Big men have been a staple in professional wrestling for as long as the business has existed. Every major territory had its big man, or big men, that were supposed to strike fear into their opponents, the fans in attendance and the fans watching at home. Unfortunately, not all big men end up being able to play that role, whether it’s due to a horrible gimmick, lack of talent, or both, and some end up being the laughing stock of the pro wrestling world.
No matter how much we love watching guys like Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan work in the ring, those guys will always have to work so much harder than the typical wrestling giant. For example, in the past, WWE was never interested in bringing in a guy like the aforementioned Daniel Bryan, but, they jumped at the chance to bring in someone like The Great Khali, who has, at best, been putting on one star matches for the last decade.
Being a big man that’s horrible in the ring isn’t necessarily a bad thing and there are times that it doesn’t hurt the performer at all. If you look at guys like Kevin Nash and Sid Vicious, they weren’t exactly the best in-ring performers, but they knew their gimmick, they knew what to do and when to do it, and they were able to have long, successful careers. Some would say that both Nash and Sid got more of a chance than they deserved because of their size, but there are plenty of examples of guys who were so awful in the ring, that even Vince McMahon was no longer enamored with their physical attributes.
This list is all about big men throughout wrestling history that were flops. Or, big men who had a temporary gimmick that flopped, but were able to turn everything around. So, enjoy this list of the top 15 worst and least intimidating big men in professional wrestling history!
15 The Great Khali
Back in 2005, when I saw the remake of The Longest Yard, which featured Dalip Singh, better known as The Great Khali, I remember thinking to myself, “who is this big guy?! He should be in WWE!” Then, one year later, when he made his WWE debut, I was proven wrong, and it was clear that the guy didn’t belong anywhere near the squared-circle.
Khali was given a pretty big push right out the gate. His debut on SmackDown saw him taking out The Undertaker and just about one year later, he won his first and only World Heavyweight Championship. Some say that Khali could be the worst World Champion that WWE has ever had, and, well, he very well could be.
When Khali was brought in, WWE imagined that he would be their next great, intimidating big man. However, that quickie fizzled and he turned into a goofy singing and dancing giant. Khali hasn’t been on WWE television in quite some time and there’s a good chance that his in-ring career is over. So, it’s safe to say that he didn’t turn out as intimidating as WWE would have liked him to.
14 Mark Henry as "Sexual Chocolate"
For you kids out there, before there was a “Hall of Pain Era,” there was a “Sexual Chocolate Era.” Although, it wasn’t much of an era, as Mark Henry really wasn’t on top of WWE during that time. However, the “Sexual Chocolate” gimmick did get Henry on television every week and it helped create some of the most memorable segments of the “Attitude Era.” Remember when Mae Young gave birth to a hand that Mark Henry was the father of? Of course you do.
When Henry was brought into WWE in 1996, he was given a pretty big money deal, which the rest of the locker room resented him for. Of course, Henry was brought in to be a monster, but, it didn’t quite work out, at least not at first.
There was a rumor at the time that WWE gave Henry the “Sexual Chocolate” gimmick with hopes that he’d refuse to do it and that he’d quit the company. But, Henry stuck it out, and he was eventually rewarded for it in 2011, when he won his first World Heavyweight Championship.
When you look at Henry’s run in WWE, it really is the tale of two careers. He was treated like a joke and a goofball early on, and then people were eventually able to take him seriously as a monster and a legitimate World Champion, which is something that has rarely been done, especially when someone is treated like a joke for as long as Henry was.
The artist formerly known as Big Daddy V had numerous gimmicks during his time in WWE and none of them were successful. Of course, his run as Big Daddy V wasn’t supposed to be taken seriously, but WWE really tried to push him as a monster when he was Mabel and Viscera.
In June of 1995, Mabel became the eighth King of the Ring, which was something that actually meant something back then, unlike today where Bad News Barrett is losing to a guy who carries around a plunger and thinks it’s a scepter, and with the exception of Barrett, Mabel may be the worst King of the Ring in history.
In the late-90s, Mabel was repackaged as Viscera and he joined the Ministry of Darkness, which was led by The Undertaker. But, just because he was in a group with The Undertaker doesn’t mean that he was taken seriously by the fans and the Viscera gimmick flopped just like the Mabel gimmick did.
Then, finally in the mid-2000s, Viscera was repackaged as Big Daddy V, and, as previously mentioned, the character wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. So, with that in mind, I guess he was pretty successful!
12 Papa Shango
Papa Shango was certainly one of the worst gimmicks in WWE history. But, luckily for Charles Wright, who was the man behind the face paint, he was able to be successfully repackaged as one of the most popular characters of the “Attitude Era,” The Godfather.
There’s only been a few times where magic or supernatural powers work in wrestling. Of course, The Undertaker is the most successful supernatural gimmick, but, unfortunately, Papa Shango wasn’t even close to being on The Undertaker’s level when it comes to talent.
11 Gene Snitsky
The guy best known for saying “it wasn’t my fault” and punt kicking a fake baby into the crowd. He was everything that Vince McMahon loves in a heel; big and ugly. But, he never really did end up as one of the company’s top heels.
