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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show

A/K/A: "One of Probably Two Times 'Boxer vs. Wrestler' Worked"

In mentioning the Mero vs. AA match from Uncensored 1995, I started thinking of other Boxer vs. Wrestler matches. Simply put, most sucked. Hell, even Inoki vs. Ali was trash in the sense of it not really being a good fight. The result of the bout (Inoki and Ali becoming friends, the potential first "MMA" fight shown to masses, Ali and Inoki spreading positivity and whatnot throughout the world, and Inoki converting to Islam and becoming a hero to many in the Muslim world and otherwise) was great. The match itself was garbage. Don't believe me? Look for yourself.

However, one match has stuck out in my mind that took the rules of Boxer vs. Wrestler and made it (halfway) work from a story-telling standpoint and an actual action standpoint. I'm talking about 2008's Mayweather vs. Big Show bout. It worked for a couple reasons. 

First, Big Show is a big-ass dude, kayfabe or otherwise. He looks like he could kill a man of Floyd's size in seconds if he really wanted to, so Mayweather becomes this underdog face (even though he was kind of more tweener-ish with the actions that set up this fight, Mayweather hitting Show with his own version of the WMDs, borderline heel) who only wanted to defend his friend Rey Mysterio from being destroyed by Show at No Way Out 2008. Second, as much as Show towers over Mayweather, you kind of want to cheer for Show. Why? Mayweather is a cocky SOB with his entourage that you want to see get knocked out, even though you know he's got the talent to back his cockiness up (he probably could've been a cruiseweight champion in WWE in another life). Third, it's a no disqualification match, which plays to both talents' strengths, since it removes a bit of the mystery of who'll win. Fourth, Mayweather actually took bumps that weren't focused on one part of his body.

Anyway, the fight starts off with Mayweather running around and avoiding Show. Mayweather finally takes the fight to Show, resulting in Show being dazed. After this, Mayweather decides to work the crowd by taking some drinks from his "chalice," as JR called it (it's a friggin' pimp cup, even if it's technically a chalice). This, of course, causes Show to ape out and batter Mayweather's team.

From here, we get a more one-on-one fight. A true David versus Goliath moment ensues as Mayweather hops on Show's shoulders in an attempt to choke him out. This match and its lack of restrictions already places it above most boxer vs. wrestler matches. Mayweather puts Show in the chokehold (that's something you didn't see Ali do), which Show eventually breaks out of. Show stomps on Mayweather's wrist (which JR and Mayweather's team sell beautifully). Mayweather sells the injury like a kid who just got his ass whooped by his mama. and then gets up and gives some groin shots. Show catches him and gives Money a sidewalk slam, some leg drops, and a cross-body walk.

But, just as you start to say "ok, the wrestler is going to win, since this is WWE and Show's still a pretty big star at this point---for whatever reason," Mayweather's team drags him out the ring. Show climbs out the ring, tears through Mayweather's team, beats on Mayweather some more and brings Mayweather back into the ring. Another Money Team man gets hit in the face with a WMD as one gives Show a chair shot. After everyone from TMT is KTFO, Mayweather grabs the chair and starts wailing on Show. We even get a pretty legit head shot or two. The end of the match comes when Mayweather takes his homie's brass knuckles and gives Show the right hook to end the match.

It wasn't the greatest match of all-time, but the match was, by far, the best Boxer vs. Wrestler match I've ever seen.