The Giant

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"That right there is one of the most basic moves in the history of wrestling but when it's applied by The Big Show it could be a finishing move."
Jerry Lawler, on the side headlock take down.

In your basic Professional Wrestling promotion, there's one guy who's much bigger than everyone else. Usually at least a head taller than the next-tallest man on the roster, and a mountain of muscle (and fat) to boot. So, of course, the promoters advertise him as an unstoppable killing machine, regardless of the big man's (lack of) talent.

Such men are almost universally introduced as "monster" heels, sometimes mixed with an Evil Foreigner vibe. Because of their billing, they will usually be pushed straight to the top to face off with the top Face, whom they'll generally squash in their first meeting, to give you an idea of how Herculean an effort will be required to defeat them.

An important distinction between The Giant and just being large is that The Giant will typically have a noticeable lack in the talent department, either having a very small repertoire of moves or being slow/not possessing Wrestling Psychology. Generally, their in ring style is built almost entirely around being large and immovable, and their repertoire is limited to basic punches, kicks, and throws. Jim Ross used to refer to these types of wrestlers as 'Hoss'es, after Hoss Cartwright from Bonanza.

If the angle goes on long enough, The Giant might get a Heel Face Turn, rebelling on the manager who brought him in and going his own way. This usually results in them no longer being unstoppable.

Also related to Muscles Are Meaningful. For mythical giants, see Our Giants Are Bigger

