John William Minton (February 19, 1948 March 20, 1995) was an American Professional Wrestler from Burke, VA best known for his work in WWE in the 1980s as Big John Studd. He debuted in 1972 as Chuck O'Connor and also wrestled as Captain USA. He had his most famous feuds with André the Giant and with Hulk Hogan. He retired in 1989 after a second run with Andre this time with Studd as a face and Andre as the heel. Along with WWE, he also competed in the AWA, for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, in World Class, in Florida, Georgia and other territories. He passed away from liver cancer, Hodgkin's Disease and ALS. Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 1x WWE World Tag Team Champion as a member of the masked Executioners with Killer Kowalski, a 3x NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion (2x w/Ric Flair, 1x w/Ken Patera), and a 1x NWA American (World Class) Heavyweight Champion as Captain USA.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
"These tropes are associated with the true giant of wrestling, Big John Studd."
- All-American Face: As Captain USA.
- Arch-Enemy: Andre, Hulk, El Olympico, Dusty Rhodes (in Florida),
- As Himself: In Micki + Maude and on The A-Team's Pro Wrestling Episode "Body Slam."
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
- Bash Brothers: with Ken Patera, King Kong Bundy, Killer Kowalski
- The Brute
- Finishing Move: Heart Punch, Reverse Bear Hug, Double-Arm Suplex
- Gentle Giant: In Real Life, he was one of the nicest guys in the world. He was a devoted family man who loved children. He was wonderful to fans - always happy to shake hands and sign autographs. Bobby Heenan even stated that Big John Studd was too nice to be in the wrestling business.
- The Giant: He claimed to be the "true" giant of wrestling, though he was clearly shorter than Andre The Giant.
- Gimmick Matches: His "$15,000 Bodyslam Challenge."
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Alongside the 5'6" Vanessa Williams in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.
- Legacy Character: Big Ron Studd (Ron Reis), who he trained.
- Power Stable:
- Red Baron: "The 'True' Giant"
- The Rival: Andre The Giant
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: He wouldn't take Ted DiBiase's payoff to eliminate himself from the 1989 Royal Rumble, and went on to win the event.
- Tag Team: (under masks): The Executioners, with Killer Kowalski.
- Traumatic Haircut: Gave one to Andre The Giant, with some help from Ken Patera. Nine months later, during a televised match at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens, Andre nearly returned the favor when he had Studd beaten to a pulp, and actually began cutting only to be attacked by Studd's new stablemate, King Kong Bundy. After the two heels were run from the ring, Studd went into a hysterical rage, realizing what had been done to him.