Hulk Hogan. By the end of 2000, Big Show was sent to developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, ordered by the WWF to lose weight and improve his conditioning.
He returned at the 2001 Royal Rumble, and go on to wrestle Raven & Kane in a Triple Threat match for the Hardcore Championship at WrestleMania 17. It was after WrestleMania 17 that the famous Invasion angle began, with WCW invading the WWF after Vince McMahon purchased the company. Big Show stayed on team WWF for the entire storyline, representing the company at the feud-ending Survivor Series elimination tag match.
In 2002, he was part of the short-lived return of the nWo, but ended the year on the Smackdown roster feuding with Brock Lesnar. It was in this feud that Big Show won his second WWF/E championship, giving Lesnar his first pinfall loss at Survivor Series 2002. Much like his first, his second title reign didn’t last long. He lost the title to Kurt Angle the following month.
At WrestleMania 19, Big Show and his partner A-Train lost to Undertaker in a handicap match, featuring a brief appearance from Undertaker’s protégé Nathan Jones. He won the United States championship later in 2003 from Eddie Guerrero, losing it to John Cena at WrestleMania 20 in 2004. After undergoing knee surgery, he returned in 2005, facing WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield in a Barbed Wire Steel Cage, ultimately losing the encounter. He then went on to compete in WWE’s first (and only) sumo match against Akebono at Wrestlemania, a match booked to attract a bigger following in Japan due to the rise in popularity of promotions such as NJPW and NOAH.
Throughout 2006, Big Show teamed with fellow big-man Kane. The unit became two-time tag team champions, with one championship crowning match taking place at WrestleMania 22, where Big Show and Kane beat the team of Carlito and Chris Masters. Upon losing the titles to the Spirit Squad, Big Show and Kane feuded, with their run-in culminating at Backlash 2006.
When the WWE revived Extreme Championship Wrestling as its third brand in 2006, Big Show quickly became its World Champion, defeating Rob Van Dam on an episode of ECW TV. Show formed an alliance with ECW owner Paul Heyman who turned heel on the same evening, costing Rob Van Dam the match. This victory meant that Big Show became the first person to hold the WWF, WCW and ECW World Titles. He held the belt for 152 days before losing it to Bobby Lashley at the infamous December to Dismember Pay-Per-View. Big Show subsequently left the WWE after his contract expired in 2007.
Following a one-year absence where he only wrestled intermittently on the independent circuit, Big Show returned to face Floyd Mayweather at WrestleMania 24 in 2008. He lost to Mayweather, then opted to return to the ECW brand where he attempted to regain his ECW World Heavyweight title. He was unsuccessful and transferred over to the Smackdown brand soon after, which led to him taking part in one of WrestleMania 25’s main events, where he lost to John Cena in a Triple Threat match which also involved Edge. Big Show then went on to form a tag team with Chris Jericho known as “Jeri-Show,” whom he won the Unified WWE Tag Team Championships with.
Jeri-Show split up in 2010, but Big Show remained in the tag team division, now teaming with Miz in a team named “Show-Miz.” They too would win the Tag Team Championships together, eventually losing to the Hart Dynasty. This led to yet another tag team split, with Big Show ending up on the Smackdown roster where he became a solo performer again. 2010 and 2011 saw Big Show chase the World Heavyweight Championship.
After several failed attempts, he finally captured the title in December of 2011 at the TLC Pay-Per-View, defeating Mark Henry for the belt. However, this was Big Show’s briefest title run ever, because Daniel Bryan would run in immediately after the match to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Big Show. Daniel Bryan left with the title that night.
At WrestleMania 28, Big Show captured his first Intercontinental Championship by beating Cody Rhodes. This victory officially made him the twelfth ever “Grand Slam” champion in WWE, earned through winning every belt available to him. He lost the title back to Rhodes after a four-week reign, but nothing could diminish his status as a Grand Slam champion. After a brief alignment with Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis and a related feud with John Cena, Big Show won the World Heavyweight Championship from Sheamus at Hell in a Cell 2012, holding the belt for 72 days before losing it to Alberto Del Rio.
Big Show didn’t let his title loss faze him, becoming the runner-up in the first-ever annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30. He would win the match the following year at WrestleMania 31, last eliminating Damien Mizdow to earn the trophy. Turning heel, he aligned himself with The Authority, a group headed by Triple H & Stephanie McMahon. During this run, he faced off against Sting, on behalf of The Authority, in one of Sting’s four matches in WWE.
From 2016 onwards, Big Show’s appearances on WWE television became more sporadic. He entered feuds with the likes of Rusev and Big Cass, losing each one respectively and establishing his place in WWE as a veteran used to put over younger talent. In 2020, he challenged new WWE Champion Drew McIntyre immediately after his victory at WrestleMania 36. It was a losing effort. Big Show’s final match in World Wrestling Entertainment was against long-time foe Randy Orton. In storyline, Randy Orton ended Big Show’s career in the post-match, where he punted Show in the head. Big Show left WWE in February of 2021, signing with All Elite Wrestling the same month.
In AEW, now going under his real name, Paul Wight has predominantly been a commentator. He and Tony Schiavone have commentated on the YouTube-exclusive Dark: Elevation since its inception on March 15th, 2021. Paul Wight does still trade his commentary headset for a singlet on occasions, wrestling in four AEW matches since signing with the company; three on Dark: Elevation, and one at All Out 2021 where he defeated QT Marshall in three minutes and eleven seconds. He has also reprised his role as “Captain Insano” from the comedy movie Waterboy in AEW, appearing as the over-the-top character in a segment with The Acclaimed.
As of November 2022, Paul Wight has an estimated net worth of $16 million.
Paul Wight married Bess Katramados in 2002. The couple have two children together. Wight has another child from a previous marriage.
No information on Paul Wight’s income with All Elite Wrestling has been made public. However, while under employment with World Wrestling Entertainment, his salary was $850,000 per annum. With Paul Wight being tempted away from WWE, it can be assumed that his AEW salary is at least equal to what he was previously being paid.
According to Cagematch.net, throughout his 28-year career, Paul Wight has competed in 2561 matches. He has won 1440, lost 1019 and drawn 102 times, giving him a winning percentage of 56.2%.
Figures are correct as of November 20th 2022.
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion – 2 times
- WCW World Tag Team Champion – 3 times
- World War 3 Winner – 1996
- WWF/E Champion – 2 times
- ECW World Champions – 1 time
- WWE World Heavyweight Champion – 2 times
- WWF/E Hardcore Champion – 3 times
- WWE United States Champion – 1 time
- WWE Intercontinental Champion – 1 time
- WWE Tag Team Champion – 3 times
- WWF/World Tag Team Champion – 5 times
Paul Wight recently donated (quite literally) the shirt off his back to an auction for Warriors Charity. Wight is also a long-time supporter of the Special Olympics, volunteering for the organisation throughout his two-decade career in WWE.
|Net Worth||$16 million|
|Endorsements||Warriors Charity, Special Olympics|
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