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WWF WrestleMania III Review

WrestleMania III

March 29th 1987

Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan

Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura

Attendance: 93,173

Buy Rate: 450,000 (Closed Circuit Television) 400,000 (PPV buys)

 

The tagline for this WrestleMania was “Bigger! Badder! Better!” It was certainly bigger than the previous two WrestleManias. Badder was a marketing ploy. Better? Yes. A lot of people, myself included, believe that this is the first WrestleMania to have that big event feel about it. Over the years, the attendance number has always been in question over it legitimacy. The Silverdome holds a capacity of 80,000 and the added floor seating is an added 10 – 13,000 prox. This is one of the most important events in the WWE’s history. WrestleMania 3 made Vince McMahon’s company bigger than ever before. It was a huge hit on closed circuit television and on pay per view too.

The biggest selling point of the pay per view was the main event, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. Andre was a popular babyface so the heel turn was a big deal. Hogan had been the WWF Champion for 3 years whiles Andre was undefeated for 15 years (he wasn’t). Jealous of the attention Hogan was receiving, Andre aligned himself with Bobby Heenan and challenged Hogan to a match on an edition of Piper’s Pit. The match was set and it got the entire wrestling world talking.

On a personal note, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant was the first wrestling match I ever saw so re-watching this always brings back happy memories for me. One of my favourite matches ever. As always I’ll be reviewing the tagged classics DVD version of the show.

 

The show begins with very generic music, the likes you won’t associate with a wrestling show, and we are now cut over to a wide-shot of the Silverdome. Such an amazing site, if I had the chance to go back in time I would like to go to WrestleMania 3. A rather young Vince McMahon is standing in the middle of the ring in complete awe of the 90,000+ crowd, he delivers his famous “Welcome to WrestleMania 3” quote. On the History of WrestleMania DVD, an emotional Vince talks about how he was thinking about his dad at that moment. He introduces Aretha Franklin who sang America the Beautiful.

They threw us to the announce booth were we are welcomed by Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura. Our celebrity guests are Mary Hart (no relation to the famous Hart family) and Baseball legend, Bob Uecker.

 

The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) vs. Bob Orton & Don Muraco /w/ Mr Fuji

Rick Martel gets the crowd going right off the bat by confusing the hell out of Don Muraco and scoring a few near falls. The Can-Ams hit a double monkey flip on Muraco, then a double hip toss on Orton. The heels regroup on the floor with their manager, Mr Fuji, while the announcers put over the true awesomeness of the full Silverdome. Tom Zenk works Orton’s arm, then Muraco’s, but Orton catches him with a knee from the apron, allowing the heels to take control. A double team gets two, then a collision leads to a hot tag. All four men come in, and Orton gets sent to the floor. Zenk creeps behind Muraco after a reversed whip, and Martel gets three with a crossbody for the victory.

Winners: The Can-Am Connection via pinfall

Rating: **

A great fast paced opener. In a shoot interview, Rick Martel talks about having to re-watch this match because it was a complete blur to him as he was taken away by the crowd. Although it was a short match, the crowd loved everything the Can-Ams did so it was the right call in terms of what you should expect in an opening match.

 

A video recap package is playing highlighting the feud between Hercules and Billy Jack Haynes over who has the better Full Nelson. The Full Nelson, a once devastating submission hold finisher in the 80’s is now a regular move in 2014 (come to think of it, I hardly see it nowadays!)

Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Hercules and Bobby Heenan. Hercules says that Billy Jack will feel the full power of his Full Nelson. Bobby Heenan refers to Billy Jack as “Billy Jerk”. Heenan rules.