Examples of The Giant include:
  • The most famous, of course, is the late Andre the Giant, billed by WWE as the Eighth Wonder of the World. His most famous match was against Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 3.
    • Subverted by the fact that Andre was actually a moderately skilled Greco-Roman wrestler, and was frighteningly quick in his youth, but said most famous match was from later in his life when chronic health problems had badly slowed him.
    • Hugo Andore, being a near-Expy of Heel-era André, exhibits next to no finesse in his attacks compared to other grapplers. The same thing can be seen on Raiden from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters. Conversely, T. Hawk, who may actually be even larger than Hugo, is a very agile and technical fighter who prefers quick aerial maneuvers to grappling.
  • Paul Wight, billed as The Giant in WCW and The Big Show in WWE. Injuries and weight troubles kept him from reaching his fullest potential, and many fans began calling him "The Big Slow" (a moniker either given to him or made canon by The Rock). However, his most recent return to WWE sees him a good fifty pounds lighter than when he left, and he's moving a little better; on top of that, at least in comparison with The Great Khali (see below), the fans love him. He also epitomizes the giant being pushed to the top, as his first ever match was in the main event of a WCW pay-per-view for the world championship. However, he has put his generally basic repertoire to good use; a chest slap has become one of his signature moves—he shushes the audience, and then smacks the guy, allowing the crack of a hand the size of a frying pan to echo throughout the arena.
    • One could also argue that Paul Wight is a subversion of this trope, as he had a wide variety of moves in the WCW, including the kip-up and athletic slams. He was so unique, he is the only wrestler that won PWI's Rookie of the Year and Wrestler of the Year in his debut. There was even rumors that, during his days in WCW, he was even training to do a moonsault.
    • Early on in his WCW run, Wight was billed as being the son of Andre the Giant, despite not being related to Andre in any way. This was dropped after a while, though.
  • Jorge Gonzales, billed as El Gigante in WCW and Giant Gonzalez in WWE. May be more well-known for the "naked" bodysuit he was required to wear as the latter. He feuded with The Undertaker while "The Deadman" was in his prime; this did not make up for Gonzales's complete lack of discernable talent.
    • The Great Khali seems to be his Expy.
  • One example that only concerns the wrestler's weight and not height was Yokozuna, who combined this trope with the Evil Foreigner angle (despite the wrestler being Samoan-American).
  • The obvious example in British wrestling was Giant Haystacks, briefly known as The Loch Ness Monster in the USA.
    • There was also Big Daddy, a thirty-stone Yorkshireman christened Shirley Crabtree by a father who had listened to a lot of Johnny Cash and approved of the principles underlying the naming of sons.
  • Just try to stop WWE from using these. In addition to Big Show, they've currently got Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Undertaker, and Kane. Of course, relative to the WWE's size, that number's fairly conservative.
    • Of course, The Undertaker is arguably one of the very best big man wrestlers ever, Kane has always been solid—in his prime he could do hurricanranas, and Mark Henry was pretty mobile in the 90s and worked to improve in 2005.
  • This trope isn't restricted to men's wrestling, either. On the women's side of things, we have:
    • Victoria, a WWE Diva who had quite a brutal streak for a few years (her "Widow's Peak" finisher looking legitimately dangerous) before turning into a generic heel, and then a generic face; she eventually jumped ship to TNA, where she competes as Tara.
    • Beth Phoenix, taller and noticeably more muscled than other WWE Divas, but prone to injuries.
    • Chyna, the "Ninth Wonder of the World", who actually held several men's titles and was built up over a period of months specifically so they wouldn't get in trouble for having men fighting a woman.
    • Nicole Bass, who's claim to fame as a pro wrestler was being even bigger and more muscular than Chyna. Unfortunately she had pretty much zero talent and charisma. She had short stints in ECW, WWF and XPW.
    • WCW had Midnight (real name Ann Marie Crooks). She was a face and accompanied Booker T, but was only around for a few months.
    • The unstoppable, 275-pound Awesome Kong in TNA and SHIMMER now Kharma (WWE), who is talented, but not above playing a standard giant. Before her, Aja Kong.
    • Former WWF women's champion Bertha Faye
    • The 6 ft 9 Isis the Amazon, of the American indie scene.
    • From the "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling," there was Evil Foreigner Matilda the Hun (aka Queen Kong) billed at 280 pounds and her rival, Mountain Fiji, billed at 350 pounds. The Face, Mountain Fiji, played the monster roll much straighter. All the heels of that season had to work together just to take her off of her feet and even then Mountain Fiji was never knocked to the mat in a match. Matilda was more moveable but still squashed most faces who weren't Mountain Fiji.
    • Joshi star Hiroyo Matsumoto certainly wrestles like one of these. She's not the tallest girl on the roster, but she's strong beyond reason with muscles to spare and a pair of quads like tree trunks. How strong? Have a look, as she lifts up two other wrestlers to make herself 600 pounds and then jumps up and sits on Mayumi Ozaki. It's no wonder when she wrestles the crowds chant "HIROYO MATSUMOTO DESTROY!"
  • Parodied by CHIKARA wrestler Hydra, who does the whole Giant schtick despite being 5' 6" and 140 pounds.
  • Titanic Tim from the Saturday Night Slam Masters games is a 7'9" goliath whose fighting style is even listed as "giant wrestling"... but he's actually pretty good at grappling and such anyway. Still, in a league where other fighters can throw grenades or turn into meteors, a lunging karate chop is pretty basic.
    • Titanic Tim was based on Japanese wrestling legend Giant Baba, who despite being extremely tall did not have a limited or basic repertoire of moves.
  • The Giant, a call name and the heavy template you can choose for your CAW in the WWE Day Of Reckoning games, is essentially this wrestling style. It has the most simplistic moves of the "big man" choices.
  • The late John Tenta had a good run at a giant archetype as Earthquake in the WWE, feuding with Hulk Hogan at the height of his career, eventually alongside the similarly gigantic Fred "Typhoon" Ottman.
  • The Oddities, an entire stable of giant men managed by the much smaller Luna Vachon and the Insane Clown Posse.
  • King Mabel, Viscera, Big Daddy V and all his other gimmicks were this. Six Foot nine, five hundred pounds, not a lot of mobility by wrestler standards and the large majority of his matches revolved around how someone could manage to do anything to him.
  • Kamala was billed as the Ugandan giant but was shorter and more nimble than most examples. His weight was really what put him in this trope's territory.
  • Several wrestlers were not wrestlers at all, but were merely tall enough to fit this trope.
    • Tommy "Tiny" Lister, the actor who played Zeus from No Holds Barred, had a short wrestling career almost solely because of this trope.
    • Hong Man Choi has an MMA career almost solely because of this trope in gimmick matches. His opponents have included baseball's Jose Canseco and sumo legend Akebono (3 times).
      • While his MMA matches are pretty much gimmicks, Choi actually is a decent kickboxer and holds a respectable record in K-1 (9-6 not counting the three wins against Akebono).
    • An episode of Angel shows this trope can be put to good use, as a big man played the standard monster gimmick against a bunch of midgets to reenact the story of the heroes who defeated a giant devil robot.
  • The NBA has also had its share of giants who really had no business on the basketball court, including Gheorge Muresan, Jake Vohskul, and Wang Zhizhi.
    • Greg Ostertag was a notable shot blocker, setting a school record at the University of Kansas that stands to this day and leading the NBA in block percentage twice. He was also notable for being bad at virtually every other aspect of the game.
    • Manute Bol was literally the tallest man to ever play in the NBA, and while he was a dominant blocker and good three point shooter, he was also dangerously underweight for his size—7'7" and just 200 lbs.
    • Yao Ming is a most notable subversion, as he was extremely talented, and when on top of his game, was capable of dominating the lane with an iron fist.
    • Shaquille O'Neal is another prominent subversion, at least as far as his lane presence is concerned. His free throw ability, not so much--famously so.
  • Subverted in the NHL by Zdeno Chara, the tallest player ever to play in the league, who is considered one of the top defensemen playing at the moment. Ironically, some thought that his height was the only reason he even had a job during his rookie season, disregarding his actual skill. On the flip side, the second tallest NH Ler of all time, Steve McKenna, was not very good at all, and found himself a frequent healthy scratch before going to Australia to become the coach of their national team.
    • That all said, the idea that bigger is automatically better in hockey is becoming increasingly discredited. While it may seem counterintuitive, you should go with the shorter goalie every time. (The puck rarely goes far above the ice, and since hockey goals aren't very large, you want shorter goalies, who can drop to the ground faster to stop the puck.)
  • Several villains in Kinnikuman and Kinnikuman Nisei get by mostly on superior size and strength. Perhaps most emblematic is the Mountain, one of the largest and heaviest wrestlers in either series. His ultimate finishing move is a simple frog splash (with the Name of Power "Mountain Drop"), but it's absolutely devastating because of how massive he is.