Sunday, 19 August 2018

WWF Wrestlemania III Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that shames people for their appearances more than Dave Meltzer! It is time for WWF’s Wrestlemania 3, the one that changed everything, it is hard to put into words how important this pay per view was, it was not all or nothing like the first Wrestlemania but this kicked wrestling into everyone’s home, there is not one fan of WWF who does not fondly recall this show, to discredit this show will be a tough task but as this reviewer has often found, our fondest memories not will always be so beautiful. So what are the big matches on this supershow that changed the professional wrestling business? In the mid-card, we have Jake The Snake Roberts chasing down The Honky Tonk Man, Honky Tonk Man smashed a guitar over the back of Roberts, setting this feud in motion. Rowdy Roddy Piper returns to the WWF to batter Adrian Adonis who had beaten Piper on Saturday Night’s Main Event by count-out, Piper looks for revenge on this night. Now, the big two that everyone talks about, Randy Macho Man Savage tried to crush the larynx of Ricky Steamboat with a ring-bell, Savage continued to feud with George Steele before Steamboat returned and now for the Intercontinental Championship, the two will battle at Wrestlemania. Finally, it’s Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant, two former friends. The undefeated Giant who turned on his friend out of jealousy, Hogan was heartbroken but most rally to try to defeat the undefeated in fifteen years, Andre The Giant. This is Wrestlemania 3, let’s get it on!


Opening Promo


This arena is absolutely massive, the Pontiac Silverdome brother. Vince welcomes everyone to the event, Miss Aretha Franklin sings America The Beautiful, she has just passed at the time of writing this review. WWE did a nice tribute to The Queen Of Soul and she kills it as only she can, may her soul rest in piece. Lots of imagery of Americans in action, serving their great country. I was never one for the patriotism pageantry but it could be effective in certain situations, the September 9/11 episode of Smackdown being a highlight or the tribute to the troops production packages. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura along with our celebrity guests talk about the card.


The Can-Am Connection vs Don Muraco & Cowboy Bob Orton W/ Mr. Fuji


Tom Zenk and Rick Martel take on Bob Orton and Magnificent Muraco in the opening match, not my idea of a hot opening match. Muraco and Zenk are in the ring, Muraco shakes off Zenk. Side headlock by Zenk, shoulder block by Zenk. Muraco is not happy, Muraco brings Zenk to the corner. Zenk is whipped to the corner, leapfrog and hiptosses by Zenk. Side headlock by Muraco, Martel blind tags in, double monkey flip on Muraco. Double hiptoss on Orton, Orton is begging for mercy, side headlock and shoulder block by Orton. Scoop slam by Zenk, hiptoss and arm-bar by Zenk. Knee by Orton, full-nelson.


Orton is popped in the mouth from Muraco by mistake, two for Zenk. Tag to Martel, axe handle and leg drop on the arm. Arm-bar by Martel, tag to Zenk. Muraco tags in and eats a scoop slam, Orton nails Zenk from the apron. Neckbreaker by Muraco, fist drop by Orton for two. Both men bang heads off an Irish whip, Martel gets the hot-tag. Muraco Flair flips to the apron, Zenk pairs off with Muraco, Martel with Orton. Orton and Muraco run into one another, dropkicks to Muraco. Crossbody for the win, The Can-Am Connection win the match.


It was fine, Muraco and Orton had been two of my favourite performers in the WWF in the reviews that I have done this far, seems they were just whipping boys in this match, Martel and Zenk seem to be the new team on the block but it was average at best.


Winners: The Can-Am Conncetion Over Muraco & Orton via Crossbody!


Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules Hernandez W/ Bobby Heenan


These two do not like one another at all, Haynes had been attacked by Hercules to set up this match. They start with lock-ups, Haynes has Hercules in the corner. Knees by Hercules, knee lift downs Haynes. Hercules eats a clothesline and scrambles to survive a full-nelson attempt. Hercules eats chops and right hands, Irish whip to the corner and Hercules comes flying out with a clothesline. Stomps by Hercules, back drop by Hercules. Hard Irish whip to the corner, multiple times.


