Wrestlemania since the very beginning has had a major league feel and it has been in part to the celebrity involvement. At the very first Wrestlemania Mr. T teamed with Hulk Hogan in the main event and from there many different celebrities have stepped into the ring at WWE’s biggest show of the year. Many of those people have been famous athletes over the years such as famous football players William “Refrigerator” Perry and Lawrence Taylor as well as legendary boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
With Wrestlemania this year taking place in Orlando on April 2 we are nearly a month away and it seems that a major celebrity who was intended to be in a match on the show will now not be competing.
Last year at Wrestlemania 32 during the annual 30 man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal a majority of the participants entered the ring as one to no fanfare. Then a few of the bigger names got their own entrances such as Kane, The Big Show, and lastly surprise entrant NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. When Shaq entered the ring he immediately went face to face the 7 foot tall Big Show and the two giant athletes stared each other down. Shaq and Big Show eliminated a few wrestlers before going at each other. Just as these titans clashed the rest of the of the wrestlers all got behind them and both Shaq and Big Show were eliminated. While not much actual action took place between the two there was clearly interest in seeing them against each other in a WWE ring.
Last summer at the ESPY Awards The Big Show and Shaq had another interaction in front of cameras in which Show challenged Shaq to a match at Wrestlemania 33 in the former Orlando Magic’s players old stomping ground of Orlando. Shaq accepted and they shook hands. From that moment it has seemed that this match was going to be figured into the plans for Wrestlemania.
Over the past few months in preparation for this match The Big Show has been in the gym getting into the best shape of his career complete with abs. There were points in his career that Big Show weighed in excess of 500 pounds but has recently got his weight to well under 400 pounds. Big Show through this transformation process took to social media to call out his prospective Wrestlemania opponent. In an interview with wwe.com Big Show stated he was frustrated by Shaq’s lack of dedication to the match by saying “I see Shaq riding around, singing karaoke and stopping in at Krispy Kreme. I’m like, “Hey! If you’re not gonna take it serious, find something else to do!”
This week on his podcast Shaq responded to these allegations by saying that the match at Wrestlemania 33 will probably not happen. Shaq said “It’s not going to happen? That’s probably right. It’s not my fault, that’s all you need to know. It ain’t my fault. Oh, it ain’t my fault.” He goes on to say that the plans likely falling through have nothing to do with him or his management and that he’s still training like it’s going to take place and challenged Big Show to meet him wherever he wants to meet.
While the match between The Big Show and the NBA Legend may be off the cards for this years Wrestlemania it is clear that both Shaq and the WWE are making sure to keep the door open for this eventually showdown of giants.