Arguably the most iconic moment in the history of professional wrestling is the moment Hulk Hogan hoisted Andre The Giant above his head and slammed him down on the WrestleMania III mat. “The wrestling world stood in awe” according to The Hulkster, which is a rather perplexing statement to make in hindsight considering it’s a feat accomplished by a catalogue of wrestlers before him.
Of course, back in the 1980s social media wasn’t a thing so GIFs and viral (hashtag) content didn’t exist. If something massive happened on one side of the United States, the chances are everyone on the other side of the country wouldn’t have a clue it ever happened.
We’ve all heard about Vince McMahon’s global expansion of the WWF in the 1980s, which is why Hogan’s slam was received so monumentally by the thousands inside the Pontiac Silverdome and everyone else around the world who saw the event – they simply weren’t aware the other slams had happened.
This article isn’t taking anything away from the Hulkster, of course. It’s just pointing out how mental life was before social media was a thing. Imagine something truly earth-shattering happening on the indy scene and it not being shared around the world today – times have certainly changed for the better.
It’s rather shocking to learn of how many times Andre was slammed before ‘Mania 3 – the night WWE claimed Hogan did it for the first time ever. Commiserations to the likes of El Canek, Riki Choshu and the tandem of Ken Patera and Big John Studd who just missed out on a spot on this list.
Happy belated birthday to Andre, by the way. The great man would have been 72 on Saturday (May 19).
10. Strong Kobayashi (6 May 1972)
This slam took place in the days when Andre was going by the name ‘Monster Roussimoff’ and happened over in Japan for IWE as part of their World Selection Series.
5,500 inside Morioka City Gym saw the slam take place, with Kobayashi going on to win the bout by two falls to one in a match that lasted over 36 minutes.