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Music

When Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan outsold The Rolling Stones

@jackwhatley89

The world’s of professional wrestling and rock and roll haven’t crossed paths as much as you might think. Sure, there is the odd infectious entrance theme that can creep into the collective conscience of the rock world, but, by and large, the two entities have remained aloof from one another. We may have found one reason for their apparent distance, the day Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan outsold The Rolling Stones.

A fine match-up if ever we saw one, the heavyweights of rock and roll, arguably the first champions of the scene, The Rolling Stones squaring off against two icons of the WWF glory days, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan, is a cinematic adventure waiting to happen. However, rather than duel in the middle of the square circle, the two entities conducted their battle in the box office.

Let us all take a trip back to the end of the 1980s. Capitalism is reaching its peak across both sides of the Atlantic, and the ideal of the American Dream is being forced down the throats of TV audiences everywhere through a plethora of advantageous series and commercials. A new delivery method had also arrived in the form of a red and yellow glad behemoth of a man named Hulk Hogan, a walking embodiment of the term ‘patriot’. Hogan was the decade’s new hero, and he came with a band of merry men, also known as the World Wrestling Federation.

Pro wrestling took off in a big way during the decade, and by 1987, the corporation had spread its message across the nation and had begun its march to world domination. While Hogan was the hero of the piece, the writers at the WWF also had the perfect villain, too — Andre the Giant. A humongous individual of French descent provided the much-needed heel to Hogan’s unabashed heroics. With the federation’s landmark event on the horizon, a match was set: Hulk Hogan v Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III.

Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones were doing the same thing they’d done for the past 25 years: making hits, selling records, and filling stadiums. The band had always been a show-stopping performer and had held numerous records over the years, displaying their dominance over the stage. However, as Hogan and Andre set foot on the stage at the Pontiac Silver Dome in 1987, they quashed an old Stones record for the biggest indoor event of all time.

A whopping 78,000 fans attended the event that evening and outsold The Rolling Stones in the process. It was a seismic event that saw Hulk Hogan achieve his American idol ambitions and super press his nemesis Andre the Giant. The image of Hogan holding the behemoth above his head will be forever burned into the memories of fans and all who watched it.

Hogan has gone on to say that it was a moment that changed wrestling history forever. “The match that really changed the business,” he told Fox, “was the Wrestlemania III against Andre the Giant. When Andre the Giant was slammed, Wrestlemania was etched in stone.”

A consummate professional and a bonafide actor, Andre the Giant was apparently toying with Hogan the whole evening of the event: “When I wrestled him, I was really worried because, you know, wrestling is predetermined; you know who’s going to win or lose,” Hogan said. “That night at Wrestlemania III, I had no idea he was going to let me win. But he passed the torch gracefully and actually told me to slam him – thank God I got him up – and we made history.”

Watch the moment Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan made history below.