Paul Wight, better known as The Big Show, recently looked back on his successful run with WWE that spanned over 20 years.
During his career with the company, Vince McMahon turned him babyface and heel a lot to the point where it became a joke among fans. Wight, who is now in AEW, did an interview with Inside The Ropes and talked about the constant turns.
“Oh, I think it’s super frustrating. One of the things that turning did is made it hard for me to develop a consistent identity, you know, to sell merch. Merchandise is a huge part of our industry and you either have to have a solid run as a really dominant heel where people want to buy your stuff because you’re the antihero and they like it, or you need to have a solid run as a babyface where they love your stuff and everybody wants to buy it. When you’re flip-flopping, a lot of times you’re pissing people off—you’re constantly dividing your audience.”
He noted, on the other hand, it’s a compliment to your in-ring work and being able to switch gears. So while it showed he could do well in any situation, it was tough for the brand to sell merchandise.
Wight recalled after asking Steve Austin and The Rock one night in the Attitude Era how much they made off merchandise, he knew it wasn’t going to be a main income stream for him.
“During these situations, most people thought I was schizophrenic and they didn’t understand what I was doing and why I was doing it. Usually, it wasn’t up to me.”
Wight stated there was a hole in the roster for him to fill, but at the same time, it was frustrating for him, and questioned why he did it in storyline. He added that it would have been nice to have a career that was a little bit more consistent but is happy with how his career panned out.