 

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules /w/ Bobby Heenan

Both guys are huge with big muscles which isn’t uncommon in the WWF during the late 80’s as that was the norm back in the day. The big guys brawl to start and Billy Jack pulls out an eye-opening press slam. He goes for the Full Nelson quickly, but Herc gets to the ropes. Haynes charges and Herc hits a huge blind clothesline out of nowhere. Herc softens up the back with a suplex, covers, and picks him up at two, which is always a big mistake. Haynes tries a suplex of his own, but can’t get it because of his injured back. Pretty good psychology here. Herc hits a backbreaker, and hooks the Full Nelson, but can’t quite hook the fingers to make it an effective hold. Haynes breaks it and comes back with clotheslines and a leg drop. He goes for his own Full Nelson and hooks it, but Herc makes the ropes and they both spill to the floor where Haynes keeps the hold on, and they’re both counted out. Post-match, Haynes goes after Heenan, after Heenan got a cheap shot in. Herc attacks Haynes with his chain. Haynes is bleeding. A blade job in match 2? Awesome!

Winner: Double Count Out

Rating:* ½

Slower pace than the opening match but it was a decent power match. It went on a bit too long but the main story was all about the post-match attack. Hercules would stick around for some time after this whiles Haynes left the company not long afterwards.

 

King Kong Bundy/ Little Tokyo/ Lord Littlebrook vs. Hillbilly Jim/ Haiti Kid/ Little Beaver

King Kong Bundy mainevented WrestleMania last year and is now in the 3rd match with midgets. Injustice huh? Three of the four midgets have “Little” in their name. Creative isn’t it? Also Bob Uecker is commentating on this match too.  This is the first mixed tag match at a WrestleMania, and the rules are simple; big guys against big guys, little guys against little guys. Seems easy enough, right? But Jesse keeps teasing a Bundy confrontation with one of the little guys, so you just know it’s going to happen. Bob Uecker, celebrity guest, is pretty entertaining on commentary, as we get the standard midget match fare. Of all the guest celebrities throughout the years, Uecker always seemed to “get it” the most, and seemed pretty knowledgeable about his role as a commentator and what was going on in general. I say they bring him back once in a while today just for a few laughs. Back to the match, the face midgets keep badgering Bundy, so he does what any 400+ pound heel would do and bodyslams Little Beaver thus drawing the DQ. Post- match, Bundy attempts to splash Little Beaver but all the midgets (including Bundy’s teammates) save him. Bundy bails to the floor whiles Hillbilly Jim consoled his Little Beaver (If I never made a joke there it would had been a missed opportunity!)

Winners: Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver via DQ

Rating: -**

Awful match! I’m almost glad it was so short too (pun intended)

 

Backstage, Mean Gene is interviewing Harley Race, Bobby Heenan & the Fabulous Moolah. Harley is the current King of the Ring and is billed as “King Harley Race”. He vowed that the JYD will bow before him after the match.

 

King Harley Race /w/ Bobby Heenan & Fabulous Moolah vs. Junkyard Dog

Harley’s entrance music is Jerry Lawler’s current theme. JYD gets a monstrous pop right off the bat, the guy was very popular. Race and JYD brawl, than Race does a cool spot that would prove to be the only highlight of the match, where he misses a headbutt from the apron to the floor. Ouch. Like every JYD match, the pace was slow. Back in the ring, JYD hits the headbutts and Race sells like crazy, but Heenan distracts JYD, and Race catches him with a quick belly to belly for three. As the stipulation says, the loser must bow to the winner. Reluctantly, JYD bows before Race. As Race gloats, JYD attack him with a steel chair and leaves with Harley’s crown and cape.

Winner: King Harley Race via pinfall

Rating: * ½ 

Harley’s bumping was amazing considering he was in his mid-40s at the time. Finish was poor and the match was way too short. I think the short matches in the WWF must have frustrated Harley a great deal as he was used to one hour long matches back in the NWA.

 

Mean Gene interviews the Dream Team and the latest member of the group, Dino Bravo.

 

The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine) /w/ Luscious Johnny & Dino Bravo vs. The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond)

These two teams had some awesome matches with one another in months prior to this, but this one seems rushed. Bobby Heenan joins the commentary team, so I listen to him gloat about his success instead of paying much attention to the match. He claims to be 2-0 but that’s a lie. Ray Rougeau puts Valentine in the sleeper, so Beefcake tries to break it… but nails his own partner by mistake. D’oh! Beefcake was such a bad worker! The Rougeaus’ hit the Rougeau Bomb on Valentine and cover, but Bravo sneaks in, cheap shots Jacques, and the Dream Team picks up the win. Post-match, Johnny, Bravo & Valentine yell at Beefcake and leave the ring. This would lead to Beefcake’s face turn later on.

