The slam heard 'round the world
WrestleMania III was a historic night, capped off by perhaps the biggest match in sports-entertainment history: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. It truly was the irresistible force vs. the immovable object, the reigning WWE Champion against a Superstar who hadn't been defeated in 15 years -- and the No. 3 'Mania Match That Made Us Sweat.
The atmosphere inside the Pontiac Silverdome that night was electric, even as the epic battle nearly ended before it could really get underway. Seconds into the bout, Hogan tried to slam his 7-foot-4, 500-plus-pound opponent. He failed, caving under Andre's immense weight and barely escaping a pinfall that would've given the giant his first taste of WWE gold.
For the majority of the bout, Hogan -- who, at 6 foot 8, was normally the larger man in his matches -- looked like a rag doll being tossed around by his adversary. Andre focused his attack on the champion's weakened back, and the capacity crowd of 93,173 sat in hushed silence as he brutalized Hogan with his powerful onslaught.
But just as he always seemed to, the Hulkster dug down deep, "Hulked Up" and made a comeback. A running clothesline finally floored Andre -- a feat that very few had accomplished -- and when the giant stood back up, the seemingly impossible happened.
In one of the most memorable moments in WWE history, Hulk Hogan hoisted his 500-pound challenger and body slammed him to the mat -- a scene that even color commentator Jesse Ventura, normally a huge Hogan critic, couldn't believe. One legdrop later, Andre's undefeated streak was history and the 93,173 cheering WWE fans in attendance nearly blew the roof off the Silverdome.
Hulkamania ran wild for nearly twenty more years, but perhaps never again reached the level of frenzy it did at WrestleMania III.