Brett Mix’s- WWF Wrestlemania 3 Review:
“OOOOOOOOO YEAH, “Macho Man” Randy SAVAGE, Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion!…… WAS in a state of SHOCK when Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat came back, yeahhh…but thiiiiiis time in front of the largest audience in the world, I will not only embarass you, not only pin you with the one, two, three count! Buuut I’m gonna put you out of Wrestling for good! Ohhh yeah Dragon, I ammmm the lord and master of the ring, and you’re going to find that out, one athlete to another, right now! You can’t be with MEEEE, No! ……History BECKONS THE MACHO MAN, YEAH!” –Randy “Macho Man” Savage
-WWF Wrestlemania 3 took place on Sunday, March 29th, 1987 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan in front of 93,173 fans.
-23 years later (As of 2010) and this STILL remains the most significant wrestling event ever. It remains an event that is still talked about daily. It held the biggest match in Pro-Wrestling history in front of the biggest crowd in history. It also held a five star classic and a number of other enjoyable contests.
-This event is particularly notable for the reported attendance of 93,173, the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America and the largest paying crowd in the history of professional wrestling. Though the attendance number is disputed, the event is widely considered to be the pinnacle of the 1980s wrestling boom. Almost one million fans watched the event at 160 closed circuit locations in North America. The number of people watching via pay-per-view was estimated at several million, and pay-per-view revenues were estimated at $10 million. :agree:
-Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” are back and are the broadcasters for the evening.
-Vince McMahon claims that as he was about to announce “Welcome to WrestleMania III,” he felt the spirit of his father Vincent J. McMahon, who had died three years earlier. The show opened with Aretha Franklin singing “America the Beautiful. I don’t know whether that’s touching or creepy. Either way I loved the passion in his voice, I think that was the first time the Vince “roar” was ever heard and it was well suited at the time.
-Like all other WrestleMania events, WrestleMania III was hyped for several months in advance. The main feud stemmed from André the Giant’s kayfabe turn and betrayal of his ally, the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, which began when Hogan was presented a trophy for being the WWF Champion for three years, and André, his good friend, came out to congratulate him. Shortly afterwards, André was presented a slightly smaller trophy for being “undefeated in the WWF for 15 years” and Hogan came out to congratulate André, but ended up being the focal point of the interview. Annoyed by this, André walked out during Hogan’s congratulation speech and not long after that, on an edition of the interview segment Piper’s Pit, Bobby Heenan, a long-time Hogan adversary, announced himself to be André’s new manager. André then challenged Hogan to a title match at WrestleMania III and attacked Hogan, ripping off Hogan’s T-shirt and crucifix necklace.
Another main feud leading up to the event was between Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and the Intercontinental Champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage. The feud began during a title match between the two when Savage attacked Steamboat as he greeted fans at ringside. Savage then pushed Steamboat over the security rail and delivered an elbow shot that thrust Steamboat’s throat into the rail, injuring his larynx and sending him to the hospital. This resulted in a long, bitter feud that lasted for six months, included several bloody match-ups and finally culminated at WrestleMania. George “The Animal” Steele was in Steamboat’s corner, having developed a crush on Savage’s valet, Miss Elizabeth
-Only two title’s were on the line at this event.
-This was the 3rd Annual WWF Wrestlemania event.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk) vs “Cowboy” Bob Orton and The Magnificent Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji)
Mr. Fuji gets good heel heat to start Wrestlemania for the second straight year.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton poses like his son later would two decades later. Little Randy was seven years old when he watched his dad in this match.
Good solid tag team opener like usual with big PPV’s. A lot of fast offensive moves performed here by the Can-Am Connection which got huge ovations. (Crowds still popped for simple sequences like that back then)
Don Muraco started in the ring with Tom Zenk who tied up with him a couple of times in a test of strength which no one wins. Zenk goes into a standing side headlock, pushed off to the ropes and bounced back with a shoulder block. First offensive move hit from Wrestlemania 3 and the crowd explode in favor of Zenk’s offense to Muraco. Don Muraco looks a bit ticked off.
Relentlessly Don Muraco drove his right knee into the sternum of Zenk back to back with the turnbuckle pad in the corner of the squared circle. The feeling out process was over.
A leapfrog followed by a hiptoss from Zenk to Don Muraco, Tom Zenk slammed Muraco down!
The Can Am Connection is moving here in a big way, but Don Muraco did slap a side headlock on Martel, which Martel made sure to get out of with another leapfrog off the ropes once he got leverage and then both members of the Can Am Connection hit a double monkey flip. Cowboy Bob Orton got caught right in the middle by the speed of the Can Am Connection.
Orton ties up with Zenk and slapped on a side headlock and then a shoulder block off the ropes by Ace. Orton though off the ropes again gets slammed by Tom Zenk as Cowboy Bob’s offense didn’t last very long, and then a snap takedown. An armbar by Zenk and then he slams Orton’s head into the top turnbuckle before slapping on the armbar again. A knee to the abdomen by The Ace stops the armbar in a hurry and Cowboy Bob Orton slaps a Full Nelson on Zenk. Again, the offense for the Heel tandem doesen’t last very long as The Can Am Connection found another way to counter the move and Zenk flipped over Orton to reverse his full nelson into one of his own!
Cowboy Bob reversed it again and then Don Muraco nailed his own partner as he missed the switch and the fans erupted. Tag made, Rick Martel came in and continued the arm work on Ace. A handfull of hair and then an armbar by Martel and another quick tag by Can Am Connection, a lot of continuity being shown. Muraco being rammed hard into the canvas by Martel. Rick Martel slammed him hard into the mat and Gorilla Monsoon points out Fuji didn’t like that. Another armringer by Martel to Don Muraco, quick offense continued here by The Can Am Connection. Rick Martel twisting the arm of Don Muraco got caught by Muraco with an irishwhip and then the Ace slid along the apron and got the knee up to Martel and the fans booed. A neckbreaker by Muraco and then he tagged in Orton who snapped him over and got a two count. Orton then leaped up over Martel and both men knock into each other after a criss-cross.