Snitsky worked for WWE from 2004 to 2008 and his last gimmick in WWE was one where he had a foot fetish, which is always going to be something that propels a guy to the main-event scene! Needless to say, Mr. Snitsky was a complete flop.
I want to read you a poem! Well, actually I don’t. But Heidenreich sure does!
Much like The Great Khali, Heidenreich also, somehow, had a bit of a run with The Undertaker. But, also like Khali, it didn’t really get him over.
Heidenreich’s run in WWE was relatively short and there’s no disputing that the highlight of his career was when he teamed with “Road Warrior” Animal and won the Tag Team Titles in the summer of 2005. But, other than that, Heidenreich was a complete bust.
In the early and mid-90s, WWE was full of cartoon characters. No one could just be themselves, they had to be an occupation. Some people were garbage men, some were pig farmers, and some, like the gentlemen that comes in a number nine, were criminals.
Nailz spent most of his time in WWE going after the Big Boss Man, who was a cop. Apparently the Big Boss Man was responsible for sending Nailz to jail, which is why Nailz kept going after him.
Some bad choices ended up cutting Nailz’s WWE career short, and the worst choice of all is when he stormed into Vince McMahon’s office to confront him on his SummerSlam pay, and he ended up throwing McMahon to the ground and choking him. Not the best career move. Of course, Nailz was immediately fired following his confrontation with McMahon.
8 Dr. Isaac Yankem
Another example of someone having to have an occupation in order to wrestle for WWE in the mid-90s. Sure, Dr. Yankem did find success later as Kane. But, his run as Jerry “The King” Lawler’s personal dentist was one of the worst gimmicks in pro wrestling history.
Dr. Yankem didn’t last all that long and he was later repackaged as the fake Diesel, which didn’t last all that long either. But, despite all of the bad gimmicks, Glenn Jacobs has carved out a pretty successful career in WWE as Kane, which is, of course, what he’ll be remembered the most for.
Kurgan was brought into WWE in 1997 as part of a group known as The Truth Commission. At the time, WWE wanted a dominant foreign big man. Kurgan never talked and he never showed any emotion.
After he couldn’t cut it as an intimidating big man, WWE changed up his role and had him join a comedy stable known as The Oddities, where he just wrestled meaningless matches, and was let go shortly thereafter.
Once upon of time, Hulk Hogan attempted to be a movie star and, well, in case you haven’t heard, he failed. Hogan’s very first major role was in a move called No Holds Barred, which was a wrestling-based move that starred Tiny Lister as the movie’s main villain.
Lister’s name in the movie was Zeus and Vince McMahon thought that it would be a great idea to bring Zeus in to feud with Hogan. In fact, there was even talk of having the two of them main-event a WrestleMania together, but those plans quickly changed.
5 Giant Gonzalez
Anybody who has been watching professional wrestling for any length of time knows that Giant Gonzalez was probably the worst wrestler in the history of the business. Also, he wore one of the most ridiculous outfits, a body suit, to the ring when he wrestled.
Gonzalez is most known for his match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 9, where – before Brock Lesnar defeated Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 – Gonzalez came the closest to defeating Taker at WrestleMania and “The Phenom” was nearly carried out on a stretcher.
4 Giant Silva
Over the years, some people have thought that Giant Gonzalez and Giant Silva were the same person. However, that is not the case.
Even though the two giants aren’t the same person doesn’t mean that they don’t share a lot of the same attributes. If you’re trying to figure out who was better in the ring, well, good luck, as they were both equally bad.
As for intimidation factor, both giants fell short of the mark. But, at least Gonzalez got a big WrestleMania match during his career. Silva did absolutely nothing in his short pro wrestling career and was one of the worst, and least intimidating giants in the history of the business.
3 The Yeti
The Yeti is one of the worst creations in the history of professional wrestling. It’s baffling that a gimmick like that would ever make television. Also, he wasn’t much of a Yeti, he was more of a Mummy, but, whatever.
Of course, everyone remembers his debut, when he ended up humping Hulk Hogan, or, whatever he was trying to do. But it really is mind-boggling that someone thought that this character would be a big, intimidating presence in World Championship Wrestling.
Guys who are considered big men in wrestling aren’t always tall. Some are average height, fat guys, and Mantaur is the perfect example of that.
The character Mantaur had a short-lived career in WWE, lasting less than a year. Early on, Mantaur was able to put together a bit of a winning streak, as he defeated a bunch of random enhancement wrestlers. But, it was all downhill from there, and the character was discontinued shortly thereafter.
1 The Shockmaster
Staying on the theme of average height, fat guys that were supposed to be the company's newest monster… The Shockmaster could very well be the biggest flop in the history of wrestling and the clip of him falling through the wall when he was making his WCW debut is world-famous.
Originally, The Shockmaster was supposed to be one of WCW's top babyfaces, but, after his debut, WCW couldn't make that happen and he just turned into a clumsy goofball that lost all of the time. So, always remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The Shockmaster is a good example of that.