The Big Show, real name Paul Wight, worked from WWE from 1999 all the way up to the Legends Night episode of Monday Night Raw last month. During that time he's become a five-time world champion, a Grand Slam Champion, an eight-time tag team champion, a perennial main eventer and has been positioned as one of the greatest giants in the history of the business. And even though he hasn't wrestled on a consistent basis in years, the idea of him ever leaving the company seemed impossible. But that's exactly what happened on Wednesday, as All Elite Wrestling announced it had signed Wight to a multi-year contract to work as both a wrestler and commentator for the new upcoming YouTube series, AEW Dark: Elevation.
So how did Wight and WWE split? According to PWInsider's Mike Johnson it all came down to money. the two sides were reportedly unable to come to terms on a new deal, and his contract ended shortly after his Legends Night appearance. He was apparently vocal that night abut his unhappiness with the negotiations. He was quietly moved to the WWE Alumni page last Friday.
"It's been amazing to watch what AEW has built in just a couple of years," Wight said in Wednesday's press release. "AEW Dark is an incredible platform to hone the skills of up-and-coming wrestlers, but I also love that established AEW talent can build out their personalities and showcase themselves in new ways on Dark. It's no exaggeration when they say that AEW is boundless."
"Paul Wight is one of the most recognizable and impressive professional athletes in the world," AEW president Tony Khan added. "He wanted to come to AEW because he believes that we're the best promotion in wrestling, and we believe that he has a lot to offer us, both in the ring as a wrestler, and also outside the ring as a commentator, host and ambassador for AEW."
Here's what AEW has lined up for this week's AEW Dynamite. No word yet on if Wight will make his debut for the company during the show.
- Rey Fenix vs. Lance Archer (Face of the Revolution Qualifying Match)
- Jon Moxley vs. Ryan Nemeth
- Brian Cage & Ricky Starks vs. Varsity Blondes
- Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose (Women's Eliminator Tournament)
- Jake Hager vs. Brandon Cutler
- Hangman Page vs. Isiah Kassidy