Jorge González (January 31, 1966 – September 22, 2010) was an Argentinian basketball player and professional wrestler. He was best known for his appearances in World Championship Wrestling under the ring name El Gigante between 1989 and 1992 and in the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name Giant González in 1993.
González, who came to be at 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in) the tallest Argentine basketball player in history, started his career with the youths of Hindú Club de Resistencia at the age of 16 (and already 2.15 m (7 ft) tall). Subsequently, León Najnudel, then coach of the Argentine national team, recommended the board of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata to sign the player for the team's Argentine second division roster. During 1986, González helped Gimnasia achieve promotion to the Argentine first division. The player then signed for Sport Club de Cañada de Gómez, but saw little action due to an injury that left him out of the fields for 9 months.
In 1988, González was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the third round of the NBA Draft, after the American team bought the player's rights from his Argentine team for a 30,000 Argentine australes fee. However, he was unable to adapt to the physical demands of NBA basketball.
León Najnudel included González in the Argentine national team that took part of the 1985 South American Basketball Championship (bronze medal) and the 1986 FIBA World Championship (12th place). However, his best individual performance with Argentina was in the 1988 Tournament of the Americas, where he attracted the attention of the Atlanta Hawks' scouts.
World Championship Wrestling (1989-1992)
In 1989, Hawks owner Ted Turner offered González a job as a professional wrestler with another of his ventures, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). After a year of training, Gonzales was introduced to fans as El Gigante on May 19, 1990 at the pay-per-view Capital Combat. Wearing shorts, he competed as a face and was billed as being close to eight feet tall. Over the next two years, he feuded with Ric Flair over the WCW Title, participated in a 'Chamber Of Horrors' match in 1991 and also had a date on TBS with Missy Hyatt. He also had a cross-promotional stint in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion and then moved to the World Wrestling Federation in 1993. (He also played on an episode of Baywatch.)
World Wrestling Federation (1993)
González competed as the "Giant Gonzales" during his World Wrestling Federation (WWF) tenure as a heel, managed by Harvey Wippleman. González grew a beard and wore a full-body suit that featured airbrushed muscles with bushy hair attached. He was introduced at the Royal Rumble in January 1993, where he eliminated Wippleman's nemesis The Undertaker from the Rumble match despite not being an official participant. Gonzalez lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX via disqualification after he knocked Undertaker unconscious using chloroform - this remains the only occasion that the Undertaker has not had a decisive victory in his 23 Wrestlemania matches. After another loss to The Undertaker at SummerSlam, Wippleman berated Gonzalez leading Gonzalez to turn on him. Though the foundation was later set for a feud with Wippleman and Adam Bomb, it never truly began, as Gonzales left the WWF in October 1993.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1994-1995)
Following his departure from the WWF, González wrestled in the Japanese promotions New Japan Pro Wrestling and WAR (Wrestle and Romance) until retiring. His last singles match was in Sendai, Japan on February 8, 1995, against The Great Muta and his last Japan tour for WAR in December 1995.
Gonzalez lived on a farm ranch in Argentina in his later years. As of October 29, 2009, Gonzalez used a wheelchair full-time, and had to use a dialysis machine to treat kidney failure. It was revealed in an OWW radio interview with Harvey Wippleman that Gonzalez was diabetic while he worked with the WWF. Wippleman also said the two were close friends.
Gonzalez died on September 22, 2010 at the age of 44, due to complications of diabetes in his hometown of San Martin, Argentina.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #112 of the top 500 singles wrestlers the PWI 500 in 1991
- PWI ranked him #498 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Jorge González at 40 years old (in Spanish)