Hulk Hogan vs. Curt Hennig
Wow, the XWF makes a WWE DVD. Hogan claims he wasn’t even there to be in a match, that he was doing a photo shoot for the video game Legends of Wrestling, and that he just happened to have his ring gear there. The Road Warriors egged him on, saying he should prove he still has it. Sure. His bestest friend Jimmy Hart just happened to launch a promotion that day too, on a whim. Lock-up and Hennig gets thrown into the corner. Bobby Heenan is acting as Hennig’s manager. Jerry Lawler is doing commentary. He would come back to the WWE about a week later if I’m not mistaken. Knucklelocks by Hogan, but Hennig fights off and chops him. Ram to the corner and a HARD chop by Hennig. I think Hogan’s nipples landed in the third row. Punches and stuff by Hennig, but he blocks a ram on the turnbuckle and returns the favor himself. Big clothesline and some punches by Hogan. Ten-punch in the corner and then a bite. Rake of the eyes, whip off the ropes, but Hogan lowers his head and gets chopped down. Perfectplex gets two and it’s Hulk up time! Big boot, Leg drop, see you.
* Bleh. Pointless to put this on the DVD set. Completely meaningless.
The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan
3/17/02 Wrestlemania 18
nWo music is overdubbed with the generic arena rock they’ve used to fill the gap. They even overdubbed Howard Finkel to make it sound less jarring, but it just made things worse. Horrible. Hogan gets the biggest face pop in like forever and its 1985 all over again. Fans are clearly behind Hogan. Jim Ross calls it a ‘mixed reaction.’ Big lock-up and Hogan throws Rock off to a huge ovation. Rock’s eyes are bugging out of his head. Another lock-up and a side headlock by Hogan. Shoot-off by the Rock but Hogan gets a shoulderblock. Knee to the gut and some punches by Hogan. Big clothesline and some punches by Hogan. Rock fights back with a flying clothesline, causing the fans to boo the Rock out of the building. Now we have a push-off. Rock slugs off and lays the Smackdown, but Hogan doesn’t fly out of the ring. So he bails on his own. The Rock gives chase and elbows him to the back of the head and throws him back in the ring. Big kick to the head and a clothesline by the Rock. Rock Bottom is blocked and Hogan fights back with an elbow smash. Fans are booing everything the Rock does and cheering everything Hogan does. It’s like a John Cena match. Elbow drops and a cocky stomp by Hogan. Whip from pillar to post by Hogan, but the Rock comes back with a double leg takedown. Fans boo the shit out of that. Hogan fights back with a backdrop suplex out of nowhere. Fans pop huge. Abdominal stretch, which the fans like. First time I’ve ever seen the fans like that move. Hogan clubs the Rock’s chest, then lets go and hits a schoolboy for two. Rake of the back, which pops the fans. Another one pops them louder. A third one pops them even louder. Chops and punches, then a mounted ten-punch and a bite. The Rock fights back with some chops, which the fans boo of course. Hogan whips Rock into the turnbuckle but gets that reversed, but that reverse is reversed into a Rock Bottom type move by Hogan and a blatant choke. The Rock fights back with some punches, but he misses a charge and Hogan sends him sailing to the outside. I must say they’re getting better at the blurring of the “WWF” logo. I just now noticed it. Good sign. They fight on the outside, where the Rock preps a table and goes to smash Hogan with a chair, but the ref takes it from him and Hogan clotheslines the Rock on the floor. Back in, the Rock fights back with some punches but gets sent into the referee by Hogan. Ref’s out, so Hogan punches away. Spinebuster by the Rock and both guys are out. The Rock recovers and sinks a sharpshooter in. Hogan gets a rope break but there’s no referee, so the Rock carries him back to the center. Hogan taps, but there’s no referee. Rock goes to try and get the ref to wakeup, and when he turns around he walks into a low blow and the Rock Bottom. The ref wakes up and counts to two. Fans were hot for that. Hogan takes his belt off and whips the Rock hard with it. Whip off the rope but the Rock ducks a punch and hits a DDT. Rock’s pissed at the crowd. He grabs Hogan’s belt and beats the shit out of Hulk with it. Rock Bottom… gets two as Hogan Hulks up. The Rock does the old ‘what the fuck is this, I better punch him’ thing. Three punches, Big boot, Leg drop… gets two. Another Big boot, but the second Leg drop misses and the Rock hits the Rock Bottom, then another Rock Bottom, then the People’s Elbow to finish.
