Paul Wight famously debuted for WWE at St Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1999, however, the man formerly known as The Giant, has now revealed that he could have made the move back in 1995.
Paul Wight made his first appearance in WCW at Slamboree 1995, before making his in-ring debut at Halloween Havoc against Hulk Hogan just a few months later. Not only was Wight victorious on the night, he also won the World Heavyweight Championship in the process.
Following his remarkable start in professional wrestling, Wight was the talk of the industry, and unsurprisingly this put him front and centre on WWE’s radar.
Appearing on the Talk Is Jericho podcast with Chris Jericho, Wight has now revealed that WWE approached him with an offer after that famous victory over Hogan. Not just any offer either, as Wight recalls WWE being prepared to double his pay to get him to jump ship.
“Jim Ross called me after Halloween Havoc and offered me double what WCW was paying if I would leave. Me, not knowing any better, said, ‘No, I signed a contract here. When it expires, I’ll be happy to talk to you.’ I tried really hard to come to WWE first, but I wasn’t trained,”
Elsewhere during the conversation, Wight discussed his frustration with WWE, and what he perceived as a lack of promotion for his show with Netflix ‘The Big Show Show.’
“I didn’t get to negotiate what I made for it, I didn’t have my own parking spot. [It was a WWE deal], of course. I had to park in the visitor lot and they had to come get me in the golf cart. The show has my name, but Dr. Phil had a parking spot in one of the buildings I rented because it was between Netflix and WWE, not me. ‘You can’t have a drive on.’ Thanks. Classic, ‘here’s this great opportunity, but remember who you are and where your place is.’”
“We didn’t get renewed by Netflix and that was a partnership between Netflix and WWE. It was one of those things where, if things would’ve been different and timing…we really didn’t get promoted. WWE was supposed to promote it, but they were in a mad panic trying to figure out where to put WrestleMania and COVID and all this other stuff. We had a billboard in Times Square, but Times Square was shut down due to COVID and no one saw it. I’m still grateful for all the people who saw it and thanked me. I have a whole new demographic now from people who loved me on the show.”
Paul Wight eventually left WWE after more than 20 years with the company to sign with AEW in February 2021. He later described deciding to make the move as “a very quick decision.”
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.