Referee Joey Marella potentially had a double countout but both guys tagged out. Zenk irishwhipped Don Muraco to the corner and he flipped. Double team offense to Orton in the middle of the ring, the action got fast here and the fans got loud. Can Am Connection unloaded with right’s. Orton and Don Muraco tried to irishwhip Can Am Connection into each other but they reversed it into a double dropkick after Orton suplexed his own partner Muraco. A switch over the top and Martel gets Don Muraco! Talk about excitement, the Can Am Connection.
In the end Rick Martel pinned Muraco after a crossbody as Zenk schoolboy-tripped Muraco from behind at 5:38.
A very strong tag team opener with a hot crowd ready for a great show. Already off to a way better start then Wrestlemania 2.
I fondly remembered this one consisting of fast sequences where the fans would get involved but I was surprised just how good this one was for the time it got. Some very solid quality tag team work right here to open the event!
Fantastic way to open a Blockbuster like this.
2) Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules Hernandez (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan who is the Greatest Manager of all time, made his first of many entrances to the ring in this second match of the night right here. He managed Hercules here in the first single’s contest at Wrestlemania 3.
Hercules talks pre-match as if he was the actual HERCULES from many years back, well…wow. I guess he aged pretty well.
There was a good pre-match video with highlights of this mid-card feud which you rarely saw back in those days so this made the match seem more important.
Billy Jack Haynes, called Billy JERK Haynes by Heenan before the match stood toe to toe with Hercules in the ring with a staredown. Both men intense and neither man wanted to give an inch in this battle of the Full Nelson’s.
Hercules pulled on the top rope for leverage and then a match of muscle was underway. A battle of power here. Hercules shoved Billy Jack Haynes off of him when the two powerhouses locked up. A clean break by Billy Jack Haynes out of the corner. Hercules hit Billy Jack Haynes with hard forearm shots in the corner and then an irishwhip by Herc to Billy Jack Haynes in the corner.
Billy Jack Haynes unloaded with chops into a press slam! Billy Jack Haynes went for a Full Nelson and Hercules had that well scouted and he ran to the ropes as a fast defense. Heenan looked on a bit nervous after Billy Jack Haynes had the better of his guy.
Another irishwhip by Billy Jack Haynes but Hernandez came off the ropes and hit a nice desperation clothesline which knocked Billy Jack Haynes down. This stopped the momentum that was being shown by Billy Jack Haynes to this point. Hercules now the aggressor in the match stomped on the head of Billy Jack Haynes who was trying to maintain his vertical base but Hercules Hernandez unloaded with right hand’s and hard forearm shots. Hercules then hit a backdrop followed by a hard irishwhip to the turnbuckle. Billy Jack Haynes’s back was being softened up by the Mighty Hercules with hard irish-whip’s to the corner of the ring perhaps getting him loosened for an upcoming Full Nelson maneuver.
Billy Jack Haynes selling the back as Hercules was measuring him. Hercules hit a nicely executed vertical suplex but it only scored him a two count. Billy Jack Haynes caught Hercules in the abdomen with two right hand shots and he tried to battle up but Hercules got control back and unloaded on Billy Jack Haynes from up top. Hercules continued the work to the back of Billy Jack Haynes and hit a nice backbreaker in mid-air of what originally looked like a basic powerslam. Hercules after a back breaker continued levelling the back of Billy Jack Haynes, following up his offense with nice strategic wrestling. Billy Jack Haynes clammed slowly and hard down to the mat by Hercules.
Hercules had nice psychology and now slapped on the Full Nelson.
Hercules locked on the fingers and Ventura scouting this move believed he had to get his fingers up higher on the head but Billy Jack Haynes was going down due to the leverage Hercules had at the time. Somehow Billy Jack Haynes powered out but Hercules dropped a hard shot to the bad back of Billy Jack Haynes. Haynes battled out and both men knocked into each other in a double collision which bought Billy Jack Haynes some time. An inverted atomic drop by Billy Jack Haynes bought him more time but he still remembered to sell the back. Billy Jack Haynes with a running clothesline, then an irish-whip and a running clothesline yet again. A leg drop by Billy Jack Haynes and then he went up to the second rope and dropped down with a slam right between the eyes.
Billy Jack Haynes now slapped on the Full Nelson after a quick set of offensive moves. Bobby Heenan screaming. Hercules got to the ropes and both men were elevated to the floor. Billy Jack Haynes kept the Full Nelson onto Hercules but he had it locked on the floor so the bell rang after a ten count.
This was better then it looked on paper. A good pace to this bout and very well done from a psychology standpoint.
In the end they both were counted out at 7:04 after Billy Jack Haynes had his Full Nelson slapped on Hercules Hernandez.
After the match, Hercules busted open Haynes with his chain.
3) Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver vs King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook in a 6 Man-Mixed Tag Team Match
A humerous, short match (no pun intended) that was one of Eugene’s favourite moments as said at Wrestlemania 21. Well that’s about it.
The match blew other then that but was never meant to be taken very seriously in the first place.
King Kong Bundy went from having the WM record for fastest victory at the original Mania, to Main Eventing the second Mania to competing in this six man tag with Hillbilly Jim.
It’s a long way down from the top.
