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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania III

We've talked about a historic one. We've talked about a bad one. Now let's talk about a legendary one. Whilst the match quality doesn't hold up quite as strong today, Wrestlemania III is still considered one of WWE's most successful Wrestlemania's. From ticket sales to revenue to iconic moments to a generation defining match. It really felt like on the third try, McMahon perfected wrestling's most glamorous variety show. Here is the card we got:

Can-Am Connection vs Magnificent Muraco & Bob Orton

Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules

Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver vs King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook

Harley Race vs Junkyard Dog, Loser must Bow

Dream Team vs Rougeau Brothers

Roddy Piper vs Adrian Adonis, Hair vs Hair

Danny Davis & Hart Foundation vs Tito Santana & British Bulldogs

Butch Reed vs Koko B. Ware

Randy Savage (c) vs Ricky Steamboat, IC Championship

Honky Tonk Man vs Jake Roberts

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs Killer Bees

Hulk Hogan (c) vs Andre the Giant, WWF Championship

Not an awful card, the IC title match was ground-breaking, the main event was clunky but maybe the biggest draw of a main event in company history. Some good tag matches in there too, but again there is plenty of fluff here that isn't worth your time. The 6-man tag featuring little people was the biggest setback here, but Reed vs Koko was a huge waste of time too. Let's trim the fat shall we? WWE, here is how I would have done it.

Important note in the build to this show, a scheduled match between the Harts and the British Bulldogs is cancelled due to serious injuries racked up by Dynamite Kid. I just don't want him out in the ring if he's too hurt to wrestle which was true. The Harts of course take credit for the injury and mock the Bulldogs. WWF President Jack Tunney announces a Tag Team Eliminator to determine new challengers for the titles tonight. Davey Boy does not want to miss out on the title opportunity and brings in fellow face Tito Santana to aid him in his fight with the Harts. They have a common enemy in crooked referee Danny Davis who has helped the Harts and previously caused Santana to lose his IC title to Savage in '86. Tunney allows them to enter the eliminator.

Keep the iconic opening by Vince McMahon "Welcome, to Wrestlemania III" because it was awesome. Keep Aretha Franklin's rendition of America the Beautiful because her voice is mesmerising.

Like in real life, Rick Martel & Tom Zenk of the Can-Am Connection defeat Bob Orton & Don Muraco, the only change being it is part of the tag team eliminator.

Match number 2, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik face the mish-mash team of Davey Boy Smith & Tito Santana. The good guys win it in a fairly quick match to hide weaknesses of the aging heels, taking one step closer to getting their revenge on the Hart Foundation.

Next is the 'Full Nelson challenge' between Hercules and Billy Jack Haynes. I thought this match was pretty decent in real life but the double countout finish was a bit weak. Vince clearly saw something in Hercules and didn't in Haynes, so let's just have a clean (ish) victory. With the referee distracted, Heenan hands a chain to Hercules who clocks Haynes with it and locks in the Full Nelson. Haynes isn't responding and the referee calls off the match. This continues their feud where they fight in chain matches on the house show circuit, like real life.

Mashing up two matches into one next. King Kong Bundy teams with the Dream Team to face Hillbilly Jim & the Rougeau Brothers. Both matches weren't particularly good, one because the wrestling was bad and the other because they got less than 5 minutes to work. So let's fix both problems. Bundy and Jim can still pay off their feud whilst protected by good wrestlers for tag partners. The two tag teams can get some more time in the ring to work a solid match. Constant arguing and miscommunication by the Dream Team leads to a win for the good guys. Like in real life, Greg Valentine and Johnny Valiant abandon Brutus Beefcake after the match.

The tag eliminator finals sees Can-Am Connection vs Davey Boy & Santana. A hot face vs face encounter that goes about 10 minutes. Danny Davis comes out and attacks Santana, Can-Am get a pinfall but then the referee notices Davis' involvement and unfortunately disqualifies Can-Am. This obviously upsets the losers here. This would initially be to set up a Harts vs Can-Am feud but Tom Zenk ends up abruptly leaving WWF after this. More on what happens in the future later on.

Like in real life, Roddy Piper defeats Adrian Adonis in a hair vs hair match. It was a solid match, the angle was really hot and the crowd were super invested. Also Piper thrived as the loud mouthed but lovable babyface. Adonis gets a trim and Piper soaks in the adulation from the crowd as he would "retire" for a while.

King Harley Race faces Jake Roberts in a Loser must Bow. I don't want to watch the JYD here, sorry. Roberts can still slowly begin his face turn by standing up to Race who claims to rule the WWF. Roberts refusing to acknowledge him leading to an attack. At the match, Heenan screws over Roberts who gets rolled up in a leverage pin. Of course, he refuses to bow and sets his snake on all of the heels who run away.

Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage 2, with the IC title on the line again. This time, I would make this a 2/3 falls match. I have intentionally made this a shorter card to give them a little extra time for this one. Savage wins the first fall with help of the ropes for a pinfall. Steamboat wins the second fall with a pin following his big crossbody. The final fall is won by the Dragon, Savage hits his big elbow drop but Steamboat rolls through and gets a flash pinfall to win the match. I can imagine this being just as good if not even slightly better, definite 5 star potential.

To give the crowd a little time to cool off, we get a planned live performance from the Honky Tonk Man. He runs down the Detroit crowd and also mocks Alice Cooper who is sat at ringside. He says he is the Rock 'N' Roll king and begins to play. Alice Cooper gets in the ring and the HTM mocks him and pushes him away. He turns to gloat to the crowd, Cooper steals the guitar from out of his hands and whacks him with it. Should be a positive reaction, a quick little segment.

The Hart Foundation successfully defend their tag championships against the worn out Davey Boy & Santana. Dynamite Kid comes out and intimidates Danny Davis to leave (no physicality) but that allows Jimmy Hart to throw in his megaphone to be used by Neidhart in the finish. Later in the year, Santana and Rick Martel form Strike Force and feud with the Foundation, eventually beating them for the tag titles. That still happens and with this booking their is already existing animosity with the two teams.

The main event remains unchanged, there isn't much else we can do with such a limited Andre the Giant but the main event is far too significant to change around. Hogan retains his title in a grandiose main event and sends the fans home happy.

So, here is our final card:

Can-Am Connection vs Bob Orton & Don Muraco, Tag Eliminator

Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik vs Davey Boy Smith & Tito Santana, Tag Eliminator

Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules

King Kong Bundy & The Dream Team vs Hillbilly Jim & Rougeau Brothers

Can-Am Connection vs Davey Boy Smith & Tito Santana, Eliminator Finals

Roddy Piper vs Adrian Adonis, Hair vs Hair

Harley Race vs Jake Roberts, Loser must Bow

Randy Savage (c) vs Ricky Steamboat, 2/3 Falls for IC Championship

Hart Foundation (c) vs Davey Boy Smith & Tito Santana, Tag Championships

Hulk Hogan (c) vs Andre the Giant, WWF Championship

These earlier shows are a bit easier to book because they were simpler times. They're not riddled with the over-complexities that some more recent Wrestlemania shows seem to have. I think my card just fine tunes what was already a well loved show. Did I do good? Did I not? Let me know and check back in tomorrow for a rebooking of Wrestlemania IV. Something I have already done it the past but I will do it differently this time. Only fair. See you tomorrow!


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