Saturday, January 18, 2014

WWF Wrestlemania 3 Review

WWF Wrestlemania 3 Review

I did a three part podcast on this show here:

 I've been reviewing the Primetime Wrestling's leading up to this, so I figured I might as well do it. Please note that a lot of the back story I'm providing is from the PTW's I've seen, so there is going to be stuff I can and can't provide more detail on.

"Welcome to the beautiful Pontiac Silverdome and welcome to Wrestlemania 3!" - Vince McMahon
Gorilla, Bob Uecker, Mary Hart and Jesse welcomed us to the show.

"Ace Cowboy" Bob Orton and The Magnificent Muraco vs The Can-Am Connection
This one was kind of thrown together without any real build. The Can-Am's were almost guaranteed to take the belts off The Hart Foundation and get a huge push, which of course they didn't get since Zenk ended up leaving due to pay issues from this show. On the other hand, the heels were both on the tail ends of their WWF runs and weren't doing much aside from having their house show matches shown on PTW.

The Can-Am Connection got the win pretty quick with a trip/crossbody combo in 5:37. Nothing wrong with this one. It was mostly just the heels bumping around with nothing major happening at all. The match was too short to be anything.

"It's just like thousands of years ago when I put down these chains and took out the pillars of Rome." - Hercules, The World's Oldest Man
"We're gonna find out who the true master of the full nelson is tonight at the Pontiac Silverdome." - Hercules | "And get it right, it's Billy Jerk Haynes." - Heenan

Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules
I actually missed some of this feud as BJH and Hercules had a full nelson battle. Then, BJH fought various Heenan family members and got triple teamed in consecutive weeks. See here: and see here:

"If you remember, when Hercules entered the World Wrestling Federation, the full nelson wasn't even in his repertoire." - Gorilla | "Well that just shows you what kind of athlete Hercules is. How quick the man learned up on the full nelson and made it one of the most devastating holds we've ever seen." - Jesse

"The name of the game is "win", Jess." - Gorilla | "Not always, sometimes it's punish and then win." - Jesse

"You know what that's called, Gorilla? That's called winning the battle." - Jesse

"You gotta give the nod to Hercules on that one. He definitely came out the winner on that one." - Jesse | "He's not the winner, Jess. Both men were counted outside the ring." - Gorilla | "Well, he won the match after the bell." - Jess

This went to a double countout when BJH had Hercules in the full nelson on the outside at 7:53. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would, but I thought they should have done a finish. The match wasn't too bad at all. BJH's press slam was nice and Herc hit a nice lariat and a good suplex. I liked the build-up to the full nelson but I didn't like the finish. If you can't end a feud at Wrestlemania, when can you end it? After the match, Herc beat up BJH and hit him with the chain multiple times.

"Well, I've heard that big trouble comes in little packages." - Gene | "Well, once again Okerlund, you have to be corrected because big trouble comes in big 450 pound packages like King Kong Bundy." - Bundy
"Hillbilly Jim, I want you most of all, but if those two little midgets get in my way, I'll squash them in the middle of the ring." - Bundy
"I'm gonna do my darndest to make sure everything's okay with you little fellas." - Jim

King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook vs Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver
There wasn't a ton of build for this one. KKB hinted at squashing midgets leading up to this(see here: ) and on PTW, they showed a midgets match with Littlebrook(see here - ). In case you are wondering why Heenan wasn't out there, it's because he said he didn't like midgets.
"What would you have done if you had big King Kong Bundy barreling in and readying to slide into you at the plate." - Jesse to Uecker | "Well, I'd have taken my shot at him." - Uecker

Yeah, good luck seeing anything from back there kiddo.
"Tell me something, Ueck, you think you can take one of these little midgets." - Jesse | "I don't think so. I don't want my kneecaps rearranged." - Uecker
"Little Beaver reminds me of the same girl I used to go out with 25 years ago. She had the same haircut." - Uecker
"I thought this was gonna be a car race when I got there." - Uecker
"That knee in the boiler really oughta take something out of ya." - Uecker
"I'm still hoping to see Bundy put the big kibosh on one of these guys." - Jesse | "They'll have to bring Aunt Jemima's spatula out for them." - Jesse

