Everyone knew who André the Giant was, whether you were a die hard wrestling fan or not. A seven foot four professional wrestler became the biggest phenomenon in the world. HBO’s documentary André the Giant, aired April 10th, gave us an inside look into the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The documentary not only gave us perspective on one of the most loved professional wrestlers in the industry, but of André René Roussimoff from Moliens, France who often felt different in a world made too small for him. Although, the documentary kept certain factors of his deteriorating health in the ring a blur.
André the Giant had hands the size of a dinner plate and were so big they made a normal beer cans look like a child’s juice box. The documentary made André into a mythical creature that everyone could not help but be amazed by. Wrestling legend, Ric Flair expressed André’s appetite for alcohol, so much so that they drank 106 beers in one night and he could put away a case of wine like water. It is quite comical to see Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan immitae André’s legendary thirty second flatulence.
But behind the quite literal larger the life character, André was sensitive. HBO’s powerhouse documentary showed a wounded giant. André was too big to be comfortable. He frequently had to alleviate himself in a bucket behind a curtain because airplane bathrooms were too small. People were often times cruel with what they said about him as he walked by.
While the documentary alluded to the strain his career caused on his health, it did not question Vince McMahon convincing André to wrestle Hogan in Wrestlemania 3, knowing of Andrés physical pain in his back and knees. Yet, it showed André’s relentlessness to continue a life in the ring.
HBO’s powerhouse documentary André the Giant, did its job in portraying one of the most renowned entertainers in the industry. A man dedicated to his career. A man that still had feelings like any of us and who sometimes wanted time away from it all.
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HBO’s Powerhouse Documentary, André the Giant: Featured Image Credit: Associated Press