Floyd’s Rant for Wrestlemania III
Attendance for this show is listed at an astonishing 93,173. Most experts place it more around 78,000 nowadays, but the actual number isn’t as important as the fact that a SHITLOAD of people came to see Wrestlemania this year.
Vince McMahon opens the show by welcoming the people. You can practically see the dollar signs in Vince’s eyes. He had to have had a week-long orgasm after seeing the gate and buy rate numbers. America the Beautiful is sung by Aretha Franklin. Pretty voice and very well done, but I prefer when Franklin is rocking and rollin’..
Commentators: Gov. Jesse “the Body Ventura” & Dr. Gorilla Monsoon
Two Guest celebrators: Mary Hart (Entertainment Tonight host) and my all-time favorite Wrestlemania celebrity ever: Bob “I Can’t catch a ball” Uecker.
1. The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) Vs. “Ace Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. & Fuji Vice (“Magificant” Muraco w/ manager Mr. Fuji) – Tom Zenk is infamous for having a column during the early Internet days where he always seemed pissed off at wrestling and his misuse. Haven’t seen the page for awhile, maybe Vince sent Mark Henry to shut him up. Martel was a great wrestler who was AWA World Champion right before it’s dying days. Both Can-Am guys are a step ahead and use their speed to throw the bigger heels around early. Orton and Muraco try the old “OK I’ll hold the guy and you hit him but please don’t hit me” routine that only works 1 time out of 100. It doesn’t work here. Heels get control briefly but soon the faces use illegal double-team moves (yes that right, illegal) and get the pin on Muraco. Pretty decent opener, establishing the Can-Am. **
2. Herculez Hernandez (w/ manager Bobby Heenan) Vs. Billy Jack Haynes - Replay of Billy Jack Haynes trying to get out of Herc’s full nelson challenge, yup just like Chris Masters. Jack is an asshole though and attacks Heenan beforehand so Herc clotheslines him and puts the full nelson on, hurting Jack’s feelings. I watched Wrestlemania 2 just yesterday and Herc looks a lot more ripped here. Heenan corrects Mean Gene and calls him Billy “Jerk” Haynes. I never really seen Haynes except for this but he was a big star in Portland I believe. Herc gets a shot out of a corner break and gets the advantage. Wow Hayes with a press slam! Damn... Haynes goes for the full nelson so Herc quickly goes to the ropes. Irish whip and Herc explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Herc whips Jack a bunch of times in the corner. Hayes makes a comeback and goes for a suplex, but his back is too hurt. smell the psychology. More backwork and Herc gets the full nelson on! But as the commentators point out the fingers aren’t locked. With the crowds help Hayes powers out, but Herc gives him a headshot before he does. Hayes with a comeback, but he’s still hurt. He asks the crowd for more cheers which gives him super powers. Now Hayes with the full nelson!! And this ones hooked on good. Herc gets to the ropes and both guys tumble out. Hayes puts it back on outside! 8….9….10…. Double Count out! Afterwards Heenan distracts Hayes while Herc nails him with a chain-wrapped fist. He keeps hitting him and Hayes blades a good one. Good way to continue a feud but I don’t remember much of them wrestling ever again, which is shame cause I liked this match **1/2
3. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook Vs. Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid & Little Beaver - The Bundy trilogy comes full circle as he’s now tagging with midgets in the 3rd match of the show after main eventing last year. By the way Little Tokyo is my favorite midget if anyone is keeping track of stuff like dat. He’s like the straight man of a comic routine when he always screws things up and apologizes while Littlebrook gets madder and madder. But of course like all guys I like a little Beaver now and then. The rules are only the big guys can be in the ring and only the little guys at the same time. Let’s see how long that’ll last.. Criss cross action into a row-boat move. Ahhh the classic midget moves. Typical midget stuff until Little beaver gets a cheapshot at Bundy so Bundy forces Tokyo to tag him in. UH-OH. MIDGIT THRASHING! Nope Hillybilly Jim gets tagged in. Hillbilly Jim AND both midgets pin Bundy, but he still kicks them all off. Hillybilly gets into trouble and Little Beaver gets another cheap shot. Remember these cheapshots, they’ll come important later. Bundy slaps Hillybilly Jim around some more so Beaver comes in for another cheapshot and this time Bundy’s had enough. In an INSANE visual King Kong Bundy bodyslam then elbowsdrops Little beaver!!!!
