Sunday, Jan. 27 marked the 20-year anniversary of the loss of a WWE legend. Professional wrestler Andre the Giant died of congestive heart failure back in 1993, but not before leaving his mark on the world of entertainment.
The Giant—real name: Andre Roussimoff—was the first wrestler ever inducted into the World Wresting Federation Hall of Fame. Referred to during his intro as “The Eighth Wonder of The World,” Andre stood at 7’4”, and reportedly weighed 540 pounds. Andre, along with Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage and several others, are credited with helping build the sport into the billion-dollar industry that it is today.
During his 20-year run in the WWF/WWE, Andre the Giant was as celebrated as any other wrestler in history. He enjoyed an astounding 15-year unbeaten streak in one-on-one matches from 1973-1987, and he holds the record for most Battle Royal wins. Amazingly though, Andre the Giant only held the championship title once in his career—and his reign lasted less than a day. On Feb. 5, 1988, Andre beat Hogan in a controversial title match and immediately sold the belt to Ted DiBiase. The sale was deemed invalid, setting up a 14-man tournament to decide the title in Wrestlemania IV.
Andre “The Giant” Rousimoff provided a lot of entertainment to a lot of people over the years. The Hall of Famer will forever be remembered for helping vitalize the sport of professional wrestling. The man may have died 20 years ago, but the legend will always live on. Rest in peace, big man.