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10 Times WWE Totally Changed Its In-Ring Style

10. Randy Savage Vs. Ricky Steamboat - WrestleMania III

WWE

A sacrosanct match that, while incredible, is perhaps more remarkable in context.

The mid-'80s WWF boasted some tremendous workers, particularly in the tag team ranks, but a match of this technical quality and profile was virtually unprecedented; the prevailing fashion was of heavily muscled men overcoming sneaky or elephantine heels in hair-shaking audience begs. The WrestleMania III Intercontinental Title match paved the future in content and approach.

Worked with a sense of furious tension and advanced craft, it never relented from a white-hot opening salvo. Deftly incorporating the stark moral contrasts and theatrical outside shenanigans that defined the WWF style, this was an unforgettable and electrifying pure wrestling/sports entertainment hybrid. Steamboat's strategy to lull Savage into those beautiful arm drags - contrasted with Savage's deceit to pummel his back with those running knees - remains a total joy, all these years later.

Moreover, Savage and Steamboat essentially rewrote the administration of a professional wrestling match by laying out move for move ahead of it in a practise that, while the norm now, was frowned upon as a betrayal of wrestling's extemporaneous performance art spirit.

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!