The Big Show Takes Care of a Heckling Fan, Lands Himself in Court

In 1998, The Big Show (then known as The Giant) found himself being heckled by a fan at a Marriott Hotel bar in Uniondale, New York. The incidents that followed ended up landing him in court.

The time The Big Show used the WMD on a heckler and got charged with third-degree assault as a result.
The time The Big Show used the WMD on a heckler and got charged with third-degree assault as a result.

In this day and age, we live in a very social media-heavy world, and you most likely would have seen by now through the eyes of social media that there is an unfortunate number of pessimistic people who will pick on those in the limelight and personally attack them from behind the keyboard.

With that in mind, imagine if someone tried that nonsense in the real world, right to a wrestler’s face. Imagine even further that this happened not just to any wrestler but also to “The World’s Largest Athlete,” The Big Show! Not too bright, right?

The Night The Big Show Took Care of a Heckling Fan

The incident took place at The Marriott Hotel, where the wrestlers would stay after performing at The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. A witness at the hotel bar helped paint a picture of what happened, sharing what heckler Robert Sawyer said to The Big Show. Comments like, “You’re so tough, you’re not that big. Go to another federation!” were just a few of the diatribes flying out of Sawyer’s mouth.

It wasn’t solely verbal, however. Sawyer tried (let’s put a huge emphasis on tried) to get physical with The Big Show, too, by shoving him in the chest.

YouTube channel CaughtOnTapeTV has the surveillance footage, and the reporter on the story explains:

“Paul Wight [The Big Show] is a 7-foot, 420-pound pro wrestler. They call him ‘The Giant.’ Last June [1998], after a wrestling match at Nassau Coliseum, The Giant went to check-in at the Marriott Hotel next door. What happened next was caught on the hotel surveillance tape.

Thirty-year-old Robert Sawyer, 6’6” and 220 pounds, approached The Giant, who waved him off at first. Next, witnesses say Sawyer started gesturing and insulting The Giant to the hundred or so fans gathered there.

But when Sawyer made an obscene gesture [believed to have been the DX crotch chop], The Giant asked him to stop. Next, The Giant and some witnesses claim Sawyer pushed The Giant in his chest.”

Big Show was interviewed in the following days.

“I asked him very politely to stop doing all the cursing and stuff… And then he got up in my face.”

His reaction to being shoved, “Self-defense. I mean, it looks crazy coming from somebody as big as me, but it startled me, it did.”

The reporter finishes off with, “This punch broke Sawyer’s jaw and landed The Giant in Nassau Criminal Court on charges of third-degree assault.”

The court sided with the wrestler here, and the charges were dropped. A couple of young fans who attended the court hearing offered these words of support for The Big Show:

“You’re not supposed to treat him like that.”

“He was defending himself.”

If there ever was a way to shut a loudmouth up, The Big Show demonstrated how!

WATCH: A News Report on the Incident Which Landed The Big Show in Court

YouTube video

These stories may also interest you:

Can’t get enough pro wrestling history in your life? Sign up to unlock ten pro wrestling stories curated uniquely for YOU, plus subscriber-exclusive content. A special gift from us awaits after signing up!

Want More? Choose another story!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram, Threads, YouTube, TikTok, and Flipboard!
Pro Wrestling Stories is committed to accurate, unbiased wrestling content rigorously fact-checked and verified by our team of researchers and editors. Any inaccuracies are quickly corrected, with updates timestamped in the article's byline header.
Got a correction, tip, or story idea for Pro Wrestling Stories? Contact us! Learn about our editorial standards here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us provide free content for you to enjoy!

Braeden Farrell is a senior writer for Pro Wrestling Stories. He is a long-time fan of wrestling based out of Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached on Twitter @braedenfazza.