WWE: The 50 Biggest Behemoths In Wrestling History
Ask anyone on the street to describe a professional wrestler and the result would be pretty generic. They have to be tall, they have to be big, they have to have biceps the size of beach balls. In many ways, Hulk Hogan is the perfect image of a wrestler, and his involvement in Rocky III, is testament to his image, and also his universal popularity at the time.
However as this slideshow will attest, wrestling has had many superstars that do not fall into this 'thunderlips' characterisation. From the cruiserweights like Rey Mysterio and Evan Bourne to the super-heavyweights of Vader and Yokozuna, a wrestler can come in many shapes and sizes.
The following slideshow will showcase 50 WWE superstars who we may call a behemoth. Wrestlers of incredible strength, power, weight, size, height and girth. Some will definitely be regarded as fitting the wrestler image, whilst some will certainly not.
Although not in any particular order, I did feel that the final five are reflective of their place in history as being true behemoths.
50: Rikishi Fatu
425 lb of solid Samoan. Master of the stink-face, Rikishi is part of the famous Anoa'i family, brother of the late Eddie Fatu (Umaga) and Sam Fatu (The Tonga Kid); cousin to Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Rodney Anoa'i (Yokozuna), Samula Anoa'i (Headshrinker Samu), and Matt Anoa'i (Rosey); and the nephew of "Soulman" Rocky Johnson and the Wild Samoans (Sika & Afa).
Rikishi was last seen in 2009 during the Hulkamania Tour of Australia, but his name continues in the WWE through his sons, Jonathan and Joshua, better known as the Usos.
From one Fatu to another. The late Eddie Fatu stood at 6ft 4ins and weighed 350lb. Enjoying both tag team and singles success as Jamal and later under the name Umaga, Fatu was a two time Intercontinental Champion.
Unfortunately Eddie Fatu is part of a lost generation of wrestler, dead before the age of forty due to complications through drug use. Fatu suffered two heart attacks in quick succession at the age of 36.
Sadly he is not the last name in this slideshow who is part of this lost generation.
48: King Mabel
Billed at an incredible 6ft 9in and weighing 487lbs, Nelson Frazier Jr, is quite the behemoth. Having wrestled all over the world including the Puerto Rica and Japan, he is best known for his time in the WWE as King of the Ring winner Mabel and subsequently, Viscera, Big Daddy V and King V.
In addition to his King of the Ring victory in 1995, he also won the Hardcore title and the Tag Team championship with his partner Mo.
Of note for those wrestling fans that are now experts in the orbital bone, it was Mabel that was the first to break the Undertaker's orbital bone, putting him on the shelf for two months in 1995.
47: King Kong Bundy
1,2,3.....give me 5......4,5.
From one King to another, King Kong Bundy has enjoyed many great wrestling moments, from retiring Fritz Von Erich in 1982 to being the Undertaker's fourth streak victim in 1995.
Billed as 6ft 5in and 465lbs, Bundy also had modest success on screen pinning Bud Bundy on an episode of Married With Children, as well as a bit part on Richard Prior's 'Moving'.
Last seen not in the wrestling ring, but on the comedy stage in Norway.
46: Bastion Booger
Perhaps one of the best counter examples to the Hogan image of a wrestler, Mike Shaw's wrestling career was hampered by creativity. Give his size he was often attributed limited characters including the most recognisable, Bastion Booger.
Billed as 6ft 3in and 401lbs, Shaw's career began his career in Stu Hart's Stampede wrestling, competing against the young hopefuls, Owen Hart, Chris Benoit and Hall of Famer, Bret Hart. He eventually made it to the WWE in 1993 but was relegated to jobber.
Booger unfortunately died on September 11th 2010 from a heart attack. He was 53 years old.
45 and 44: Natural Disasters: Earthquake and Typhoon
One of the biggest tag teams in wrestling history, Natural Disasters, Earthquake and Typhoon weighed in at 852lbs (to get an idea of this, think 4.5 Evan Bournes). Surprisingly given this power and strength, the team only won one Tag team Championship in their three year stint. Dissensions in the team began to appear and at the 1993 Royal Rumble Earthquake attacked Typhoon.
