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Riot Act- Requiem for a Song, May 6, 2002
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Oct 2 2002, 08:59 AM
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Requiem For A Song

Last week was truly one of the most tragic in recent memory for popular music. First Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains, was found dead of an apparent overdose in his Seattle apartment. For fans of Alice in Chains, which I am not, this was no doubt tragic and heart-breaking news. Staley had long suffered with a terrible heroin addiction and it was more or less inevitable that he would succumb to it eventually, but his demise must have put a tremendous damper on the week for people who aren't me.

Then, it was learned that Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez had died in a car accident in Honduras. Whether or not vision impairment due to condom glasses played a part in the wreck is unknown at this time, but certainly TLC fans worldwide must have been devastated. A talented singer, and brilliant arsonist, was taken from us far too young.

Another musical tragedy occurred this week, as well. There were no headlines to mourn this passing; no candlelight vigils, no MTV specials, no full-page articles in USA Today. Most people probably didn't even realize it had happened. But for those who had grown to admire the unique charm of this song, it was perhaps the most tragic passing of all. On Monday, April 22nd, 2002, The Big Show's "Big" was sadly laid to rest for at least the next few weeks.

Since making its debut in 1999, "Big" has become one of the most beloved themes in WWF history. While many initially pegged it as a lame-ass Jim Johnston-ized attempt at Southern rock, most wrestling fans have since discovered it for what it is: Perhaps the most effective beacon of things to come in the history of entrance music. Like the Pavlovian dogs that we are, we take the gruff-voiced bellow of "WEEeeelll....well, it's the Big Show" as our cue that it is now safe to urinate, make a sandwich, have a cigarette, or what have you. And to be able to do all of this safe in the knowledge that we won't be missing anything worth seeing? Well, that's nothing short of a godsend.

The Big Show's defection to the ranks of the nWo marks the end of a remarkable era in WWF entrance music history; one that lasted nearly four years, interrupted only by an ill-advised hip hop remix in 2000. He will now be accompanied to the ring by the equally legendary nWo "porn" theme, which is not nearly as reliable as "Big." Wrestling fans the world over will be faced with a difficult decision: Do you actually sit through a Big Show match or do you partake in your normal Big Show-related ritual and risk missing something significant? The next several weeks should be very telling in this regard.

So, farewell for now, "Big." Sure, I'll miss my Big Show match routine as much as anyone--God knows what I'm going to do with all that morphine--but I'll miss the song that inspired it, too. Granted, it ran about three minutes and ten seconds too long for the basic message it conveyed: Well, it's the Big Show. And yeah, the barely audible guitar solo that runs through the whole song makes it sound like it's infested by noisy insects.

And sure, the song sucked almost beyond comparison. But in its wake, I feel like part of my youth has been taken from me. I was a wee boy of 15 when I first heard "Big" and it had an impact on me somewhat akin to the impact Stephen Regal's "Real Man's Man" had had almost a year prior. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I was proud to be a wrestling fan. That's gone now; a victim of the WWF's relentless, futile insistence on getting this talentless slug over. But the memory will remain with me always. Well, it's the Big Show. Well, it's the Big Show indeed.

-Danny Gregory
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