The Way Too Long Review of Hulk Hogan’s Unreleased Collector’s Series: Disc Two

As a heads up, by popular request I’m skipping over the John Morrison set and tackling Shawn Michaels: My Journey as my next compilation review.  The next Way Too Long Review posted will be for Elimination Chamber 2010.

And since this is being posted on Saturday I can now officially mark out.

*ahem*

HOLY FUCK~!!  JACK SWAGGER?  NO SHIT?  FUCK!  HOLY FUCK!  WOW!  FUCK ME!  HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?  JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!

*assuming professionalism again*

Seriously, wasn’t this guy on job duty just a month ago?

Match #10: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. The One Man Gang
12/5/87 Philadelphia, PA

Tape quality is pretty blurry.  I thought my eyes were going bad, but then I noticed that the WWE logo in the corner was just fine.  It’s very strange though, almost like it’s double-exposed in places.  Gang would soon become “Akeem the African Dream” in the totally not offensive gimmick of a white guy trapped in the body of a black man.  To the match, where we have a long stall before locking up.  Gang shoves Hogan back into the corner.  Headlock by Gang and he cranks on it, then shoots Hogan off but a shoulderblock goes nowhere.  Hogan tries another but bounces off of Gang.  Flying knee by Hogan (!) gets one.  He goes for a slam but Gang falls on top for two.  Clubbing blows by Gang and a punch that sends Hogan to the floor, where he seems to beg off in heelish fashion.  Weird.  Gang rolls him back in the ring and keeps firing off axe-handles and elbows.  This goes on forever, until Gang chokes away with his foot.  Hogan blocks a ram in the corner and does a ten-ram to Gang.  Hogan throws some big punches, which the douchebag announcer whose name I didn’t catch calls “WHAMMO!  DOUBLE WHAMMO!  TRIPLE WHAMMO!”  Ugh.  Hogan then chops at him, but gets tripped up by Slick while bouncing off the ropes.  Hogan goes to kill Slick but Gang makes the save with another axe-handle.  Gang then slaps on the nerve pinch.  Didn’t I just see all this two matches ago?  It’s the same fucking match, only it’s a big fat white guy.  Hogan frees himself and tries a shoulderblock, then another, but Gang won’t go down.  Hogan charges into an elbow for two, one, and one.  Gang drops more axe-handles on Hulk, acts like he’s going to put on a grounded abdominal stretch, but then hooks in a double knucklelock and goes for a pin there.  It gets two, two, and two.  Hogan gets to his feet and tries to turn the knucklelock over, but Gang kicks himself free.  Hard whip to the corner by Gang, who then fires off some horrible knee drops that clearly and comfortably miss.  Now to a bearhug, which goes on forever.  It’s not even like Gang is that muscular, so the move looks really dumb.  Hogan’s arm drops twice but he elbows himself free, only to charge into an elbow.  Big splash by Gang hits, but it only activates the power of Hulkamania.  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, punch, punch, punch (with Gang selling the punches by spinning around).  Hogan whips him repeatedly from pillar to post.  LOOK AT THIS, HE SLAMMED HIM~!  Leg Drop, see ya.  Hogan slaps on Slick’s hat after the match and tosses him into Gang.  Again, pretty much the same as the Kamala match.  After the match, Hogan poses for a while, and then Andre comes out in street clothes but does nothing of note.

DUD All that you really need for a good decent Hogan match is someone who changes up their offense enough to make it worth watching.  Like the Kamala and Khan matches, this was just the same shitty punches with a couple rest holds in between.  This is a pretty crappy set and I’m sure even the most diehard Hogan fan is bored by now.

Match #11: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Rick Rude
1/9/88 Boston Garden

This should be good enough to end the DUD streak.  The Rude/Hogan relationship was an interesting one, in that Rude was one of the few guys from this era that openly discussed his hatred of Hogan and wasn’t afraid who was listening when he said it. There are various stories on why this is, but one of the more common ones is that Rude was allegedly penciled in for a run on top with Hogan, but Hulk did his political stuff and somehow ducked it.  Rude also claimed that Hogan didn’t cooperate with him during the few shows they did work together, of which this match is one of.  A lot of other claims are out there but they make no sense.  Rude/Hogan at Wrestlemania IV, for example.  I’m not sure where that one came from.  It’s pretty well established that Ted DiBiase was the heir to the throne for that show, but Rude complained about it up until he died.

