Unless I start to get prerelease copies of DVDs, it will usually take me about a week to get a review for the latest release up on Pulse.Â But I hate to keep my loyal and oh so friendly readers waiting,Â so I figured I would post Hulk Hogan: The Ultimate Anthology this week.Â You can expect the new set’s review up around this time next week, give or take.
Your hosts are Mean Gene and Jimmy Hart.
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
This isn’t the famous Shea Stadium match. I’ve honestly never seen this one. Hogan’s the heel here. Andre’s the giant. Vince McMahon is doing commentary with Bruno Sammartino. Well, this should be fun to listen to. Long lock-up to start, with Andre powering Hogan to the corner. Another lock-up, and Hogan shoves Andre to the corner, only to have Andre fight back with a big kick. Headlock by Andre, shoot off the ropes, and Hogan fights back with a HUGE body slam. Andre comes back with an even bigger one. Big boot by Andre but the splash misses. Hogan bails and gets his elbow pad loaded up from Freddie Blassie. Back in the ring, Andre headbutts the hell out of Hulk but misses a Big boot and Hulk hits the loaded elbow. Andre is all bloody. Hulk and Freddie raise their hands in victory and leave the match. Uh what? That’s it?
1/2* Kinda pointless to put this on the DVD set.
Match #2: AWA World Championship
(c) Nick Bockwinkel vs. Hulk Hogan
Special Stipulation: if Hogan wins the title, the AWA doesn’t go bankrupt.
Wow, I hope the Hulkster can pull it off. Bockwinkel quickly bails to start. Back in, and Bockwinkel again bails before locking up. Back in, and Bockwinkel finally goes for a knucklelock but gets smashed down with a shoulderblock. Bockwinkel stalls so much that Hogan’s hairline goes back a full two inches. Lock-up is shrugged off by Hogan. Bockwinkel finally grabs a headlock. Hogan shoots off and shoulderblocks him down. Another lock-up, and Bockwinkel grabs a headlock. Shoot off the ropes and shoulderblock by Hogan. Man, they must have run out of ideas real quick. Bockwinkel bails and gets a nice manly hug from Bobby Heenan. Back in, lock-up turns into some knee lifts by Nick, but Hulk fights off with a kick to the face and some kneelifts of his own. Double stomp and gutbuster for two. Hard whip to the corner and a shoulderblock from Hogan. Bockwinkel fights back with some knees. Cover for two, with Hogan kicking out so big Bockwinkel gets sent to the ring apron. Bockwinkel grabs a front facelock. He holds on to this so long I think it just ended last week. He then covers for two. Hogan fights back with a backdrop. Bockwinkel starts to fight back with a headbutt. Whip to the corner but Hulk hits a high kick. Punch, punch, punch for two. Clothesline and elbow drop for two. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Bockwinkel slugs back. What the fuck is he making the babyface comeback for? Hogan gets pissed and punches away and gets a running powerslam for two. Snapmare but the Leg drop misses. Shoulderblocks and Bockwinkel fights back but a slam gets reversed by Hogan for two. Kick to the gut, running elbow, elbow drop for two as the ref waits for Bockwinkel’s kickout. Fans are pissed at that. Whip to the corner but Bockwinkel moves out of the way and Nick grabs a sleeper hold. Hogan fights out and KOs the referee in the process. Another sleeper as the referee gets up. Hogan again sandwiches Bockwinkel into the referee. Fans are pissed. They know what’s coming. Hogan dumps Bockwinkel over the top rope. Fans gasp. Oh they soooo see what’s coming now. Suplex from the outside, Leg drop, and Hogan is the AWA Champion. Fans are going nuts. BUT WAIT~!! Here comes another referee. Hogan threw Bockwinkel over the top rope, so he’s DQed and Bockwinkel is still the champ. Fans chant “BULLSHIT!” and throw garbage at the ring. Heenan almost gets plastered in the face with a drink. Hogan beats up Bockwinkel and Heenan to try and prevent the fans from rioting.
*** Good match, bad ending.Â According to Hogan, old man Verne wanted Hogan to take the title but not before shacking up with his daughter and Hogan refused to be a man-whore for him.Â Everything Hogan says can be taken with a grain of salt, but at least it’s funny enough to make one laugh.
Match #3: WWE Championship
(c) Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan
1/23/84 Madison Square Garden
The match that changed everything. Fans are super hot for this one. Hogan slugs away in the corner, while the Sheik still has his robe on. Clothesline with the robe. Punches in the corner. Clothesline, knee drop, and Hogan is feeling good. Fans are super duper hot now. Hangman’s choke, then Hulk spits on the Sheik. Big boot gets two. Elbow drop for two. Reverse elbow in the corner misses, and Sheik stomps away. Backbreaker gets two as Hogan powers out. Sheik loads up his boot and stomps, then locks in a Boston crab. Hogan does a pushup to fight out of it. Gordbuster gets two. Camel Clutch, Hogan stands up and rams him into the turnbuckle. Leg drop, and Hulkamania is born in the WWE. Fans are going nuts.
