Bjornsson, who is best known for his enormous screen presence while playing “The Mountain” in the hit TV series “Game of Thrones,” stunned fans by lifting 501kg (1,105lbs) on Saturday, breaking the record held by Hall since 2016 and appearing to find the feat easier than his relatively diminutive English rival.
‘The Beast’ seemed to offer his fellow warrior support before his long-awaited attempt at the incredible lift, saying he hoped the Icelander “smashed” it and wishing him “big love” in an attempt that had to be made in a gym rather than under official conditions because of isolation restrictions enforced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Hall quickly resorted to fighting talk and reopened a rift over malpractice between the former World’s Strongest Man champions after seeing Bjornsson resurrect talk of an organized fight in the aftermath of his astonishing achievement.
The 2017 champion, who beat Bjornsson to a title that the runner-up claimed the following year, initially issued his congratulations before reasserting his stated desire for Bjornsson to “attempt it at a competition when all this is over.”
“I think this should be done in a proper competition,” urged Hall, turning to the trophy that was made for him when he became the first strongman to raise 500kg.
“Get rid of all that negativity – prove everybody wrong. I was never naive enough to think that nobody would beat my record. Step up to the mark.”
Having outlined his misgivings and admitted that the towering Bjornsson had “genuinely got my respect,” Hall’s tone quickly became more menacing as his thoughts turned to a clash of the titans.
“It’s not the money, it’s not the deadlift feud we’ve got going on, nothing to do with that,” he explained.
“It’s because you called me a cheat at World’s Strongest Man 2017. I can’t put that to bed, I can’t forget it. People may forget it, but you’ve never apologized.
“In your head, you think you should’ve won that year and you let people know that. I cannot have that. That’s why I’m going to sign those papers – because I want to teach you a lesson. and that lesson is going to be me knocking you the f*ck out.”
Rumors of an extremely heavyweight fight between Hall and Bjornsson have rumbled almost as loudly as the behemoths’ verbal sparring sessions over the years. The popular view among fans is that Bjornsson, who at almost 206cm tall has a height advantage of more than 15cm, would be favorite against an opponent who lost on points in a charity boxing match in 2012.
Hall, who currently stands around 30kg lighter than Bjornsson, offered words of warning to his potential opponent and fans who might underestimate him. “I’m always against the odds,” he claimed.
“I’ve always been the short guy, the most unathletic guy, the person who’s never going to deadlift half a ton and win World’s Strongest Man.
“I’m gonna train, eat, sleep and recover the hardest. I’m going to do everything in my power to step in that ring and rip your f***ing head off. So Thor, get training, I’ll see you in the ring.”
Bjornsson was busy with a track and field session while thousands of viewers weighed in on the ruckus.
“Eddie won’t even get close,” reckoned one, reasoning: “Too short and too slow.”
Others supported the smaller man. “End of the day, Beast did it first,” one said of the deadlift record.
“He’ll always have that. Everyone after that just doesn’t matter.”