Much is made these days of America’s problem with butter. Didn’t know we had a problem with butter? We do. And bacon, and fudge and sandwiches that replace bread with cheese-filled sausage patties. It’s a broken record in the media and we all get it. But let’s not overlook all the good that fat has done for us. For instance, fat keeps you warm. If I ever get abducted by dark forces and dumped in the deep Arctic with Keira Knightley, I am going to be sledding to safety on her frozen carcass after a single day.
Not only does fat ensure we will outlive Hollywood starlets and sometimes deflect errant slaps, it also entertains us. John Candy, John Belushi, John Goodman (the Holy John Trinity) have shown that big is hilarious. And in the WWE, big means athletic. Fat means nimble. Elephantine means competitive. Yes, the wrestling world is the last, best place for the criminally obese to rise to stardom and even be heroes. Heroes with boobies. Let’s take a look at some of the best athletes ever trained by numerous hams.
Billed as the Ugandan Giant, Kamala’s real name was James Harris and he was from Mississippi, which is sometimes mistaken for Uganda by Kentuckians. Part of his gimmick included eating live chickens or, as you might expect, holding a chicken, waiting for the camera to cut away, then spitting feathers out.
The idea of a giant African cannibal (or whatever the hell) who weighs around 400lbs is clearly awesome because this sentence can’t be ended in a logical fashion so here comes the period. On the bright side, James is still around and he writes music now, according to Wikipedia.
Yokozuna is a real title for sumo wrestlers when they prove to be the most immovable of immovable objects. Because racial sensitivity is very high in the WWE’s list of proprieties, like Kamala, Yokozuna portrayed someone he wasn’t. In this case, he was a Samoan named Rodney pretending to be a Japanese sumo wrestler. All you really need is black hair, a giant diaper and a hell of a lot of body to fill that diaper and you qualify as honorary Japanese, it’s in their constitution. Anyway, Yokozuna is often credited as being the fattest wrestler ever, weighing in at around 600lbs. Do you know what else weighs 600lbs? 6 Keira Knightleys.
3. Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V
Look at that bosom. Holy crap. Big Daddy V, aka guy with a terrible name, has spent a lot of his wrestling career wearing parachutes and other billowy fabrics because he is pretty spherical, with the exception of those taters. Dude carries his weight poorly. He has gone in and out of the WWE under a number of different nicknames but pretty much the same cup size. His awesomeness was cemented, however, when he took up The World’s Biggest Love Machine gimmick and tried to do Trish Stratus, which is offputting yet somehow fantastic.
John Tenta had one of the best debuts in wrestling history. The camera kept “accidentally’ panning across this really huge guy in the audience during the broadcast, until the time came when Hulk Hogan, in a display of bravado inspired by his desire to forget he was married to a leather bound CHUD (we assume) asked for anyone at all in the audience to come sit on his back while he did push ups. Any volunteer at all. A little girl pointed to the innocent-looking fat guy on the end of the aisle. How could this go wrong or be staged?
Long story short, Earthquake totally sat on Hulk Hogan, like a lot. Because when you’re that big, sitting is actually an offensive maneuver.
EDIT: It has been pointed out that years of abusing Lysol ruined our editor’s memory of events. earthquake didn’t feud with Hogan until after his debut. During his debut, Dino Bravo called the big man to the ring, where he promptly sat on and squished the Ultimate Warrior. Man, ho embarrassing to mess up such an important detail of sports history!
Solafa Fatu, sometimes known as Rikishi, was a big Samoan dude. The only thing I know about the Samoan people, as a matter of fact, is that they breed wicked huge wrestlers. What you need to know about this particular wrestler is that his uniform, for quite a while, consisted of a thong up his ass that facilitated his very athletic signature move the “Stink Face.” Yeah, he just rubbed his giant ass on people’s faces.
6. Giant Haystacks
This one’s a bit of a classic but worth mentioning because there are few land animals in North America that are bigger than this man used to be. Giant Haystacks, another wrestler victimized by terribly terrible nicknames, looked like every Deliverance nightmare you ever had. He was nearly 7 feet tall, nearly 700lbs, bearded and used a rope as a belt. Fun Fact – dude didn’t need a belt. Rumor has it he ate 3lbs of bacon and a dozen eggs for breakfast every day. We tried that once and shit an oil slick for the next three days.
7. Happy Humphrey
Another blast from the past, Humphrey used to wrestle back when the world was all in black and white and men wore hats just because. And why was he so happy? Hard to say, he weighed 800lbs. Obviously I never saw this guy wrestle but I find it hard to believe he did more than simply exist in the ring.
Word has it Humphrey was discovered on a farm and made his debut by wrestling a bear for half an hour. I appreciate how none of what I just said sounds even remotely real, but it’s still the story we’re supposed to believe. In his prime, it’s said he would eat 15 chickens in a single sitting.
8. King Kong Bundy
An icon and one-time guest star on Married with Children for no other reason than the word “Bundy”, King Kong Bundy was the fat guy when wrestling rose to prominence and a generation realized for the first time that a fat man in a unitard could be seen as more than a neighborhood sex offender.
Also known as Typhoon, Tugboat also had a brief stint as The Shockmaster, known for being one of the awesomest gimmicks ever because it was unintentionally butchered by Tugboat when, during his debut, he tripped and fell on his ass. A fat guy falling down? Priceless.
10. Abdullah the Butcher
It’s said that Abdullah the Butcher was raised in the Sudan and was batshit insane and that’s almost true. He was raised in Windsor, Ontario and his real name is Larry. Windsor, for those who don’t know, is Detroit of Canada, so like Detroit of America, only with beaver traps and drunker hobos.
With a skull full of grooves that may or may not have been surgically implemented, Abdullah is famous for being insanely hardcore and for having what has to be a pair of K cups. He also owns a BBQ in Atlanta. Tasty!
11. Bastion Booger
While none of these men are particularly attractive, Bastion Booger wins an award for looking like a Gorg from Fraggle Rock. Arguably if your name is Bastion Booger odds are your gimmick isn’t going to be that of a suave lady’s man, but damn, look at that guy. And his Barbarella-meets-seatbelts outfit wasn’t helping either. However, if not for Bastion Booger, where would Larry the Cable Guy be today?
12. The Big Show
Big Show suffers the same condition as the awesomest wrestler of all time, Andre the Giant, acromegaly, though he has had surgery to stop the condition from progressing any further. However, thanks to its effects, the man is pretty much a giant at over 7 feet tall and about 480lbs. The most notable moment of his career, however, involved a guest appearance on Conan O’Brien in which he, along with Tom Selleck, were scared into a pale-knuckled panic by elderly sex educator Sue Johansson as she strapped the Accommodator, a chin-mounted dildo, to her face, on live TV. Can a giant cry? Yes he can.