Rude won the IC title at Wrestlemania V and was penciled into a summer program with Hulk Hogan for 1989.  Again, it didn’t happen.  Hogan instead feuded with Randy Savage and Zeus.  Rude would later claim that Hogan torpedoed his run as Intercontinental Champion and practically begged Vince McMahon to give the belt back to the Warrior.  Rude then felt that the spot at Wrestlemania VI was rightfully his until Hogan decided to take time off and the WWE decided to turn it into a face versus face match with the Warrior.  Rude was on the record saying that such a feud would never have been considered except as a means to hold him down.  Finally, Rude blames Hogan for ruining his main event run with the Warrior in 1990 by deciding to comeback to blow off his feud with Earthquake at the same show Rude was going to main-event, Summerslam 1990.  Rude would later fail a drug test and be bounced from the company, although he would claim that Hogan is the one that got him tested as payback for a couple near-brawls that happened between the two in the locker room, and that anything Rude would have tested positive for would have also been in Hogan’s blood.

Later, Rude would go to WCW and have a decent run despite his body completely deteriorating due to steroids and an alleged three-pack a day smoking habit.  When Hogan signed with the company in 1994, Rude was penciled in to be the guy to drop the belt to Hogan at Bash at the Beach, but he flat out refused.  Actually, several guys refused the spot.  Vader also took to protest and refused the position as well.  The only other options were guys who were considered to be ineffective draws, like Barry Windham or Steve Austin.  Thus, plans for Hogan/Flair to be saved for Starrcade were thrown out the window.  As it turns out, it didn’t matter.  Rude blew out his back before his match with Hogan at Bash at the Beach would have even happened and he was forced into retirement.

Personally, it all sounds like sour grapes to me.  Rick Rude was famous for his surly demeanor and nasty attitude towards people that he would openly call peons.  And yet his track record as a draw was not very good, even on a regional level.  World Class hit the toilet while he was on top, and despite there being other things going on at the time, the champion always is left holding the bag when business is down.  Later when he was in the WWE, he would often headline house shows.  Back in the day, the WWE would run two to three a day, with different portions of the roster appearing.  It wasn’t unlike the brand extension shows of today, but the difference was some of the shows were “B-Shows” that would play in smaller venues.  Rude was a headliner for those shows, and then business went down.  Again, even when the booking might be bad or the momentum the company has is slipping away, those on top get stuck with the check.  So the buzz on Rude was that he wasn’t an effective draw.  And man did he take it personally.  More then that, he was really just marginal in the ring and pretty bland, almost monotone on the stick.  Because he died people sort of pussy-foot around the issue that Rude was little more then an average 80s muscle head.  In the Ultimate Warrior’s DVD, people talked about how talented he was compared to the Warrior.  Sure.  Anyone looks good compared to the Warrior.  But at the same time, I was thinking “Oh come on, Rude was nearly as hated among his peers as the Warrior was.  If he hadn’t died, would they be so nice about him?”

Of course, it’s never a good idea to openly complain about those who are on top when you’re in the same company.  I’m sure a lot of guys didn’t like Hogan, but they liked having a job and kept their mouths shut.  Rude being so open about his dislike for Hogan likely sunk him more then any of the perceived issues about drawing.  But some guys just never learn.  It’s a universal truth about wrestling that bad-mouthing the main attraction is never a good idea.  Shane Douglas was open about his hatred for the Clique, and he was bounced from the company faster then thought possible.  Of course, a LOT of people hated them.  But they didn’t talk about it, because they liked their jobs.  Anyway, that’s my feelings about Rick Rude.  Wasn’t a big fan, didn’t believe most of the stuff he claimed about Hogan (even though I’m sure there is a degree of truth to it all), and thought he was just a mediocre worker with king-sized chip on his shoulder.  Didn’t like him when he was active, didn’t miss him when he was gone, and couldn’t have cared less when he kicked the bucket.

