One of the biggest and best feuds in wrestling history was the rivalry between Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.
Andre the Giant even turned heel to accommodate the rise of Hogan but the story of the rivalry between the two could have been quite different had it not been for Chairman Vince McMahon’s plea ahead of WrestleMania III.
You see at this time in 1987, Andre Rene Roussimoff’s health was on a decline according to a recent interview in which McMahon describes how he coaxed the now deceased wrestling legend into a comeback.
Suffering from neck and back problems and needing surgery, McMahon pitched Andre the Giant the idea of coming back and headlining WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan against Hulk Hogan, something the WWE boss says breathed new life back into the former superstar.
“Andre knew that he wasn’t long for the world and he was hurting,” McMahon explained. “He was really, really hurting and I went over to visit with him. And Andre told me, ‘I’m done, boss.’
“When he said ‘done’, he meant, ‘not just wrestling – after this I’m done.’ Basically, ‘I’m going to go die.’ He told me about his neck and his back and things of that nature and what it would take to have it fixed, but he was not interested at all. And when I spoke to him about it, ‘well, here’s why I came over, because there’s a building in Pontiac, Michigan that holds 93,000 people and I think we could set up the promotion correctly and I think it would sell it out.’”
“Andre wanted to have a reason to live, not a reason to die. And he knew, ‘wow, I could have a new lease on life if I could get through this operation. The allure of Hogan pulled Andre through.”
McMahon’s comments come from a new HBO documentary on Andre the Giant, who passed away in 1993. You can watch the show's trailer below.
LISTEN TO THE TURNBUCKLE TALK PODCAST WITH SPECIAL GUEST MATT HARDY ON ITUNES HERE.