Jan 27 2012

I’m just going to have to find myself a new giant

André the Giant died 19 years ago today.

André was always one of my favorite wrestlers. When I was a kid, we didn’t watch wrestling at our house. Whenever we were at Grampa’s (my Dad’s dad), every Saturday morning was Bugs Bunny followed by, as Grampa called it, rasslin’. This was back in the early 80’s, with Hulk Hogan, Ricky the Dragon, Jake the Snake, King Kong Bundy, and of course, André.

The only match I remember was between King Kong Bundy and André the Giant.  Bundy was obviously the heel (villain), as evinced by his shaved head, his black unitard, and his being 500 lbs. He did a splash (jump from the top rope with arms and legs out, landing flat) on André like five times, breaking the giant’s sternum. I remember after the match when you saw André walking out, you could see his sternum pressing against his skin. I already thought KKB was bad, but to break a man’s sternum? Pure evil.

At least that’s the way I remember it. I’ve done some searching around online and found out that that was a kayfabe injury. In wrestling lingo, kayfabe means that whatever happens inside the ring is presented as real, but in real life it is not. Examples: The Undertaker is not really dead and Kane is not really his brother. In and out of the ring Vince McMahon really is a jerk, and Mick Foley really is hardcore. In wrestling lingo, a mark is a fan, and a smart mark is a fan who knows wrestling isn’t real. I was not a smart mark.

At any rate, I still don’t know how they did that sternum thing.

Anyway, celebrities die all the time (who doesn’t?), and it’s not like you actually know any of these people, but it was really sad when André died, like we really had lost the 8th Wonder of the World.

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