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WWE Hollywood Hulk Hogan – Hulk Still Rules
Posted by Retro Rob on Aug 27, 2003, 15:00
WWE Hollywood Hulk Hogan – Hulk Still Rules
I’ve got a few noteworthy points to make in this introduction, so don’t skip it because you were under the impression it concerned my personal life.
I guess a good place to start is why am I all of a sudden doing a “tape” review after I said I was going to start avoiding them? Well this isn’t really going to be anything like the reviews I used to write. Although the actual content was good in those, I never really liked the format because it was too by the numbers. Going through the show chronologically with PBP; fucking everybody and their mother does that. So in the hopes of setting myself apart from the rest, I decided to incorporate parts of The Booking Report into my other tape/DVD columns. Obviously that exact format used for a two hour weekly show will not work perfectly for a DVD with a feature as well as extra matches, so I’m going to use this as an experimental run. Work with me.
There will be no PBP for the matches and no real details of what is said in the main feature. I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, at this point in my writing career I have decided to ditch PBP altogether because I can’t stand it. Plus when others do PBP I never actually read it, so why should I expect any of you to read mine? On top of that, what’s the fun in watching a show yourself when I just revealed to you everything that occurred on it? That goes for the feature as well. If I tell you everything that is said why should you bother sitting through it? That being said, if you are someone who is interested in details and PBP there are many other places to find that information. Check out sites like 411 or the Column Corner folder on the message board. This review is more or less going to be a commentary on the DVD, including the matches and feature. I don’t really feel comfortable grading it on the A/V because my TV is not state of the art, I’m watching the DVD through my VCR, and I’m using a PS2. However I will still factor crowd heat into the matches since I am able to hear that. I’m talking more so about the crispness of the overall product.
As far as rating matches goes, after two years of assigning star ratings to every match I reviewed I have decided that they are meaningless. What do I need stars for when I could just use words to express how I feel. Don’t you love it when someone goes through all the trouble of PBP, then slaps **3/4 down and never adequately explains what was good and bad about the match? Or their explanation consists of something like “Decent match”? What the fuck is that telling you? Why was it decent? How could it have been better? Things like that always bugged the hell out of me. I’ll just rate each match/segment out of 10 like in The Booking Report. Except for that column I rate the booking decisions. For these reviews the rating will be based solely on entertainment. That being said, just because a match is a technical masterpiece doesn’t necessarily mean I was entertained by it. Vice versa for technically bad matches. The matches will be listed chronologically, regardless of how they appear on the DVD. I was thinking about listing them in order of quality, but that could get dull after having a series of very similar matches in a row. Lastly, this is not going to be a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or annual deal. I will pump these out when I have both the time and motivation to do so. Odds are I won’t solely stick to DVDs because I have some tapes that would be fun to do as well, especially considering the lack of PBP.
The next question is why review the Hogan DVD now seeing how it is Out Of Print? That is actually a very valid question, however practically every PPV released on VHS that took place before 2001 is OOP, so should we stop reviewing those too? Oh, but you can dub them right? It’s not as easy to get copies of DVDs. Fortunately we have a source for things that are no longer available in stores, it’s called eBay, which is where I got my copy ($19.80) of this DVD a couple months ago. Obviously this DVD, hell all OOP DVDs, aren’t that easy to come by, which is why this is as good a time as any to review Hulk Still Rules. Don’t you want to know if it is worth hunting down? Or whether it is good enough to outbid the guy who has $25.00 down on it? Another reason would be that I was planning on doing the Rey 619 DVD, but Nik just recently posted a review of it so I’ll hold mine off for a while. The only other WWE DVD I own is WrestleMania XIX and I just wasn’t in the mood to sit through an entire PPV for a second time when I could just watch a shitload of Hogan matches (most of which I have never seen before) instead.
