The Coliseum Video Rant XX: Attack of the Orangle Goblin!
– Yes, the time has finally come to delve into the portion of my tape collection dealing with the saddest disease to hit Gen-Xers since Who’s the Boss Hulkamania. Fear not, though, latest advances in medical science lead me to belive that there may be a cure, and his name is Chris Benoit. There is help.
Since I don’t have the complete run of the Hulkamania videos, I’ll just start with two of the Hogan-themed videos I DO have and maybe do a sequel for Coliseum Rant XXX. So this time around, prepare yourself for Hulkamania 2 and Hulk Hogan: Real American!
Tape #1: Hulkamania 2.
– We’re back to 1987 for this one, as it was released just before Wrestlemania III to help build the hype. Mean Gene, as usual, hosts.
– Hulk Hogan & Hillbilly Jim v. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy. This is your usual MSG B-Show main event. Jim tries to slam Studd, but gets pounded down, and slammed in turn. Hogan gives it a go with Studd, but I’m already wondering if he can avoid that devastating, spine-bending bodyslam of Studd. Studd gives him one shot and Hogan drops to the mat writhing in pain like he was just kicked in the nuts or something. You could never complain about Hogan not selling for the heels, that’s for sure. Studd then follows up with the BODYSLAM OF DOOM and Hulkamania is dead! It has to be after such a bone-jarring move like that! And he does ANOTHER ONE! Oh, the humanity! Call the ambulance! But wait! Like Lazarus rising from the dead, Hogan no-sells and comes back to bodyslam both heels himself, thus reassuring fans all over the world that he will live to stink up the ring another day. Whew. I don’t think the RVDs or Jerichos of the world could possibly keep up with that kind of fast-paced action. I mean, SIX bodyslams? What human being could take that kind of abuse and still be walking? And this is ONLY THE FIRST MATCH! Well, the heels bail, probably hoping to avoid any more of the awesome offense of Hulk Hogan, and then Studd tries again, being the fast one of the team. Gorilla Monsoon notes that Madison Square Garden “literally explodedÃ¢â‚¬Â when Hogan slammed both guys, leading me once to again to surmise that Gorilla never quite got the hang of the word “literallyÃ¢â‚¬Â. Another slam attempt on Hogan’s part is thankfully foiled (I mean, with Foley’s cage bump coming up 12 years after this, one career-ending bump is enough for the century, ya know? I’m not a sadist.) and the heels have their way with out hero, perhaps yelling “Take that, you jerk!Ã¢â‚¬Â with every shot in payback for the bodyslams which may have shortened their careers by 10 years, because they were just that devastating. In Studd’s case, it may have indirectly led to his death. Hogan could do a mean bodyslam, you know. I think Studd may have been contemplating a comeback, but the very thought of possibly getting bodyslammed again by Hogan caused him to rethink not only wrestling, but life itself, and his body spontaneously shut down rather than facing that again. Bundy gets an elbow, which may or may not be jaw-rattling (it’s hard to tell without JR there to tell us how to feel about a move), and a backbreaker for two. Studd goes to the bearhug, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt by assuming he’s doing it to negate any potential bodyslams by Hogan, thus using psychology in a match involving a hillbilly. But when things look bleakest for the Hulkest of all Manias, Bundy misses the Big Fat Splash and it’s hot tag to Hillbilly Jim. Bundy clotheslines him and gets a kneedrop for two. Well, as hot tags go, that one’s pretty far down the list, quality-wise. Bundy hits the chinlock and Studd works him over. Big elbow gets two. Back to the bearhug, and now it’s been confirmed: Studd is just lazy. Finally, Hogan gets the real hot tag, and he clotheslines Studd and gets a big boot. Atomic drop sets up the legdrop, but Bobby Heenan runs in for the DQ at 10:33. 0 for 1, as if you needed to ask.