Haiti Kid and Little Tokyo began the tag match in the ring snapping some moves on each other before the other two midgets, Lord Littlebrook and Little Beaver were tagged in and there was a double criss-cross and all four of them collided. A little rowboat action by Little beaver and then an atomic drop to Little Tokyo. A front facelock by Little Beaver and then Little Tokyo fought back with a few right hands. Little Beaver gave King Kong Bundy a shot standing by the ring post and eventually the big man came in. Little Beaver backed off on his arrival. Beaver and Haiti kid both ran under Bundy’s legs and hit a double dropkick on him which as you might of figured didn’t move Bundy at all.
Hillbilly Jim was tagged in by Little Beaver now and the fans cheered as the two big guys were going to square off.
Power against power and Bundy caught him with an irishwhip.
Bundy caught Hillbilly Jim off the ropes and planted him.
Hillbilly Jim off the ropes again this time hit a clothesline to King Kong Bundy. Bundy though, keeping this thing back and forth kept on the offense and hit a front facelock to HillBilly Jim. Bundy hit an Avalanche in the corner.
King Kong Bundy unleashed with a ton of shots to Hillbilly Jim in the corner before he slammed Little Beaver. King Kong Bundy dropped an elbow to a much smaller, Little Beaver as the Pontiac Silverdome booed appropriately.
In the end Bundy’s team was disqualified when he attacked Little Beaver.
The referee ruled it was unfair for Bundy to attack a man who was so much smaller than he was. It ended at 3:23.
Nothing more then a match to add to the spectacle of the event, something different.
4) “The King Of Wrestling” Harley Race (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and The Fabulous Moolah) vs The Junkyard Dog in a “Loser Must Bow” Match
Harley Race despite being an NWA wrestler didn’t exactly always have amazing workrate but he could still WORK. Unfortunately he didn’t do much in the Federation as his best days by this point were behind him.
The Junkyard Dog was amazingly over here and everyone wanted to see him win this one, we got a little backstory to this match with various clips.
The Junkyard Dog tied up with Harley Race to begin the match off in the center of the ring.
Harley Race had a couple of his right hand attempts blocked by The JYD. The Junkyard Dog saw an opening and then delivered some shots to Harley Race. The Junkyard Dog hit a big headbutt to Race. Race though got enough leverage and elevation to send The JYD out of the ring.
Harley Race went for one of his awkward looking headbutt’s off the ring apron to the floor and The Junkyard Dog had moved out of the way, so now it looked even more strange. Heenan helped Harley Race get up and then he flipped right over the ropes as JYD brought him in and Race did a 360 over the ropes.
The Junkyard Dog brpught him in the hard way and then Harley Race did another 360 over the top rope to the outside and his face hit the apron. The Junkyard Dog set up Race for a scoop slam from the apron. The Junkyard Dog locked on an abdominal stretch to Harley Race. Race got out of it with a nice hiplock followed by a headbutt. Race got irishwhipped to the corner of the ring and he did a 360 over the ropes for the fourth or fifth time in the match. The Junkyard Dog went for a headbutt but Race got a belly to belly off after a distraction from The Brain on the outside.
In the end “The King” Harley Race pinned JYD after a belly-to-belly suplex at 4:22 for the win.
After the match, The Junkyard Dog bowed down to Race and then attacked Race and stole the King’s robe which got the crowd to pop despite them being dissapointed with the result of the contest.
5) The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) (w/Johnny Valiant and Dino Bravo) vs The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond)
I really love the Dream Team, even though I’m very Anti-Brutus Beefcake. But he was good in this team and almost everything about Valentine is good to me.
As said in the last review, they had a classic match where they lost the tag titles to the Bulldog’s a year prior to this event in Chicago at Wrestlemania 2.
The Rougeaus were very good in the ring as well so this match came off well but it’s only flaw was it needed to be longer. Much longer. But considering the card at this event, it was acceptable that it wasn’t.
Jacques and Raymond Rougeau had a variety of double team moves, they were a quick tag team who worked well with one another as pointed out by Monsoon at the start of this match, they were a lot like the Can Am Connection who started off this event like that.
Raymond Rougeau was caught in a hammerlock by Beefcake until he ducked the chin over the top and hit an inverted atomic drop.
The Rougeau’s hit a double team move! That was one of the best things about this tandem, there offense.
The Rougeau’s hit a double dropkick to Beefcake.
Jacques Rougeau was now in the ring with The Hammer.
Greg Valentine with a knee lift to Jaccques, he tags out and in comes brother Raymond Rougeau. Ray hit a crossbody to the Hammer and got a two, Ventura puts over how durable he is. A double irishwhip and Jacques caught Valentine with a high reverse elbow. A dangerous high risk move by Valentine and he caught Jacques just barely in the back and proceeded to drop the elbows. Some quick continuity by The Dream Team as Beefcake comes in and does some dirty work before tagging in Valentine again.
The Hammmer slapped on a figure four leglock. Jacques Rougeau was just able to tag in Raymond Rougeau and he elevated The Hammmer up with a backdrop. Raymond Rougeau with a sleeper to Valentine in the middle of the ring. A double team move by The Rougeau’s who were about to put The Dream Team away but Dino Bravo came off the top and turned Valentine on the Rougeau’s.
In the end Greg “The Hammer” Valentine pinned Raymond with the help of Dino Bravo’s interference at 4:03.
After the match Valentine, Bravo and Valiant left Beefcake behind.
Good quality for the time it recieved, but as said should of developed more and we could have had something great.
Instead just basic filler.
6) “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/”The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) in a Hair vs Hair Match
This match was supposed to be a “Farewell to Piper” at the time, but we all know how “THAT” usually plays out in wrestling more often then not.
