One of World Wrestling Entertainment’s greatest superstars is the giant wrestler, The Undertaker. With an undefeated Wrestlemania streak, classic feuds with Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels, and a dark style he was one of the most memorable WWE wrestlers.

He has wrestled in the WWE for over twenty years and throughout those years he has pretty much stuck to same wrestling style, adding a little bit of new moves here and there. Duplicating his style requires a lot of hard work, and a bigger physique than normal wrestlers.

Ring Gear

The Undertaker is exactly what his name says. A wrestler representing death, also known as the “Deadman”, his signature catchphrase is “Rest In Peace” and his outfits all mach that.

He started out donned in a ripped black dress shirt with matching pants and purple gloves, but that has evolved throughout the years.

He now wears black wrestler gear, with black gloves, and a trench coat. His hair is also long and black and heavy black mascara is also applied. He had a short era as a biker, but stick to the dark appearance for the true Undertaker look.

Intimidation

One of the things that helps the Undertaker get wins is his intimidation. The Undertaker is not scared of any challenge and by scaring and intimidating opponents he can have the victory before the match has even begun. He replicate this, stare your opponent down, put fear into their eyes, and even if they are bigger and stronger than you, do not back down.

Wrestling

Unlike wrestlers like Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio, the Undertaker is not fast in the ring. Stick to big impact moves like Big Boots to the head, suplexes, and clotheslines.

Some of Undertaker’s signature moves include climbing to the top rope while holding an opponents hand, walking across the rope, and smashing his arm on their back.

Specialty Matches

The Undertaker excels in specialty matches. Some of the ones that he has brought to the WWE include, the Casket Match, Broiler Room Brawl, Hell in a Cell, the Last Ride match, Buried Alive match, and the Inferno Match. He has won in almost all of those matches and the key to wrestling like the Undertaker is knowing how to survive in those types of matches.

Finisher

The Undertaker has a couple of finishers that he can use on opponents. The first is the classic choke slam. Simply grab your opponent by the neck, lift them up, and slam them to the mat. The next is the Last Ride, which is a power bomb with the opponent lifted a little higher than usual. The last is his original, the Tombstone Piledriver. This is a reverse pile driver where the opponent is held facing the Undertaker and dropped head first onto the canvas.

Rey Mysterio

The WWE has had their fair share of big wrestlers like Andre the Giant, The Undertaker, and Big Show, and their share of average-sized wrestlers like John Cena, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Some of the most exciting wrestlers are the small ones like Sin Cara, Shawn Michaels and masked wrestler Rey Mysterio. Rey Mysterio may have one of the most unique wrestling styles in the WWE and learning his moves is a fun process.

Ring Gear

Dedicated to his Mexican wrestling heritage Rey Mysterio wrestles in a full mask. His designs vary by week and he has even made appearances as The Flash, Captain America and Spider-Man. For the bottom half Mysterio wears loose pants
to help him move around the ring without a problem and his pants usually match the mask.

Speed

The key to wrestling like Mysterio is to have great speed. Huge wrestlers like Mark Henry or The Great Khali can destroy him if they get their hands on him, so Rey relies on his speed to duck and dive away from their grasp and execute his moves.

Moves

Most wrestlers rely on punching and kicking to help weaken opponents but sometimes that has no affect on Rey’s opponents. Therefore, Mysterio needs to use fast paced moves like a Russian Leg Sweep, bulldog, DDT, and
Hurricanranas to weaken and take opponents down.

Highflying Moves

When he is not wrestling on the mat Mysterio is usually heading to the top rope. The top rope helps Mysterio gain the height back that he is usually at a disadvantage with. From there, he can execute moves like a frog splash, flying elbow drop, and other moves to knock opponents down.

Finisher

Rey Mysterio has one of the most popular finishers in the WWE and the set up is the key to executing the move. There are 3 ropes to the side of a wrestling ring and an opponent needs to be knocked down and hanging on the second rope with their face towards the outside of the ring.

From there, Mysterio will swing off of the second rope of the ring on the opposite side, swing around, and drop kick their opponent right in the face. Then he will either do a “West Coast Pop” pin rollup or simply pin his opponent.

Andre the Giant

Andre Rene Rousimoff was born in France in 1946. Andre suffered from a growth hormone disorder known as acromegaly. By his teens, Andre was well over six feet tall. He left school to enter the world of professional wrestling.

Andre was trained by the legendary Edouard Carpentier and Frank Valois. It was Vince McMahon, Sr. who first called Andre by his ring name of Andre the Giant. Andre worked the European corridor before coming to the United States in the late 1960’s.

History of Andre: The Journeyman Giant

Before wrestling became the worldwide entity it is today, wrestling was regionalized. The U.S. was divided into numerous “territories” who would have their own base talent and would from time to time employ “free agents” who plied their trade in multiple territories. Andre was the most requested “free agent” of his time.

Andre was one of the highest paid wrestlers of that era. He was a unique entity that was guaranteed to draw crowds. Kids loved the big man and Andre almost always portrayed the gentle giant that adored small children and elderly people. Andre would only fight when necessary. His arsenal of moves was quite limited, but he didn’t need a slew of moves. His size was his biggest weapon. Andre’s height has always been questioned. The WWE claimed that he was 7’4″ tall. Other promotions claimed that Andre’s height ranged from 6’10” up to 7’8″ tall. His weight also varied. Andre was billed as being between 310 and 550 pounds. While his physical size may have been exaggerated for marketing purposes, Andre’s ability in the ring were never questioned. Andre possessed great strength and, early on, amazing agility. Andre rarely lost a match during his journeyman days. On the rare occasions when he lost, it was almost always due to a cheating opponent. Andre would soon return to avenge the injustice. The crowd loved Andre.

