Up until this class, I viewed Andre the Giant as a sluggish wrestler who was more of a side show. He seemed out of place in the few matches I saw him wrestle in, specifically against Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. I remember that my view of Andre as an intimidator diminished once I saw him get bodyslammed by both Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. I would often compare him to The Big Show, a present day supersized wrestler, and wonder what all the fuss surrounding Andre was about, especially since The Big Show is taller, weighs as much, and is much more athletic than the Giant.
After reading about and watching an early match of Andre the Giant, I have a new appreciation for him. He was really one of the largest athletes of his time and ours. Even though he did start out appearing in sideshow matches, he soon became a serious contender and gained the respect and love of the wrestling community. With all the myth-like stories surrounding Andre the Giant, it was hard not to be in awe of such a spectacle. I didn't realize that his wrestling career lasted almost 30 years. By the time I saw matches of Andre, he was already was past his prime and was in very bad health. In the match we watched in class, he appeared very athletic for his size and I was told he was even known for doing an occasional dropkick.
Looking back on my first impression of Andre the Giant, I feel as if I didn't give him the credit he deserves. It's a shame that so few of his early matches are not available and that the impression I possessed as well as many others was due to his later matches. Even though there have been many large athletes since Andre, including the Big Show who I mentioned earlier, when someone refers to the Giant, there will be no mistake who they are talking about.