– Hulk Hogan v. King Kong Bundy. From the Boston Garden. I miss the old Boston Garden for wrestling shows, because it actually had a distinct look and personality. You could watch a tape and go “Yes, that’s the Boston GardenÃ¢â‚¬Â, which you can’t do with just about any WWF show these days. Bundy starts pounding right away, but Hogan fires back. He gets slammed and kneedropped for one, however. They head out and Bundy won’t let Hogan back in. Unfortunately, he DOES make it back in, but they brawl outside again. Hogan is REVIVED back in, and he dodges a kneelift and gets a couple of elbowdrops. Big boot, but Bundy won’t go down. Corner clothesline, still no luck. Slam is attempted, but Bundy fights free and Hogan is in trouble. Big Fat Elbow gets two, and Bundy hits the chinlock. Hogan powers out and runs into an elbow. Bundy gets the Avalanche and Big Fat Splash, but Hogan’s on the comeback trail. Another Avalanche is no-sold, and Hogan slams him for the pin at 6:21. I like the finish they did a house show in Vancouver in 1986 better, where Bundy hit the splash for the pin but wanted a five-count, and then Hogan did the rest of his act to win. That way I could at least go home happy, having seen Hogan jobbing at the very least. Match was reasonably energetic for Hogan-Bundy, and short. 1 for 2.
– Hulk Hogan v. Randy Savage. Okay, now we’re talking. Still in Boston, and the crowd is just insanely jacked. Savage attacks to start and nails Hogan with his own belt. Savage starts pounding and goes up with the double-axehandle. Liz begs for mercy for Hogan, so Savage offers her the back of his hand. Hogan, always butting his nose into other people’s private disputes, breaks up any potential wife-beating and STEALS MACHO MAN’S SUNGLASSES! Hey, man, some things just aren’t cool. Sure, a guy about lay into his wife might be a bit suspect, but you don’t touch the Macho Man’s shades! Savage gets dumped and they brawl, as Savage eats post. Back in, Hogan clotheslines him and pounds away. Backdrop suplex and Hogan moves to the choking. What a sportsman and role model. Corner clothesline and suplex, and Savage is out. Well, no wonder, those lights are bright and Hogan took his glasses! The poor guy was probably blinded. Hogan smacks him around like a bitch, but that’s just a LITTLE too much for Savage to take (I mean, seriously, Hogan just stood there bitchslapping the poor guy in the corner) and he dumps Hogan and follows with down with the axehandle from the top. An extended beatdown on the floor follows, and Savage tosses him back in and drops the big elbow, but Hogan hulks up and you know the rest at 7:12. Man, Savage got NOTHING there. Usually their matches featured Savage beating the holy hell out of him for like 10 minutes before the big comeback. Weird. Match was still good thanks to Savage’s insane bumping, though. 2 for 3. Adrian Adonis hits the ring for the monster beatdown on Hogan afterwards.
– And now, the angle that turned me from a sometime casual viewer of wrestling into a lifelong fan: Hulk Hogan & Paul Orndorff appear on the Flower Shop to hype an upcoming match with Studd & Bundy, but Adonis points out that Hogan seemed to have trouble answering his phone in order to coordinate things with Paul. Paul insists that everything is cool.
– Hulk Hogan & Paul Orndorff v. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy. From two weeks later on WWF Superstars (or whatever it was called at the time, I can never keep track anymore). Hogan literally shoves Orndorff aside on the way to the ring. Paul wants to start in order to prove he can hang with Hogan. He holds off Studd, and gets a sunset flip. He grabs a headlock and hiptosses him, which was a neat spot considering the size involved. Bundy comes in and gets an elbow, but misses the splash. Orndorff fires away, but can’t slam Studd, so he dropkicks him instead and the heels run like the proverbial scalded dogs. Hogan, upset at anyone else getting the spotlight, wants in, and casually slams Studd, not-so-subtly rubbing it in Orndorff’s face. It’s so weird watching this feud 15 years later, because it’s so obvious that Hogan was totally insensitve and in the wrong the whole time and Orndorff was completely justified in kicking his ass for it. I mean, here you’ve got Paul Orndorff, an insecure guy with low self-esteem (I mean, he has tights that say “Mr. WonderfulÃ¢â‚¬Â on them, how self-assured could he be?) who was basically in the same position as Tobias Beecher from Oz, having gotten out of a very bad relationship with an abusive partner (Roddy Piper) and needing someone to justify his existance and basically let him know that’s he a worthwhile, cool guy on his own. And here’s Hogan, hogging all the glory for himself as usual and letting him know