The colossal giants of the WWE have always been a big draw for wrestling fans. Their imposing size and inhuman strength captivate us, while smaller stars have had to struggle to get past these immovable objects in order to wear their bright shiny championship belts. Throughout the history of wrestling, this is a big part of the sport. A muscle bound charismatic newcomer meets the immovable object and once moved, a star can then be born, a career can then be launched and greatness can then be achieved.
This is in part how Hulk Hogan gained his claim to fame. In front of 90,000 plus, Hogan defeated the mighty Andre The Giant to help legitimize his greatness. The Undertaker survived a match with Giant Gonzalez to barely keep his WrestleMania streak intact. John Cena‘s ability to lift and toss The Big Show and Mark Henry around in the ring has lead to oohs and aahs from all the fans, while propelling him to stardom. If it helps to be a David versus Goliath, there have been plenty Goliaths that have done nothing more than help launch wrestling careers throughout the years.
The following ten imposing wrestlers have all experienced the pain of losing to smaller opponents in the ring. These are the giants that we have enjoyed watching, the mythical men of immense size and strength. In steps our smaller hero, down goes the gigantic Goliath, and our hero emerges with just a little more size.
10. Mark Henry – 6’4″ 418 lbs
The strongman from Texas started his pro wrestling career in 1996 by press slamming Jerry Lawler following an interview during a WWE Monday Night Raw episode. Mark Henry later defeated Lawler and went on to join The Rock and others in The Nation of Domination clan. Henry has been the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the ECW Champion and the European Champion thus far in his career.
Henry is still wrestling in the WWE, having many absences from the ring along the way due to injury or weightlifting commitments. After 15 years of terrorizing opponents in the WWE, Henry finally became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion by defeating Randy Orton at the Night of Champions in 2011. He has had many story lines throughout his career, but his big man feud with The Big Show near the end of 2011, was one of the highlights of the strong man’s career.
9. King Kong Bundy – 6’4″ 458 lbs
King Kong Bundy was a gigantic man who was once dubbed, “The Walking Condominium,” because of his imposing size and weight. He started his wrestling career working with World Class Championship Wrestling where he wrestled under the name Big Daddy Bundy. A few years later, King Kong Bundy made his debut in WWE where he went on to defeat S.D. “Special Delivery” Jones at WrestleMania, in what was then the shortest match in WrestleMania history, lasting only nine seconds. He then headlined WrestleMania II in a match with Hulk Hogan in 1986 and later gained some fame as The Undertaker’s fourth victim at WrestleMania XI in 1995.
Bundy was famous for his feuds with Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan in the mid to late 1980’s. Bundy was favored to win the Royal Rumble in 1995, but was eliminated by another giant, Mabel. His signature move was called the Avalanche Splash which was meant to bruise an opponent’s ribs and sternum. Bundy had several big matches, but always seemed to come up on the losing end despite being such an imposing figure.
8. Vader – 6’5″ 456 lbs
The larger than life Big Van Vader was an eight-time world champion wrestling in the WCW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, WWE and All Japan Pro Wrestling. He made his WWE debut in 1996 as a participant in the Royal Rumble. Vader ended up attacking many of the Rumble participants and was immediately cast as a villain. He ended up getting suspended after attacking the referees and then WWE President Gorilla Monsoon, following a victory over Vega on Monday Night Raw. Vader’s feuds with Yokozuna, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were part of his claim to fame.
Vader was only in the WWE for about three years, but did manage to tussle with many of the big stars, like the British Bulldog, Owen Hart and even Mankind. He was capable of leaving his feet for aerial maneuvers like dropkicks and the Vadersault and had a finishing move called the Vader Bomb. Vader was athletic for a man of his size and was in good enough shape to make a guest appearance on Monday Night Raw in 2012, beating Heath Slater.
7. Earthquake – 6’7″ 468 lbs
The Canadian Earthquake started his wrestling career over in Japan. The highly successful sumo wrestler won 17 straight matches in a six-month span. He moved on from sumo after having difficulty adapting to the sumo lifestyle and the hard sumo ring. He also didn’t want to remove a tattoo on his left biceps in order to be allowed to advance further in the sport. He started wrestling in All-Japan Pro Wrestling and moved over to the WWE in 1989, being introduced as Earthquake Evans. By WrestleMania VI, he was simply known as Earthquake, and started to make some noise. A feud with Hulk Hogan culminated in the 1991 Royal Rumble loss where he and Hogan were the last two men left in the ring.
Earthquake was in the WWE from 1989-1993 and came back again in 1994. He did earn a WWE Tag Team Championship title with Typhoon as a member of their Natural Disasters team. Earthquake also participated in a staged sumo match with Yokozuna as part of a brief feud. His signature move was the Earthquake Splash that he used to punish many wrestler’s ribs.
