All-Elite Wrestling (AEW) has been known to pull off all the stops by adding big names to the regular roster or inviting some big names in the celebrity world. The promotion has a pay-per-view coming in March and it appears retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal will be part of that event.

Initially, the 48-year-old was ruled out the possibility of him to wrestle. But it appears there has been a change of plans – if not something that was part of their script involving Cody Rhodes.

It all started when O’Neal appeared in an AEW interview that involved Brandi, Cody Rhodes’ better half. Brandi did not like the response of the former NBA player when O’Neal said that she should get some pointers from Jade Cargill. Cargill broke Brandi’s arm several weeks ago.

In response to O’Neal, Brandi threw water at the former NBA center. From there, it appeared to be the perfect setup to stage an AEW match. “The Diesel” issued a challenge during the AEW Awards via the Bleacher Report live app to a fight in March. It was not mentioned if this would be via regular show or the PPV set for Mar. 7.

With O’Neal firing back, it would only be a matter of time before Rhodes would respond. His initial reply was through Twitter, gloating that he could easily defeat the monstrous 7-foot-1 former cager if they were to meet in a wrestling match.


“The American Nightmare” would address O’Neal again on Dynamite. It appears that a more sensible match would be an intergender tag match. Brandi would have been perfect but is unable to compete since she is pregnant. Volunteering to take her place was Red Velvet which somehow sets the stage.

While the match pitting Rhodes and Red Velvet against O’Neal and Cargill makes sense, nothing has been made official for now. Looking at the series of events, an official announcement of that clash should be made soon.

For O’Neal, it would mark only the second time he would officially wrestle. The first came in 2016 when he took part in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 32. It took multiple wrestlers to eliminate him at the time.

The other closest thing to wrestling the four-time NBA champion got was facing the Big Show. That never flew wish money and scheduling issues reportedly preventing the colossal showdown from happening.