WWF WrestleMania III

Live from Detroit Pontiac, MI

Airdate: March 29, 1987

Attendance: 93,173 (announced), 78,000 (75,700 paid)

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

With the previous Saturday Night’s Main Events completed, the table is now set for one of the biggest shows in sports-entertainment history. There’s a key to why I say that—according to Pat Patterson on Legends of Wrestling shown on the WWE Network, similar to WrestleMania I, Vince McMahon risked EVERYTHING for this show. Let’s see if his gamble paid out.

Vince welcomes the huge crowd to the Superdome Silverdome and to WRESTLEMANIA III!

Aretha Franklin sings “America the Beautiful.”

Monsoon and Jesse are joined by Bob “Just a bit outside” Uecker and Mary “Don’t call me Gary” Hart.

Match 1: “Cowboy” Bob Orton & Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji) versus the Can-Am Connection


Rating: ***

Summary: Exciting match to kick off this gigantic event.

We revisit the full nelson challenge of Hercules to Haynes on Superstars (aired 1/17, taped 1/5).

Next, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Hercules with Heenan.

Match 2: Hercules (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus Billy Jack Haynes


Rating: **1/2

Summary: This was the WWF’s version of high-impact before high-impact wrestling became mainstream later in the 80s.

After the match, Heenan puts a well-placed knee in Haynes’ back. As Haynes chases after him, Hercules brings his chain into the ring and WALLOPS Haynes with it. After a couple more shots, Monsoon reveals that Haynes is BUSTED OPEN. Hercules knocked him down with the chain one last time then applied the full nelson. This feud will continue when it comes to YOUR town.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Bundy with Littlebrook and Tokyo.

After the heels make their entrance, Okerlund interviews Hillbilly Jim with Little Beaver and the Haiti Kid.

Match 3 (mixed tag team): King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo, and Lord Littlebrook versus Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver, and the Haiti Kid


Rating: DUD

Summary: Quite the downfall from main-eventing last year’s show to this dreck for Bundy here.

After the match, Bundy tried to splash Beaver, but Tokyo and Haiti Kid turned on Bundy to assist their fellow little man.

Backstage, Mary Hart interviews Miss Elizabeth. As soon as Hart stumbles over the word “trepidatious,” Savage interrupts. That causes Hart to refer to Savage as “a real charm.” C’mon, Hart, it’s PPV, tell us how you really feel.

Next, we revisit the events that led up to the servitude match. Please visit my SNME X reflection for more details.

Afterward, Okerlund interviews Race with Heenan along with WWF Women’s champion Fabulous Moolah. Uecker fawns over Moolah and hightails it from the broadcast location.

After Race makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews JYD. “Just as soon as I’m black and the day’s asunder” is JYD’s response to his attaining the crown after this match. Alrighty then.

Match 4 (loser must bow): “King” Harley Race (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan versus the Junkyard Dog


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Race is a miracle worker to get that rating from a match with JYD.

After the match, JYD must kneel and bow before Race although I highly doubt that’ll occur. After giving Race both a curtsy and a bow, JYD nails him with a steel chair then wears the royal robe much to the crowd’s delight.

Back in the locker room, Vince interviews Hogan who refutes the notion that tonight’s match is his last ride then rips his t-shirt off. According to Hogan, Hulkamania is the “purest form of the truth.” HA! I didn’t know Hogan was a comedian.

Prior to the next match, Okerlund interviews the Dream Team with Valiant and Bravo. More French than I can understand is spoken. Can my French-Canadian viewers please help me out here?

Match 5: The Rougeaus versus the Dream Team (w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant & Dino Bravo)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Shenanigans by the Dream Team humbled the Rougeaus here.

After the match, Bravo, Valentine, and Valiant argue with Beefcake and leave him behind. Hmmm…

Next, the events leading up to the upcoming hair versus hair match are shown. Following that, Piper cuts a quick but volatile promo.

In a pre-recorded interview of Adonis (with Hart) by Okerlund, Adonis threatens all types of haircuts for Piper.

Match 6 (hair versus hair): “Rowdy” Roddy Piper versus “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: **

Summary: More entertainment than wrestling here, but they did a good job.

After the match, Beefcake re-enters the ring and shaves Adonis’ head. Following this match, he would be given the nickname “the Barber”. Afterward, Piper shows Adonis his reflection in the mirror to which Adonis takes exception. Embarrassed, Adonis scampers away. After Piper kisses Finkel on top of his head, a fan runs into the ring to congratulate him.

