Bam Bam Bigelow was one of the toughest men in the sport and a real life hero. He is an
imposing figure and tends to intimidate his foes just by stepping through the ropes. Whether
Bigelow is cheered or hated by the fans, he is a true legend outside the ring, proving that by
saving several children from a fire during the summer of 2000. He is a former World
Heavyweight and Tag Team Champion and has won championships on two continents.
Bigelow gained national exposure in 1995 when he was pitted against NFL Hall of Fame
Linebacker, Lawrence Taylor and co-headlined WrestleMania XI in Hartford.
He hailed from Mount Laurel, New Jersey and stands 6’3’’ and weighs in around 350.
Bigelow is known as the “Beast from the East.” Not only will his size separate him from the
norm, his tatoos will definitely leave a mark. Prior to his debut in August of 1985, he trained
in Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory in New Jersey. He competed on several independent
levels before heading to Memphis in the AWA South Territory. On July 28, 1986, he won a
23-man battle royal and won the vacant AWA Southern Heavyweight Title. Many predicted
early fame for Bigelow, including a serious run at the AWA World Title. Later in the year, he
joined the World Class organization out of Dallas.
In 1987, Bigelow signed with the World Wrestling Federation and was brought into the
promotion by heel manager, Slick during the fall. Soon thereafter, Sir Oliver Humperdink took
over the managerial position. Despite his second, Bigelow was a fan favorite. He teamed
with Hulk Hogan, Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco at the first Survivor Series on
November 26, 1987 in Richfield, Ohio. Their popular team was unable to beat Andre the
Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Butch Reed and Rick Rude. Bigelow participated
in the WWF World Heavyweight Title Tournament in late March 1988, but was ousted by
Gang in the first round. He was counted out.
Later in the year, Bigelow left the WWF and ventured through the NWA and several
independents for a short period of time before heading to Tokyo. It was in Japan where
Bigelow gained much fame. He participated on a unique wrestling card sponsored by New
Japan in Moscow on December 31, 1989. Bigelow pinned Vladimir Berkovich. On June 8,
1990, he beat Toshiaki Kawada, a future Triple Crown winner. Bam Bam met Shinya
Hashimoto on September 30, 1990 in Yokohama and lost by countout. In 1991, he formed a
successful tag team with Big Van Vader. The duo overcame former NWA World Champions,
Butch Reed and Ron Simmons on March 21, 1991 at the Tokyo Dome. Vader pinned Reed
to close things out. Rather than split up and focus on their singles careers, Bigelow and
Vader went on to win the IWGP World Tag Title from Keiji Mutoh and Hiroshi Hase on March
1, 1992 in Yokohama, Japan. The event marked the 20th anniversary of New Japan Pro
Wrestling. On March 13th, Bigelow was defeated by UIW Heavyweight Champion, Axl Rotten
by reverse decision in Baltimore. In late June, the IWGP Champions lost to the Steiners in
Bigelow returned to the World Wrestling Federation in 1993. He nearly achieved another
goal by winning the King of the Ring on June 13th in Dayton. He pinned Jim Duggan in the
first round to advance and made it to the finals with a bye. Bigelow wrestled and lost to Bret
Hart in the last match. He teamed with the Headshrinkers in a six-man contest at
SummerSlam on August 30th against the Smokin’ Gunns and Tanaka. Their bid for a victory
was not successful. At the next pay-per-view, he again teamed with the Headshrinkers and
Bastion Booger in a loss to the Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission. From there, he took
Luna Vachon as his manager and began a full-fledged feud with Tanaka.
At the Royal Rumble on January 22, 1994, Bigelow had two roles during the show. First, he
wrestled a singles match against Tanaka and lost when Vachon’s interference backfired. He
also participated in the Rumble itself, but did not win. He teamed with Vachon on March 20th
at WrestleMania against Doink the Clown and Dink. Bigelow pinned the latter, reminding
some of King Kong Bundy’s WrestleMania III performance in a mixed match. He slid into the
1994 King of the Ring Tournament, but was eliminated by Razor Ramon on June 19th. Soon
thereafter, Bigelow joined Ted DiBiase’s faction along with his former rival, Tatanka, Irwin R.
Schyster and King Kong Bundy.
On August 29th at SummerSlam, Bigelow and Schyster teamed to beat the Headshrinkers
by disqualification. On November 23rd, he teamed with Bundy, Tatanka and the Heavenly
Bodies took a win from the Smokin’ Gunns, Lex Luger, Mabel and Adam Bomb. Bigelow
remained standing at the end when the bell rang. He began teaming with Tatanka on a
normal basis and began to make real headway in that division. They made it to the finals of
the vacant WWF World Tag Team Title Tournament in Tampa on January 22, 1995, but lost
to the 1-2-3 Kid and Sparky Plugg in an upset.
