As part of their post-Revolution chats with the media, for the first time Paul “Big Show” Wight answered some questions about his jump from WWE to AEW.
Wight explained why he left WWE after more than two decades there, what he hopes to accomplish in All Elite, and the million dollar question... “is there heat between him and Vince McMahon now?”
“Vince actually called me the day that it was announced that I signed with AEW, wished me a lot of luck, agreed that I’m gonna be a huge asset at AEW, thanked me for all the years that I worked in WWE. There’s no animosity, there’s no anger, there’s no dirt, so to speak. This just came down to contract negotiations and opportunities. Let’s face it, at over 20 years at WWE I have done everything that there is to do in WWE. I needed a fresh start. For me, I think Vince understands that and understands me as a talent, and this was that opportunity for me to do that.
“But, you follow the rules. I couldn’t reach out to Tony Khan or AEW while I was still under contract, and I didn’t. I came to terms with a mutual dissolution of services when I left WWE. There’s no anger in it. I needed the freedom to pursue different opportunities and when that contract came to an end, that was the thing where I took the leap of faith and hoped that my reputation in the industry and the work that I’ve done would be able to earn me a meeting with Tony Khan and be able to talk to him, and hope that he would understand that I can be an asset for AEW. And when my contract expired... I got a chance to drive up to Jacksonville, and Tony and I had a meeting at like 10 at night in his office and we talked about wrestling and psychology and what I wanted to do at AEW, and one of the big passions that I’ve had for a long time is getting into color commentary, and trying to bring my experiences from the ring, like the great Gorilla Monsoon or Jesse Ventura were able to bring to the commentary to help get the talent in the ring over more and help tell their stories - I was looking forward to that opportunity. And also the opportunity for me to compete with some fresh talent, some people that I haven’t had angles with, some people that I can also help to get better. Also, also a new environment, a new place to work, helps reinvigorate yourself.
“Believe me, leaving WWE was a little bit scary because I had so much tenure there, and so much experience, and had basically already paid every due I needed to pay in WWE. To leave that stock and to put a lot of faith in yourself and say, ‘Hey, if you’re really passionate about this and you really want to do this,’ then you have to put your big boy pants on and give it a shot. I’m very grateful and very thankful that it all worked out, and hopefully the AEW fans will be happy as well.”
Sounds like it was strictly business. Seeing as WWE wasn’t currently using him anyway, I’m excited to see if he can use his rekindled passion to become AEW’s next great voice in the booth (among other things).