Omos is a physical marvel, towering at a legitimate height of 7-foot-3. His efforts in WWE are sometimes overshadowed by his stature with critics questioning his bookings opposite major performers like Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 39. Omos’ size has certainly expedited his climb, but that ladder was nearly yanked away before he took his first massive step.
Omos underwent two brain surgeries during his freshman year of college to remedy a tumor that could have caused cardiac arrest or blindness. If that wasn’t concerning enough, Omos also had a trio of rare conditions he says bestowed him with the unfortunate title of a medical marvel. Omos has acromegaly (the same condition that Andre the Giant suffered from), gigantism and partial Cushing’s disease, he previously told the “Out of Character” podcast. His health records were an Omos-sized red flag for WWE. The promotion nearly refused to sign Omos, who was financially broke at the time, because of it. That is why every opportunity presented — big or small — is not lost on Omos.
“It put me in a state where I truly appreciate everything that I am given and everything that I do,” Omos told CBS Sports ahead of his match against Seth Rollins at Backlash on May 6. “I have a passion for life and I understand that tomorrow is not promised. As an 18-year-old, I felt that situation where I didn’t know what to do and had to take everything day by day. It gives me the perspective of appreciating the loved ones around me and the moments that I experience. I make sure that I enjoy every single moment.
“Starting with AJ Styles and winning the tag team titles in Tampa. Breaking off and going on my own against Bobby Lashley [at WrestleMania] last year. I wrestled arguably the biggest draw in pro-wrestling today, which is Brock Lesnar, at WrestleMania 39 in L.A. I have accomplished so much in the last few years. For me, it’s having gratitude and being grateful and not taking things for granted.”
Check out the full interview with Omos below.
The path to WWE superstardom is unique to each athlete. Sami Zayn spent more than a decade on the independent circuit. Roman Reigns honed his skills for two years in WWE’s developmental territory. Big Show established himself as WCW headliner before jumping ship in the late ’90s. Kane endured an awful dentist gimmick before being repackaged as “The Big Red Machine.” Omos was thrown into the deep end much sooner than most.
“The Nigerian Giant” signed with WWE in January 2019 and made his Monday Night Raw debut 17 months later. By October 2020, he was teaming up with former world champion Styles. A vocal portion of professional wrestling fans have been hyper-critical of Omos’ in-ring skills. Fans were also very critical of Dominick Mysterio before he found his footing as a bratty man-child with a tongue-in-cheek prisoner gimmick. Omos keeps his thumb on the pulse of the industry and pulls from it as motivation.
“I realized that I just need to go and perform for me, obviously, as long as the live crowd enjoys it,” Omos said. “I see everything online and on the Internet. It strikes the core sometimes. But at the end of the day, all you need to do is go out there to perform and make them shut up. It’s as simple as that… I see screenshots from various journalists and interviews. I use it as motivation to go out there and perform.”