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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Age of The Giants
April 21, 2005 by Jacob Kuhn


Once time, they were the greatest spectacle in wrestling. Men like Andre the Giant and Big John Studd were huge in our eyes. People would come from far and wide to see the proclaimed 7'4" Andre the Giant. When the Undertaker made his first appearance at the 1990 Survivor Series, Gorilla Monsoon marvelled at his height. But how do these men stand up to the wrestlers of today"

Andre the Giant was an amazing spectacle, in age and in youth. When he was younger and thinner, he was fast and could even deliver a drop kick. At his last measurement, he was only 6'9" tall. Now, since he had acromegaly, his body never stopped growing. It was estimated that he was his tallest at 6'11". Then, once he stopped growing tall, he began growing out. Even then, we were able to believe he was truly 7'4". The man was enormous and we knew it.

Big John Studd was the self proclaimed "Real Giant" of pro wrestling. His long feud with Andre the Giant was necessary at the time because he was the only person in WWF who posed a physical threat. John was 6'10" and we believed him to be a giant. When these two wrestled, it was amazing to see such huge men going at it.

The last of the 'giant' giants was Jorge Gonzales (Better known as El Gigante or Giant Gonzales). At 7'7" tall, he was a spectacle. The problem was, he was a pathetic spectacle. The man was not a wrestler; he was an aspiring basketball player. His wrestling talent was zero and it was terrible watching him stumble around the ring.

The reason I am writing this is that giants don't mean anything more. A lot of the wrestlers that are around today are as tall if not taller than Andre and Big John Studd. Undertaker, Kane and Kevin Nash, were they to stand up to the old giants, would be just as tall if not taller. And although they are all good wrestlers, they will never be thought with the moniker of 'Giant' that graced some of the great wrestlers of the past.

The only true giant left is the Big Show. Like Andre before him, Paul Wight suffers from acromalegy. In his youth, he was like a young Andre. He was tall, not overweight, and limber. Then, just like the Eighth Wonder of the World, when he stopped growing tall he started growing out. Now, although he is somewhat limber, he seems to be growing in a similar direction as Andre.

My point is just that the Age of Giants has passed. From the day I saw Kevin Nash hug Big Show and didn't appear to be any taller, I realized that height was not the factor that it once was. It only seems now that those who have acomalegy seem like giants to us. Although that makes sense, since it is also known as 'giantism,' it's a little sad realizing the difficulties these men have to go through. I can just be thankful that Andre and John Studd have never faced the wrestlers of today. I can still watch old tapes and believe these men to be absolute giants. I never want that awe to leave me.

by Jacob Kuhn ..


Jay Tusch wrote:
You're right about one thing. Giants aren't really "giants" anymore. At least, they're not booked to be. Watch old Evolution matches. If anyone took the pin, it was Batista. Luther Reigns is a monster, but he was simple fodder for Booker T. Tyson Tomko got beat cleanly by a 56 year old man on Raw. At Wrestlemania XX, John Cena (at the time, a 240 pound mid-card rapper and still not much more than that) delivered two, TWO FUs to the Big Show, Paul Wight, who once defeated Hulk Hogan for the WCW title. Now he's being poisoned by apples during interview segments. 18 years ago, the seemingly "impossible" act was performed, when a 303 pound Immortal man struggled to bodyslam Andre the Giant. Yokozuna was booked to perfection when he first arrived in the WWF. Then, guys like Lex Luger and Ahmed Johnson started slamming him around like nobody's business. Until Chyna got reconstructive surgery on her jaw and was finally able to talk (and she sounded like a stereotypical homosexual male), she was a dominant force, even against men. These days, giants like Matt Morgan and John Heidenreich stutter and read poetry trying to befriend small children. For all of Vince McMahon's love of big men like Batista, Morgan, Masters, Heidenreich, Reigns, Show, and Rosey (and none of them can work a lick compared to RoH and TNA X-Division guys), he sure doesn't book them like they're big.
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