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Wrestling / Giant Silva

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"I have brought a wrestler able to bring you hustlers down. Tell your boys to get ready. Any number of them."
Nobuhiko Takada introducing Silva in HUSTLE

Paulo César da Silva (b. 1963) is a Brazilian Professional Wrestler and Mixed Martial Arts fighter, better known as Giant Silva. He debuted in 1981 and signed with World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was put in the Oddities stable along Kurrgan, Golga and other characters. After the group's demise, Silva was fired to make place to The Big Show. He moved to Mexico for the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, where he became incredibly popular as an athletic face giant. He then was recruited by Antonio Inoki and left for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, joining Giant Singh (after known as Great Khali) to form the team Club 7, Masahiro Chono's giant bodyguards. The two titans eventually turned on each other and both left NJPW, with Silva landing in Dream Stage Entertainment. He gained popularity after starting a rather unfortunate MMA career and simultaneously competed in HUSTLE, where he served as Generalissimo Takada's main enforcer. After the fall of HUSTLE, Silva kept wrestling in the American wrestling circuit before fading into the darkness. He is apparently retired, and according to rumors, works as a bouncer.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Giant Tropes":

  • Achilles' Heel:
    • In pro wrestling, naturally for a giant like him, his legs and his comparative slowness of reaction were his main weak spots. If the opponents managed to get him on one knee, they could gang up on him and land many cheapshots before he brushed them aside. His stature itself had another very obvious shortcoming: he was so tall that his gravity center was above the third rope, so he was more prone to fall off the ring if pinned against the ropes than smaller wrestlers.
    • In MMA, his main weakness was his lack of mobility. Even if Silva was pretty fast for a guy his size, his movements were like slow motion for his much smaller opponents, which could outmaneuver him on the ground and strike him without danger while he was busy trying to reposition.
  • Acrofatic: More "big" than "fat" example, but valid nonetheless. Despite his enormous size, Silva could maneuver like none other giant in pro wrestling. He could perform sunset flips, slingshots, top rope attacks and even hurricanranas (those with some assistence, that is).
  • Almighty Janitor: The way he was booked in México, Giant Silva would have been virtually undefeatable in singles matches, so he could have taken all the promotion's titles had he wanted. However, he was more content with being a humble ally to any babyface who needed a help against some bunch of rudos.
  • Arch-Enemy: Akebono, the only name in puroresu who could top him in size. They even had a MMA fight in PRIDE, with Silva coming victorious. In real life, however, they were close friends.
  • Ass Kicks You: One of his old spots was cornering the entire enemy team against the turnbuckle and bumping them hip-first.
  • At Arm's Length: Used this technique in MMA, seriously. His arms and legs were so long that he could easily fend his attacker away from him; his height also made inviable the strategy of hitting ground and pound through his guard, as they didn't reach to his head. Opponents eventually realized this and started capitalizing on his slowness to bypass this defense around him.
  • Barbarian Hero: Even when playing as a técnico or babyface in México, he was still a giant dude with long hair who roared and bruted his way across the ring.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Began sporting long hair after the WWF, and it became his trademark.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • In WWF, with the Oddities.
    • In CMLL, with Brazo de Plata, the only other superheavyweight in the promotion (and pretty much in the entire México).
    • In NJPW, with Masahiro Chono, and also with Giant Singh until their falling out.
    • In HUSTLE, with any other mook of the Takada Monster Army, but specially with Giant Vabo.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Had his first appearance in CMLL saving the diminutive Tzuki from a beatdown by Universo 2000 and the Dinamita brothers.
  • Big Fun: The Oddities's gimmick. Also, he was featured in this funny promo in CMLL where he helped Tzuki and some other midget wrestlers to win a basketball match.
    "Did you see, Dr. Wagner? Here on the field I am the king, and on the ring, same. So I want to invite you to a match against us, either here or there. Bring in your most valuable players."
