30 Years Ago: Alice Cooper Slithers Into Action at Wrestlemania III
Alice Cooper had a pretty tough time of it during the '80s, but the decade saw him appearing to at least one record-sized crowd — the throng of more than 93,000 reportedly in attendance at Wrestlemania III on March 29, 1987.
For Cooper, who appeared in Jake "The Snake" Roberts' corner at the event, showing up at Wrestlemania wasn't just a terrific opportunity to jump back into the spotlight — it was also an education. Not truly familiar with professional wrestling before the show, he came away from the experience with a new level of appreciation.
"Everything about that was great. I'm a boxing fan ... boxing is my favorite thing to watch. Wrestling was showbiz. These guys were bigger than life; they were Megatron. This was when you had Andre the Giant, you had the Junkyard Dog, you had all these great characters," Cooper recalled years later. Recounting his surprise at the level of choreography involved — and sharing the surreal experience of watching a mohawk-sporting midget curse out a much larger man — he admitted, "I respected it a hundred times more after being backstage."
Standing in the ring in front of all those wrestling fans was a little more nerve-wracking, however. "I had performed in front of big audiences, but nothing like WrestleMania III. It was terrifying," Cooper told WrestleNewz. "I remember telling Jake as we were riding that little ring on wheels down the aisle, 'This isn’t my audience, my audience isn’t as crazy as this.' It was one of the most terrifying things in the world — 90,000 people, wrestling fans, 60,000 of them were blue-haired ladies going nuts and screaming for blood."
Cooper acquitted himself admirably, contributing to a memorable match that included handling Roberts' snake Damien — which was itself just a prelude to the main event, a title bout between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant that helped draw nearly $2 million in onsite ticket sales and another $30 million through pay-per-view and merchandising. Pro wrestling had always had its fans, but after Wrestlemania III, there was no denying it was bigger than ever on the mainstream stage — and Cooper got even closer than a ringside seat.
"That was an amazing day," he marveled to WrestleNewz. "I still can’t get over how big and crazy that crowd was that day. And it was such an incredible time in wrestling overall ... I don’t know if it could ever get bigger than WrestleMania III."
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