Winners: The Dream Team via pinfall

Rating: **

Some decent tag team wrestling but too short to be considered anything special.

 

Hair vs. Hair Match

Adorable Adrian Adonis /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

This was also billed as Piper’s farewell match. He would retire after this match only to return two years later. Piper, who isn’t coming down to the ring on one of those mobile ring carts, receives a thunderous reception from the crowd. Nice “Aids Adonis” sign in the crowd. Be a Star! Piper goes after Jimmy Hart with it, but Adonis saves him and he beats on Piper with the belt. The crowd is at a fever pitch for all of this. Piper whips him into the corner and Adonis takes an upside down bump all the way over the top to the floor. Piper pulls Adonis back in, Hart holds onto him and Piper gives them the dreaded double nockin’ knocker! Then Piper whips Hart into Adonis and they both go flying over the top to the floor. Great bumping by Adonis, he could bump his tank ass off all day if he could. The ref lets everything fly as Piper just abuses poor Jimmy, but a smart heel manager always gets revenge, and Jimmy is no different, hooking Piper’s leg so Adrian can take the advantage. He later sprays arrogance in Hot Rod’s face, and Adonis gets the sleeper. Piper’s arm drops twice, and Adonis lets go of the hold. He and Hart celebrate, thinking the match is over, but it’s not, and Brutus Beefcake runs in to help revive Piper. Piper puts his version of the sleeper on Adonis, and makes sure to hold it on until Adrian’s arm drops all three times. Piper takes the win. Post-match, Beefcake cuts Adonis’s hair to start his new gimmick as the resident barber of the WWF. Piper holds up the mirror and Adonis is furious about losing his hair. Piper’s energy is fantastic. After Howard Finkel announced that this was Piper’s final match, some fan hops the barrier and congratulates Piper, so Roddy plays it off until security just pounces on him. Hot Rod leaves, celebrating to the cheers of the crowd. I’m sure it was a pretty emotional moment in 1987 but he returned two years later and continued wrestling on a part time basis.

Winner: Rowdy Roddy Piper via KO

Rating: ** ½

From an entertainment standpoint, this was great. Listen to the crowd. They were totally into it. Piper overcame the odds with Jimmy Hart interfering all the time and he showed the type of heart you’d love to see from a babyface. To me, Roddy Piper’s greatest strengths were his charisma and mic skills. He was the best ever in them departments. His matches were never classics (one of his best ever matches actually took place at WrestleMania, more on that later) but only a few people ever got the same reactions as Piper. Piper moved into the movie business.

 

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) & Dangerous Danny Davis /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) & Tito Santana

The once bright Silverdome is starting to get dark. The Hart Foundation were the tag team champions, they defeated the Bulldogs who were trying to recapture the titles once again. Tito Santana lost the Intercontinental title to Macho Man thanks to some dodgy decisions from referee turned wrestler, Danny Davis. Going into the match, the thing that strikes out the most is just how thin Dynamite Kid is. He looks like a stick! A few months prior he suffered a serious back injury and came back way too early, that lead to his downfall and now he’s in a wheelchair. Such a shame!

Some good back and forth action to start, and then the heels decide to work over Dynamite. Why the hell is he taking all the abuse when Tito and Davey Boy are perfectly capable of doing so instead? Mary Hart says that’ll need to rename him “Firecracker” if this continues. Shades of bad commentary from WrestleMania 2 right there guys. The Harts take him out with a backbreaker/elbow combination for two. Monsoon refers to Bret as “the excellence of execution”, a nickname that would stick with the Hitman forever. Davis tags in for two quick kicks while Dynamite is down, and then calmly tags out again. Massive heel heat for that. The Harts continue the beat down, then slingshot Davis in, but Dynamite brings up the knees and makes the hot tag to Tito, who absolutely destroys Dangerous Danny. A Figure Four is stopped by Neidhart, so Tito tags Davey Boy, who KILLS Davis with a tombstone piledriver. Davis’ head must have bounced a foot off the mat. Next up is a delayed spulex followed by the running powerslam. Davey decides to cover, but a pier-six brawl breaks out, and Davis nails Smith with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone, and covers for the pin.

