As WrestleMania goes fan-less, let's look back at when it had 93,000 (allegedly) at the Silverdome

Tony Paul Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Next month, WrestleMania will be fought in front of approximately zero fans.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship event will unfold in its Performance Center training facility in Orlando, Fla., as well as other locations. There are even reports that portions of the show, which will air April 4 and 5 on WWE Network, may be taped in advance.

It won’t be WrestleMania as usual. But WrestleMania as we know it — the Super Bowl of professional wrestling — was born on March 29, 1987 at the Pontiac Silverdome, where more than 93,000 fans (well, more on that attendance figure later) watched Hulk Hogan slam Andre the Giant and become WWF champion.

Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant lock eyes before their main-event match at WrestleMania III.

Yes, there had been two WrestleManias prior, but that night is when WrestleMania — "Mania," for short — became the big-time, pumped-up, over-the-top-rope event it is today.

The News' Adam Graham and Tony Paul spent months tracking down players from that spectacle in Pontiac, and dropped the definitive oral history of WrestleMania III on the 30th anniversary. A lot of you enjoyed it at the time, but it is long, so a lot of you probably flagged it and never went back.

Well, would you look at that, now you've probably got some free time on your hands. So check it out.

This is the inside story of what that night was like, inside and outside of the ring.

LARGER THAN LIFE: An oral history of WrestleMania III