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Hoss

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A photo of the Big Show, who is considered a hoss.

Hoss is also a professional wrestling term, slang for a large professional wrestler with a well-built body, but often with little technical wrestling ability and sometimes not much charisma. Hosses are nearly always disliked by the smark community. They are hired mainly for their size. A model example of this is The Great Khali. Also in this category are super-heavyweight wrestlers who formerly had considerable skills in their prime but were later considered hosses such as André the Giant, Giant Baba, Stan Hansen, and even Hulk Hogan is often considered a hoss in his current state.

The term's cultural origin lies with the character "Hoss" Cartwright of the TV series Bonanza. The term "Hoss" was coined by Jim Ross, Ross uses it as a positive term, using it to say that a wrestler is large, powerful, and unstoppable (in kayfabe). However, since many of the wrestlers he applies it to are significantly lacking in the talent and/or charisma departments, and rely exclusively on their size to get over, it has come to assume its current meaning as an insult among wrestling fans.

To help a "Hoss" get over with the crowd they are often made into an enforcer character and placed with a charismatic heel wrestler. Examples of this include Zeus being paired with "Macho Man" Randy Savage, pairing Sid Vicious with Shawn Michaels, Tyson Tomko being paired with Christian and more recently, The Great Khali and Daivari.

Recently, however, on the May 8, 2006 edition of RAW, The Big Show and Kane surprised a lot of people, by being able to compete in a catch-as-catch-can style match, if only for a short while, before Kane was distracted by the lights going out, and seeing his old mask appear on the TitanTron. (Kane had once competed for Japanese shoot style promotion Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, which may provide a partial explanation.)

Despite having "Hoss" as his nickname during his 1985 stint in the WWE, Dory Funk, Jr. is not considered to be a "Hoss" by many fans, given his scientific ability and unimposing size. The nickname was a general cowboy gimmick given to him.

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