***1/2 I know I’ll get in trouble for that rating. What can I say? The match wasn’t a technical masterpiece or anything. It was just an example of two guys rising above their talent or ability to create something special. It was a one of a kind moment (they proved that a year later at No Way Out 2003).
Match #19: WWE Undisputed Championship
(c) Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan
So the fans took to Hogan so quickly that they skipped over the obvious feud with the nWo and went straight to putting him in the main event. Trips is a face here, but the fans are decidedly behind Hogan. And damn, I forgot how damn big Triple H was after his comeback in 2002. He’s huge. And sort of puffy. Lock-up, but Trips powers out. Lock-up again, and again Trips shoves out. Fans are already pissed at Trips. Lock-up #3 and Hogan powers out to the delight of the fans. Knucklelock test. Neither guy takes advantage for a little bit. Hogan slowly powers Trips down, but he never takes full advantage, and Trips powers Hogan down to his knees. Hogan gets back up to his feet so Trips gets an elbow in and locks on a top wristlock. Hogan powers out of it (slowly) and grabs a side headlock. Shoot off the ropes but Hogan gets a shoulderblock. So we have another lock-up, and Trips fights Hogan into the corner, then bitchslaps him. Trips slugs away. Perhaps he sensed that they were losing the fans. Blatant choke by Trips. Whip to the turnbuckle and a backdrop by Hogan. Clothesline, clothesline, punches and chops, and a blatant choke. Ten-punch in the corner, then a whip to the ropes but Hogan lowers his head and Trips clubs him. Trips misses a charge and Hogan backdrops him out of the ring. They fight on the outside, where Trips tries to suplex Hogan on the floor, but Hogan reverses into one of his own. Hogan looks more and more like Superstar Billy Graham everyday. Trips takes advantage and throws him into the ring. Hard whip to the corner and Hogan is out of it. Fans aren’t as lively as they were for Rock/Hogan. Trips goes for the Pedigree but Hogan reverses into a slingshot in the corner. Schoolboy gets two for Hogan. Whip to the corner and a clothesline. And another. Hogan then pulls out a Diamond Cutter (!) for two. Whoa. Hogan goes for a slam but Trips clips the knee. Fans are pissed at that. Another one and the fans boo louder. Trips rings Hogan’s leg against the post a few times. Back in, Trips clips the knee again, and then crunches it on the ring ropes. Mounted punches and some elbow drops to the knee. Grapevine by Triple H. He goes for a figure-four but Hogan kicks off, so Trips goes back to the elbows to the knee. Standing leg torque. Trips tries to turn it into a spinning toe-hold but Hogan kicks out. He’s still on the mat, so Triple H goes to a blatant choke. HHH finally gets to slap on the figure-four. He uses the ropes for leverage. Hogan turns it over, then lets go. Sleeper by Trips. Hogan’s arm drops twice, but then he fights out with a backdrop suplex. Both guys are out. Hogan is up with a double sledge, Big boot, Leg drop for two as Chris Jericho is out. He pulls the ref out of the ring and chairs Hogan in the head with it. The ref gets thrown in by Jericho, but Trips doesn’t like Jericho so they fight. Facebuster to Jericho, then Trips dumps him out. Trips goes to punch Hogan, but its Hulk up time. Punch, punch, punch, Big boot, and Leg drop… misses. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE… for two as the Undertaker runs in and destroys Trips. But Hogan doesn’t want his help, so he dumps him. Then Hogan decides it’s OK, so he drops a leg and pins him for the title.
* Awful, boring match. There was nothing technically wrong with it. They didn’t blow spots or anything. It was just boring.