*** Super hot crowd, a lot of action packed into five minutes, and it made its point.
Match #4: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Big John Studd
9/22/84 Madison Square Garden
Hogan cut his chest open with his fingernails tearing off his shirt. Lock-up and Studd beats on Hogan. Knuckle-lock sequence, but Hogan fights back. Studd cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Hogan slams Studd into the corner then unloads with punches. Running back-elbow and Studd bails. Big John Studd is very underrated as a pinball heel. He always sold top notch for his opponents. His death was a great loss to wrestling. Back in, Hogan KOs Studd with a Big boot. Hogan tries to slam Studd over the top rope. At this point Studd was offering $10,000 to anyone that could slam him. Studd body slams Hogan, and then hits an elbow smash off the second rope. This was one of Bobby Heenan’s first WWE matches too, apparently. So we’re getting all the historic stuff on this DVD set. Backbreaker by Studd for two. Now to a bearhug, which is one of Studd’s finishers, even though I don’t think he ever beat anyone with it. Hulk’s arm gets dropped twice but he fights back. Studd stays alive with a shoulderblock. Sledge and another bearhug by Studd. Hogan quickly fights back by getting a bearhug of his own, then drives Studd to the corner. Both guys are sort of out of it now. Studd whacks the small of Hulk’s back, which sends him out of the ring and onto the concrete floor. Hogan is bleeding. Studd keeps knocking Hogan off the ring apron. Hulk fights back with an eye rake and some piston punches. Big clothesline and an elbow drop. Now mounted punches. Hogan thinks he can slam Studd, but he gets tangled in the ropes. Studd gets sent to the outside. The ref tries to count out Studd, but Hogan doesn’t want a count-out. Hogan tries to slam Studd on the outside but his back hurts too much. Studd beats on Hogan then Heenan throws him back in the ring to beat the count. What… the… fuck? Studd wins via count-out?
***1/4 Above average Hogan title match from the era. The ending was a stunner to me. And wow, its Hoganâ€™s own f’n DVD and he’s only won a single match, four matches in. This is so weird.
Match #5: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
2/18/85 War to Settle the Score, Madison Square Garden
This is the match that set up Wrestlemania. Big slug-off to start. They roll around the mat throwing punches. Whip to the corner and Hogan hits a back-elbow. Scoopslam, and another one, elbow drop, and Hulk is flipping out. Hulk then clearly calls spots to Piper, which looked like biting, which would be an un-Hogan like move. Weird. Piper takes advantage with a choke, which gets two, as the announcers freak out at the referee for allowing that. Piper boxes Hogan’s ears, and then grabs a sleeper as the announcers drop as many names of celebrities in attendance as they can. Hogan beats the count on the sleeper, then kind of snake eyesâ€™ Piper out of it. Hulk’s still groggy, so Piper fights off, then Orton attacks on the outside, but Hogan hits Bob’s injured arm. Slug-off, and a big clothesline by Hogan. Atomic drop, another atomic drop, but Piper fights out and wipes out the ref. Leg lock by Piper, and Orndorff hits a splash off the top. Cyndi Lauper climbs to the apron to get them to stop, so the heels go after her, but Mr. T makes the save. Ref’s still out, Hogan’s still out, and Piper nails Mr. T from behind and the heels stomp away. Now Hulk’s back up and the faces have a standoff, so the heels bail, and the security comes in to break up the whole thing. Cops and security are all over as Orndorff is taken away by the police. Match is ruled a DQ win for Hulk. Over twenty years later, and Hulk is still complaining about not beating Piper clean here.
*** Super hot match before things broke down.
Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff
Piper gets an entire bagpipe band to play him to the ring. To say the fans hate Piper is an understatement. How he never became the World Champion is beyond me. Eye of the Tiger is overdubbed on the DVD with Real American. Well, you can’t win them all. So Muhammad Ali is the outside enforcer. Pat Patterson is the special referee. The heels have Bob Orton with them. The faces have Jimmy Snuka with them. Liberace is the guest timekeeper. Yankees manager Billy Martin, who’s drunk as a skunk, is the guest ring announcer. Yeah, I would say this is a big match. Hulk starts with Orndorff, but Piper wants in, so they tag. Mr. T decides to come in as well. So it’s Piper and T starting off. They have a bitch slap-off to start, but Piper doesn’t like that so he gets a waist-lock takedown, but Mr. T fights out. Lock-up, nothing. Another lock-up and T gets a fireman’s carry. T gets into the wrong corner and things break down. Orton runs in, and so does Snuka. Fans are going apeshit. Ali chases the heels out, and order is restored. The heels decide to bail on the match. Patterson tries to count out the heels, but Hulk stops him. All four guys in the ring and the faces dominate, knocking heads with the heels. Hulk kicks the heels asses while the fans are just in a complete frenzy. Mr. T tags in, and they double clothesline Piper. Body slam by T, then a hip lock on Orndorff and a body slam. Hulk tags in, and Piper is out on his feet. Big boot sends Piper flying out of the ring. Orndorff runs in and dumps Hogan. Piper whacks Hogan with a chair while Patterson prevents T from making the save. Back in the ring, the heels take advantage, with Hulk playing the face in peril. Well that’s a change. Mr. T has enough of that and runs in the ring, but Patterson stops him, allowing the heels to get a double atomic drop. Knee drop by Orndorff. Man, the heat for this match is insane. Suplex by Orndorff and then the tag to Piper. Knee lift gets two. Orndorff back in, and he hits an elbow off the top for two. Backbreaker, then a flying knee off the top but he misses it (even though it looked like he hit it), and now it’s the hot tag to Mr. T. He slugs away but the heels cheat for advantage. Orndorff hits a seated full-nelson. Piper in and he grabs a front facelock. Mr. T powers out and tags in Hogan. Noggin-knocker by Hogan, and now Orton and Snuka are back in. Full-nelson by Orndorff, but Orton accidentally KOs him with the cast and Hogan covers for the pin. Bad ending.