Interesting at the Gimmick Battle Royale at Wrestlemania 17, Earthquake was to eliminate his former partner.
Typhoon or Fred Ottman would later go on to WCW as the infamous Shockmaster and he retired from wrestling in 2001.
Earthquake or John Tenta would also go onto WCW as Avanlanche before making a brief return to the WWE in 1998. In 2004 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and sadly died on the June 6th 2006.
43: Bam Bam Bigelow
New Jersey's Bam Bam had instant recognition not only because of his 390lbs but also his flaming tattoo that plastered his head. A wrestling journeyman, Bigelow was to wrestle for each of the three major federations in the 1990s as well as in Japan and the independent circuit.
His most famous moment was to come at Wrestlemania 11 when he faced of against New York Giant footballer, Lawrence Taylor, eventually losing in the Main Event.
Bam Bam Bigelow is unfortunately yet another member of the lost generation, suffering a fatal heart attack in January 2007, brought on by multiple drug use including cocaine and a pre-existing heart complaint.
He was only 45.
42: Big Show
One of the few superstars to have won World Titles in both WCW and the WWE, Big Show, Paul Wight remains one of the most recognisable superstars on the roster today. Standing at 7ft and weighing 485 pounds, Big Show has had considerable success since he moved to the WWE and signed a ten year deal in 1999.
The accolades have seen him as two time World Champion, One time ECW Champion, Three time Hardcore Champion, Seven time Tag Champion as well as one run as US Champion.
Owing to his size and presence, and with others injured and retiring, Big Show is likely to remain a prominent superstar for a few years to come.
41: Big John Studd
Perhaps not a traditional behemoth but billed at 7ft 2 and weighing 384lbs, John Studd was suitably regarded as 'Big'. Despite his size, he was never able to capture the WWE gold though did win the second Royal Rumble, entering that year in the coveted number 27 position.
Its arguable that Studd achieved much of his success away from the WWE, often challenging Ric Flair for the top prize during their time in NWA. That saying, he was involved in one of the iconic scenes in all of wrestling when he was bodyslammed by Andre the Giant in 1984, this coming before the more famous scene involving Hogan a few years later.
Studd would leave the WWE in 1989. He died six years later from Liver cancer and Hodgkin's disease. He was only 47.
40: Eli Cottonwood
Perhaps one of the most modern examples on this presentation, NXT rookie, Eli Cottonwood was an instantly recognisable character with his 7 foot stature and 317lbs frame. However like so many in wrestling history, his character was simply, well, awful. His elimination came relatively quickly. He has not yet made a reappearance since attacking Kaval on the second series finale.
39: Giant Gonzalez
Yet another wrestler who died before their time, Jorge 'Giant' Gonzalez, was one of the tallest wrestlers in WWE history. Unfortunately suffering from the same illness as Andre, Gonzalez was to suffer kidney problems in later life and succumbed to diabetes in September 2010, aged only 44.
He will though be best remembered for his feud with the Undertaker at the Roman themed Wrestlemania 9, with that iconic shot of the 7ft 7inch, 463 lb, Gonzalez towering over the deadman. It was to be his only memorable feud in the WWE, though older fans will remember his time in WCW and his match with Ric Flair.
38: Giant Haystacks
One for British fans or those that remember him as Loch Ness in WCW, and from one Giant to another, this time London's Giant Haystacks. Certainly better known before his brief stint in WCW, Martin Ruane became famous in British wrestling circles as well as international markets in places such as Zimbabwe, India and Canada. At 6ft 11 and 690lbs, he is certainly one of the biggest superstars to feature on this presentation.
He would sadly succumb to cancer in 1998, only two years after making his breakthrough in WCW. He was only 52
37: Big Daddy
It seems appropriate given their record in British wrestling, that at number 37, is Giant Haystack's arch enemy, Shirley Crabtree aka. Big Daddy. Before there was Sheamus, Drew McIntyre of even Davey Boy Smith, there was Big Daddy. His matches with Giant Haystacks gave British television some of its biggest ratings. It is rumoured that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a fan which should given fans an indication of his success.