Main Feature (1:03:15)
A lot of the reviews I have read have torn the main feature apart because it includes a lot of Hulk’s revisionist history, as well as numerous lies, exaggerations, and errors. However it was an interesting retrospective on his entire career. Unlike the Rey DVD, this one actually stuck to wrestling as the topic of conversation as opposed to Confidential garbage about the guy’s house. As was expected, a lot of his WCW career was skipped and some parts of his longest WWF stint were glossed over. I would have liked to hear about his failed face run in WCW during 1995 as well as the first return of the red and yellow in 1999. My other major gripe was how half of the feature focused on his WWE stint in 2002. This man’s career stretched four decades, yet half of his life story is based on what happened last year? This doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is annoying to watch when you yourself know that there are many other topics that could be discussed. For the most part it wasn’t boring though, so don’t be afraid to sit through it. Like with everything else on this DVD though; if you are not even a quasi-Hogan fan then don’t bother.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ted DiBiase (11:16) ~ Madison Square Garden 79.17.02
This would be Hogan’s WWF debut. DiBiase wasn’t really a star yet. Within the next couple of years he would become one of the hottest commodities in wrestling, specifically in the Mid-South region. This ran about six minutes too long. Seeing Ted kick out of a Hogan legdrop was a little surreal, even though he wasn’t using it as his finisher at the time. The bell abruptly rings about eight minutes in, but unfortunately Vince McMahon lets us know that the match is indeed not over. Hogan was generating very little heat, but DiBiase’s spurts of offense all got pretty good pops. This match was definitely not good by any means. Although due to the crowd popping big time for DiBiase, it was still better than a bunch of the others on the DVD.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ben Ortiz/Angelo Gomez (4:57) ~ All Star Wrestling 80.01.02
What’s that? You never head of Ortiz and Gomez the legendary Puerto Rican jobbers? This match took place a little less than a month after Hogan debuted in the WWF as a heel. Freddie Blassie was in his corner, but didn’t add anything to the match besides heat, in theory. I say that because no one gave a shit about Hogan at this time. It wasn’t until his matches with Andre that the crowd really started to react to. Burno Sammartino was his usual annoying self with Vince McMahon in the booth. When in a handicap match, wouldn’t you and your partner go after your opponent at the same time all full of fury? Vince tells us that the Puerto Rican’s aren’t faring so well because they are in “awe” of the Hulkster.
Highlight of this segment was Hogan’s post match interview where he calls himself “One of the best scientific wrestlers in the world today”. Maybe he believes that he’s a scientific wrestling since he used a body vice to end this one. Brutally boring match that had no place on this DVD. I could understand them wanting to get a couple of matches in with Hogan as heel, but there are already two others that at least carry some historical significance with them.
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (7:48) ~ Shea Stadium 80.08.09
Pretty famous match here that many of you may not have seen before. This was one of the first meetings between Hogan and Andre at a show with the caliber of this one. You may have seen the Larry Zbyszko-Bruno Sammartino cage match from this same event. This match might actually be technically worse than their WrestleMania III match, as hard as that is to imagine. They used the “ref gets bumped and face goes over to help him, meanwhile the heel strikes the face from behind to turn the tide” spot. You would think that after 23 years the faces would have learned NOT to help the referee get up. Hogan actually slammed Andre with ease here. It’s pretty funny how the dramatics of a match between the same two people change when the roles are reversed. The deciding pinfall for this match looks to be flawed. In my opinion Hogan kicked out before the referee counted three. Even as a heel the guy wouldn’t “really” job to anyone. Afterwards Andre blades off a Hogan clothesline. Yeah, this match was a mess. A famous mess, but a mess nonetheless.
Bob Backlund vs. Wild Samoan #3 (3:26) ~ 84.01.07
A Bob Backlund match on the Hogan DVD… What gives? This match actually served as Hogan’s return from the AWA. Wild Samoan #3 is also known as Samu. Originally Backlund was supposed to choose a mystery partner to take on the Wild Samoans, but Lou Albano didn’t like the whole element of surprise thing, so the match was made into a one on one encounter. Of course the Samoans were all cheating and what not, so Bob ran to back and brought out his mystery partner Hulk Hogan. This was a pretty monumental turn of events at the time because Hogan’s popularity had already transcended the AWA. His return was met with a pretty big pop, but not deafening or anything. Then again maybe the audio on this footage was just shitty. Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund also seemed to just take this in stride. Maybe I’m just spoiled by JR going crazy when something like this occurs. I don’t know, had the crowd been more into and if the announcers were more like “HOLY SHIT THAT’S HULK HOGAN!!” this would have scored higher. The whole debut seemed really downplayed to me. Obviously in the end that really didn’t make much of a difference.
Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan (5:34) ~ Madison Square Garden 84.01.23
This match has been on more Coliseum Videos than possibly any other. Before this even started you could tell that the crowd knew exactly what would be happening in this match. They were electric from the entrances through the celebration. That’s something you just don’t see anymore. The match itself is quick and even relatively fast-paced considering the participants. This is one of those matches that just has that special quality about it. The Iron Sheik must have had one of the easiest cheating tactics of every heel in wrestling. All he had to do was stomp his boot toe-first on the mat and it magically became “loaded”. Regardless of the match quality, this is must see. Even better than the match is the interview that followed with Gene Okerlund, Hogan and his parents. Hogan’s mom and dad seem very laid back about the whole title win. So all of a sudden Hogan grabs the mic and starts screaming in his father’s face. Intentional or not, that was fucking hilarious.
Hulk Hogan/Gene Okerlund vs. George Steele/Mr. Fuji (6:11) ~ 84.08.26
I’m just including the pre-match training and Gene’s retrospective piece with this match. This is the first (and hopefully the last) WrestleCrap moment on this DVD. Hogan and Gene’s homosexual innuendo during the match and training is what put this one over the top. Those of you scratching your heads wondering why Gene was wrestling in the first place, you are not alone. This was just a house show emanating from Gene’s hometown of Minneapolis. The storyline going into to it was that The Powers That Be weren’t allowing Hogan to take on both Fuji and Steele alone and forced him to find a partner, so he chose Gene.
Whether it is Hogan slapping his ass in Steele’s face, Hogan holding Gene in the wheelbarrow position, Gene’s mule kicks in the corner, Hogan jumping on Gene’s back and making him climb a flight of stairs, their posedown and butt-bump following the match, something is bound to utterly disgust you here. Then again, fucking stupid shit like this is also funny in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way, so it wasn’t a complete waste. Plus there was a ton of heat. Sadly this all took up about 20 minutes, but the match is not done justice without the training that preceded it. As for the match, you know you are in trouble when Gene Okerlund is the second best athlete in the match and has the second best body as well. I don’t really see why this is on a Hogan DVD since it is really all about Gene. I would have rather seen this block of time used for some other influential matches that were left off. Look for a list of those in my Final Thoughts.
WWF Title- Flag Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (5:17) ~ Saturday Night’s Main Event 85.10.05
This match has popped up on a shitload of Coliseum Videos, so odds are you have seen it. The basis of this match: Hogan cannot stand Volkoff’s love of Russia. This is why I hate these gimmicks based on nationality. The American’s always come off looking like ignorant, blind patriots. Why not have the basis of this match be that Volkoff is managed by Hogan’s ex-manager or just based on the fact that Volkoff does very heel-ish things? Unlike the Flag Matches of today, the rules back then were that of a standard match except following the match the winner would have the “right” to degrade his opponent’s flag and then wave his own around. Fascinating stuff there. Much better than I expected considering the participants. Volkoff wasn’t his usual plodding self, as he tended to be constantly moving while on offense. Afterwards Hogan spat on the Russian flag and then cleaned his boots with it. Not exactly up there with Shawn Michaels shoving the Canadian flag up his nose or just plain humping it, but disgraceful none the less.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive about these nationalistic storylines and gimmicks. I just don’t see why an entire denomination of people needs to be put down in order to get a wrestler over as a heel. In my opinion, that is just a sign of how desperate and pathetic the writing crew is in terms of creating multi-dimensional characters.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Big John Studd (7:54) ~ San Juan, Puerto Rico 85.10.19
It sounds like Gorilla Monsoon was dubbing his commentary over the match, so this probably occurred at a house show and was added to a Coliseum Video at some point. Easily one of the most boring matches I have seen in quite some time. Six of the eight minutes consisted of tests of strength and bear hugs. AND THEN THERE WAS RAIN. To begin with the ring itself was incredibly small and didn’t even have turnbuckles. The mat became so slick that it was impossible to wrestle without slipping all over the place. I would imagine they had to go home quickly so after a quick brawl around the ring Studd decided to walk out on the match. No matter how bad the match was, seeing all those umbrellas suddenly open up as a huge puddle formed in the ring was quite the sight. Plus Studd slid and fell on his ass following an atomic drop.