The REAL match stipulation should of been “Loser has to watch the other man’s Wrestlemania 2 match” I’m more then positive they would have went all out if that were the case.
The crowd was HOT for this match and The Hot Rod in paticular especially when he slapped on his famous sleeper hold which we saw from the buildup was certainly a big part of the feud.
This event was booked so well from top to bottom, and even though every match wasn’t absolutely tremendous, it was just such smart booking for the most part through the whole way. Great spot on the card for this one in paticular as I’ve always felt for what emotions this one delivered it was in an appropriate spot on the card.
Adrian Adonis had let Piper know he was coming for him and then god knows what he said before the match.
Roddy had his shirt off at the beginning and he started to nod his head and shake a bit as the crowd started to get loud and on his side. While The HOT ROD began to get Rowdy he needed this extra push for motivation to pull out all stop`s in what was at the time at least, his final match.
Piper landed shots on Adonis and the fans went wild!
Roddy Piper then exchanged with Adrian Adonis as the shots went back and forth.
Piper grabbed his belt and whipped Adonis with it.
Piper grabbed The Mouth of the South and the fans went absolutely wild, but Adrian Adonis had gotten ahold of the belt and started whipping Piper as the fans chanted for Roddy.
Piper irishwhipped Adrian Adonis over the top rope and he did a 360 over the top and Adonis was about to fall off the apron but Piper made sure he dragged him back in with Hart. Piper smacks both there heads together. Piper elevated The Mouth of the South with Adrian Adonis over the top together and Piper looked vicious as the fans went wild. Piper hit Adrian Adonis with rights and lefts before an irishwhip to the corner and Piper sent The Mouth of the South into Adrian Adonis. Jimmy Hart reached right up and scooped up the leg of Roddy Piper taking him out and buying some time for Adrian Adonis. Adonis with a couple of big shots to Piper.
In front of the time keeper`s table Roddy didn`t know where he was and was giving blind shots. Adrian Adonis in control of Piper landed hard forearm shots to the head.
Adrian Adonis slapped a SLEEPER on Piper and the place was worried. I wonder how many times we had to hear the phrase `Goodnight Irene.`
Adrian Adonis had the sleeper on Piper and Jimmy Hart could sense victory as he grabbed the clippers. Adrian Adonis thinks his arm dropped three times and celebrates a bit early. Beefcake ran to the ring and made sure he got Piper up.
Adrian Adonis had it won but now Piper locked in the Sleeper and the place goes absolutely wild, one of the biggest pops of all time. Adrian Adonis is asleep, the bell rings and The Adorable one has been put out!
In the end it was “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who defeated the late Adrian Adonis by his sleeper hold after Adonis released his own sleeper prematurely at 6:54 of the contest. Then the “Rowdy” one Roddy Piper was revived by the evolving Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. After the match, Beefcake shaved Adonis’ head, leading to him becoming known as “The Barber” for good.
A pretty special match here.
Kind of a forgotten Wrestlemania moment as well.
7) The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and “Dangerous” Danny Davis (w/Jimmy Hart) vs The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and Tito Santana (w/Matilda)
This was a great match obviously. It could of been better considering the cast but it was certainly one of the best of the night up to this point and when all was said and done, it was still up there for best match of the entire evening as expected when you have two of the best teams in Pro-Wrestling history going at it.
The Night officially got “DARK” during this match which is always interesting to see during big events as it changed the feel of the broadcast, and I always consider this match the mid-way point of this Classic Wrestlemania.
This was the wrestling debut of “Dangerous” Danny Davis the referee. He was the official who was the referee when Randy Savage `stole` the IC title from Tito Santana in the Boston Garden`s.
Davey Boy Smith, Dynamite and Tito Santana attacked The Hart Foundation before the match officially got underway.
Tito Santana went to work on the Hitman and then Neidhart and the Bulldog were tagged in.
The British Bulldog irishwhipped Jim Neidhart to the ropes now.
Off the ropes, Neidhart was elevated into Bret by the Bulldog. Dynamite Kid tagged in and a headbutt sent him into the canvas. Tito Santana was in the wrong part of town as The Hart Foundation choked him out in the corner behind the official`s back, Danny Davis would know all about that.
Santana leapfrogged The Anvil and tagged in Davey Boy. Davey Boy Smith hit a powerful back body drop to Neidhart. Neidhart got up though and hit a desperation double axehandle drop to Davey Boy. Bret tagged in and The Hitman kicked at Bulldog until he tagged in Dynamite in a hurry. Dynamite Kid irishwhipped Bret to the corner at full speed. Dynamite dropped a headbutt to Bret.
The crowd got hot as Tito Santana finally got his revenge on Danny Davis. A flying forearm shot by Santana to Davis. Santana went for the figure four but the Anvil came charging in and clotheslined him off of him. Davey Boy irishwhipped Davis and hit a powerful clothesline. Smith sent Davis in and his bumping was entertaining. Bulldog hit a piledrvier on Davis and then he set up for a well executed suplex, a powerful one by Bulldog. The Bulldog then hit the Power Slam to Davis but Neidhart broke up the count.
Soon, despite all that offense by the Bulldog`s the match came to an end in unpopular fashion.
In the end it was “Dangerous” Danny Davis who pinned Davey Boy Smith after hitting him with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone (behind the official`s back) at 8:52 for the upset win and Dangerous Danny runs off with his teammates, The Hart Foundation and the Mouth of the South.
Some great stuff here, it is always nice to see these teams or just Bret in general.
8 ) Butch “The Natural” Reed (w/”The Doctor of Style” Slick) vs Koko B. Ware (With Franky)
This was certainly not a great match by any means (especially following a hot tag match) but Butch Reed was always underrated, as was Slick and even Koko to an extent due to his gimmick.