Mean old Bundy goes for the Big Bundy splash but all 3 other midgets team up and drag Little Beaver out before. Bundy is DQ'ed. Not even a match but pretty fun for the midget’s poor pain. Ventura says you can throw out Little Beaver in a garbage bag cause he’s done. *1/2 Mart Hart interviews Macho Man who gives a bad ass promo.
4. JYD Vs. "The King" Harley Race (w/ manager Bobby Heenan) - Uhhh I forgot about this match. But I remember how much I HATE it. It’s a whoever loses must bow to the other. Harley Race has a raspy voice you can only get from 20 years of straight Whisky drinking. For some reason The Uke has a hard on for Moolah (who’s holding the crown.) They start off and JYD quickly knocks Race out of the ring. Harley Race with a kick-ass flying headbutt from the apron to the floor (which JYD avoids)!!!!. Damn I don’t remember that! Anyway it goes back and forth until Harley hits a belly-to-belly and pins JYD clean! ¼* Definitely an upset, with the clean pin and all, but then JYD, after stalling, finally does a half-assed bow and then when Race is looking the other way…. CROWNS HIM WITH A METAL CHAIR!!!???!!! Man! Even as a 8 yrs old JYD fan back then I thought that was a pretty crappy thing to do. JYD steals all of the King’s paraphernalia and dances to the crowd. But Harley Race is still listed as the King in my record books.
5. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) Vs. The Dream team (Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/ manager “Luscious” Johnny Valiant) – The Rougeau were a pretty awesome team, but never got to the top with teams like the Hart Foundation, Bulldogs and Demolition hanging around. The Dream Team has a new guy in their stable, Canadian strong man Dino Bravo. Raymond with a hammerlock escape and it just dawned on me, that bad ass bump Davey boy did at Wrestlemania II was probably just a really bad fuck-up on Beefacake’s part. My hate for Beefcake goes up a notch. Dream Team has the advantage and Bobby the Brain Heenan join the commentary and proclaims he’s “Two For Two tonight! And Andre’ll make it 3!” Monsoon reminds him that Bundy lost, but Heenan says that don’t count as he wasn’t out there cause he doesn’t mess with midgets. Meanwhile the match continues as Jacques has Valentine pinned, but behind the ref’s back, Dino hits a top rope bomb to give the Dream Team the win. For some reason Beefcake doesn’t like the cheap win, so his manager/partners leave him. Way too short. ½*
6. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/ manager Jimmy Hart) Vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Hair Vs. Hair match) – Replay of Adonis kicking Roddy’s ass on his own show, so Hot Rod tears up Adonis show “The Flower Shop” in revenge. This is Roddy’s retirement match and whoever loses this gets his hair cut. The crowd gives hPiper huge roar before the match. Piper and Adonis trade belt shots. Adonis with the Flair flip to the outside! Piper drags both Adonis AND Jimmy Hart back in and kicks their ass right back to the outside. Back in and Piper Flair-slams Hart like a projectile onto Adonis. Jesse says Hart is tougher than Uker. Adonis regains control and smacks Piper all round the ring and outside, Hart gets some shots in too. Hart blinds Piper with the Atomizer and Adonis with the sleeper (his finisher) ! Piper fights but it’s no use. Piper’s arm goes down once.. twice and thr.. no it didn’t go down, but Adonis released the hold thinking it did. Meanwhile Beefcake runs in and revives Piper, who puts the sleeper onto Adonis and he’s out! Piper wins. *1/2 Damn ANOTHER terribly unfair win. Now Beefcake helps shave an unconscious Adonis, setting up his “Barber” gimmick that went on for about 3 years. Piper throws Adrian’s hair out to the fans. A fan runs into the ring and Piper shakes his hand, then as he leaves security tackles and handcuffs him.
