Recently on the Cheap Heat podcast, WWE SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon shared some childhood memories of Andre The Giant. Also, McMahon talked about the reverence the company has for 'The Eighth Wonder Of The World' and what he did to help the company make WrestleMania 3 a success.
Apparently, 'Shane-O Mac' knew Andre the Giant as a child and dreamed of growing up to be the Giant's tag team partner.
"I knew Andre going back to Worcester Central. I'm sorry, Worcester [Memorial] Auditorium. And I'd always tell my dad and my mom I was going to grow up and be Andre's tag team partner and I'm not going to be small like my father, I'm going to be big like Andre. So that's how my mom really got me to eat my vegetables and all the food on my plate and everything else for a long time, not having any idea that he was a giant and things wouldn't be happening that way, but it was a nice dream as a kid."
McMahon claimed that the professional wrestling legend from Grenoble in the French Alps was universally respected and did a lot for the company.
"There was an immense amount of respect for Andre, from the locker room to every promoter, and from the fanbase standpoint. And Andre always delivered. He was the king in the locker room and was an unbelievable attraction, so it really goes back to that respect aspect of everything. He did a lot for the company."
According to the former leader of the Mean Street Posse, one example of Andre sacrificing for the company was getting back surgery to perform at WrestleMania 3.
"Obviously, going into WrestleMania 3, and I don't know if lots of people know this or not, but Andre was in not-so-great health. His back was really messed up and Andre was shooting a movie with Billy Crystal called The Princess Bride. And my dad specifically had the idea to go 'oh my gosh', something, and Vince being the visionary that he is, he says, 'I want to take the largest indoor stadium ever and fill it with 93,173 people for WrestleMania 3 at the Pontiac Silverdome' at that time. And, like, 'what is that one attraction that can do that?'
"Vince flew, I think, I forget. They were shooting somewhere in Europe, and Vince flew and had a conversation with Andre and said to Andre, I'll have to paraphrase, obviously, but, basically, 'I had this amazing idea. I have a dream. I want to fill the biggest stadium, the biggest event of all time and there's no one that should be a part of that more than you. And it's you versus Hogan.' And Andre lit up. He became very excited, but what that meant was that Andre knew that he'd have to go have surgery, back surgery. And that's exactly what happened. So, to make a long story short, the back surgery was successful. The amount of anesthesia to put him out, the anesthesiologist was actually getting a little scared because it was basically the size of a small pony to keep a 500-plus pound man sedated. The surgery was successful and then Vince got Andre back. He basically came to our house every day. My dad, obviously being very heavy into fitness, he had a huge gym and Andre came there every day and trained and rehabbed and got stronger and stronger and then was able to, obviously, get in very good physical shape and prepare for that one amazing match. And, obviously, the rest is history."
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Source: Cheap Heat