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The Most-Watched NBA Game In History Has Nothing On The WWF’s 1988 Main Event

June 20, 2016

Hulkamaniacs, let me tell you a little something about crowds.

When your job is to slam 500 pound giants in nothing more than a pair of trunks and a headband, the crowds mean a whole hell of a lot. The energy known as Hulkamania starts in the bellies of all the Hulkamaniacs in the crowds, roaring upwards like a rocket launched from a nuclear submarine and shaking the rafters of space itself. Brother, the crowds dictate everything: from the fan favorites to the ‘Vinces’ we all love to hate, and that’s no secret to those in the know.

Without the crowds and the fans that make them up, there would be no Ric Flair cheap shots; no Savage diving elbows from the top of the steel cage, and no Hulk Hogan to remind the kids to eat their vitamins, train hard, pray, and believe in themselves, brother. Professional wrestling, like most any sport, is nothing without crowds of fans cheering their favorites onwards, and the power of a passionate audience is best seen under the roof of the old Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Brother, if only there was some way to bottle that electrifying energy. That raw and deafening presence was confined to the Market Square Arena for the WWF’s first-ever Main Event, but it wasn’t just the fans in the audience that made that February night a record for the books. With AndrĂ© the Giant looking for retribution against Hulk Hogan, just over 33 million fans tuned in to watch the showdown and proceed to break all expectations for the sport of professional wrestling.

Back in 1988, 33 million fans was enough to blow the lid of Jack Tunney and the execs in the WWF. Just this past weekend, NBA executives shared a similar shock when the finals between Cleveland and Oakland set a record 30 million in viewers. For any of the doubters out there, professional wrestling and the draw of an iconic matchup is a powerful force that will never fade out completely. It may have its highs and lows, but you can’t deny the fact that a well-planned challenge can and will flip the world on its head.

Brother, it’s all fine and dandy for professional basketball to finally reach these kinds of heights, but whatcha gonna do when the whole wide world of wrestling and the unstoppable hordes of Hulkamaniacs run wild on your cable box?