We all know about fantasy booking, putting together dream matches in your head, thinking about how big a spectacle it would be. Who hasn’t done that? Well, if we were shifting the fantasy booking focus from dream matches to dream fights, then The Big Show and The Great Khali would have to be right up there. And believe it or not, it actually happened! And as it turns out, the only man crazy enough to pick a fight with a gigantic man is another gigantic man.
Chris Jericho was amongst the peers backstage to witness these two monsters go at one another. Chris, being the great storyteller that he is, put those skills to use in his highly recommended autobiography, The Best In The World: At What I Have No Idea.
Chris Jericho explains what lead to the colossal fight between The Great Khali and The Big Show:
“The Great Khali and The Big Show had been at odds for years, as they had what the boys called ‘Giant Heat,’ which meant they resented each other because they were both Brobdingnagian (best word in this book). They had spent their lives being the biggest person in the room, astonishing specimens that everybody stared at and instantly feared. Now, for the first time, they had to deal with competition for that honor and neither of them liked it. Khali was taller, Show was better in the ring, and each was jealous of the other as a result.
We were in Aricebo, Puerto Rico, having a tag match against Khali and Taker. It was the first time I’d ever wrestled Taker, and experiencing his ring entrance live was surreal. When the lights went out and that Taco Bell gong hit, there was no feeling like it. The crowd hushed in awe, then went batshit when the blue lights pierced the veil of darkness, and Vince McMahon’s greatest creation slowly marched to the ring. He stalked his way up the ring stairs and took off his hat to expose the pure whites of his eyes as his tongue rolled out of his mouth. Creepy, classic, and exhilarating, all at the same time.
The match itself was nothing special, highlighted only by Khali stealing one of Show’s spots right in front of his face. Show had this trademark move where he took a guy into the corner, shhh’d the crowd with his finger, and delivered a BRUTAL overhand chop that sounded (and felt) like it had caved in his opponent’s chest. It hurt like a mutha, but always got a huge reaction, which made it a little more bearable. Khali had stolen it from Show and used it all the time during his matches, even though Show had asked him more than once not to. But who was going to stop him? Khali was seven feet tall and didn’t give a shit what anybody thought, especially his nemesis, The Big Show. But even still, he had huevos El Gigante to do the chop right in front of Show’s face.
‘Motherfucker just stole my move,’ Show mumbled on the apron, and I knew something was gonna go down. He was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore.
We were in the dressing room after the match, and Show was still fuming, steam practically bellowing out of his ears. When Khali came in a few minutes later, the shit was on.
‘Hey, motherfucker, why do you keep stealing my spots, huh? That’s total bullshit and you need to stop it now!’
Let me say that I really like Khali and respect what he’s done because I know what it’s like to be the only foreigner in the locker room who doesn’t speak the native language. He still made every effort to fit in, despite the fact that his minimal knowledge of English, deep voice and heavy accent made it almost impossible to understand him at first. He peppered every sentence with liberal doses of bro and man, and they were the only words you could understand at times.
‘Wha’ you talkin’ ’bout, bro?’ Khali retorted, his accent as thick as his upper torso.
‘Don’t play that innocent bullshit with me! I’ve told you before to stop stealing my stuff. You can’t do any of it properly anyway because you’re the fuckin’ shits!’
Khali stared at him stoically and replied, ‘You’re the shits too, bro.’
That made me laugh in spite of the tension; I thought it was great that Khali didn’t deny he was the shits, but wanted to make it damn clear that he felt the same way about Show . . . bro.
That pushed Show over the edge and he threw Khali’s bag in the corner, which was the equivalent of slapping him across the face with a glove and challenging him to a duel. Khali accepted and rose to his feet as quickly as he could (which took about five seconds).
The two biggest men in WWE history stood face-to-face and I’m not sure either of them knew what to do. Show had spent some time training as a boxer, and Khali had been a police officer in India (can you imagine running through a stop sign and seeing that monster walking up to your window?), but I wasn’t sure how many actual street fights either one of them had been in. I mean, they were giants; whoever messed with them in the schoolyard? I guessed that, due to the intimidation factor alone, they had avoided fisticuffs for most of their lives.
But this was different. This wasn’t just about stealing spots, this was years and years of “Giant Heat” coming to a head. It was the law of the jungle and only the biggest beast would survive. Plus there was going to be a fight no matter what; they had gone too far to back down now and the boys were watching. Taker, Kane, Regal, Punk, everyone was gathered around now, and to pussy out at this stage would be locker-room respect suicide.
A few seconds later, Show threw the first punch, which connected with a loud smack to Khali’s overdeveloped jaw. It rocked him backward, but he didn’t go down and Khali landed a punch of his own. With the opening shots fired, the floodgates opened and the two titans began swinging like Tiger Williams. I counted at least five more smacks and cracks as the blows connected with each other’s faces, shoulders, necks, and chests.
I had a front-row seat for King Kong vs. Godzilla and they were in a fight to the death. Nobody in the locker room was too keen to break them up either, and besides, how could we? Their fists were as big as my head! If I tried to intervene, I was going to get swatted away like a biplane trying to shoot Kong off of the Empire State Building. And I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Cody Rhodes was hanging in the corner as far away from the melee as possible, and even though Kane had the size to intercede, he was wearing only a towel and I’m guessing he didn’t want to get involved in case it fell off and exposed his big red machine.
The battle raged on until finally Show took a wild swing and tripped over a chair, which caused him to crash onto the floor with Khali on top of him. The boys waded in at that point to pry them apart and the fight was over. The brawl was fairly even, but Show still insists he lost because Khali landed on top.
Now, if we were judging by the rules of a hockey fight, then yes, Show lost, but from where I was standing, it was an impressive back-and-forth scrap. Show might not have lost the battle, but he definitely lost the war when Vince made him apologize to Khali for throwing the first punch, during a closed-door meeting a few days later.
Show apparently told Khali that he was out of line and shouldn’t have swung first (although in the George Lucas rerelease, it was Khali who swung first) and that it wouldn’t happen again. Khali nodded his head and said, ‘No problem, bro.'”
Years later, The Great Khali gave his account of this infamous event in an interview with the website Youth Ki Awaaz.
Khali said many people cheered him on in that match. “The people were with me. Big Show was like – ‘Why? I am the white-skinned American here, so why is this audience with the Great Kha-li?’”
After the locker room bystanders broke up the fight, Great Khali said Big Show sat in a corner and silently wept. “He just cry! Look like a baby, matlab. Undertaker bhi serious, matlab! He’s just, ‘Fuck!’ He said, ‘Fuck! Idiot! Why! Why he try to hit! Why now he’s cry! This is fucked.’”
Strong words there from the ever so entertaining Punjabi Playboy. Hopefully, for The Big Show’s sake, that was the last time he ever saw The Great Khali steal one of his moves!
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