7. The Hart Foundation & “Dangerous” Danny Davis (w/ manager Jimmy Hart) Vs. The British Bulldogs & Chico Santana – Unfortunately this is after Dynamite’s injury, but I thought he was still awesome considering the severity of it. Danny Davis was a referee who supposedly screwed the Bulldogs and Chico Santana out of their titles. So now this is the revenge/kick-his-ass match. The Harts are the tag team champs here bytheway. The faces start quick (even their dog Matilda!) and clear the ring. Back and forth action until the Harts get the advantage and Dynamite is the face in peril. Man, why on earth have nearly-crippled Dynamite take the punishment? Danny Davis comes in, gets one cheap shot, then tags out. Oooooooooooooooooo the crowd doesn’t like him at all. He’s gonna get beat up real bad real soon.. Eventually Davis make a mistake and the thrashing begins. Ahhhhhhh, OK, now I get why Dynamite was in there, so the other more- healthy two guy can KILL Davis in the tags. All the big moves are used on him, you name it.. Flying Jalapeno…. Figure-Four leglock… Crazy jumping piledriver…. Big ass running powerslam… Somewhere behind the ref’s back Daveyboy gets creamed by the megaphone and Davis gets the pin! Hehehehe. Davis better grow a goatee and change his name before the Bulldogs/Chico find him. Short but fun match. ***
8. “The Natural” Butch Reed (w/ manager “The Doctor of Style” Slick) Vs. Koko B. Ware (w/ manager Frankie) – Hmmmm looking at the size of Reed’s arms, I wonder if he’s really that natural. Koko brings in the 2nd animal to the ring tonight, unless you count Little Beaver. The Doctor of Style is decked out in some sweet threads tonight baby. Unfashionably Moonsoon says there’s not 35$ worth of stuff on him. Koko was pretty good in Memphis but like most good athletes, was misused in the WWF. Didn’t see much of Butch Reed before this, but I heard he was good, he went on later to be half of the NWA tag team Doom with Ron Simmons. Koko uses his speed to get an early advantage but Reed cheats and takes over. Jesse says he remembers when Monsoon cheated against Jack Dempsey in 1926. Koko with a quick comeback but Reed cheats again and gets the pin! Cheating rules! * Koko Pearl Harbors Reed out of the ring, so the heroic Slick defends his wrestler by hitting him with the Cane. Then OUT OF NOWHERE Chico runs out, beats him up, and leaves the poor Slickster running with all his cool threads torn up. Chico should be suspended and fined for such terrible behavior… Same for Buttcake and the JYD…
9. INTER-CONTINENTAL TITLE: Randy “Macho” Man Savage (w/ manager “The Lovely” Elizabeth) Vs. Ricky Steamboat (w/ George “the Animal” Steele in his corner distracting Savage and trying to steal Elizabeth like a date rapist cause he tried it 1,000 times before) – Savage’s double ax-handle off the top rope to the outside was considered so devastating back then that it was almost banned So anyway, Savage hits a double ax-handle to Steamboat, crushing his larynx on the railing!! Steamboat’s career was considered over, but the Dragon made a miraculous comeback and is now back for revenge!! Macho’s I-C reign is well over a year by this point and he even gets a nice ovation from the crowd even though he’s the despicable heel. These two guys are ridiculously fast, especially when compared with the rest of the roster. Steamboat starts quick in his rage but Savage outsmarts him and immediate starts working on the throat. Steamboat comebacks and works on the right arm (the flying elbow arm) in some innovative ways. Savage tosses Steamboat out and keeps kicking his ass and then throwing him back out. More nasty larynx-crushing stuff including an elbow and knee. Back and forth with both guys not keeping the advantage for too long. Lots quick pins and arm drags by the Armdragon, and the ref looks tired. Savage tosses Steamboat out again. It looks like Savage is going for a Count Out win. Top-rope axe handle to the floor!!!!! Savage throws Steamboat back into the ring? Why? Ohh I see, Top rope axe handle! WTF, Only 2? Awesome top-rope slingshot throat umm… thingy that gets a 2. More moves and Steamboat barely keeps getting his arm up at 2.
