Many would say that 1987 was the true launching year for the World Wrestling Federation. Between 1985 and the end of 1986, the WWF experienced a great deal of trial and error while attempting to discover their niche. However, it would be the year 1987 when the WWF would find that connection to finally make them a solid household name. Not only would this be the launch year where the product would gain mass respect but this would be the year of WrestleMania 3.
Learning from their mistakes from the previous year, the WWF made sure to not take on the idea of having 3 separate locations host the same pay per view. If “bigger” was the objective for WrestleMania 3, then the show exceeded expectations. The Pontiac Silverdome, located in Pontiac, Michigan, would play host to the mega event. Since WrestleMania 3 would be trailing on the heels of past events such as Super Bowl XVI and The Jacksons: Victory Tour, the magnitude of the Silverdome would make a perfect venue for the biggest show of the year. If Vince McMahon wanted to show the world that his product was to be taken serious, this was the way to make that happen.
Fast forward to March 29th 1987, the cameras and production trucks turn on to begin the broadcast of WrestleMania 3. As the show’s logo would appear on home television sets, the tagline of “Bigger, Badder, and Better” would travel across the bottom of the screen. Once the tag line would fade out, production would fade in the image of a live audience of 93,173 fans packing the Silverdome. This impressive number would result with the WWF setting an all-time indoor attended world record, making the World Wrestling Federation untouchable.
With an event of this significance, it would only be fitting to have the main event be arguably the biggest professional wrestling match in history. The World Wrestling Federation championship would be on the line as Hulk Hogan would defend the title against the legendary Andre The Giant. The buildup for this match would emotionally captivate all audiences from children idolizing The Hulkster, to parents who grew up watching in awe of Andre in the older days of wrestling. If you had an ounce of blood running through your veins, this match held some meaning to you.
The reception of the event was more than positive. Vince McMahon would officially silence any doubters who may still be lingering from years prior. This event would solidify McMahon as not only the leading man in the wrestling world, but would be seen as a respected “player” in the overall business world. WrestleMania 3 would be the single event to make the WWF logo as recognizable as logos like “Pepsi” and “Apple”. Strengthening its position in being a world wide competitor. Professional wrestling was now a serious business and no longer just a mere novelty act. Let the games begin.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer for Rant Sports