At 6ft 5 and 375lbs, he is not the biggest superstar but his chest size of 64inches was a then world record.
Crabtree Jr died from a stroke in 1997 at the age of 67
36: The Great Khali
Continuing the Commonwealth theme, Dalip Singh or the WWE's own Great Khali is the tallest wrestler on the roster today. Standing at 7ft 1in and weighing 420lbs, Khali, named after Hindu goddess Kali, meaning eternal energy, is also one of the company's biggest international names. On a recent visit home to India, there were riotious scenes when he appeared as the crowds pressed forward to see him. If ever fans wish to know why he features so prominently on television tapings, that must surely be the reason.
Khali is a former WWE Heavyweight Champion.
35: Scott Steiner
TNA has made a massive mistake here. Scott Steiner is the very embodiment not only of a behemoth but of a steroid induced behemoth. It is fair to say that many wrestlers have taken drugs in their time, but is there any superstar that is more indicative of this culture than Scott Steiner? His presence on this list is merely a reflection of how artificially large he has become. He is not a role model and should not be heralded as any kind of hero.
It is sometimes easy to forget that Kane has been in the WWE for over fourteen years, in his current character. And in that time he has won many accolades including World titles and the standing record for Rumble eliminations. Kane first broke onto our screens in 1997 and since that time has always represented dominance. He is yet another Undertaker streak victim, losing twice in 1998 and again in 2004. Outside chance of being the deadman's opponent at this year's spectacle but is more likely to be a jobber in the Money in the Bank match. Alongside the likes of Khali and Mark Henry is often used to demonstrate power against an opponent who is shouting their mouth.
33: Samoa Joe
Perhaps not the arch-typical wrestler but he is nonetheless a dominant powerful and surprisingly acrobatic superstar. Many feel that at present he is underused and should be featuring in the main event picture in TNA. At 6ft 2in and 280lbs, he is perhaps one of the smallest featuring in this slideshow but more than punches above his weight. Surprisingly he has only one TNA heavyweight title, this must surely change in the coming months.
Real name, Robert Maillet, Kurrgan at 6ft 11 and 330 pounds is another superstar who has had the honour of looking down on the Undertaker. Enjoying a brief run in the WWE with the Truth Commission and the Oddities, he is perhaps more famous for accidentally almost knocking out Robert Downey Jr on the set of Sherlock Holmes. Kurrgan went to the indie circuit after his run in the WWE, but will probably focus on acting following his aforementioned success in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes and in 300.
31: Ron Reis
In the same vein as before, Ron Reis's characterisation in WCW was based on his extreme size equating to freak. He began life as a wrestler first as a Mummy then as a Giant Ninja before joining Raven's Flock as Reese. After leaving WCW, Reis would continue on the indie circuit and his 7ft 5, 365lb frame, continued to impress fans.
Interestingly he is now a pumpkin farmer.
30: Paulo Silva
Few but wrestling purists will remember Paulo Silva's stay in the WWE in the late 1990s. Ironically alongside Kurrgan, Paulo Silva was part of the Oddities movement. Silva at 7ft 2in and 385lbs was certainly on par with his stable mate, though did not enjoy the same attention. He was released in 1999 and moved onto the indie circuit.
Like many athletes of this size, Silva has also played basketball, but is also a mixed martial arts expert as well as working as a bouncer.
29: Giant Baba
A legend of Japanese wrestling, Giant Baba was what Hulk Hogan was for the WWF. Baba at 6ft 10 and 330lbs was instantly recognisable and wrestled for Vince McMahon Snr in NWA, putting over a young rising superstar named Ric Flair. Baba would continue to wrestle in Japan dispute illness and testament to his love of wrestling, competed just nine days prior to succumbing to cancer in 1999. He was 61.
28: Nathan Jones
At 7ft 1in and 370lbs, this Australian behemoth could have been a wrestling sensation but gave up fame and fortune owing to the stress of the WWE's schedule. Some felt he could have been the Undertaker's successor and they were involved in a number of angles including a Wrestlemania storyline that was later cancelled. Jones however never quite made the big time and he retired from wrestling in 2005. He was also a former competitor for World's Strongest Man.