A lot of underrated bro’s in this match fo sho.
However, nothing noteworthy happens here, just a basic short match that can be considered filler.
The crowd was rather dead for this one as well.
Butch Reed waited in the ring and Koko B. Ware came out with his bird, Franky.
Koko B. Ware got a good ovation as he danced towards the ring.
The two guys tie up and Koko can`t win a test of strength so there is a clean break. Both men tie up yet again by the ropes. Butch Reed gave him two hard shots by the ropes.
The Natural held onto the ropes for leverage and Koko B. Ware hit a dropkick. Koko then kicked at Reed`s mid-section and the Natural tried to buy himself some time. Koko B. Ware got delivered a shot from Butch Reed. Reed gave Koko B. Ware a hard uppercut into the throat area.
The Natural choked out Koko in the corner but he reversed his irishwhip and hit a hiptoss to Reed. Koko B. Ware hit a dropkick and without hooking the leg only got a two. A small package by Koko gets a two. Koko B. Ware hits a flying cross-body on Butch Reed and then his own momentum allowed Butch to get a count on Koko B. Ware and he held the tight`s for additional leverage.
So in the end Butch Reed pinned The Hall of Famer (does that sound right?) Koko B. Ware with a handfull of tights at 3:39. Kind of an ending that felt pretty random and out of no where.
After the match, Tito Santana attacked Slick and ripped his clothes off.
Tito Santana just loves to run in after Wrestlemania matches doesen’t he? It’s like I said Santana for one reason or another is one of Wrestlemania’s most underrated performers and we’ll see more of the former BC Lion later on in my reviews. Arrriiiiba. Yeah, I’ll never say that again. :no: My apologies…
This match is probably the most forgettable on the entire card. That`s not to say it was the worst match of the night because it wasn`t, this is just the match of the event that meant the least. The pointless filler of all pointless filler`s.
9) Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (With George “The Animal” Steele) vs Randy “Macho Man” Savage (c) (With Miss Elizabeth) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Nearing the two hour point of the event.
You could just feel it in the air, as the dark sky overshadowed the dome the mood was about to change and an epic match was upon.
SO it’s safe to say you could really feel the spectacle of Wrestlemania 3 by the atmosphere which was beyond amazing for this next contest in paticular.
For the stage to be set with a lot of hype, considering all the Savage promo’s, and the show its on…this one better deliver. The buildup had been done absolutely magnificent by both Savage and Steamboat, and then for them to both come through and pass expectations it remains a classic and one of the most talked about matches to this day!
What this match did was inspire so many, it stole the show. Hogan-Andre sold it, this stole the biggest show of ALL time. Relatives, friends alike will still talk about THIS match from March of 1987 even if they do not follow Wrestling anymore. That kind of thing does not happen too often and I have seen this firsthand.
This was the ultimate peak of the career for both Savage and Steamboat, they went out there and arguably did more in under fifteen minutes then Flair and Steamboat did in there 1989 trilogy where most of those matches were double this length. Obvioussly that series and this match are incedibally hard to compare due to the different nature of those matches, and I consider at least two of them better then this match. (Chi Town Rumble and Wrestlewar 89) However this one is rated the same as those at an even five stars. All of them are perfect.
Savage had crushed Steamboat’s larynx with a ringbell weeks before and this feud was getting RED Hot in every way, by the time this match took place it had been long awaited.
That would be the driving focus of this match (larynx of the Dragon), where as in the other corner Steele loved Liz and this just made Savage more paranoid and more determined to put that team away.
Savage had been champion for a long time and came out in all his glory in an entrance I consider to be one of the best in wrestling history, the robe, the music, the girl, the atmosphere with the giant crowd, the night sky in the dome, and the buildup to this match in this red hot feud was fantastic.
They brought in a new style to McMahon’s company, it’s as if Savage and Steamboat brought the NWA workrate to McMahon’s company for this night.
This match is magic.
Everything worked so well, absolutely everything clicked, everybody still talks about it to this day and the match wasn’t even as long as a single episode of your favourite sitcom, infact it was about eight minutes shorter!
Macho was in his red robe and pointed at both Steamboat and Steele as he took off his IC title that he had defended like a Champion for so long, the bell finally rang, Liz and Steele were outside the ring area, Steamboat and Savage were inside and the match begun!
Here we go!
Wrestlemania 3 needed match like this to deliver, and not only did this do just that, but everything and more.
Randy Savage went for a sneak attack but Steamboat turned around in time and then Randy Savage put his arm in the air signalling for a test of strength and to say these two were in front and center of the Wrestling world in this momnent in time would be a massive understatement.
Ricky Steamboat hit a nice hiplock to Savage after a go-behind as a nice counter. Savage was frustrated and he decided to then kill two birds with one stone as he not only went out for a walk like we usually see him do but he took Liz by the hand as apparently she was in the wrong place and to close to Animal which was a side story to the match.
Savage with an irishwhip to the Dragon, went for a reverse elbow shot but Steamboat ducked and hit a beautiful deep armdrag, off the ropes through the legs and another deep armdrag by the Dragon! (As he did so well time and time again)
Nice offensive exchange by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, seriously awesome stuff!
Then Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat elevated Savage up by the throat first! Revenge time.
The Dragon is paying Savage back with a choke! The Pontiac Silverdome goes crazy.
Savage went for a walk as he knew his title reign was in jeopardy. Macho Man eventually got back in the ring and dropped a double axehandle to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Randy Savage got The Dragon to chase him outside the ring and then levelled him in the mid-section, choked him out and hit him with a clothesline.
Ventura says Savage is the best in all of Wrestling.