Hulk Hogan vs. Tiger Chung Lee (3:04) ~ Tuesday Night Titans 85.10.18
TNT was the WWF’s variety of show of the 80s. That being said, Hogan’s match is sandwiched in-between Vince McMahon’s “interview” with Hulk. Hogan presents Vince with his “Magic Weight Belt” that he used for 1,001 squat workouts. He tells Vince to sell the thing and whomever buys it will have arms as big as Hogan because they will be reeking of his body odor as they workout. That’s just charming. I wonder who (if anyone) ended up with that damn thing. Hogan notes that, “Once I turn old and gray, one of the little Hulksters will take over for me.” Before anyone calls the guy a liar, he never did turn gray… He just went bald. This was pretty vanilla stuff. The only humor was how Vince would be talking in a normal tone than all of a sudden Hogan cuts him off screaming like a mad man. That match was worse than most Hogan matches seeing how the HULK UP took place after five seconds of offense from Lee. Out of the hundreds of Hogan squashes they could have chosen, what made this one so special? Even the interview with McMahon wasn’t all that noteworthy.
Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd/King Kong Bundy (5:02) ~ Saturday Night’s Main Event 85.11.02
This was alright for what it was… your run of the mill SNME main event, complete with DQ finish. I love how when heels practically have the match in the palm of their hands they do something insanely dumb and get DQ’ed. In this case they kept pounding on Andre while he was tied up in the ropes. The crowd ate this up, whereas if they did a finish like this on a Raw or SmackDown today you would have one loud “BULLSHIT” chant. This was pretty much just a stop in the middle of the road for both the Andre-Studd and Hogan-Bundy feuds. Nothing conclusive came out of it, but it is a decent five minutes of 80s heavyweight wrestling.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper (7:14) ~ Wrestling Classic
These two always had pretty good chemistry in the ring, which resulted in a lot of crowd participation during their matches. Like every other Hogan-Piper match from the 80s, this one ended in a disqualification thanks to Bob Orton. This match was as good as any other Hogan-Piper match since they were all more or less the same.
In the main feature Hogan mentioned how much more money this feud could have drawn had Piper not been so selfish. Obviously he was hinting at the fact that Piper was never willing to lay down for Hogan. All I have to say about that one… Pot. Kettle. Black. What good would it have done if Piper were pinned by Hogan, UNLESS Hogan has previously lost the title to Piper? I always thought about scenarios in which these two would trade the title. The best one I have come up with would have had Piper winning the title on this PPV, the WWF’s first. That would have accomplished two goals as it would have shown the buying public that anything can happen on PPV and it would have led to a big money rematch at WrestleMania 2. The other logical place for the title switch would have been the WWF/MTV special that aired one month prior to WrestleMania. Forget about Hogan-Bundy, Hogan taking on that asshole of a Champion Roddy Piper possibly would have made WrestleMania 2 more successful than its predecessor. The moral of this story would be that instead of expecting Piper to lose cleanly, if Hogan really wanted to do big business he should have jobbed the title in screwy fashion first. From there he would do his usual “conquering of the evil heel” blowoff that we have seen dozens of times.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff (11:04) ~ Toronto, Ontario 86.08.28
This match took place on the mother of all house shows. This house actually set attendance records. Because of this accolade the show was released by Coliseum Video as the Big Event. Orndorff had turned on Hogan months back in what is considered one of the best angles in the history of wrestling. Of course after losing to Hogan, Orndorff was left with nothing and ended up working for Herb Abrams UWF and then WCW, where he suffered a career ending injury. That same story, or at least a variation of it, could be tacked on to just about any of Hogan’s big opponents. I thought this was a good match. Both guys stiffed each other a little, a point that was mentioned in the main feature. There was an insane amount of heat, so how do you think the match would end? By a lame disqualification. How else? This wasn’t just any disqualification, it was a completely illogical one that saw Hogan deliberately knee Orndorff into the referee. Once the ref regains consciousness he DQs Orndorff on the basis that he knocked him out. BLASPHEMY! The crowd agrees, albeit for a different reason. This is a great example of a perfectly good match ruined by a ridiculous finish. Plus 74,000 fans turned out for this match and THIS is how they are repaid? This same problem plagues WWE today. Just give the people what they want and odds are that will be enough to make them watch your TV shows and pay to see house shows. Why screw over the public that pays your bills? Without them you are nothing. Some things never change with this company.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (12:03) ~ WrestleMania III
What can I possibly say about this match that hasn’t already been said before? It’s only one of the most well known and influential matches in the history of professional wrestling. My only problem with this match is not it’s technical quality, but the fact that everywhere you turn you see this match. WWE has shown this some many times over the last year that it is almost starting to lose a little bit of the special feel it has about its self. Anyway, this is one of those matches that no matter how bad it is you can’t not love it. I rarely use this line, but if you can’t appreciate this match for what it is, go and find something else to obsess over because professional wrestling is not for you.
Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage/Koko B. Ware/Hillbilly Jim/Hercules vs. Ted DiBiase/Big Bossman/Akeem/Haku/Red Rooster (29:12) ~ Survivor Series 1988
Typically I’m a big fan of the elimination tag matches, but this one was just brutally boring. The eliminations were spaced out and occurred quite oddly. Once it came down to Hogan and Savage against four heels everything went to hell. Remember earlier I brought up how whenever the heels have the faces just where they want them they do something incredibly stupid and ruin everything? Déjà vu. First of all, it’s 4 on 2. Instead of worrying about the match, DiBiase has a yelling match with Hercules (who was just eliminated), which gives Savage the chance to quickly roll him up. OK. 3 on 2 isn’t that bad, especially since the Bossman was looked at as a threat at this point. Between Slick and the Twin Towers, Hogan gets handcuffed to the bottom rope, leaving Savage in the ring. However during this process Bossman gets counted out. Yet he decides that rather than leaving Savage for Akeem and Haku to deal with, he should attack both Macho and Hogan with the nightstick. This of course calls for Akeem (the legal man) to be disqualified. Now we are down to Haku and Savage, while Hogan is all tied up with no place to go. This isn’t looking too bad for the heel side. For whatever reason, Slick doesn’t leave with his men. Haku (the sole member) was managed by Bobby Heenan, so he had no business remaining at ringside except for the fact that without him the heels couldn’t blow their win. The usual heel miscommunication occurs and Slick gets knocked out, leaving him open for Miss Elizabeth to pickpocket… I mean get the key to free Hogan.
I don’t care whether this is professional wrestling or not. How do four wrestlers and three managers blow THAT opportunity? Needless to say, two other incidents caught my eye as well. The Red Rooster was the first man out. Once he was pinned all of the other wrestlers on his team and their managers started yelling at Heenan. I thought that was a nice touch. It brought back fond memories of when managers actually meant something and how their clients would strive to be a part of the stable. Also, while Hogan was rendered useless, the crowd completely DIED on Savage. They didn’t give a shit about him until Hogan was freed. I really can’t say whether that was a regular occurrence, or the crowd was just dead tired from all the lengthy matches on the card. Either way, even when Hogan wasn’t the Champion, he was the main attraction nonetheless. This match was pretty much on par with all the other Hogan Survivor Series bouts, so if they had to stick one on here it may as well of been this one.
Hulk Hogan/Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage/Zeus (15:12) ~ SummerSlam 1989
I don’t know why or how, but I actually enjoyed this match. Nevertheless, I would have rather seen one of the Hogan-Savage singles matches. There was about 9 minutes of pre-match interviews and entrances leading up to this, so that pissed me off a little. However the match moved fairly quickly since most of it involved Savage rather than Zeus. The whole storyline here was whether or not Hogan could overcome the force that is Zeus. Jesse Ventura was fantastic, probably because he had such an easy target like Tony Schiavone sitting next to him. Hogan uses Sherri’s loaded purse to put Zeus away. Afterwards, he beats up Sherri so Brutus and Liz could cut her hair. How the hell did they get away with Hulk Hogan beating up on a woman after a match? I also love how Tony defends his actions by saying that Sherri isn’t a *real* woman like Elizabeth. The only women in wrestling who aren’t *real* women are Chyna and Nicole Bass. Maybe Baby Doll too, depends on who is compiling the list.
