Everyone is talking about the Big Show's "show stealing" performance last weekend on "Saturday Night Live." Whether or not you like the Show and his antics in the World Wrestling Federation, you've got to admit that he was naturally funny and proved that he can entertain with the best of 'em in the few minutes he appeared on "SNL." Some have even said that, even though he was only on briefly, the Show's "SNL" scenes were the most memorable of the entire 90 minutes.
The Big Show's scene-stealing performance got me thinking about some other times recently when someone other than the main attraction "stole the show."
In the world of sports-entertainment, the most obvious show-stealers that come to mind -- in recent months at least -- are the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian. The foursome's Ladder Match made October 1999's No Mercy one of the best Pay-Per-Views of the year. Before the match, which was the finals of a best-of-five series, some fans were even bellyaching that the four superstars had battled in too many matches lately. And their match was anything but the main event on the card (which was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H). Obviously, there weren't high expectations heading into this match, but Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Edge and Christian put on a performance that fans are still talking about today. Any future success these four men have -- and from the looks of things, there will be a ton -- can be traced back to that autumn night in Cleveland. It not only stole the show, but you can say it stole the whole year, as the match won Match of the Year honors all around, including in WWF.com's own Attitude99.com poll.
Another show stealing performance -- one that was even briefer than the Big Show's on "SNL" -- was Pete Rose's surprise appearance at WrestleMania XV. It summed up what is spectacular about WrestleMania -- the pageantry, the celebrities, the surprises. It was a special treat for those fans who had been watching since WrestleMania XIV and beforehand, because they all "got it." Rose had been Tombstoned by Kane at the previous year's Mania and he stormed back at WrestleMania XV -- in the Famous Chicken costume, no less -- to get his revenge on the Big Red Machine, attacking the 7-foot monster from behind. Rose's punches had no effect on Kane, and within seconds he was Tombstoned for a second straight year. Also within seconds, he stole the show. Will there be a "Three-Pete"?
I know I've harped on this for months, and eventually I'll get over it, but Vince McMahon's Fully Loaded 1998 cameo appearance was another show-stealer. The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin were scheduled to team up in the main event and battle Kane and Mankind for the Tag Team Championship. Seconds ticked away before the main event, but the Undertaker was no where to be found. McMahon and his stooges came to the ring, and in a brilliant scheme to screw the Rattlesnake, introduced Austin's new partner "in the event that the Undertaker does not show up" … the Brooklyn Brawler! Just thinking about that, 20 months after the fact, still makes me laugh. Vince, sir, you stole the show.
But sports entertainment isn't the only field where performers steal the show. I've watched a few movies lately with scene-stealing performers. Recently I saw "The Whole Nine Yards," and a young actress named Amanda Peet, with her incredible vibrancy and smile, was the person that everyone was thinking about afterwards. The other night at my local video store, I rented "American Pie," a movie featuring not one, but two scene-stealers. Seann William Scott (playing "Steve Stifler") was the highlight of every scene he was in. An otherwise unfunny line, delivered by him, would be hilarious. Also, with just two lines near the end of the movie, Alyson Hannigan as band geek Michelle stole the whole damn show.
For a guy like me, who always roots for the underdog, it's refreshing when a performer gets an unexpected opportunity to shine. Saturday night was supposed to be The Rock's night -- and it was. But for a guy like the Big Show, who some say still needs to find his real niche in the Federation, "Saturday Night Live" could prove to be even more beneficial to his career.