At the broadcast location, Monsoon discusses Jesse’s absence with Mary Hart and Bob Uecker.

Ring announcer Howard Finkel then announces Jesse to the crowd as Monsoon shills Predator starring both Jesse along with some guy named Arnold Schwarzenegger. You might have heard about him.

Earlier tonight, Okerlund interviewed the Hart Foundation, Davis, and Hart. As Hart ran down the British Bulldogs, Bret, Neidhart, and Davis ham it up for the camera.

Match 7 (six-man): The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana (w/ Mathilda) versus the WWF tag team champions Hart Foundation & “Dangerous” Danny Davis


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: The champs win by nefarious means thanks to shenanigans by Hart and Davis. Gee, who’d a thunk it?

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Heenan (with Andre) who has changed into a white tuxedo with gold trim. The dapper Heenan promises victory while Andre stood still ominously.

Match 8: Koko B. Ware versus “Hacksaw” Butch Reed (w/ Slick)


Rating: DUD

Summary: Only fitting that the former #1 contender to the NWA World title would win here.

After the match, Ware nails Reed sending him to the floor. Slick then whacks Ware with the cane. Suddenly, Santana runs into the ring after Slick. Once Santana rips both the jacket and shirt from Slick, he and Ware give Reed a double dropkick.

We then revisit the double axe handle from Savage that damaged Steamboat’s throat along with moments from SNME IX. Afterward, Savage cuts a promo on Steamboat. According to Savage, he is the “lord and master of the ring.” Would YOU argue with it about it? I think not.

After Savage makes his entrance, Steamboat cuts an intense promo on Savage.

Match 9 for the WWF Intercontinental title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (champion w/ Elizabeth) versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (w/ George “The Animal” Steele)


Rating: *****

Summary: BEST. MATCH. EVER. I could seriously watch these guys wrestle for hours since they keep you on the edge of your seat. As you may be aware, this match has received some of the biggest accolades in wrestling history and rightfully so.

If it was possible, the roof practically comes off the Silverdome while Finkel’s announcement cements how awesome this match truly is.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Roberts (with Alice Cooper). We revisit the Snake Pit where Honkytonk Man nailed Roberts with his guitar while Roberts promises revenge. As an addendum to Roberts’ promo, Cooper refers to Detroit as the home of metal.

After Roberts makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Honkytonk Man (w/ Hart).

Match 10: Jake “The Snake” Roberts (w/ Alice Cooper) versus the Honkytonk Man (w/ Colonel Jimmy Hart)


Rating: **

Summary: Considering everyone thought Roberts would be getting his revenge here, it was truly an upset for the somewhat newcomer to the WWF Honkytonk Man.

After the match, Roberts tries to wallop Honkytonk Man with the guitar and OBLITERATES it on the ring post. With Hart in the ring, Cooper and Roberts gang up on him. Roberts then grabs Hart as Cooper opens the bag containing Damian. As Hart tries to escape, Roberts tosses Damian atop him. Finally, Honkytonk Man rescues his manager from becoming Damian’s snack.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Okerlund enters the ring and announces tonight’s attendance at 93, 173 and is a world indoor attendance record. Your mileage may vary.

Match 11: The Killer Bees (w/ “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan) versus the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Slick)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Fun match that incorporated Duggan’s WWF debut.

After the match, Duggan leads a healthy “USA” chant.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Andre who feels it won’t take long for him to return with the belt. An eager Heenan is ready to make history.

Next, we revisit the events that led up to this historic main event.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Hogan.

Finkel announces Uecker as the guest ring announcer. As Uecker enters the ring, Jesse says hello to his wife and kids at home albeit subtly. Aw.

Uecker then introduces the guest timekeeper Mary Hart as Jack Lanza assists her both into the ring and to her seat. What a gentleman!

Match 12 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion) versus Andre the Giant (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Wrestling-wise, this stunk up the Silverdome, but as a spectacle, it was one of, if not THE most historic match in wrestling history. If anything made Hogan bigger than life itself, it was Andre’s passing of the torch to him here.

For those that care, the Wrestling Observer faithful actually voted this match Worst Worked Match of the Year for 1987.

After the match, a despondent Heenan and angry Andre leave on the cart. Hogan then poses for the crowd.

Conclusion: So you have the biggest and the best matches in professional wrestling history on this show; so, of course, I LOVED and recommend it. Gather your friends, family, and pets, fire up the WWE Network, and spend three hours enjoying the festivities.

See you for NWA Crockett Cup ‘87!

Buyrate: 8.00 (400,000 homes)

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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