Jorge González (wrestler)

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Jorge González
González in a body suit.
Gonzalez at Wrestlemania IX, against Undertaker.
Birth name Jorge González
Born (1966-01-31)January 31, 1966[1]
El Colorado, Formosa, Argentina[2]
Died 22 September 2010(2010-09-22) (aged 44)
San Martín, Chaco, Argentina[3]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Giant González
El Gigante
Billed height 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Billed weight 460 lb (210 kg)[4]
Trained by WCW Power Plant[5]
Debut May 19, 1990[5]
Retired February 8, 1995

Jorge González (31 January 1966 – 22 September 2010)[6][7] was an Argentine basketball player and professional wrestler. He was best known for his appearances in World Championship Wrestling under the ring name El Gigante between 1989 and 1992 and in the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name Giant González in 1993.[1]

Early life[edit]

González was born in El Colorado, Formosa, Argentina on January 31, 1966. He suffered from Gigantism, which led to his height. He reached a height of 6'4 by the age 14.

Basketball[edit]

González stood 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in),[3][6] making him the tallest Argentine basketball player in history.[6][8] He started his career with the youths of Hindú Club de Resistencia at the age of 16 (and already 2.19 m (7 ft 2 in) tall).[6] Subsequently, León Najnudel, then coach of the Argentine national team, recommended the board of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata to sign the player for the team's Argentine second division roster.[6] During 1986, González helped Gimnasia achieve promotion to the Argentine first division.[6] He then signed for Sport Club Cañadense, but saw little action due to an injury that left him out of the fields for 9 months.[6]

González took part in the 1988 NBA Draft, being chosen by the Atlanta Hawks in the third round (#54 selection). Along with Hernán Montenegro (drafted #57), they became the first Argentine players drafted in the NBA. The Hawks bought the player's rights from his Argentine team for a 30,000 Argentine australes fee.[3][6] However, he was unable to adapt to the physical demands of NBA basketball, partly due to a serious knee injury.[6]

National team[edit]

Coach León Najnudel included González in the Argentine national team that took part of the 1985 South American Basketball Championship (bronze medal) and the 1988 Tournament of the Americas (5th place), where he attracted the attention of the Atlanta Hawks' scouts.[6][8]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Championship Wrestling (1989–1992)[edit]

In 1989, Hawks owner Ted Turner offered González a job as a professional wrestler in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which Turner also owned. After a year of training, González was introduced to fans as El Gigante on May 19, 1990 at the pay-per-view Capital Combat. Wearing shorts, he competed as a fan favorite and was billed as being close to eight feet tall.

Over the next two years, he feuded with Ric Flair for the WCW World Championship, participated in a 'Chamber Of Horrors' match in 1991 and also had a date on TBS with Missy Hyatt. He also participated in a feud with Sid Vicious and the One Man Gang. The point of the feud was to determine who the real 'giant of WCW' was. He also had a cross promotional stint in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion before signing with the World Wrestling Federation in 1993.

World Wrestling Federation (1993)[edit]

González competed as "Giant Gonzales" during his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as a villain, managed by Harvey Wippleman. González grew a beard and wore a full body suit that featured airbrushed muscles with bushy hair attached. He was introduced at the Royal Rumble in January 1993, where he eliminated Wippleman's nemesis The Undertaker from the Royal Rumble match despite not being an official participant.[4] Gonzalez lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX by disqualification after he knocked out the Undertaker using chloroform. After another loss to The Undertaker at SummerSlam, which ended the feud, Wippleman berated Gonzalez making Gonzalez turn on Harvey Wippleman.[4] Though the foundation was later set for a feud with González and Adam Bomb, it never truly began. His last appearance in WWF was on the 4 October 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw in a 20 man battle royal match for the Intercontinental Championship. He was eliminated by "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Diesel, Bastion Booger, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Adam Bomb and Bam Bam Bigelow. Three days later, the WWF announced that Gonzalez had left the company when his contract had expired on October 7, 1993.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1994–1995)[edit]

After his departure from the WWF, González wrestled in the Japanese promotions New Japan Pro Wrestling and WAR (Wrestle and Romance) until his retirement from wrestling. His last singles match was in Sendai, Japan on 8 February 1995, against The Great Muta. His last Japan tour for WAR was in December of 1995.

Other Media[edit]

Gonzalez played the role of Manny, a carnival sideshow giant in a 1993 episode of Baywatch, who befriends Hobie, but later falls into the water and his large size makes it difficult to be rescued. In 1994, Gonzalez made a short appearance as Eryx the Boxer in Hercules in the Underworld, a television prequel film from the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. He also had roles in the 1993 and 1994 Thunder in Paradise double-episode turned movies.

Retirement and death[edit]

In 1995, González officially retired from wrestling due to serious health issues. He returned home to Argentina permanently.

González lived on a ranch in Argentina in his later years.[9] By October 2009, he was confined to a wheelchair, and had to use a dialysis machine due to his failing kidneys.[9] He was unmarried and did not have any children.

On 22 September 2010, Gonzalez died due to complications of diabetes and severe heart issues, in his hometown of San Martin, Argentina. He was 44 years old.[7]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jorge Gonzales". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  2. ^ "Giant Gonzales's Warned Profile". Warned. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b c "Un dolor Gigante". Olé (in Spanish). 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  5. ^ a b "Remembrances 2010". 1wrestling. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Adiós al Gigante González, un personaje de leyenda del básquet argentino". Clarín (in Spanish). 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  7. ^ a b "WWE News, Rumors, Results & InformationFormer WWE Star Giant Gonzalez Passes Away". Rajah.com. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  8. ^ a b "Falleció el basquetbolista más alto de Argentina". Télam (in Spanish). 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  9. ^ a b "WWE News, Rumors, Results & InformationWhatever Happened To Giant Gonzalez?, Jim Cornette Speaks Out, Paul Orndorff". Rajah.com. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 

External links[edit]