Well this was in his absolute PRIME. Hard to argue, I’d say only Flair came close around then.
Savage took on all competitors and choked out Steamboat in the corner of the ring. Savage took on all competitor`s at the time, had ducked nobody.
Randy Savage charged towards Ricky Steamboat in the corner and found nobody home and Steamboat hit a wristlock. Leverage expanded Steamboat to throw an arm ringer on Macho Man and then with a method to his madness dropped the arm over the top rope. Inside the middle of the ring, Steamboat tweaked the arm and dropped a hard shot on the left arm.
Macho Man with a handfull of hair sent Ricky Steamboat to the ropes and he planted Steamboat a reverse elbow shot which bought himself more time to work with.
Macho Man elevated Ricky Steamboat outside the ring after the elbow shot to the face! Fans in Michigan got behind Steamboat but Savage had just bought himself some time after all that terrific offense from Steamboat! Savage held onto his arm that was worked over by Ricky Steamboat and he sold the arm well.
Savage again with a handfull of hair, dropped the elbow into the Larynx of Steamboat! Fine line here, Monsoon speculated on why Savage didn’t do this right away where as Ventura explains you need to find openings, catch people offgaurd and do things to make room for other things. I always love when Ventura says that whenever watching this match that I’ve no doubt seen near 200 times now, it’s short enough (and certainly good enough) to watch it that many times. It was perfectly logical and suited the psychology of Randy Savage in this match because he didn’t want to be obvious with his gameplan, but went straight into the playbook once finding The Dragon at a vulnerable state in which he did not hesitate to attack the injured larynx of the Steamboat.
Ricky Steamboat hung onto the bottom rope on the apron as Savage ruthlessly dropped knee shots into the high back of Ricky Steamboat. Savage was intense and dedicated to doing whatever he had to on the biggest stage of them all. Ricky Steamboat brought back in over the ropes by Savage with a snap takeover, an elbow drop and a hook a nice amateur move by Macho Man.
A kneedrop and Savage wasted no time hooking him after these recent offensive attack! The Macho Man only got a two count and picked Steamboat by the hair, went to hit him in the top of the buckle but the Champ rammed Savage head first. Ricky Steamboat got Detroit behind him yet again and he throw a hard forearm shot to Savage, everything on the line and Savage got tied up in the ropes. This was Ricky Steamboat’s chance! Savage tied up and then with Ricky Steamboat charging towards him The Macho Man was able to lift up his right leg and kick Steamboat on the mid-section buying him time to get out of the ropes. Savage was motivated to staying in the upperhand but The Dragon pulled out the armdrag and the broadcasters were absolutely right when saying no one did an armdrag like Steamboat. It was his defining offensive move, no one in Wrestling History did one better then the Dragon.
This is one of my favourite sequences of the entire classic confrontation!
Randy Savage was hell bent on elevating Steamboat over the top rope after he got stuck in the ropes and when going for a head of hair like he naturally would, Steamboat said “No” and hit one of those picture perfect armdrag’s. Now try and keep up as this is where it gets good. REAL GOOD.
Things were about to turn from innovative, to revolutionary, to LEGENDARY with the pacing in this battle.
After the armdrag of the Dragon he got a shoulderblock and a nearfall, Monsoon points out the beyond insane speed. Ricky Steamboat got caught with the momentum and Savage bouncing off the ropes hit a high knee to Steamboat. Savage threw Ricky Steamboat over the top but he pulled himself back in, hillariously Savage looked back at Ricky Steamboat and he simply clotheslined him over the top. The Animal Steele helped Ricky Steamboat on the outside.
You have to get up pretty early to outsmart the Macho Man said by Ventura and Monsoon even agreed, they sure gave Savage some props despite being the heel.
Ricky Steamboat got knocked on the outside by Savage as he pushed him down, staying on the back of Steamboat. Savage always found an opening whenever he hurt apart of the opposition. Ventura is irate that Steamboat wasn’t counted out but the official gave him a pass due to Savage’s offense on the outside. The Animal threw Ricky Steamboat back in the ring. Macho Man threw him right back over the top as soon as he got back in! Randy Savage jumped from the top rope in a picture perfect shot from the stadium and he dropped a double axehandle to Steamboat to the larynx of Ricky Steamboat. Savage then looked on top of his game and ready to retain but he went out and broke the count and threw him back in.
What’s this, Savage wanting to retain the title like a man? Savage then with bombs away, right between the eyes this time with a double axehandle drop from the top rope to the inside this time, and then an elbow, and a two count. Savage then hit a clothesline and from outside hit a running elbow and then got a series of nearfalls.
Nearfall after nearfall, Savage couldn’t put Steamboat away.
Classic, textbook suplex by Randy “Macho Man” Savage but he couldn’t put him away!
The crowd goes crazy when Ricky Steamboat hits a punch and Monsoon states “this is beyond wrestling ability, this is guts personified” as he tried fighting back. Macho Man raked the eyes and then hit a beautiful gutwrench suplex. Ventura wanted Hebner to stay consistent with the counting as he found it a bit slow.
Steamboat fought back with chops to Randy Savage and then hit a backdrop to the outside and the place exploded as Savage fell to the outside hitting the floor. The Dragon then broke the count as Savage was down on his knees, obvioussly not worrying if he lost the match by countout to keep the title.
In a familar replay of this match whenever wee see highlights of this epic, Steamboat flew off the top with a hard shot to Savage. Now at this point Randy Savage had thrown everything to Ricky Steamboat so he was desperate.