6. Big Daddy V, Mabel, Viscera – 6’9″ 487 lbs
This enormous threatening man was the winner of ten various championships in his career that was dominated by his successful stints as an imposing villain. Mabel made his debut as a member of the tag team, Men on a Mission, in 1993. In 1995, King Mabel won a one of a kind King of The Ring Title Belt after winning the WWE tournament. Mabel had issues toning down his aggressive style when he injured Kevin “Diesel” Nash and almost got terminated from the WWE. His WWE career pretty much came to an end after his succession of leg drops broke The Undertaker’s orbital bone.
Mable did win a WWE Tag Team Championship once in 1994 as a member of Men on a Mission. He won the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship in 1996 and the WWE Hardcore Championship wrestling as Viscera in 2000. Mabel was a large man whose signature move, the Big Daddy V Drop, was known to cause more than fake pain.
5. The Great Khali – 7’1″ 350 lbs
The former policeman from India was a powerlifter who has a tremendous physique. Despite his imposing height, The Great Khali is relatively svelte compared to others on this list, although his weight has topped 400 pounds before. Khali became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2007 after eliminating both Batista and Kane in a 21 participant Battle Royale match. Khali has had feuds with the likes of John Cena, Batista, Kane, Triple H and even Rey Mysterio to name just a few.
The Great Khali had a prominent role in launching Jinder Mahal’s career in 2011. Khali recently had a shot at the United States Championship, but lost the title match to Antonio Cesaro in early 2013. He developed a finisher move called the Khali Vise Grip and has also used the Punjabi Plunge to wear down and devastate his opponents.
4. The Big Show – 7’0″ 463 lbs
The Big Show is a seven-time world champion who recently held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 2012, losing it to Alberto Del Rio in January of 2013. The Big Show has had several feuds, including encounters with Mark Henry, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. The Big Show got his start in the WCW, where he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Hulk Hogan by disqualification in 1995. The Big Show is considered the “World’s Largest Athlete”.
The Big Show has been a formidable opponent in singles matches or as a member of a tag team. He has been the part of many WWE story lines and had an epic back and forth feud with Mark Henry. Due to his ability to be likable or mean, “Show” has earned several titles and continues to be popular in the WWE. He has several signature moves including the brutal Chokeslam, sly KO Punch and Colossal Clutch.
3. Giant Gonzalez – 7’6″ 419 lbs
The towering wrestler Jorge “Giant” Gonzalez went by the names, Giant Gonzalez, El Gigante and others. Before establishing himself as a wrestler, Gonzalez was the first Argentinian basketball player drafted into the NBA (1988). It was tough for Gonzalez to adapt to the rigorous demands of the NBA and a serious knee injury did little to help. He was later approached by the Atlanta Hawks owner, Ted Turner, who was also the owner of the WCW, to become a professional wrestler. Gonzalez went on to feud with Ric Flair, Sid Vicious and the One Man Gang before moving on to the WWE in 1993.
Giant Gonzalez didn’t have a long WWE career, but did offer The Undertaker some resistance by eliminating him in the Royal Rumble of January, 1993. He lost to The Undertaker in WrestleMania IX by disqualification, remaining the only match The Undertaker hasn’t won decisively during his WrestleMania winning streak. Gonzalez left the WWE and wrestling as quickly as he came, followed by a brief stint in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
2. Yokozuna – 6’4″ 589 lbs
The title of heaviest wrestler in the WWE probably goes to Yokozuna the Somoan-American who was portrayed as a sumo wrestler despite never participating in the sport. Yokozuna came from a wrestling family and spent the early part of his career in the American Wrestling Association before entering the WWE in 1992. He was a two-time WWE Champion and a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He won the 1993 Royal Rumble and defeated WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX and Hulk Hogan at King of the Ring in 1993.
Yokozuna’s claim to fame was probably in the 1993 King of The Ring match where he was able to finish Hulk Hogan with a Banzai Drop that won the match and supposedly knocked Hogan out of the WWE. He also had legendary battles with Lex Lugar and The Undertaker, which all helped him earn a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame (inducted in 2012).
1. Andre The Giant – 7’2″ 520 lbs
The legendary imposing man was a popular figure throughout the 70’s and 80’s. He was once called, “The Eighth Wonder of The World”, which seemed quite apt given his dimensions. Andre suffered from Acromegaly, which contributed to his massive size. He finished his wrestling career having survived feuds with the best wrestlers of his time, winning one WWE Championship and one WWE World Tag Team Championship along the way. Andre debuted in 1973 and quickly gained fame for his heavyweight feuds with Big John Stud and King Kong Bundy, but it was his matches with the lighter Hulk Hogan that really saw his star rise.
Andre The Giant sadly died of heart failure in 1993 shortly after his final match in Japan All Pro Wrestling in 1992. He was undefeated for nearly 15 years in the WWE and was an intimidating presence during this time. Andre’s best known event was when he headlined WrestleMania III with Hulk Hogan and lost to Hogan in front of 93,173 after Hogan bodyslammed him in what was later dubbed, “the body slam heard around the world.” His signature moves included the Sit Down Splash and Double Underhook Suplex.