Paul Wight is ready for his next big match.
As long as his body cooperates.
Wrestling’s signature giant of the past three decades had his knee replaced last summer, but he is making progress in his recovery. If all goes according to plan, there will be one more run in the ring—and, potentially, a must-see bout against Kenny Omega.
“I want to get in the ring with Kenny Omega,” says Wight. “I want that real bad.”
It is fascinating to imagine how a match between the two could have unfolded if Wight were still at his peak. He was an athletic marvel as The Giant in WCW, and his ability to tell a story reached an entirely new level as The Big Show in WWE.
As far back as 2017, Omega has expressed his affinity for Wight’s work. Wight would want to wrestle Omega only if he can meet his own high standard in the ring, an idea that is especially motivating for the 51-year-old icon.
“Kenny is an incredible talent to watch compete,” says Wight. “He has a way of enhancing talent, and he pushes talent to another extreme. I’m always looking for someone to tell a believable story with, whether I am a babyface or a heel. The way he sells, the way he puts his heart and soul into every match, so a match between us could be very believable. And as much as I like his wrestling, the guy in the back is even more impressive. He’s humble, hard working and works hurt. Looking at his aggressiveness and his heart, I think we could have one hell of a match.”
Wight’s latest stint on the injured list is the result of a crushed bone in his knee joint. That caused bleeding into his shin (“It was basically a run with no tire,” says Wight), and he needed an implant. Naturally, that required a new machine to be built to make a giant-sized implant.
The procedure took place at the end of August. Since then, Wight has been focused on his rehab.
“For me, it’s all about rehab and getting stronger, and then I can get back in the ring and play with these AEW kids,” says Wight. “There are a couple that have caught my eye.”
Despite physical limitations, Wight remains involved in AEW. He is a special adviser for AEW Together, the company’s outreach program, and he is emceeing Tuesday night’s “AEW All Star Slam Dunk” event in Independence, Mo., which benefits the local high school basketball team.
The event also includes Omega, Jade Cargill, Nick Jackson, Powerhouse Hobbs, Orange Cassidy, The Gunns and Satnam Singh. AEW talent will compete in knockout, an AEW-themed game of H-O-R-S-E and a three-point competition, and it is timed right, taking place during March Madness.
Wight’s contributions to the company are valuable, particularly with the example he sets for a roster full of younger, emerging stars.
“Wrestling isn’t about becoming famous or having a following on social media,” says Wight. “It’s about giving back. Especially at this level, we have that responsibility. Locally, nationally, internationally, it is an honor to give back to those who care so much about us.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.