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Wrestling / André the Giant

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The Eighth Wonder of the World

"I know I have eaten more good food, drunk more beer and fine wine, had more friends, and seen more of the world than most men ever will."

André Rene Roussimoff (Bulgarian: Андрей Рене Русимов; Polish: Andrzej Renat Russimow; May 19, 1946 — January 27, 1993) was a French professional wrestler of Bulgarian and Polish descent better known as "André the Giant" for his impressive size.note  You may also remember him as Fezzik in The Film of the Book of The Princess Bride.

During his tenure in the WWF (now the WWE), 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).note  One of the most famous matches of his career was against Hulk Hogan for Hogan's WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania III, where said streak ended.

Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former NWA Florida Tag-Team Champion and NWA (Tri-State version) United States Tag Team Champion (Both w/Dusty Rhodes), a former WWF World Tag-Team Champion (w/Haku), and a former WWF World Heavyweight Champion. He was the first wrestler inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994 and inducted to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002.

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 André the first inductee into the company's Hall of Fame, established that same year, and starting from WrestleMania XXX have held a special battle royal event for the "André the Giant Memorial Trophy" made in his likeness at each WrestleMania.

"Giant Tropes":

  • Acrofatic: Believe it or not, Andre wasn't always the lumbering behemoth we know from the late 80s - in his youth, he could execute dropkicks and move fairly fast for his size. He was also very agile during his early days in the WWF. However, by the time the mid 1980s rolled around, age and problems with acromegaly had forced him to slow down. He'd switched to his more well-known power wrestling style earlier on due to promoters wanting him to appear as an unstoppable force of nature, and moving like a wrestler of normal size detracted from that image.
  • Actor Allusion: The Princess Bride had a subtle one to his wrestling career: during Fezzik's battle with Westley, he comments on how there's a big difference between fighting ten men at a time and fighting one man. In the 1970s, Andre was a specialist in winning battle royals, matches that often start with ten or more men in the ring (thus, the reason the annual Wrestlemania event is the "Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal"). Downplayed somewhat due to the fact that Fezzik in the book also did this.
  • Afro Asskicker: Earlier in his career, he sported an afro while wrestling in territories such as what is now known as WWC. Big John Studd shaved it off.
  • Arch-Enemy: Killer Khan, Kamala The Ugandan Headhunter, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, Hulk Hogan, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, The Ultimate Warrior, Demolition
  • Ass Kicks You:
    • He would back people into the turnbuckle then ram his backside into their gut.
    • One of his many, many finishers was the Seated Senton.
  • Bash Brothers: Dusty Rhodes, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Haku
  • Berserk Button:
    • If Andre thought someone was trying to take his spot, this was a very good way to push it down, as people as Hogan and Big John Studd found it out... the hard way!
    • During the fall of 1988 and winter of 1989, whatever you done, hopefully you never said the word "snake" around him. Even if he wasn't involved directly in the conversation, if someone — even his allies like Brother Love — said the word "snake," he'd go in a blind rage and suffered from chest pains. At least once he even went after his own manager, Bobby Heenan (during a podium interview where they were talking about how they were going to end the career of Jake Roberts), and he was known for also going after his own stablemates, including Rick Rude, if they even so much as said the word "snake."
    • The reason he thorougly hated his peers rubbing baby oil on themselves was clearly evident as Greg Valentine experienced it first hand. On a match where the main spot was Andre performing a Giant Swing on him, Greg was using so much oil that he slipped from Andre's grip and went to fly over the top-rope like a rag doll, to fall flat on his back outside the ring.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • How Andre was often booked in the territory days (i.e., pro wrestling before the Wrestlemania era). Since Andre's trademark was his virtual invincibility, he didn't typically vie for titles like most stars did. Rather, regional promotions would book an angle where the local hero had been taken advantage of by several heels working together and could not possibly defeat them all by himself. Then Andre would come to town to be the hero's partner. You can guess the rest.
