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We're, of course, talking about Hulk Hogan's face off against André the Giant at WrestleMania III. And, in an exclusive chat with E! News, Hulk (born Terry Bollea) revealed just how important that match was in wrestling history.
As WWE fans well know, the 1987 match is now considered a pinnacle moment for the wrestling industry. Why? Well, the match featured the then World Heavyweight Champion taking on the over seven-foot tall performer in front of a record-breaking audience. So, it's no wonder Hulk remembers the duel like it was yesterday.
"You know, WrestleMania I turned out OK, WrestleMania II turned out OK. None of us lost our houses or our investments, even though we bet the farm on everything to work," Hulk recalled to E! News. "But, when WrestleMania III came along, we had rented the building, the Silverdome, and they called us."
Per Hulk, they were encouraged to cancel WrestleMania III as the date was sandwiched in between two other high-profile events.
"We did 94,000…So, thank god we didn't cancel the date," he continued. "All I know is André passing the torch to me, me slamming on André in front of 94,000 people—I didn't know who was gonna win the match."
As Hulk detailed it, this was the first time he entered the ring without knowing the intended outcome. "And I was a nervous wreck," he shared. "And I think André just did it for a joke to drive me crazy. He passed the torch, he let me beat him, but what that did…it etched us in stone that we weren't going anywhere."
The French professional wrestler (born André René Roussimoff), who had the condition gigantism, passed away at 46 in 1993 due to heart failure. Still, his legacy lives on in the WWE.
Hulk added, "He passed the torch to me but, it made everybody realize that WrestleMania and the WWE were here to stay."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">34 years ago today, Andre the Giant was body slammed by Hulk Hogan in one of the most incredible matches in WrestleMania history 😲 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a>) <a href="https://t.co/Y12my5foBs">pic.twitter.com/Y12my5foBs</a></p>— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) <a href="https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1376530989044920321?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 29, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
And, 34 years after his epic match with André, Hulk is now a two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee and gearing up to host WrestleMania 37. On what to expect from this year's two-night event, Hulk dished, "I think there's gonna be two nights of awesome entertainment. I think the people are gonna leave the WrestleMania show just dying to go see it again, no matter what city it's in."
In fact, a whole new audience will be introduced to WrestleMania as the major wrestling event will stream on NBCUniversal's streaming site, Peacock. Hulk concluded, "To have Peacock as a partner with the WWE universe, you can't ask for any better."
Don't forget to tune into Peacock for WrestleMania 37's two-night event on April 10 and 11.
(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.