Match #20: WWE Tag Team Championship
(c) Billy & Chuck vs. Hulk Hogan & Edge
Childhood dreams come true in the WWE. Edge was a confirmed Hulkamaniac as a kid, and now he gets to wrestle with him for the tag titles. Big smile from Edge as Hogan makes his entrance. Awesome to see a totally authentic reaction like that. Hulk starts with Chuck, who looks a lot like Mr. Kennedy with the bleached hair. Hogan can barely bump at this point and would leave the WWE shortly after this. Chuck punches Hogan down and slams him, but gets cocky. Hogan smacks him around and drops a bunch of elbows. Tag to Billy. Michael Cole tries to make a case that Billy is the best tag wrestler ever. Tag to Edge who smacks Billy Bitchcakes around. Edge-O-Matic for two. Edge beats up both heels, but turns his back on Billy and gets clotheslined to become the face in peril. Chuck beats him around and gets an overhead suplex for two. Tag to Billy who chokes him a bit. Michael Cole is seriously pimping Billy Gunn here. Suplex by Billy gets two. Chuck tags in. He slams Edge and drops an elbow for two. He misses a charge and gets dumped to the floor. Billy holds Edge for a free shot from Rico, who misses and wipes Billy out with a superkick. Edge makes his way to the apron but Billy recovers and bulldogs him on the stairs. Chuck covers in the ring for two. Tag to Billy who grabs a front facelock. Edge goes to tag Hogan and ends up rolling up Billy for two. Tag to Chuck who goes for a slam but Edge turns it into a facebuster. Tag to Billy, hot tag to Hogan. Punches for all. Noggin knocker and the Big boot to Billy, but Chuck kills Hogan with a superkick. It gets two. Double team to Hogan but he gets a double clothesline. Hogan is selling death for some reason so he makes the hot… I guess… tag to Edge. Clotheslines for all. Implant DDT to Chuck, but Rico trips him up. Hogan beats up Rico while Billy and Chuck switch spots. Billy goes for the Fameasser but Edge hits the spear for two as Chuck saves. Double Big boot to Billy, then back-to-back Leg drops from Edge and Hogan win them the tag titles. Edge is beaming.
*** Pretty standard tag match.
Match #21: Street Fight
Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon
3/30/03 Wrestlemania 19
I’ve only seen one Hulk Hogan match live in my life and this was it. Fans were SUPER HOT for this. Bitchslap by McMahon to start. Hogan spears him down and meekly punches him. Punches and a clothesline by McMahon. Shoulderblocks in the corner. Hammerlock by Vince, but Hogan tries to fight out of it. McMahon wraps Hogan’s arm around the post. Knucklelocks by Vince. Hogan tries to fight back but Vince kicks him in the gut. Hogan gets to his feet and again Vince kicks him down. Hogan gets to his feet again, so McMahon kicks him and dumps him to the outside. They fight on the outside. McMahon grabs a chair and tries to kill Hogan with it on the ring post, but Hulk ducks. Hogan grabs the chair and whacks McMahon in the head with it. McMahon is bleeding, so Hogan punches the wound. Back in the ring, Hogan punches McMahon out of the ring. Ugh. Hogan grabs another chair and hits McMahon in the back with it. Hogan tries to chair him in the head, but McMahon ducks and the Spanish Announcer gets KOâ€™ed. Hugo fed that shot good, and is also bleeding. McMahon chairs Hogan down and grabs a ladder. McMahon brawls with Hogan and preps the announce table. He grabs a monitor and knocks Hogan out with it. McMahon climbs and Leg drops Hogan off the ladder and through the table. Fans liked that one, but then they get real quiet. Weird. McMahon throws Hogan into the ring and covers for two. McMahon is pissed and hooks the leg for a second cover, again for two. McMahon grabs a lead pipe. With a devilish look in his eyes, McMahon crawls into the ring, only to get punched in the balls by Hogan. Then, Roddy Piper, who appears to have swallowed a bowling ball, shows up. He grabs the lead pipe and acts like he’s going to whack McMahon with it. Of course, he hits Hogan with it. Piper leaves, while McMahon covers… for two. Sylvain Grenier, at the time playing a crooked ref, runs in while McMahon whacks Hogan with the lead pipe a couple more times, but it’s Hulk up time. Hogan KOs Grenier, three punches to McMahon, Big boot, Leg drop, Leg drop, Leg drop, and Hogan wins.