*** Hot match, bad ending.
Match #7: WWE Championship Steel Cage Match
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy
4/7/86 Wrestlemania 2
If this had been the NWA, Bundy would have won the title earlier and Hogan would have regained it here. Slug-off to start and Hogan gets advantage with some stiff chops. Big boot and Bundy is dizzy. Bundy goes for the door but Hogan stops him. Clothesline in the corner and more chops. Running elbow but Bundy is still standing. Bundy blocks getting rammed into the cage and starts to work the injured ribs. Body slam and Hogan’s hurt. Bundy stands on Hogan’s head. Damn that’s nasty looking. Bundy goes for the door but Hogan catches him. Bundy picks Hogan up and rams him into the cage, then he goes for the door again, but Hogan saves. Bundy untapes the ribs and uses the tape to choke Hogan. Crowd heat is intense for this match. Bundy goes for the door again and again Hogan makes the save. Whip to the corner and a back-elbow by Hogan. Hogan whips Bundy hard into the cage, finally knocking him down. Bundy is bleeding. Hogan punches the injury, and then rakes the back. More whipping into the cage, tying Bundy into the ropes. Hogan climbs the cage and stands on Bundy, driving his neck into the ropes. Neato spot. Bundy’s back is big enough to build a house on anyway. Hogan goes for a slam but his back gives out and Bundy falls on top. Bundy goes for the door, but Hogan is up and he starts to choke with the tape. Bundy blocks a punch and nails an avalanche in the corner and a big splash, and Hogan should be dead. He’s still alive though, and he stops Bundy from escaping. Now Bundy is pissed. Another avalanche, but it’s Hulk up time. Powerslam, Leg drop, but he gets caught trying to climb out of the cage. Hogan kicks off and climbs over the top of the cage to win the match.
*** Decent cage match, sort of a bad ending. I honestly think a plain old wrestling match would have been better.
Match #8: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
8/28/86 The Big Event
Although the record wasn’t long standing, at one point this match had drawn the biggest gate in wrestling history, at least in North America. WWE claims 70,000+ fans, but it’s more like 50,000… maybe 55,000. Still a very impressive number. Orndorff stomps to start. They roll around the mat, throwing punches. Both guys worked so stiff against each other, people thought they legitimately hated each other. Hogan wins the slug-off and Orndorff bails. Paul quickly gets back in and gets PLASTERED in the face and sails out of the ring again. Hogan chases this time, slamming him on the ring apron. Back in, clothesline and an elbow drop. Headbutt, whip to the corner, clothesline. Bobby Heenan distracts Hogan by bitchslapping him, but Hogan shrugs it off and gets an atomic drop. Hogan chases Bobby into the ring, allowing Orndorff to take advantage with some stomps. Clothesline sends Hogan out of the ring. Heh, Hogan started to take the bump long before Orndorff got to him. Yeesh. To the outside, where Orndorff suplexes Hogan on the elevated ring platform. Elbow to the throat by Orndorff. Now both guys are on the ring platform. Orndorff gets back in the ring. Hogan tries to get back in, but gets clubbed in the chest. Back in, a knee drop gets two for Paul. Body slam and FU Elbow for two. Awful looking fist off the top rope by Orndorff. He calls for the piledriver, but Hogan backdrops out of it. Paul Tysonizes Hogan’s ear, then hits a big backdrop suplex for two as Paul uses a cocky cover. Hogan up to his feet. It’s Hulk up time. Big knee to Orndorff KOs the ref too. Hogan’s ear is taped up. Hogan raises Orndorff’s hand, then KOs him with a clothesline. Awesome spot, as it’s the same thing Orndorff did to Hogan. Hogan goes for a piledriver, but Bobby Heenan whacks him over the head with a stool. Orndorff covers and the referee slowly recovers, but instead of making the count he calls the match a DQ win for Hogan. Oh… what the fudge?
***1/4 Good match, great crowd heat. Brain-dead ending. Apparently, they were going to originally put Hogan over clean but after drawing 50,000+ fans they realized that the feud had some legs to it. And they were right, as Hogan and Orndorff set records all across the country, some of which still haven’t been beaten.