"I'm thinking if Little Beaver is out there smacking Bundy then Bundy's got every right to return it." - Jesse

"I can't believe it, those turncoats! Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook turning on their man." - Jesse
"They could throw him into the garbage bag and stick him into the dumpster." - Jesse
King Kong Bundy either got DQ'd or the ref threw the match out when he dropped the bomb on Little Beaver at 4:23. This really wasn't much at all. They didn't do any comedy and didn't do any wrestling. None of them had any idea what to do until it was time for the big spot. I'm pretty sure this match was just there so Uecker could drop some funny lines with Jesse.

"You wanna talk? My phone number's on the back of my license plate." - Savage | "You are a real charm." - Hart
Mary Hart wanted to interview Miss Elizabeth and Macho walked in and broke that up.

 There was a quick interview with Race, Heenan and Moolah with nothing of interest said.

"Just as sure as I'm black in the days sun..." - JYD on whether he would win or not

The Loser Must Bow - King Harley Race vs The Junkyard Dog
This one got zero focus on PTW, but I was told they had some brawls leading up to this one.
"The moon is full and so am I, I gotta get with Moolah." - Uecker

Harley Race beat JYD in a quick match with a belly to belly in which JYD actually kicked out of at 3:22. This was the Harley Race show as he did all of his usual bumps and not much else really happened. Heenan was also involved here, making JYD chase him and getting on the apron. After the match, JYD bowed, nailed Race with a chair and took his robe.

"Yesterday I was hanging and banging in the gym....some of the non-believers said "See ya later Hulkster-man, this is your last ride" - Hulk | "As the sun beamed of the gold in my eye, I realized that sooneror later you gotta live and die and face the truth. And for you Andre the Giant, it's time to face the truth brother." - Hulk
"To beat me man, you gotta beat Hulkamania, every little Hulkster in the world." - Hulk

"The Rougeau's are going down the drain. Parlez-vous scrambled eggs, Rougeau Brothers." - Johnny V

The Rougeau Brothers vs The Dream Team
There wasn't a real big story for this match other than the Dream Team having problems. Johnny V mentioned there was trouble in the camp on an episode of PTW leading up to this. They also hinted at a possible Beefcake face turn here: . The Rougeau's had very little going on prior to this as I think Raymond was injured and they weren't far away from their eventual heel turn.

"You know they were chasing me around all last night." - Jesse on the Federette's

The Dream Team got the win when Dino Bravo interfered and hit a flying knee at 4:04. Afterwards, Brutus was upset with how they won and the Dream Team walked out on him. The match was short but decent. Raymond threw some nice kicks and their finisher was cool, but there wasn't much else going on. Heenan jumped in the booth during this and bragged about going "2 for 2" even though the BJH/Hercules match was a double countout.

Hair & Retirement Match - Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Adorable Adrian Adonis
Piper had promised to retire leading up to this, basically so he could focus on Hollywood (See here -  ). I don't think anyone bought that it would be his last match though. They did a good job recapping this feud but apparently I missed most of it, as I believe most of it took place on Saturday Night's Main Event. Believe it or not, I've probably not seen more than one SNME even though I have all of them.

They showed an Adrian video after his entrance(as they had been doing all night and I had been formatting different) and he didn't say much aside from different hairstyles he could give Piper.