Suplex from Hercules, two count with Hercules picking up Haynes to stop the count. Haynes battles from underneath, suplex fails as Haynes’ back is too damaged to lift Hercules. Hercules nails a backbreaker, military press slam as Hercules calls for the finish. Hercules applies a Full-Nelson, Haynes is fading and is down to a knee. Haynes survives, Haynes breaks free. Hercules pummels Haynes but both men clothesline one another. Inverted atomic drop by Haynes, clothesline by Haynes. Make it another, leg drop. Middle rope fist drop and Haynes applies a Full-Nelson. They fight on the floor and both men are counted out.


Not the memorable start to the show you would expect, not sure why Haynes did not get the win, Haynes broke the hold and it would have made sense for Haynes to have his redemption but apparently, it was not meant to be, the work was ok, the crowd came alive for Haynes when he escaped the hold but this was disappointing. Hercules smashes Haynes after the match with his chain, Haynes is bleeding everywhere.


Double Count-Out!


Hillbilly Jim/Little Beaver/The Haiti Kid vs King Kong Bundy/Little Tokyo/Lord Littlebrook


Well, it is different. Bundy and Jim surrounded by midgets three matches into the card of the most important pay per view at the time. We have a criss-cross, Haiti Kid and Beaver take down Littlebrook and Tokyo. Beaver has Tokyo, side headlock by Tokyo. Tokyo tags Littlebrook, they tie-up with a clean break. They stumble along before Bundy comes into the ring, Beaver stands his ground. Tag to Jim, Jim clotheslines Bundy. Elbow drop but Bundy kicks out, Bundy is slapped by Beaver. Bundy smacks Jim around, Avalanche by Bundy. Beaver is caught by Bundy, slam by Bundy. Elbow drop and I think Beaver is dead, Bundy cannot attack midgets, we have a DQ.


Well, this is absurd now. Not even fun comedy, three matches into Wrestlemania 3 and this show is awful what is going on here? Surely, this pay per view has been greatly embellished because this is madness!


Winners: Team Jim over Team Bundy via DQ!


King Harley Race W/ Bobby Heenan vs The Junkyard Dog (Loser Must Bow Match)


Race and Dog had their issues, Heenan constantly annoying JYD. Heenan grabs the foot of JYD, JYD gives chase but Race cuts off JYD. Headbutt by JYD, Race headbutts JYD and throws him to the floor. Race misses an apron headbutt, Dog clotheslines Race into the ring. Race tumbles to the floor, scoop slam by Junkyard Dog. Abdominal stretch is reversed by Race, headbutt has no effect. JYD throws Race to the floor, Headbutts by Junkyard Dog. Heenan is on the apron, Belly to Belly Suplex by Race for the win.


Hardly a match, Race was sent to the floor at least seven times, no real story with JYD getting distracted by Heenan for the finish, it went about four minutes and I think I am already sick of this show. Afterwards, JYD bows to the king and smacks Race with a chair.


Winner: Harley Race over Junkyard Dog via Belly To Belly Suplex!


The Rougeau Brothers vs The Dream Team W/ Dino Bravo & Johnny Valiant


Valentine and Beefcake lost their tag team championships to The British Bulldogs and have been on the decline since, this is a chance to bounce back though. Raymond and Beefcake start, Jacques and Raymond take out Beefcake who tags Valentine. Crossbody by Raymond for two, tag to Jacques. Elbow drop for two, Jacques is whipped to the corner and a middle rope crossbody attempt goes wrong. Valentine takes control, slam and tag to Beefcake who stomps Jacques. Tag to Valentine, axe handle and backbreaker combination. Figure Four, Jacques survives. Jacques reverses a piledriver, Raymond is in the match. Sleeper, Beefcake smacks Valentine by mistake. The Rougeau Brothers hit their finish but Dino Bravo smacks Jacques which leads to The Dream Team winning. DUD!


Winners: The Dream Team over The Rougeau Brothers via Sneak Attack!


Adorable Adrian Adonis W/ Jimmy Hart vs Rowdy Roddy Piper


Roddy Piper was thinking of retiring after this match so what better thing to do for Piper than turn him babyface and put him against one of the most obnoxious heels on the roster. Adonis stole everything from Piper which leads us to this match, Piper whips Adonis to start the match. Jimmy Hart is choked too, Adonis has the belt. Piper is whipped now, Piper reverses and throws Hart onto Adonis.


