Monday, September 12, 2011

The Original Andre the Giant

I have followed wrestling almost all of my life.  When I was a kid it was such a big deal to watch these wrestlers and the storylines behind each of them.  I can remember all the different wrestlers and the moves that they did.  I remember Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Chris Benoit, The Undertaker, Sting, Mankind, Bret Hart, The Rock, Sgt. Slaughter, and the Nature Boy Ric Flair.  But as a kid, the one that I loved to wrestle and really got my attention was Andre the Giant. 

He was seven feet 4 inches tall and weighed in at four hundred seventy five pounds.  This wasn’t a man, he was a building.  He would come out into a the ring and let the other guy hit him and dance around for a little while before he would pick him up and slam him into the floor of the ring.   He was huge and very scary.  As a kid I thought that no one was as big as him but then I read a bible story about the original Andre the Giant.  The original Andre the Giant’s name was Goliath.

Goliath is from the story of David and Goliath.  It is said that David’s height was somewhere between seven feet tall and 10 feet tall.  Can you imagine that  a ten foot tall person?  To put that in perspective, Goliath’s head would have been on the same level as the hoop of a basketball goal.  There is no telling how much he weighted but if we estimate Goliath’s weight based on the fact that Andre the giant was seven feet four inches tall and weighed four hundred seventy five pounds then Goliath could have been ten feet tall and weighed around six hundred and fifty pounds.  Wow that is huge.  Concrete comes in 80 pound bags, that would be eight of those bags stacked together.  Would love to see someone try and move that.

Goliath was the champion of the Philistines and in the middle of a battle between the Philistines and the Israelites, Goliath rumbled onto the battlefield and called out the champion of the Israelites and that their combat between two men would determine the outcome of the entire battle.  He did this twice a day for forty days and no one from the Israelites side would come out to face him.   This is something directly out of a wrestling show.  One wrestler comes to the center of the ring and calls out another wrestler.  He yells and screams and calls him names until the other guy comes out.  Can you see Goliath walking around in a circle banging his chest, spitting foul hurtful words, calling out the Champion of the Israelites?  After a while of getting no answer, can you see him turning and laughing his way back to his tent just like Andre the Giant laughing when no one would take on one of his challenges?

Normally when one wrestler calls out another, when the other wrestler decides to come out, music is played and blares over the speakers.  This gets the crowd going and ready for the confrontation.  Do you think music played when David decided to step up and enter the ring with Goliath?  I don’t think so but none the less that sure would have been an interesting sight to see the massive Goliath face off against this much smaller, skinny kid from Bethlehem.   

We all know what ultimately happens to Goliath.  Normally when Andre the Giant was beaten, it was by a smaller guy that got behind him and choked him until he fainted and fell to the ring floor.  Then the ring announcers would reference David and Goliath.  One can only imagine what it must have been like to watch the battle between David and Goliath.  It must have been incredible.  Goliath must of towered over David, making him the original Andre the Giant.

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