We do have a match to get to.  Gorilla Monsoon and Jimmy Hart are the commentators, and they’re actually one of my favorite combinations that was never used on a national level.  Bobby Heenan grabs the stick and says that Rude is the international arm wrestling champion.  He would have been the intergalactic champion but the Neptunians test for steroids.  Heenan asks Hogan to accept an arm wrestling match with him, but Hogan refuses.  The bell rings and we circle.  Lockup and Rude shoves Hogan into the corner, then fires off some muscle poses.  Rude then gets down to the canvas to challenge Hogan to that arm wrestling match.  Hogan does finally accept, but we still stall forever getting there.  Gorilla Monsoon smells a trap.  Jimmy Hart laughs manically.  I love it.  They actually get to the arm wrestling.  Rude nearly gets him down, but then Hulk’s knuckles have a little hulk-up of their own.  Hulk slams Rude’s knuckle on the canvas a few times.  Rude gets up in disbelief, then charges at Hulk and gets slung into the corner.  Hulk blocks a punch and slams him into the turnbuckles.  Atomic drop sends Rude to the floor.  Heenan on the apron only to get punched down.  We have a stall, then Rude returns to the ring.  Lockup goes to the corner, where Hulk blocks a punch and fires off a few of his own.  Hogan winds up Rude’s arm and elbows at it.  Rude reverses and drags Hogan to the canvas by his hair, then does it again.  Rude lays in an armbar and neither guy works the hold.  They just lay on it for nearly two minutes.  Of course when nothing is going on two minutes ends up feeling like five.  Hogan gets up and takes Rude down a couple times.  He loads up a suplex and hits it, but an elbow drop misses.  Rude with elbows to the back of the head, and then some punching.  Hogan blocks a ram into the corner and hits one on Rude.  Heenan tries to trip up Hulk and so Hogan bails to give chase.  Hogan returns to the ring to get clubbed by Rude.  We spill outside the ring, but Hogan quickly rolls back in.  Rude grabs a wooden chair and jabs Hogan in the face with it for two.  Now a side-headlock on the canvas by Rude.  Hogan tries to fight out of it but Rude turns it into a chinlock.  Hogan’s arm drops twice but he’s still alive.  Shoulderblock by Hogan, but Rude catches him with a kick on a charge.  Rude hoists Hogan up on his shoulder for a backbreaker, then releases the hold when he thinks Hogan surrenders.  Rude celebrates, and then realizes he’s made a mistake.  So he climbs and drops a foot on Hogan from the top rope, then waves to the fans before covering for two.  HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, finger wagging, punch, punch, punch, clothesline in the corner, LOOK AT THIS, HE SLAMMED HIM!  Leg Drop gets the pin.

** Cardio was never Rude’s thing and thus we ended up with two extended rest holds that were not worked at all and it killed what was otherwise a perfectly acceptable Hogan match.

Match #12
Hulk Hogan & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Ted DiBiase & Virgil
3/12/88 Maple Leaf Wrestling