27: Psycho Sid
One of the most colourful of wrestlers, stories about Sid Eudy are legendary. At 6ft 9in and 317lbs, he was always marked for success and he was a 6 time World Champion holding the top prize in the WWE, WCW and USWA. In addition to his success and colourful backstage antics, Sid is also remembered for one of the most horrendous injuries in wrestling history when he broke his leg jumping off the middle turnbuckle. It in effect ended his career. But his legacy remains and he remains a popular wrestling figure.
26: Ernie Ladd
Before there was Laurence Taylor, Steve McMichael or Clay Matthews, there was Ernie Ladd. Originally a footballer for the San Diego Chargers, he was one of the biggest players of his era standing at 6ft 9in and weighing 315lbs. Nowadays it seems only right that after he retired, that a career in wrestling would follow, and he did so in 1961. Whereas football had given him a job for seven years, wrestling gave him one for twenty five, with Ladd continuing to fight until 1985.
Interestingly Ladd was known during his time as the King and wore a crown, and would indeed go on to feud with Jerry Lawler during the days in Mid Southern Wrestling.
Ladd died in 2007 at the age of 68 from cancer.
25: One Man Gang
How many can say they have pinned Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania? One Man Gang did at Wrestlemania V. He was also the losing semi-finalist to eventual winner, Randy Savage at the previous year's title tournament. Though he was never able to quite make in either the WWE or WCW, George Gray certainly had some important moments in wrestling history. After he retired he would go on to become a prison guard, and at 6ft 9in, 465lbs, he is likely to have been just as recognisable as he was in the ring.
24: Uncle Elmer
Another for the wrestling purists, Stan Frazier is often forgetten in wrestling circles. Like many of his generation, he would join the WWF at the end of his career, just as the Hulkamania inspired wrestling revolution was beginning. He was a multiple Tag Team Champion holding belts with Ted DiBiase and Jerry Lawler, but never managed to win gold in his short stay in the WWE. He would compete against Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania II.
At 6ft 10in and 450lbs he was one of the largest athletes of his day but it was his weight that led to his death from diabetes related kidney failure in 1992. He was 54.
23: Matt Morgan
Another example of WWE creativity almost ruining a career, only for TNA to prosper, Matt Morgan had a largely forgettable start in wrestling. His 7ft and 328lb frame might have initially suggested a successor to Kevin Nash but the WWE dropped the ball and gave him a stuttering storyline. It seems that many superstars have suffered this fate in the attempt at badly devised humour. Morgan however moved on via Japan to TNA and has been used much more effectively, although recent storylines relating to concussions are, in my opinion, a bit too close to the bone, given wrestling's history.
At #22 sees Batista. Undoubtedly one of the most dominant superstars in modern wrestling, Dave Batista, looks every bit a wrestling sensation. Had things been different, it could have been he, and not John Cena, that led the WWE into the next generation. Of course he lost out and the company went in an entirely different direction. Dissatisfaction with his character and the wrestling in general in the WWE, saw Batista leave in 2010.
But at 6ft 6 and 290lbs, Batista deserves his place as a WWE solid muscular behemoth.
21: Ezekiel Jackson
One of the 'smallest' superstars on this presentation at just 270lbs and 6ft 2ins, but arguably one of the strongest. As the King would say, he has muscles where some people don't have places. I for one would have put Jackson down the order in wrestling circles until he reappeared as part of the Corre. His feat in terms of bodyslamming the Big Show is simple incredible and reminds of us of fond moments of yesteryear. Jackson could get more attention via his new group, but I wonder if he will play second fiddle to the single careers of Barrett and Gabriel.
20: Mark Henry
I remember the excitement surrounding the debut of Mark Henry. How those days must be fondly remembered. From wrestling strongman to jobber. It is testament to Henry's desire to perform and loyalty that he has remained with the company despite some very questionable storylines. He remains very much for show and when a superstar is running his mouth, especially during the Rumble time, no doubt it is Mark Henry that will arrive to teach him a lesson.
Henry stands at 6ft 1in and weighs 418lbs.