Although he wasn’t wearing gold, things were about to change for Bam Bam Bigelow. The
World Wrestling Federation signed a one-match deal with former New York Giant Linebacker,
Lawrence Taylor. The bout was to take place at WrestleMania in early April. Taylor’s
opponent, the organization decided, would be one of the biggest bad men in the promotion.
It was to be none other than Bigelow. The two both appeared in U.S. media central,
Manhattan on Tuesday, February 28, 1995 to sign the deal into the books. Taylor finalized
the session with a kiss on Bigelow’s tattooed skull. Also there to soak up the atmosphere
were several of the WWF’s top stars, Shawn Michaels, Diesel and Sid Vicious. In the
continuation of promoting the event, Bigelow appeared on the Howard Stern Show with Taylor
on March 28, 1995 in New York City. Stern talked to the Beast from the East about his
background and the titles he had won. Afterwards, the two also appeared in Times Square
for an hour long public workout in front of hundreds of fans. The event ousted Bigelow into
the mainstream world of professional sports, reaching a level of media excitement which only
a handful of pro-wrestlers have ever achieved.
To that point, modern day wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and the late Andre
the Giant were generally accepted by outside sources. For the first time in his career,
Bigelow was separated head over heels from the other wrestlers buried within a card and he
had earned whatever place he was in. WrestleMania XI was held on April 2nd at the Civic
Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Thousands of fans packed the arena to see the show.
Bigelow was accompanied to the ring for his match by Nikolai Volkoff. Taylor, on the other
hand, had a number of NFL buddies with him, including Chris Spielman, Steve McMichael,
Reggie White and Carl Banks. After more than nine-minutes of wrestling, Taylor got the
upset pin on Bigelow. The spectacle was huge for both men and the WWF.
During the April 24th edition of Raw, Bigelow was slapped by Ted DiBiase and then attacked
by his former teammate, Tatanka. Sid Vicious ended Bigelow’s attempt to work his way back
up and was eventually saved by Diesel, one of the most popular athletes in the organization.
Bigelow and Diesel shook hands afterwards. He was a fan favorite from that point forth. Late
in the year, he left the WWF and accepted some indy dates as well as some overseas time.
In 1997, Bigelow signed with Extreme Championship Wrestling. He immediately made an
impact by forming an alliance with Shane Douglas, the World Champion, and Chris Candido.
The trio would be known as the “Triple Threat.” He teamed with Douglas on May 10th in
Philadelphia to beat the Pitbulls. In the months that followed, Bigelow won many big matches
against many of ECW’s top stars. By October, officials signed a match between Bigelow and
Douglas signed for the ECW World Title. The bout would be held on October 16, 1997 in
Elmhurst, New York at the Elks Lodge. The group had remained strong until that bout. That
was the particular match which recorded Bigelow’s first World Heavyweight Title win. It was
the biggest win of his career and it was safe to say that the partnership with Douglas and
Candido was over. Did it matter? No, he was finally the man on top of the ladder looking
down at those staring up.
Two nights later, he was in Philadelphia wrestling before 1,600 fans at the ECW Arena.
Bigelow made his first defense against Mikey Whipwreck a successful one. Douglas, on the
other hand, had Francine, Candido and Lance Storm all on his side. All four were pointing at
the champ and demanding a rematch for the Franchise. The match was scheduled for the
November to Remember pay-per-view in Monaca, Pennsylvania on November 30th. There,
before a hometown crowd, Douglas beat Bigelow to regain the championship.
In March of 1998, Bigelow became one of only a few wrestlers to have captured both the
ECW World and ECW World TV Titles. It was March 1st in Asbury Park, NJ where he beat
Taz on pay-per-view for the belt. Later in the month, he beat The Sandman in an important
match in Philadelphia. On the 27th of March, Taz beat Bigelow in a rematch by
disqualification in Rostraver. The next day, he teamed with Shane Douglas to beat Sabu and
Rob Van Dam in Monaca. Bigelow gave Van Dam a shot at the TV Title on April 4th in
Buffalo at the Eric Community College and dropped the title. He received a return match on
April 18th, but was unable to regain the belt. On May 15th, Bigelow pinned Al Snow in
Philadelphia. He wrestled Taz and Sabu in a special three-way dance on August 8th in
Philadelphia. The match was declared a draw after 30:00. Things remained pretty steady for
Bigelow and there were no major ups or downs. On the 29th of August, he was defeated by
Masato Tanaka, an Oriental mat genius. Bigelow reformed the Triple Threat with Douglas
and Candido on September 19th in Philadelphia. The three men wrestled Sabu, Van Dam
and Tanaka that night and there was no official finish to the bout. Bigelow pinned Sabu in
the main event of an ECW Arena show on October 10th in Philly.
