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Y’all Wanna Go Big?

Then say that!

Wrestling: WWE SummerSlam 2021 Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It still gives me chills every time I think about it. It was Monday night, September 13th 2021. A long haired blonde whose character is essentially “Spicoli - but if he was half stoner and half UFC badass who also enjoys puns, dad jokes and scooters” flashes his red Raw Tag Team Championship belt in the face of a cane-wielding, suit wearing CEO. Everyone in the arena and at home can see it’s a distraction.

Out of nowhere, a viper strikes, leaving the fast talking businessman flat on the mat, inches away from the rowdy fans that still can’t believe what they just saw. The arena behind them goes bananas. Absolutely bananas. It’s one of those pops you remember from when you were a kid. You know the one. Where you can actually see the hairs on your arm move directly in the air as the sound of glass shatters or a church gong echoes.

It’s all consuming. You can’t help but get absorbed in. After nearly three full hours of wrestling entertainment, it’s time for the BIG payoff.

After that same sneaky viper gets sacked and pinned, slow, heavy violin music starts to strum as Mike Rome begins to announce the winner of the match. The prototypical Vince McMahon monster/heel stands victorious in the middle of the squared circle. And bodies are everywhere. The monster flexes and glistens and raises his title over his head before deciding that he hasn’t had enough carnage for the night.

Unfortunately, that poor UFC version of Spicoli is locked in his crosshairs. Chaos ensues before his face is thrown at the ring post.

If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. This is not a man you want to mess with.

The music continues on as the fans begin to boo and get restless. Is this it? Is that all we’re getting tonight? BUT WE WANT TO GO BIG!


Suddenly, and without a minute to spare, new music hits. Another giant, kinder, happier, swaggier, skips out from behind the curtain carrying a green and yellow briefcase and wearing a teal singlet and a matching, glossy, sleeveless trench coat. The crowd intensifies. And screams. And cheers.

This is what they came to see. This is BIG.

The new giant slides into the ring and slaps his green briefcase until a WWE official takes it from his hands and announces that he wants to “cash in” his contract that guarantees him a title shot at any time, any where.

You don’t have to be a mark like me to know what happens from there:

“You deserve it!” clap clap clap clap clap

“You deserve it!” clap clap clap clap clap

“You deserve it!” clap clap clap clap clap

Look you all know me by now. Despite leaving and coming back, leaving and coming back and leaving and coming back again, the optimism that seeps deep in my veins is always there. And I 100% had to come back this time around because it’s honestly hard for me not to believe that we are currently in one of the greatest Falls in Iowa history.

Yeah, I said it.

Not only do we have the best women’s field hockey team on the planet, but a Top-5 football team that looks like they are ready to bring us all back to Indianapolis so we can raid their town of beer once again.

But that’s not all. No sir. There’s another Iowa-reign that is just beginning and it’s with your NEW, UNDISPUTED, WWE CHAMPION... BIG E!

Or, as he was better known as during his University of Iowa days, Ettore Ewen.

As a 33-year old jabroni that still doesn’t miss a single WWE show, I’m excited as all hell right now. How could I not be? There is a Hawkeye holding one of the most coveted championship belts in all of wrestling. Read that back again.


Honestly, what’s more Iowa than a former Hawkeye football player (who was under recruited out of Florida, yet caught the eye of none other than Phil Effing Parker on one of his recruiting trips after he saw Big E benching 315-pounds in sets of 10) turned pro-wrestler, turned champion after years and years of hard work, dedication, multiple storylines and gimmicks that didn’t work until they did?

What’s more Iowa than this?



That dude throwing Pancheros down his gullet in adulation like so many of us have, holds the same, historic, prestigious title that the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Bret Hart and many, many, many other legends have before.

Isn’t that insane?

Big E, a Hawkeye thru and thru (despite an injury laden football career, stayed on campus throughout it all) is living out all of our childhood dreams. I know I’ve asked this at least ten times by now but, isn’t that insane? Think about how many times you gave The Stunner to your cousin Greg. Think about how many times you did the Kurt Angle Ankle Lock to a buddy of yours randomly walking the hallways of your middle school. Think about all of those fake wrestling rings you built in your friend Tyler’s basement. Think about how many times you crowned yourself champion.

Hell, I’m sure some of you have pictures of you doing just that while wearing Iowa clothing!

Why are we not collectively standing on our desks thudding our chests and screaming “GIBBLE GOBBLE ONE OF US! GIBBLE GOBBLE ONE OF US!” until we can’t stand anymore?

How are we not talking about this every single minute of every single day. A Hawkeye is WWE CHAMPION! A HAWKEYE IS BECOMMING A LIVING LEGEND FOR SO MANY YOUNG HAWKEYES!

I know wrestling entertainment might not be what you come to BHGP for. And I understand why. A lot of us left Vince McMahon and his monopoly when Stone Cold Steve Austin hung up the knee braces and The Rock decided to hang around with Stifler and less with Mick Foley.

But what I also know is that now, more than ever before, is the time to think about tuning back in to one of your most beloved past times. And it’s all because of Big E. If you think I bring constant optimism in everything I write at The Pants, wait until you see what the “Power of Positivity” will do for you when Big E takes the mic and speaks directly to you.

I guarantee you that those childhood tingles will come screaming back.

It’s weird to say, but after following his career for so long, it’s hard not to think that anything is possible while watching him. And after the last few years stuck at home and dealing with so many uncertainties in our every day lives, it’s kind of nice to be able to look at a guy that walked the same streets I did, who eats the same food on campus, who never stopped giving 110% and never stopped dreaming BIG make it to the top of the mountain.

Can you feel the power? Because I can.