Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wrestlemania Flashback: The Slam Felt 'Round The World

When I think back to prior Wrestlemanias that stood out for me, I go right to Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. That event, which was held at the end of March 1987, set an indoor attendance record of 93,173.

Yes, from a pure wrestling standpoint, the match that saw Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat defeat Randy "Macho Man" Savage for the W.W.E. Intercontinental Championship shined the brightest. But the throngs of folks that filled the Silverdome were there to see Hulk Hogan defend his W.W.E. Championship against Andre The Giant. Hogan was champion for over three years, while Andre was “undefeated” for 15 years.

The two had met before – despite what the W.W.E. was saying on television – most notably at Shea Stadium in 1980. Hogan was never the greatest wrestler, nor was Andre for that matter, but the two were great attractions: Hogan for his charisma, and Andre for his size.

The match concluded with flashbulbs popping all throughout the football stadium when Hulk picked up the 500-pound behemoth and body slammed him. Hogan then finished the bout off with his usual legdrop which was followed by the three count.

The first two Wrestlemanias were both very good, but the third installment raised the bar to a level that every Wrestlemania would have to live up to. Some have, some have not. The question is will this year’s edition that takes place Sunday night at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, live up to the hype? Time will tell.

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