It goes without saying that tall performers have an instant advantage in the pro-wrestling business. It's a form of entertainment that mixes athletic displays with over-the-top exaggerated characters, all wrapped up in a package that embraces spectacle. And one of the most basic spectacles in human history is bearing witness to people who are much larger than regular folks!
RELATED: Top 13 Tallest Wrestlers Of All Time
There have been countless giants in wrestling history (some of whom could even wrestle pretty damn well), but there have also been a lot of big men who could barely move between the ropes. Here are the 5 tallest wrestlers ever, as well as 5 who are taller than they might seem.
10 TALLEST: ANDRE THE GIANT - 7'
Andre the Giant is, without a doubt, the most famous giant in pro-wrestling history. Known to mainstream audiences for his encounters with boxing legend Muhammad Ali, his historic Wrestlemania feud with Hulk Hogan when America was at the height of Hulkamania and his starring role in Rob Reiner's beloved movie The Princess Bride.
Andre was billed as 7'4'' tall, but it was more likely that he actually stood at 7 feet tall; WWE loves to inflate its numbers sometimes, especially with a spectacle like Andre.
9 TALLEST: RAJA LION - 7'2''
Raja Lion aka Muhammad Malik Khan may have been the worst wrestler to ever find gainful employment in the business. Standing a massive 7'2'' tall, the Pakistani was plucked from obscurity by All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1987 to face the legendary Antonio Inoki.
The match was utterly awful, with Lion immediately finding himself incredibly far out of his depth. Picture The Great Khali, but even worse. He later became an 'actor' (appearing in 1989 kung-fu movie Bloodfight) and eventually settled on working as a security guard in a Dubai supermarket.
8 TALLEST: SILO SAM - 7'4''
Like most giants in the pro-wrestling business, Silo Sam wasn't much of a wrestler. Being so tall makes the kind of intricate movement and athleticism required by pro-wrestling very difficult to accomplish. Sam was billed as tall as 7'8'' in certain territories, but in reality, he was closer to 7'4'' (which is still gargantuan).
He wrestled for AWA in 1986, mostly in handicap matches where his part was minimised, and also had a 1987 WWE dark match as Trapper John. By 1990 he had retired from wrestling. Fans might recognise him as a jealous boyfriend who chased Paul Reubens' Pee-wee Herman in 1985's Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
7 TALLEST: PAUL BUNYAN - 7'6''
Max Palmer wrestled for a short time in 1950's Salt Lake City, Utah, as Paul Bunyan. The name, of course, referenced the giant lumberjack from American folklore, and Palmer's incredible stature really sold the idea of a mythic being somehow existing in reality: he was a massive 7'6'' tall.
Fittingly though, promoters often exaggerated his height to cartoonish levels (up to 8'6'')! After his stint in wrestling, he became a travelling evangelist, preaching all across America as a 'Goliath for Christ'.
6 TALLEST: GIANT GONZALEZ - 7'7''
The tallest wrestler ever will be more recognisable to WWE fans, as he competed in an infamous match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania IX in 1993. Giant Gonzalez, who inexplicably wore a bodysuit airbrushed with muscles and adorned with bushy hair patches, debuted in the company at the Royal Rumble, eliminating Taker from the match.
He was billed as 8 feet tall but in reality was around 7'7'', which still made him a huge nine inches taller than The Phenom. He wound up leaving the company after less than a year, leaving behind a bizarre legacy as one half of one of the worst feuds in WWE history.
5 TALLER THAN THEY SEEM: PAIGE - 5'8''
Nia Jax stands an imposing 6 feet tall. Charlotte Flair isn't too far behind her, at 5'10''. Both of these women are presented as being dominant and imposing forces in the WWE women's division, as they tend to stand at least a head taller than most of the other female superstars.
One diva they didn't dwarf, however, was Paige, who is actually 5'8''! For some reason, the 'Glampire' was never presented on a similar level to the likes of Flair and Jax, despite her not being much shorter than them. For comparison's sake, Paige is the same height as Daniel Bryan!
4 TALLER THAN THEY SEEM: JACK SWAGGER - 6'5''
Jack Swagger, whose real name is Jake Hager, had his first professional Mixed Martial Arts fight on January 26th, 2019 for the promotion Bellator MMA. He won via arm-triangle choke in the first round. He has transformed his body since leaving WWE in 2017 and cuts a frightening figure in MMA, where his tremendous height really shows through.
In WWE, he always looked big enough, but he wouldn't have ever been considered one of the biggest. This is despite him being a whopping 6'5'' tall (or even as tall as 6'7'', depending on where you're getting your data). Yeah. He's a big boy!
3 TALLER THAN THEY SEEM: BARON CORBIN - 6'8''
Baron Corbin, the villainous former Raw General Manager and all-round jerk of WWE, is pretty tall, right? Well, yes. He's 6'8'', which once led to him being booked on Smackdown as something of a monster heel. But WWE never went all-in with him, so his intimidation factor didn't come across on Raw.
Nowadays we don't think anyone would think of Corbin, wearing his neatly pressed dress slacks and waistcoat/shirt combo, as a giant. But, consider this: there is no one on the active WWE roster taller than him. Braun Strowman, Erick Rowan and Luke Gallows are all the same height, but the only taller guys are part-time giants like Big Show and Undertaker.
2 TALLER THAN THEY SEEM: EDGE - 6'5''
Edge first came to prominence in WWE in the late 90's/early 00's as one half of a legendary tag team with Christian. They fought in epic ladder and TLC matches with The Hardy Boyz and all four men went on to have top notch singles careers with WWE.
Perhaps it was because Edge became closely associated with these superstars, all of whom stood a respectable 6'1'', that few people ever considered him as being much taller than them. But he is. Edge is a massive 6'5'' tall, which would dwarf most normal men out in the real world!
1 TALLER THAN THEY SEEM: JINDER MAHAL - 6'5''
At this point, Jinder Mahal's near six month reign as WWE Champion in 2017 seems a very, very distant memory. He was pushed out of nowhere, following a return to the company in 2016, and fans complained pretty much constantly throughout his reign. He faded back into obscurity in 2018 and hasn't been seen much on WWE TV lately.
Undoubtedly the thing most fans think of when Jinder's name comes up is the truly ridiculous physique he sported during his main event push; he looked like he was sculpted from stone. But they mightn't realise that he is also an extremely tall man as well; 6'5'' tall, no less!