TJR – WWE Network Review: Rebuilding Big Show

A WWE Network documentary feature premiered on Saturday night called “Rebuilding Big Show.” It was all about Big Show’s attempt to get cleared to return to the WWE ring. The documentary had a run time of 19:24, so I figured I might as well review it while I watch it. Big Show has been off WWE TV since November 2018 and he is 47 years old. He has worked for WWE since signing in February 1999. He made his wrestling debut with WCW in 1995

The documentary started with Big Show admitting that he didn’t know if he had enough to get back into a WWE ring. They showed clips of all the different kind of rehab he went through.

It began with Show going to Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida on December 7, 2018. Show was wheeled into a doctor’s office on a wheelchair. Show talked about how he was going to have hip surgery and had a hip resurfacing in November 2017. He said that a couple of weeks after that, he had a surgical infection, so they spent the last year trying to treat it with antibiotics. Dr. Carlos ALvarado M.D., who is an Orthopedic Surgeon, talked about how the plan is to take everything out of that hip, remove any tissue, bone or metal and replace it with a temporary spacer full of cement with antibiotics. That will clean the wound from the inside out. When the bone and tissue is healthy, they will rebuild it.

They showed Big Show saying he wasn’t nervous, he was excited to get it done. He said when you have a surgery like that, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and you want to get better.

The surgery took six hours. The doctors successfully removed Big Show’s infected left hip and placed a temporary antibiotic-loaded cement hip spacer.

Big Show was shown slowly walking using a walker and joked asking how his arms looked as he did some muscle poses. He said he was positive because the surgery was over. They showed clips of Show limping and moving slowly in 2018. He credited Cesaro and Sheamus, Big E, Kofi, Woods for protecting him in the matches they had in November 2018. Show said that he was out there to be part of an angle that was cool, but then he realized he had to get healthy.

In February 2019, Show had a permanent hip replacement surgery.

Big Show was shown driving his car (a GMC Denali if you are wondering) on March 1, 2019, in Miami for physical therapy. He said that he goes once a day or twice a day for therapy. Show said he’s been used to that WWE schedule as a talent.

Big Show was getting treatment at Doctors Hospital Sports Medicine in Miami. They showed some of the exercises that Show did to build back up the strength in his left leg. I’m not going to describe all of the stretches. Show went to another physical therapist to help with his flexibility, balance and strength. Show said after 20 plus years, all the pounding the body takes will catch up with you. Big Show joked around saying he was doing all this for a guy with two moves – a KO Punch and Chokeslam.

Big Show got emotional a bit as he said that it was one of the darkest, toughest times he’s ever been through in his career because he didn’t know if he had enough to get back. Show said he didn’t know if he had enough to get back and walk and not be in pain just to be himself. There were more clips of show training.

Big Show revealed that four years ago he started having hip problems. He had a torn labrum, which they had fixed and they told him he would have reconstructive hip surgery and he was angry hearing about it. Show said that he had some fear because he takes a lot of pride in being one of the biggest guys in this industry. He said he was one of the only older guys on the road full time, so to have that taken from him made him angry. He said he couldn’t let that anger turn into depression and he had to let it turn into motivation. After a workout, Show was pleased that he made good progress.

Here are some comments from Show talking about his career: “For a long time in my career, I hid behind my size. I knew that at 500 pounds I wasn’t going to be asked to do a lot of things, so I didn’t have to do a lot of things, and that limits you. I wanted to live longer than Andre. The time I was making this change in my life, I was what – 45 or 44, Andre passed away at 46, I believe. I heard the stories from Timmy White about Andre passing away alone in a hotel, and how it upset Timmy that Andre didn’t take care of himself, how it upset Vince that Andre didn’t take care of himself.”

Big Show added: “I’m 47 years old, I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I haven’t been sitting on the sidelines. I have been running five nights a week my whole career. Now I’m gaining on father time.”