Match #9: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
3/29/87 Wrestlemania III
The biggest match in the history of professional wrestling, still to this day. Regardless of how good (or bad) the match is, this is the biggest money feud EVER in wrestling and I don’t see anything changing it on the horizon. This match still gives me goose bumps. Big stare down to start. Hogan punches to start and goes for the slam, but Andre falls on top for a very close two count. Andre goes to work on the injured back, punching and chopping away, while the fans go absolutely ballistic. Kneelift, big high body slam and Andre is telling Hogan to get up. Another high body slam. Andre is feeling really cocky and walks on Hogan’s back. Andre whips Hogan to the corner, and then whips him into the other corner. Shoulderblocks by Andre, then butt-rams, headbutts, but Andre hits the turnbuckle and Hogan has a chance. Big punches, a running elbow, chops, then rams Andre into the turnbuckle, but Hogan misses a charge and Andre hits a Big boot. Bearhug, which goes on for a couple minutes. Fans are still loud the entire time, mind you. Hogan finally fights off and hits a shoulderblock, then another, but Andre is still on his feet and hits a big chop on the third attempt. Whip off the ropes, and Andre gives him a Big boot, barely able to keep his balance. Andre headbutts the post on the outside and Hogan is back. He pulls back the protective mat and exposes the concrete. He goes for a piledriver (idiot!) and Andre weakly backdrops him on it. Back in the ring, Andre misses a Big boot and Hogan finally knocks down the Giant with a clothesline. Hogan Hulk’s up, and then in the single most famous, iconic, replayed moment ever in wrestling, he body slams Andre, then drops the leg for the pin. The body slam should have been the finish.
*** Yeah, three stars. The biggest match in professional wrestling is not a DUD or negative stars. The match told a story, had insane crowd heat, and had a memorable (and clean!) finish. If a match I’ve seen several times over the last twenty years can still give me goose bumps, then it must be worth watching.
Match #10: WWE Championship
(c) Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan
4/18/89 Wrestlemania V
Savage quickly bails to start. Savage jumps in the ring and they lock-up. Hulk easily throws him down like a rag doll. Savage grabs a headlock, but Hogan fights off with a shoulderblock, and Savage bails again. Randy badmouths Liz, then gets into the ring and quickly locks up with Hogan. Randy is all wide-eyed and crazy during this match, which makes it much better. Randy grabs a headlock, then freaks out and bails again. Hogan gives chase this time, so Randy hides behind his wife. Back in, Hogan does a mat wrestling spot and ends up with a front headlock. Savage fights out of that with a backdrop suplex, but he misses an elbow. Wristlock by Hogan but Savage fights off and hits a sledge off the top rope for two. He grabs an armbar. Hogan tries to fight off so Savage grabs his hair to stop him. Hogan uses Savage’s tights to leverage him out of the ring, but then he throws him back inside. Ram to the turnbuckles, whip off the ropes and a big clothesline followed by a pair of elbow drops. Hogan then rakes Savage’s eyes with his boots, which makes Jesse Ventura freak out. Hogan puts his head down too soon, so Savage kicks him and hits his diving clothesline for two. Headlock by Savage, with Hogan bleeding ever so slightly. Hogan fights out with some elbows and a shoulderblock, but he misses an elbow and Savage rolls him up for two. Hard whip to the corner and now Savage is going after the cut on Hogan’s eye. Hogan gets him back by ramming Savage into the corner a few times. Hogan then picks up Savage and dumps him over the top. Liz goes in to help him, but that only pisses off Savage, who nearly clubs her in the mouth. Then Savage pulls out Hogan and beats him up on the outside. Hogan fights back by ramming him onto the apron. Hogan picks up Savage and tries to throw him into the turnbuckle, but Liz gets in the way so Hulk won’t hurt her husband. Randy doesn’t care, so he pushes Hogan into the turnbuckle, nearly KOâ€™ing Liz in the process. Now Randy and Liz continue their battered wife syndrome stuff. He tells her to get the fuck out of his way. Hebner ejects her officially for good measure. Savage climbs to the top and drops a sledge on Hogan on the outside. Back in, Randy does his diving hangman spot, and then pancakes Hogan on the ropes. Scoopslam and knee drop for two. Savage takes off his tape and chokes Hogan with it while the referee swats at flies or something. Blatant choke by Savage, until Hogan is out cold. Savage climbs and hits the big flying elbow… for two as its HULK UP TIME! Punch, nothing. Punch, nothing. Punch, Hogan’s up. Punch, punch, punch, Big boot, Leg drop, see ya.
***1/4 Good match, not great. Lacked a certain something. Maybe if they had found a decent place to hold the match the crowd could have elevated it to something better. Having Wrestlemania in the Trump Plaza was stupid, but doing it twice was downright retarded. Fans ruined this match.
