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SLAM! WRESTLING: Guest Columnist

SLAM! Sports
SLAM! Wrestling







December 14, 1999

Bossman is the Big Show

By PAUL NIELSON -- For SLAM! Wrestling

BOSSMAN According to Paul Nielson, The Big Bossman was the one who REALLY came out on top in his feud with The Big Show.
 I know, the title of the column has put you off already. Most of us have read a thousand columns about the Big Show - Bossman angle, and by now are getting pretty sick of it. I've read people completely trashing the angle, saying it's boring and uninspired but I've also read people praising it and saying it's a big step forward. But before you write this off as yet another column beating the same old topic into the ground, take note of the fact that I'm approaching it from a different standpoint. I'm looking at how it affects the major parties concerned: the Bossman, the Big Show and The WWF. This angle has done wonders for the Bossman, but it hasn't really helped The Big Show any, and it has completely tarnished the WWF in my eyes. So here's my take on this angle, based on the facts and my opinions.

Fact: The Bossman has MONSTER heat. Face it; the Bossman hasn't done anything spectacular since the nWo booted him out. Yeah, he became buddies with the Steiners, but then they broke up and it left him without anything to do. WCW decided that he'd gained too much weight, so they let him go. Then the WWF brought him back as a corporate bodyguard, and he did get some heat upon his return but shortly after that the Corporation became the Corporate Ministry, and he got lost in the shuffle.

Since that initial burst of fan response, the Bossman hasn't been able to get the fans to care what he does. His feud with Al Snow was a snoozer. Even Al's antics couldn't make me interested in the Bossman. He'd been reduced to the same level as he was as Ray Traylor back in WCW. Until now. When the Bossman comes to the ring, the chorus of boos is amazing. Even a solid main event heel (which the Bossman certainly is NOT) like Triple H has some people that like him. Not the Bossman. He is really over as a heel now. We'll just have to see if his heat only applies with this angle.

On the other hand, The Big Show isn't really getting any better fan reaction as this angle progresses, and he really isn't that over as the WWF Champion. If anything, the fans are just getting frustrated because this angle is still going on. Think about it: The Big Show is 7 feet tall, 500 pounds, and most importantly he beat both the Rock and Triple H at the last PPV. That's a HUGE achievement. But despite all of that he still can't deal with the Bossman. It doesn't make sense, and it's taking away from the Big Show's credibility as a champion.

So how does this angle turn me off the WWF? Was it the Bossman crashing the funeral? No, I thought that was actually pretty funny. What was it that really got me riled up? It was the mocking of the ten-bell salute. I know I'm not in the business, but it seems to me that the ten-bell salute is somewhat of a sacred tradition and what really perturbs me is the fact that the WWF had the nerve to make light of it. Let's just reminisce about the other times it's been used recently, shall we? Brian Pillman. He passed away before a PPV, and the next night on RAW they had a ten bell salute to honour his memory. The wrestlers on the platform/ramp looked distraught. It was very emotional and respectful. Then of course there is the more recent tragic death of Owen Hart. It's fresh in all of our minds, so I'm not going to dwell on it too much. And just a few months later, the WWF does a phony ten-bell salute in honour of the Paul Wight's father (who passed away several years ago in reality) only to have it disrupted and mocked. How do you think that made Melanie Pillman and Martha Hart feel? In my mind, it's completely crossing the line because it disrespects both Owen and Brian.

So what now? For the Bossman, the WWF needs to put him in another feud to solidify his as a heel. Keep him away from DX, but use him. For the Big Show, the WWF has to get the belt off of his waist. He could be a great WWF champion, but not yet. Hopefully he'll drop the title soon but slowly work his way back and eventually become a legitimate challenger for the belt. And for the WWF? It's hard to say, but I know for a fact that this angle hit a nerve in me. A bad nerve. A mean, cranky, WWF disliking nerve.

Oh yeah, while my nerves are flared: the word is "feud". F-E-U-D. It drives me absolutely mad seeing almost every columnist/reporter and their dog spelling it "fued".

Alright, I think I'm done now.


Robert Joseph Yang lives in Vancouver, BC, and can be reached by e-mail at pnielson@interchange.ubc.ca.

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