Royal Rumble (13:10) ~ Royal Rumble 1990
This is one of my personal favorite Rumbles of all-time. Throughout the entire match there was a potential winner in the ring. In my mind, that is what sets the Rumbles apart. When you have 20 JTTS in the ring, and then 10 stars, what’s the point in sitting through the first 40 minutes of the match? Unfortunately, we pick up with Hulk Hogan’s entrance at number 25. Without seeing the entire match, you miss out on a lot of fun interaction between Savage, DiBiase, and Dusty. Either way, we do get to see the first encounter between Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. At the time this was to 1990 what Bret-Shawn being the only two men left in the 1996 Rumble would have been, or Austin-Rock in 1999. Of course those two scenarios never happened, but this one did. Nothing earth shattering happened between the two of them. They did the usual criss-cross for no apparent reason spot culminating with a double clothesline. Theoretically, having a really strong heel come out as Hogan and Warrior were both down would have been pretty cool. Instead we got The Barbarian, who was followed by Rick Rude. I would have swapped the two.
The other memorable event from this match was the finish with Hogan and Mr. Perfect. Originally it was thought that Perfect should go over and if he did he probably would have went on to become the WWF Champion down the road. Hogan decided to make a power play and get himself to win the match. Although Hogan was the most over star in the company, was it really necessary for the WWF Champion to also win the Royal Rumble? At this time the winner did not go on to the WrestleMania main event, so giving Perfect a cut of the spotlight wouldn’t have been too big of a deal. The match ends with Hogan getting up in less than one second after the Perfectplex. Tony Schiavone and many people on the internet have criticized Perfect for using that move since it results in a nearfall. Did it ever cross any of these people’s minds that maybe the Perfectplex could be used to weaken, or revive Hogan in this case. Big deal if it *could* result in a pin, it’s not like Hogan would have stayed down for a one count anyway. This little snippet of the match was alright and featured two pretty famous altercations, but I would definitely suggest you hunt down this match in its entirety. You won’t be disappointed, as it is light years ahead of most of the Rumbles we have been getting over the past decade.
Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Perfect (5:59) ~ Saturday Night’s Main Event 90.04.28
This match demonstrates just how much of an enigma Hulk Hogan was. How many faces have you seen dominate their matches like Hogan did in his heyday? Generally isn’t it the heel who brutalizes his opponent outside the ring by cheating and whipping them into the ringpost? The fact that people could cheer such a blatant cheater is unbelievable. Then you have Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon on commentary. During the Hogan matches, it almost like they switch roles. Jesse starts pointing out all the obstructions of justice committed by Hogan and Vince would be blind to all of it. That aspect of Hulk Hogan has always fascinated me. I mean I understand turnabout is fair play just as well as anybody, but more often than not it was Hogan who initiated the breaking of the rules.
This match was quite fact paced and fun to watch. Seeing Lanny Poffo prance around the ring in his Genius getup was quite disturbing, yet equally funny. It kind of sucked that they went to commercial just as Perfect took the offense and then returned with Hogan kicking out of the Perfectplex. When against a smaller skilled wrestler, Hogan generally produced decent matches, as he is carriable when he has a good athlete to work with.
WWE Title: Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan (13:10) ~ Tuesday in Texas
The Tuesday in Texas PPV was the WWF’s way of testing the PPV market. They wanted to see if fans would be willing to buy shows on a more regular basis than four times a year. Apparently the results weren’t all that reassuring since it wasn’t until June of 1993 that another PPV was added to the annual lineup. About one week earlier Taker beat Hogan thanks to interference from Ric Flair at the Survivor Series. From a wrestling standpoint this match was mostly just choking. However I liked the whole “Unstoppable Force meets the Unmovable Object” story they had going. The match is relatively easy to watch because it became readily apparent that Hulk Hogan was trying everything in his power, but the Taker wouldn’t budge. Unlike Hogan’s matches with Studd, Andre, or Bundy, Taker was still pretty spry in 1991 and he used his gimmick to his advantage. Whoever thought of his mechanical sit up after every time he fell to the mat was pure genius. Obviously I’m talking about the original idea, not just implementing it in this match.
Like with most Hogan matches, this one is also marred once Hogan decided to cheat. Like I said earlier, I understand the whole turnabout is fair play rule, but why would a hero like Hulk Hogan throw ashes in the face of his challenger? And then roll him up for the count right then and there? I understand that because of his cheating as well as a run in from Ric Flair and interference from Paul Bearer the title was held up and decided at the 1992 Royal Rumble. Nevertheless, it always bugs the hell out of me to see a character like Hulk Hogan cheating in order to succeed. Especially since the entire basis of his character is that he is some kind of God with incredible recuperating powers.
