Straight Shoot Retro: WrestleMania III

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Bigger! Better! Badder! The World’s Smartest Rasslin Talk Show, STRAIGHT SHOOT, continues it’s curated march through professional history as we take on WrestleMania III this Wednesday, May 7, 2014 back at our regular time of 9pmET/6pmPT.

If you want to get involved, all you need to do is watch the pay-per-view ahead of time on the WWE Network, then show up ready to watch co-host Jeff Schiller and I opine, query and jest our way through one of the biggest WrestleManias of all time. And of course, you know we’ll crown THE GREATEST WRESTLER OF ALL TIME…OF THE WEEK! Start RSVPing and submitting your questions now!

Ways to watch/listen are below. Scroll down for more information on WrestleMania III.

STRAIGHT SHOOT is completely free for you to enjoy, but in the words of the illustrious Mr. Austin, they keep sending those gimmicks in the mail called bills! Here are three easy ways to help support The World’s Smartest Rasslin Talk Show…

Business is about to pick up, folks. With this week’s STRAIGHT SHOOT RETRO, things start to kick up a notch or six, as we take on the WrestleMania with the biggest attendance, the biggest match, the best match and, of course, King Kong Bundy fighting a bunch of little people. And it’s only going to get more exciting from here as we move further and further into wrestling’s 80s Golden Age. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

WrestleMania III took place on March 29, 1987, and like WrestleMania 2, was shown via closed circuit television as well as the still new pay-per-view format – the domination of which would soon become very important to the success of Vince McMahon and his WWF. Though there’s been some…suspicion surrounding the record-setting attendance of 93,173, suffice to say that there were a ballsload of people in the Pontiac Silverdome to watch the Grandest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment.

Aside from appearances by Alice Cooper and Bob Uecker, WrestleMania III didn’t have the heavy celebrity focus as the first two annual events, but despite that fact, it still established a blueprint for the Show of Shows that’s often followed even today. The biggest match on the card – and perhaps ever – was Hulk Hogan defending his WWF Championship against his “undefeated” former friend and ally, Andre the Giant. But while that’s the match that brought in the numbers, the match that dazzled people was Randy Savage defending his Intercontinental Title against Ricky Steamboat.

This dichotomy – having one big match for the casuals and another for the hardcores – is a “find a way to appeal to everyone” tactic that is still regularly put into play on WWE pay-per-views, and WrestleMania III is arguably one of the first major instances to leverage it in a major way. Despite the fact that WrestleMania and WrestleMania 2 had Mr. T and Cindy Lauper and the Where’s the Beef lady, when people think about WWF in the 80s and the Golden Age of wrestling, these are the names and matches that come to mind…

  • The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton & The Magnificent Muraco with Mr. Fuji
  • Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules with Bobby Heenan
  • Hillybilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver vs. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook
  • The Junkyard Dog vs. Harley Race with Bobby Heenan & The Fabulous Moolah in a Loser Must Bow Match
  • The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) vs. The Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake) with Johnny Valiant & Dino Bravo
  • Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis with Jimmy Hart in a Hair vs. Hair Match
  • The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) & Tito Santana vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) & Danny Davis with Jimmy Hart
  • Koko B. Ware vs. Butch Reed with Slick
  • Intercontinental Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat with George “The Animal” Steele
  • Jake “The Snake” Roberts with Alice Cooper vs. The Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart
  • The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell) vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff with Slick
  • WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant with Bobby Heenan

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