Every fan of professional wrestling remembers the moment that captured their heart forever and hooked them for life. Whether it was Ric Flair regaining the NWA Championship from Harley Race at Starrcade, the Freebirds turning heel on Kerry Von Erich, Mick Foley flying off the cage at King of the Ring , Samoa Joe's epic trilogy with CM Punk in Ring of Honor, or the premiere of WCW's Nitro: these are the matches and moments that thrilled, terrified, or outraged overwhelming you with real emotion.
Mike Rickard's Wrestling's Greatest Moments brings you all the most memorable and controversial moments from modern wrestling history. It's an insightful and essential compendium of thirty years' worth of groundbreaking matches, angles and interviews. From Hulkamania to the Montreal "screwjob," from the NWA to the nWo, you'll rediscover what really occurred in arenas and on the air worldwide, and learn all the backstage and behind-the-scenes secrets that made these highlight-reel moments possible from the men and women who were there.
Whether you watched Stone Cold Steve Austin point a gun at WWE honcho Vince McMahon's head, or stood outside the building as D-Generation X "invaded" WCW; whether you look back with nostalgia to "The King" slapping Andy Kaufman silly on Letterman or believe wrestling was better when Bruno sold out Shea; whether you were one of the Philadelphia "bingo hall" faithful who made ECW "extreme" or a casual observer of the Monday Night Wars; whether you're reliving these moments or discovering them for the first time, Wrestling's Greatest Moments will enthrall you with the exploits and extravagance, the tragedies and triumphs of the sport of kings.
About the Author: Mike Rickard has been writing about the sport of kings since 2005. His work has been seen on Pro Wrestling Illustrated's website, Pro Wrestling Torch, Gumgod, World Wrestling Insanity, and Canadian Bulldog's World.
Rare is the occasion when promoters do not recycle a match-up between two wrestlers to capitalize on their chemistry and the Wrestlemania III match-up between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant was no exception. No discussion of Andre vs. Hogan at WrestleMania III is complete without discussing their earlier program. Nearly seven years before the record-breaking main event in the Pontiac Silverdome, Andre and Hulk Hogan wrestled in another outdoor event, although they would not be in the main event.
The summer of 1980 was hot, both for the United States and Richard Pryor. A heat wave in the U.S. killed over 1,700 people while comedian Richard Pryor sustained burns over half of his body after a free-basing cocaine incident gone bad. In politics, Ronald Reagan won the Presidential nomination from the Republican party while incumbent President Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination. The Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics but a U.S. boycott of the event cast a shadow over it. Ted Turner launched CNN, the Cable News Network and rockers AC/DC released their biggest album to date, Back in Black.
In the world of wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) promoted the third of a series of outdoor wrestling events held at Shea Stadium. The third and last event was held on August 9, 1980 and was main evented by a cage match between WWF icon Bruno Sammartino and his protégé gone bad, Larry Zbyzsko.
The undercard was strong and featured several high-profile matches including WWF champion Bob Backlund and Pedro Morales defeating the Wild Samoans for the WWF Tag Team Titles. It also saw WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Patera retain his championship after losing by count-out to Tony Atlas.
Another match that stuck out was an epic battle between two big men, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. The two men had battled at house shows in the months leading up to the match but nothing could compare to the epic arena in which they battled. Hogan had unsuccessfully battled against WWF champion Bob Backlund and now turned his attention to "The Eighth Wonder of the World".
The match itself saw both men in their prime. While Hogan was no ring-savvy veteran, he was no rookie either. Andre had been wrestling since the 1960's while Hogan had been wrestling for about three years. The match-up between Hogan and Andre was a natural. Promoters knew that the fans loved to see a big man challenge Andre and while no one was as tall as Andre, competitors like Hogan looked like they could give the Giant a run for his money.