As a quick aside, the Undertaker’s character is one of the few to really develop and gradually transform over the years. Usually you have drastic character changes that accompany a face/heel turn, or a character just doesn’t grow at all (like Steve Austin). If you watch his matches from 13 years ago, Taker still incorporates parts of his original gimmick into his matches today, but he also added multiple other dimensions to his character over the years. Love him or hate him, not too many other people in this business have done what Mark Calloway has with his originally cartoon-ish gimmick.
WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan (21:23) ~ Bash at the Beach 1994
From a wrestling standpoint, this was without a doubt the best match on the DVD. However it’s not like we are comparing it to Steamboat vs. Savage from WrestleMania III or anything. Hell, if you asked me to name a runner-up I probably couldn’t choose any one match since they all equally sucked in their own right. Hogan actually incorporated technical holds and did a decent amount of selling throughout. Both he and Flair were on their A+ game as well as Sherri, Jimmy Hart, and Randy Anderson. I would have added Bobby Heenan to that list but he kept mentioning this huge inaccuracy that Hogan had THREE YEARS of ring rust to shake. In reality, Hogan’s last match was a little more than one year prior against Yokozuna at the 1993 King of the Ring. Besides that, Bobby was his usual self when it comes to matches including Ric Flair. I really liked Sherri’s participation in the match as she is one of the few women who get as physically involved as possible every time they are at ringside. Seeing her wipe out that little twerp Jimmy Hart always brings a smile to my face.
Looking past how entertaining this match was, it also pretty much killed what was left of Ric Flair’s career. Imagine how Flair must have felt working a match with a “wrestler” like Hulk Hogan. Flair is used to putting on ****+ classics with the likes Steamboat, Sting, Luger and Windham, yet now he has to lower himself to the level of the new guy who he will also be jobbing to. In a way Flair seemed out of his element here since he wasn’t able to put on an actual wrestling match, but as was expected he pulled through and made this a rather fun encounter. It is kind of karmic that today Flair is main eventing the most watched wrestling program on television and Hogan is back on the unemployment line. Maybe it isn’t karma. It might just come down to which man actually cares about the business more than his paycheck and ego.
This DVD could be judged from a couple of perspectives. Let’s start by listing which matches did not belong on it and why.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ben Ortiz/Angelo Gomez – Nothing more than a jobber squash match. I agree that few heel Hogan matches should have been on here, but one with a more well known opponent would have been better.
Hulk Hogan/Gene Okerlund vs. George Steele/Mr. Fuji – If this were a Gene Okerlund DVD I wouldn’t be complaining.
Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff – These two never really had an official feud and this match was nothing special.
Hulk Hogan vs. Tiger Chung Lee – Now we have a squash with Hogan as a face. Once again, a more recognizable opponent would have been better.
Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage/Koko B. Ware/Hillbilly Jim/Hercules vs. Ted DiBiase/Big Bossman/Akeem/ Haku/Red Rooster – Thirty minutes of boredom. Sure this added some tension to the Megapowers storyline, but that was never elaborated on this DVD, so what did it matter anyway?
Hulk Hogan/Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage/Zeus – The Hogan-Savage WrestleMania V match would have been a better choice. Or even their first meeting at MSG.
Now, I could make a whole list of matches that were missing from this DVD like Hogan-Warrior, Hogan-Rock, Hogan-Savage, Hogan-Sting, the list goes on. However, if every match on here were as well known as those what would be the point in buying the DVD? I already own most of them on video, whereas I only have one of the matches listed above. I guess this is a catch 22. You can either have a whole DVD full of popular matches that everyone has already seen, or you can fill it with a few of those and some matches that most people have never seen before. The only match that absolutely NEEDED to be on here was Hogan-Rock. Everything else was forgivable.
Most of the really good stuff on here is also available elsewhere. If anything buy it purely for sentimental value. As far as I’m concerned, the sentimental value really wasn’t all about Hulk Hogan for me, but more so just 80s wrestling which I’m a mark for. Seeing how majority of the people reading this most likely hate Hulk Hogan and his wrestling matches, I do not recommend you buy this DVD. I don’t understand how self-proclaimed Hogan haters could give this the coveted “Highly Recommended” title. Even I won’t go that far. I mean, yeah some of this is fun, but other parts of it are mind-numbingly boring and sleep inducing. As you can see I’m kind of torn here, so just make you judgment since this DVD is only for people with specified tastes.
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