Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SummerSlam A to Z: Andre the Giant

Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant at SummerSlam '88
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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For the next 26 days I plan to write a blog about SummerSlam to go along with a corresponding letter of the alphabet.  I'm starting the series with one of the greatest of all-time Andre the Giant.  The 8th Wonder of the World was a part of the first couple of SummerSlam events, main eventing in the inaugural show.

In 1988, Andre was well past his prime, but was arguably the company's top heel still, feuding with Hulk Hogan for more than a year.  Andre and "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase made up the team of The Mega Bucks, set to take on WWF World heavyweight champion Randy "Macho Man" Savage and  Hogan.  That duo was known as The Mega Powers.

Mega Bucks vs. Mega Powers
Courtesy: WWE
The match was pretty basic.  Jesse "The Body" Ventura was the special referee.  Things come to an end when Elizabeth shows some skin (very tame by today's standards) to distract Andre and DiBiase, allowing The Mega Powers to rally and get the win.  I don't think anyone expected The Mega Bucks to win.

Andre vs. Ax SummerSlam '89
Courtesy: WWE
A year later, Andre teamed up with The Twin Towers (Big Bossman and Akeem) against Demolition and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.  Andre's team lost this one too.  And SummerSlam '91 marked the big man's last on camera appearance.  He was in the corner of the Bushwhackers as they battled the Natural Disasters.  

Andre with LOD and the Bushwhackers SummerSlam '91
Courtesy: WWE
Despite his rapidly deteriorating health, Andre didn't get pinned at either SummerSlam he wrestled.  Fans though saw the Giant was ailing as he arrived at his last event on crutches and at one point hit Earthquake with one.  Andre's legacy wasn't made or broken at SummerSlam, but he was a big part of the first one and still missed by fans today.  Rest in peace Andre.

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