Pro wrestling has always been an industry of big men. Most of the greats have been at least 250 pounds and on many occasions, a whole lot more than that. A superstar of 220 pounds, a neat 100 kg, falls onto the smaller side of the scale. Even at 300 pounds, the weight of an average football lineman, a wrestler isn’t considered overly huge. Make no mistake, 300 pounds is a decent sized human no matter how you look at it. In that kind of territory you’re looking at the likes of The Undertaker, or Hulk Hogan. But they’re simply dwarfed by the true giants we’ve seen in the ring.
If we take a step up from The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan into the 350 pound range, we run into such luminaries as Kevin Nash. Now we’re starting to talk about some big wrestlers. Or are we? Crank it up another 50 pounds and you’re rubbing shoulders with Mark Henry, or Rikishi who hovered around the 425 lbs mark. These are big men, but they’re not close to breaking into our list of the top 15 heaviest wrestlers of all time.
So big are the wrestlers on this list that most of them are no longer with us, having succumbed to a weight related illness. Just missing the cut is King Kong Bundy who was billed at 458 pounds throughout his wrestling career. That’s more than 207 kg if we employ the metric system. He’d beat opponents with an avalanche splash and sometimes impelled the referee to deliver a five count instead of the standard three. He’s an absolute giant compared with me or you, but looks like a baby up against the men on this list. Just imagine stepping into the ring with any of these guys. Chances are you’d probably need assistance getting back to the locker room. While these guys’ billed weights fluctuated a little throughout their career, we’re going by the number they were at their heaviest.
15. Earthquake – 468 pounds
At 468 pounds, Earthquake was not to be messed with. Unsurprisingly he started off as a successful sumo wrestler before joining the WWE. He made an instant impact, too taking out Ultimate Warrior before setting his sights on Hulk Hogan. He used his weight to obscure effect in 1991 by stomping on Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts’ python which he then cooked and ate. Soon after he teamed up with Typhoon to form the formidable tag team, the Natural Disasters. They won the World Tag Team titles in 1992. Earthquake died of bladder cancer in 2006.
14. Jerry Blackwell – 474 pounds
Jerry Blackwell was 474 pounds of pure athletic ability. Arguably the most agile big man of them all, he wasn’t afraid to throw himself around in the ring combining stamina and the power of gravity with his immense carriage. His favorite move? The dropkick. He also indulged in the odd running powerslam and running leg drop, neither of which sound like much fun if you were his opponent. He enjoyed his best days in the American Wrestling Association, during which time he feuded with Hulk Hogan. Blackwell died in early 1995 while recovering from a car accident.
13. Mabel – 487 pounds
This 487 pound behemoth also went by Viscera and Big Daddy V during a career spent intimidating everyone who stepped into the ring with him. He won the 1995 King of the Ring as Mabel and is well remembered for the role he played as Viscera, The Undertaker’s most loyal servant in the Ministry of Darkness. Viscera and tag team partner Mideon once beat Triple H in a handicap casket match. The only way Triple H could win was by squeezing both opponents inside the casket. Big Daddy V had a reputation as being dangerous in the ring and his leg drop often caused more pain than intended – understandable when carrying all that weight. He died of a heart attack in 2014.
12. Big Show – 500 pounds
Once billed as weighing 500 pounds, but closer to 450 these days. He’s still a beast of a wrestler and the biggest we’ve seen in the WWE for a long time. Big Show has run through the entire roster throughout his career, delivering his trademark chokeslam to the company’s biggest names. So heavy is the Big Show that not even the ring is completely capable of supporting him. It once thunderously collapsed when the Big Show was superplexed by Brock Lesnar. It wasn’t the first time the Big Show has destroyed the ring either. He’s put a number of superstars through the mat with his chokeslam, including The Undertaker.
11. Akebono – 514 pounds
This former sumo wrestler once tipped the scales at a groaning 514 pounds. A pioneer of sorts, he was the first non-Japanese wrestler to achieve the rank of yokozuna, the highest in sumo. He retired from that sport in 2001 and is now a major superstar in All Japan Pro Wrestling. His career highlight perhaps came at WrestleMania 21 where he took on the Big Show in a novelty sumo match. Combined, the pair weighed in at a shade under 1,000 pounds and it was the first time the Big Show had been outweighed by an opponent. It showed too. Akebono won the match, tossing the Big Show out of the circle in an impressive show of brute strength.
10. Andre The Giant – 520 pounds
Arguably the greatest of them all, and definitely one of the biggest. Andre The Giant suffered from a growing disorder which meant he kept expanding throughout his life. He was billed at 520 pounds (and 7-foot-4) for a lot of his career but there’s plenty of conjecture as to whether this was a little underneath the real figure. Hulk Hogan once claimed in an interview that they weighed Andre once and came up with a much larger result. “We weighed him at Detroit airport before WrestleMania III and he was 650 or something. He was big, he’d just had back surgery and he was heavy.” So big was Andre that he would often consume more than 100 beers in a single sitting. He died of heart failure stemming from his medical disorder in 1993.
