Andre the Giant is revered by many, but he wasn’t always easy to get along with. The following stories illustrate a not often known side of the “gentle” giant!
1. Ted DiBiase on Andre the Giant Not Liking Ivan Putski At All
The ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase once said, "Andre the Giant was a very good judge of character. If you were a schmuck, he was going to let you know you were a schmuck!"
DiBiase went on to share more details:
"Way back in 1979 when I was there [in the WWWF] working for Vince Sr. in a tag team match one night, it was me, Andre, and Ivan Putski versus The Valiant Brothers. Andre did not like Putski at all. Andre told me, ‘You tag me. No one else.’
"‘You bet boss, whatever you say!’ was my reply.
"He made sure I did that. He made sure Putski stood on the apron the entire match.
"If Andre didn’t like you, he would make your life freaking miserable. Putski wasn’t really one of those guys that a lot of people liked.
2. Adjusting the Attitude of Bam Bam Bigelow
Ted DiBiase shared another story, this time about Bam Bam Bigelow.
"The night that Randy Savage and I had the cage match at Madison Square Garden, just prior to our match, Andre worked with Bam Bam Bigelow. [After the match], Bigelow walked to the dressing room, threw all his stuff together, grabbed his bag, and walked out the back door, and quit.
"[Bigelow] came back later, and he told me, ‘You know what? That was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because Andre was right.’ He said, ‘Because I had a horrible attitude.’
"Andre has adjusted a few attitudes!"
3. Randy Savage on Andre Not Liking Him
Stories like these are not uncommon for Andre the Giant. When he met you, he either liked you or didn’t like you, and that was that. Randy Savage could attest to that!
"I have respect for Andre The Giant," Randy said in a 2004 interview with IGN. "Even if I know in his lifetime he didn’t like me at all. (Laughs) That doesn’t mean you can’t have respect for somebody.
"Andre was just that way. When he met you, he either liked you or didn’t like you, and that was that."
Savage continued, "Why didn’t he like me? I don’t know. All I know is that he used to beat the hell out of me every night. (laughs) I mean, what are you going to do against Andre The Giant?
"Everyone had respect for him. Unfortunately, the guy was in pain all of the time. That guy was a warrior, and he was trying to pass the torch the correct way. Andre was a stud. Even at the end of the road when he had all of those back surgeries. Even if he never liked me, I’ve got nothing but props for Andre The Giant."
4. Hulk Hogan on Andre the Giant Making His Life Miserable Early in His Career
In an interview on The Voice vs., Hulk Hogan opened up about the epic battles he would have with Andre the Giant in and out of the ring.
"Andre the Giant beat me up every day for the first eight years. I was so nervous I used to puke on the way to the building.
"Then, after eight years, we became friends.
"He even started to like me…"
Hulk Hogan continued, "For those first few years of knowing Andre, I was just another kid who didn’t understand this business. When I finally smartened up and started having respect for this business, from that point on, I started to understand what Andre was all about.
"He loved this business. And he protected it.
"You hear people say, ‘Oh, he was arrogant – he did this to me or did that‘ – but a lot of people don’t understand. There was never a situation where he could ever be comfortable. He was a seven-foot-four giant. There was never a chair, a knife, a fork, a bed…
"He lived in a really cruel world.
"If he walked ahead of me at the airport, I heard people say horrible things and make fun of him.
"Once you got to know him, he was a very gracious person with a kind heart. But…he didn’t put up with any B.S."
5. Jake Roberts on Standing Up to Andre the Giant
Jake Roberts had some run-ins with Andre The Giant, as well. Here, he explains why it was better to stand up to the 8th Wonder of the World than not, even if it had noxious ramifications!
"We had a little rough road at first…
"We had a match in Los Angeles, and he just goozled me the whole match. Everything I tried, he blocked it. Just freaking goozled me for 20 minutes, and I was furious.
"I came back to the locker room, and I just started yelling at him.
"‘What the fuck you doing out there, man? We ain’t going to make any money with you doing that shit! That’s bullshit! You goozled me, man; you didn’t give me a damn thing. We’re not going to make a damn dime, and I just don’t want to work with you if you’re going to be like that, man. Screw you…’
"He looked at me, and he told me to sit down.
"I don’t know why I did because he could have reached over, and he could have killed me. He said, ‘Now, we don’t have a problem. I just wanted to see…’
"Basically, he wanted to see if I would man up. Once I manned up, man, what a cake up. I mean, he still brutalized me out there, but he was just having fun doing it, you know? It’s different then.
"Whether it be him standing on my hair and grabbing my arm, and I can hear my hair popping like piano strings or him sitting on me and farting on me, which was a horrible experience. I did not realize how long a Giant could fart. So, it was like 25 seconds of just brutal gas. There’s something about vodka and wine with not much food that really gives a man a nasty potion to inhale.
"I know I thought I had a birthmark on my arm, but it was just a wine stain from his ass. [Laughs.]
"He could do some stuff to you out there, man. His strength was just incredible; it was unbelievable. But, I loved the man; I loved working with him. We had a great time."
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Thanks to Matt Pender and our friends over at ‘Wrestling’s Glory Days’ Facebook page for sharing some of the quotes used in this article.