Those asked to describe a professional wrestler off the top of their head will likely find themselves uttering words like “big” and “strong”, with the occasional “spandex” thrown in for good measure. It’s true, the WWE likes their wrestlers to fit a certain mold. Usually, those hoping to become a professional wrestler will need to fit those adjectives. They’ll need to look good with their shirt off, as well as be physically fit enough to perform some of the most complicated wrestling moves known to man.
Some wrestlers throughout history have broken the mold though. Some are skinnier than you would have guessed, yet have found success regardless of their lack of size. Others come in at the opposite end of the spectrum. These wrestlers are typically billed as giants of some sort. They tower over their opponents and exhibit great feats of strength, yet don’t necessarily appear to be the most physically fit.
While wrestlers come in all shapes and sizes, the particularly large ones seem to be more eye-popping. Over the years that the WWE has been in business, many wrestling behemoths have come and gone. Some have stuck around, cementing their status as legends. Others have simply faded away from the collective consciousness of the wrestling world. But no matter their lasting legacy, these wrestlers shook the mat every time they stepped into the ring. Here are ten of the largest wrestlers in WWE history:
10. Bam Bam Bigelow
At 6’4” and 390 pounds, Bam Bam Bigelow checks in at number ten on our list. It literally only goes up from here. Bigelow was no wrestler to blink at either; he was extraordinarily quick for his rather large size. In fact, he was frequently able to pull off technical moves like the moonsault from the top rope!
A wrestler perhaps best known for his time in the WCW, he moved into the WWE when his original league was merged. Bigelow was also known to stick true to his roots. He was from Asbury Park, New Jersey and even named his signature move after his hometown. After a few years in the WWE, he left to crack heads together in the NWA in Japan before eventually returning to the league.
Kurrgan was an essential element of the Oddities, a group of wrestlers that the league began pushing in the Attitude era of the 1990s. Every member of the group was a “freak” of some sort, and they were all especially large wrestlers. Kurrgan was perhaps the largest of them all though.
In terms of poundage, he actually weighs less than Bigelow. It’s his freakish height (7’ 1”) that makes up for this fact. When considering he wasn’t skinny by any means (350 pounds), you have to admit this was one wrestler you sure wouldn’t want to have to try to throw around in the ring. His career was rather short-lived though, and his storyline didn’t garner much attention. Fun fact: he then went on to find acting gigs as gargantuan characters in movies like 300.
The “Mastodon” surely earned his moniker throughout his career. He first began by destroying a WWE Hall of Famer while wrestling in Japan, causing the local fans to break out in pandemonium. It was the same sense of pandemonium that he would bring to each and every one of his matches in the future. Over the years, he’s taken down other legends like Ric Flair and the Undertaker.
Imagine this: a brute of a man weighing in at over 450 pounds climbing up to the top rope in preparation for a backflip slam. That, in essence, is what lands Vader at our number four spot on the list of largest wrestlers. Sure, some wrestlers may have weighed more, others may have been taller (Vader was only 6’ 5”), but his wrestling ability for a man of that size was utterly astounding.
7. The Great Khali
It’s a rare sight to see someone looking Khali in the eye, simply because not many people can stand tall enough. Khali is one of the most famous big men in the WWE’s storied history, and certainly one wrestler that quickly comes to mind when discussing the largest wrestlers of the WWE. Unfortunately for him, this list isn’t determined by fame, but by added consideration of height and weight. Still, number seven isn’t too shabby.
Khali stands at 7’ 1” and 347 pounds, putting him in the same category as the likes of Kurrgan or Bam Bam Bigelow. Unlike those two, he carved out a substantially more successful career in the WWE. He was the victor of a 20-man Battle Royal, winning the World Heavyweight Champion as a result. All his wrestling efforts have even earned him the title of national hero in his home country of India!
6. The Big Show
Yet another famous wrestler of the modern era who easily comes to mind when determining this list. Big Show is another product of the WCW who the WWE nabbed during the merging years. Immediately, it was clear he’d make his mark on the league, and continues to do so to this day.
