This Sunday the WWE will broadcast their largest Royal Rumble in history with a record 40 Superstars battling it out for the chance to main event Wrestlemania XXVII.
Ahead of the PPV, which will be live on Sky Box Office, skysports.com decided to catch up with the largest athlete competing in the Rumble - The Big Show.
The seven foot giant knows all about the Royal Rumble match as this year he will be competing in it for the eighth time. He told Richard Parr about how he prepares for the match, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, The Rock and other surprises set for one of the WWE's biggest shows of the year.
skysports.com: First of all I have to ask you. What are your thoughts on the Royal Rumble increasing from 30 Superstars to 40?
BIG SHOW: Yeah an extra 10 guys I have to throw out! Haha. I think they have a lot of surprises. I think they are going to bring in different superstars and different talents. I don't know, they have something up their sleeves for it. All I can do is keep my feet on the mat and throw as many guys over as I can and be the last one standing.
skysports.com: So could we be expecting to see some old familiar faces?
BIG SHOW: I have learned that working with the WWE that anything can and will happen. I like being surprised probably just as much as our WWE Universe, so I usually don't have any idea what's going to happen until I get to work that day. I don't like to know too much in advance. I like to be surprised and feel the energy of what I'm doing that day. I find it more of a natural response and a natural instinct. If I spend too much time thinking about things I over-analyse it. So the less I know the better off I am.
skysports.com: That must make the WWE a really interesting place to work: taking each day as it comes.
BIG SHOW: It is. It keeps it fresh, it keeps it fun. There's no doubt about it. That's what I love about my job, it's always a surprise. I love it. I have a Twitter account and most of my Twitter fans know what I'm doing before I do.
skysports.com: With the Royal Rumble match, do you do anything differently to prepare?
BIG SHOW: I think the one thing you do, if you are going to be in the Royal Rumble and you don't know what entry you're going to be, is you want to have your cardio together. If you are unfortunate enough to draw an early number it comes down to cardio and conditioning. You're looking at almost an hour of being in the ring. That doesn't sound a lot but when you are pushing and shoving, and trying to throw guys over it can tax you physically pretty fast. Strategically speaking you want to have a higher number. You want to come in at 35 to 40 numbers. Of course we've got 40 superstars now. You want to get a higher number so that you are a fresher athlete when you enter.
I'd say just make sure you have your wind, get a good night's sleep the night before, get a good solid breakfast in and make sure you are carbed up ready to go. I think those are the biggest things. I've done a lot of these types of matches. In WCW we did World War III and big battle royals. Cardio comes into play. Once you get in there for 15, 18 minutes, pushing different people around who are fatigued differently to you - it comes into play.
I think that happens to a lot of athletes. There is so much stress put on you cardio-wise you just get blown up. So that's one thing I have definitely done. A lot of biking, a lot of swimming. So whether I am number one or number 40 it's going to be hard to deal with.
skysports.com: Your size often makes you a favourite for these types of matches. But is it actually a disadvantage as many Superstars gang up on you?
BIG SHOW: You're obviously a target. When you are that big and that impressive, most of our guys are smart enough to know right away to eliminate the biggest threat. So somebody like me they come after. But it's a little bit of a disadvantage for me because I am so tall. If I get caught or pushed it's easier me to fall over the top rope than lifted and put over the top rope. So you've got to be careful about putting your backs to the ropes and stuff like that. Seriously if I was looking to pick a battle royal winner I would pick someone that is really strong, short and squat who is hard to pick up. That would be a guy who would probably be a little more dangerous. We have a lot of great competitors now. A lot of young studs are trying to make names for themselves. So I'm a little long in the tooth trying to get my first royal Rumble win. So we'll see what happens.
skysports.com: If you don't win the Rumble who do you think could?
BIG SHOW: I definitely have to say Ezequiel Jackson. Ezequiel or Mark Henry. Both of those guys are so massively strong. The only thing that could come in to play for them and hurt them is probably fatigue. But if they get a high number towards the end I think they'd be very hard to beat. They're both very explosive and very powerful. Those are two guys I definitely have my eyes on for Sunday. Vladimir Kozlov. I don't know if he's in the Rumble or not. If he is in it he's definitely somebody you've got to worry about because he's got that Russian martial arts background and before you know it you'll be staring at your toes over the top rope.
Those are the guys I worry about. You also have to worry about those who are smart and crafty too. Like Edge is very intelligent in the ring. Guys like that you have to be careful of. Luckily Edge has a World Title match (against Dolph Ziggler) so I don't have to worry about him. I haven't seen the list of who is in there yet. That's one of those things; you'll see the list and run down who's who and what might happen.
skysports.com: What are your thoughts on the new youth movement in the WWE?
BIG SHOW: I think it's a good thing. I think new blood is always good. I think whatever makes you better. New athletes with new spirit and new fire helps wake some of the older dogs up. Some of the older dogs don't like it because they don't like competition. They're comfortable. I don't fear the competition at all. I like it. It makes me work harder and makes me really have to dig deeper. I don't mind it, plus it's also better for the industry. I don't want to leave the WWE worse than when I got here. So when I leave or retire or leave the ring I want to know the WWE is in good hands with good talent that show the proper respect to the WWE Universe, the fans and those that have finished laying down the bricks that paved the road before. I like the new guys coming in. Some of them are a little cocky, a little arrogant but so was I when I was younger. It's just part of being young.
skysports.com: Do any ask you for advice? Who in particular stands out?
