When news broke that the man formerly known to the WWE Universe as Big Show, real name Paul Wight, was included in a report on PED use alongside fellow Hall of Fame caliber athletes like Alex Rodriguez, it turned heads around the professional wrestling world.
While Wight hasn't worked for WWE in years now and has only wrestled four matches since joining AEW in 2022, the news served as a pretty big reminder of what wrestlers once and still likely do in order to perform and look like the top-tier athletes they strive to be, even if the practice remains largely illegal and is looked down on for obvious reasons.
And to make matters worse for Nick Khan, Vince McMahon, and company, one of WWE's former Superstars, Maven, decided to share a video on his very popular YouTube account to share some insight into his own steroid use from his time in the promotion; a decision he chose to do but came from a desire to keep his dream alive in the biggest wrestling show on the road.
“It was all out of my pocket, and at the end of the day, it was 100% my decision,” Maven said via Fightful.
“It's not something that most guys would freely discuss with other guys now. You could ask somebody maybe, ‘Hey, what are you on?' Actually, anytime I was asked, somebody looked at me and asked, ‘Hey, what are you on?' I took that as a compliment, man. That was a point of pride because that told me that I was getting the results I was looking for. Anything I did, I did in the comfort of my own home, and I just sort of find myself, and I never saw anyone backstage holding on to it or injecting themselves in any way.”
Yikes, that certainly doesn't look good on WWE, does it? Yes, Maven said he did it out of his own accord and did it out of his own pocket, but as he continued on, it certainly sounded like looking like a hundred grand was an incredibly important part of making that hundred grand contract.
Maven reveals how his steroid use affected his WWE career.
Discussing his time in the WWE Universe a little longer with an eye on how his steroid usage impacted his time in the company, Maven noted that he recalled a few of his co-workers being fired for using PEDs, but it didn't prevent him doing it anyway, as when he looked better and performed better, he was able to get better opportunities.
“Never was I ever led to believe that I was that my job was in jeopardy in any way. I do remember, you know, a few guys being released, you know, for performance-enhancing drugs. My understanding of it was that that was just WWE's way at the time to let them go. Me personally, I do feel like when I looked like this, I got more opportunities to be on WWE television at the time. Can I prove that? No, I wouldn't. I also know what the culture was like back then. I'm actually extremely happy to know that wrestling, not only in the WWE but wrestling as a whole, has moved in a different direction,” Maven noted.
“I'm not saying I would have made any different decisions. I know me, I wouldn't have. There's a good chance that that that stuff like this is gonna go to harm me moving forward. Hey, that's the that's the hand I was dealt. That's the hand, more importantly, I dealt myself. I accept the repercussions of my actions.”
Now, as Maven pointed out in other episodes of his YouTube channel, he didn't exactly make millions of dollars as a member of the WWE Universe, as he surmises that his career earnings topped out around $800,000 for his time in the promotion from 2001-05. He worked plenty of matches, appeared on double-digit Pay-Per-Views, and even won the WWF Hardcore Championship on three occasions, sure, but his in-ring efforts never quite reached the biggest stars of his era; stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Undertaker, or even John Cena, who was already a four-time Champion by 2005. If Maven felt that taking steroids could be the difference between surviving another year and being released, maybe that was his decision and his alone, with the rest of the WWE Universe opting to keep things on the straight and narrow, but if that was his mindset, maybe others had similar feelings too, with even stars as big – literally – as Big Show being linked to the idea too.