The wrestling world is buzzing with excitement as Paul Wight, formerly known as Big Show, makes his return to the ring. However, this comeback might never have happened if it weren’t for former NBA star Xavier McDaniel. Wight recently revealed that McDaniel was the first person to encourage him to pursue professional wrestling, stating that there was no future for him in basketball.
Xavier McDaniel planted the seed that eventually led Paul Wight to become a wrestling legend.
A Chance Encounter Changes Everything
During his college years, Wight played as a center for the Wichita State basketball team. However, despite his passion for the sport, he wasn’t quite a Shaquille O’Neal on the court. It was during this time that McDaniel, an NBA star and an alum of the same university, crossed paths with Wight and offered some invaluable advice.
Initially, Wight dismissed the idea of wrestling, firmly believing that his future lay in the NBA. However, McDaniel had a different perspective. He prophesied that Wight would likely be the only 7-foot player to get cut from a Japanese team and urged him to consider a career in pro wrestling instead. McDaniel even suggested that Wight could follow in the footsteps of the iconic Andre The Giant, as he saw a striking resemblance between them.
Wight reminisced about this pivotal moment, recalling, “Xavier McDaniel saw the vision on the wall long before it ever happened.” Inspired by McDaniel’s words, Wight decided to give wrestling a shot, which ultimately led him to cross paths with wrestling legends like Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.
Now, at the age of 51, Wight is set to make his long-awaited return to the squared circle. Signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) since 2021, Wight is teaming up with the likes of Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Chris Jericho to take on the formidable team of Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita, Kyle Fletcher, and Brian Cage.
As Wight steps back into the ring, many fans are wondering how long he intends to continue wrestling. In an interview, Wight was asked about his future plans, providing wrestling enthusiasts with a glimpse into what lies ahead. Additionally, he shared his excitement and anticipation for AEW Full Gear, a pay-per-view event scheduled for this Saturday, where he previewed some of the matches he is most looking forward to.
Paul Wight’s incredible journey from a college basketball player to a wrestling superstar is a testament to the power of encouragement and the impact one person can have on shaping someone’s future. Thanks to Xavier McDaniel’s foresight and belief in Wight’s potential, the wrestling world gained a true titan.