WWE is known for making questionable decisions involving their talents, especially on the creative side. This series analyzes where WWE, or, in some cases, the talents themselves dropped the ball and failed in the eyes of us fans. And while there have been many flops to appear on or to occur at WrestleMania (Gimmick Battle Royale, anyone?), there has be one that stands out in the minds of everyone when it comes to the Show of Shows, Giant Gonzales!
Giant Gonzalez debuted at the Royal Rumble, interfering in the titular match and eliminating The Undertaker. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer had been involved in a feud with Harvey Whippleman and Whippleman brought Giant Gonzales after Kamala failed to take out The Undertaker. At the time, The Undertaker was pretty much the largest man on the roster, and Gonzales stood a clean 8 inches taller than him! Gonzales would have his first match on the 2/6/93 edition of WWF Superstars, beating three jobbers to the point that they ran from the match. Gonzalez and Whippleman would appear in promos and the occasional squash match until WrestleMania IX, where he and The Undertaker would finally face off. Unfortunately, this 7 minute match was incredibly painful to watch, as Gonzales and Undertaker would exchange strikes, followed by a minute and a half rear chinlock, followed by more strikes, until Gonzales used a Chloroform-laced rag to knock Undertaker out. This also marked the only time in The Streak that Undertaker did not decisively win, as Gonzales was DQed.
Gonzales and Whippleman would continue to feud with Undertaker after WrestleMania, with Whippleman bringing in Mr. Hughes to help them. Gonzales and Hughes would then steal the urn from Bearer and “injure” him, setting up a Rest In Peace match between Gonzales and Undertaker for SummerSlam. While Undertaker has been known for his new match types, this wasn’t a time where anything special happened, as it was only a No DQ and No Countout match. Just like their match at WrestleMania, this match was very repetitive and slow. Undertaker won this bout, finally ending the feud. Afterwards, Whippleman would start berating Gonzales, and Gonzales would perform one of the worst Chokeslams I have ever seen on Whippleman, turning the Giant face. His face turn would see him start a program with Whippleman’s new weapon, Adam Bomb, but the feud never went anywhere since Gonzales would leave the WWF in early October of 1993, making his career in the WWF only around 9 months. Now this begs the question, where did he go wrong?
Honestly, Giant Gonzales was doomed before he ever entered a WWF ring, as he had already worked an awful 3 year stint in WCW as El Gigante, thanks to Ted Turner having drafted him in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks, and he couldn’t play at the NBA level. His ring work was just as awful there as it was in WWF. He looked like molasses moving around the ring, his forearm smashes to the back of opponents looked weak and slow, and his Chokeslam was the slowest and worst executed move I think I have ever seen, as he often didn’t even pick people up for it! Then there was his appearance! WWF thought that it would be an excellent idea to have a 7’6” man in a nude airbrushed bodysuit with patches of hair all over it. Come on, that is just a stupid idea! Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, he was Argentinean, and he couldn’t speak very much English. His promos, of which there were a lot, consisted of Whippleman talking for all of it but about 5-10 seconds, where Gonzales would chime in with an unintelligible mess with UNDUHTAKUH in there somewhere!
And while I would like to say that WWE learns from its mistakes, we all know that they don’t, because 13 years later WWE would make the same mistake again with another giant that has all of the same problems as Gonzales, sans the look, and that is the Great Khali! Only this time, instead of his career mercifully being only 9 months, we have had to put up with Khali for 7 years as of Sunday. And honestly, I don’t think that there is any way that they could have fixed this. In the medical world, they say prevention is the best medicine. Well, here’s two people that should have been prevented from ever entering a ring!
Before I leave you this week, I wanted to let you have a look for yourselves at just how bad Gonzales was in the ring. Here for your viewing “pleasure” is the infamous match at WrestleMania!