Match #11: WWE Championship vs. Intercontinental Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. (IC Champ) Ultimate Warrior
4/1/90 Wrestlemania VI
If Hogan/Andre at Wrestlemania 3 hadn’t happened, this would be the biggest match in the history of wrestling. Being second isn’t too bad when you’re as crappy as the Ultimate Warrior. Fans in Toronto are absolutely wired for this one. The biggest difference between this match and the Andre match is that NOBODY knew who would win this one. With Hogan’s match with Andre, everyone pretty much knew Hogan would win. With King Kong Bundy everyone knew Hogan would win. Same with Randy Savage. In fact, such magic would never again work so well until Wrestlemania 22, a full sixteen years later. Sure, nobody would have guessed that Triple H would walk out of Wrestlemania 16 as the champion, but the difference is everyone assumed the Rock would win. Anyway, back to the match at hand. They get face to painted face to start. Then they have a shove-off. Lock-up and Warrior powers Hogan out. Another lock-up and Hogan powers Warrior out. Test of strength spot, with neither guy really winning out. The Warrior turns Hogan’s knuckles over to gain advantage, getting Hogan down to his knees. Hogan gets his wind back and powers Warrior down to his knees. Get a room, guys. It looks like they’re trading oral sex in front of 60,000 people. Warrior fights out so Hogan trips him and drops an elbow for two. Criss-cross sequence, with Hogan winning out and getting a scoopslam, which was totally no-sold by Warrior. Another criss-cross and this time the Warrior gets in the slam. Hogan gets up and Warrior dumps him to the floor. Hogan’s knee is hurt, so Warrior goes out and attacks with some stomps, and then gets back in the ring. The ref goes to check on Hogan, who’s claiming his knee is blown out. Warrior tells Hogan to man up and get back in the ring. He was in the ring! Further proof the Warrior is a nut. Warrior throws Hogan back into the ring and works the knee, but Hogan gets his wind back. Clothesline in the corner and he gets a ten-punch, then a couple elbow drops for two. Small package for two by Hogan. Wow, very un-Hoganesque. Headlock punches, kneelift, chops in the corner, and a clothesline for two. Backbreaker for two. Now to a chinlock. Warrior’s face paint is gone, and it looks like Hogan is attacking either Howard Stern or Cyrus the Virus. Take your pick. Knees to the back by Hogan and a backdrop suplex for two. Back to the headlock. Warrior fights out and both guys clothesline each other for a double KO spot. Warrior does the hulk up. Big punch, clothesline, clothesline, clothesline, pillar-to-post, suplex for two. I think the Warrior has the worst clothesline in the history of wrestling. Warrior grabs a bearhug, holds on for a couple minutes, but Hogan fights off with some punches, and the Warrior wipes out the ref. Warrior hits a sledge off the top rope, then another, but he misses his flying shoulderblock. Hogan covers, but there is no referee. Warrior gets up and gives Hogan a backdrop suplex, but there’s still no referee. Warrior is seriously sucking wind at this point. Referee recovers and gets a slow two count. Fans are happy about that. Hogan schoolboys Warrior for two. Hogan throws three big punches and hits a running back-elbow that knocks Warrior to the outside. They brawl out there, to tease a double count-out. Brilliant. Hogan gets thrown into the steel post, but manages to roll back in. Clothesline by Warrior, gorilla press ‘hits’, big splash… gets two as Hogan hulks up. Punch, nothing. Punch, nothing. Punch, crazy dance. Punch, finger point. Hogan throws three punches. Big boot, Leg drop MISSES and Warrior hits the big splash for the pin and the world title. Still one of the best finishing sequences in wrestling history.
**** Fun match with a super hot crowd. Still one of the most iconic matches in wrestling history. When you think about all the bad things the Warrior has contributed to the business, you still have to remember that, if only for this night, he was the biggest star in the business.
Match #12: WWE Championship
(c) Sgt. Slaughter vs. Hulk Hogan
3/24/91 Wrestlemania VII
Alex Trebek is the guest ring announcer, and Regis Philbin is the guest commentator. Philbin is a huge wrestling mark. He should be. His entire career was made by Classy Freddie Blassie. Hulk chases Sarge to start. After a long stall-off, we have a lock-up with neither guy winning out. The referee tries to break them up but they go back to the lock-up. Interesting start. Hulk powers Slaughter down to the mat. Shoulderblock does nothing. Hulk gets a shoulderblock and it sends Slaughter flying like a pinball. Awesome. Slaughter bails, then gets back in and begs off. Hogan shows mercy, so Slaughter thumbs him in the eye. Punches and ramming into the turnbuckle. Back-elbow and a stomp to the hands by Sarge. Headlock and punch, knee drops, but Hogan fights back with a clothesline. Big back-elbow by Hogan and an atomic drop for two. Sarge bails and Hulk follows with a rake of the back. Back in, a shoot-off the ropes and a running elbow for two. Ram to the turnbuckle, which Sarge sells with gusto. Backdrop by Hogan, then some punches, and then a hard whip to the corner. Slaughter is bumping like he’s a cruiserweight here. It’s an amazing effort, and it’s working all the way. High knee by Hogan and a slingshot to the turnbuckle. Whip to the corner and a clothesline. Now we get a ten punch in the corner, and a ram into the turnbuckle for two. Total squash thus far, but an entertaining squash. Hogan climbs to the second rope but walks into a punch to the gut. Hogan no-sells and slams him down, then drops a few elbows. Slaughter catches him climbing again and this allows Slaughter to throw him off the top. Clothesline sends Hulk to the outside. Well, that looked shitty. First, and hopefully last, bad looking spot of the match. Slaughter rams him into the post, then grabs a chair and beats on Hogan’s back with it. Choke with an electric cord. Backbreaker back in the ring for two. Slaughter stomps away then locks on a Boston crab, pretty close to the ropes. Hogan only has to move a pinky to break the count, but doesn’t. What the fudge. Even Regis Philbin doesn’t get that. Finally Hogan wakes up and grabs the rope. Slaughter stomps the back, then climbs to the top rope and hits a big stomp, rolling through it to crawl and make the count while Slaughter’s corner man distracts the referee. What the fucksticks? Seriously, this is degenerating into a mess, which is sad because these guys… well Slaughter at least… were really cooking earlier. Slaughter bails and grabs a chair and whacks Hogan with it for two. I guess the General jumped his cue or something. Slaughter bloodies up Hogan and slaps on the Camel Clutch. Hogan tries to fight out, so Slaughter stomps some more and goes back to the Clutch. Hogan fights to his feet, while Slaughter holds on. Hogan runs to a corner and gets thrown into it. Slaughter grabs the Iraqi flag and covers Hogan with it for two as Hogan is alive. Hulk Up. Hogan rips up the Iraqi flag, which is no different then doing something to an American Flag in my opinion. Big boot, Leg drop and Hogan is the champ. The sound guys decide to just screw censoring the word “WWF” and just block out all the sound. Well, that’s jarring.
