Shaquille O’Neal has high hopes for his AEW debut match stating that bout will top all other celebrity appearances in pro wrestling.
The 7ft tall NBA giant Shaq will team with Jade Cargill in a tag-team match against Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet. Animosity started between the four when Cargill made her AEW Dynamite debut, running down Cody and revealing she was aligned with O’Neal. Cody’s wife Brandi would take exception in the following weeks, running down Cargill in a memorable promo.
Red Velvet, who had been shown on television as Brandi’s protege, stepped in for her mentor after it was revealed Brandi was pregnant. Velvet had been attacked by Cargill backstage and took the fight to Jade in an episode of Dr. Britt Baker’s Waiting Room.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Shaquille O’Neal had this to say about the match:
“Oh, I’m winning. Guaranteed. I’m the type, I can never back down from a challenge. I’m not a professional wrestler, but I’ve been in a match before. I’ve got a lot of moves in my arsenal. When you step inside somebody’s world, you have to stick to what you’re masterful at. I’m not acrobatic, I’m not going to be jumping off the ropes. I’m coming with the power game. When I get [my] hands on him, I’m going to display this power.”
O’Neal competed in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. In that match, O’Neal came face to face with someone else set to make their AEW debut – Paul Wight, then known as Big Show. The two giants wrapped their hands around one another’s necks before they were both eliminated by the rest of the field.
By the sounds of it, O’Neal hasn’t forgotten the gargantuan confrontation, following up his comments by adding:
“I wanted to get my hands on the Big Show.”
There have been many sports stars entering the wrestling ring throughout the years. NFL star Lawrence Taylor headlined WrestleMania XI with Bam Bam Bigelow. Muhammad Ali famously took on Japanese legend Antonio Inoki in a bout in 1976. Fellow NBA star Dennis Rodman was a featured performer in WCW as part of the NWO in the late nineties. When asked how this match will compare to other celebrity sojourns into wrestling, Shaq was unequivocal:
“This one will top them all.”
Shaq and Jade Cargill face Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet in their highly anticipated match on Wednesday 3rd of March on AEW Dynamite.