Late in the year, he signed a contract with WCW. It was his first time appearing in the
NWA/WCW since his small stint in late 1989 and early 1990. Upon arrival, Bigelow had plans
to go after the biggest name in the organization, Bill Goldberg. He attacked the former World
Champion after his match with Scott Hall on January 17, 1999 in Charleston, West Virginia.
He also received a jolt from a tazer by Hall for appearing on the scene. Bigelow was also a
competitor that night on pay-per-view. He pinned Wrath. Bigelow and Goldberg were
matched immediately for SuperBrawl IX in Oakland on February 21st. He had a good
showing, but Goldberg beat him.
Several other former ECW wrestlers were in WCW by this time too, Hak and Raven. Hak
had been known for years as the Sandman. Bigelow wrestled a hardcore, falls-count-
anywhere bout against both Hak and Raven on March 14th in Louisville. Hak pinned Raven
for the win. Bigelow battled Hak before 17,000 fans at Spring Stampede in Tacoma and
won. At the next big show on May 9th, he again beat one of WCW’s toughest stars, former
Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs. His winning streak continued. Bigelow formed the “New Jersey
Triad” with Dallas Page. On May 31st in Houston, he teamed with Page to win the WCW
World Tag Team Title from Kanyon and Perry Saturn. Kanyon defected and joined the Triad.
In Syracuse on June 10th, Chris Benoit and Saturn beat them for the belts, but Page and
Kanyon regained the title three nights later in Baltimore. Bigelow aided his mates in the
victory. The Triad met Benoit and Saturn in a three-on-two handicap match on July 11th in
Sunrise, Florida. They retained the belts. He teamed with Kanyon on Saturday, August 14th
in Sturgis and lost the belts to Booker T and Stevie Ray. By the end of the summer, the
Triad had broken up. The group attempted to reform in 2000 to no avail. Bigelow won the
WCW World Hardcore Title from Brian Knobbs on February 7th in Tulsa becoming only the
third wrestler to have claimed that belt. At SuperBrawl in San Francisco, he was beaten by
Knobbs in a rematch. Before an estimated 11,000 fans in Miami, Bigelow beat The Wall by
disqualification at the Uncensored ’00 pay-per-view.
Later in 2000, Bam Bam Bigelow saved some children from a fire and elevated his
popularity in wrestling to immeasurable levels no matter what side of the fence he was
competing on. In the fire, he suffered 2nd degree burns over a percentage of his body.
Bigelow is a true-life hero. He remained away from the ring for several months as he
recovered from the incident and returned during the fall.
As if to let everyone know he was back, Bigelow again went after one of the biggest fish in
the pond, Goldberg. The two brawled several times in late October and into November. At
Mayhem on November 26th in Milwaukee, Bigelow beat Sergeant A-WOL in a late substitute
positive for Mike Awesome, who had been attacked by A-WOL earlier in the show and carried
off on a stretcher. Bigelow did some attacking of his own when he jumped General Rection
after his U.S. Title match with Lance Storm. Rection regained the belt and it seemed that
Bigelow was the right man to seek future title considerations. He lost a special ambulance
match to Awesome on December 17th in Washington DC during the Starrcade PPV.
Bigelow gained a win over Crowbar the next evening during a Thunder Taping in Richmond,
Virginia. He received some outside support from Meng.
Bigelow missed some time early in the year, but returned to compete on WCW’s final pay-
per-view under AOL-Time Warner control on March 18, 2001 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Bigelow wrestled and lost to Shawn Stasiak. Within the following week, WCW was sold to
[Biography to be Updated]
-Mid-Southern Heavyweight Title (1986) won battle-royal
-World Class Television Title (1986) defeated Steve Simpson
-Co-holder of the IWGP World Tag Team Title (1992) w/ Big Van Vader
-ECW World Heavyweight Title (1997) defeated Shane Douglas
-ECW World Television Title (1998) defeated Taz
-A two-time co-holder of the WCW World Tag Team Title
w/ Dallas Page (1999) defeated Kanyon and Perry Saturn
w/ Dallas Page and Kanyon (1999) defeated Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Bam Bam Bigelow Wrestling History
|PPV Ring Record TV Ring Record Career Record
Legends of Pro Wrestling