***1/2 Great match nearly ruined by some weird screw-ups. Why was the General preventing the ref from counting Slaughter to victory? Why did Hogan have to deface the Iraqi flag? Is he better then every single Iraqi? I guess that’s the point. Sorta creepy really.
Match #13: WWE Championship
(c) The Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan
12/3/91 Tuesday in Texas
Undertaker had won the title two days prior, in a horrible match at the Survivor Series. Hogan jumps Taker quickly to start, and works in a fast ten-punch. Hogan chops away and gets an atomic drop, but Undertaker no-sells. Undertaker gets clotheslined but doesn’t sell. I miss this version of the Undertaker. He scared me as a kid. He was PERFECT with his movements and his timing. It was so… realistic if that makes sense. Hogan fights off and dumps Taker, who lands on his feet. Hogan clubs Taker on the chest and smacks him around, but Taker takes control on the outside. Taker chokes away at Hogan, which goes back to the shitty match they had at the Survivor Series. That’s one choke. Hogan tries to get back in the ring and walks into another choke. That’s two. Hogan gets to a corner and Undertaker grabs another choke. That’s three. This one is a long one too. By the time he lets go the Undertaker has three more Tattoos and has the word “Sara” carved into his neck. Now that’s creepy. Hogan fights back and rams Taker into the corner, but Undertaker fights back with a Big boot. Ropewalk by Taker and some punching, then another chokehold. That’s four. Taker lets go, and then grabs another choke. That’s five. It changes into a face vise. Wow, what a moveset here. Hogan fights off and Undertaker trips hitting the ropes. Yikes. Actually, I think he blew out the ring ropes as they seem a little too jiggly. Hogan hits the ropes and they bend way too far back. Yep, rope blowout. That’s dangerous. Not like they’re doing anything too complex though, so it shouldn’t matter. Taker goes to the other side and walks the ropes, but Hogan armdrags him off. BUT WAIT… here comes Ric Flair. Hogan ignores him and punches away on Taker and clotheslines him to the outside. Jack Tunney is out to stop Flair, but Hogan nails Ric with a chair, knocking both Flair and Tunney out. Back in the ring, Hogan hits a running elbow, but Taker doesn’t go down. Hogan hits a chop, clearly missing by a mile. Maybe he’s trying to fan the Undertaker. HOGAN’S TRYING TO GIVE THE UNDERTAKER A COLD! WHAT A SCUMBAG! *calms down* Flair tries to get a chair into the ring, but Hogan KOs him, and then hits the Big boot. Taker hits the throat, but Hogan recovers and takes the urn from Paul Bearer. Hogan throws the ashes in Taker’s face and schoolboys him for the pin and the title. After the match, Hogan KOs Taker out of the ring with the ring belt. Why did they have to strip Hogan? Tunney is pissed for no goddamn reason.
1/4* Pretty bad, but slightly better then the first match. Slightly.
