Whilst a thousand other posts percolate, here’s a topic you probably hadn’t expected from me. I saw an excellent reconstructed “oral history” article on ESPN about (apparently) one of the greatest WWE/F[/G?] fights ever. Intrigued, I dug up a few links and found myself cast into that familiar, fannish need-to-know-more rabbit-hole.
My wrestling pedigree is of a different ilk and era. Eighties Saturday lunchtime World Of Sport stuff, Big Daddy, “Easy! Easy!”, British Bulldog, that Heel with the shamrock tights and the rest. I enjoyed ITV‘s attempted reboot at New Year, although they need to show British wrestling consistently to allow familiarity with the athletes (yeah, I said it!) to develop. I’ve got/had friends over the years who were into the American Wrestling, but it didn’t catch me at the right time, possibly due to a lack of a satellite dish at a formative age (first world problems as The Kids used to say!).
For starters, viewed almost completely out-of-context the fight between Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is excellent and I suspect sets a benchmark that further borrowing of friends DVDs won’t live up to. There’s some fascinating backstory in the aforementioned article about how Randy Savage always believed that the paying fans deserved a real show, hence his emphasis on preparation and desire to showcase the best in his opponents as well as himself. He was more than a pair of Final Fight boss glasses and I remember a lot of sadness expressed at his untimely death back in 2011.
Final Fight is a good reference point here because the main event at WrestleMania III was the over-tanned Hulk Hogan (famous from that one series of The A-Team where they had implausible guest stars like Boy George) versus Andre The Giant (famous for being The Princess Bride, or at least in it). The character-type Andore in that game was based on Andre.
I watched the Hulk/Andre fight too and it was clearly, necessarily of a different order. I’m not knocking it on style, but we all know you streetfight differently when Player Two picks Zangief, yeah? Above sass aside though, it was interesting watching two major household names duking it out and the event ended well. Andre “The Giant” Roussimoff’s Wikipedia page is an interesting read too. E.g. I wasn’t specifically aware of acromegaly before, which is the condition often co-morbid with gigantism which produces the prominent features he shared with people such as the actor Richard Kiel (Jaws from the Bond films). Also, he knew Beckett!
As I say, I fell down a rabbit-hole and if you think I’ve rambled, I’ve actually reined myself in. I’ve not spoken too much about the Savage/Steamboat fight partly because it deserves to be watched on its own merits. If interested, I encourage you to do so.
What Is Best In Life #22: WrestleMania III and all that comes with it is best in life!
Not many people have a hairier back than Nicholas Cage