BUT NOW, now there was a fine line. Steamboat was the agressor. Ricky Steamboat hit a hard shot from the top to retaliate and then got a nearfall as Savage’s leg was on the rope. The Dragon still on the attack down in the middle hit a chop to Savage. Randy kept kicking out and Steamboast kept chopping.
Macho Man tried to get to the outside to save himself but Ricky Steamboat kept on the attack with more shots to the face hitting him off the apron.
Savage snuck back in but Steamboat followed him to the outside and then sunsetflipped inside the ring and tried to pull Savage down for a pinning attempt after the Sunset flip. Savage tired to hold onto the ropes but he used his legs to knock Steamboat in the head from both sides to break the count!
Steamboat with another pinning attempt. Ricky Steamboat with a double leghook and flipped his body over Savage in a unique pinning attempt, no one could believe the battle this was.
Jesse Ventrua says “This is one of the greatest battles I have ever seen in my life.”
Steamboat with a Crossbody off the ropes!
Steamboat with another roll-up and two and the buzz was certainly in the air. Everyone was talking. Steamboat with a suplex and then a slingshot into the post, hooked the legs from behind, but Savage kicked out with his legs. Steamboat again, Savage kicked out. This time Savage rolled Steamboat up, AMAZING back and forth but Ricky Steamboat kicked out.
Out of desperation the “Macho Man” Randy Savage with a leverage move hooking the tights ramming STEAMBOAT this time into the post. Randy Savage with two reversals throwing Steamboat to Hebner was down and out. Clothesline by Savage. Another powerful clothesline.
Macho is going to the top! Macho is going to the top!
Time stood still here.
A moment for the ages, the beautiful scenery catching Macho Man’s elbow drop from the top where the camera zoomed in on 93, 000 in the Silverdome as Randy Savage in the peak of his career hits a picture perfect Macho Man Elbow Drop! He got him!
Savage should have it here but there is no referee, Dave Hebner was still out. Savage was exhausted and slapped some life into him. Macho then resorted to grabbing the ringbell, the same bell that he put the Dragon out of commission with. The Animal snatched the bell but Savage hilariously kicks him in the head.
Savage grabbed the bell and was about to leap off the top but The Animal pushed him off the top and the bell rammed Savage in the head this time! Savage slowly got to his feet but The Macho Man was taken over by a small package by The Dragon!
History has been made!
The finish came at 14:35, YES JUST 14:35! Steamboat was the NEW IC CHAMPION.
Standing ovation by 93, 000 fans, Liz in tears. Randy Savage couldn’t believe it.
One of the best stories I’ve ever seen in front of me in the world of Pro-Wrestling, and this moment will last forever.
A match that will stand the test of time and LIVE for EVERY Wrestling Fan worldwide forever.
Classic is another word you could use for this match, and that is an understatement.
It holds a special place for everybody and for me it is a top 5 match of all time and certainly one of the best ever at Wrestlemania.
Steamboat ended up getting revenge on Savage by taking the one thing that meant even more to him then Elizabeth, his Intercontinental title. After all those memorable promo’s.
The Steamboat victory gave us the cream of the crop promo, May 11th 1987, Savage’s very best so everyone can be thankful.
History Beckons this match.
A 1980’s Masterpiece!
One of the greatest matches EVER and the very best for the IC title.
10) The Honkeytonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts (w/Alice Cooper)
This crowd was relatively quiet during this contest in comparison to some of the other ones but could you blame them? They had just witnessed one of the most breathtaking matches of all time so it’s only natural. These two had a tough act to follow, that’s for sure. However the crowd was pretty noisy during the opening sequence of this match which is only natural seeing how Jake Roberts attacked Honkeytonk Man straight away.
Jake had been legitimately hurt by Honkeytonk`s guitar shot to the head weeks before.
The match got underway as The Snake unloaded right hands to The Honkeytonk Man.
The crowd ate that material up as Honkeytonk was a big heel. Speaking of heels, Jimmy Hart had been all over the place on this night.
Roberts after a succession of right hand`s landed a shot from his knee to the head.
The Honkeytonk Man was slammed back first onto the padding on the mat`s by the time keeper`s area.
Back in the ring The Honkeytonk Man was almost hit with a DDT and and he left the ringside area. The Honkeytonk Man was then shoved into the steel ring post by The Snake!
The Honkeytonk Man brawled back and bought himself some time by shoving Jake Roberts into the steel barricade and Alice Cooper went to help him. Back in the ring the fans chanted for a DDT for Jake Roberts despite The Honkeytonk Man being in control. The Honkeytonk Man lifted a high knee to Roberts and then went to choke him out.
The Honkeytonk Man went for Shake, Rattle and Roll but Roberts hit a backdrop, a nice counter move and the crowd cheered. The Honkeytonk Man got right back in the driver`s seat with shots in the corner but Roberts hit an inverted atmoic drop, Roberts with big right hand`s.
The Honkeytonk Man was all of the sudden down on his knees begging Roberts to give him a break and The Honkeytonk Man got backdropped again.
After a few back and forth sequences The Honkeytonk Man was able to pull off the upset which Monsoon claims he stole.
In the end The Honkytonk Man pinned Roberts while holding onto the ropes for leverage at 7:04.
After the match, Roberts and Cooper attacked Jimmy Hart with the python Damien and Detroit loves it.
Pretty enjoyable stuff in an underrated rivalry.
11) The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (w/Slick) vs The Killer Bees (Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell)
The Killer Bees work well in regular matches and this one was no exception. Did I mention this was a perfectly booked event?
Great timing for this type of match to lead into the biggest match in the history of Professional Wrestling.
Before the match “HACKSAW” Jim Duggan made an appearance interupting the singing of Volkoff and the Shiek and is very Pro-USA (Patriotic) and gets a huge ovation.
