Steve Cook takes a look at the growing list of really tall people that just didn’t cut it in WWE.
Thursday night saw the debut of somebody that could be WWE’s next big monster. Jordan Omogbehin stands 7’3″. He moved here from Nigeria to chase his hoop dreams, but now has his sights set on WWE Superstardom. If his performance against 3.0 in Lakeland is any indication, it’s not going to take him long.
Jordan Omogbehin, a Nigerian-born former college basketball player who stands a legit 7'3", made his debut at an NXT house show last night. He looks like an absolute monster. pic.twitter.com/tjyRyw54pJ
— SI Wrestling (@SI_wrestling) July 19, 2019
Then again, haven’t we seen this story before? WWE signs some ridiculously big dude. He looks like a million bucks and we all think he’ll be the next champion of everything. Then he washes out without accomplishing much of anything. It happens all the time.
Don’t believe me? Here are five examples!
WWE could definitely use a Chinese Superstar. They thought they might have one when they signed former boxer Gu Guangming to a developmental contract in September 2016. At 6’8″ & 287 pounds, Gu certainly looked the part. With some training, WWE hoped he could help draw billions of his countrymen & make China more of a viable market for WWE. He made his debut on the NXT house show loop in October 2017, and was released in March 2018. WWE has yet to find its Yao Ming.
How many women do you know that are 6 foot 8? If you’re like me, the answer is zero. WWE planned on including the tallest potential Diva in history on Season 3 of NXT, a lady that had spent the past couple of years competing on the independent circuit as Isis the Amazon. Her abilities weren’t exactly critically acclaimed at the time, but it was easy to see why WWE was interested in her. She stood out from a crowd.
While Aloisia was announced for Season 3 the week before it started, she was removed & released from WWE before she would have debuted. Allegedly, the reason for her release was some revealing images of her that popped up on the Internet. Hardly seems fair considering that WWE women past & present have had revealing images pop up on the Internet, but a skeptic may infer that they were looking for an excuse & that’s what they came up with.
3. Jackson Andrews
This guy had one of the briefest runs of any big man in the history of WWE. Tyson Kidd needed a bodyguard for his singles push at the end of 2010, and Andrews was chosen out of the FCW crop because he was 6’11”. He had a good look too, so one could see why WWE would think he could be Kidd’s Diesel. The Kidd/Andrews connection didn’t quite work out as well as Michaels/Diesel. After four weeks, Mark Henry gave Andrews the World’s Strongest Slam and we never saw the guy again. We barely saw Tyson afterwards, come to think of it.
Jackson needed more training. Eventually they gave up and released him into the wild, never to be seen again except when we found out he was abusing one of his fiancees (yes I said “one of his”, he had two fiancees at the same time), who was Rosa Mendes.
2. Eli Cottonwood
When you’re 7 feet tall, you’re going to get chances in athletics. Cottonwood played basketball at St. John’s, the NBDL & internationally. After a brief attempt at coaching, Eli decided to get into wrestling. WWE officials liked his size and sent him to Florida Championship Wrestling. He was part of the second season of NXT and was the second man eliminated from the competition. Afterward, Cottonwood went back to FCW. He was Bray Wyatt’s very first disciple, but that was put on ice when he asked for his release.
Is it just me, or could Cottonwood pass for Baron Corbin’s brother? Maybe the guy just came along a few years too early.
1. Giant Silva
Silva started his athletic career in basketball before making the transition to pro wrestling. The WWF thought the sky was the limit for his potential, and tasked Dory Funk Jr. & Tom Prichard with training him. They did what they could. Silva was part of the Oddities stable and did little of note before getting released. He spent some time in Mexico before heading over to Japan, where he worked for New Japan before transitioning into an unsuccessful mixed martial-arts career.
Here’s what I never understood: Giant Silva stood a legitimate 7’2″. He should have stood out in any crowd he was in. Yet wrestling promoters always felt a need to put him in tag teams with people just as big as him. Kurrgan was with him in the WWF, while the man later known as the Great Khali teamed with him in New Japan. How was Giant Silva supposed to stand out as a giant when he was constantly standing with people as tall as him? Add in the fact that he wasn’t much of a wrestler, and the guy had no chance.
Even if he looked like he did.