Andre was in France visiting his ailing father when the call came. He thanked Vince Jr. but said there was no way he could get back in a ring, even though he very much wanted to. Not willing to give up, Vince Jr. flew to France to speak with Andre in person. He took Andre to see doctors specializing in back and knee maladies. Radical back surgery was proposed. If successful, the procedure would lessen Andre’s pain and perhaps make it possible for him to get in the ring for Wrestlemania. If Andre was game, Vince Jr. agreed to pay for the entire cost of the surgery.
The time arrived, and the anesthesiologist was frantic. He had never put a person of Andre’s size under the gas before and had no idea how much to use. Various experts were brought in but no solution presented itself until one of the doctors asked Andre if he was a drinker. Andre responded that, yes, he’d been known to tip a glass from time to time. The doctor then wanted to know how much Andre drank and how much it took to get him drunk.
“Well,” rumbled the Giant, “It usually takes two liters of vodka just to make me feel warm inside.”
And thus was a solution found. The gas-passer was able to extrapolate a correct mixture for Andre by analyzing his alcohol intake. It was a medical breakthrough, and the system is still used to this day.
Five months later, Andre the Giant wrestled a “body-slam” match against Hulk Hogan and brought down the house.