Greating Gimmicks of the Past: The Smokin’ Giant


You know, it’s really ironic. Last week on Smackdown, the Big Show choked on a poisoned apple. This week, we take a look back at when he stuck something else that’s very bad for you into his mouth.

The Smokin’ Giant – WCW, 1998

Going into the 1998 Great American Bash, Sting and the Giant were tag team champions. One problem – they really hated each other, because Sting was Wolfpac and Giant was NWO Black and White! We’ve never seen that before! Anyway, to settle things, they took each other on, with the winner getting both belts. The Giant came down to the ring puffing on a cigarette, then proceeded to blow smoke in Sting’s face. Unfortunately, his plan to give Sting lung cancer failed as Sting won the match with the Scorpion Deathlock. (Sting went on to choose Kevin Nash as his new partner).

The next night on Nitro, Giant took on Chris Adams. Giant again made his way to the ring with a cigarette. Adams kept trying to start the match while Giant kept puffing away. Finally Giant had enough and chokeslammed Adams, then put one foot on his chest for the win. He never lost the cigarette.

The same chain of events happened on Thunder. Disco Inferno was the opponent this time. Giant dropped Disco with a clothesline, chokeslam, pin. Unfortunately, somewhere in the match Giant lost his smoke. Fortunately, Vincent was able to hook Giant up after the match with another cig.

The next Nitro saw the Giant jumping Kevin Greene from behind. JJ Dillon immediately made a match between Giant and Greene for the main event. Giant fought Greene for a few seconds before Curt Hennig and Rick Rude interfered. As the Black and White attacked Greene, Goldberg came out from the back for the rescue.

On Thunder, the Giant came out with Vincent and another cigarette. He told Sting to find a partner and put up the belts. The main event saw Giant and Brian Adams going up against Sting and Luger for the tag titles. Unfortunately, Giant couldn’t get his lighter to work so he had to fight. When the tide turned against Giant and Adams, Hennig, Rude, and Vincent ran in to help while Konnan joined the fight for the other team.

Unfortunately, this marked the end of the Smokin’ Giant. Apparently someone from higher up in the Turner organization saw this, and realized that a smoking wrestler wasn’t the best idea for a “family friendly” organization like WCW was.

Apparently, this whole gimmick was the Giant’s idea. He wanted to bring an aspect of his real life (he really is, or was, a smoker – reportedly about two packs a day) into his persona as the Giant. This was a good concept, but the idea of a wrestler puffing away during matches was not. All it did was to make the wrestlers he faced appear beneath the Giant and not worthy of his time. Overall, this was a bad idea that I expect to see wind up on Wrestlecrap at some point in the future.

Where are they now?
Giant is now known as Smackdown’s Big Show, who appears to be getting ready for a feud with Carlito Caribbean Cool.

Next Week
What’s even better than being tag team champions of the world?