** I actually thought this match was pretty dull.
They show Hogan’s 2005 Hall of Fame speech.
Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels
I wish they had kept Shawn as a heel. I hope when DX breaks up it’s him that’s the villain. Hogan gets the biggest American Flag I’ve ever seen in my life. Jim Ross agrees. Although I question why he would need it? Seriously, as much as most Americans likely regret ever stealing Texas, it’s still part of the US. It’s not like Michaels is from North Korea or anything. Lock-up and Hogan muscles out. Shawn is pissed right off the bat. Another lock-up and Michaels gets muscled out. Shawn quickly tries to lock-up again but Hogan casually shoves him down. Shawn gathers himself and grabs a headlock. Shoot-off the ropes and Hogan gets a shoulderblock. Michaels bumps with gusto, flying out of the ring. Has there ever been a better pinball then Shawn Michaels? Lock-up and Michaels goes low with a knee. Fans boo everything Shawn does. Chops, but Michaels ends up on the top turnbuckle, where Hogan kicks him. Shawn does his carnival ‘Ring the bell with the hammer’ sell job, and then gets crotched. Michaels fights back with some brawling. Hogan fights back and backdrops Shawn, and then dumps him over the top rope. Michaels tries to get his wits gathered, but Hogan slings him back in the ring. Whip off the ropes and a clothesline. Hogan lowers his head and gets kicked in the face. Hogan blocks a ram into the turnbuckle, so Michaels bitchslaps him. Another slap, then the ram into the turnbuckle. Whip is reversed and Michaels gets flipped into the turnbuckle, and then knocked off the apron to the floor. This time, Hogan follows and rams him into the rail. They prep the announce table but the whole thing gets tipped over. Hogan throws Shawn into the ring post, but a second attempt is blocked and Hogan gets thrown into it. Shawn chases Hogan and does it again. Shawn throws Hogan back in the ring. Ten-punch in the corner is blocked, so Shawn quickly recovers and does another one. They roll on the mat, with Shawn getting several mounted punches in. Hogan is busted open. It’s a good one too. Shawn brawls, and then grabs a sleeper. Shawn’s arm is covered in Hogan’s blood. Shawn’s face is priceless. Hogan’s arm drops twice but he’s still alive and hits a backdrop suplex. Whip off the ropes but Shawn moves into the THREE & A HALF MOVES OF DOOM~!! Flying forearm, kip-up, elbow off the second rope MISSES and Hogan Hulks up. Three punches, but the Big boot misses as Shawn flies into Hogan and the referee gets KOâ€™ed. Kip-up by Shawn, but he stops climbing. The fans chant “WE WANT BRET!” so Shawn takes advantage with a sharpshooter. Fans are starting to split on this match. Hogan makes the ropes. Shawn tries a sharpshooter again, and Hogan kicks off, wiping out Shawn and the referee. Shawn hits a blatant low blow and grabs a chair. Shawn whacks Hogan in the head with it, hits the flying elbow off the top, and tunes up the band. Sweet Chin Music hits, but it only gets two. Hulk up time. Punch, punch, punch, Big boot, Leg drop, God bless Hulkamania.
***1/4 Really fun match, and Shawn’s effort was very impressive. And hey, Hogan was no slouch for a fifty year-old guy with two bad knees.