Wow, random.  Death Percentage at a cool 25%.  Nick Bockwinkel is on commentary, which makes this even more bizarre and random.  The ring announcer botches the entire introduction of DiBiase and Virgil.  The heels try to jump the babyfaces as they slide into the ring, but that gets no-sold.  Bam Bam slings the heels into Hogan’s Big Boot and both get dumped.  Things settle down and Bigelow starts with DiBiase.  Teddy chops away but eats a shoulderblock and Hogan gets the tag.  DiBiase begs away to the corner, where he gets punched around.  Sling to the corner, then Virgil comes in to accept his beatdown.  Noggin-knocker to the heels, then Hogan sends DiBiase to Bam Bam for a headbutt.  Bigelow gets a tag and catches a kick from DiBiase.  He turns it into an atomic drop, which is followed by a comical game of punching ping-pong with DiBiase as the ball and the babyfaces’ fists as the paddles.  They declare a draw on it and instead shoot DiBiase off for a double Big Boot.  Hogan is the legal man now, so he slams DiBiase from corner to corner, and then fires off a clothesline.  Virgil gets punched down too.  Andre interferes and drags Hogan to the apron for some cheatery.  DiBiase is all courageous now and fires off some punches at Hulk.  Slams into the turnbuckle by DiBiase, then a tag to Virgil, who fires off this incredibly strange low blow.  Clothesline by Virgil that might have been an attempt at a diving version of it, or he might have tripped.  Either way, it looked like shat.  Another crappy punch by Virgil and some really awful attempts at mocking Hogan.  Blatant choke, then Hogan rolls over for more cheating from Andre.  Then another choke by Virgil, then over to DiBiase for more choking.  Another attempt at a choke by Virgil, then DiBiase fires off a couple clotheslines in the corner.  Fist drops by DiBiase for a two count.  Now to a chinlock.  Bockwinkel says it was a crappy choice for a hold by DiBiase, and I tend to agree.  DiBiase, to his credit, works the hold.  Hogan’s face actually does look blue, so it’s pretty cool.  Hogan comes to life and fights out with some elbows.  Shoulderblock by Hogan and then a double clothesline into a double KO.  Hot tag to Bigelow.  Big punches and a shoulderblock, followed by a headbutt.  Scoopslam but Andre trips up Bam Bam as he bounces off the ropes.  Virgil comes in and fires off a choke.  My question: where is Virgil on the list of the worst wrestlers ever?  Giant Gonzales gets all the attention.  Bam Bam fights back with a press slam and an elbow drop for two.  DiBiase tries to save but hits Virgil with an elbow drop.  Leg Drop by Hogan followed by a splash from Bam Bam to get the pin.  After the match, Andre and Hogan brawl, so Hogan grabs a pair of chairs to clear the ring.

*3/4 It goes to prove my point that Virgil is incapable of having a good match.  Even the tag formula wasn’t immune to his sewer worth of shit-wrestling.  He single-handedly killed a match where he only did 5% of the work.  Give the man credit, he’s the closest wrestling has ever seen to actual living kryptonite.

-As a side note, I wanted to pull up all kinds of stuff on Bigelow, including why his original stint in the WWE was so short, but I came up with nothing concrete.  I’m sure those reading will be able to fill in the blanks in the comment section.

Match #13
King Haku vs. Hulk Hogan
10/16/88 Los Angeles, CA

Billed on the DVD insert as a WWE Title match.  Maybe Randy Savage loaned the belt to Hogan for this one.  Haku is one of the more respected guys in wrestling, and his reputation for being a legitimate bad ass AND the nicest guy in the world is legendary.  I was always puzzled by it myself.  I mean, if he’s so nice how do people know he’s such a bad ass?  In the same breath people will say “Oh yeah, he’ll totally rip out your still-beating heart and eat it in front of you, then floss his teeth with your spine.  But he’s so nice.”  Maybe he only eats the hearts of people that are terminal ill, kind of like an island version of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.  “That guy had end-stage brain cancer and was in the worst pain imaginable.  Thank sweet Jesus that Haku was there to rip off his head and shit down his throat.  He’s with God now.  Bless you Haku!”

Meanwhile, Hulk comes out with some kind of crazy Spartan helmet with a fist on top.  It looks like prop from the adult classic “Helen of Troy meets Fistius Maximus.”  A movie famous for its historical inaccuracies.  It’s well known that Helen was originally a Spartan.  And Spartan women were more into anal then into fisting.  That’s what you get for letting Mel Gibson direct.

