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NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most fierce centers the league has ever seen. He is also a huge wrestling fan and has been following it ever since he was a kid. The Big Diesel has also made some appearances for both WWE and AEW. Shaq appeared at WrestleMania 32 in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal where he had the iconic stare-down with The Big Show.

During an interview in 2021, Shaq revealed that he was a fan of wrestling legend, the late Andre the Giant.

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The Los Angeles Lakers legend said that he had a lot of favorite wrestlers when he was growing up. “Well, I had a lot of them. Andre the Giant, of course,” he said. “Hulk Hogan, Big Show, Matilda The Hun, Junkyard Dog, Tony Atlas, Kabuki, The Rock, Brock Lesnar. Guys that displayed nothing but power.”

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However, he also claimed that he would beat the late 7’4” Andre the Giant. “Oh, I would have beat him,” Shaq confidently stated. “I would have beat him silly like I beat Charles Barkley.” A lot of wrestling fans and seven-time Mr. Olympia champion Arnold Schwarzenegger might disagree with that one.

Shaquille O’Neal vs. Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant and Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger formed a great friendship during the making of the movie ‘Conan the Destroyer’ along with NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain. The Hollywood legend once stated that Chamberlain and Andre would argue about, who could him pick easily like a fly.

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Schwarzenegger then revealed the moment that made the legendary wrestler manhandle him. He said that Andre was not happy when he went behind his back to pay the bill for dinner. So when Andre came to know about this, he was really angry and picked Schwarzenegger like a child.

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Then Chamberlain joined him and the giant duo carried the superstar out of the restaurant and then sat him on the roof of his car. He also said that the people in the restaurant were freaking out during the hilarious encounter. So it might not have been an easy fight for O’Neal as he claimed.

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However, the towering center was one of the most powerful and explosive during his prime. Defenders stood no chance to keep him content. The towering center broke backboards like it was fun. And there was nothing his opponents could do. So it could have been a very close fight.


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