Match #14: WCW Championship
(c) Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan
7/17/94 Bash at the Beach
For the Hogan DVD, they show Ric Flair talking about what the difference is between himself and Hogan. Flair explains that Hogan is the biggest star in wrestling, even though they were a different class of ability. No shit. Flair looks like he was wasted for that interview. Hogan and Flair have a stare-down to start. I think WCW made a mistake having this match right out of the gate. They should have saved it for Starrcade. Hogan powers out of a lock-up a couple times. Flair struts around, drawing scattered boos and a couple “woos.” Hogan mocks Flair with a strut of his own, looking like Dusty Rhodes as he does it. Flair gets a single-leg takedown and a wristlock. They work with that for a while. Hogan does a wristlock sequence and flips over into an ultimate armbar with it!! Holy shit! Is this the right DVD? Flair bails and jaws with the fans. Back in, Hogan beats Flair from pillar to post. Flair begs off, but Hogan doesn’t care. Hogan goes for the Big boot but Flair sees it coming and bails. He uses Scary Sherri as a human shield. Back in the ring, Flair chops Hogan’s nipples off. Shaq is at ringside, in Hogan’s corner. Flair snapmares Hogan but misses a knee drop. Hogan bites Flair in the corner and gets a mounted ten-punch. Whip to the corner and a clothesline. Sherri grabs Hogan’s knee, allowing Flair to hit a knee from behind. Flair knocks Hogan out of the ring, where Sherri tries to KO Hogan with a chair, but Jimmy Hart makes the save. Flair attacks Hogan and brings him into the ring. Sledge off the top rope and a knee drop. Punch is blocked and they have a chop-off, won by Hogan. Yeah right. Flair begs off in a corner and tries to blow Hogan. No wait, he tries to roll him up, but the spot goes wonky and he only gets a one count. Snapmare into a headlock. A long headlock. A boring headlock. A long boring headlock. After like two years, Hogan gets to his feet and hits a pair of shoulderblocks. Flair begs off to the corner. Big punches by Hogan. Flair flip into the corner, clothesline to the outside. Hogan hits a backdrop suplex on the outside to Flair. That took the energy out of the crowd, for some damn reason. They must have been expecting a count-out. Hogan gets Flair into the ring and suplexes him back in. Leg drop misses and Hogan sells it like death. Damn, wouldn’t hitting the move hurt just as much? Flair goes for the figure-four but Hogan small-packages him (!!) for two. Flair goes for the figure four a couple times but Hogan kicks off. Delayed suplex by Flair, which Hogan no-sells. FINGER WAVE OF DEATH~!!, Big boot… no Leg drop??… for two as Sherri pulls the referee out. Flair clips the knee as there is no referee, as Sherri climbs the ropes and hits a big splash on Hogan off the top. Man that was weird. A new referee is out, just in time to see Flair slap on the figure-four. Hogan gets to the ropes. Hell, he was in the boring ass headlock longer. Sherri chokes Hogan with her nylons and rakes his eyes. Hogan, who should be legally blind at this point (Sherri’s nails are like three inches long), gets to his feet. Flair chops the shit out of Hogan, but he Hulks up again. Hogan throws Flair into the corner but ends up walking into a back-elbow. Sherri goes for another splash and misses. Hogan catches Flair on the ropes and throws him down. Clothesline to Flair and Sherri, then he slaps on the figure-four on Flair. Whoa. Hogan throws Sherri out to Mr. T, who carries her away. This is like an LSD trip. Flair gets a pair of brass knucks and KOs Hogan with them… for two. This is so crazy. They’re teasing the fans with every heel finish in the WCW Playbook. Hogan Hulks up. Big boot, Leg drop, and Hulkamania lives in WCW. Bobby Heenan starts to cry on commentary. And thankfully they don’t overdub his WCW music with Real American. Hell, the WCW music is the main music on the disc.
***1/2 Well that was interesting. Major league overbooked with extra cheese. But still entertaining I must admit.
We cut to the end of the Outsiders vs. WCW match from Bash at the Beach, and Hogan’s heel turn. They cut out the best part, where the fan tries to get into the ring and gets his brains stomped in by Hall. Maybe the best thrashing of a fan ever on live TV.
Match #15: WCW Championship
(c) The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan
8/10/96 Hog Wild
The Giant has Jimmy Hart with him. Hogan takes his sweet time getting into the ring to start. Hogan slugs away at the Giant, who no-sells, so Hogan bails. Lock-up and Hogan grabs a headlock, but gets shot off the ropes and into a shoulderblock. Hogan bails and jaws with the fans. The fans are motorcycle non-wrestling fans who don’t understand that Hogan is the bad guy. Really. This is at Sturgis. So back in, Giant hits a backdrop suplex and Hogan bails again. Hogan inches his way back in and the Giant gets a hair-pull. Clearly neither guy knows what to do in their roles. Hogan backs off, but then he gets put in a knucklelock test spot with the Giant. So Hogan gets the Giant down to his feet, and the fans pop for it. Hard to defend Eric Bischoff when he booked shit like this. It’s almost comical. Hogan keeps the top knucklelock on, to the delight of the fans in attendance. Giant fights Hogan down, while the fans in attendance chant for Hogan. Yeesh. Apparently they missed the memo about Hogan being a bad guy. Giant turns it into a top wristlock. Hogan takes the Giant down into an armbar. Fans pop huge for it. Yep, WCW was a mess. Leg drop to the arm (fans pop) into a windmill. Fans are revving their engines for Hogan, while Bobby Heenan makes note that the match is so good that nobody has walked out. Really. I mean, I’m laughing at the absurdness of that comment. By the way, we’re still in the top wristlock, a good five minutes later. Giant finally fights out and hits a couple big headbutts. Hogan trips up the Giant and pulls him out of the ring, where he rams him into the turnbuckle and rakes his back repeatedly. Giant blocks a ram and gives one to Hogan himself. Crowd doesn’t respond at all. You could build a drinking game around this match. Every time the fans do nothing for the Giant, take a drink. Big boot to Hogan from the Giant. Crowd no-sells. Take a drink. Huge backbreaker by the Giant, which the fans actually pop for. It gets two. The Giant slams Hogan but misses an elbow drop, to which the crowd pops for. Is that really the Giant or did I miss when John Cena was feuding with Hogan. Hulk up for the Giant, which the fans don’t give a shit about. FINGER-POINT OF DEATH~!! to no reaction. Big boot by Giant but no Leg drop. He calls for the chokeslam, but wait, here comes Scott â€˜Alkaâ€™ Hall. Chokeslam to Hall, but here comes Nash. He gets booted down. Chokeslam to Nash, but Hogan KOs Big Show with the title belt to win the title. Fans go nuts.
