Monday, November 26, 2012

The Big Event

One of the most significant milestones in WrestleMania history occurred in 1987 when 93,173 spectators packed the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan for the third edition of The Showcase of the Immortals. Storied battles including “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s epic clash against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Hulk Hogan’s main event bout with Andre the Giant entertained a capacity crowd the likes of which had never been seen before.

What had been seen before were the 74,080 fans that filled Exhibition Stadium in Toronto on Aug. 28, 1986, for “The Big Event.” That audience, which held the WWE attendance record prior to WrestleMania III, saw Hulk Hogan retain the WWE Title against “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff as well as Ricky Steamboat’s Snake Pit Match against Jake Roberts. The size of that crowd seemed impossible to duplicate, but the WWE Universe just kept on growing.

In fact, The Big Event has seen its attendance dwarfed by four WrestleMania events including the 2007 edition, where 80,103 fans showed up just a short drive from the Silverdome at Ford Field in Detroit. Also, SummerSlam 1992 now ranks second all-time in attendance for a WWE event behind WrestleMania III, thanks to the 80,355 members of the WWE Universe who claimed seats at Wembley Stadium for the midsummer marquee event.

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