On 07-Jul-2017 In Sports
Wrestling is one of the most fascinating avenues of sports entertainment genre. Why is it ‘sports entertainment’? Because this is the one field in sports where necessarily having an impressive CV in amateur wrestling or martial arts is not enough to win you success. In an industry, which is by large a monopoly, thanks to the McMahon family, who have made ‘wrestling’ a household matter via their family business, the other perquisites are also having impressive mic skill and also an on-screen avatar that grabs attention. The ones who can provide an amalgamation of all of these three qualities are usually the ones who are promoted by their respective brands.To this effect, promoting a giant in wrestling might sound easy, but it is harder said than done. Time tested results show that the best wrestlers aren’t the best talkers on mic. And some have even more lacklustre on-screen personas.
However, there have been giants who have busted the myth that it takes someone with flexibility and charisma like Ric Flair to make it big in wrestling. Be it Andre the Giant or the Big Show, WWF/WWE has given us some of the most entertaining, lovable but fierce monsters in the ring who loom over 7 feet tall. Let us meet the top 10 giants of wrestling who shame Goliath in physique and in-ring ability:
When the Great Khali debuted, the WWE realized how big their market is from India. They are emulating the same now with Jinder Mahal, but Khali was the trend-setter. Stereotypes are often used to boost a character’s identity. It was no different for Khali. He feuded and won against the likes of Kane and Undertaker and even debuted the ‘Punjabi Prison Match’ stipulation against former champion Dave ’Batista’ Bautista. He is 7’1".
No strongest and largest of all time list will be complete without the inclusion of Paul ‘Big Show’ Wight. Touted to be a friendly giant, with a big heart and can-do attitude to help anyone, on the outside, Big Show has been malevolent and gargantuan foe in the ring! He has feuded with every big name in the industry. The legend still wrestles but assumes a more supportive role helping new talent get ‘over’ with the crowd. He is 7 feet tall.
The forefather of giant wrestlers in the WWE, is hands down this man. Andre the Giant is most revered for his successful runs against legends like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. The domineering man who was equally strong has had a 30-man memorial trophy, Battle Royal, held in his honor at the annual Wrestlemania event. He was 7’4".
Ron Reis was a man who was poorly utilized by the wrestling industry, given his size and frame. The man – known under the ring names The Yeti and Reese - was agile for someone his size, in the ring; something which is only a nascent trait that the old names like Big Show have been able to commit after leaning down. He went by several unremarkable in-ring names and given his towering frame, was mostly an enforcer for some champion’s stable or the other. He stands at 7’2".
Giant Silva only performed for a short while in WWE. He was a part of a stable called the Oddities. His tenure would go largely underutilized as he is not remembered much by the franchise these days, compared to his contemporaries. He went on to leave WWE and move to Japan where he dabbled in mixed martial arts. The Giant towers at 7’2".
Kurt Zehe is probably the only member on the list who majority of our readers may have never seen live. Formerly a soldier in Kustrin, Zehe after his release and capture by the Soviet army in the 40's, went on to become a professional wrestler.Zehe also had a sting at a slaughterhouse and several movie roles after his rise to popularity. He was 7’1".
He is the most nascent and trending ‘Monster among Men’ - as his moniker goes in the WWE. His real name is Adam Joseph Scherr. The up and coming rookie has caused quite a stir usurping the vacancies so far filled by heavyweights in the business and leaving kayfabe destruction in his wake.Clocking in at 6’8", Strowman makes up for lacking a few inches in height than the others on the list with his in-ring agility and overnight popularity.
A hit and miss from the city of Lahore, Raja Lion was a farce. The main reason he is even on this list is because of his height. Despite the fact that he is a giant, the audience dug in the highly stereotypical attire of curly-toed shoes and a cyan colored satin pyjama he wore. Though Raja Lion’s wrestling debut was a debacle, the man still got roles in obscure movies for his towering frame of 7’2".
Big Show’s contemporary and one of the most revered names in wrestling, Kane debuted right before the Millennium, tearing of the door of a cage to confront his kayfabe brother, the Undertaker. No introduction to this supernatural- themed, behemoth athlete can be complete without mentioning that debut!The Big Red Monster probably holds more titles than anyone on this list and still wrestles to this day, while tutoring giants like Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman in the development center.The 7 feet tall part-time actor also has an insurance firm and lectures on Economics when he is not stuffing opponents into ambulances or burying them alive or setting them on fire for that matter.
Known to the previous avatars of the WWE as Giant Gonzalez and El Gigante, Jorge Gonzalez had started out as a basketball player at first. The Argentinian athlete wore a full body suit with airbrushed body hair and lean muscle. He also grew a scruffy beard to go with the image as he feuded with some the big names of the early 90's and late 90's. However, a lackluster run with no memorable victories ended the 8 ft tall, underutilized giant’s tenure.