The referee jaws with Bobby Heenan, then goes to check Hogan to appease him.  This opens up Haku to take down Hogan with some punches and a bite.  Thrust punch and some karate stuff from Haku, but Hogan fights back with three big punches, then a running punch.  Bobby Heenan takes a punch on the apron, and then Hogan starts to rake the back of Haku.  Shoot-off and a running elbow by Hulk, then a couple elbow drops.  Fans are hot for this.  Hogan chops away and shoots Haku to the corner and clotheslines him.  Clothesline by Hogan and he goes for the Leg Drop, but Heenan trips him up.  Hogan bails to kill Bobby, but Haku catches him coming back in and gets some more karate stuff that looks about fifty times better then anything Hogan has taken during this entire DVD thus far.  Rake of the back by Haku and more brawling, but Hogan blocks a ram in the corner.  LOOK AT THIS~!  HE SLAMMED HIM!  Sorry, I love that call by Gorilla Monsoon from Wrestlemania III.  I still consider it the definitive wrestling call of all-time.  Hogan goes for an elbow drop but Haku moves out of the way and clamps on a nerve pinch.  Hogan gets to his feet, so Haku pinches harder.  Haku lets go on his own and shoots Hogan off and into a double chop.  More karate stuff and back to the nerve pinch.  It goes on for a bit, and then Haku mounts the hold.  The arm drops twice, but Hulkamania is alive, brotha!  Hogan fires off some elbows, so Haku rakes the eyes.  Hogan reverses a whip but lowers his head into a big double chop.  Thrust kick sends Hogan to the outside in a pretty decent bump for him, actually.  Hogan goes to get back into the ring, but Haku breaks up the referee’s count and Hogan crumbles back to the floor.  Haku wants a pinfall.  Hogan gets about a minute outside the ring in what was a decent count-out tease.  Suplex by Haku gets two as it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, finger point, punch, punch, and a Big Boot.  Heenan grabs the Fistius Maximus helmet, but Haku accidentally wipes him out.  Hogan knocks down Haku, puts on the Fistius helmet, Leg Drop, AMERICA, FUCK YEAH~!!

***1/4 Perfectly acceptable Hulk Hogan match.

Match #14
Hulk Hogan vs. Big Bossman
12/17/88 Los Angeles

Another match falsely billed in the DVD insert as being for the WWE Championship.  A pretty famous feud here, as a lot of people consider the Bossman/Hogan series to be the last regularly run series of matches Hogan had at house shows that was of high quality.  Hogan blocks a shot from the Bossman’s nightstick and gives him a taste of his own medicine.  Hogan pushes the Bossman into three of the ring posts and then chairs him.  What a good sport.  In the ring, Hogan slugs it out and rakes the eyes.  Hogan pulls out the nightstick but Slick mounts Hogan from behind.  Hogan backs Slick in the corner, and then moves out of the way so that the Bossman accidentally splashes him.  Hogan gives the Bossman a back suplex and steals his handcuffs.  He handcuffs Slick to the corner, then returns to the ring with a clothesline for Bossman.  Mounted punches by Hulk, and then he comes outside to slap Slick around.  Back in, Hogan shoots off the Bossman and fires off a clothesline that only staggers him.  A couple chops and a clothesline in the corner, but the Bossman still won’t fall, so Hogan shoves him from behind and that’s finally enough to take him down.  Back outside, Hogan slaps the defenseless Slick around some more.  He comes back in to toss Bossman from corner to corner and slug it out some more.  LOOK AT THIS, HE SLAMMED HIM~!!  Elbow drops by Hogan, then more slapping for Slick.  He returns to the Bossman and shoots him off, but Bossman holds the ropes and clothesline Hogan down.  Spinebuster and Bossman un-cuffs Slick.  Head of steam on the ropes by Bossman, and then he chokes Hogan on the top rope, with added leverage from Slick.  Nice looking piledriver from the Bossman gets two.  He loads up another but Hogan backdrops Bossman over the top rope and into a cameraman.  Hogan bails to chase Slick around some more.  He comes back in and ducks a Bossman clothesline, but then walks into what at first looks like a double clothesline.  But upon closer inspection, he actually ate the Bossman Slam.  It gets two as it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, finger wag, punch, punch, punch, and a Big Boot that sends the Bossman to the floor.  Outside, the Bossman brawls Hogan down and handcuffs him.  Well this is a different cup of tea.  Hogan comes out of his daze and rolls back into the ring, where he’s easy pray for the Bossman.  He takes various chops and a headbutt.  Whip to the corner somehow by the Bossman, a move that should have been mechanically impossible, but it matters not.  Hogan avoids a splash in the corner and the Bossman wipes out on the ropes.  Hogan uses the power of Hulkamania to break the handcuffs.  Clothesline, Leg Drop, AMERICA, FUCK YEAH~!!  After the match, Hogan whips Slick into the Bossman.

