The Best and Worst Moment of WrestleMania 3
WrestleMania 3 marked a new peak for WWE. The success of the brand had not only carried the company to the point that it could put on a third WrestleMania, but that it could do so in the Pontiac Silverdome and channel over 90,000 fans through the gates.
More than just a big audience show, WrestleMania 3 offered the first glimpse of what WrestleMania would come as an epic climax for multiple storylines and a showcase for a stacked card. In addition to the larger than life main event between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, the show featured an all time classic bout between Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat, a forgotten gem of a “retirement” match for Roddy Piper opposite Adrian Adonis, and a cast of other iconic stars from the era in matches of varying quality.
This article takes a look back kat the best and worst that WrestleMania 3 had to offer.
Best Moment: Hulk Hogan body slams Andre the Giant
By 1987, Andre the Giant was a shell of his former self. A variety of sources have reported, in retrospect, that the Giant was actually looking to retire from wrestling before Vince McMahon lured him back in on the promise of a huge payday and legacy redefining moment, putting over the new face of wrestling, Hulk Hogan.
This wasn’t the first or even best Hogan vs. Andre match and taken in a vacuum, it isn’t especially good. However, for its context, and for the spectacle of the Silverdome crowd cheering them on, this became one of the most iconic showdowns in the history of the business. The match most notably boils down to Hogan body slamming the Giant.
It was a sensational feat of strength, especially given Andre was both heavier and less limber than ever before. While a slam probably shouldn’t have been any more of a finisher than the leg drop to follow it, the spectacle of The Hulkster pulling it off further cemented him as the biggest star of not only the time, but in wrestling history.
Worst Moment: Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules wrestle to a double count-out
The concept of WWE blowing off rivalries between its most recognizable stars was more firmly taking shape at WrestleMania 3, but the execution wasn’t entirely down. Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules were a pair of powerhouses who looked like natural rivals, but their pairing at this show both exposed each man’s limitations as a ring general and highlighted that WWE still had one foot in the previous era of booking.
The old school thinking suggested that televised wrestling should further stories so fans would spend their money to see conclusive finishes between stars on the house show circuit. Here we were, getting an unsatisfying double count-out finish mid-card match, offering a dissatisfying conclusion in front of the biggest audience WWE had ever had up to that point.