  • Big Good: Silva used to be appointed the babyface team's captain in relevos matches in México, as he was naturally the most difficult to eliminate in any way.
  • The Big Guy: As a face.
    • He also had this role in the Oddities. Granted, ALL of the three main male Oddities, Golga, Kurrgan and Silva were huge, but he was the tallest and the least experienced when he entered in WWE.
  • Brazil
  • Breakup Breakout: Among the Club 7 tag team, Giant Singh went to became the most worldwide famous of the duo, as he moved to WWE and became The Great Khali, so he was the one who broke out. Silva nonetheless is the most famous and remembered in Japan thanks to his career in PRIDE and Fighting Opera HUSTLE, but American fans barely remember or even know him.
  • The Brute: First for Masahiro Chono and later for Generalissimo Takada.
  • Carry a Big Stick: In Japan, he used to come to the ring carrying a big wooden club. He even appeared in MMA events with it, which led to this weird (and probably staged) incident after his fight against Takashi Sugiura.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: With his long hair, he looks very like Carles Pujol, which was noted by European fans.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He left wrestling without an official retirement in 2010.
  • Circus of Fear: His gimmick as part of the Oddities.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Started wearing black after the jolly Oddities disappeared, and it became his usual wear color.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The majory of his wins. He has wrestled more handicap matches than single ones, but he has never allowed it to bother him.
  • David vs. Goliath: It's easy to see why.
  • Death from Above: His main finishing move was the Giant Press, a diving splash performed generally from the second rope and sometimes from the top rope. If it was not for a splash, he was perfectly comfortable leaping from the top rope in diving crossbodies or shoulder blocks.
  • Demoted to Extra: The team match against Kaientai was the one which saw most of Giant Silva in the WWF, as he was relegated to a cornerman to the main team of the Oddities (Golga and Kurrgan) and he was barely tagged in at all in their trios matches, often only to finish an opponent and dance afterwards.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Before a match between Oddities and Too Much in 1999, Droz came and challenged Silva, who promptly slingshotted his way out the ring and went after him. It turned out that it was a ruse concocted to keep Silva away from the ring and impede him to aid his partners, who lost the match via interference from Disciples of Apocalypse while the giant was attacked by Droz In the Back with a chair.
  • Downer Ending: His team with Giant Singh broke up just before gaining the IWGP Tag Team titles.
  • The Dreaded: A legitimate badass like Heath Herring spent most of Silva's PRIDE debut circling away and running away from him. It was only when opponents learned that Silva was not as dangerous in close quarters as he seemed that he started to be in the receiving end.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Silva had a short career in Memphis Wrestling as "Giant King", an enforcer brought by Randy Hales to defeat Jerry "The King" Lawler.
    • In México, CMLL briefly brought Kurrgan to have another giant wrestler to feud with Silva, who was a solid babyface. They had some clashes before Kurrgan disappeared from Mexican TV.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Giant Singh and him were brought by Masahiro Chono to substitute the team of Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima in his heel stable.
  • Expy:
    • The WWF commentators noted him as one to André the Giant, and in fact, Silva is taller than him, albeit much more slender. In Japan, Silva used Andre's music theme.
    • He also echoes Giant González, who was a basketball player and had South American nationality like him.
  • Finishing Move: In WWF, he used the chokeslam and the powerbomb. While in Mexico, he added the Giant Press (a diving splash from the second or top rope), and kept all of them in Japan.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: When crouched down and surrounded by enemies, he would simply stand up casting his arms aside, which was enough to make all the gang fly around if they were lighter enough.
  • For the Lulz: When he pretended to be angry with Mexican interviewer Heliodoro Hinojosa and tossed him onto a pool.
  • Gentle Giant: In real life.
  • The Giant: Well, duh.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Justified in México, as the quick grapples and flying attacks which are trademark to lucha libre were ineffective against a guy able to power out from just anything and very difficult to take down. Japanese wrestlers hadn't much better luck, as Silva was also large enough to absorb the puroresu strikes as if nothing.