For more people, the set ends here.Â BUT WAIT~!! because if you live in the UK or if you bought this from Wal-Mart or Shopzone, we continue with…
Hulk Hogan vs. Tito Santana
3/24/80 Madison Square Garden
Video quality here is awful. Very blurry and very faded. Hogan jumps Santana to start. He whips him to the turnbuckle and slugs away. Big clothesline by Hogan. Santana was a tag champ for this match. Another heavy punch. Hogan picks up Santana and rams him from pillar to post, then slams him down and drops a knee. Ram to the turnbuckle, knee to the head, scoopslam, but the elbow drop misses. Another misses. Santana tries to fight back but Hogan keeps slugging. Clothesline misses and Santana fights back, even stomping his toes. Santana manages to knock Hogan down, and then gets a dropkick. He goes to the chinlock. This is why Santana sucked. He couldn’t do more then two offensive moves without going to the chinlock. Ever. Armbar but Hogan takes over with a hiplock and an elbow drop. Santana gets his own hiplock and elbow drop, and then mounts some punches. Now back to the wristlock. Santana misses a charge and gets clubbed in the back and sent out of the ring. He breaks the twenty-count back to the ring. Now to a headlock by Hogan. Santana tries to fight out, but Hogan leverages him down, nearly breaking his neck in the process. Ouch. Santana’s arm drops twice but he manages to make the superhero comeback. He goes for a ten-punch but Hogan throws him off. Elbow drop and a suplex finishes.
*** Totally average Hogan match.
Match #24: Handicapped Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Sonny Rogers & Chuck Greenly
Johnny Valiant is Hogan’s manager. This is Hogan’s AWA debut if I’m not mistaken. Hogan has to pin both guys to win. Greenly starts. He gets thrown into the turnbuckle. Headlock by Greenly, but Hogan just dead-lifts him and throws him off. Rogers tags in and clubs him in the chest. Both the guys try to attack him but Hogan just shrugs them off. Rogers gets press-slammed with ONE ARM by Hogan. Both guys try and fight off Hogan but he won’t have it. He throws both guys into the corner and bearhugs them both for the double submission. Well that was sure an impressive visual. Fans are cheering for the allegedly heelish Hogan.
1/2* Made a point.
Match #25: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Terry Funk
1/4/86 Saturday Night’s Main Event
In a nice touch, they show us the build to the match instead of cutting straight to the ring. Junkyard Dog is in Hogan’s corner, and he quickly puts Jimmy Hart in his place. Lock-up and they reverse each other a bunch. Hogan wins out and knocks Funk out of the ring. They’re billing Funk as “middle-aged and crazy.” In 1998 they billed him as that. Hell, in 2006 they billed him as that. How many 120 year old guys do you know? Funk gets back in only to get punked out again and tossed to the outside. Funk gets knocked down and Hulk keeps running over him. Cool visual. Funk throws a chair in the ring at Hogan so Hulk sits down on it. Funk gets back in and slugs away, but Hulk quickly shrugs him off and beats him down, then sends him head-over-heels into the corner. Hulk sling Funk into the ring and gives him a backdrop suplex for two. Funk goes low to take advantage, but it’s short lived as Hulk catches him climbing and shakes the ropes. Funk gets crotched, and Hogan follows it up with an atomic drop. Clothesline by Hogan and an elbow drop. Funk shoots Hogan off the ropes and Jimmy Hart tries to trip him up, so Hulk chases him. Hart hides under the ring. Back in, Funk chokes Hogan with some tape. Piledriver by Funk for two. Mounted punches by Funk and a foot rake. Hulk up time. Three punches, back-elbow, and a Big boot send Funk out of the ring. Jimmy Hart grabs a branding iron and whacks Hogan with it and Funk covers for two as Hulk gets his foot on the ropes. Hulk drops Hart then clotheslines Funk for the pin and the victory.
*** Fun, comedy-ish match.
Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race
3/12/88 Saturday Night’s Main Event
If the WWE hadn’t fucked up so bad with Harley, this could have been quite the dream match. But Race got saddled with a horrible gimmick. Hogan chases Bobby Heenan away to start. Race catches some elbow drops as Hogan gets back in the ring, but Hogan no-sells them. He hits a few headbutts. They haven’t even cut Hogan’s music yet. Three punches knocks Race down. Clothesline. A second clothesline sends Race over the top rope and onto a table. Man that looked sick. Hogan picks up Race and throws him into the ring post. Bobby is back, so Hogan chases him. Race goes for a piledriver on the outside but Hulk backdrops out of it. Atomic drop on the outside. Hogan breaks the ref’s count, and then slams Race on the outside. Hogan chops at Race, and then clotheslines him. Hogan chokes with some tape. Jesse Ventura is freaking out on commentary and McMahon denies any cheating. It’s disturbing. Hogan goes after Heenan again, so Race takes control with some headbutts. Belly-to-belly suplex and a knee drop. Piledriver and some stomps. Race sets Hogan on a table, but misses a splash through it. The table breaks a little. Wow. This is 1988, mind you. Race doesn’t really sell it and throws Hulk back in the ring. Diving headbutt off the top rope for two as its Hulk up time. Three punches, whip to the corner, clothesline, clothesline, Leg drop, see ya.
