INDIANAPOLIS—Saying they were left with no other choice given the imminent peril of the situation, World Wrestling Entertainment officials confirmed they were forced to kill one of their own stars Friday when a 7-year-old boy wandered into the steel cage enclosure of an aggressive wrestler.
Beloved two-time WWE champion Big Show was reportedly shot dead after the emergency response team at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum made a split-second decision to take out the nearly 400-pound dominant male wrestler, who is said to have appeared aggravated and hostile, causing those present to fear for the small child’s safety.
“Last night, after determining he posed a clear threat to a young boy who had entered the steel cage, we chose to end the life of one of our wrestlers,” said WWE spokesperson Chris Bellitti, who added that the security guards who opened fire had followed protocol, assessing the body language and vocalizations of the 45-year-old wrestler to evaluate the danger he presented. “It is a tragedy anytime something like this happens, but luckily we can say a child is alive today thanks to the swift and appropriate measures taken by our WWE staff.”
“While lethal force is always a last resort, the reality is that we were dealing with a very large adult—one of our strongest males,” Bellitti continued. “A tranquilizer could have taken five, even 10, minutes to bring down a wrestler that size, and it likely would have made him even angrier in the meantime. We simply couldn’t risk waiting any longer to act.”
Though a popular attraction for WWE since his arrival in 1999, the 7-foot, 383-pound Big Show reportedly angered easily and had a history of violent outbursts, often acting belligerently toward other wrestlers to intimidate them and, at times, even confronting officials who entered the ring with him. The wrestler is known to have exhibited erratic behavior on numerous occasions, including several altercations in which individuals required medical attention.
Despite his reputation, WWE representatives insisted the wrestler would never intentionally hurt a child, though they acknowledged he likely interpreted the shouts and flashing cameras of onlookers as a threat, which would have increased the likelihood of a deadly tantrum.
The boy’s mother, Lynn Marshall, who said she and her family had enjoyed going to see the WWE’s wrestlers for years, held back tears as she recalled seeing her defenseless son face-to-face in the steel cage with a hulking behemoth ten times his size.
“I turned my back for a second, and the next thing I knew my son was down there with that huge wrestler,” she said. “I screamed and ran toward the ring as fast as I could, just shouting and shouting for help. The wrestler was stomping around and pumping his fists, and I was completely terrified of what he might do next.”
“When it looked like he was getting ready to pick up my boy and slam him on the canvas, I completely lost it,” she added.
It was at that moment, sources said, that the wrestler was brought down with multiple rifle shots to the head and heart.
Some witnesses blamed Big Show’s death on the boy’s mother, calling her negligent for not keeping a better eye on her child while in such close proximity to dangerous wrestlers. Others reportedly criticized the facility for not having more physical barriers and stronger safety measures to prevent children from coming into contact with a wrestler as powerful and unpredictable as Big Show in the first place.
According to reports, protests soon began outside the arena where the wrestler was fatally shot. Many argued that WWE was at fault, having fostered violent behavior in Big Show and countless other wrestlers by confining them to cramped steel cages—which rarely exceed an area of 20 square feet—and allowing crowds to gawk at them for hours on end.
“An innocent wrestler has paid the ultimate price for a mistake made by someone else,” said Sam Carter, a 25-year-old protester who objected to what he called WWE’s inhumane activities. “When you look at everything these wrestlers are subjected to, it clearly amounts to cruelty. We must put an end to this immoral practice before another Big Show dies.”