19: Superstar Billy Graham
Before Triple H, Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura, there was Billy Graham. At 6ft 4in and 275lbs, he paved the way for a new kind of wrestler that was both strong and popular even as a heel. He was in many ways an amalgamation of Triple H, Ric Flair and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Like many athletes of his generation, much of his success came in NWA but he did manage to win the WWE Championship in 1977, beating Bruno Sammartino.
Much controversy surrounds Graham and Vince McMahon Jr during the infamous steroid case of the 1990s and it created a great deal of bad feeling between the two. His return to the WWE for the 2004 Hall of Fame might have suggested detente but in 2009, he was released from his consultancy contract and reacted by selling his Hall of Fame ring. He also campaigned against Linda McMahon's senatorial race.
Of note, Graham is currently gravely ill, and in desperate need of a liver transplant. In December 2010, in order to put his affairs in order if no transplant was available, he bought the plot beside Eddie Guerrero in Green Acres Cemetery, Arizona. The two had become close friends and it was Graham that had presided of his friend's funeral in 2005.
18: Brock Lesnar
Another wrestler who is simply muscle. At 6ft 3in and 265lbs, Lesnar took the WWE by storm and won the 2002 King of the Ring. Alongside the likes of Goldberg and Batista, many had predicted that Lesnar could become the face of the company. His matches with the Undertaker and Kurt Angle are particular highlights but the Wrestlemania showdown with Goldberg effectively ended his career.
Lesnar has gone onto success in MMA and while rumours are constant that he may return to wrestling, it is unlikely for the foreseeable future.
Who else would follow Lesnar but his WCW equivalent, Bill Goldberg. Arguably one of WCW's biggest hits, Bill Goldberg like many before, began his career as a footballer. His speed and agility together with power made him an ideal wrestler at 6ft 2in and 266lbs. In theory. His characterisation was perfect and the match with Hulk Hogan in Atlanta where he won his first ever world title was simply incredible television. Its been said that this should have been at a PPV but irrespective it set up Goldberg as an unbeatable champion. With the streak in tact, many felt that he was the face of WCW as they approached the new millenium. How times changed.
His move to the WWE after WCW's demise was hardly a success and he left after the debacle at Wrestlemania. Rumours of a return have been floated but nothing has occurred as yet. He is also remembered for effectively ending the career of Bret Hart with an aggressive but accidental kick to the head.
At #16, the first female wrestler on the list at 180lbs and 5ft 10in. And alongside the likes of Beth Phoenix, Alundra Blayze and Awesome Kong, certainly one of the most dominant. Originally meant to be the first female member of the New World Order, Chyna instead signed for the WWE and immediately sided with off-screen boyfriend Triple H. She would revolutionise the image of female wrestling by not only entering the Royal Rumble but also winning the Intercontinental Championship.
She left the WWE in 2001.
15: Triple H
Seems only suitable that number fifteen is Triple H. Another from the muscular school of the behemoths, Triple H remains one of the most divisive superstars in wrestling history. Allegations of favouritism and drug use have dogged his career but he remains nonetheless one of the most popular superstars. His lengthy absence has allowed for an acting career as well as family life, but his return is expected to be imminent.
At 6ft 4in and 255lbs he remains one of the strongest wrestlers today but allegations persist as to how he became so big.
14: Awesome Kong
Continuing on from Chyna, at number fourteen is Awesome Kong. Perhaps reflective of a more dominant style of female wrestling, many WWE fans hope she will spark a new era for the Diva's Division. Success in TNA helped create her image and when she left that company following a public row with the Sponge, the WWE were ready and willing. She has still yet to make her debut but given that she weighs 272lbs and is 5ft 11in, there won't be too many divas wanting to make her acquaintance.
Just to get an idea, Kong is nearly three times the size of Kelly Kelly.
13: Blackjack Mulligan
Father-in-law of IRS and grandfather of Husky Harris, Blackjack Mulligan, Robert Windham was an original giant in NWA wrestling. Standing at 6ft 7in and weighing 340lbs, his matches with the likes of Ric Flair, and Andre the Giant, made his name. He would go on to the win the US NWA Heavyweight championship as well as winning the NWA tag team belts with Flair. He is a Hall of Famer having been inducted in 2006 by Bobby Heenan. His sons continue the proud name of Windham, Husky Harris and Bo Rotundo in FCW.
