Speaking on the latest episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff has recalled Paul Wight having heat backstage in WCW for using a dropkick during a match.
Paul Wight aka The Giant debuted in WCW at Slamboree in 1995 as part of the Dungeon of Doom. Wight went on to make his in-ring debut at Halloween Havoc, going one on one with Hulk Hogan.
Heading into Slamboree 1996, The Giant held the World Heavyweight Title and was set to defend the belt against Sting. During the contest, Lex Luger who was in Sting’s corner accidentally hit his friend with Jimmy Hart’s (The Giant’s manager) megaphone. This meant that The Giant was able to hit Sting with a chokeslam and retain his title.
Reflecting on the show and its main event, former WCW President Eric Bischoff praised The Giant’s performance, given his relative lack of experience, highlighting his incredible athleticism.
“I loved every bit of it, and it certainly is a testament to how hard Paul Wight worked, and how much natural talent Paul Wight had. He was very eager at this point, he was an open book, he listened, he tried to learn, and he did a great job. He’s a phenomenal athlete. If you think watching a six-foot-ten guy doing a dropkick is impressive, you should see him do a kip up. Which is something generally only gymnasts can do. Little f***ers. That weigh about 140lbs, they can do kip ups pretty well. You get a guy who weighs, whatever he weighed at the time, 450lbs, six-foot-ten to be able to do a kip up, a legitimate kip up, was mind-boggling.”
Bischoff went on to reveal that it was actually that athleticism which landed Wight in some hot water backstage, with some questioning why a man of his size was wrestling like someone much smaller.
“What’s interesting about this, Giant actually got a little heat backstage, you know, for doing that dropkick. There were a lot of people that were like ‘What?! You’re killing your giant gimmick! You’re doing stuff that Eddie Guerrero does. Or guys that 220lbs do, you’re a giant. Work like a giant! Giant’s don’t dropkick.’ That was a big conversation backstage. You know, I was kind of stuck in the middle of it. I saw it, traditionally yes, that would be right. You wanna see a big giant, be a big giant, don’t go down… build up to it over months, weeks, even years, don’t go off your feet. By all means, don’t do a f***ing dropkick. Or a kip up. Even though you can. Don’t do it because it’ll kill your gimmick. There was a lot of that conversation backstage.”
Wight’s performance against Sting was even more remarkable, given that he only made his in-ring debut a handful of months previously. Speaking in a recent interview, Wight revealed that he was terrified ahead of his debut. However, he explained that he was thankful for Hogan’s patience that night, and for showing faith in him, given how new to the business he was.
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