Saturday, January 21, 2012

Should Have Been Huge: Bam Bam Bigelow

Imagine if Curly from the Three Stooges, Chris Farley,and a Hell's Angel had a child and you would possibly come close to visualizing Bam Bam Bigelow. While Bigelow was indeed a star, if you look at his size, agility, and image you can't help but think that in an era with outsized personalities that Bigelow should have been bigger, or more famous than what he was. In an era of wrestling that featured slow moving big men, Bigelow exploded on the scene doing cartwheels with ease and top rope headbutts with the ease of a man half his size. One could even say that Bigelow paved the way for..husky athletic wrestlers like Samoa Joe, Umaga, Hernandez, and many other big guys who have become stars on the scene and have shown no fear in letting people know they can do more than a chokeslam and big boot.

Debuting in 1985, Bigelow quickly shot up the ranks of professional wrestling, arriving in the WWF(That used to be the name of the WWE if you happened to find this blog by accident.) with much fanfare as he was paired with Oliver Humperdink as his manager. Bigelow was mainly a midcard performer who was used to elevate guys to main event status all the way until an injury sidelined him and he lost to One Man Gang in the first round of the a title tournament leading into Wrestlemania IV.

After a cup of coffee with NWA, it wasn't until Bam Bam went to New Japan Pro wrestling where he found his nitch as a monster heel, teaming with another agile monster in Big Van Vader(IT'S TIME! IT'S VADER TIME!) and capturing the NJPW tag team titles. It wasn't until they ran into one of the greatest tag teams of all time that they lost the titles to the Steiner Brothers.
After leaving New Japan Bigelow returned to the WWF for what will probably be remembered as his most famous run(Not his best, but his most famous.) acquiring one of the most memorable valet's of all time in Luna Vachon and turning heel and feuding with recently retired NFL Hall Of Famer Lawrence Taylor and co-headlining Wrestlemania XI. Some would say(Me..and possibly others) that one of the biggest travesties in wrestling is the fact that Taylor was allowed to beat Bigelow. After losing to Taylor, Bigelow turned face and formed a tag team with then WWF champion Diesel(Kevin Nash) and defeated Psycho Sid and Tatanka at the 1995 King of the Ring before leaving for what would turn out to be what I would consider his best work of his career with Extreme Championship Wrestling(ECW)

Though Bigelow, presumably for a large payday, left ECW for a one fight MMA career he would come back to ECW and have a very underrated feud with Taz. Joining the faction Triple Threat with Shane Douglas and Chris Candido, Bigelow would go on to win the ECW world heavyweight title from Douglas. After losing the title Bigelow would capture the ECW television title with a victory over Taz at the Living Dangerously PPV in 1998.

After feuding with Taz, The Sandman, Rob Van Dam and Sabu, Bigelow left ECW for the "greener" pastures of WCW in late 1998, who was raiding WWE, ECW, Mexico, and any other wrestling organization for talent as they were in the thick of the famed Monday Night Wars with WWE. Bigelow's exposure would suffer from WCW's bloated roster as he was written into feuds with secondary characters like Raven, Mike Awesome, and Shawn Stasiak before sitting out of the limelight of big time professional wrestling after WWE bought WCW. Sitting out of wrestling until his Time Warner contract expired Bigelow would have his final match in 2006. 

Bigelow, while famous, was not someone who I feel reached their fullest potention in the wrestling business. Whether it be because of a bloated roster, being in a secondary promotion(No offense ECW fans), or personal demons(Bigelow died form complications of heart problems and cocaine intoxication on January 19, 2007)Bigelow is always one of those guys who I think should have been bigger than what he was. He should have been huge.

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