I need a palate cleanser after “Make A Difference” Rikishi, folks. Let’s find a gnarly gimmick to try and salvage. Let’s look at former WCW/WWE star Giant Gonzales! Hey, since the last Wrestling Salvage Yard ended with no salvaging, we’ll do both of Giant Gonzales’ gimmicks!
El Gigante in WCW
So, after his basketball career with the Hawks was halted because of injury, Ted Turner—who owned the Hawks—got Gonzalez a job as a wrestler. He did some training in Atlanta before debuting in 1990.
He was pushed quite a bit even being involved with Flair for the World title. After all, you don’t have someone who is around 7’0 and not put him near some gold. I didn’t know El Gigante was in WCW for as long as was.
That 1990 year tends to be blur while 1991 and 1992 were memorable because Flair was gone. I knew he was in WCW during this time, I’ve watched his matches but it just doesn’t seem like he was regularly there.
At any rate, El Gigante didn’t take as WCW hoped. He was clumsy, boring in the ring, and just looked out of place in WCW. The company just didn’t rock with giants that had zero personality.
El Gigante was just a really tall guy from South America. That was his gimmick. Hell, the South America part wasn’t even played up. He was just a tall ass guy.
Harassing The Undertaker As Giant Gonzales
After his time in WCW was over, he was scooped up by Vince. Now, someone in WWE was watching WCW, saw Gonzales and had to have some notes. Those notes couldn’t have been “South American giant = $$$.” It’s impossible and I refuse to believe it.
I also refuse to believe that the idea to make this bland tall guy interesting was to put him in a naked, hairy bodysuit with airbrushed muscles. What in the hell? WWE did it though and even had him feud with The Undertaker.
The side story I like here is that Ric Flair couldn’t escape El Gigante. Gonzales was in WCW when he left and now he’s at his new job. That had to be a bit of a “WTF?!” for Flair. Anyway, Giant Gonzales didn’t really have any memorable moments.
Actually, the suit was the most memorable thing about him besides his bad matches.
Salvaging Giant Gonzales
Never mind El Gigante, there was no saving that gimmick. Well, that non-gimmick. As for Giant Gonzales, it’s a question of how far do you want him to go. I never saw him as World Champion. World Tag Team Champ, probably.
Then again, it’s the Tag Titles. If he had stayed a year and was paired with someone, he would’ve won the titles. Most likely partner: Kamala—who does most of the work in the team. Like more work than you normally got from 90s Kamala.
Outside of that, I don’t see him going further than transitional IC Champion and even that’s something of a stretch.
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