10 Times Andre The Giant Was Bodyslammed Before WrestleMania III

Hulk Hogan wasn't the first to do it back at the Pontiac Silverdome...

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.

9. Butcher Vachon (1 Sept 1972)


You'll have to take my word for this one as the damn referee (dressed all in black) walks into shot just as Vachon hoists Andre right over his head.

Andre, using his real last name in this contest, overcame the odds by defeating both Vachon and Larry Hennig in a handicap tag match at Soldiers Field for the AWA.

The slam in question here didn't have any effect on Andre as he would no sell the move, get back to his feet and deliver an even bigger slam of his own. I bet Jim Cornette is having kittens right about now.

8. Harley Race (13 Oct 1978)


This one took place during an NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship match that took place at Houston Wrestling.

Going into the match, Andre would proclaim that he had never lost a match - EVER! However, he would lose this one - this is the match where, in an attempt to have Harley win but keep Andre looking strong, it was suggested the giant slip on a pencil, allowing Race to capitalise. Upon being pitched the idea, Andre simply replied: “Hey boss. I cant lose to a pencil."

7. Hulk Hogan (9 August 1980)


That's right, folks. Even Hulk Hogan slammed Andre The Giant before Hulk Hogan did at WrestleMania III - it's the small world after all...

Not only that, but Hogan was the most prolific slammer of giants before 'Mania 3 took place. He managed to achieve the feat at least five times before the Pontiac Silverdome showstopper.

The picture above is taken from his efforts at Showdown at the Shea, where despite taking a slam from The Hulkster, Andre was able to win in the 10th match of a 13-match card.

6. Stan Hansen (23 Sept 1981)

New Japan Pro Wrestling

Taking place on New Japan's Bloody Fight Series 1981, Stan Hansen was the underdog babyface here, believe it or not.

Accompanied by Arnold Skaaland, Andre would go on to lose a match that many believe could well be the best of his illustrious career. If Jim Ross was calling the event - like he does for NJPW on AXS TV today - there's no doubt he'd be calling this contest a 'SLOBBERKNOCKER' with both men beating the living daylights out of each other in a breathless affair that initially resulted in a Double Count Out.

Upon the match restarting, Hansen would win via DQ inside five minutes.

5. The Wild Samoans (14 Jan 1982)

Universal Wrestling Federation

'Look, everyone! It's Roman Reigns' dad Bodyslamming Andre The Giant!'


The bonafide star power in this match is absolutely mental. Andre teamed up with Dusty Rhodes and the Junkyard Dog to take on the team of 'Big Cat' Ernie Ladd and The Wild Samoans. This was billed as a dream match, and with good reason. Check it out by hitting up the interwebs and looking for Mid South 1/14/82 - Episode #123 - it's well worth a watch.

It might have taken both of them to do it, but Aka and Sika certainly wrote their names into the history books here. Their efforts would all be in vain, however, as Andre would win the contest for his team with what has to be one of the ugliest (I mean that in the most endearing fashion possible) second rope splashes of all time - fantastic viewing!

4. Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum (7 Nov 1982)


Once more, an Andre The Giant slamming took place in a dream match of sorts. This time, Andre teamed with Hulk Hogan to take on Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, Nick Bockwinkel, Patera and Duncum.

With former San Francisco 49er Leo Nomellini as the Special Guest Referee of the piece, it again took two men to get the giant off his feet - I reckon, however, if push came to shove, former Olympic weightlifter Patera could get Andre in the air by himself if he wanted to.

Just like the entry above, a slam on Andre didn't reap the rewards it should have as The Eighth Wonder of the World and The Hulkster overcame the odds to win.

3. Kamala (10 Feb 1983)

Universal Wrestling Federation

Isn't it strange how the supposed Ugandan Giant is the smallest man in this match? Anyway, this one took place as The Rat Pack of Ted DiBiase and Matt Bourne were taking on Andre and Tony Atlas.

Kamala and 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan would get themselves involved in the match, with the headhunter picking up Andre with minimal fuss to drive him to the mat below.

It's clear that Andre really liked Kamala for whatever reason - of course, that reason was down to respect. After giving as good as he got in a match with the giant, Kamala would famously pull a gun out on Andre during a locker room altercation afterwards. After this slam - something Andre didn't let just anyone do to him - he would push for WWF to sign Kamala in 1984, which they did.

2. Antonio Inoki (2 Dec 1983)

New Japan Pro Wrestling

Andre The Giant and Antonio Inoki wrestled a lot back in the day - so much, in fact, I bet Inoki could rival Hulk Hogan in the 'how many times I've Bodyslammed Andre The Giant, brother' stakes.

This particular example happened in the main event of New Japan's 4th MSG Tag League Matches - Day 15. Wrestling in a singles match, the pair would slug it out in a contest that ended without a winner, although I guess you could say that Inoki was the real winner of the night because he Bodyslammed Andre The bloody Giant.

1. Otto Wanz (5 July 1986)

Catch Wrestling Association

The name of Austrian wrestler, boxer and promoter Otto Wanz may ring a bell with you since JBL used to mention it every single time Kevin Owens did a corner Cannonball on a WWE show.

Back in 1986, 6 ft 2 and 375lb Wanz was the David of this David vs. Goliath battle, with the giant coming out on top in the eighth round - fitting since he is the Eighth Wonder of the World, hey?

It wasn't all bad for Wanz however, with the slam in this match helping him on the way to becoming one of the few men in history to Bodyslam both Andre The Giant and Yokozuna.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Presenter over on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]