As we look at the History of the WWF (now called the WWE) there are those certain shows that given us a reason why we tuned into this product no matter how bad, or how good the product has gone through over the years. But if there has to be that one event that showed me why I’m a wrestling fan to begin with, it has to be Wrestlemania 3. Wrestling event is the ultimate measuring stick of what the wrestling industry should be in terms of in-ring action, spectacle, story telling, or presentation, this Wrestlemania has them all. While the first Wrestlemanias were like spectacles trying to get as much attention with celebrity involvement, but the third Wrestlemania was a pure wrestling event where people already are familiar with these big names, there’s no need to the over saturation of celebrities any more, and it’s all about the wrestlers big enough to show the audience and future wrestling fans what it means to put a show! Wrestlemania 3 has set an indoor sports attendance record of 93,173 and it wasn’t broken until the 2010 NBA All-Star Game at the New Cowboy Stadium. The WWF deserved that record holder because they did grabbed a lot of people’s attention from mainstream media, there was so much likeness on these biggest than life characters, and the anticipation to see what happens next in WWF is so exciting. To brought both sports fans and not-sport fans to becoming a wrestling fan and never again has Wrestle ever been this big again until the Attitude Era.
The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk) vs. Bob Orton and The Magnificent Muraco – What a solid opening tag match that displayed fast pace action and great athleticism to get the crowd pumped up. It didn’t last long but why keep the audience waiting for a card that has 12 matches in it? The victory for Can-Am Connection got everyone excited for more of the show and it continues to get more and more fulfilling!
Match Score: 4/5
Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules (with Bobby Heenan) – Back in the 1980’s, the heels often had managers that stirs up another wrestling to that way the two get down and personal even despite the fact that Heenan started the instigating. This match was all about the masculinity and power moves displayed here as we slew Guerrilla press slams, submissions, and over power moves that looks so impressive. The only flaw I can say about this match is that there’s too much focus on trying to get somebody in a full nelson. When Hercules got Haynes in that hold, it starts to wear out the excitement. They were so focused on the nelson that it counted both men out. The match ended nicely with Hercules there was clearly a punch, wrapped in chains that Haynes took that shot and it left a great impact for Hercules.
Match Score: 3/5
Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver vs. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook – When you say mixed-tag, more often than not that means a male and female are involved, but in this case we’re talking about midgets and boy was this awkward match. So we have to big giant wrestlers getting their two team of midgets… The finish of the show was terrible because Bundey was supposed to splash Little Beaver and miss them but they missed on moving away and it was an awkward stare with the many midget wrestlers coming in while Bundy stood there in confusion. It was a legendary botch, but one that made it the worst match of this great show
Match Score: 1/5
Harley Race (with Bobby Heenan and The Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Junkyard Dog – Was a big stipulation to have two legendary wrestlers to go toe-to-toe on the grandest stage of them all and the gimmick here was that Harley Race is “King of Wrestling’ and the looser had to bow to the victor. While I was enjoying the showmanship of the match, it was a bit too short where Race won clean but it was to show his ego. But the highlight of that segment of the show was when JYD bowed slightly and got him in a chairshot. But it’s sad to see JYD to loose three straight Wrestlemanias and he could have been the first WWF champion if he was consistent with his track record.
Match Score 2/5
The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) (with Johnny Valiant and Dino Bravo) vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) – The dream team once again comes in another Wrestlemania to face the Rougeaus. I think there are a bit too many tag matches in this card but the most important one is coming near. Sadly, this is probably the least exciting tag match in the card because of lack of story and action. Part of it is because Dino Bravo screw things up, botched plenty, and costed the Dream Team to leave victorious because Dino Bravo sucks
Match Score: 2/5
Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart) – A hair vs. hair match and the looser get a free haircut by the winner. As if Piper no longer stirred up controversy as this was the first Wrestlemania where he comes in as a baby face. His rivalry with Adonis was so intense that he wanted to humiliate him and what better humiliation than to get an awful haircut. The crowd was really into this match showing Piper is gifted in being both a good heel and babyface. The problem was that Adonis was too much of a slob to keep the athleticism and adrenaline going while Piper as he always does keeps the match to look believable. Towards the end of the match, as Piper knocked Adonis in a sleeper it was the perfect time to make this slob uglier than he already is. Brutus Beefcake came in the ring just to cut off Adonis hair and that’s how Beefcake got the nickname “The Barber.” This is a much better moment for Beefcake than his tag match.
Match Score: 3/5
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and Danny Davis (with Jimmy Hart) vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and Tito Santana – This is the Tag Team match would have been better if it was just the Hart Foundation and the Bulldogs alone because Danny Davis was a joke as Tito Santana nocks the wind out of that goofball. But was we see the Hart Foundation doing what they do best and the British Bulldogs showing their chemistry together, it showed how spectacular the performance is. It’s just that we had to endure a dumb character that was seriously out of place for a match like this. When Davis was in the match getting beat, it just looks like a crash test dummy being used for wrestling training. And the Harts decide to interfere, Danny Davis caused the victory not selling all the powerful moves on hims (especially that Tombstone piledriver).
Match Score: 3/5
Butch Reed (with Slick) vs. Koko B. Ware – This is one of those matches where it’s a showman technical wrestler who’s a fan favorite versus a giant muscle and it was a good match. The shots that Koko displayed in that match as he drop kicked his opponent and did all those slick moves to avoid the power moves from Reed was an excellent strategy. Koko carried the match through and through and it’s a shamed that he lost from a quick roll up showing that Butch didn’t do much in this match. Because of Koko’s showmanship and carried out the match entirely it left a lot to desire. I think Koko deserved a better opponent because Butch and Slick main rival was with Tito Santana who inferred in the end of the match, showing my proof why Tito and Danny Davis should have no involvement in the match between the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs.
