I love reading websites that list “The Best Ever” rankings for wrestlers or sports in general. Everyone has an opinion – some that are spot on and some that are so far out there I can only sit and laugh out loud.
[adinserter block=”1″]The WWE has a list on its website naming the “The 30 Best Big Men of All Time” in the business. It’s a pretty well covered list, bringing the past and present together to celebrate this great business. I applaud the company for taking a swing at the subject and hitting a solid home run in my opinion.
Vince McMahon started his ownership of the WWE with the notion of “Bigger is Better,” replacing the steady, mat savvy Bob Backlund and replacing him with Hulk Hogan as the company’s top face attraction. Of course, the Iron Sheik helped make that happen, but it was the perfect torch passing for Hogan (and a situation that pissed Backlund off). The more intimidating Hogan was what McMahon had planned in carrying on his father’s legacy.
It worked and wrestling history was made then and has been made ever since.
The big man in wrestling was replaced for a while with speed and agility. Now, it is the way the WWE wants to run toward the end of the year. Personally, I hate the idea because it squashes talented performers (Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow) who are not as big or strong, but certainly more entertaining.
When I think of big men in wrestling, I think of the ones who play the part, give the company everything they can, yet are not rewarded properly for one reason or another.
Enter The Monster, Kane.
The WWE continues to promote veterans of the past in an effort to try and “save” the new Reality Era of the company, which is failing miserably. All the while the Kane character plays the Authority role but is not a true in ring performer – which makes me mad as hell.
Kane may be the hardest working performer in the WWE locker room and certainly one of the most respected.
Still, Glen Jacobs isn’t sniffing a shot at the WWE World Title.
In my opinion, the best underrated big men not named Kane, because he is far and away at the top of the list are these names you may remember.
Big Boss Man: Ray Traylor was best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) under the ring name (The) Big Boss Man, as well as for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling as The Boss, Guardian Angel and Big Bubba Rogers. During his appearances with the WWF, Big Boss Man held the WWF World Tag Team Championship once and the WWF Hardcore Championship four times
Kamala: Kamala had several runs in the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s and 1990s. His first began in 1984. As a heel, flanked by Skandor Akbar and “Classy” Freddie Blassie, he competed in a series of matches against André the Giant, including a high-profile steel cage match, which he lost after André twice sat on his chest. Kamala also appeared, along with Blassie, in a segment of the WWF’s Tuesday Night Titans, where he (in kayfabe) ate a live chicken on the air; a cutaway shot was shown of feathers flying out of Kamala’s mouth to create the illusion.
Abdullah the Butcher: Maybe the most feared man in all of wrestling history. Abdullah the Butcher, also at times The Madman from the Sudan, is a semi-retired Canadian professional wrestler known as one of the most brutal or “hardcore” professional wrestlers of all-time. The scars on his forehead are the result of frequent blading. According to Mick Foley, Shreve used to put gambling chips into the deep divots in his head to entertain (or scare) people at casinos. An amateur martial artist, Shreve also has knowledge of judo and karate, often including this knowledge in his professional wrestling matches. This knowledge was mainly displayed by him using judo style throws, and karate chops.
Bam Bam Bigelow: During his professional wrestling career spanning twenty-one years, Bigelow worked in major wrestling promotions, including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the original Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion, and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He was recognizable by his size of nearly 390 pounds (180 kg), and a distinctive flame tattoo that spanned most of his bald head, Bigelow held multiple championships in both ECW and WCW, and thirteen throughout his career. Among other accolades, he was a former world champion, having held the ECW World Heavyweight Championship once, and a two-time WCW World Tag Team Champion. Although he never held a WWF title, he headlined multiple pay-per-view events for the promotion, including WrestleMania XI.
King Kong Bundy: Bundy achieved mainstream recognition in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in the 1980s and 1990s: he headlined WrestleMania 2 in 1986 against Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match for the WWF Championship, and at WrestleMania XI in 1995, he was the fourth victim of what would become The Undertaker’s famous 21-match undefeated WrestleMania streak. WWF play-by-play commentator Gorilla Monsoon dubbed Bundy “The Walking Condominium”, in reference to his size.
[adinserter block=”2″]One Man Gang: Gang made his debut in the WWF in 1987, being managed by Slick, in a match against Jesse Cortez. He spent much of his early WWF run defeating enhancement talent in extremely short matches in order to build him up, most notably in a match where he Gourdbustered his opponent after the bell and then did the same to the referee, thus being (kayfabe) fined $10,000 for his actions. In 1988, Gang entered the inaugural Royal Rumble at number 19 out of 20 participants and was one of the last two men left in the ring, before being eliminated by Jim Duggan. One Man Gang participated in the World Title Tournament at WrestleMania IV, defeating Bam Bigelow by count-out in the opening round.
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