in no uncertain terms who the #1 guy in the promotion was gonna stay. No wonder Paul was so frustrated Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Piper won’t let him define himself as a heel, and Hogan won’t let him define himself as a babyface. Anyway, Paul is pissed off on the ring apron, as Studd comes back in and walks into an atomic drop. Corner clothesline, but Studd gets his own and pounds away. The heels double-team for two. Hogan “accidentallyÃ¢â‚¬Â knocks Orndorff off the apron and the heels work Hogan over. It continues until the ref calls a DQ at 6:04. Orndorff lets the selfish bastard get beat down for a couple of minutes before making the save, and then in the most glorioius moment of his career, he clotheslines Hogan and piledrives him, leaving with the Heenan Family. In another interesting twist from a psychological point of view, we go to the back after the match, where the heels shower Orndorff with affection, letting him know that he’s the #1 guy in their books. And that’s all Orndorff wanted to hear from the start. I know most of it probably wasn’t intended, but this is a REALLY deep storyline. Seriously. Anyway, the ensuing feud between Hogan and Orndorff drew more money than almost anything else the WWF ever did, but sadly destroyed Orndorff’s career, as he made $20,000 a night selling out arenas with Hogan and refused to stop touring despite serious nerve damage in his neck. I mean, would you, making that kind of money? Orndorff was left a battered shell of himself by 1987 and never again reached that kind of fame and power in the business. 3 for 4.
– Cage match: Hulk Hogan v. Paul Orndorff. Speaking of which, this is the last match in their feud. By this point, Orndorff had lost to Hogan so many times that they needed to give it a rest for about 6 months anyway. This is from SNME, and it has a rather famous finish. Paul attacks right away, and whips him with the belt, but can’t get out the door. Boogie-Woogie Elbows and again he can’t get out. Paul keeps dropping elbows and climbs, but Hogan grabs the hair to stop him, leading Jesse Ventura into one of his funniest lines ever: “Hogan would not be the champion if Mr. Wonderful was bald!Ã¢â‚¬Â Back in the cage, Hogan chokes him out with the headband and climbs, but Orndorff pulls him down. More choking. They fight for the door, and Hogan comes back. Hogan slugs him down, but Danny Davis locks the door. Vince is aghast. Jesse has a more reasoned perspective on it: “Well, what do you want, the door left open all the time?Ã¢â‚¬Â Orndorff goes low and drops an elbow, and both guys crawl for the cage and ram each other into it. Both guys climb opposite sides of the cage and exit at the same time. Joey Marella says Hogan wins, Davis says Orndroff wins, and I think that since Davis is still alive his opinion should count. Sadly, the match MUST CONTINUE. So back in we go, and Orndorff drops an elbow from the top. He keeps on him with kneedrops, a short-arm clothesline and a fistdrop, but it’s Hulk up time. Hogna unleashes some chops and sends Paul to the cage a few times, drawing blood. Legdrop and after the requistite beating up of the helpless manager, Hogan exits, stage left, to win at 12:44. Pretty good for a WWF cage match, and the simultanous exit finish was definitely the talk around the water fountain the next day in school, at least at my school. They go over the replays afterwards, where Jesse insists that Orndorff won because “Hogan’s knees were bent and Orndorff’s were straightÃ¢â‚¬Â, which I don’t get at all. 4 for 5.
– Hulk Hogan v. Brutus Beefcake. From 1985, back when Beefcake had short hair and a physique closer to Billy Kidman. He overpowers Hulk and does some strutting. So Hogan follows suit. Hogan slugs away, and clotheslines him, followed by an atomic drop that sends Beefcake to the floor. Back in, Brutus pounds away and Hogan does his goofy selling. Hogan comes back and rams him to the turnbuckles, and chokes away. Bckbreaker gets two. Beefcake comes back with own corner clothesline and chokes away, however. Lots of choking. Yup. And you thought his moveset was limited after he got to WCW. They head out and Beefcake keeps pounding. Hogan fights back with an atomic drop, but gets run into the post. Back in, Beefcake keeps up his embarrassingly weak offense. Powerslam gets two. He gets a bearhug, which is pretty funny considering how skinny Beefcake was at that point. That lasts a while before Hogna makes the heroic comeback and Hulks up. Clothesline, big boot, legdrop, but Johnny V pulls him out at two. Brutus charges and hits his manager by mistake, and Hogan gets the pin at 11:47. This was so boring that the producers of “Meet Joe BlackÃ¢â‚¬Â would watch it and go “Damn, that was boring.Ã¢â‚¬Â 4 for 6.
