There's something to be said about standing on the shoulders of giants and there's a bit of backstory to how I got to stand on the shoulders of the tallest of them all.
I grew up in the world of wrestlers and WWF, my mom was good friends with Robert Marella aka Gorilla Monsoon.
Whenever WWF came to town, Rob would make sure that my family would get a chance to come out and see the show. Growing up I always witnessed these gargantuans of the squared circle throwing each other around and I so wanted to be like them.
My mom knew that I loved Andre the Giant. He was my hero. I was younger than most kids in my class for my age and on the small side and always wished I could be big like him.
We didn't get a chance to see him too often, but my mom and dad reached out to Robert who by that time had become one of the main bookers for WWF. When he heard about how much I loved Andre, he arranged for us to meet him at Wrestlemania 3 in 87'. I was 6.
It was about an hour before his match with Hulk Hogan and my Dad and Robert were walking with me backstage, they ended up bringing me to meet Bobby Heenan, who then went and found Andre for us.
My dad and Robert didn't tell me I was going to meet Andre and so they had me close my eyes and tell me they had a special surprise.
As I kept my eyes shut, they then told me to stick out my hand. Suddenly I felt this massive hand grip my own and I opened them to see Andre grinning down at me. I remember stammering and looking up at him, not believing that I was actually getting to meet the legend himself.
He let go of my hand and talked with my dad and Robert for a few moments before he turned back to me and asked me how I was enjoying the show. He took 10 mins to talk to me before asking my dad if it was ok to pick me up.
Andre picked me up like I was nothing and sat me on his shoulder. I was so excited, I started telling him how he was my favorite and that I wanted to be big like him when I grew up. He was genial, kind and listened to me not like an adult but like a friend and encouraged my passion.
It would be a few later that year I saw Andre in the Princess Bride and fell in love not only with the movie, but his role as Fezzik because it reminded me of who he actually was outside of the ring.
He was one of the best heroes I could have hoped for growing up and a piece of me was lost when he passed. When I saw they made a Fezzik for NYCC, I knew it had to be part of my collection and one I'll never part with.
September 29, 2021