    • On 10/3/1991 André (Now walking cane-assisted) made the saving for Davey Boy Smith after the latter both great victories at Battle Royal at The Albert Hall anointing him as the next great WWF's European Super Star as they both finished up The Natural Disasters in a bunkhouse brawl outside the ring.
  • Big Eater: He had an appetite for food equal to his love for booze. In his autobiography, Hulk Hogan said that there was a French restaurant near where Andre lived in L.A. during the 80s, and it wasn't unheard of for Andre to spend nearly all day there, ordering the entire menu in turn, because he rarely got to eat genuine French food (the owners were French immigrants).
  • Big Foot Sasquatch And Yeti: He played Bigfoot on The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • Big Fun: Partially because he knew his gigantism would be the death of him (and it was, in a roundabout way), he decided that he would party and drink as much as humanly possible.
  • The Big Guy: He was called Andre The Giant for a very good reason. A friend of Andre's tells the story of a dinner where he tried to pick up the check while Andre was in the bathroomnote . He was speaking with the waiter when Andre returned, tucked his friend under his arm and firmly replaced him in his seat. This particular friend was not exactly a little guy himself.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • On what was possibly his last active performance as a wrestler, he was part of a 6 man tag-team best of three falls match in UWA Mexico (4/24/1992) alongside Bam Bam Bigelow and Dr. Wagner against the most revered Masked Luchadores back in the day, El Canek, Fishman and Villano III. Andre had to walk down the aisle assisted by Wagner and he spent most of the match firmly in his corner, only to comically slap, chop and head-butting the opponents his teamates throw at him. It was lighthearted and fun to watch, but it was painfully obvious that Andre could barely stand unassisted. Nevertheless, he scored the first fall for his team.
    • Andre died in 1993, but was the first inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame in the same year.
  • Blatant Lies: When he was placed in the ring with someone like Ernie Ladd note , even the thick lifts in his boots weren't enough to keep up the myth of the 7'4" giant. When he fought Chuck Wepner on the undercard of the infamous Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki bout (unlike the main event, Andre's match was worked), the legit sports reporters covering the bout placed him at or around 6'11" compared to the 6'5" Wepner. When he visited the Mexican set of Conan the Destroyer and took a picture with 7'1" Wilt Chamberlain, Vince McMahon Sr. did everything in his power to keep the photo from being widely circulated, as it revealed André the Giant is actually shorter than Wilt. As Deadspin neatly put it, "Before CGI, there was only Andre." note .
  • The Bully: After a fashion. If he decided he did not like you, you were in for some very brutal matches. Jake Roberts was a good example: Andre disliked him a great deal, and would go out of his way to hurt him for real in the matches. He also didn't like Randy Savage. Depending on who you believe, it was either due to Randy using too much baby oil during matches, the way he treated Miss Elizabeth or his heavy steroid use. (One figures Andre's shit list would have been a lot longer if it were for that last reason however.) This was apparently how Andre tested people as when Roberts confronted him about it and Andre grew to respect him as compared to others such as Savage who stayed terrified of him.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • In kayfabe, Bobby Heenan managed to trigger a Heel–Face Turn by slapping Andre - the commentators quickly pointed out the idiocy in that move.
    • On Andre's side, he once told a racial joke at Bad News Brown/Allen earshot. Bad News became the only person who ever got Andre to back down from a fight. It should be noted that Bad News held a Bronze Medal in judo and was considered possibly the (legit) toughest brawler in the locker room back in the day. Andre was smart enough to know that his size didn't mean much when faced with a person who could snap his leg like a twig, though even Bad News admitted in an interview he wasn't entirely certain if he could take Andre on in a straight fight if it actually came down to it. Andre ended up getting his revenge later in a hilarious and disgusting manner, when the two were programmed together in Mexico. Andre ate a ridiculous number of burritos before a match, sat on Allen's chest, and biology ensued.