  • Giant Mook: As a heel.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Towards the end of tag team matches in México, he sometimes performed a multiple variation of Mick Foley's Cactus Clothesline to take opponents with him outside of the ring and allow Silva's allies to finish the ones who were still on the mat.
  • Hero Killer: Silva and Singh dedicated their NJPW careers to destroy established veterans like Wataru Inoue, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Hiroshi Tanahashi and every wrestler who dared to oppose the Team 2000.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lost a match against HUSTLE Rikishi when Silva picked up a TV monitor to bludgeon him and Rikishi kicked it right on his face.
  • I Know Basketball: Was part of the Brazilian Olympic team, and occasionally used his basketball ability during gimmick matches in HUSTLE. He was paired with Giant Vabo, a former volleyball player.
  • Incompletely Trained: Barely had MMA training when he stepped in the ring. He only had a crash course in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the Gracie family and never learn proper striking, which would have been his strong point thanks to his abnormally long reach (watch Semmy Schilt and Choi Hong-man as examples).
  • The Juggernaut: In Mexico and Japan. He took entire teams of wrestlers by himself, and it were needed copious amounts of willpoer and teamwork only to slow him down.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Stood among the CMLL luchadores not only for his gigantic size (of course), but also his incredible aerial capability. The rudos who opposed him characteristiclly freaked out whenever he came from the top rope against them.
  • Mighty Glacier: In WWE he didn't used his high-flying offensive, being more of a traditional giant which was slow but enormously big and strong.
  • No-Sell: In pro wrestling, he usually absorbed every strike his opponents threw at him, even if they were several men trying to dropkick him down. On the other hand, nobody could no-sell his own hits.
  • Odd Friendship: In CMLL, with midget wrestler Tzuki. Silva himself had some words of wisdom about it in their first meeting in a park.
    "The size of the person doesn't matter. It does the size of the heart."
  • Older Than They Look: Was already 34 when he debuted on WWE TV on the May 25 (taped May 19th), 1998 Raw, and was 35 when he had his first televised match at SummerSlam 98.
  • Power Stable: The Oddities, Team 2000 and Takada Monster Army.
  • Praetorian Guard: With Singh to Masahiro Chono.
  • Red Baron: "The Largest Man in the World", "The South American Soldier" and "Paulao".
  • Screaming Warrior: Often roared during his matches.
  • Sore Loser: He beat up Manabu Nakanishi after losing by countout to him.
  • Throw the Mook at Them: A specialty of his was military press an opponent and toss him onto his cronies. It specially memorable in WWF Summerslam 98, when he grabbed TAKA Michinoku and threw him outside onto the entire Kaientai.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • He couldn't do lucha libre matwork (though he could do lucha libre high-flying), but he was strong enough to counter any move like a grownup playing wrestling with his son.
    • Pundits used to note that Silva's signature striking in MMA was just like he did in pro wrestling: clubbering hammerfists and bear slaps to the top of the head instead of real punches. However, he did rock Heath Herring in one of the few occasions he actually landed, because when a guy the size of Silva hits you, it's guaranteed to hurt even if he doesn't know how to strike.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Met Akebono in which was probably the heaviest MMA matchup ever. Silva won, though whether he was the unstoppable force or the immovable object is a more difficult question.
  • The Voiceless: He had zero lines during his WWE tenure (albeit he once made the chorus for a singing Kurrgan). He was quite the opposite in Mexico, though.
  • The Worf Effect: Has this tendency towards fellow giants. Despite having defeated Giant Singh in a singles match, Silva was mostly beaten up by him when they met again in a team match in Mexico, which amusingly was won by Silva's team. Years after he had another fluke with HUSTLE Titus (but again winning the match).
    • Silva also jobbed to Tadao Yasuda, who was being strongly pushed in New Japan thanks to his MMA victory against Jérôme Le Banner.
  • World's Strongest Man: The Largest Man in the World
  • Wrestling Monster