Bruce Prichard spoke of the death of Andre The Giant on the latest episode of ‘Something To Wrestle’, and how Andre’s passing quickened the emerging of the WWE Hall of Fame.
This week’s episode of ‘Something To Wrestle’ with Executive Director of Raw and Smackdown Bruce Prichard was a special Q&A episode about ‘The Eighth Wonder Of The World’, Andre The Giant. When asked about the inception of the WWE Hall of Fame, and if Vince McMahon had previously thought of creating one prior to Andre’s passing, Bruce stated that losing Andre inspired WWE to create a Hall of Fame sooner than originally planned:
“At that time we had been talking about doing a Hall of Fame. And it was unfortunate, Andre’s passing. But I think that kind of sped it up, because if there was ever anybody that was worthy of being the first inductee into the Hall of Fame it was Andre The Giant.”
Andre The Giant began his professional wrestling career in his native France, in 1964. Billed as “Géant Ferré”, Andre performed in Paris and the surrounding areas. As The Giant made a name for himself, he would travel all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Africa before making his way to the United States of America. Andre debuted with WWE (known at the time as Word Wide Wrestling Federation) in 1973, and would go on a near 15 year undefeated streak with the company.
Famously, Andre The Giant faced Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania 3. This match would see Hogan body slam Andre in an iconic moment in professional wrestling history that is stillthe top of many highlight reels to this day.
Andre The Giant would battle health issues throughout his career. He would leave WWE in 1991 as his health issues continued to deteriorate. The Giant would leave the company under strained circumstances, and would appear at rival promotions events in his final years. Andre and Vince are said to have never fully reconciled, and Bruce explained how Andre’s passing affecting the WWE Chairman:
“Vince took it hard. You know, they were the same age. Vince and Andre were the same age and had birthdays that were fairly close together. And Vince considered Andre one of his best friends, and really hated the falling out that they had. So I think that there was little bit of regret that that hadn’t been completely rectified, and he didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to his friend.”
Following Andre’s passing in 1993, WWE announced that a Hall of Fame ceremony would take place with Andre The Giant as the sole inductee. The Hall of Fame would become a yearly tradition for the company, honouring legendary figures within the world of professional wrestling. In recent times, the event has become a staple of WrestleMania weekend, taking place the evening before the ‘Grandest Stage Of Them All.’
You can hear the full episode of ‘Something To Wrestle: Andre The Giant’ here