Winners: The Hart Foundation & Dangerous Danny Davis via pinfall

Rating: ***

Such a fun match with the fast pace you would expect previous matches involving the Hart Foundation & Bulldogs. Dynamite’s involvement was kept to a minimum due to the condition of his back. This would be the first of many amazing Bret Hart matches at WrestleMania.

 

Koko B.Ware vs. Butch Reed /w/ Slick

They lock up to start, but nothing really happens until Reed dominates with punches. Koko uses his speed and hits a dropkick that sends Reed out to the floor. Whip into the ropes, Koko hits him in the gut with a punch followed by a shot to the head. Reed decks him with a punch to the throat, but Koko comes back with an arm drag followed by a series of punches and a dropkick for two. Rake to the eyes by Reed, but Koko comes back with a quick small package for two. Koko runs off the ropes, he hits a crossbody, Reed rolls through, covers him with a handful of tights and that’s enough for the victory. Post – match saw Tito Santana save Koko from another beatdown by ripping Slick’s clothes.

Winner: Butch Reed via pinfall

Rating: ½*

Short match which is a good thing I suppose.

 

Up next, is the most famous match in history; Ricky Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage. A video package recaps the events leading up to the match. Savage jumped off the top rope and drove the ring bell in Steamboat’s throat. Moments later, Steamboat was taken out on a stretcher while Vince yelled on commentary “he can’t breathe”.  Steamboat was doing a master job selling the injury. A few months later, Steamboat recovered from the “crushed larynx” injury and challenged Savage to a match at WrestleMania. George Steele was going to be in Steamboat’s corner for this match.

Backstage, Mary Hart tried to interview Elizabeth but Savage prevented her from talking. I loved Savage as a heel. Such a cocky motherfucker!

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship

Macho Man Randy Savage © /w/Elizabeth vs. Ricky Steamboat /w/ George Steel

Steamboat and Savage start with a psychout and Steamboat hits his lightning quick armdrags, forcing Macho to bail. Steamboat chases him on the floor, so Savage rolls in and blitzes Steamboat as he tries to get in. Savage works the injured throat for awhile, but Steamboat toughs it out and goes right back to Savage’s arm. Macho counters with an elbow, and tosses him to the floor. Savage measures his throat with elbows and gets a two count. Steamboat tries for a quick pin with a crossbody, but gets two. Steamboat goes nuts with a flurry of quick pinfall attempts and reversals until Savage slows him down with a high knee to the back. Macho tries to throw Steamboat to the floor, but the Dragon skins the cat and hops back in… where Savage is waiting for him, and repsonds with a clothesline to send him to the outside for real. He climbs out after him and another high knee sends Steamboat over the guard rail and into the crowd.

Steele helps him back in the ring, so Savage throws him out on the other side and connects with an axehandle from the top rope to the floor. Back in, Savage gets a two count with another top rope axehandle, then two more with his pattened ropeline, two more with an atomic drop, and two more with a suplex. He just can’t put the Steamer away. Macho stifles a Dragon comeback and gets two with a gutwrench suplex. Steamboat flips out of a back suplex attempt, Savage charges, and Steamboat backdrops him out over the top and all the way to the floor. Huge bump. Jesse rants about how he should be DQ’ed for intentionally throwing someone over the top rope. Um, this is the WWF, Jess. We don’t have that rule here.

Steamboat drags Savage back in, and now it’s his turn to go through the offense. A chop off the top gets two, as Savage gets his foot on the ropes. The fans thought that was it; they had a collective heart attack when Hebner signalled two. In a great bit of psychology, Savage bails like he did earlier in the match, but this time when he tries to blitz Steamboat coming in, Ricky is ready with a shoulder, and sunset flips in for two. Steamboat goes nuts with the pinning combinations, doing everything he possibly can to try to put Savage away. A rollup gets two, as do a rollover, and a small package which the crowd again thought was the finish. Steamboat slingshots Savage into the post to get two, then Savage reverses a rollup for a two count of his own. A reversal sequence leads to a ref bump, and a Macho clothesline puts everyone down. Savage recovers, climbs to the top, and hits the Flying Elbow. He covers, but there’s no ref, so he decides to inflict some more damage, and goes outside to grab the ring bell.