Side headlock, Piper is tripped by Jimmy Hart. Adonis catches his breath, back rake from Adonis. Clothesline by Adonis, elbow by Adonis. Jimmy Hart attacks Piper on the floor, Piper is asking for more from Adonis. They slug it out, Hart sprays Piper with perfume. Sleeper from Adonis, Piper is down on the mat in trouble. Adonis believes he has won but Piper is not done, Beefcake revives Piper. Piper knocks down Hart, Adonis smacks himself in the face with the clippers, Sleeper from Piper and Piper wins his final match. Adonis is shaved, all is well with the world.


Finally, a match you can sink your teeth into, this is brilliant. Piper is attacked by Adonis and Hart throughout the match, they tease count-outs and Adonis beating Piper masterfully. Crowd is molten lava for anything that Piper does, it would be a fitting farewell for one of the most hated heels of all-time transitioning into the realm of Hollywood, thank you Piper for doing wonderful things in that ring and saving this show in my eyes.


Winner: Roddy Piper over Adrian Adonis via Sleeper!


The Hart Foundation & Dangerous Danny Davis W/Jimmy Hart vs The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana


Davis had been a screwy referee throughout his WWF tenure which led to The Hart Foundation stealing the championships from The British Bulldogs, Davis is going to get what has been coming for a long time, Santana and Bret start off. Bret eats a boot, Bret tags in Neidhart and Davey Boy comes into the match. Neidhart eats a clothesline, tag to Santana who is choked in the corner by the heels. Clubbing blows by Neidhart, Davey Boy back drops Neidhart. Bret distracts Davey Boy, Neidhart clotheslines Davey Boy. Tag to Bret, Bret misses his elbow.


Dynamite takes down Bret with an Irish whip and clothesline, headbutt by Dynamite. Bret backs Dynamite in the corner, Neidhart helps Bret beat down Dynamite. Tag to Neidhart, camel clutch by Neidhart. Tag to Bret, double team on Dynamite, tag to Davis. A few stomps and a tag to Bret, right hands by Bret. Tag to Neidhart, stomps before a tag to Bret. Tag to Davis, boots by Davis. Tag to Bret, Bret tags in Davis. Davis misses a slingshot splash, Santana brutalizes Davis. Right hands, Flying Forearm by Santana. Neidhart stops the figure four, Davey Boy clotheslines Davis. Tombstone Piledriver on Davis, suplex and Running Powerslam. Neidhart saves Davis, the match breaks down but in the madness, Davis smashes Davey Boy with a megaphone for the win.


This was a lot of fun, you had some great selling from Dynamite Kid, The Hart Foundation were great when they isolated Dynamite Kid. Davis was fantastic, a slimy overconfident fool who would nail a kick or two before ultimately, taking the ass-kicking of a lifetime from one fiery red-hot Tito Santana, the card has picked up, some really good things coming from this show now.


Winners: Team Davis over Team Santana Via Megaphone Attack!


Butch Reed W/ Slick vs Koko B Ware


The Natural Butch Reed and Koko B Ware, they lock-up. Clean break from Koko, Reed says that Koko pulled his hair. Lock-up, Reed smashes the ribs of Koko, pummelling blows by Reed. Koko ducks an elbow, O Connor roll does not work. Dropkick by Koko, low right to the stomach. Reed is whipped, huge right hand by Reed. Reed smashes Koko into the turnbuckles, Reed eats a hiptoss. Rights and lefts by Koko, dropkick for two. Small package by Koko for two, crossbody but Reed rolls through with a handful of tights for the win.


Reed gets the win in a match that is nothing special, Reed does not look great coming out of the match and Koko does not comes out looking any worse. The match was just there but at least it had a finish compared to the earlier portions of the card. I just wonder what they really wanted to accomplish with this match.


Winner: Butch Reed over Koko B Ware Via Handful Of Tights!


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Randy Macho Man Savage © W/ Miss Elizabeth vs Ricky The Dragon Steamboat W/ George The Animal Steele


The match that has a tonne of heat going into it, Ricky Steamboat is the epitome of a babyface, every quality that you wish you had, Steamboat has it in bucketloads. Savage tried to crush the windpipe of Steamboat, Steamboat came back better than ever and now Savage has his grand prize up for grabs. Lock-up, Savage is shaken off by Steamboat. Savage is out on the floor, leading Elizabeth away from Steele. Knee by Savage, Steamboat ducks the elbow. Deep arm-drags and a throat toss, Savage rolls to the floor for a breather.


