Big Show has taken a lot of criticisms from fans over the last couple of years for being a “past-his-prime veteran” whose best days are behind him.
After having some rough performances over the years, it’s easy to understand why many fans (myself included) have blasted Big Show for being at the top of WWE when he’s hovering around 40 years old.
But it’s amazing how one great run can change someone’s mind.
While Big Show never has been and never will be everyone’s cup of tea, especially some of the diehard fans who love guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, it’s hard not to be impressed by what’s been a fantastic heel run for the giant.
Initially, there was a lot of skepticism surround Big Show’s heel turn last May because he’d been booked so badly as a babyface that not many thought he could ever be taken seriously as a top star again.
But we’ve undoubtedly been proven wrong, and Big Show has shown over the past six months or so that he still deserves to be considered a main player in the WWE.
Although some will never like Big Show because he’s a big man, just look at the tremendous work he’s done since becoming the top heel on SmackDown late last year.
While his run as a top heel on Raw last summer wasn’t very good, he appeared to be refocused and re-energized when he jumped over to the blue brand and almost instantly became the show’s top heel.
Incensed by the notion that he was a loser because his last world title reign lasted just 45 seconds, Big Show made it his one and only goal to beat Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship and hold the belt, well, forever.
What resulted was a rivalry between Big Show and Sheamus that was arguably the WWE’s best feud of 2012, thanks in large part to Show’s performances during it.
The reason a heel like CM Punk performs so well is that he seems like he believes in what he’s saying and doing, and other than perhaps Punk himself, there is no heel who comes across as more genuine than Big Show.
Knucklehead and The Waterboy jokes aside, Big Show is one of the very best actors in the WWE, and his acting prowess really shows when he’s a heel.
You can feel the message behind his angry heel promos because Show looks and sounds so confident in his delivery and has the great facial expressions that only the best talkers have mastered.
Just about every time Big Show has grabbed the microphone over the past several months, I can’t help but be captivated by what he’s saying and the genuine feeling behind his words.
In turn, he’s become one of the most interesting characters on WWE TV. Unlike the cartoon character-like babyfaces, he actually has depth and layers to his character, which has what seems like real-life emotions and conflict.
You could really see that throughout Big Show’s feud with Sheamus, when “The World’s Largest Athlete” told everyone that he would end Sheamus’ title reign and then delivered on that promise with a surprisingly clean victory at Hell in a Cell.
That Hell in a Cell match between Sheamus and Show was superb, and it started off a nice stretch of matches between the two that included very good bouts at Survivor Series, WWE TLC and in a Lumberjack match on Monday Night Raw.
Sheamus and Big Show put on several good brawls that were hard-hitting slug-fests which seemed to result from legitimate animosity between the two.
That’s what has made Big Show stand out so much over the past six months.
Whereas you can tell when some guys are only feuding on a scripted sports entertainment show, Big Show does an excellent job of conveying real emotions and making fans forget that what they are watching is scripted from start to finish.
The way he is able to make fans suspend their disbelief is rivaled by only a few guys in the WWE—the common link between them being that they’re all performing in the main-event picture.
That’s where Big Show belongs, too.
Even during his short current feud with Alberto Del Rio, you get the sense that Big Show truly did feel like he got screwed when he had to defend the world title in an impromptu Last Man Standing Match.
After Big Show lost the title, you could still feel the rage inside him that has resulted from him being put into a match that he wasn’t prepared for. Now, you can feel his desire to regain the title that he feels was unfairly taken from him.
In the world of scripted wrestling, that’s a rare quality that some guys who have reached the main-event level at times never even had.
But Big Show has the nearly unmatched ability to convey genuine emotions and use those emotions to make what he’s doing seem both real and interesting.
While the former World Heavyweight Champion has taken a lot of heat for being unable to put on good matches when he’s not in the ring with the right guys, we shouldn’t let that mask what are his obvious strengths.
Whether you’re a fan of his or not, he’s one of the WWE best performers when he’s not the smiling, happy-go-lucky babyface character that he was at the start of 20112.
When Big Show is a no-nonsense, dominant beast, he’s about as entertaining as they come and a legitimate main-eventer, even at 40 years old.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!