Everyone remembers Wrestlemania when Hulk Hogan at his zenith slammed Andre the giant in front of over 90,000 people (still disputed number) at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. What an incredible moment that is celebrated as one of the most important in 1980s wrestling and possibly of all time.
What most people don’t know is that match happened before in a much different way.
In 1980, in front of 30,000 people at Shea Stadium a bad guy Hulk Hogan squared off against a face Andre the Giant. One of the most notable features of the match was the story line of Andre as the underdog.
Andre was a wrestler passed around from promotion to promotion in exchange for the use of other wrestlers. He was also one of the few wrestlers who could win over and over and the crowd wouldn’t turn against him like they would today. He was an oddity and a commodity valued tremendously because he would allow smaller, regional promotions the chance to draw big money. He really was one-of-a-kind.
In the video below you get a good sense of what a draw he was. He was wrestling a relatively unknown and still filled the stadium. Check it out.