Andre the Giant/YouTube

‘Young Rock’: What Happened To Andre The Giant?

News, Scripted

It’s been almost 30 years since André René Roussimoff passed away at the age of 46. Perhaps you know him by his professional wrestling name – Andre the Giant. Thanks to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new sitcom, a new generation is getting an introduction into “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” 

Andre the Giant Was a Literal Giant 

In the 1970s and ‘80s, wrestling fans were astounded by a wrestler like any other. At over 7-feet tall and almost 400 pounds, Andre the Giant handily beat his opponents in the ring. But outside of the ring, Andre was close friends with Peter Maivia, grandfather of none other than Dwayne Johnson. 

Credit: Dwayne The Rock Johnson/Instagram
Credit: Dwayne The Rock Johnson/Instagram

Andre’s large size was due to the hormonal disorder Acromegaly. Looper reports that Gigantism is the most obvious symptom of the condition. It also causes a great amount of pain. But Andre the Giant never let that pain stop him from wrestling or his budding acting career. 

He famously played “Fezzik the Giant” in The Princess Bride. His movie stardom coincided with the beginning of the end of his wrestling career. The same year the movie came out, Andre the Giant helped lift fellow wrestler Hulk Hogan to international stardom. 

The Hulkamaniac iconically body-slammed the then-500-lb giant. 

During the season premiere of The Rock bio/sitcom Young Rock, Andre the Giant is portrayed as a gentle giant. Former NFL star Matthew Willig plays the gigantic wrestler. 

Cause of Death

Sadly, Andre the Giant’s appearance at Wrestlemania ‘87 was one of his last matches. By 1992, he had retired from the ring due to his increasingly unbearable pain. 

In 1993, wrestling fans got the sad, but not surprising, news of Andre the Giant’s passing. He passed away from congestive heart failure caused by his hormone disorder. 

Shortly afterward, he was honored by becoming the first wrestler inducted into the WWF (now WWE) Hall of Fame. 

Will Young Rock Address Andre’s Death? 

At the time of Andre the Giant’s death, The Rock was likely around 20-years-old. Since he grew up with Andre’s imposing presence, he likely had a difficult time with his mentor’s death. 

Hulk Hogan recently paid tribute to his friend, and fellow grappler, Andre the Giant. January 27, 2021 marked 28 years since Andre’s death. 

According to his IMDb, Matthew Willig plays Andre the Giant for at least three episodes of Young Rock. 

Young Rock airs Tuesdays on NBC.

Jennifer Havener
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