There are a lot of legendary giants in the history of professional wrestling, from Big John Stud to King Kong Bundy. When you want to talk about the most legendary of all time, the two names that keep coming up are André the Giant and Big Show. Initially billed as the son of André when he debuted in WCW, Big Show eventually carved out a career of his own.
It was tough but he made his way out from under the overwhelming shadow André still casts decades after his death. While there might be no definitive answer to which giant is the best one, there are a lot of great reasons why each answer is right.
10 André Puts Hulk Hogan Over At WrestleMania III
The buildup leading to WrestleMania III was huge. Hulk Hogan had been WWF World Heavyweight Champion for three years after taking the belt from the Iron Sheik. André, for his part, had been on a dominant streak having not lost a match in WWF in 15 years.
Their clash at WrestleMania III was (and still is) legendary, telling an amazing story and cementing Hogan's status as the biggest name in wrestling. Beating André the Giant was a huge deal for Hulk Hogan's career, pun intended.
9 Big Show's Championship Status
For all of his popularity and longevity in the business, André carried very few championships. He held a couple of different NWA tag championships, once alongside Dusty Rhodes. He held the WWF World Heavyweight Championship once and the WWF Tag Team Championship once.
On the other hand, Big Show has held multiple singles championships as well as multiple tag team reigns with Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, and Sting. To paraphrase the Undisputed Era, Big Show's career is draped in gold.
8 André Defines An Era
André's 1973 to 1991 run with WWF, now WWE, was one of the most important in wrestling history.
While his appearances became increasingly sporadic as his health worsened, he was a fixture of the company and the industry, both as a face and a heel. Even as he helped build Hogan into the top face in WWF, André was arguably still the most popular wrestler in the company. His talent, charm, and in-ring work was the cornerstone of wrestling in the 1970s and '80s.
7 Big Show Switches Sides
During his run in WCW, Big Show was known as The Giant, part of their half-hearted attempt to bill him as the son of André the Giant. The angle was dropped quickly but the name stuck. While the Monday Night Wars raged, The Giant would hold the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, then join the NWO.
After a four year run, he would become one of the most high profile performers - alongside the likes of Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero - to jump ship to WWE. His sudden appearance was part of a big shift in the war.
6 André Turns Heads In The Princess Bride
In the wrestling world, what you do outside the ring is as important as what you do inside it. Just ask The Rock. André the Giant wasn't immune to this, making several appearances on TV and in movies. But his most memorable appearance was his role as Fezzik in the iconic film The Princess Bride.
André played his lovable, charming self on-screen opposite Mandy Patinkin's Inigo Montoya. The Princess Bride has achieved legendary status as a cult classic, due in no small part to André the Giant.
5 Big Show Helps Build A Swiss Cyborg
Continuing to feed off his legacy, WWE now has an André the Giant Memorial Battle Royale before every WrestleMania. The first one happened at WrestleMania XXX and quite naturally featured Big Show among the competitors. Fans assumed that Big Show would win the inaugural match, which made sense.
Instead, the winner was Cesaro, who heaved Big Show over the top rope, cementing himself as a powerhouse player in WWE. Although Big Show would win the Battle Royale the next year, helping put Cesaro over was key.
4 André Slaps Bobby Heenan
Playing the role of heel in his feud with Hogan, André found himself in unfamiliar territory for his fans. They still loved him but they had to boo him because he was on the wrong side of the line, now. That all changed when André had enough of Bobby Heenan, possibly the greatest heel manager and announcer of all time.
Heenan was angry at André so he slapped him. That's just a really bad idea. André slapped Heenan back, knocking him clean out of the ring and bringing André back to the face side of the line. It is a moment that defines both of their careers.
3 Big Show Wrecks The Ring
Big Show is a big guy, so anytime someone manages to haul him up and drop him down is a big deal. If it happens off the top turnbuckle, even more so. During a match with Brock Lesnar on SmackDown, the Beast heaved Big Show off the top turnbuckle with a superplex and slammed him into the ring hard enough that it exploded and collapsed.
It has happened again since but that moment, in particular, is an iconic one. This was another time that Big Show put the business first and helped build up Lesnar's own legend.
2 André Becomes A Pop Culture Icon
In the ring, André was a fan favorite no matter which side of the line he was on. Outside of the ring, he captured the imaginations of fans through appearances in movies like The Princess Bride. André successfully became a pop culture icon, one the world still talks about after his death in 1993. He defined wrestling and he transcended it at the same time.
André was the first true larger than life giant in the WWE, one that set the bar for every big man that came after him.
1 Big Show Takes Center Stage
The only giant to step out of André's immense shadow is the Big Show. Not only does he have André's size and strength, but he also has his charisma. Big Show's TV and movie resume are already impressive but he has his own sitcom coming to Netflix as well as a travel show.
It remains to be seen if he can become the cultural icon André still is, but if anyone can do it, it's Big Show. Like André, he is a force in and outside of the wrestling ring. There's a reason why WCW billed him as the son of a giant.