    • Regarding the famous story of Andre scaring off some guys hassling him in a bar... one must wonder what sort of thought process led those geniuses to think hassling a 7'4" 516-pound wrestler would end well. Then again, it was in a bar. Common sense isn't very common in many bars.
  • Captain Ersatz: Quite enough!:
    • Capcom created a whole German family of giants by the surname Andore debuting in Final Fight but having also ties with the Street Fighter saga, being Hugo and Abigail the most successful of the lot.
    • A few times in Fire Pro Wrestling as The Mountain Giant Rozhmov.
    • Several characters in Baki the Grappler and the manga version of Garouden feature expies of Andre under different names in a giant love-letter to the man himself from their creators, who are both huge Pro Wrestling and Andre fans.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: The Giant Machine. It drove Bobby Heenan and his men furious, as Giant Machine was billed from Asia, yet possesed a suspiciously familiar French drawl.
  • Chick Magnet: Andre was never married, but he had many, many women throwing themselves at him, according to Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper and Bobby Heenan among others.
    Ric Flair: He's wearing a size 24 ring, baby. What else can I tell you? ... he's wearing size 24 shoes. What else you want to know?
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: He's the subject of an affectionate graphic biography by Box Brown.
  • Consummate Professional: Andre took wrestling very, very seriously. Hogan related a story about a time he made the mistake of bringing a girl to a match against Andre to show off, and Andre beat on and humiliated him in the ring to teach him a lesson about professionalism.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Quite a few of Andre's most memorable matches during his face years were curb stomp battles. Often, these were against lower- to mid-card heels and Andre went fairly easy on them, but put a guy like Killer Khan in the ring against you, and Andre went out with full fury. One match, from the Philadelphia Spectrum in the fall of 1981 note , saw Andre fight off a Khan rally ... and then he beat him to the point where even security couldn't hold him back. At one point, Khan tried to run from the ring, figuring taking a countout loss was better than the already severe beating he had taken, but like a predatory animal Andre ran after him at full speed, caught him and pulled him back into the ring to get an even more severe beating!
    • Another frequent heel who took the brunt of a curb-stomp battle during Andre's face days was Bobby Heenan; often, these were tag-team matches where tag team partners like Nick Bockwinkel, Ken Patera, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy were of little use in protecting "the Brain," and once Heenan reportedly took such a severe beating from the Giant he was rendered in a full body cast for several weeks.
    • By 1989, with Andre (now a heel) in declining health, he was on the receiving end of this by a younger wrestler named the Ultimate Warrior. Warrior won several of his matches against Andre in less than 30 seconds, simply by jumping into the ring, catching Andre off guard with a series of clotheslines and then splashing him before he knew what happened.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • He is Hulk Hogan's Awesome Moment of Crowning. Specifically, Hogan was the first person to lift him up and bodyslam him, at least during the WWF's "Rock 'n' Wresting" era.note  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 let Hogan retain 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 put Hogan over that made it the greatest moment in his career.
    • Andre was the generator of such moments for many other wrestlers back before Hogan, who wasn't the first but the one to do so in front of 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 villain and Andre was the good guy) slammed the big guy at least twice.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Here are but three American examples. Before Baby Doll became a valet in then NWA flagship Jim Crockett Promotions, she wrestled as Andrea the Lady Giant. The Team 3D Academy's Betsy Ruth, who was bigger than Baby Doll and turned into Andrea Mother in the Japanese promotion Diana. Then Ring Wars Carolina found a roller derby competitor even larger than Betsy, who went on to go by Andrea The Giant. (also Seven-Year Rule, as Baby Doll had long retired by then)
  • The Dreaded: Many wrestlers got over just by wrestling Andre and lasting, not actually beating him or even wrestling him to a draw.