12: Mason Ryan
The second coming of Batista as many have suggested. Mason Ryan aka Welshman Barri Griffith, has taken the WWE by storm since his shock arrival a few weeks ago. Like Brutus Magnus in TNA, Ryan's start on television began as a Gladiator on the hit UK show. At 6f 6in and 280lb he is the largest member of the Nexus and will surely compete against Ezekiel Jackson in the coming weeks.
11: The Ultimate Warrior
One of the most flamboyant wrestling superstars in WWE history, the Ultimate Warrior epitomised strength. A former World Champion, Warrior was seen by some as the heir to Hulk Hogan and they certainly had a number of battles. However legal arguments with Vince McMahon seemingly prevented the rise of the Warrior, and he had a lukewarm relationship at best with his employer. A return in 1996 to squash Triple H at Wrestlemania 12, only led to further problems in the months that followed, with image rights once again the issue of dispute.
A less than successful time in WCW followed before retirement and a career as a motivational speaker. Warrior is 6ft 2in and 275lbs.
10: Kevin Nash
Popular and controversial superstar, Kevin Nash shocked the wrestling world when he returned at this year's Royal Rumble. A key member of the Klique, Nash also known as Diesel, was a key player in the formation of the Attitude era. Standing at 7ft tall, he is nonetheless one of the smaller wrestlers in terms of weight at a mere 317lbs. But what made him eligible for the list was the sheer presence he had in the ring and during his time as bodyguard to Shawn Michaels. Whether Nash will continue to wrestle in the WWE is uncertain, but he remains a popular character.
9: Bruiser Brody
Perhaps one of the most controversial wrestling stories occurred on the 16th July 1988, when Bruiser Brody was fatally stabbed at an event in Puerto Rico. Multiple NWA champion both in America and Japan, Brody's career was illustrious, although he never made it to the WWE. At 6ft 8in and 285lbs, he was by no means a small man, and this size allowed to win a number of single and tag team champions in America and Japan. It is however his death that many will unfortunately remember him for, including the controversial nature of his death in hospital involving security guards informing the surgeons to stop the operation. Whether Brody's interest in taking over the World Wrestling Council was a reason, is still unknown. He was only 42 when he died.
8: Dino Bravo
Once proclaimed Canada's strongest man, Dino Bravo was the epitome of strong. Some say he was able to do push-ups with Earthquake (John Tenta) on his back! At just 6ft, he nonetheless weighed 265lbs and of that, a great deal was muscle. Although much of his success came in NWA, he did manage to win the Tag Team belts with his partner Dominic DeNucci. Bravo's story like so many others however ended in tragedy after he retired. Allegedly involved in a cigarette smuggling ring, he was found shot dead in his apartment. He had been shot seven times. The mafia were believed to have been involved and Bravo himself was said to have been involved in organised crime via his father-in-law, Vic Cotroni.
Bravo was just 44 when he died.
7: Happy Humphrey
Another one for the purists, Happy Humphrey is perhaps one of the saddest cases in wrestling history. During his time, he averaged 750lbs and even reached at one point, 900lbs. Difficulties with his weight meant he felt socially excluded and despite a landmark diet that made him a World Record holder (losing 570lbs) he died of a heart attack at the age of 62 and weighing 600lbs.
He is noted for two particular matches - one fighing a bear for 28minutes in 1953 and the other against Giant Haystacks for Vince McMahon Snr at Madison Square Garden.
6: Dusty Rhodes
Maybe not a traditional behemoth, Dusty Rhodes is nonetheless a non-traditional wrestler. Compared with the likes of Hogan, Savage and Flair, Rhodes stood out simply because he didn't look like a wrestler. At 6ft 2in and 302lbs, he was different and that's even without the polka dots. He is also remembered for never having won a WWE title and many will agree that alongside the likes of Roddy Piper, surely deserved to. Rhodes returned to the WWE in 2006 for a brief cameo but remains involved in creative. The wrestling name also continues with his sons, Dustin and Cody.