Nikolai Volkoff`s singing was short-lived as a result.
Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik got set to tag on Jumping Jim and Double B.
Nikolai Volkoff and the Shiek got irishwhipped out of the corner they attacked the Bees in and both guys did a mini spin around.
Finally, a legal tag was made and two guys got settled in the ring. Sheik was worked over by both Bee`s who made frequent tags keeping Sheik isolated in there corner and then a douple hiptoss by the Killer Bee`s.
Jumping Jim Brunzell had one of the best dropkick`s in the business and he planted The Sheik with one. Another beautiful dropkick and Nikolai Volkoff broke up the count. Nikolai Volkoff and Sheik cornered Jumping Jim and the fans chanted for the USA, Duggan was leading the chant on the outside of the ring.
Nikolai Volkoff had a bearhug slapped on Brunzell and then he tagged in Sheik who hit two nicely executed gutwrench suplexes and scored nearfalls. Sheik with lower shots to the abdomen.
A high knee by the Sheik before he tagged in Volkoff. Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik with a double elbow smash and then they posed on the top turnbuckle. Sheik went for a Camel Clutch.
Duggan hits him with the 2×4.
In the end “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan blasted the Shiek with the two by four at 5:24 to get themselves DQ’d.
Solid tag team wrestling here throughout this relatively short tag match.
12) Main Event- Hulk Hogan (c) vs André the Giant (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
This is the biggest match in the history of Pro-Wrestling…
Watching the entrances with the stare down, commentary and atmosphere still gives me the chills. You know you’re “Watching the show” when you see this. And by “The Show” I mean Pro-Wrestling at it’s defining moment.
The heat the intimidating André The Giant got was amazing after his heel turn and Bobby Heenan deserves a lot of credit for it as well.
André The Giant just stood there. The irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
Hogan went toe to toe with him.
Hulk Hogan blocked a couple of shots and went for a Slam but André The Giant landed on Hogan.
André The Giant thinks he has the three count! Heenan yells “that was 3!” from the outside but the match continues as many took a deep breath.
Hulkamania was almost down and out just there but Hulk caught a break there.
Ventura thinks it was close and so did many others.
André The Giant kicked at Hogan. Hogan had a sore back because of the failed body slam attempt and André The Giant kept trying to wear him down. André The Giant picked Hogan up with ease and then slammed him in the already damaged kidney area.
André The Giant irishwhipped Hulk Hogan hard twice into the corner which took more air out of the lungs of Hulk and damaged-bruised his kidney-lower back region.
André The Giant backed up his entire body weight into Hogan in the corner. André The Giant delivered a headbutt. All André The Giant here. André The Giant choked out Hogan some more but Hulk sneaked out and the fans erupted. Hogan hit some desperation right hand`s. An elbow off the side ropes and André The Giant was hit with elbow shots by Hulk. Hogan then slammed André The Giant head first into the corner of the ring over and over and Hogan ran off the ropes for leverage but ran right into the big boot of André The Giant.
André then chopped Hogan. André The Giant had a bearhug slapped on The Hulkster in the center of the ring and he was forcing the life out of Hulkamania seconds at a time with that tight grip.
Hogan gasping for air, trying to get some momentum back while the Pontiac Silverdome helped him by chanting on his name.
Heenan from the outside kept asking for Joey Marella to ring the bell claiming Hogan couldn`t continue and we`d have a new Champion.
After a couple of minutes of André The Giant wearing down Hogan some more, Marella dropped his arm but Hogan shook it off and began to hulk up with 93,000 people behind him. Hogan unloaded with everything he had and connected right hand`s to André The Giant.
Hogan hit a shoulder block and then another one off the side ropes. André The Giant hit a reverse elbow on the third Hogan charge and then André The Giant nailed him with a big boot to the chest area. André The Giant with another chop to Hogan on the outside.
André The Giant moved the mat and hit a backdrop to Hogan on the concrete which didn`t look very good as Hogan landed very slow. André The Giant fired him back inside the ring. André
The Giant irishwhipped Hogan but he ducked a clothesline and hit him with one of his own that took The Giant off his feet.
Hogan had the support of all of the fans and he hulked up as the place went crazy! We`re seing what Hogan was made of.
Then Hulk Hogan did the impossible and slammed the Giant to the mother of all pops. When this happened the building shook just as Hogan had said would happen in a previous promo, and the Wrestling world was never the same. Some consider that moment to be the best moment in Wrestling history. It’s definately up there.
Soon after he’d hit his signature legdrop.
In the end, Hulk Hogan pinned André The Giant after a scoop slam and a leg drop at 12:01 to reatain the WWF Title to a monster sized pop with over 90,000 fans going crazy.
The Hulkster thanked the heavens and poses to the millions watching at home and to all the number of thousands in Detroit. “Real American” plays as the Hulkster stands in his prime in all his glory in one of the best Wrestling sequents of all time.
The “WWF” had officially taken off and “Hulkamania” was running wild as ever as the driving force behind the 80`s boom.
Perhaps the most generous I’ll ever be for a match to add to its rating, but if I added points for significance, this is the match to do it for and I probably added a star for that alone.
Final Rating for WWF Wrestlemania 3 = 8/10
This is the biggest PPV ever, and perhaps the most significant. It features two of the most famous matches in Wrestling history and the rest of the night wasn’t nearly bad either. There were a number of memorable moments all throughout the night and the venue and atmosphere help add to the overall spectacle this spectacular Mania truely was. This was a huge success and was the event that all Wrestlemania’s that followed it would be measured up to. It’s arguable that they never have produced a better one and if they did, it wasn’t till a decade and a half later. All around, one of the greatest shows of all time.