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Shaquille O’Neal’s Slam Dunk Into the World of Pro Wrestling
Watch Shaquille O’Neal Get Slammed Through a Table During AEW Wrestling Match:

Months after Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement from basketball in 2011, he would join TNT as an analyst for NBA games. In August 2020, Shaq would sign a multi-year extension on his WarnerMedia contract. During this announcement, Shaq teased showing up on the other programs TNT had, including an appearance for new wrestling company All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

AEW had debuted their weekly wrestling show “Dynamite” back in October 2019 on TNT. This seemed to finally be the place that Shaq could possibly wrestle. Shaq has stated that he is a lifelong wrestling fan, with his favorite wrestlers being Tony Atlas, Junkyard Dog, André the Giant, and Brock Lesnar.

Back in September 2020, Shaq visited the Nightmare Factory in Norcross, Georgia, where he trained with AEW wrestler Anthony Ogogo. Shaq said, “I’m the type that if I have a look and see you do it, I got it.”

Shaq would make his AEW debut by participating in a sit-down interview with Tony Schiavone and Brandi Rhodes. The interview would end with Shaq getting water thrown on him, after he told Rhodes to get pointers from Jade Cargill, who had broken Rhodes’ arm several weeks ago. Later, Rhodes would call Shaq an “overgrown asshole,” and that was enough, as he would challenge Brandi Rhodes’ husband Cody to a match in March, setting the stage for Shaq to wrestle his first match for AEW.

Later, it would be announced that Shaq would team up with Jade Cargill to take on Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet in an intergender tag team match on the March 3, 2021 episode of “Dynamite.” Velvet had been attacked by Cargill backstage on the December 9, 2020 episode of “Dynamite,” causing her to get involved in the storyline.

During an interview with the Associated Press, Shaq described his move set. “I’m not acrobatic. I’m not going to be jumping off the ropes. I’m coming with the power game. When I get hands on [Cody Rhodes], I’m going to display this power.”

“I’m not a professional wrestler, but I’ve been in a match before. I’ve got a lot of moves in my arsenal. When you step inside somebody’s world, you have to stick to what you’re masterful at.” – Shaquille O’Neal

During the match, Shaq and Cargill would dominate. Though Shaq would get some time in the ring, it was the Cargill and Velvet who were in the ring for most of the match. When Shaq was in the ring, he performed quite well. Highlights of the match included Shaq paying tribute to Brodie Lee, who passed away last December at the age of 41. Shaq performed Lee’s signature taunt and powerbomb. He would also be put through two tables towards the end of the match. Cargill would win the match for her team after pinning Velvet.

No plans have been made for Shaq to wrestle as of yet, but that could change. Fans could see Shaq take on newest AEW signee Paul Wight, who is better known as Big Show when he performed in WWE. Though Wight’s contract has him as a commentator for AEW’s show “AEW Dark: Elevation,” he also has the ability to wrestle.

Shaq and Wight do have history with each other. Back when Wight was in WWE, he got into a physical altercation with Shaq on the July 27, 2009 episode of “Raw.” Plans were for Shaq to wrestle Wight at WrestleMania 28 in 2012, but plans changed, with Wight challenging Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship instead. At WrestleMania 32 in 2016, Shaq would enter the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, getting into another confrontation with Wight. Both men would be eliminated by all of the competitors after a couple of minutes though.

At the 2016 Espy Awards in July, Shaq and Wight had another confrontation, where Shaq accepted a match at WrestleMania 33. In January 2017, the two would call each other out on social media, which included posting videos of the men working out in preparation for the match. However, the match would again be cancelled for some reason, with Wight performing the memorial battle royal again. Wight said that cancellation was due to scheduling reasons with Shaq. Meanwhile, Shaq would say that it was WWE’s fault.

Now that both men are signed with AEW, it could be any moment now that they could reignite their rivalry and wrestle each other. Due to the history that both men have, their match would be one for the ages.

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Shaquille O’Neal’s Slam Dunk Into the World of Pro Wrestling