**** Okay, so potential can of worms here but I actually really liked this match.  It’s a Hogan match so you know what to expect for the most part.  The Bossman actually carried his end all the way though, and both guys kept up a fast pace.  It was short and fun and had enough twists in the established Hogan formula, including a nice false-finish and extended sequence with the handcuffs that created a nice visual that popped the fans.  Pretty good.  If you can’t watch a well executed Hogan match like this one and feel like a little kid again, you’re officially too cool for this DVD anyway.

-Let’s cut to a promo from February 25, 1989.  Hogan acted nice for Elizabeth, which got Randy Savage all butt-hurt.  Elizabeth then did a Hogan pose and Hogan was so pumped up by that gesture that he just had to hoist her up on his shoulder.  Savage was not cool with this, but you have to love Hogan’s explanation for this.  “I’ve seen you do the same thing a dozen times with her!”  Well yeah, but I bet you saw him kiss her too, Hulk.  That doesn’t make it okay to do that too.  Hogan keeps cutting this incredibly nutty promo about how Savage shouldn’t freak out that Hogan kept getting excited and grabbing Elizabeth, like he did after the Mega Powers won their match at the Survivor Series.  There’s nothing quite like a rambling, nutty Hogan promo.  Everyone cut fucking nutty promos in the 80s, but Hogan’s were the best because he justified EVERYTHING and took things to new levels of hyperbole.  Just watch his Wrestlemania IV promo for proof of that.

Match #15: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
6/3/89 Boston Garden

Yet another ‘lost’ Savage/Hogan match.  Of course, all the other unused matches have sucked a whole lotta cock.  I’m talking Pat Patterson with Steve Lombardi levels of penis munching.  Hopefully this is the combo breaker.  Ha, yea right.  Savage has Sherri with him here, but bails as the bell rings.  Savage asks for a microphone and jaws with Hogan.  Long stall follows.  How long?  Think of how long this review took to come out.  That long.  Savage lures Hogan in and then bails to the corner.  He grabs his cape as the referee pulls Hogan off, and then clotheslines him with it.  God, that looked pitiful.  Savage brawls Hogan around and climbs for the sledge.  He drapes his cape over Hogan and poses.  Hogan stands up while wearing the cape and eats another sledge, but this time it’s of the un-sellable variety.  Savage celebrates on the ropes and gets atomic-dropped and punched around.  Shoot to the corner and a back-elbow, then a shoot-off and a running elbow.  Hogan gets bored and dumps Savage over the top and to the floor.

Savage tries to use Sherri as a human shield, but she’s must less effective than Elizabeth.  Later, they would both make equally effective corpses.  Hogan ignores her and brawls Savage on the floor.  Back in the ring, Hogan lowers his head into a boot, but catches the boot and choke-tosses Savage.  Sherri to the apron where Hogan jaws with her, so he tries to beat her up and gets knocked to the floor by Savage.  Sherri pushes Hogan towards the post and Hogan swings wildly at her. Hogan threatens to kill her faster then oxycodone, but Savage drops a sledge from the top instead.  Back in, Savage hits a clothesline for two, then a blatant choke.  The ref pulls him off, so Sherri gets a choke in as well.  Savage drops a knee for two.  And now to a chinlock.  This goes on forever.  Hogan fights back with some elbows and a shoulderblock.  Hogan bounces off the ropes and Savage drops down so Hogan can jump over him.  Hogan does, and then drops an elbow on him from there.  Very cool actually.  Hogan goes to bounce off the ropes, so Sherri trips him up. Hogan takes his eyes off the ball again, and so Savage hits the diving hangman on him.  Sherri passes him some plunder, which he uses when dropping a sledge on Hogan.  He passes it back to Sherri and covers for two, but it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, shaking, finger wag, punch, punch, punch, Big Boot… sends Savage out of the ring.  Savage pulls Hogan out and tries to brawl, but Hogan tosses him into the post.  Sherri mounts Hogan as he gets out of the ring, so Hogan goes to kill her again, and this time Savage knocks Hogan out and rolls in to beat the referee’s count.  Well that’s what Hogan gets for being such a douchebag.  Sherri slaps the belt on Randy and they both celebrate.  Because after wrestling for over a decade, they still apparently were unaware of the rules.  Hogan atomic-drops her for being such a bitch.  ABUSING WOMEN, FUCK YEAH~!!  We then get ten minutes worth of uncut posing.  Yeesh.