*** Typical Hogan match from the period. Race bumped like a madman to make it worthwhile.
The 1990 Royal Rumble match is cut down, so don’t expect a full match. We start with Hogan entering. He wins. Yeah.
Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake
Hogan has the Big Bossman in his corner. Earthquake has Dino Bravo & Jimmy Hart. Sixteen years later and 60% of the people in this match are dead. Sad, isn’t it? Cancer, heart attacks, and the Canadian Mafia can be bitches. Seriously, what kind of pussy gets killed by the Canadian Mafia? That’s right up there with being eaten by a kitten on the list of embarrassing ways to die. Lock-up, nothing. Heh, Canadian Mafia. They killed Bravo by making him listen to Celine Dion. Earthquake shrugs off a couple lock-ups. Hulk grabs a headlock, and then is shot off the ropes by Quake for a shoulderblock. Canadian Mafia, HA! They killed him by shooting him with Tommy guns loaded with maple syrup. Hogan kicks Quake and rakes the eyes. He goes for a slam but Quake is too big, so Hulk hurts his back. Quake tosses Hogan into the corner but runs into a Big boot. Quake doesn’t fall. Hogan wipes out Bravo and Hart, and then finally knocks down the big guy. All the wrestlers get in the ring for some brawling. Hogan and Bossman double team Quake, right in front of the referee mind you. Double team on Hogan by the heels now. They body slam him and Quake hits his awesome elbow drop. I always thought John Tenta had the best elbow drop of any big, fat heel. It looked brutal. Now he stomps the hands. What a bastard. Hogan gets dumped to the outside where Bravo slams him on the floor and sends him. Quake misses an elbow drop and Hulk is up. Chops and rakes, but a slam doesn’t work and Quake falls on top for two. Quake grabs a bearhug. I never liked it when the fat guys used this move. I mean, I like Earthquake, god rest his soul, but he didn’t have big muscular arms so the move didn’t make a lot of sense. Hogan fights out and hits a couple shoulderblocks. Hogan goes for a crossbody (!), but Quake catches him and slams him down. That looked vicious. ARROGANT COVER~! gets two. I love that shit. Quake calls for the Big One, and he hits it. Bravo gets on the ring apron and says to do another one. Quake gives him another one for two as its Hulk up time. I always thought it was funny when people act like they don’t know how he’s doing it, given the fact that he does it every match. Big boot doesn’t drop him, so Hogan slams him, and does it big too. Leg drop, but Bravo distracts the referee. Hogan press slams Hart into Quake. Hart tries to hit Hogan with the megaphone, but he hits Quake instead. Hogan picks up Quake and slams onto a table, but he doesn’t hit it all and the table tips over instead of breaking. D’oh! Hogan gets back in and wins via count-out.
*** Fun match, as Quake gave Hogan an interesting dynamic, and both guys really put out a great effort.
BOTTOM LINE: If you got the extra disc, you got a few extra fun matches that make their DVD debut. If you haven’t already bought Hulk Still Rules, then this is the better Hogan compilation to get. Sure, there are no five star matches or technical masterpieces. But what you do get is the best moments from the biggest star in professional wrestling history. Thumbs up!
Thanks to Brad for editing this, as always.
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Tags: Billy Gunn, chuck palumbo, curt hennig, Earthquake, edge, harley race, Hulk Hogan, mr perfect, shawn michaels, terry funk, The Rock, Tito Santana, triple h, vince mcmahon, WWE DVD