– Hulk Hogan & George Steele v. Randy Savage & Adrian Adonis. Back to Boston, as really this should have gone right after the Savage match. Steele eats a couple of turnbuckles, as does Hogan. The heels attack, but Savage gets a faceful of stuffing and sells it as usual. Savage runs right away to avoid Animal. Finally Hogan tosses him in, and he tags out to Adonis. Hogan comes in and dodges Adonis, and he too bails to avoid Steele. Must be the breath. It turns into a donnybrook and Hogan crotches Adonis, and back in for the big boot. The heels catch him and double-team, however. Savage gets too close to the babyface side and gets pinballed, however. He shoves Steele into the corner to give the upper-hand back to his side. Adonis drops a forearm for two. More nefarious dirty tricks follow. Adonis goes up with a splash that gets two. Savage tries a sleeper, but Steele bites the arm to block. Hot tag Hogan, but Adonis suplexes him for two. Another one gets two. It’s Good Night Irene, but Adrian makes the mistake of releasing it too soon in order to showboat, and then hits knee on a splash. It’s BONZO GONZO and the heels collide, and the legdrop finishes at 10:25. This was all in good fun. 5 for 7.
– Hulk Hogan v. Kamala. Hogan can’t knock him down, but Kamala can. Hogan tries a slam, but gets pounded down. He misses a chop, however, and Hogan slugs back. Kamala won’t go down, though. Hogan goes for Kim Chee and gets blindsided. Usual from Kamala follows. Big fat splash gets two. Hulk up, but the Wizard (King Curtis Iaukea) pulls Hogan out. Kamala splashes him again and the ref throws the whole thing out at 6:33. Bleh. 5 for 8
– King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd & Bobby Heenan v. Super Machine, Big Machine and Hulk Machine. Super is Bill “AxÃ¢â‚¬Â Eadie, Big is Blackjack Mulligan, but I don’t recognize the mysterious Hulk Machine. Probably some jobber. Hulk Machine slams Bundy to start. Studd tries, but gets double-teamed. Big Machine can’t slam him. Bundy & Big do the Fat Guy Showdown, and Bundy goes down first. Super comes in with a crossbody on Studd for two. No slam, though. Big Machine comes back in and gets slammed and worked over by the heels. Bundy elbows him. Super tries with Studd, but gets pounded down. Bundy misses a splash, so Super works the leg for a bit. The heels trap him in the corner, however. Heenan gets his shots in, but he strays too close to the wrong corner and Hulk Machine just murders him. Heenan desperately runs back to tag Bundy in a funny bit, and Bundy & Big slug it out again. Super tries to slam Studd, but Studd falls back for two. Bundy avalanches him, but stalls, and the mysterious Hulk Machine switches places with Super Machine (because they look SO much alike, which is part of the joke), and when Studd saunters in for the kill, Hulk Machine slams him and drops the leg at 8:45. This was just a fun match to send the fans home with. 6 for 9. The Hulk Machine tries to get his mask off while celebrating, but can’t work the strings in the back, and we’re left never knowing who that masked man was.
The Bottom Line #1: This is actually one of the better of the early Coliseum videos, and subject matter aside, is is well worth checking out as an example of inoffensive entertainment for two hours.
Tape #2: Hogan Hogan: Real American.
– This is one those cheaper 60-minute jobs from 1989 that you could buy a Blockbuster for $10 or less.
