For a number of months now, various rumors and reports have indicated WWE had planned a match pitting Big Show against NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando. The two have crossed paths multiple times in a wrestling ring, including a showdown in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32.
Then they started cutting promos on each other in the media, shot an angle at the ESPY Awards, and have targeted each other in various workout photos/videos on social media. In that regard, Show has been far more motivated than Shaq, with his consistently sharing his progress as he gets ready for the biggest event of the year.
Meanwhile, the last we heard from Shaq on the matter was an Instagram back on Jan. 9.
Now, Show has given an interview to WWE.com that sure makes it sound like the match is in danger of not happening at all:
“I mean, here’s the thing. We shot this off at the ESPY Awards, Shaq said he’s in, I thought this would be a good match for fans to see two giants go at it. And 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!” I’ve given 22 years of my blood, sweat and tears to this business and I’m doing this favor to Shaq. This could be my last WrestleMania. He needs to step up. I’m not trying to be mean, but my time’s valuable. I get it. I don’t have foot powder commercials, car commercials, insurance commercials. I get it. He’s a busy man. But if he’s gonna step in the ring, in my business, at our biggest event of the year? Show me you’re serious. If anything, talk a little trash. Let me know you’re motivated. Because right now? I just get the feeling he’s terrified. He shot his mouth off, he’s in over his head and he’s trying to back out. So just let me know what’s going on, brother.”
That could simply be Show cutting a promo to help build to a match they know is happening. It could also be read like Show (and, in turn, WWE) are trying to strong arm Shaq into going through with the match like all parties seemed to agree to prior. Either way, it seems strange we’re this close to the event and Shaq has gone radio silent in regards to anything related to it.