Steele tries to take it from him, but Savage kicks him away, so when he goes up top with the bell, Steele tosses him off. The ref, Steamboat, and Savage get to their feet at the same time, and Savage goes for a bodyslam but Steamboat holds on, rolls through, and cradles Savage for the pin and the Intercontinental Title. What an unbelievable match!

Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat via pinfall

Rating: *****

“If you live to be a hundred, you’ll never see a match as good as this!” Even Monsoon knew something special had just happened. The phrase show stealer springs to mind! It’s a match that still stands the test of time and he looked back on with fond memories by wrestlers and fans alike. In a match which had 22 near falls (yes I was counting), that alone just proves how badly both guys wanted the win. The emotion and determination was first class. In short, Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania 3 is one of the best matches ever. Five stars. No question about it!

 

Backstage, Mean Gene is interviewing Jake Roberts & Alice Cooper. Building up to this match, Honky Tonk Man attacked Jake with a guitar (a real one, not a gimmick one). Roberts says that Honky may have got the better of him but he didn’t finish off the job. Alice Cooper, who is from Detroit, says that he’ll be keeping an eye on Jimmy Hart.

As Jake is making his way to the ring, Mean Gene interviews Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Honky Tonk says the fans want to hear him sing and not listen to some “nightmare song” by Alice Cooper.

 

Jake “The Snake” Roberts/w/ Alice Cooper vs. Honky Tonk Man /w/ Jimmy Hart

On the plus side, the crowd is still hot. On the minus side, there’s no way in hell they can come close to matching anything from the previous match. Jake jumps Honky at the bell, forcing Honky to bail, but Jake follows and beats on him out there too. A DDT attempt is countered, and Honky runs through some slow, boring offense. The Shake Rattle and Roll fails, and Jake comes back, but Jimmy Hart distracts him, and Honky scores a quick rollup for the three count. Major upset. Roberts chases Honky down the aisle, but poor Jimmy is left all alone in the ring, and Jake and Alice introduce him to Jake’s snake, Damien. The crowd liked the extra-curricular activities, but the match itself was boring.

Winner: Honky Tonk Man via pinfall

Rating: * ½

I loved Honky as the cowardly heel. Jimmy Hart helps him out but when Alice Cooper goes after Jimmy with the snake, Honky Tonk was nowhere to be seen. The match itself was slow paced with little to no flow to it.

 

Vince McMahon interviews WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. Hogan was the champion for 3 years and the idea was that Andre was the favourite whiles Hogan was the underdog. It was a very intense promo, brother!

 

Mean Gene Okerlund and Howard Finkel are in the ring. Aww, just look at them. Matching tuxedos, moustaches and bald heads. Adorable.  Okerlund announcers the attendance; 93,173.

 

Next is the tag match between Nikolai Volkoff & the Iron Sheik against the Killer Bees. Slick is still wearing the ripped up clothes he had on earlier on. Volkoff sings the Russian national anthem. During the singing, Jim Duggan chases everyone out of the ring. He tells Volkoff that he isn’t going to sing the Russian nation anthem again because America is the home of the brave and the land of the free. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik /w/ Slick vs. The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & Jumping Jim Brunzell) /w/ Hacksaw Jim Duggan

The Bees are really over for some reason, probably just because the crowd is getting antsy for Hogan by this point. The Bees double team like crazy to start, and Brunzell hits his beautiful dropkick, but then gets caught in the wrong corner. The usual heel beatdown follows, as Duggan starts a USA chant from the floor. He starts chasing Volkoff around ringside with his 2×4 for no reason, then follows him in the ring and nails the Shiek with it, giving the heels the DQ victory.

Winners: Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik via DQ

Rating: * ½

The match was just okay. I guess the fans wanted it to be short just so they can see the Hulkster take on Andre.

