Tag Archives: Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant, 46, Professional Wrestler

The New York Times – January 31, 1993

The professional wrestler Andre Rene Roussimoff, a native of France who was known to fans as Andre the Giant, died this week, apparently of a heart attack. He was 46.

The 7-foot-4-inch, 520-pound wrestler went to France two weeks ago to attend his father’s funeral, on the outskirts of Paris. He visited his family on Wednesday, then returned to his hotel room where he died, said a longtime friend, Frenchie Bernard.

The exact time of his death was not immediately known.

Mr. Roussimoff was born with acromegaly, a disorder marked by progressive enlargement of the head, face, hands, feet and chest because of excessive secretion of growth hormones.

In addition to wrestling, Mr. Roussimoff appeared in “The Princess Bride,” a film by Rob Reiner in the late 1980’s, playing a gentle giant, Fezzick.

Just Think, Rasslin’ Made History Here

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – February 19, 1989
By Kevin Horrigan, Sports Editor

Eight-fifteen Friday night and I am sitting in my car, trying to get into The Arena parking lot, thinking that the solution to St. Louis’s arena problem should begin with a small tactical nuclear device.

I have never seen traffic like this at a St. Louis sporting event. I sit in my car, creeping forward, and I am proud. Just when you thought St. Louis was sliding into the backwaters of American sports cities, along comes an event like the one at The Arena Friday night to restore hope to the burg.

We may not have pro football any more. We may not have pro basketball any more. We may not even have indoor soccer any more. But, by golly, when the World Wrestling Federation needed a place to continue the epic confrontation between Hulk Hogan and Randy ”Macho Man” Savage, the WWF knew where to turn. Kind of brings a lump to your throat.

Many thoughts come to your mind when you are stuck in traffic outside The Arena with three boys in the back seat. How much is tuition at those military schools? Why did writing a rassling column seem like a good idea? Why is the city so eager to turn The Arena site into a ”mini-Clayton?” Isn’t the real Clayton enough?

I am thinking, six years ago I met Vince McMahon when he was just getting the World Wrestling Federation into the big time. I should have quit my job and signed up, because Vince McMahon is a genius. He turned pro wrestling from a series of local jokes into a major national joke. He got it onto prime-time television and cable TV pay-per-view. He licensed toys and games and pre-ripped Hulk Hogan T-shirts. Vince McMahon is the Pete Rozelle of the ’80s.

Finally, at 8:45, we get into the building for the 8 o’clock card for which I left my home, 10 minutes from The Arena, at 7:30. Going in, we pass dozen of disappointed fans, turned way from the sold-out building. I have never seen such a crowd here, not for Missouri-Illinois, not for the Final Four, not for the Stanley Cup playoffs. But then this is not your ordinary sporting event.

This was Hulk Hogan, the symbol of rasslin’s new era, the former title holder, former celluloid sparring partner of Rocky Balboa, star of stage, screen and little plastic action figures littering the nation’s family rooms, in the same building with Randy Savage, his good friend and heir apparent, the only man the Hulkster had deemed worthy to hold the Championship Belt when he was cheated out of it by the perfidy of Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase.

The Hulk and Macho Man wouldn’t exactly be wrestling each other, but they would be breathing the same foul Arena air for one of the first times (they’ve staged this act in other towns) since their tragic falling out on NBC Prime Time two weeks ago in Milwaukee. Surely, you’ve heard the sad details. Hulk and Macho, wrestling as the tag-team ”The Mega-Powers,” were pitted against the Twin Towers, Akeem and Big Boss Man. The Lovely Elizabeth, Macho’s constant companion and manager, was felled outside the ring by a falling body. The Hulk rushed to her rescue, carrying her in his arms to a first-aid room, leaving Macho to be pummeled mercilessly by the Twin Towers.

Luckily, there was a TV cameraman who just happened to  in the right place to capture every step of Hulk’s frantic rush to the first-aid room. We viewers at home got live pictures of the sweating Hulkster holding Elizabeth’s hand, saying, ”Ohgodohgodohgodohgod” for approximately 15 minutes.

When Macho finally appeared, he was not very happy. Hey, you wouldn’t be happy either if you’d been left alone with the Twin Towers. Amazingly, he didn’t have a single bruise. But Macho’s real concern was that the Hulk had tried to steal his woman. They don’t call him Macho for nothing.

