Paul Wight Was 'Super Frustrated' By Face/Heel Switches During WWE Run
Wight's constant turning became a point of fun with wrestling fans
Throughout his career, Paul Wight has become synonymous with switching between a heel and face role on a whim, especially during his time in WWE as Big Show.
Now, Wight has revealed what he thought of all those switches, telling Inside The Ropes’ Kenny McIntosh:
“Oh, I think it’s super frustrating. One of the things that turning did is made it hard for me to develop a consistent identity, you know, to sell merch. Merchandise is a huge part of our industry and you either have to have a solid run as a really dominant heel where people want to buy your stuff because you’re the antihero and they like it, or you need to have a solid run as a babyface where they love your stuff and everybody wants to buy it. When you’re flip-flopping, a lot of times you’re p****** people off - you’re constantly dividing your audience.
“On one hand, it’s a nod to your ability to work in the ring, to be able to switch gears, and sometimes people have problems shifting gears between heel and babyface. So, yes, it showed that I was able to do well in any situation that I was put in character-wise, but at the same time, it was tough for the brand. It was tough for building that consistency where I could sell T-shirts.”
Speaking specifically on his merch selling abilities, Wight revealed he was pleasantly surprised by how many tees he’d sold early in his WWE career, until he found out how many the Rock and Steve Austing had sold: “I remember one night we were in Anaheim when I first got to WWE and I asked Jimmy Miranda, ‘How many shirts did I sell?’ He said ‘You had a good night. You sold about 600 shirts.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, that’s cool. I sold 600 shirts.’ There was 20,000 people there, I sold 600, that’s a good start. And I walked away about ten steps and I turned around and asked him, ‘Well, how many did The Rock sell?’ He said, ‘Well, The Rock sold about 10,000.’ I said, ‘How many did Stone Cold sell!?’ He said, ‘Stone Cold sold about 10,000 as well.’ So out of 20,000 people, almost everyone bought a Rock or a Stone Cold shirt. I never asked how many shirts I sold again!
“I used to say all the time that heels sold tickets and babyfaces sold merch. That was just one of those things that I realised during my career in the situation I was put in, that wasn’t going to be a main income stream for me.”