Many consider WrestleMania III to be one of the most significant events in wrestling history, but why is that? Well, I am going to run down the five main factors that really make this PPV as monumental as it is. The sheer number of records that this show would break would be a catalyst for years to come, so without further ado, let’s get into it.
5. Record-Setting Pay-Per-View Buy Rates
With buy-rates of around 400,000 (which grossed them an estimated $10.3 million), it was record-setting for the time. For an event in 1987, those numbers are still very impressive by today’s standards. To put it into perspective, this grossed around the same number of buys as Manny Pacquiao’s (one of the greatest boxers of all time) fight against Adrien Broner in 2019, showing how impressive those buys still hold up to today’s standards. Furthermore, WrestleMania II only got 250,000 buys, which pales in comparison to the 400,000 that WrestleMania III got, further showing its importance.
4. Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat Influenced A Whole New Generation
It may be one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time.The Undertaker talking about Steamboat vs. Savage on WWE Biography
Widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat did it’s job well in inspiring the next generation of wrestlers. This match has it’s fingerprints all over modern wrestling. The work rate here is light years better than the other eleven matches on the card, which completely pale in comparison. This showed that there is a market for these athletic matches on big shows such as WrestleMania. Wrestlers such as Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, and Deonna Purrazzo have gone on record about the influence that Steamboat and this match have had, really showing its generational reach.
3. It’s Crazy Attendance Record
With an attendance of 78,000, it is the fourth biggest attendance in wrestling history (ignoring WCW/NJPW’s Collision in Korea, of course). It still baffles me with how crazy this is. An event back in 1987 has only been bested by three events in all the years since then. This is truly a statement of how monumental this show was; it’s astounding that they were able to garner an audience like this considering the attendance the year before was almost half of it (40,000 fans).
2. It Was The Rock ‘N Wrestling Era At It’s Peak
As all the previous points may entail, this was the peak of the 80s wrestling boom. You could argue that this was the show that put pro-wrestling on the map. You could even argue that this was the best show of its era. Obviously, the wrestling quality isn’t there for the majority of the matches, but this wasn’t a main factor for this era. No matter what, it’s impact shouldn’t be understated as the peak of its era, the show that perfectly encapsulates everything about the Rock N’ Wrestling era, and it should forever be remembered for that.
1. Hogan vs Andre Took Wrestling To The Mainstream
This is the most important match in the history of the business. The massive buy-rates and the astounding attendance would not be here without this match. I have my grievances with Hogan, as most people do, but him slamming Andre will always be one of the greatest moments in the history of the business.
I doubt that wrestling would be in the place it is today without this match. No other match on the top of the card would have sold nearly as much. Not only did this match pass the torch to Hogan to become the megastar he was for years to come, but it also gave wrestling mainstream attention that it had never truly experienced before. Just to put into perspective how big this match was, the first televised match between Hogan and Andre after WrestleMania III drew a record 33 million viewers (a record that still hasn’t, and most likely won’t ever, be broken). That is how big this match was.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If you want to read my previous article on WrestleMania 33, click HERE.
Wrestling Republic would like to give a special thanks to the talented Illustrator Bill Main for his artwork on the featured image of this article.