Killer Khan attacks Andre the Giant with his own crutch

Certain angles, for whatever reason, stick with you from youth. Andre the Giant and Killer Khan had a feud in the 1981 that was based in storyline on Khan breaking Andre’s leg. In reality, Andre likely hurt it outside the ring, and the Khan plot was a nice tie-in to his real-life injury.

But what really set the feud on fire was an simple angle on Saturday morning WWF Championship Wrestling in which Khan attacked a recovering Andre with his crutch.

What I remember most about the incident wasn’t the beating (30:02 into this YouTube clip), but announcer Vince McMahon’s reaction.


McMahon was conducting an interview in front of the live audience with Andre about when the giant would return to the ring. Suddenly, Classy Freddie Blassie, Khan’s manager, came out and claimed Andre was washed up, calling him a “palooka,” which was a classic Blassie insult that one of my friends used to always quote in the same breath he talked about Blassie’s record album.

The album is probably another post.

Anyway, McMahon was great in this segment, telling Blassie, “You’re not invited!” Andre whacks Blassie with his cane (it was rare to see Blassie take a bump as a manager), and then Andre loses his balance and falls against McMahon and the ring apron. Khan runs out, grabs a crutch, and nails Andre with it.

And the point I recall vividly to this day: Just before Khan connects with the crutch, Vince looks at him and yells out, “No, no, no, no!”

Andre and Khan ended up having a strong run with their feud, culminating in a series of “Mongolian stretcher matches” in several of the big East Coast cities, including Boston in October 1981. Andre actually recuperated from his legitimate broken leg in Boston at one of the hospitals here.

Khan later returned to the WWE in 1987 for a house show feud with Hulk Hogan.

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2 comments

  1. Beantown Wring Wrat

    This is no doubt one of my very early memories of becoming a fan of Pro Wrestling. I was in attendance at the old Boston Garden for the infamous Andre the Giant vs. Killer Khan stretcher match. I had ring side seats and was in awe of Andre and his size. I kept saying to myself “how in the world can they get Andre onto the stretcher?” He was just so big and his girth was monstrous. “It would take several referee’s to even get him on the stretcher.” At one point Killer Khan had to assist the ref’s in getting Andre onto the stretcher. A funny scene at best. Obviously this was a great feud and a great run for both Andre and Khan. What is also amusing is that there are videos out on the internet and youtube that show Andre and Khan matches over in Japan in which Andre is actually the villain. I strongly believe this was the beginning of the end for Andre. After this feud ended his disease (Acromegaly) was more evident than ever. His body was growing at such a rapid rate. Although his next feud was with Big John Studd in which it had a good run culminating at the inaugural WrestleMania, his health no doubt was deteriorating. A lot of weight was gained and he and his schedule had slowed down quite a bit. But alas, one more run for Andre happened in 1987. As noted in several media outlets, Andre barely made it to WrestleMania 3 to face Hulk Hogan. Nonetheless when Andre’s career was in its peak, he was a force and a powerful one at that. Of course we all know about his antics and other venues outside the ring. He played a major role in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride.” He also played Bigfoot in the television series The Bionic Man. He was one of the first wrestlers to be featured in a major article in Sports Illustrated. Andre could make or break your career. Being over 7 feet 4 inches tall and weighing over 500 pounds its no wonder everyone in the circle referred to him as “The Boss.”

  2. david

    some of my favorite memories of angles were Piper and Snuka still remember Saturday morning watching that and Bruno and Zybasko both of those led to some great matches and sold out the Garden.

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