Bam Bam BigelowBio

Bam Bam Bigelow was a rare breed of talent – a big man who could move like a lightweight.

At 6-foot-4 and 390 pounds, the super heavyweight from Asbury Park, N.J., was so large he’d have to buy two seats if he wanted to fly commercial, but that didn’t stop him from executing moonsaults and diving headbutts from the top rope with the grace of an Olympic gymnast. But don’t mistake Bigelow’s polish for a soft touch. Bam Bam was as rugged as they come and his ring wars with the likes of Tazz, Goldberg and even NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor stand as a testament to that.

As intimidating as a jailhouse thug with tattoos of flames carved into his bald skull, Bigelow’s distinct look and considerable talents made him a serious threat in WCW, ECW and WWE. The big man was so heavily touted upon his WWE debut in 1987 that managers like Bobby Heenan, Slick and Mr. Fuji fought to acquire his services. Bam Bam ultimately sided with the flamboyant Oliver Humperdink and went on to shake things up at Survivor Series 1987 by pinning King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang in the same match.

Bigelow cracked heads in the NWA and Japan in the years that followed before returning to WWE in the mid-90s, a stint which included a highly publicized WrestleMania XI main event against Lawrence Taylor. By far the biggest bout of Bam Bam’s career, the match was a disappointment as he fell to the New York Giant, but the achievement of performing in the final match on The Show of Shows was undeniable.

Bigelow’s momentum faltered after his loss to LT, but he found his edge again in the uncensored world of ECW. Adapting perfectly to the no-nonsense style of the Philadelphia promotion, Bam Bam captured the ECW World Title while battering dangerous opponents like New Jack and Terry Gordy. But The Beast from the East’s greatest rival in ECW was undoubtedly Tazz, a 5-foot-9 powerhouse who pushed Bigelow to the limit every time they met. The fierce rivalry between the two competitors resulted in one of the most shocking moments in sports-entertainment history when the two men literally crashed through the ring while brawling at ECW’s Living Dangerously event in 1998.

The super heavyweight finished his career in WCW, where he tussled with Goldberg and formed a championship team with fellow Jersey Shore denizen Diamond Dallas Page. On the final episode of Nitro, Bam Bam lost to Shawn Stasiak in what would be his last televised bout. He passed away in 2007 at age 45, but his legacy as one of sports-entertainment's most gifted big men lives on.