    • Several of his co-workers said one of their biggest worries was that he might decide not to go through with a scripted loss, because there was absolutely nothing anyone could do to make him stay down and be pinned.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Inverted, Andre had a habit of calling everyone "Boss".
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Once during an appearance on the WWF's talk show WWF Tuesday Night Titans, he mentioned this while showing off some new boots he had acquired.
  • Evil Costume Switch: As a babyface, Andre wore trunks. Once he turned heel in 1987, Andre wore a black one-strap singlet.note 
  • Finishing Move: Big Splash, Elbow/Knee/Leg Drop, Seated Senton and Butterfly Suplex.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel:
    • Played this role in Japan, as "Monster Rousimoff," for the better part of 15 years before his heel turn in the WWF. Oddly enough, he would make a Heel–Face Turn in Japan at around the same time. He worked most of that time for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and when he could no longer perform at the level required for a promotion that athletically focused; NJPW owner Antonio Inoki, out of appreciation for Andre's long service, negotiated a deal where he would move to All Japan Pro Wrestling and work comedy matches with "Giant" Baba as his tag team partner.
    • Oddly enough, averted in his heel runs in the US. Him being from France was usually acknowledged, but was never used as part of his character. Andre himself almost never brought it up in promos either. Then again, it was Andre. He didn't need to act like a foreign wrestling heel to get heat. His size and brutality as a heel were enough.
  • Gasshole: The man really appreciated a good fart joke. Especially when he cut a sixteen-second long fart on the set of The Princess Bride. It brought shooting to a standstill. Rob Reiner asked if he was okay and Andre's response was "I am now, boss!"
  • 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. Nearly every wrestler who worked for him, not to mention the people in the French village where he had grown up, had similar stories about him.
    • Although Andre hated being stared at outside of the wrestling ring as a general rule, he was noted to be as gentle as a lamb with kids whenever they saw and approached him. Supposedly this was because the majority of kids stared at him not because they saw him in a negative manner, but as a genuine, real life giant and were so in awe of him. Andre was well noted even in his days as a heel to tone it down somewhat after his heel turn when it came to kids. He still protected Kayfabe, but he was far gentler with kids than adults during that period.
    • His Kayfabe persona, before his famous Face–Heel Turn, was a kindhearted babyface who would travel the territories taking on the local villains and/or teaming with the local heroes. It was only when his body began breaking down that he stopped those tours.
  • The Giant: It's in his NAME! Subverted in that he was actually a moderately skilled Greco-Roman wrestler and only played up the Unskilled, but Strong angle when injuries and his condition slowed him down late in his career. To give an idea of his size: he could make a can of beer disappear in his hand, and his caloric intake in beer alone was often north of ten thousand.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Yes, it sounds like the lamest pun ever but it was one of Andre's signature moves, and it was a great deal on his matches, really.
    • Usually having a helpless opponent lying flat on his back, Andre performed his Big Walk, meaning that he stepped on the fallen's tummy, using him as a door mat.
    • If his opponent was close to the apron then a top-rope assisted Andre stood on both feet to squish the poor hapless guy below him.
  • Hard Head/Use Your Head: Though it may have as much been that his head was disproportionately large as opposed to how hard it was.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Suffered during his infamous run-in with Jake Roberts' snake, Damien. Needless to say, once Andre recovered, he didn't take to suffering this sudden illness very well.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Alongside the 5'6" Robin Wright in The Princess Bride.
    • According to Hulk Hogan, André met a pair of Japanese waitresses while they toured in Tokyo—both of whom were five feet tall, if that. He would frequently call Hogan whenever he had them over in his hotel room, no matter the time of day—either to give him a blow-by-blow account of whatever they'd been doing … or just to make him listen to the action.
