André the Giant

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Andre taking out Jake "The Snake" Roberts

André the Giant, real name André Rene Roussimoff (Bulgarian: Андрей Рене Русимов; Polish: Andrzej Renat Russimow; 1946-93) was a professional wrestler well-known for his impressive size[1]. You may also remember him as Fezzik from the motion picture adaptation of The Princess Bride.

During his tenure in the WWF (or the WWE as it is called now), he was dubbed "The Eighth Wonder of the World" due to his frame, and held a fifteen-year undefeated streak in the company (with the exception of disqualification and count-out losses). One of the most famous matches of his career was against Hulk Hogan for Hogan's WWF World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania III.

Unfortunately, his great size was due to gigantism, and he suffered intense pain throughout his body, especially as he got older. On January 27, 1993, shortly following his retirement from professional wrestling, he died in his sleep from congestive heart failure. In his honor, the WWF made Andre the first inductee into the company's Hall of Fame, established that same year.

As usual, That Other Wiki has a nice read-up on his life and career.

André the Giant provides examples of the following tropes:
  • The Alcoholic: André. Loved. Liquor. Because of his size, he could easily outdrink everyone at whatever function he was at; the stories about his drinking really get into Beyond the Impossible territory. Just check that link for some of the best. When he had to go into surgery, the anesthetist had to base dosing on what it took to get Andre drunk. He was told by friends that it took a 1.75l bottle of vodka to get him buzzed.
  • Badass
  • Bullying a Dragon: A group of men once hassled him in a bar. After chasing them out, he turned over the car they were in.
  • Cassandra Truth: Likely the reason André was never charged when he chased four guys out of a bar then flipped their car over while they were in it. Four drunk guys talking about an angry giant would have been just a little hard to believe.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: He is Hulk Hogan's Crowning Moment of Awesome. Specifically, Hogan was the first person to lift him up and bodyslam him, at least during the WWF's "Rock 'n' Wresting" era.
    • Although an obvious set-up, André was having increasing health problems which slowed him down considerably. Hogan practically danced around him in the ring making the spectacle somewhat believable.
    • Andre was the generator of such moments for many other wrestlers back before Hogan. Hogan wasn't the first, but he was the first to do so with a national audience. Before that, Andre would go around to various territories and put over wrestlers by having them slam him. In addition, Hogan (back in 1980, when the Hulkster was a villian and Andre was the good guy) slammed the big guy at least twice.
    • Andre let Hogan win the championship at Wrestlemania III, as Hogan knew the giant could defeat him in the ring if he wanted, regardless of what had been decided beforehand. For Hulk Hogan, it was Andre choosing to hand the title over that made it the greatest moment in his career.
  • The Giant: It's in his NAME! Subverted in that he was actually a moderately skilled Greco-Roman wrestler.
  • Gentle Giant: His role as Fezzik in The Princess Bride.
    • In Real Life too. He kept a small farm where he would walk around and play with the animals because they didn't stare at him and Robin Wright says that he used to put his hand on her head to keep her warm during cold days on the set of The Princess Bride.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Along side the 5'6" Robin Wright in The Princess Bride.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Despite his occasional monster heel persona, he was very long as you didn't piss him off.
  • Off the Scale: The anethetist mentioned above had to base dosage in that manner because most hospital charts simply would not account for someone of Andre's size.
  • Square-Cube Law: He died young because his body was violating it.
  • The Big Guy: He was called Andre the Giant for a very good reason
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes??: During their feud, Jake "The Snake" Roberts exploited Andre's fear of snakes with the help of his pet snake Damien.
  1. Billed at 7'4" (224 cm) and around 500 pounds (226 kg), to be precise