Steamboat starts a comeback but Savage goes to the eyes, gets a gut wrench, only 2. Savage rushes… HOLY CRAPP!!!! Savage takes a HUGE Shawn Michaels-type backdrop to the floor years before Shawn Michaels was drugged up enough to try it. Now Steamboat goes outside and throws him in for punishment! Steamboat flies over the ref to hit a karate chop for .. 3!!!! Steamboat wins!!! OMG I.. No wait Savage’s leg was on the rope.. The crowd is really getting into this now. Savage tries the same “run back into the ring and nail him coming in” trick he used early but this time Steamboat is ready for it and gets a 2 count. Steamboat tries about 20,000 pin attempts in like 30 sec, always getting a close 2.9999 count every time. How is Savage kicking out these? Savage reverses an irish whip and posts Steamboat. Another irish whip and a ref bump. Dang. Savage to the top, flying elbow drop!!!!! It’s ovah!!!! It’s… Wait…. The ref’s out!!! Dammit! Savage tries to slap the ref awake but no dice. Savage goes out to get the ring bell to nail Steamboat with, but Steele pushes Savage off the top and Savage’s head hits the bell!! (Well not really, he missed, but let’s pretend he did) A semi-conscious Savage picks up the dead Steamboat who suddenly reverse a slam for a 3 count!!!!!!! After 14 months, A New Intercontinental champ!! If I was reviewing this match for the first time I’d give it 4-1/2 stars but I remember seeing it live (on closed circuit) so: ***** Like Steamboat said years ago, Hogan/Andre sold the show. But this match stole the show. I agree though that Steele should join JYD, Beefcrap and Chico in the suspensions.
10. Jake Roberts (w/ snake-handler Alice Cooper) Vs. The Honkytonk man (w/manager Jimmy Hart) – In Robert’s talk show “The Snake Pit” Honkytonk hit him with the guitar. Unlike Jeff Jarrett’s guitars made of powder, back then it was a REAL guitar and Jake was super hurt for real by it. Both Jesse and Monsoon put over Steamboat’s match, I bet Hogan loved hearing that.. The Honkytonk man: A bad wrestler, but a fantastic heel and good seller. The thing I loved about him is that he really thought the fans loved him and thought he was the greatest wrestler in the world, despite how much they booed him. Jake starts quick and slams Honky outside the ring. Ouch. Honky gets the advantage back. Actually Honky isn’t looking as terrible as I remember. Jake gets a clothesline and signals for the DDT. Honky quickly bails. Jake stupidly comes out so Honky rams him in the post and railing. Back in and Honky uses his cousin (Jerry Lawler’s) top-rope fist-drop move. More beating and Jake doesn’t know here he is. Honky goes for the Shake-Rattle-and-Roll (his finishing move) but Jake reverses it in a backdrop! Honky with the top-rope corner fists but Jake reverse it into an inverted atomic drop. Jake’s making a comeback! Honky pleads for mercy! Honky with the Harley Race rocking-horse in the ropes sell. Jake goes for the DDT! But Jimmy Hart distracts him, Honky cheats and… wins!!??!!?? Wow, a lot better than I remembered. **1/2 What a huge upset this was back then, but who knew that joke wrestler Honkytonk would actually defeat Steamboat and go on to become an 18-month Intercontinental champion? Jake Roberts holds Jimmy Hart while Alice Copper brings the snake out (the reptile, not his trouser snake…) and Jimmy Hart shits his pants.