DUD Only because I don’t do negative stars.
Match #16: WCW Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Oh Christ… I can’t believe this abortion made it onto a DVD. Now, if Eric Bischoff listened to the bookers, to Sting, and to Hogan himself, this match lasts two minutes and consists of Sting beating the shit out of Hogan, then slapping on the Scorpion Deathlock to win. Nobody would have complained. It would have been one of the most memorable moments in wrestling and it would have legitimized Sting. But this is WCW, so after building a match for 15 months… and that’s a LONG time… they fuck it up so royally that I’m sure it gave Vince McMahon a throbbing erection.
Here’s the match. They shove off to start. Hogan circles around Sting, jaws with the fans, and beats on the ring ropes. Sting just stands there like a schmuck. Lock-up, and Hogan forces Sting to the corner. Sting no-sells and punches Hogan, who begs off to the corner. Sting just stands there again. Hogan starts to club Sting, who is selling it. That’s the first mistake. Hogan beats Sting from pillar to post. Fifteen months and Sting already looks like a bitch. Scoopslam but Sting rolls out of the way of an elbow drop, then does it again, then does it again. Sting dropkicks Hogan out of the ring. Sting looks like he’s… I dunno… going to cry or something. He certainly doesn’t look tough. He looks rather pathetic. Fans start to chant BORING. Biggest match WCW ever built to and it gets a boring chant. Sting leapfrogs Hogan a couple times and dropkicks him twice to send him outside. Sting gets a side-headlock. Hogan tries to shoot him off so Sting sandbags him. Hogan tries to make the comeback like a babyface, then catches himself and pushes the ref. Weird. Shoulderblock and clothesline by Hogan to take control. Yeesh. Suplex is no-sold by Sting. Hogan oversells the no-sell. Well at least someone is selling, damnit! Sting does NOT take control after this moment, and instead gets punked out like a little bitch and tossed to the outside. Sting gets thrown into the announce table, and then he beats Sting over the head with a baseball bat, which is Sting’s weapon. Yeah. Hogan throws Sting into the ring post. Sting reverses a whip into the guardrail, but misses a Stinger Splash and KOs himself. Announcers explain Sting’s shittiness as ring rust. Hogan crotches Sting on the guardrail and then brings him back in the ring. Big boot, and now the fans are cheering for Hogan. Leg drop gets the clean pinfall. No fast count. Sting was supposed to kick out, and then Hogan was supposed to hit another Leg drop and get the fast count. But, Bret Hart missed his cue and is already out, saying he’s not going to allow anyone to get screwed again.
So what happened? Two things… One, Sting forgot to kick out. Usually when it’s a big match like, say, the main event of your company’s biggest pay-per-view of all-time, you should know when to kick out of a pinfall. Also, Bret Hart was already out, because he missed his cue, but hell, he was screwed by Vince McMahon, that no good bastard, so he wasn’t in a right emotional state. Really, that’s Bret’s excuse. So the match gets restarted even though it looks to everyone that Hogan has just won fair and square. I’m laughing my ass off right now. Bret now is the referee. Because… uh… because he got screwed in Montreal by Vince McMahon, dammit! Stinger Splash, and the entire nWo runs in, only to get beat up by Sting. A couple guys fall down even though Sting isn’t swinging at him. Scorpion Deathlock, and although Hogan is clearly saying “No” Bret Hart is clearly saying “After twelve years with the company, he screwed me. He really screwed me the lousy bastard.” And somewhere in there, he hears Hogan quit, so he RINGS THE FUCKING BELL and bolts out of the ring into a waiting limo. No, wait, he waits in the ring and declares Sting the winner of the match. Because he has the power to do so, because he… uh… is Bret fucking Hart or something. Fans are clapping, although some are clearly confused. WCW runs in the ring and celebrates with Sting.
DUD The single biggest botched match in wrestling history. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and nothing at the end made sense.Â The ’99 Royal Rumble is still my choice for worst match ever, but this is a close second.
Stay tuned for Discs #3 & 4 tomorrow.
Thanks to Brad for editing this, as always.
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Tags: Andre the Giant, Big John Studd, big show, Charlie Reneke, Hulk Hogan, iron sheik, king kong bundy, Mr. T, Nick Bockwinkel, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, Sting, Ultimate Warrior, undertaker, Warrior, WWE DVD