    He used to think it was funny to wake me up at two in the morning and have me listen to [them] screaming for their lives. Whatever André was doing, he was having a lot of fun, that's for sure. He was just a different type of brother.
  • Insists on Paying: André's meals were always huge and expensive, since André not only had huge dietary requirements, but also a great love of fine dining, and were always accompanied by prodigious amounts of liquor. note  He always insisted that he pay for his own food and drink, because of it. Arnold Schwarzenegger related a story where he was dining with Andre. Knowing Andre's insistence to always pay, Arnold sneaked over to the waiter to ask him to bring HIM the check instead. Before he reached the waiter, Andre picked him up and carried him back to his chair.
  • Kayfabe: Being from the 'old school', Andre protected kayfabe at all times. Once, at dinner during the filming of The Princess Bride, Mandy Patinkin jokingly asked "Hey Andre, wrestling's fake, right?" Andre, who had been entertaining his castmates with jokes, immediately turned ice cold and stared Patinkin down, growling, "No. It is real." Patinkin turned back to his plate and didn't say another word for the rest of the meal.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: A common side-effect of Andre's form of acromegaly was a very low sperm count, and as such, he refused for several years to believe that his daughter was, well, his daughter. When a blood test finally proved it, he felt so guilty about his treatment of her and her mother that he left them nearly his entire estate.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Early in his career, he was around (legit) 7' 1''/ 210 cms and 400 lb/180 kg and could throw Mid-clinch dropkicks. Acromegaly slowed him down later.
  • Like You Were Dying: Andre knew from his youth that he would likely die young. His entire life can be seen as a way to defy his fate and just enjoy himself.
  • Masked Luchador: Andre wrestled wearing a mask in Japan as 'Andre the Giant Machine' in 1985.
  • Mighty Glacier/Stone Wall: In his later years, Andre lost most of his agility and speed, but kept his incredible strength. Very few wrestlers could get him off his feet even by the end of his career.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In his appearance in a commercial for Honeycomb cereal,note  he plays a literal giant.
    • While not the case in his The Princess Bride appearance, his character Fezzik is nonetheless referred to as a "giant".
  • Never Gets Drunk: His huge size meant that it took an incredible amount of alcohol to make him get drunk. The one time he was ever recorded as pass-out drunk, he had consumed ten cases of beer. Cary Elwes notes in his book about the making of The Princess Bride that André's drink of choice during filming was what he called "The American" — a 40 oz. (~1.2 L) pitcher filled with a mixture of brandy and whatever other hard liquor the bar could spare — and he would drink multiples most nights.
  • No-Sell: No matter what overpowering wrestling move you may wanted to try on him, it was nearly impossible to take him down. Remember he spent fifteen years undefeated before WMIII.
  • Odd Friendship: With the playwright Samuel Beckett. Apparently, it started when Beckett would drive Andre to school on a few occassions as there was no school bus, and so trusted adults in the community would occasionally drive children to school, especially on days with bad weather.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Pretty much André's trademark, taking punches and throw attempts like they are nothing.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: An issue Andre often faced was that not only due to his height, but also the bizarre proportions his gigantism caused, most public services and products couldn't accommodate him. The anesthetist mentioned above had to base dosage in that manner because most hospital charts simply would not account for someone of Andre's size. He had to special order shoes and clothes, it was difficult for him to even find a hotel with beds that fit him, and most toilets would shatter if he sat on them (according to Jake Roberts, Andre would poop in the bathtub and wash it down). This was especially notable in Japan, which Andre often visited as part of his tours.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Before his acromegaly reduced him to Mighty Glacier status, Andre could actually move frighteningly fast and agile for someone of his size, and was decently skilled at Greco-Roman wrestling to boot. They actually had him slow down because his speed and agility detracted from the audience's ability to perceive him as an intimidating monster of a man.
  • Red Baron: "Monster", "The Giant", "The 8th Wonder of the World" (a title that initially belonged to Pampero Firpo).