Match Score: 2/5
Ricky Steamboat (with George Steele) vs. Randy Savage (c) (with Miss Elizabeth) – When we discuss about what was the best match in the first three Wrestlemanias, nobody should ever forget this very match! If you are a fan of technically perfect wrestling matches, this is your kind of match. Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage was a superstar who liked his matches to be well planned out and this match was an example of that. The two superstars brought intensity and did not lose a step as the fast pace was pushed throughout the whole match. Both guys worked lightning fast and everything from Steamboat’s aggressiveness to the involvement of George “The Animal” Steele played off their past. Steamboat’s deep arm-drags were the best argument for wrestling as an art form. Every aspect of the match was executed to perfection and it included 19 near falls (two-counts). This match is viewed by many as the greatest match of all time and stole the show at WrestleMania 3.
Match Score: 5/5
The Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Jake Roberts (with Alice Cooper) – This is the only big name celebrity involvement of the whole Wrestlemania card because Jake needed someone as dark and sadistic as Cooper to face off the most cowardly and behind-the-times wrestler like Honkey Tonk Man. Though Jake is no wrestler that had a great record of victories, he was a lovable wrestler because of his dark persona… and his snake. Though the match wasn’t much to talk about other than outside interferences, the aftermath of the match is where it’s at where both Alice Cooper and Jake “The Snake” got him with Damien the python.
Match Score: 3/5
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (with Slick) vs. The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell) by disqualification – If anything, this match needed to be short and thankfully it did. We’re talking bout a hated and disposed tag team like Volkoff and Sheik only to fight against some of the biggest loosing tag teams of the history of the WWF. This was a no brainer on who was going to loose this match. At least Jim Dungan knew this match was a dud so he had to make it at least interesting by hitting Sheik with a 2X4 and cost the Killer Bees the victory. Seriously, if your manager knows you can’t win but you continue the match to go longer (which I know was not his intent) you know you have a sucky tag team.
Match Score: 2/5
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. André the Giant (with Bobby Heenan) – This is the match that everyone remembers. This match was easily the most anticipated match ever at the time. Hulk Hogan was for the first time an underdog at WrestleMania as he faced his former friend the 540-pound Andre the Giant. This match could very well be considered the match that officially put professional wrestling on the map. Although it was not as technically wrestled as the Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat match before it, it featured the most iconic moment in professional wrestling history. I can’t stress enough that you need to know the backstory behind this match in order to fully appreciate this match, you need to know the whole build up towards this match. Everyone wanted to see Hogan and Andre fight each other because because it got all those 93, 173 attendees and millions tuning to see this match. Anyone who says otherwise is dead wrong! The episode of Piper’s Pit where Hogan betrays Andre to side with Bobby Heenan and accuse Hogan as a horrible friend who got a bigger trophy than he did. That segment always gets me choked up because Hogan kept begging Andre to not do this, but Andre showed no remorse and ripped off his shirt and necklace with the cross that Hogan wore. It was one of the most emotional moments ever professional wrestling and Hogan was going to do the impossible, and that’s beat Andre, who was undefeated for 15 years. If you didn’t’ get fully invested in this storyline then it’s hard for you to appreciate this match. Because it was a betrayal story perfect for the two of the most popular and biggest names in wrestling it deserved to have that long, epic stare at each other because it was the moment where time stopped for us invested. I understand that some of you would nitpick on how slow and poorly performed this match was, but Andre’s days were coming to an end. He could no long hold the undefeated streak because of that injured back of his. You can see how much he’s hurting by looking at him, but he still had the strength to give Hogan a fight of his life. Quote by Gorilla Monsoon “It’s the irritable force meeting the immovable object” and it’s the perfect description of what we were all witnessing. Hulk Hogan went into his popular state of ‘Hulkamania’ and body slammed the Giant, which shocked everybody in the arena and watching at home. He would follow the slam with a signature Hogan leg drop and pin Andre the Giant to end of the most memorable matches of all time. Without this moment Wrestlemania and the professional wrestling world as we know today would as big. It deserved to be as long as it did, it deserved to have these two standing feeling the atmosphere, and it especially deserved all the recognition and fame that it left all of us. If any one who hates this match, calling it overrated and horrible just to make their point of view look more correct, needs to try harder.
Match Score: 5/5
One thing I notice in this event is that the audience was not left disappointed, even when your favorites lost the match, somehow the babyfaces comes in from dissatisfactory and continue to assault the heels. It became a cliche throughout the card, but they were legit matches that really made everyone happy. Though it did bother me a lot to see the bad guys getting too much of a beating after a victory, it really felt like a real wrestling show. It brought a lot of emotions throughout the card and it didn’t slowed down the adrenaline that you can feel throughout the show. Though there are a lot of things that bothered me in Wrestlemania 3, it did deliver a true big wrestling show that the previous two wreslemanias tried to do. It left an impact and staple on the wrestling world that this will be remembered throughout the many years after words.
The Top Lister’s Score for Wrestlemania III:
- Wrestlemania Reviews
- Top 10 Greatest Wrestlemanias
- Top 10 Greatest Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Underrated Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Overrated Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Worst Wrestlemanias of All Time
- Top 10 Worst Wrestlemania Matches