WWE News WWE NEWS: Big Show & WWE sued by backstage TV producer
Apr 11, 2013 - 12:58:45 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE wrestler Big Show (Paul Wight) and WWE are being sued by a former backstage TV producer following an alleged incident at the Royal Rumble PPV in Phoenix on January 27, according to a filing by Courthouse News Service.
The alleged incident occurred after Show's scripted Last Man Standing loss to World Hvt. champion Alberto Del Rio. The former TV producer, Andrew Green, claims that he was ordered to get an interview with Wight after his character lost to Del Rio, which turned violent.
Green, who filed the suit in Maricopa County Court (Phoenix), continued in the suit that Wight initially refused to do the interview. Green then told him that (now-departed) WWE Creative executive Eric Pankowski requested the interview to play up Big Show's anger over losing to Del Rio.
Green's complaint alleges: "Big Show toward Green enraged, shouting obscenities, and waving his fist in Green's face. Big Show then grabbed Green by the collar and throat, striking Green in the face and backing him up against a trunk while declaring 'You son of a bitch ... Are you having fun right now ... Don't even come up to me again ... I don't give a s--- who you are.'"
The attack was taped, but Green claims that Wight asked him to redo the interview, where he would simply walk away. Green re-shot the interview, but WWE executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque requested a third shoot, re-capturing the emotion of the original shoot.
"Triple H asked Big Show to muster the same emotional level for the third interview as he had with the original shoot, that being the attack," claims Green. "In response, Big Show said that he did not think he would be able to do that because his emotions in the original shoot had been real."
Wight's "real emotions" becoming "threatening" is the basis of the lawsuit. Green claims that Pankowski called for the first interview to be published, which appeared on WWE's website until January 29. (It is no longer on WWE's website.)
Green claims that he was unable to continue working after Jan. 29 because "he was uncomfortable working around Big Show and the other wrestlers, nervous, and had 'a ton of anxiety' as a result of the attack."
Green's suit against WWE is based on his belief that WWE "encouraged its wrestlers, including Big Show, to act in a violent and threatening manner both inside and outside of the wrestling ring relative to their appearances and participation in staged wrestling events as a means of entertainment."
Green and his wife are seeking damages for assault and negligence.
It's worth noting that Wight said in a radio interview on April 1 that he is no longer allowed to put his hands around people outside of the wrestling ring.
“WWE Superstars are not allowed to grab anyone by the neck, simulate chokeholds, or picking up,” Show said in his "legal voice" during a D.C. radio interview on April 1. This was based on the hosts wanting to do a chokeslam bit during the show. Show added, “I’ve gotten enough letters from our legal department, I don’t pick anybody up any more or fake Chokeslam."
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