Well, ever since then the bad blood has been bubbling. Elizabeth – miraculously, she survived her wounds – was at ringside Friday night when Macho clobbered Bad News Brown with a chair to successfully defend his championship. And because she’s Hulk’s manager, too – her management style seems to consist of wearing a revealing dress – she was there when

Hulk climbed into a steel cage with Big Boss Man in the main event. But lo, just as Hulk was about to climb out of the cage and win the event, who should appear to claim his woman but the Macho Man. Hulk, perplexed by his old pal’s jealous rage, climbed down from the cage and immediately was clobbered by Big Boss Man.

Hulk recovered, handcuffed Big Boss Man to the ring ropes, and won the bout. But his heart was broken. It’s become obvious to even the thickest wrestling fan that he and Macho Man are going to have to duke it out.

Nobody knows exactly when, though April 2 on national pay-cable for ”Wrestlemania V” might be a good guess.

Just a guess. And, just think, St. Louis was part of it. My eyes are getting misty.

Patterson, Mulligan Fight To No Decision

Savannah Morning News – March 11, 1977
By Floyd Hendricks Sr.

Thunderbolt Patterson, shouting “I want him,” had to settle for a “no decision verdict” in his U.S. heavyweight championship match at the Savannah Civic Center arena Thursday night against the current titleholder, Blackjack Mulligan.

Both Patterson and Mulligan were outside the ring fighting when the referee counted to 10, in effect, disqualifying both. The match started out the same way, with Mulligan apparently telling Patterson he wanted the challenger to shine his boots. Patterson took it the wrong way and commenced beating on the champ.

And that’s the way the eight-minute match ended.

In the semifinal bout, Chief Wahoo McDaniel was awarded the victory after Korean Kim Duk threw salt in his eyes. Duk uses salt to “drive away evil spirits” before a match by sprinkling it on the canvas. It is a custom originated by Japanese sumo wrestlers.

Dino Bravo put an airplane spin on Mr. X and he and his partner, Tiger Conway, whipped Mr. X and Brute Bernard in the tag team bout on the card in 20 minutes.

In other matches, Crusher Blackwell and Big Bill Dromo wrestled to a 20-minute, time-limit draw, and Johnny Eagle pinned Two Ton Harris in the opening match.

The next matches will be March 20, with Andre the Giant taking on Mulligan in the main event. Rufus R. Jones and the Mighty Igor will face the Hollywood Blondes in a tag match, and Red Bastien will face Sgt. Jacques Goulet, Johnny Eagle and Mr. X tangle and Cowboy Frankie Lane and Larry Sharpe battle it out.

Because it is a Sunday evening program, the matches will begin at 7:30 p.m. instead of the regular time. Advance tickets can be purchased at Fox’s Family Restaurant in Savannah and at Miller’s Market in Beaufort, S.C.

Mar. 20 (Sunday) — Andre the Giant beat Blackjack Mulligan cor, Frankie Lane vs. Larry Sharpe, Johnny Eagle vs. Mr. X, Red Bastien vs. Sgt. Jacques Goulet, Mighty Igor-Rufus R. Jones vs. Jerry Brown-Buddy Roberts

Apr. 7 (Thursday) — Ric Flair-Greg Valentine beat Rufus R. Jones-Johnny Weaver (world tag title defense), Ricky Steamboat beat Scott Irwin, Johnny Eagle beat Butch Malone, Francisco Flores drew Tony Rousso, Two Tony Harris beat Joey Rossi

Giant Will Wrestle Tonight

The Modesto Bee – February 4, 1977

Andre the Giant will wrestle in Modesto tonight in a five-man tag match in the Uptown Arena, starting at 8:30 o’clock.

Andre, who is 7-foot-5 and weighs 485 pounds, will team with Pepper Gomez to meet the team of the Great Fuji and brothers Johnny and Jimmy Valiant.  The match will be over on hour, two-out-of-three falls.

In other bouts, Alberto Madril will face Mad Dog Vachon and Alexis Smirnoff will meet Rock Riddle.

Tickets or information may be obtained by phoning 522-6182.