– Cage match: Andre the Giant v. Hulk Hogan. Bet ya didn’t know about this one, did ya? This is of course, from WrestleFest, notable on my part because that’s the first show where I started doing match times, and I’ll just be lazy and recycle my review from that show. You know, the WWF’s claims of 15-foot high cages are kind of shot down here: Andre is 7 feet tall, and he’s only a foot from the top of the cage, and the ring apron is maybe 3 feet high, so that makes 11 feet, not 15. I feel so betrayed. Andre chokes Hogan out right away. Hogan chokes and punches to come back. Choke! Punch! Punch! Choke! Bearhug! Graham sums it up pretty good: “Oh, man, this is a gruesome fight”. No argument there. Andre blocks an escape attempt and drops an elbow, but Hogan comes back. Andre tries to pull a turnbuckle off, and Graham points out the folly of that: There’s 10 feet of steel all around the ring, just use that. Hogan gets it anyway and blades. Andre runs through his blinding array of punches and headbutts. Hogan ducks under a big boot and hammers away on Andre. Andre goes down, Hulk drops the leg, and Hogan spends a couple of minutes beating up poor Bobby Heenan, because beating the largest athlete in the world just wasn’t QUITE impressive enough. Hogan climbs out at 9:52. 0 for 1
– Hulk Hogan v. Nikolai Voloff. I already covered this in Coliseum Video Rant XII, and here it is: Hogan is wearing his rarely-seen white outfit, and that dastardly Russian bastard attacks him before the bell. Hogan quickly comes back with the usual array of punches and cheating to rally. A medium-sized boot sends Volkoff gently crashing to the floor and they “brawl”. Volkoff gets the better of Hulk and goes to work on the back. Volkoff’s Atomic Wedgie of Doom Backbreaker nearly kills poor Hulk. But no! Hulk is alive and well, sadly. Hulk kicks out of a BODYSLAM OF DOOM! And hulks up. You know the rest. Not exactly Flair-Steamboat, but they kept it short and energetic for TV reasons. 1 for 2. Hulk does things to the Russian flag that would nearly start a national incident when Shawn did them to the Canadian flag years later.
– Hulk Hogan v. King Haku. Okay, we’re back to original content again, as this is from SNME late in 1988. Liz is there with Hulk, “on loanÃ¢â‚¬Â from Macho Man. She must have been thrilled to be loaned out. Haku cheapshots Hogan and kicks away. Shot to the throat, but Hulk no-sells and gets the big punch. Hogan rakes the back and gets a clothesline and elbow. Heenan trips him up, allowing Haku to choke away. He goes to the dreaded samoan staple, the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DEATH. Thrust kick puts Hogan on the floor, and Bobby does a psyche-job on Hogan. Haku comes off the apron, but hits the Brain by mistake. Hogan poses with the crown, and then slugs away in the corner. Haku gets a weak lariat, however, and a falling headbutt. Suplex gets two. Hulk up time, you know the rest at 6:15. Good enough for rock n roll. 2 for 3.
– Hogan’s training video, done to Jake Roberts’ music for some reason.
– Hulk Hogan v. Ted Dibiase. This is from early in 1988 at a TV taping Houston, and check out THIS announcing team: Bruce “Brother LoveÃ¢â‚¬Â Pritchard, Pete “The Duke of DorchesterÃ¢â‚¬Â Dougherty, and Mike McGuirk, the last female ring announcer before Lillian Garcia. If you ever needed a team to make you long for the dulcet tones of Michael Cole and the wit of Al Snow, this is it. Hogan slugs him down and clotheslines him, and follows with an atomic drop that sends Dibiase out. Dibiase and Virgil have a meeting of the minds courtesy Hogan, and back in a big boot for both guys puts them on the floor again. Dibiase stalls for a while, pissing off the crowd. Back in, Hogan rocks the mat (!), but they brawl out and Dibiase wins that. Back in, Dibiase stomps him and gets the choke going. Hogan comes back with a slam, and literally walks all over him. Andre sticks his nose in and it’s a DQ at 5:56. No, wait, the ref has granted clemency and is just tossing Andre from ringside, and we continue. So Dibiase slugs Hogan down and drops a trio of elbows. Elbow off the middle gets two. Clothesline and fistdrops get two. Hulk up, heel miscommunication, and a rollup finish at 8:07. Dibiase’s bumps like a champ, as usual. 3 for 4.
The Bottom Line #2: I don’t actually ever recall seeing a Hogan-Dibiase match other than this one (on tape, at least — they met dozens of times at house shows) so if you’re into rarities you might want to pick this one up. I don’t think the match is good enough seeking out for the quality or anything, but it’s a good 99 cent rental choice.
The Bottom Bottom Line: God, who would have thunk that two Hogan tapes could produce a 69% hit rate? I must be getting soft in my old age.