Sports Q&A: Mayweather/Big Show

Bobby from Chicago, IL writes, "The Big Show, aka Paul Wight, is scheduled to take on undefeated boxing champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather at WrestleMania 24 on March 30th. Will this go down as a historic match in the lore of professional wrestling?"

First of all, if the WWE is actually paying Mayweather $20 million for this fight, then Vince McMahon is not on steroids. That amount may be the budget for the fight, because WWE has to actually pay people like Evander Holyfield, Antonio Tarver, Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns (through a translator), and boxing historian Bert Randolph Sugar to speak about the fight as if it's a legitimate contest. But Mayweather's not getting anywhere near $20 million.

Historic matches in wrestling are few and far between these days. Unless someone is tossed off the top of a steel cage onto the Spanish announcers table, most wrestling fans, much less the casual observer, won't remember the fight. For those of us old enough to remember the Muhammad Ali/Antonio Inoki "match" of 1976, the Big Show/Mayweather contest is a reminder that we've been trying to forget the Ali/Inoki match for 32 years. That spectacle was historic for the sheer lack of imagination and action. Inoki worked on Ali's left knee for 15 rounds, and Ali didn't land a single punch, despite the fact that Inoki's chin was by far his most prominent feature. The match was declared a draw, and even Don King dared not demand a rematch.

When Mike Tyson stepped into the squared circle as the "special enforcer" at WrestleMania 14 in the Steve Austin/Shawn Michaels match, the event actually lived up to the hype. That certainly wasn't the case in the Ali/Inoki match, which was all hype and no action. Tyson wisely let one great wrestler, Michaels, and one great entertainer, Austin, carry the match and generate the excitement leading up to his role in the match. As the excitement reached a fever pitch, Tyson nailed his part, counting Austin's pin of Michaels, then KO'ing Michaels, proving to skeptical fans and viewers alike, that, yes, Tyson could still punch, and, yes, he could count to three.

Let's give Mayweather credit for accepting this match against the 440-pound Show. Sure, many a boxer has stepped up one or two weight classes before, but never 20-25. I doubt this match would have taken place had the Show dropped the approximately 300 pounds necessary to accustom Mayweather's super lightweight to welterweight classes. Seriously, though, neither man had to gain or lose weight for the match, but the WWE staged a weigh-in anyway. Brilliant!

To top the popularity of the match involving Tyson, McMahon has his work cut out for him in the Show/Mayweather bout. First of all, he's dealing with two men with little or no wrestling ability. But he did make Hulk Hogan a star. Luckily, today's wrestling is less about actual wrestling, holds, and simple grappling, and all about creating a show. I'm guessing this match will start out with a little comedy. I'll be terribly disappointed if Mayweather, at some point in the beginning, doesn't slither through Big Show's legs, tap him on the shoulder, and pepper him with a stiff left jab when Show turns around. Mayweather's danced around much smaller men before. Just ask Oscar De La Hoya.

And there will have to be some foreign objects involved. And yes, by "foreign objects," I do mean the augmented breasts of any number of WWE divas. But the foreign object staple, the steel folding chair, must come into play. I'm guessing Mayweather has never been nailed with a chair, which makes him as far from being a professional wrestler as it gets. Sure, he's contractually not obligated to take a chair shot, but if he only knew that taking just one would get him a ton of respect in the locker room, he'd do it. In this match, Big Show gets popped 2-3 times and doesn't even react, and Mayweather gets the same look he had on his face the last time he drilled a Mexican with a roundhouse right and the Mexican kept coming.

If the writers in this match are smart, they'll strategically place a spit bucket in Mayweather's corner and script some outside-the-ring action in which Mayweather threatens to toss the contents of the bucket on the Big Show. When Mayweather does actually toss the bucket contents, Show ducks, and fans at ringside are covered with confetti. This would be the most opportune time for the Harlem Globetrotters to run in and attack either Mayweather or the Big Show.

And speaking of "run-ins," what better way to end the match than to have a surprise entrance by someone with a vested entrance in the match. There's the WWE stable of wrestlers, who all resent a boxer's foray into the wrestling ring, or do they? An even better scenario would have Mayweather's uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, interject himself in the match. Floyd has recently threatened to fire Roger unless Roger ceases training Steve Forbes, who is fighting De La Hoya on May 3rd. A Forbes win in that fight would ruin a proposed Mayweather/De La Hoya rematch. If Roger came in an confronted the Big Show, then turned on Floyd, it would be the biggest swerve in wrestling history, especially if Roger clocked Floyd with one of those miniature irons used to reduce swelling.