*** Just okay, which is better then I expected it to be.  The same match has been seen dozens of times, and it never gets much better or worse.  Hopefully this is the LAST Hogan-Savage match to hit DVD for many years, because they did not have the chemistry required to have a really good match, yet WWE and WCW would throw them together every chance they got.  Promoters never learn.  A decade after this and the WWE would keep shoving Undertaker/Austin down people’s throats, and they were even worse together then Savage and Hogan.

-Hogan cuts a promo on the Ultimate Warrior, from March 31, 1990.  Hulk is in the zone as he absolutely rambles about riding his motorcycle and mythical gods and on and on.  I don’t know how anyone filming this stuff was able to keep a straight face.  The WWE really had a lot of nerve to talk about how the Warrior was incoherent, because Hogan, in my opinion, was even more off his rocker.

Match #16
Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake
4/30/90 Madison Square Garden

Now here’s an opponent Hogan had chemistry with.  This was one of the matches used to set up the Summerslam ’90 co-main event.  That particular match was ***1/2, and I have a vague memory of another Hogan/Quake match that was close to four-stars.  Tenta was a guy who I heard a ton of great things about.  Apparently he was just a real nice, humble, down to Earth guy.  So naturally he would die of bladder cancer at age 42.  If nothing else, he went out like a class act.  Given how pathetically weak the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame class was, I think Earthquake should have been given more consideration.  Gorgeous George?  Antonio Inoki?  Mad Dog Vachon?  Don’t get me wrong, these guys are wrestling legends, but they have practically nothing to do with the WWE.  I don’t mind if the WWE throws one oddball choice out there at random sometimes, like Verne Gagne, but three in one year?  Weak ass class.  I wouldn’t be shocked if the gimmick is retired for a few years.

To the match, where Quake jumps Hogan getting into the ring, and Jimmy Hart sneaks a couple shots in as well.  Quake’s timing seems off from the get-go as he’s stomping his foot long before the actual blows come down.  Yipes.  He brawls Hogan all the way around the ring and hits a clothesline.  Elbow drop misses, which gives Hogan a chance to rip off his shirt.  Hogan throws some big punches and shoots Quake to the corner, which sounds like it nearly gives out.  Hogan follows this up with a clothesline, and then more punches.  Running forearms nearly send Quake down, but he only falls to one knee.  Hogan calls for a slam, so Jimmy Hart runs a distraction.  Hogan gives chase to him, allowing Quake to recover and toss him into the post a few times.  Back in the ring, Hogan goes for a crossbody.  He’s never tried it before and it turns out he shouldn’t have tried it now.  He gets caught and slammed.  Huge elbow drop by Quake, then another one.  Man, was there any fat man who had a better looking elbow drop?  Yokozuna and Viscera should have watched some Quake tapes.

Quake slams Hogan in the corner again and then punches the gut a few times.  Shoot to the opposite corner, but Hogan avoids a charge and throws a few punches.  He goes for a slam but hurts his back doing it.  Hogan punches instead and goes for a ten-punch in the corner.  Hogan calls for a slam again and gets him up, but Quake is too big and falls on top for two.  Now a bearhug by Quake.  To Quake’s credit, he works it as much as Hogan will allow, but the move still goes on forever.  Hogan breaks free but charges into a shoulderblock.  Quake calls for the Big One and hits it for two, as Hogan does a power kick-out and it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, shaking, finger point, punch, punch, punch, Big Boot, Leg Drop, and Jimmy Hart draws the DQ a split second before the referee counts the three.  Whatever.  As if doing that would help Earthquake save any heat.  Never got what the mentality was on the last second DQs in non-title matches.  Silly.