"One of these guys is gonna look awfully funny when this is all over. We're either gonna have a bald Scot or Humpty Dumpty." - Jesse

"I'll bet he could take Uecker." - Jesse on Hart | "I'd buy a ticket to see that one." - Gorilla

"It did not drop the third time, no." - Gorilla
"Look at that, Brutus out of nowhere. Bringing Piper back to life, back to reality" - Gorilla

A fan jumped the ring to congratulate Piper
Roddy Piper beat Adrian Adonis with the sleeper at 6:14. Brutus Beefcake jumped in near the end to wake up Piper from Adrian's sleeper and to cement his face turn(See here, as it adds to Beefcake wanting revenge on Adrian for a haircut: ). Really good match here surprisingly. Piper and Adrian brawled hard and Jimmy Hart was probably the MVP, taking tons of big bumps here. They started off with punches and belt shots, then we had Hart get involved. Piper shaked them off but took a Good Night Irene sleeper and was out for the count. However, Adrian dropped the sleeper before the 3 and Brutus woke Piper up. Piper then got the win. I enjoyed this one. The crowd went nuts for it, they brought the fight to each other and it was rather exciting. By far the best match on the card and easily the best match I had seen in months on WWF TV. Rating:***1/2

They had intermission after this. Jesse was introduced in the ring for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Jimmy Hart called the Bulldogs crybabies.

The Hart Foundation and Danny Davis vs The British Bulldogs and Tito Santana
Danny Davis had cost the Bulldogs the tag titles due to his cheating and cost Tito the IC title. He was pushed rather hard, being mentioned multiple times every week on PTW. Arguably, he was the biggest heel in the promotion atleast in word of mouth. The Bulldogs and Tito were both on similar unsure paths, especially with Dynamite having injury problems. Both had lost their titles and a longer feud with the Foundation seemed to be their immediate path.

"Do they work out in those hot pink numbers?" - Mary Hart

"We're gonna have to rename Dynamite - Firecracker, if he doesn't shape up here now." - Mary Hart

"WE DID IT!" - Jimmy Hart
Danny Davis got the pin with a megaphone shot at 8:52. This was fun. They brawled a lot and the faces really beat up on Davis before another brawl broke out and Davis got the megaphone shot in. The crowd was pretty amped for this one and I enjoyed it. I also did like Hart and Uecker on commentary here.

"Hulkamania is over, Hulkamania is dead." - Heenan

"The Natural" Butch Reed vs  Koko B. Ware
There was absolutely no build for this one whatsoever and I honestly forgot it was even on the card, even after seeing this many times prior.

"You know of course Gorilla, the B stands for Buckwheat." - Jesse

Butch Reed won with a roll-through on a crossbody plus a grab of the tights at 3:39. This was short and fine, with Koko getting most of the offense in. Unfortunately, there was no real story or reason for this match and the time didn't help it much. Tons of mayhem after the match with Koko going for a cheap shot on Reed then getting caned by Slick. Tito ran in and ripped off Slick's clothes.

Savage promised to take out Steamboat for good and said, "History beckons the Macho Man".

"This dragon will scorch your back. I will come away with the championship belt and see new horizons." - Ricky Steamboat

WWF Intercontinental Title - "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
This was a very well built feud that pretty much culminated here for fans who didn't get to go to the house shows. The house show fans got a nice run of Steamboat/Savage cage matches. Savage had injured Steamboat's throat with elbows, the rails and a ring bell. Steamboat was feared to never wrestle again and made his miraculous comeback. IIRC, Savage may have also mocked Steamboat at points about his inability to talk due to the injury.

Ricky Steamboat won with a roll-up at 14:36. I thought this was a good one but not quite the all-time classic it was played out to be. I can totally see why it might have been seen that way at the time, but in this day and age, I don't see it. They really rushed through in this match. They both sent each other over the top to the floor multiple times and they kept it moving throughout.  There wasn't anything really wrong with this match but it definitely is not anywhere near 5 stars. I did like Savage working the neck but I didn't think Ricky went at him like he really should have and I didn't think they did enough of the smaller stuff to make this super great. Still, this was a fun match with a fast pace to it. Rating:****

"Honky Tonk, when you take a shot like that at a man like me then you better make that shot count, and you didn't." - Jake Roberts on the guitar shot
Honky promised to take care of Jake and promised to not let Alice Cooper near Jimmy Hart

The Honky Tonk Man vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts
This wasn't built up too bad. Honky nailed Jake with a non-gimmicked guitar on an edition of The Snake Pit(see here: ) and they cut some promo's on each other to build it up(See here: ). The one thing I like about this combo is that Jake's character was one of the more realistic characters while Honky was a parody, which made for a nice contrast. Alice didn't have much reason to be here aside from being a Michigan resident and a star.