Even better, a surprise entrance by the "Fan Man," who interrupted the Holyfield/Riddick Bowe fight in Las Vegas in 1993, would be pleasantly stunning. The Citrus Bowl is outdoors, and, if the wind is just right, I bet "Fan Man" could deliver one of the most lethal flying dropkicks the sport has ever seen.

Don't discount an appearance by clown-haired buffoon Don King. He's always popping up where no one wants him. What's stopping him from crashing WrestleMania and demanding 18% of gate receipts? McMahon versus King at Summer Slam? Talk about a pay-per-view boon. But if King does stick his nose in the Big Show/Mayweather match, he would surely get what's coming to him, from both men. Aren't we all dying to see King fall victim to a chokeslam and haircut? I know I am.

Finally, the match could end with the Big Show and Mayweather forming an unlikely NWO-like alliance, which, in the current state of boxing, would hold more credibility than the WBC, WBA, IBF, BFF, SOB, FTD, NAACP, UAW, KFC, RBK, HBO, H20, and any other boxing federation. And they could form an unbeatable tag team with a clever name, like "Biggie Smalls" or "Show May the Money."

When all is said and done, you don't supposedly pay someone $20 million and not let them win the match. The verdict: in a wild finish, Big Show is pinned by Mayweather, who gets help from at least three different sources.

Ziggy from Jupiter, FL writes, "Protesters interrupted the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Games as the torch was traditionally lit in ancient Greece. In addition, a Tibetan woman smeared in fake blood briefly blocked the path of the torchbearer. Are these instances a bad omen of certain similar, and possibly more violent, protests to take place when the Games begin in August in China?"

For centuries, Chinese oracles have routinely warned that "A fake blood-smeared Tibetan woman in your path brings seven years' worth of bad luck." On several occasions, I've found that to be true in my life, as well. So, the world can expect the most politically-charged Olympics since the Moscow Games in 1980, and there will undoubtedly be countries that boycott the Games altogether in protest of China's infamous record of human rights violations, which makes even prisoners at Guantanomo Bay shudder.

Chinese officials are circling the tanks in anticipation of widespread protests, and they are rounding up and jailing anyone deemed a threat to the sanctity of the Games. In China, you can be jailed on such charges as "suspicion of looking suspicious" and "unlawful assembly," which can and often includes playing ping-pong in a non-Chinese government-sanctioned event. In addition, the Wu Tang Clan has been dispatched to the corners of the Earth to spread the word of peace via their compassionate and conflict-mending rap. Will this be enough to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Olympiad? Probably not, despite the magical healing powers of the Wu. But regardless of what happens, China will have make an even greater effort to mask its totalitarian, ego-tripping, Commie-pig government. And the Chinese political machine knows only one way to disguise its inhumane treatment of its subjects, and that's to silence the people complaining of it with even more inhumane treatment.

Police in China are gearing up for what is sure to be an active season of beatings and intimidation. In the People's Republic, police work in, and have, notoriously small units. What they lack in stature they make up for with brutality on behalf of the state. There will be more action with batons before the games than there will be in all of the relay races combined. In China, Rodney King is a hero. No, not to victims of excessive police beatings, but to the police themselves, who thoroughly enjoy King's role in the Chinese police training video. There will be no hockey in the Beijing Games, but there will be high sticks.

Obviously, the Chinese government is masterful at lying and hiding the truth. Otherwise, how on earth would the International Olympic Committee have voted to award Beijing the games in 2001? Sure, surrounding the voters with military tanks didn't hurt, and constant reminders that the manufacturing labels that read "Made In China" are also made in China scored points with nearly all voters. It seems that voters assumed that awarding the games to China would afford the country the opportunity to showcase improvement in its record of human rights. Instead, just the opposite has happened. As recent protests in Tibet have shown, China is still the cowardly bully it was six years ago.

Hints of boycotts are already surfacing. Some German athletes have suggested a boycott, while many French citizens support a boycott of the opening ceremonies, but not the Games themselves. That'll show 'em. Thanks, France, for your bravery. What the international community needs to do is participate in all events, and call attention to China's human rights violations any chance they get. Taunt them even. China may be able to silence their own, but not the world.

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