5: Hulk Hogan
In addition to being a wrestling legend, Hulk Hogan is also one of the most powerful wrestlers in history. Who can ever forget that iconic picture at Wrestlemania III? He is the embodiment of a wrestler with large arms and strong chest and pectoral muscles. He is the archtypical wrestler and its sometimes its easy to forget how large he actually is at 6ft 6in and 330lbs.
A true legend of wrestling. Just needs to sort out TNA.
It is perhaps one of the worst examples of booking, that Vader was never WWE World Champion. Coming from WCW were he had held the top prize, Leon White, at 6ft 5in and 456lbs was a monster of a wrestling heel. He had many great matches and many great feuds but was ultimately a victim of his era, where the likes of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Undertaker, and Kevin Nash were to hold the belt. The birth of Stone Cold and later the Rock surely put an end to Vader's chances. He would secure his own release in late 1998, heading to Japan, TNA and later retirement.
His son has continued the wrestling name, and he quietly waits in the indie league waiting for his chance. Maybe we may see father and son wrestle together in the WWE?
3: The Undertaker
What can we say in this brief mini-biography that has not already been said? There are few wrestling legends but Mark Calaway can justifiably claim to be one. It is scary to think what would have happened had wrestling fans rejected the 6ft 10in, 328lbs, Undertaker in 1990. Wrestling would surely have been much poorer. Of course they didn't and the legend was born. The Wrestlemania streak alone stands as testament to his amazing presence and skill.
In my opinion the greatest character wrestler of all time.
One of the largest World Champions in WWE history, Yokozuna was a popular heel in the 1990s. It is hard to believe that it is over ten years since his death, and unfortunately he is not the only member of the Anoa'i family to have died before his time. At 6ft 6in and 589lbs, Yokozuna was another instantly recognisable superstar and in addition to his two world titles, he was also a tag team champion holding the belts with the late Owen Hart, and the winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble.
Problems with his weight eventually forced Yokozuna to leave the WWE, and he headed for the indie circuit. He would however suffer a heart attack in Liverpool, England and died at the age of just 34.
1: Andre The Giant
A true legend of the ring. There are some taller, some heavier, some stronger, some more technical, but there are few wrestlers quite like Andre the Giant. Instantly recognisable and there is perhaps not bigger scene in modern wrestling than that at Wrestlemania III, when the 500lb Andre was bodyslammed by Hulk Hogan.
After his run with the WWE, Andre would head to Japan and partnered #29, Giant Baba in one of the tallest tag teams in wrestling history.
In addition to wrestling, Andre, like his arch rival, Hulk Hogan, made a name in films with his most notable appearance coming in the 1987 film, The Princess Bride.
By the late 1980s, Andre's disease, that had led to his enormous size, was beginning to take its toil. At 500lbs, exacerbated by heavy drinking sessions, his body simply gave up and he died of a heart attack in Paris on the 27th January 1993. He was only 46 years old.
He was the first and only inductee in the inaugural 1993 Hall of Fame. His name and legacy lives on and he remains of the most iconic wrestlers, as well as one of the most loved.
Andre, Hogan and McMahon built the modern day WWE.
A Final Thought
In doing this slideshow, it has allowed me to learn about a lot of new wrestlers and their lives. It seems that in many cases, there is a tragic end. Life as a behemoth takes it toll and whether its obesity or steroids or accidents, life as a wrestler seems fraught with danger. Too many of these slides have superstars that are now dead. The vast majority before their time. Wrestling needs a new start in terms of how they treat superstars and the image that is expected. The likes of Scott Steiner must not be heralded as supermen, whilst the likes of Kaval must not be relegated because of his supposedly small size.
Dare say, in compiling this list, I have forgotten someone. If you have noticed or have any comments to make, feel free to add them in the comments section. I would like to remind you that there is no particular order to the superstars listed, except the final five with Andre being the most famous.
I hope you enjoy the slideshow and look forward to my next article
This was Cec Van Galini