The bitter rivalry between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat was one of the fiercest WWE has ever seen, and it climaxed in a classic battle for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania III.
Just four months after Savage had used the ring bell to crush Steamboat's larynx during a title match -- nearly ending his career in the process -- "The Dragon" returned for vengeance on the grandest stage in sports-entertainment. The ensuing battle proved so intense that it ranks as the No. 7 ‘Mania Match That Made Us Sweat.
For 15 minutes, champion and challenger battled back and forth, each scoring multiple near-falls and keeping our fans on the edges of their 93,173 seats in the Pontiac Silverdome. But when the referee was knocked down, Savage saw an opportunity to put Steamboat out of commission once again. He grabbed the ring bell from the timekeeper, but just as he scaled the top rope with it, George "The Animal" Steele -- who seconded Steamboat that night -- pushed him down to the mat.
His efforts thwarted, Savage hoisted the challenger for a body slam instead. However, "The Dragon" reversed it into a small package and somehow held the exhausted champion down for the three-count, giving him an improbable victory. The capacity crowd erupted as "The Dragon" was introduced as the new Intercontinental Champion, putting a thunderous cap on the defining moment of Steamboat's WWE career.
The match was an emotional rollercoaster for our fans, who watched both combatants use everything in their arsenal to subdue the other. More than two decades later, Savage vs. Steamboat is still talked about as one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania -- and WWE -- history.