Andre the Giant is always going to be considered one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time, and it is for good reason. While Big Show is a comparable wrestler, he has never gained the same notoriety as his monstrous predecessor.
An argument can easily be made that Big Show is a better overall package, though.
I don't want to belittle what Andre accomplished because he was truly one of a kind and made a huge impact on the wrestling business. However, I don't feel like Big Show has ever gotten his due credit as a performer and it is about time that he does.
On the latest edition of Raw, Vince McMahon went through a laundry list of legends while telling CM Punk about all the wrestlers that he would never measure up to and the first name to leave his mouth was Andre the Giant. I don't necessarily disagree with Vince's assessment, but I doubt people will be waxing poetic about Big Show in 20 years.
Andre was a larger-than-life figure, the likes of which had never really been seen by wrestling fans before. Because of that, he was a massive draw and may have been the biggest star in wrestling prior to the emergence of Hulk Hogan.
Then, once Hulkamania was in full swing, Andre turned heel and managed to be perhaps Hogan's most notable adversary.
I feel like all of Andre's accomplishments have detracted from what Big Show has done over the years. He wasn't the original giant, but the original isn't always necessarily better than what comes after it. In terms of his legacy, Big Show won't leave as big of a footprint as Andre, but he is superior to Andre in several different areas.
The most notable advantage that Big Show has is his in-ring work. I'm not going to pretend that either he or Andre should be categorized as technical marvels, but Big Show is underrated as a wrestler.
Andre was much more athletic in his younger days, but he was mostly a plodder with a very limited moveset consisting of chops and headbutts.
Big Show, on the other hand, has shown an ability to work lengthier matches over the course of his career and he was actually a freak of nature in WCW. Not only was he huge, but he had a much more athletic body type and could do some incredible things. I haven't been able to find video evidence, but it has been said that he even managed to do a moonsault while training at the WCW Power Plant.
In addition to that, Big Show is much better in terms of mic work. There wasn't much that Andre could do about that since he was French and didn't have a great grasp on the English language, but it doesn't make it any less true.
Andre had to rely on his intimidating presence rather than expressing himself through words, and while it usually worked, it also limited him.
I wouldn't consider Big Show to be one of the best promo men of all time or anything like that, but I feel like he is very underrated when it comes to speaking ability. He has shown that he can carry himself well on the mic as either a face or heel over the years and it is an added dimension that he has in his repertoire, but Andre didn't.
The fact that Big Show has turned from face to heel and back again so many times over the years hurts him as well.
Andre was a face from the beginning of his career in 1973 until 1987 and then played the heel role for a few years until becoming face again at the end of his tenure. Big Show, on the other hand, has turned no less than 15 times during his career.
Andre was booked to perfection over the course of his career and didn't officially lose a match until Hogan beat him at WrestleMania III, while Big Show has been made to look weak on countless occasions. There is a reason why Andre is looked at as a more untouchable figure than Big Show and creative decisions have much to do with it.
Taking nothing away from Andre, I believe that Big Show would have been equally acclaimed had their roles been reversed, so Big Show is a victim of time more than anything.
Both have cemented their respective places in WWE history, but because of circumstances beyond his control, Big Show will never be viewed as favorably as Andre.
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