Andre the Giant in the 80s

The WWE

By the mid 1980’s, wrestling had begun to change. The emergence of cable TV made wrestling available to the entire country at once. Vince McMahon came to Andre and offered him a lucrative offer to have him work for the then-WWF. Andre had worked for the McMahon in the past. In 1973, Andre first entered the WWE as a competitor. His first opponent was Buddy Wolfe. Over the next 19 years, Andre would face every heel (bad guy) in the federation and quite a few of the faces (good guys) after his heel turn in 1987.

By 1987, Hulk Hogan had held the world title for over 3 years. Hogan needed to face someone who could dominate him and end his first title run. Andre squared off against Hulk Hogan in the main event of Wrestlemania III. Andre actually pinned Hogan in the match, but the referee made a bad call. The crowd erupted with anger. Many in the crowd wanted to see Hogan knocked off his position as champ. Sadly, Andre would end up on the losing end of that match. Revenge would be sweet for Andre on February 5, 1988. Andre finally beat Hogan for the belt after months of trying. Sadly, Andre (by story design) made a foolish choice and sold the championship belt to Ted DiBiase. WWF president Jack Tunney said that the selling of a championship belt was not allowed and that Andre had forfeited the belt by relinquishing it. Since Andre accepted DiBiase’s offer within seconds of winning the title, Andre still holds the dubious honor of “shortest title reign in WWE history”. Even the rapidly changing Hardcore title never changed hands as fast as Andre’s loss of the WWE title.

Over the next 3 years, Andre would have one more championship run, as 1/2 of the tag team champions. The Colossal Connection teamed Andre with Haku. The two men unseated Demolition on December 13, 1989. The match wasn’t shown on WWF TV until December 30th. This pairing was done to try and extend Andre’s wrestling career. Andre’s health had started to fail and Vince McMahon wanted to use Andre for as long as possible.

Andre would be given a final run as a face, thanks to Haku and manager, Bobby Heenan’s, attacking Andre following the loss of the tag belts at Wrestlemania VI. Andre was scheduled to feud with Haku and the other members of the Heenan family, but he was unable to continue in the ring. He retired in 1991 and made only one other appearance, at a WCW Clash of the Champions show in 1992.

Acting

Andre’s first foray into acting came in 1968 in a French film called Casse Tete Chinois Pour Un Judoka. It was a small role in the film, but Andre knew that he wanted to do more acting.

His next run at acting would come with a two-episode arc on the Six Million Dollar Man. Andre played a sasquatch. These two episodes would lead to several TV guest spots over the next few years. He usually portrayed non-speaking monsters, due to the difficulty that most people had understanding him. He showed up on BJ and the Bear and the Greatest American Hero.

Andre’s second big screen acting role came as an uncredited Dagoth character in the 1984 sequel to Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer. Later that year, Andre would portray Dudley Moore’s acquaintance in Micki and Maude. In 1985, Andre would appear in the film, I Like to Hurt People. He would take a 2 year break from acting to focus on wrestling before taking his most famous role.

In 1987, Andre was cast as the giant, Fezzik, in The Princess Bride. Reports from the set claim that Andre was a wonderful person to work with. He would receive praise from the reviewers for his performance.

Following The Princess Bride, Andre focused totally on his wrestling career.

After retiring from wrestling, due to his declining health, Andre accepted a part in the film, Trading Mom. In his last film, Andre came full circle. He had begun his career as a wrestling giant in the carnivals of Europe. In Trading Mom, he played a circus giant. The film was released after his death.

Passing on and passing the torch

Andre’s father died in January of 1993. Andre returned to France for his father’s funeral. On the following morning, January 27,1993, Andre was found dead by his driver. Andre’s official cause of death was congestive heart failure. The heart problems that Andre suffered were a by-product of his acromegaly. Andre’s body was returned to the United States for cremation. Because of his large size, no funeral parlor in France was able to perform the cremation. Once cremated, Andre’s ashes was scattered, per his request, on his farm in North Carolina.

Later that year, Vince McMahon created the WWF/E Hall of Fame so that he could honor the man who had done so much for the business.

In 1995, Paul Wight began wrestling in WCW. His original character, The Giant, was a tribute to Andre. In fact, Paul’s first storyline had him portraying the son of Andre, which he wasn’t. Paul attacked Hulk Hogan, claiming the Hogan had “killed his father”. The angle was quickly dropped after requests from the family of Andre. Wight wore a black singlet wrestling outfit for many years, to pay tribute to his idol.

The Great Khali character is also somewhat of a tribute character to Andre. The chops that Khali uses are very similar to those used by Andre. Andre would often uses translators during interviews, as does Khali.

Interesting facts about Andre

  • Andre is the shortest reigning champion: approximately 5 seconds.
  • Andre was the first WWE Hall of Fame inductee.
  • Andre was the first wrestler to utilize the Tombstone Pile-driver.
  • Andre has a daughter, born in 1979, who lives near Seattle, Washington.
  • Andre would not attend plays or films because he had difficulty fitting into the seats and felt his size would prevent others from seeing.

Andre the Giant is still, to this day, the most popular wrestler of all time. He eclipses even Hulk Hogan. The Gentle Giant was generous to a fault and was always willing to help a charity, if needed. While his arsenal of moves was limited, Andre created exciting everywhere he went.

Close to 15 years after his death, there are still several web site dedicated entirely to Andre. While there are many legends in wrestling, none will ever achieve the level of fame that Andre the Giant did. He is a legend’s legend.