Sunday, March 12, 2006

WWF WrestleMania III

1) Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco vs. Rick Martel & Tom Zenk - 5
2) Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules - 4
3) King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo, & Lord Littlebrook vs. Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver, & The Haiti Kid - 3
4) The Junkyard Dog vs. Harley Race - 3
5) Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Brutus Beefcake vs. The Rougeau Brothers - 4
6) Hair vs. Hair Match: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis - 5
7) The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana vs. The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis - 6
8) Koko B. Ware vs. Butch Reed - 3
9) Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat - 8
10) The Honky Tonk Man vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts - 5
11) The Killer Bees vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff - 3
12) Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant – 6

There are two matches that make this event so memorable, Savage vs. Steamboat for the Intercontinental belt, and perhaps the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling, Hogan vs. Andre. Had these matches not been on this card, then no one would’ve remembered it and it wouldn’t have drawn 93,173 people (the acutal number was around 78,000) to the Pontiac Silverdome. That being said, the remainder of the card, with the exception of the hair match and the six man tag match, didn’t really have any story behind it and the bouts themselves were kept less than ten minutes.

Out of the first six bouts, the only one that was some enthusiasm behind it was the opening tag match. Even though it only got five minutes, all four guys looked pretty good. Haynes vs. Hercules was your basic match against two guys who were inflated more than they really needed to be thanks to the miracle of steroids. The match where they had midgets team with Bundy and Hillbilly was ugly. Honestly, why not give the fans something they cared about. Race’s match was supremely subpar and is probably one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen him compete in. Our second tag match of the evening wasn’t too terrible but once again they were given limited time so nothing was able to click. Closing out the first half was the Piper vs. Adonis hair match. This was billed as Piper’s farewell match, but he’s retired and unretired so much since then, that now it doesn’t mean a thing. The only real memorable thing out of this bout was that it was Adonis’ last WrestleMania match as he was killed in an auto accident a year and a half later.

The second half kicked off with a pretty techinically sound six-man tag. Davis was really the weak link on the heel team as he was just a referee turned wrestler and really had no skills whatsoever. Forget about the Koko B. Ware match and let’s move on to the best match of the entire show, Savage vs. Steamboat. These two had a knock-down, drag-out affair that was probably one of the best matches of the 1980s. There was hardly any interference on either man’s behalf and they told the story in the ring just about as good as anyone. The funny thing is that they were actually scolded backstage after the match because Vince thought their match was so good that it completely overshadowed the main event. It was a tremendous contest, probably best match of Savage’s career, and is still talked about to this day. Now then, how do you follow up an instant classic like that? Why you present two matches no one gives two halves of a shit about. Honky and Jake blundered through about eight minutes or so. Following that, we get a tag match that featured the Killer Bees trying their best to make Sheik and Volkoff look productive. Hacksaw Duggan interferes and it ends mercifully in a DQ after about five minutes.

Finally, we get to the main event. It’s been almost 19 years since this match happened and people still talk about it today. Of course, it’s the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. Never before had a match of this magnitude been signed. The buildup was nothing short of tremendous and the crowd was definitely buzzing once it rolled around. That being said, the in ring action wasn’t that great. Andre and Hulk had about ten moves combined but we’ve all seen the match and know the outcome by know, so there’s really no use for going into great detail.

For all that I’ve ragged on the undercard bouts, this WrestleMania is truly the biggest event ever promoted by anyone … ever. Do your best to get your hands on a copy of this. You can find old-school Coliseum Video VHS copies on Ebay or you can pick up volume one of the WrestleMania box set. Either way, anyone who has not seen this event, really needs to just so they can say that they’ve experienced WrestleMania III. I would recommend the box-set version because it’s straight from the original broadcast and doesn’t have any wacky editing that the VHS version has.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

yes, i love that ic title match, then again who doesn't... i didn't know that little tidbit about vince being pissed...i love when you include the insider details in your articles.