In late March 2019, Big Show was shown doing different training methods about how he was getting back into shape. He was boxing, he was swimming in a pool, biking and he added that it felt great to be healthy. Show talked about how it’s tough to love something like he does and have it taken from you because of an injury. Show said he wants to have fun and when he chooses his time is up, he’ll step aside, but he won’t let that damn hip stop him.

Big Show was shown walking backstage at Monday Night Raw on April 1 in Washington, DC, which was the last Raw before WrestleMania this year. Show was shown being greeted by Curt Hawkins, Hurricane Helms, Baron Corbin and WWE’s Athletic Trainer Chris Brannan with Show telling him he feels amazing finally.

Big Show put on his wrestling boots, he walked down to the ring and was put through a workout by WWE’s trainers. That wasn’t shown, but Big Show revealed to us that he passed the tests and he was cleared to return by WWE’s doctors. Show said now he has to wait for a chance to do something. When he was younger, it was tough to wait for creative, but now that he’s wiser he’ll be fine.

Big Show was shown training in the gym talking about how going through this was the best thing that happened to him in the last 15 years because it allowed him to examine what he was as a talent and what he as to offer. Show said you can be very unique and specialized at what you do, but there can still be frustration. Show said he’s a better talent now, a better athlete and a better performer than he’s ever been.

The documentary ended with some information letting us know that Big Show has relocated to Los Angeles to work on entertainment projects while continuing to be WWE’s Special Olympics ambassador.

It ended with this: “Rebuilt and medically cleared for competition, the former WWE Champion eagerly awaits his return to in-ring action.”

Here’s a bonus clip from the documentary with some of Show’s comments here with thanks to WrestlingInc for the transcript.

“The guy that really kicked it off and kind of got me motivated was John Cena. John and I were joking back and forth, and we were talking about something, training or bodybuilding or something, and I was making a joke about, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to go out and get me some abs, and be a bodybuilder.’ I said, ‘Who would want to see a giant with abs?’ John just looked at me deadpan and goes, ‘Yeah. A giant with abs – who would want to see that?’ And he walked off. And the way he did it, considering this is coming from a guy who I have the utmost respect for, for his work ethic, his commitment to our industry, his commitment to setting the bar, as far as he’s on time, everything’s 100%, the way he works his body, the way he takes care of himself, the way he lives by example and the way he gives back. So, this is someone that I respect, and the way John hit me with that comment, for once in 40-something years, lit a fire under my big fat ass, a huge fire, and I went and found Dodd Romero.”

TJR Thoughts: It was a good documentary. I didn’t realize that Show’s injuries were as bad as he detailed here, so I’m glad he allowed cameras in to show his recovery process. I think we all know how hard WWE superstars work to take care of their bodies. In the last few years, Show has lost a lot of weight and has worked harder to get in great shape. In his 20s and 30s, he was a lot bigger, so I have a lot of respect for him taking care of his body in his mid-40s. It’s not easy to do it, but clearly, he’s motivated to still perform in a wrestling ring.

What’s interesting is that he was cleared to return to the ring in early April, yet here we are nearly four months later and there’s no sign of him on WWE TV. Perhaps WWE released this documentary this weekend because he is coming back soon. I don’t know if that’s true, but why do it now and not months ago when he was cleared? I have no idea. I’m not sure when he’ll be back or how much longer he wants to wrestle. At 47 years old, I doubt he will wrestle that much longer. What he said about wanting to retire on his terms instead of due to injury is something he prides himself on, so the end of his career will be decided by him and that’s something I can definitely respect.

I have seen numerous WWE videos of superstars coming back from injuries. Documentaries about Seth Rollins and Finn Balor to come mind. In each case, you can see these guys at their lowest when they get hurt, then they need the surgery and then you can see them come back from it with big smiles on their faces. That shows you how much they love it. That’s why I enjoy these videos because it’s a nice reminder of how much WWE superstars put their bodies on the line to entertain us. We take that for granted way too often.

Best of luck to Big Show in his quest to return to a WWE ring. I recommend checking this video out if you have 20 minutes because I’m sure you’ll come away from like I did with more respect for Big Show than I ever had before.