BIG SHOW: Yeah a lot of guys come for advice and ask other Superstars for advice. The only advice I can tell them is basically you have to find out who you are as a Superstar. You know if you get 25 different opinions you'll be all over the place. But if you have one guy you believe in and admire and you're fortunate enough that he gives you advice then take it and apply it. There are a few guys that come to me. I give them the advice that I can. If it's working, then do it. If it doesn't, then get rid of it.
Future Superstars I think that have a lot of potential are of course Sheamus, Ted DiBiase and actually believe it or not Wade Barrett. Wade Barrett has a great future. He's a great talent, he's a little bit arrogant but he's a great talent with great microphone skills. There's a lot of young guys that are all part of that crop. John Morrison is coming into his own. There's a lot of talent that I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for them. Hopefully I'll be sitting back someday old and retired and renting the WrestleMania pay-per-view seeing some of these guys now main-eventing a WrestleMania. That would be awesome.
skysports.com: Let's say you win the Rumble on Sunday. Which title will you choose to challenge for at Wrestlemania XXVII?
BIG SHOW: Both of those titles are the most coveted in our industry. Of course the WWE Championship is a coveted title that has been held by some great Superstars. And you have the history of the World Heavyweight Championship. It depends who is holding which title at which time and make the best decision at the time for you the Superstar. Pick an opponent you are going to have a better match with and know you can beat. I'll just have to see what happens if I am fortunate enough to win the Rumble. We'll see what will happen after the chamber matches in February and go to Wrestlemania and make a decision. I do like the look of the World Heavyweight Championship myself. I like the bigger title. I can't go around with a smaller title - it just doesn't look right. Like an overgrown belt buckle.
skysports.com: Is it true the WWE are going to release a three disc DVD on you soon? If so what will it include?
BIG SHOW: I believe so. I don't know the release date of that yet. Right now we're still working with Knuckleheads. But it's the first time the WWE has done an "eyes through a Giant" type thing. I think it's titled "A Giant's World". So I think that should be coming out sometime.
skysports.com: Last year the WWE brought out a new Shawn Michaels DVD and then he retired. Could the same be happening to you?
BIG SHOW: I hope not. Not unless Vince (McMahon) wants to retire me. It's all up to him whether I keep the job or not. Him and the WWE Universe. I have no plans on retiring whatsoever. I love doing what I am doing. I love travelling on the road, being in the locker room with the guys, I love the camaraderie and I love, absolutely love, being in front of the fans. I can't imagine doing anything else. Plus I think my wife would leave me if I was at home all the time and finds out she really doesn't like me. Right now I'm home four days a week so she can put up with me but if I was at home everyday then I think she would to get rid of me.
skysports.com: You mention your recent movie Knuckleheads. Have you got any other film roles in the pipeline?
BIG SHOW: Yeah, I've got a couple of scripts I'm going over now and I'm pretty excited about them. It's just taking the treatments, getting the scripts developed and seeing how the character works out, how the story works out and picking out another good family fun movie. Hopefully everybody gets a good laugh. We're having fun with that right now. We've got different stars. John Cena is an action star, a drama star. Triple H has got some movies coming out that are going to be pretty good. A real funny one and another that is drama-action. I'll just stay with family fun comedy. I don't mind making fun of myself. My wife makes fun of me all the time so it's only natural.
skysports.com: Could we see Triple H return at the Royal Rumble?
BIG SHOW: I don't know. That is a question you have to ask The Game himself. I don't know. I tell you what if Triple H does make an appearance at the Rumble it's going to shake up a lot of people's egos that's for sure. He's one of the greatest of all time and definitely there isn't anybody in the ring smarter than he is. Personally I hope he doesn't. That's one less guy I really won't have to deal with because he's definitely a threat. But if he does I look forward to the challenge. It would be good to see Hunter back in the ring it really would. I know a lot of the fans miss him.
skysports.com: Brock Lesner recently quashed rumours about a return at WrsetleMania. Could you ever see him back in the WWE? Would he be welcome?
BIG SHOW: I think so. Brock was always a great guy. He was always a great competitor. Brock was always an animal that pushed for another level. Brock is doing what makes Brock happy. He's not on the road as much as he was with us. He's at home more with his wife and his babies. He likes to hunt and train. Brock is an animal in his own right. I've got a lot of respect for Brock. He was a hell of a good guy to me when he was here. I had some great matches with him. I think if Brock reaches a crossroads in his life where he decides he wants to come back to the WWE I'm sure he'll be able to work out a deal. He's a heck of a talent and a heck of a draw. Brock's one of those fortunate individuals who has a lot of options on his plate. He can pick and choose as they come to him.
skysports.com: You came so close to winning the Royal Rumble in 2000 but you were eliminated last by the Rock? What were your feelings when it happened?
BIG SHOW: That was just my luck kind of thing. I was really close. Looking back now that was a great Royal Rumble match-up for me. I got a chance to go to WrestleMania 2000 because of it. I got to do an appearance on Saturday Night Live and I got to compete in the ring with 'The Great One' himself: The Rock. A lot of kids come in now and ask me about Rock and what kind of a guy he was and everything. What I can say about Rock is that he was always first class to me. A great person to be around. Very funny, a great wit and a great talent in the ring. I look back on those times working with Rock and laugh. I don't think anyone's ever heard a scream or a pitch of the audience until you heard Rock or Stone Cold (Steve Austin) come into the ring. The Undertaker definitely has the same kind of respect and Cena's up there too. The crowd goes nuts when he comes out too. But it's a different level of superstar when you have Rock and Stone Cold. It's just a whole other level. Our business is really crazy and I am really fortunate to have been in the ring with two of the biggest, most dynamic superstars to ever grace this business. So I'm thankful for that. It's a pretty good notch to have on your belt.