 

Speaking of Andre, Mean Gene is interviewing him. Andre says that it’s not going to take him very long to defeat Hogan. Heenan, who is great here by the way, says that Hogan better be ready.

 

They showed clips of moments that led up to this match. It started off with Hogan & Andre in happier times up to the infamous Piper’s pit incident. Andre aligned himself with Bobby Heenan and challenged Hogan to a title match which Hogan declined because they were friends so Andre ripped the shirt and chain off his neck. Piper asked him for an answer, Hogan’s response: YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! By God that was hilarious! The written word doesn’t do it justice. It was over the top dramatic yell which was typical cheesy 80’s.

 

Backstage, Mean Gene is standing by with WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. Another highly intensity promo, where he talks about how the whole world is going to shake after he slams the Giant.

 

Bob Uecker is the guest ring announcer. Andre & Heenan receive very loud boos upon arrival. I always find it funny how Andre, who is the heel going into this match, is waving to the fans. Yeah right, real heels wave!  Real American is playing on the PA system and the fans go absolutely nuts for Hulk Hogan.  A few years ago, I actually review this very match as a little side project and I’ve managed to find it. Enjoy.

 

WWF Championship

Andre the Giant /w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan©

“This is the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling!” claims Jesse Ventura. He was right! This match was huge! Hogan does his usual cup to the ear/ shirt ripping routine but he gets all serious as he looks towards his opponent! Hogan looked nervous as hell as this point! Hogan and Andre stare each other down, a moment so iconic it gets replayed almost every year come WrestleMania season, Gorilla Monsoon describes it perfectly “it’s the irresistible force meeting the unmovable object”, couldn’t have summed it up better myself.

Andre shoves Hogan, Hogan shoves back, Andre goes for a strike but Hogan blocks it and replies with three punches of his own. The fans are clearly in Hogan’s corner right now. Hogan attempts a bodyslam but Andre falls on top of him and manages to get a 2 count. A very close 2 count I may add! “The Hulkster may have injured his back” cries Jesse. Andre kicks Hogan in the midsection and whacks his huge forearm across Hogan’s injured back. Andre looks unstoppable; he attacks with another forearm to the back. The announcers put over how Andre is “making it look easy”. Yet another forearm across Hogan’s back followed up with a Knee to the face. Andre slams Hogan to the mat and is demanding that Hogan gets back up again. Hogan looks hurt, he’s doing a good selling of the back injury right now, Andre connects with another bodyslam! The fans try to rally round the Hulkster. “I’ve never seen Hogan like this before” says Jesse Ventura, I take it he forgot about Hogan v King Kong Bundy at last year’s WrestleMania! Andre whips Hogan into a corner; he then whips him into the far corner. Andre bellows “Look at your champion now!” Andre rams his shoulder into Hogan’s midsection three times and connects with a headbutt. Andre goes for another headbutt but Hogan escapes through Andre’s legs. The crowd comes alive again. Hogan connects with two punches to Andre’s head, Hogan runs off the ropes and hits a clothesline on Andre. The Giant (still on his feet) is stunned, Hogan takes advantage of this and rams Andre’s head into the top turnbuckle pad ten times! Hogan runs off the ropes again but the momentum is cut dead after Andre delivers a big boot to Hogan.

