OSR: WWE WrestleMania 3 Review (1987)

WrestleMania 3

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OSR: WWE WrestleMania 3 Review

As the Road to WrestleMania continues, the OSR looks back at the first time WrestleMania stood out in memory. 1987 on March 29. The WWE rolled into the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. With 93, 173 in attendance, the WWE at the time set in indoor attendance record. Over 30 years later, this remains the first WrestleMania to make you think OMG! The events of WrestleMania III are still remembered and talked about to this day. 30 years on, here is the WWE WrestleMania 3 Review…

The show opened with a promo narrated by Vince McMahon with the infamous tagline “Bigger, Better, Badder” as we then went inside the Pontiac Silverdome. We were then introduced to Aretha Franklin, who opened the show with “America the Beautiful”. The commentary team for the event was Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, who were joined by Special Guests Bob Uecker and Mary Hart.

1. The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk) vs. Don Muraco and Bob Orton Jr. (w/ Mr. Fuji)

Both teams were are already in the ring, with Muraco being dominated by Martel and Zenk. Orton was tagged in but was equally controlled. This was a very so-so match, which ended when the Can-Am Connection were successful. This was a very forgettable opening match.

Winner: The Cam-Am Connection

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

2. Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules (w/ Bobby Heenan)

The brief history package was shown for the match, before both competitors made their way to the ring on the entrance carts (which were going really quickly). The match got underway with Hercules being dominant. When Haynes was able to comeback, both he and Hercules both got counted out.

Haynes at this point went for Heenan, which allowed a  sneak attack by Hercules. This was another very forgettable match, where nothing can be taken away from it.

Winner: No-Contest, Double Countout

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

3. King Kong Bundy, Lord Littlebrook and Little Tokyo vs. Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver and Haiti Kid

Both teams made their way to the ring, with the midget wrestlers starting off the match at a nice pace. Soon enough, Hillbilly and Bundy were in the match, which became back and forth.

However, Bundy was disqualified after he attacked Little Beaver, which was against the match rules. Bundy’s partners then aligned themselves with Hillbilly’s team as a result. Bundy then made his way out of the arena. Slightly entertaining, but was still a pointless match.

Winner: Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver and Haiti Kid, via Disqualification

Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

4. Loser Must Bow Match: The Junkyard Dog vs. Harley Race (w/ Bobby Heenan and The Fabulous Moolah)

A brief history package was shown for the match before Race and his entourage made their way to the ring. JYD then made his way to the ring, to a nice reaction. The match then got underway, with Race dominating JYD until he missed a diving headbutt.

After a few moments of JYD being dominant, Race was able to pick up the win. JYD then reluctantly bowed to Race, before he attacked him with a chair and left the Silverdome with Race’s robe. This was yet another forgettable match, where nothing was really gained in the match.

Winner: Harley Race

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

5. The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond Rougeau) vs. The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant and Dino Bravo)

The Rougeau’s were shown in the ring, before The Dream Team made their way to the ring. The match got underway with The Rougeau’s in control. Heenan joined the commentary team for the match as the action continued.

A mistake by Beefcake nearly costs his team the win. Bravo then interfered to allow The Dream Team to pick up the win. Afterwards, Beefcake was abandoned by his partners ending The Dream Team. This was an okay match, but instantly forgettable.

Winner: The Dream Team

Match Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

6. Hair vs. Hair Match: Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Roddy Piper

The history package showed the feud which had being built between Piper and Adonis. We then returned inside the Silverdome as Adonis was making his way to the ring with Jimmy Hart. Piper then made his way to the ring to a tremendous ovation for his retirement match.

The match was very back and forth, with a near finish for Adonis where he believed he won the match. Brutus Beefcake made his way back to the ring to revive Piper, who was then successful in gaining the victory. Beefcake then shaved the head of Adonis. Awful match that was entertaining to watch.

Winner: Roddy Piper

Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

7. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and Dangerous Danny Davis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) and Tito Santana

The Hart Foundation and Davis were in the ring, and were soon joined by The Bulldogs and Santana. After the furor calmed down, Ventura leaved the Silverdome with Matilda as the match got underway. The Bulldogs and Santana are quite dominant, but they seem to work well with their opponents.