Steamboat chases Savage, Savage comes down with an elbow. Clothesline, elbow drops on Steamboat. Savage misses a splash, Steamboat drives Savage into the ground using the arm. Savage is in pain, Steamboat attacks the arm like crazy. Savage uses the hair of Steamboat to push him off, big reverse elbow. Steamboat is on the floor, elbow by Savage. Savage wants to reinjure the larynx of Steamboat, Savage stomps Steamboat to the floor. Back in the ring, Savage nails elbows for two. Knee drop to the larynx for two, Steamboat sends Savage into the turnbuckle. Big right hands, Savage is tied in the ropes.


Savage takes shot after shot, Savage kicks away Steamboat. Crossbody by Steamboat for two, arm-drag for two. Shoulder blocks for two, Savage shoves off Steamboat, high knee by Savage. Steamboat skins the cat, Savage clotheslines Steamboat to the floor. Savage knees Steamboat into the crowd, Steele saves Steamboat by carrying back to the ring. Savage sends Steamboat to the floor, Savage nails a top rope axe handle on Steamboat. Savage puts Steamboat into the ring, tope rope axe handle by Savage. Running elbow for two, Savage hangs up Steamboat for two.


Savage nails a suplex for two, Steamboat begins to fight back but Savage rakes the eyes. Gutwrench suplex for two, Steamboat is fighting back from his knees. Back suplex does not work for Savage, right hands but Savage kicks Steamboat. Steamboat is in the ropes, The Dragon back drops Savage over the top rope. Steamboat is going to the top, top rope chop with Savage placing his foot on the rope. Chops by Steamboat for two, more chops by the challenger. Sunset flip from the apron, two count. Steamboat does a schoolboy for two, jacknife cover for two.


Small package by Steamboat for two, scoop slam by Steamboat. Catapult into the turnbuckle, Savage is dazed. Roll-up for two, O Connor roll for two. Savage does the same for two, right hands by Steamboat. Savage pulls Steamboat into the ringpost, the referee is knocked out as Steamboat and Hebnar bang heads. Savage nails his Elbow Drop, no referee. Savage has the ring-bell, Steele shoves Savage off the top rope. Savage tries a scoop slam but Steamboat counters for a roll-up, Steamboat is your new champion.


Hard to say anything new about this match, it was seen as ushering in a new style in the States for wrestling, it was such a fast-paced match, Steamboat sold his ass off like only Steamboat could, Steele pays off a year of story-telling by giving the final fuck you to Savage after a year of abuse, Savage and Steamboat stole the show at this Wrestlemania by putting on a type of match that would be the golden standard for many Wrestlemania matches, they were lightyears ahead of everyone, great stuff from these two.


Winner: Ricky Steamboat over Randy Savage via Small Package!


Jake The Snake Roberts W/ Alice Cooper vs Honky Tonk Man W/ Jimmy Hart


Roberts begins laying into Honky, knee lift by Roberts. Honky is trying to get out of his suit, Roberts rips off the suit. Honky is running from Roberts, scoop slam on the floor. Roberts misses as Honky boots down Roberts, Honky stomps the arm and ribs. Roberts eats right hands, Roberts dodges a right hand. Short-arm clothesline, Honky dodges the DDT by slithering out of the ring. Roberts and Honky fight on the floor, Honky sends Roberts into the ringpost. Honky dances in the ring, prematurely I might add. Knees by Honky, scoop slam by Honky.


Kicks to the ribs, Honky chokes Roberts in the middle of the ring. Elbows and knee drops by Honky, Shake Rattle and Roll is dodged by Roberts. Back drop, ten punches by Honky. Inverted atomic drop, Roberts smacks Honky. Lefts and rights by Roberts, Honky is begging for mercy. Back drop by Roberts, Honky is smacked to the apron. Hart stomps the DDT, Honky rolls-up Roberts with the ropes for leverage.


Not bad, not great either. Honky is a heat magnet though, quickly ascending up the card and beating Jake Roberts, that is a big win for Honky. Roberts and his DDT are over like rover, guaranteed to get a reaction on any given night but I would have loved to seen the two have a longer match but it was fine on this night.


Winner: Honky Tonk Man over Jake Roberts Via Roll-Up!


Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik vs The Killer Bees


Volkoff and Sheik jump The Killer Bees, Hacksaw Jim Duggan is in the corner of The Bees. Sheik eats slaps and right hands, Sheik is whipped off the ropes. Double elbow, tag to Blair. Axe handle, tag to Brunzell. More axe handles, double hiptoss. Sheik’s arm is destroyed as elbow after elbow come down on Sheik. Dropkick, Volkoff saves Sheik. Brunzell is beaten down by Volkoff and Sheik, knee to the ribs by Volkoff. Tag to Sheik, Sheik roughs up Brunzell. Volkoff applies a bearhug, Brunzell eats a gutwrench suplex for two. Make it two, Brunzell is in the ring with Sheik. Duggan waffles Sheik with 2x4.


What a waste of a match, Duggan just cost The Killer Bees the match because he could not pass up using that 2x4, the match was not really going anywhere before that point mind you but another DQ on this card just sucks me out of the hold thing.


Winners: Sheik & Volkoff over The Killer Bees via DQ!


(WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match) Hulk Hogan © vs Andre The Giant


This is thee match, the match of all matches. Andre was undefeated for fifteen years, untouchable and the WWF congratulated Andre with a trophy. Hogan was also congratulated by the WWF for a four-year reign as WWF Champion. Andre was bitter and Heenan manipulated Andre which leads us to this match, Hogan was broken by the betrayal of his best friend Andre The Giant, Hogan was the man in the WWF but could he defeat Andre The Giant? This was massive, it feels massive. It has the atmosphere, this is the money match.


Stare-down between the two, Hogan is shaking with rage as Andre remains motionless, no emotion from Andre as he stares a whole through Hogan. Hogan is seething, Hogan is beyond fired up. The two shove one another, right hands by Hogan, a slam does not work as Andre falls on Hogan, it was almost over. Hogan is clutching his back, Andre goes after the back. Clubbing blows, Hogan is being battered. Coconut crushes from Andre, massive scoop slam by Andre.


Another scoop slam by Andre, Hogan is rolling around in pain. Andre steps all over Hogan, Andre taunts Hogan asking him to get to his feet. Irish whip to the corner, shoulder blocks by Andre. Butt splashes, headbutts by Andre. Hogan escapes the corner and begins smashing Andre, big right hand. Chops by Hogan, Andre is rammed off the turnbuckle. Hogan eats a boot from Andre, chops by Andre. Bearhug by Andre, Hogan rallies and punches Andre. Shoulder block by Hogan, chop by Andre. Boot by Andre, Hogan lays against the ringpost.


Andre tries a headbutt, Andre misses the headbutt as Hogan ducks the headbutt. Hogan rips up the floor to show the concrete, Hogan wants a piledriver but Andre back drops Hogan on the concrete. Andre misses a boot, Hogan clotheslines Andre down. Hogan is Hulking Up! Andre staggers to his feet, Hogan slams Andre, and nails The Atomic Leg Drop for the win!


Such an important match, I thought they told a very entertaining story with Andre being undefeated, Andre being damn near unstoppable and Hogan not being able to do a thing to Andre. Through grit determination and courage, Hogan manages to thwart Andre, time after time Hogan comes back and then, the slam. A moment that lives in history, sure Andre had been slammed by the likes of Stan Hansen and Hogan himself but not in the WWF, Andre was seldom knocked off his feet but here Hogan does the unthinkable and saves the WWF from Andre’s dominance, it is a fantastic piece of story-telling and wrestling history, can you really shit all over it? Possibly but I will not be the man to do it, a great end to Wrestlemania.


Winner: Hulk Hogan over Andre The Giant Via Atomic Leg Drop!


That was WWF’s Wrestlemania 3, arguably the most important and biggest Wrestlemania of all-time. Is the card up to that billing? No, much of this card could not help this show in the slightest, the first four matches could be removed as we had midgets, DQs and count-outs, the short matches did not have an impact on me and did not suck me into the show. Things change big time with Piper’s match, Piper vs Adonis has a tremendous atmosphere made sweeter by Piper being a babyface and it being his farewell match, it just works so God damn well, it is a great moment. Team Santana vs Team Davis is a great tag team match with Davis being the star in the match, the Intercontinental Championship was fantastic, so fresh and different to the rest of the card, Steamboat as the essential babyface and Savage being as unlikeable as possible it was perfect. Hogan vs Andre was electric, one of the best matches in terms of pure atmosphere alone. So, Wrestlemania 3 when it was bad, was very bad but when it was good, it was amazing, you have so many memorable moments and matches that it is no wonder this is the Wrestlemania that cemented the WWF. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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