Andre gives Hogan a chop across the chest and locks in a bearhug. Hogan tries to fight out of it but the hold is on too tight and is causing Hogan to fade away. The fans are really into right now trying to rally around the champion! The ref checks the arm of the champion, it drops two times, he checks it for the third time but Hogan comes around! Amazing reaction from the crowd, I think that they generally thought that it was all over right there! He attacks with a flurry of punches to Andre’s skull as he stuns the Giant. Hogan runs off the ropes again and connects with a shoulder tackle. Andre is still standing, Hogan goes for a second and still Andre is still standing. Hogan goes for yet another shoulder tackle but Andre cuts him off with a chop. Andre throws Hogan into the ropes and catches him on the way back with a big boot, the force of the big boot causes Hogan to fall out of the ring and onto the arena floor. On the outside, Andre chops Hogan’s chest causing him to back up into the ring post, Andre goes for a headbutt but Hogan moves out of the way at the last second causing Andre to headbutt the ring post (he doesn’t really, he misses)! Hogan removes some of the protective mats surrounding the ring exposing the concrete floor, he attempts a Piledriver on Andre but Andre counters with a back body drop! Andre throws Hogan back into the ring. He whips him off the ropes and goes for a big boot but Hogan dodges it and returns with a shoulder tackle causing Andre to fall to the ground. What an amazing reaction from the crowd! They sense that the tide is turning and Hogan can pull it off! Bobby Heenan tries to rally up Andre but Hogan is beginning to HULK UP~! He waits for Andre to get up……BODYSLAM TO ANDRE!!!! That’s the biggest moment in wrestling history right there!! Holy shit, the fans are going fucking crazy right now! You’ll never hear another crowd react as loud as they did to that bodyslam! Hogan runs off the ropes and connects with the Leg Drop, cover 1…2….3. Hulkamania lives again.

Winner and STILL WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan via pinfall

Rating: ***

I guess people may criticise me for giving this match such a high rating but it’s a match that I love and it’s also the match that got me into wrestling so I guess I have such a strong love affair with the match. I guess this is one of those matches where the actual wrestling doesn’t matter. Sure it wasn’t full of near falls but it’s the iconic moments that mean something (The Stare down, the bearhug and the bodyslam). I simply can’t put into words just how loud the crowd where for that bodyslam. They went fucking nuts over it. I guess you need to watch it to truly understand what it was like. It’s moments like that that will live forever.

 

The show closes with a defeated Andre (& a very dejected Bobby Heenan who has his head in his hands) leaving the arena whiles Hulk Hogan celebrates with the WWF title.

 

Random though

  • On the History of WrestleMania DVD, they talked about how Hogan was nervous before his match with Andre, and it showed on his face. This was a huge deal for him. I feel that this was the match that made Hogan a massive star of the late 80’s. Sure, he was already the big star prior but a victory over Andre, the biggest star of the 70s, did wonders for him. A true passing of the torch.
  • A lot of people thought Vince was crazy to have the show at the Silverdome, but it was Vince who had the last laugh in the end. Recent WrestleManias have been held in stadiums but none of them were as loud as this. The noise from the crowd also made the undercard matches seem important, right from the opening contest up until the main event. The Silverdome crowd is one of the best crowds in history.
  • Ricky Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage was absolutely amazing. If you haven’t seen it I strongly urge you to check it out.
  • One of the things about this era in wrestling is the use of managers. Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart were great in their roles and it something that could benefit some of the guys of today.

 

Best match: Ricky Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage – Easily the best match of the night.

Worst match: Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver vs. King Kong Bundy, Lord Littlebrook & Little Tokyo- Complete crap!

WrestleMania moment: Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre. Awesome sight.

 

Top 5

1. Macho Man Randy Savage – The best performance of his legendary career.

2. Ricky Steamboat – The highlight of his WWE career.

3. Hulk Hogan – The pressure was on and he delivered the goods.

4. Andre the Giant – Despite his physical limitations, he put Hogan over in a huge way.

5. Roddy Piper – The energy he showed was fantastic. The fans absolutely loved him for it.

 

Updated rankings chart:

Ricky Steamboat – 10pts

Hulk Hogan – 9pts

Macho Man Randy Savage – 8pts

Dynamite Kid/ Roddy Piper – 5pts

Terry Funk – 4pts

Tito Santana- 3pts

Andre the Giant -2pts

Greg Valentine – 1pt

 

Overall Show Rating (out of 10): 7

One of the most important shows in the WWE’s history mainly because of where it was held. The two iconic matches (Savage v Steamboat & Hogan v Andre) will go down in history as the most famous, iconic matches not just in WWE history, but in wrestling history.

 

WrestleMania rankings:

WrestleMania 3 – 7

WrestleMania 1 – 4.5

WrestleMania 2 – 3

 

Up Next: WWF WrestleMania 4 (Wednesday)

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