This produced a credible outing. Eventually, The Hart Foundation and Davis were victorious in a match that whilst good, more time would have being massively beneficial to all those involved.

Winner: The Hart Foundation and Dangerous Danny Davis

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

8. Butch Reed (w/ Slick) vs. Koko B. Ware

Both men made their way to the ring, and the action got underway with Reed being in control. A short but nothing match, Reed was able to pick up the win. Afterwards, Koko was attacked by Slick. This caused Santana to comedown and attack Slick, causing him to hightail out of the silverdome.

Winner: Butch Reed

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

9. WWE Intercontinental Championship: Randy Savage (c) (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat (w/ George Steele)

The history package was shown for the feud before Savage made his way to the ring with Elizabeth. Steamboat then made his way to the ring with Steele. The match was superbly contested between both men, with a lots of back and forth action.

The match witnessed a sweet series of varying moves. This was truly one of the first classic matches in WrestleMania. The only critique for it being another 10 minutes would have made this match stunning. Steamboat was ultimately successful in pinning Savage, to the championship.

Winner: Ricky Steamboat, to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

10. Jake Roberts (w/ Alice Cooper) vs. The Honky Tonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Jake Roberts and Alice Cooper made their way to the ring, and are quickly joined by The Honky Man and Jimmy Hart. He was quickly attacked by Roberts, but was quickly able to gain the control in the match and dominate Roberts.

Roberts was able to mount a comeback, but was ultimately unsuccessful as Honky picked up the win in a mediocre match. Afterwards, Cooper and Roberts taunted Jimmy Hart with the snake as Honky ran out of the Silverdome. This was an incredible WrestleMania moment with Alice Cooper.

Winner: The Honky Tonk Man

Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

11. Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (w/ Slick) vs. The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell)

Volkoff, Sheik and Slick made their way to the ring first, with Volkoff attempting to sing the Soviet National Anthem. This caused the interference of Duggan, who proclaimed he will never let Volkoff sing that again. The Killer Bees then made their way to the ring, as the action got underway.

It was very back and forth, with the finish seeing Duggan nailing The Sheik with the 2×4. This caused the disqualification win for Volkoff and Sheik. This finish was difficult to grasp, as Duggan cost The Killer Bees the match. This was another forgettable match.

Winners: Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik, via Disqualification

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

WWE Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Andre the Giant (w/ Bobby Heenan)

Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Heenan and Andre, who said he will comeback with the championship. The history package was then shown looking at Andre’s heel turn. Andre made his way to the ring with Bobby Heenan, followed by Hogan to an incredible reaction.

The match got underway, with Andre being the dominant force in the match. Unfortunately. Andre’s limitations are apparent in what was a very dreary paced match. Hogan, to his credit sold every single move thrown at him by Andre.

Eventually, Hogan was able to comeback and eventually nailed Andre with the infamous body slam and leg drop to pick up the win and retain the championship. This was a terrible match, but truly iconic WrestleMania moment.

After the match, Hogan celebrated in the ring as Andre left with a distraught Heenan. Ventura pushed his heel persona, saying he should have come out of retirement to take the title from Hogan.

Winner: Hulk Hogan, to retain the WWE Championship

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

WrestleMania III was the first event which stood out in memory. But it will not be for the overall match quality on the card. The majority of the matches on the card were abysmal. Nonetheless, this was made up for with the chemistry shared in the matches. The match between Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan was never going to be the greatest match in history, but it forever stands out for the moment Andre passed the torch onto Hogan. This event signified the end of an era in that perspective, but in what was a very bittersweet and humble moment. 

The match highlight on the card was Randy Savage versus Ricky Steamboat, which was the first great WrestleMania match. This event has those moments which allows it to stand out in your memory forever. WrestleMania III proved that it is certainly worth watching. This can be done through a subscription of 9.99 to the WWE Network. The journey of WrestleMania continues, but the WrestleMania III review highlighted what could be achieved even back then. 

Show Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

Image Credit: 411Mania.com & Fanart.tv

About Dave Harper 849 Articles
Dave Harper is a writer for Wrestling's Dirty Deeds. Born a Brummie, and proud of it...passionate about wrestling, family, friends, good cider and the railway (no I'm not a train spotter)

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