  • Square-Cube Law: He died young because his body was violating it.
  • Squash Match: Several, often of the handicap varietynote . This was an Enforced Trope during his early tours of the US. Since his English was limited, he was put in handicap matches with his traveling partner Frank Valois (who would call all the spots), and a small job guy (who would take all the moves after receiving his cues in English from Valois).
  • Staring Down Cthulhu:
    • Hulk Hogan earned André's friendship this way; Hulk wanted to emulate André in the sense of wanting to be as charismatic and verbose as the latter to make himself seem as "large" as possible note , Andre took his promos and the like as a direct challenge so he would proceed to legitimately beat the holy hell out of him during many of their first matches. At some point, the fact that Hogan kept coming back and treated Andre with respect despite the animosity the Big Guy had for him note  got the Hulkster to the point that Andre ended up respecting and accepted him as a friend.
    • That's how Jake Roberts got his respect in the lockers. Andre didn't like Jake very much when he was the newcomer, so The Big Guy confronted The Snake who, true to his own character, simply stood up and told The Giant that being both professionals note , they shouldn't have a beef with each other.
  • Stout Strength: Due to his massive appetite, Andre generally had a pudgy physique even for his size. This in no way detracted from his monstrous strength.
  • Super-Strength: As a side effect of his gigantism, Andre was incredibly strong and fortunately also a subversion of Does Not Know His Own Strength because of his highly athletic career. He once deadlifted the front of and then flipped a car that a few New Yorkers who had insulted and thrown things at him had packed into. There's also a belief shared by many of his contemporaries that Andre never hit anyone as hard as he could, because he was afraid of killing someone.
  • Tag Team: Several.
    • He began his career this side of the pond in Montreal as Frank Valois' partner.
    • With Dusty and Superfly in some NWA territories.
    • Odd enough, his most constant and famous partner was Hulk Hogan since their days as faces in the AWA.
    • "The Machines" (as Giant Machine), with Big Machine (Blackjack Mulligan), Super Machine (Bill "Masked Superstar"/"Demolition Ax" Eadie), Hulk Machine, Piper Machine, Animal Machine (George "The Animal" Steele) and Crusher Machine (AWA legend Reggie "The Crusher" Lisowski)
    • "The Mega Bucks", with DiBiase
    • "The Colossal Connection", with Haku.
    • with Giant Baba in AJPW.
  • Tall Tale: Really, No Pun Intended.
    • At the very beginning of his career when he was only 19, Andre debuted as "Géant Ferré" (A play on "Grand Ferré", the French Paul Bunyan), and for what we know, he lived up to the gimmick.
    • Some of these tales aren't coming for what we know about his life, personal quirks or career, but from the backstage word-of-mouth. Ric Flair told an amusing story once regarding someone told him that in order to sustain his massive frame, Andre was born with two hearts and sported three rows of teeth. Naitch' recalled he used to stare down every time Andre spoke wanting to verify if he really had that many pearlies.
  • Underwear of Power: Wore trunks as a babyface prior to his 1987 heel turn. It also helped hide the back brace he had to use in order to keep competing.
  • The Unintelligible: His thick accent combined with a slight jaw deformitynote  often made it difficult to hear what he was saying.
  • Unrelated Brothers: More like Unrelated Father and Son: The Giant (Paul Wight) in WCW was supposedly Andre's "son." The only thing the two had in common was their disease, they didnt even have the same nationality, as Andre was French while Wight is American.
    • Ironically, The Big Show really did look like Andre when he was younger, due to having long hair and being of similar size. Big Show also has acromegaly, but his was arrested in time to prevent him from going the same way Andre did. As a result, Big Show's body is more properly in proportion compared to Andre. But being close enough in size and looks to pull it off meant that there was no way in hell WCW wouldn't have tried to make this work. The fact that this was a staple in wrestling of wrestlers being In-Universe relatives to one another also meant there was a precedent. Andre's family seemed not to care, since they knew Andre loved the industry and saw Big Show's early work as either an homage or love letter to Andre's early work. That or nobody mentioned it to them until well after the fact.
  • Ur-Example: The first wrestler inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame. The WWF Hall of fame was established in the first place to honor André after his death.
  • Wham Line: In perhaps the most famous segment of the Piper's Pit, Andre—accompanied by Bobby Heenan—delivered one to Hulk Hogan, pointing his finger at Hogan's chest and declaring, "I’m here for one reason: to challenge you to a championship match at WrestleMania.” Andre then ripped Hogan's shirt and walked out. Hogan was simply left babbling and needed to be comforted by his long-time Arch-Enemy, Roddy Piper.
  • 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. Notably averted less than two years earlier when Andre was a guest on the Snake Pit (hosted by a then-heel Roberts himself) when Andre merely scoffed at Damien, calling him a garter snake, and again in 1991 when Roberts and Andre allied against mutual enemy Earthquake note .
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Averted, he was one of the first true superstars of professional wrestling, and as a result could afford to be primarily a wrestler. There's a persistent urban legend that he played defensive end for Washington in the 70s, but all he ever did for them was visit their training camp for a publicity stunt once (if nothing else, the WWF was paying him twice what the NFL could afford back then).
  • Wrestling Managers Are Heels: When Hogan saw Andre walk out with Bobby Heenan at Piper's Pit, he knew this was bad news. Andre's heel run ended when Heenan turned on him at Wrestlemania VI.
  • You Talk Too Much!: Andre was one who gladly accepted suggestions and feedback from his fellow wrestlers, and often had great cooperation in helping plot out matches, but not always, especially when someone got on his nerves. One example came in planning the special "WWF Wrestlers vs. NFL Players" battle royal at Wrestlemania 2; Bill Fralic, then an offensive guard with the Atlanta Falcons, was rambling on and talking about what he thought would make a great battle royal, but only succeeded in getting on everyone's nerves. Andre was patient but finally when he saw everyone had enough, Andre finally spoke up and said, "You talk too much!" That shut Fralic up for the rest of the rehearsals.


Video Example(s):


Andre the Giant Heel Turn

Documentary clip tells the story of Andre the Giant's Heel Turn against Hulk Hogan before Wrestlemania III.

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Main / FaceHeelTurn

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