"They should of made a deal with Honky where if he won he got Damien to make a pair of boots out of him." - Jesse

The Honky Tonk Man beat Jake with a roll-up and a hand on the ropes at 7:05. The match wasn't really that great. Jake got some shots in and a little bit of revenge before the dirty finish. The match was more interesting after it ended as they teased an Alice Cooper vs Jimmy Hart fight and Jake demolished a guitar on the ring post along with Hart getting to meet Damien up close. This was mostly all punches, especially punches outside the ring.

The Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff vs The Killer Bees
I'm pretty sure this had no build to it whatsoever and was just thrown together.Slick ripped the Bees once though on an inset. See here:

Slick had his shirt ripped up earlier in the show

Hacksaw ran out to stop Nikolai's Russian national anthem performance.

Shiek and Volkoff won by DQ when Hacksaw nailed Shiek with the 2x4 at 5:44. The match wasn't that great. The Bees and the heels mostly just exchanged shots until the really odd finish. Hacksaw was chasing Nikolai through the ring and just said screw it and took the free shot on Shiek. I'd have been mad if I were the Bees.

"This man right here is gonna make me famous." - Heenan | "I'm ready. Hogan, you better be ready." - Heenan
Hulk did a short but good promo saying he was going to shake the earth when he slammed Andre tonight.

WWF World Heavyweight Title - Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant
What can you say about this one? This was a well built feud that drew one of the biggest gates of all-time and is seen as the most important match in wrestling history. Prime Time Wrestling really made this one seem even better as Heenan was the host and really pushed the feud. There was reasonable doubt that Hulk wouldn't win this one and overall, this was a pretty huge match featuring the two biggest stars in wrestling.

The feud went way back. These two feuded previously in the WWF, though it was never mentioned here. They had been tag team partners in the AWA and the WWF and Hogan helped Andre with issues with Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy in the past. Hogan got an award before this for being the champ for 3 years and Andre walked out while Hogan was proclaiming Andre was #1. Heenan got to Andre and got Andre to want a world title match. Andre ripped Hogan's cross and shirt off on an edition of Piper's Pit and while Hogan was hesitant to accept the challenge, he eventually did.

Bob Uecker came out to do the announcing and Mary Hart came out to do the bell ringing.

"This is the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling." - Jesse

Hulk Hogan beat Andre the Giant with a slam and a legdrop at 12:02. This was actually a good match. Hogan hurt his back early on the slam so Andre worked the back and took control until a headbutt miss on the post changed the match. Really good heat for this and the slam was pretty cool. I was just really impressed with the story they were able to tell and how they ended up getting so much out of little. Good work all around here and a worthy main event. Rating:***1/4

Overall thoughts:We had a few really good matches here which helped the show a ton. The main was good, Savage/Steamboat was good, Piper/Adonis was good and Hercules/BJH was good too. The bad stuff was mostly just the finishes. Wrestlemania clearly was still kind of another show along the road here as we left a lot of matches without truly decisive finishes and we got some angles. It's hard to imagine that in this day and age but it was very clear here. There was filler too which really wasn't needed but nothing was truly awful here. I'd have to say that I enjoyed the show as a whole. There was enough good stuff to make up for the inconclusive stuff and Uecker/Hart really did good in their roles. I recommend this one and give it the thumbs up, but I do think a few matches could have been subtracted from the card and it wouldn't have hurt anything.

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