9. Haystacks Calhoun – 600 pounds
A legend across America in the 1950s and 1960s and a pioneer for gigantic wrestlers, weighing in at a little over the 600 pounds mark throughout his career. Wore overalls in the ring just like one of his tag team partners, Man Mountain Mike, and complemented the outfit with a good luck horseshoe that dangled from his neck. He was never the greatest technical wrestler, but was loved by the fans and hard to beat in the ring. He wrestled in the WWWF during the early 1970s where he won the Tag Team title alongside Tony Garea. Haystacks Calhoun suffered from diabetes, and died in 1989.
8. Man Mountain Mike – 623 pounds
A huge individual who wrestled at 623 pounds. He was discovered at an all you can eat buffet before training with Al Lovelock to kick start his wrestling career. He would then form a tag team with fellow big man Haystacks Calhoun, the duo tipping the scales at more than 1,200 pounds combined. Neither wrestler could fit on the apron, so the non-active partner would have to stand inside the ring.
Man Mountain Mike spent some time wrestling in the WWWF in the 1970s, the forerunner to the WWE, where he teamed up with another big man in Jerry Blackwell. He often wrestled barefoot in overalls and would finish opponents off with a big splash, as seems to be the norm for a man of his stature. He died in 1998 from blood clots after a cut on his leg became infected.
7. Yokozuna – 641 pounds
The most dominant big man we’ve seen since Andre The Giant and another superstar who kept growing throughout his career. He was 550 pounds when he won the WWE title from Bret Hart, then Hulk Hogan in 1993. He’d grown to 568 pounds by Summerslam, sat at 589 for a while and was reportedly 641 pounds when he won the World Tag Team Title with Owen Hart in 1995. He was eventually forced out of the WWE because of his weight problems and rumors swirled at the time that Yokozuna had broken the 800-pound barrier. He died a two-time WWE Heavyweight champion aged 34 and will forever be remembered for crushing opponents with his Bonzai Drop.
6. Maximum Capacity – 650 pounds
The aptly named Maximum Capacity was often billed as the World’s Largest Athlete during his independent career. It’s a hard claim to argue given he was 650 pounds of pure mass. He used to work as a bouncer in Florida before taking up wrestling where he plied his trade in America, Japan and Europe. He always dreamed of wrestling fellow big man Yokozuna but never had the opportunity. His life wasn’t one of health, with ongoing battles against hypertension, asthma and diabetes. In 2011 he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and he died three years later.
5. Giant Haystacks – 690 pounds
Giant Haystacks also went by Loch Ness when he was at his heaviest, roughly 690 pounds. Born in England weighing more than 14 pounds as a baby, he grew to be 6-foot-11 and pursued a successful wrestling career on both sides of the Atlantic. He made his WCW debut in 1996 as Loch Ness and enjoyed a short-lived feud with Hulk Hogan before being diagnosed with cancer. He died in 1998 aged 52. Outside of wrestling he recorded a single called ‘Baby I Need You’ in 1983 as Giant Haystacks, and at the time was dubbed the world’s biggest recording artist.
4. Martin ‘The Blimp’ Levy – 700 pounds
Levy was discovered in the mid 1930s while working as a fat man for a circus. At times he was billed at 625 pounds although that figure fluctuated during his near two decade wrestling career and he was reportedly sometimes closer to 700 pounds. Suffice to say in those early years he was the biggest wrestler the industry had ever seen.
Despite his immensity he was also relatively nimble and according to legend once drop kicked a can in a locker room that was suspended six feet off the ground. Levy died aged 56, reportedly weighing about 900 pounds.
3. Hornswagglin’ Hillbilly – 725 pounds
An absolute monster of a man at 725 pounds, Hornswagglin’ Hillbilly enjoyed his best years with Juggalo Championship Wrestling. During a match with the 141 pounder Tom Dub, commentators joked that Hornswagglin’ Hillbilly had King Kong Bundy (a 458 pounder himself) stuffed down his trousers. In that same match the big fella struggled to climb the stairs into the ring, then disposed of Dub in about 30 seconds finishing things off with a huge splash. He didn’t bother climbing off Dub, just stayed in position while the referee counted to three. Has also wrestled in Japan where he was referred to as Haystacks Calhoun Jr.
2. The McGuire Twins – 743 and 723 pounds
Benny and Billy McCrary fall into this list by default, given they’re listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest twins of all time. Haystacks Calhoun once claimed he felt skinny when climbing into the ring with the McGuire Twins. At 10 years of age they were already 200 pounds apiece and that had inflated to 600 by the time they were 16. In 1978 Billy was 743, and his Benny was 723, meaning as a tag team they combined to weigh almost 1,500 pounds.
Their trademark moves included the Tupelo Splash and the Steamroller. Billy died in 1979, with his brother living almost 22 years longer. They are buried together under a 13 foot wide headstone in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
1. Happy Humphrey – 802 pounds
The biggest of them all, Happy Humphrey tipped the scales to 802 pounds during his wrestling career. He once wrestled a bear in 1953 before upgrading to humans, and lasted about nine years in the game before his weight forced him into retirement. The highlight of those nine years was wrestling Haystacks Calhoun at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. He struggled through life with his enormity, getting stuck in a phone booth on one occasion and a movie theater seat on another. He could eat 15 chickens in one sitting and expanded to more than 900 pounds after he quit wrestling before losing an astonishing 570 pounds. He lived to the age of 62 before succumbing to a heart attack when back up around the 600-pound mark.
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