Top 5 larger than life wrestlers of all time

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WrestleMania XXXI is almost upon us and this year’s schedule of events will include the second annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to commemorate one of the sport’s biggest – in more ways than one – stars.

The list of wrestlers taking part includes huge names like Kane, Big Show, Jack Swagger, The Miz, Sin Cara and Goldust but with the show being in honour to Andre the Giant we thought we’d highlight some of wrestling’s larger than life characters.

Read on for five of the biggest and best ever to grace the square circle.

Yokozuna

Arguably the most successful of all the big guys, Yokozuna became the youngest WWF champion ever in 1993’s Wrestlemania IX. The former sumo wrestler came into his WWF career weighing 500lbs but had gained a further 80lbs by the time he beat Hulk Hogan at King of the Ring.

Famed for his Banzai Drop finishing move the California-born star took part in an epic casket match against The Undertaker. It is reported that Yokozuna wanted to become the heaviest professional wrestler in history and ballooned to almost 760lbs before losing weight to further his career.

Unfortunately his life was cut short during a trip to the UK, when he died in October 2000 aged just 34.

Bam Bam Bigelow

Unlike many larger wrestlers the Beast from the East set the benchmark for huge but agile guys. Despite his (390lbs) frame Bigelow was still able to fly off the top rope at speed. He soon became a huge fan favourite after making his WWE debut in the late 1980s.

His tattooed bonce saw him claim the Best Head Slammy Award in 1987. Post wrestling he left a failed MMA career behind to taste relative Hollywood success before his untimely passing in 2007 aged 45.

Viscera

Also known as Big Daddy V, Mabel or plain old Nelson Frazier Viscera weighed in at almost 500lbs. His size didn’t hold him back though, with the North Carolina man taking the King of the Ring title in 1995 as well as picking up the WWF Hardcore and WWF World Tag Team championships during his career.

Like Bigelow, Frazier’s life was tragically cut short, with the 43-year-old dying of a heart attack in 2014.

Earthquake

He may have had 10 different ring names throughout his career but John Tenta Jr will forever be remembered as Earthquake.

As one half of The Natural Disasters alongside fellow bulky wrestler Typhoon, Earthquake reached his career high when landing the WWF Tag Team championship when defeating the Beverley Brothers at SummerSlam 1992.

A well-publicised battle with Legion of Doom and a falling out with manager Jimmy Hart were both gripping storylines that saw The Natural Disasters catapulted to wrestling’s prime time and assured Earthquake endured legendary status.

He passed away in 2007 after a three-year battle with bladder cancer but his immortalisation in various DvDs and video games means his legacy lives on to this day.

Rikishi Fatu

Hailing from the same Anoa’i family as Yokuzuna, Rikishi can also count the likes of Roman Reigns, The Rock and Umaga among his relatives.

Perhaps not as big as some of the other men on this list, the one-time Headshrinker stilled weighed in at a hefty 425lbs but was still able to secure multiple championships.

Another purveyor of the Banzai Drop, Fatu claimed the Intercontinental Championship, the Tag Team title (with Scotty 2 Hotty) and the World Tag Team title (twice) before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Active in the ring as recently as last year, Rikishi ends our list on a high note as we are pleased to report he is still going strong.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.