Big Show is set to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus in a chairs match at TLC, and the overwhelming majority of WWE fans seem to think that he'll retain. One reason for that is a rumored match against Ryback at WrestleMania XXIX, but that won't factor into the equation.
According to WrestlingInc.com, the WWE creative team has had internal discussions regarding a Big Show vs. Ryback bout at the upcoming WrestleMania event in East Rutherford, N.J. The rumored belief is that Ryback could have his WrestleMania moment by hitting the massive Big Show with Shell Shocked.
While that sounds good in theory and could very well happen, I'm not convinced that the World Heavyweight Championship will necessarily come into play. When Big Show initially defeated Sheamus for the title back at Hell in a Cell, I was sure that he would serve as a transitional champion. I still believe that to be true, so holding the belt until WrestleMania isn't feasible.
That would give Big Show a nearly-six-month run with the big gold belt, which is a bit excessive for a veteran guy who shouldn't have won the title in the first place. There are plenty of guys lined up behind Big Show who deserve a run with the title, and I can't help but think that things would get stale with regards to the World Heavyweight Championship picture if he's allowed to keep it for that long.
I may be in the minority, but I fully expect Sheamus to defeat Big Show for the belt at TLC regardless of what the WrestleMania plans may be for Big Show. We have already seen Big Show beat Sheamus cleanly once at Hell in a Cell, and even though Big Show technically lost to Sheamus via disqualification at Survivor Series, he initially pinned him there as well until the decision was reversed.
There isn't much value in having Big Show beat Sheamus for virtually the third pay-per-view in a row. Sure, it would help Big Show get over even more as an unstoppable force, but I'm not sure how many people want to see that. Big Show's matches with Sheamus have been great thus far, but the promos have been lacking and most are probably ready for Big Show to transition out of the title scene.
Also, the looming presence of Mr. Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler, figures to come into play. Many have predicted it several times in the past, but I firmly believe that Ziggler will successfully cash in his contract at TLC. All the stars have finally aligned for The Show Off, and it has finally gotten to the point where he appears to be world title material.
Not only does he continue to perform in the ring each and every night, but Ziggler has shined with increased exposure on the mic. He is now feuding with the face of the company in John Cena and he actually led off the most recent episode of Raw with a promo as well. The WWE is clearly positioning Ziggler for a leap to the main-event scene and the only thing left to do is have him cash in.
TLC presents a perfect opportunity as Sheamus can defeat Big Show for the title, which leads to Big Show beating down Sheamus afterward. Ziggler would then suddenly hit the ring and pin Sheamus to win the strap. It would be similar to last year's TLC when Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, but Big Show won't be on the short end this time.
Ziggler is unquestionably ready for the big time, and there's no reason to postpone it any longer. Many of his fans want him to cash in at WrestleMania, and while I agree that it would be great, it wouldn't happen if Ryback beats Big Show for the title. Ryback is a rising star, but I have no doubt that the immediate plan is to give Ziggler the World Heavyweight Championship since he's the next in line.
We could very well still see Ryback vs. Big Show at WrestleMania with Ryback getting his WrestleMania moment, but there won't be a title on the line. With that said, though, a Big Show vs. Ryback match is far from guaranteed despite the myriad of reports that have surfaced regarding it.
Based on the favorable reaction Ryback has been getting as of late, there is no question that the WWE will want to put Ryback over in a major way to WrestleMania. Having him beat Big Show is one way to go about it, but a more impactful feud would be one with Brock Lesnar. Ryback and Lesnar are similar in a lot of ways and Lesnar is a huge draw, so I could definitely see that coming to fruition.
Ultimately, anything that comes out regarding WrestleMania at this point is little more than hearsay. The WWE may have some internal plans, but I doubt that it would leak this far ahead of time. TLC figures to be Ziggler's night and I simply don't see some flimsy rumors linking Big Show to Ryback having any effect on that.