11. The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair) Vs. The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (w/ manager Slick) – Poor Slick. He comes out in his tattered rags but still hold his head up high. Slick demands that everyone stands up and respects the Russian anthem. Nikolai starts singing and Jim Duggan runs out to stop him and clears the ring. C’mon Vince that should be another suspension right there, where’s security? Ventura says Gorilla was standing for the anthem, but Monsoon denies it. The foreigners start right before the bell but the Bees get the advantage and use some nice double team moves. Duggan is patrolling the ring. Heels with the advantage now and they use their power to soften up Brunzell. The Bees make the hot-tag but the ref didn’t see it so it didn’t stand and Brunzell gets beaten more. Monsoon agrees with Ventura that the ref shouldn’t allow it. See that’s what I liked about Ventura/Monsoon, they’d play good guy/bad guy but agree on stuff like Ventura admitted all the cheating early in the show. Today Coach acts like he doesn’t see shit happening. Sheik with a camel clutch and Duggan runs in and wallops him with a 2X4. Sheik and Nikolai win by DQ. ** Man… If I was the Bees I’d turn heel and beat the living snot out of him. That match was also a lot better than I remembered.
MAIN EVENT TIME!
Guest Announcer: Da Uke (w/ jokes galore at his expense by Ventura)
Guest Time keeper: Mary Hart (but can see ring a bell?)
12. WWF WORLD TITLE MATCH: Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre the Giant (w/ manager Bobby “the Brain” Heenan) – Here we go! This is the match! Andre was billed as being undefeated for his entire career (not true). Replay on Piper’s Pit of Andre demanding a title shot after Hogan was “ducking him all these years”. Andre at this time was in REALLY bad shape and needed back surgery, but still toughed it out cause he’s a bad ass. In fact much like Hennig/Bret Hart in 91 and Lesnar/Angle in 03, the loser was the real winner in my eyes for gutting it out like a pimp.
The match starts with the fans GOING CRAZY and a stare-down.Well.. stare-up for Hogan. Push by Andre. Return push by Hogan! Hogan gets the fists in and bodyslams Andre.. No Andre falls on him!! 1.2.3….it’s over!!!! It’s.. and in an infamous moment that’ll come back next year, ref Joey Marella (Monsoon’s real-life son for those interested) only signals 2!!! Wow was that close! Hogan’s hurt! I mean REALLY hurt…. he can’t even stand up. Someone call Life Alert.
Andre methodically (aka slowly) starts beating him up. Andre stands on Hogan’s back!! Andre picks him up and starts beating him up in the corner while Hennan cheers him on. Andre’s dominating. Hogan finds some daylight and makes a comeback, the crowd is going insane!! But he can’t knock the giant off his feet. Hogan goes for a corner clothesline, big Andre with a size 26 boot to da face. It’s Bear hug time!!! The fans are cheering on for Hogan to power out. But… it’s not working… Is Hulkamania over? His arm goes down once.. twice… three time!!!!! WTF?, it was three times ref, he should be out. Bah! Anyway on the fourth time Hogan keeps his arm up. Hogan punches his way out, hurting his hand but still punching. The comeback ends with an Andre chop. One big boot later and Hogan’s on the floor. Andre goes after him. He goes to headbutt Hogan, but misses and headbutts the post!! Doh! Then in one of the most disgusting, despicable moves I’ve ever seen before, Hogan takes the padding off the floor and actually tries to piledrive a crippled man on concrete!!!?!!!! Luckily Karma bites Hogan right in the ass and Andre backdrops him. Back in and Hogan finally drops Andre with a clothesline. Andre gets up and Hogan body slams him! The crowds gone insane!! Hogan with a legdrop. 1,2,3! Damn, looks like Heenan’s been foiled again!… Hogan you were lucky tonight dude. **. Hogan starts posing. I stop the DVD.
Anyone seen the show? What did you think of it?