His height and weight stats come in at 7 feet tall and 441 pounds, giving him the edge over the Great Khali in this list due to his hefty frame. By the time he was brought to the league, he’d already been a champion. He won the WCW Championship twice, and went on to win the WWE and the ECW Championships as well. This made him the first wrestler to ever win all three belts. He’s a proven competitor and a surefire hall-of-famer whenever he decides to hang up…err the sweaty latex wrestling singlet.
Now we are truly getting into the upper echelons of massive WWE superstars, though we are talking about “large” in a different sense of the word. Prior members of this list have been specimens of astounding height. While Yokozuna doesn’t necessarily fit into the tall category, he certainly deserves this place on the list in other ways. Yokozuna played to the Japanese crowd, paying homage to his sumo wrestling background whenever he participated in a match. Keeping with sumo tradition, Yokozuna packed a rather bulky frame.
His weight was a large driving force behind his success, and whenever he unleashed his Banzai Drop, “Banzai” was often the last words uttered before the match was ended. Yokozuna stood at 6’ 4” tall, making his 589 pounds even more drastic. All that weight packed into a relatively shorter stature made him a nearly unstoppable force whenever he had his eyes set upon his next victim.
4. Giant Gonzalez
Gonzalez is the wrestler who most accurately depicted the role of the giant that the league so loves to push on the fans. He literally wore a skin-tight body suit designed to make him look like a naked, hairy giant straight out of the Greek mythology stories. We have to admit, the effect of it all was rather shocking.
Gonzalez stood at an incredible 8 feet tall! When he stepped into the ring, his shadow would stretch across the stands, and the wrestlers opposite him would cower in fear. His height only amplified his enormous frame, as he also weighed in at over 450 pounds! All this combined to make the perfect wrestling specimen. His most famous accomplishments were taking on multiple wrestlers at the same time, and nearly ending the Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak.
3. Haystacks Calhoun
These next two wrestlers on our list seem to go hand in hand. In fact, they were often billed together largely due to their incredible size. Throughout the “Kayfabe Era” of the 1950s and 1960s, professional wrestling was a fledgling industry in comparison to today’s league. The sport heavily leaned on gimmicks to keep fan interest, and one of those gimmicks was, well, heavy people.
Enter Haystacks Calhoun. Nobody who glanced at Calhoun would label this man a wrestler. What they would have seen was a 6’ 4” man sporting over 640 pounds of body weight. He frequently wore overalls and a horseshoe necklace, playing up his farmer-like Haystacks persona. He participated in several events with the next wrestler on our list, and even contributed to the career of Bruno Sammartino, who was the only wrestler to lift Calhoun off his feet.
2. Happy Humphrey
Humphrey and Calhoun famously competed in several events at Madison Square Gardens throughout their professional wrestling careers. The matches were indeed a spectacle, as both men sported almost unfathomable frames, yet were able to wrestle rather competently.
Humphrey’s weight reportedly peaked at around 900 pounds, yet fluctuated wildly throughout his career. He was billed as the world’s largest wrestler throughout the 1950s, and anybody who witnessed him would be hard pressed to argue the fact. His matches against Calhoun typically ended in losses, as Calhoun was more agile and weighed over a hundred pounds less. Calhoun is quoted as saying Humphrey was a “fat 700 pounds” and that he could “[slam] him easier than the average-size fellow.”
1. Andre the Giant
Come on now, don’t act surprised! How could Andre the Giant not be at the very top of the list? He made his very living off of the fact that he was in fact a gargantuan. Since his passing, his legacy has only grown, and fans and wrestlers alike continue to look back fondly on one of the most impactful WWE careers ever seen.
Andre was born with acromegaly, which is a disease that forces bones to grow at an accelerated rate. Left unchecked, it causes other minor deformations, particularly in the face. Andre continued to grow until he measured in at 7’ 4” tall and 520 pounds! Imagine watching the Giant stepping into the ring with one fell swoop, sweeping his legs clear over the top rope. All in all, he was just as gigantic of a personality, starring in famous movies and going undefeated in the WWE for nearly 15 years. While his pound total may not rival the likes of Happy Humphrey, he is certainly the largest wrestler in WWE history in many a fan’s eye.
Sources wwe.com, imdb.com