Wrestler “Big Show” Paul Randall Wight Jr. Shot and Killed in Ring-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

WWE wrestler “Big Show” Paul Randal Wight Jr. was shot and killed during in a steel cage match in June 2017.

The Truth:

A well-known satirical website is behind false reports that “Big Show” Paul Randal Wight Jr. was shot and killed in the during during a steel cage match held in Indianapolis in June 2017.

The report, which appeared at The Onion on June 16, 2017, under the headline “WWE Staff Forced To Shoot Aggressive Wrestler After Child Climbs Into Steel Cage,” begins:

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.

Although The Onion is among the most well-known satirical publications around, word that Big Show had been shot and killed in the ring led many wrestling who weren’t privy to the original report to assume the worst.

Big Show Shot and Killed
Taken out of context, wrestling fans believed reports that Big Show as shot and killed in the ring were true.

The Onion story appears to parody the infamous case of Harambe, the 400-pound gorilla that was shot and killed at a zoo in Cincinnati after a child wandered into his enclosure in 2016. Harambe’s death led to an outpouring of anger on social media — and it later came to represent the fickle nature of online outrage that leaves people passionately protesting an issue one day, and completely forgetting all about it the next.

So, in the end, Big Show was not shot and killed in the ring. That rumor started as a work of satire and was later mistaken for a factual report by wrestling fans.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 06/19/2017