***1/2 Pretty solid match, as I expected.  Kind of a more straightforward version of the Summerslam match with the same basic outline, but I enjoyed it, and you will too I believe.

-From March 23, 1991, Hogan threatens to beat up Sgt. Slaughter and win the World Title.  Fairly subdued for a Hogan promo.  Hogan does manage to go slightly egomaniacal at the end, after saying that Slaughter tells him that he’s no soldier.  Hogan nutties up by claiming that there’s a Hulk Hogan War Memorial in heaven and that he’s fought in every war because he lives vicariously through all the Hulkamaniacs out there.  Egomania is running wild here.

Match #17: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
4/24/91 London

Fans pelt the heels with all kinds of crap on the way to the ring.  General Adnan had been through a lot over the course of his career and yet he looks fairly terrified making the walk.  Slaughter looks a bit pissed too.  Storyline is Hulk’s face has been burned by Slaughter and thus he’s injured or something.  Adnan and Slaughter beat down Hogan as he does his posing, but he gives them a noggin-knocker.  Adnan gets dumped, and then Slaughter gets whipped to the corner, where he goes up and over to the floor in an amazing bump and great visual.  Hogan tosses Slaughter into the post, and then chokes Adnan with a flag.  Back in the ring, Hogan boots Sarge, sends him to the corner, then backdrops him.  Clothesline, then a shoot-off and a punch, which knocks Slaughter out of the ring.  Back in, Hogan shoots Slaughter hard into the turnbuckle, and like Wrestlemania VII, Sarge has his flying shoes on.  Shoulderblock by Hulk, then a catapult over the top turnbuckle and into the ring post.  Hogan rams Sarge into a couple turnbuckles, then slams him over the buckle and into the post in another huge bump by Sarge.  Mounted punches by Hulk, then a shoot-off and a clothesline.  Another shoot but Hogan lowers his head into a boot and a rake of the eyes, then a rake of the burn which sends Hulk to the floor.

On the outside, Adnan rams him into the apron.  Slaughter kicks his head, and then punches him off the apron.  Hogan back on the apron, where Sarge squeezes the burn scar on Hogan’s head.  Sarge spits at Hogan and mocks him, then fires off some punches which drop Hulk for two.  Slaughter rips off Hogan’s bandage and now Hogan is bleeding.  Adnan gets a shot in, and then Hogan wiggles to the floor where Slaughter tosses him into the rail.  Back in, a backbreaker gets two.  Slaughter climbs, but the referee won’t get out of his way and so Hogan has time to recover and toss him off.  Hogan misses an elbowdrop and we have a bit of a double-KO.  Slaughter axe-handles Hogan’s back and slaps on an abdominal stretch, using the ropes as leverage.  Hogan slowly reverses this into his own abdominal stretch, but his back is aching and Slaughter hiptosses out of it.  I was thinking it might be a double KO, but Slaughter is on the ball and stomps Hogan’s back for the Camel Clutch.  He grinds at the open injury while he’s at it, which the referee warns him about.  Weird escape, where it looks like Slaughter basically tosses himself into the post.  That was lame.

They trade eye rakes, which Slaughter wins out on.  Slaughter stomps the back some more and climbs for a stomp off the top rope.  It hits, but it only gets two as it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, shaking, finger point, punch, punch, punch, Big Boot… and Slaughter won’t go down.  Hogan grabs a headlock and some punches, but Slaughter pushes him into the referee.  Slaughter loads up something in his hand and punches Hulk in the neck with it.  The bell mysteriously rings, but apparently it wasn’t meant to.  Adnan tosses a cheap, plastic chair into the ring.  Slaughter falls over trying to pick it up, despite the fact that one-hundred and fifty year-old General Adnan was able to toss it in the ring.  Slaughter was just stalling because Hogan was taking his sweet time getting up from the previous move.  Slaughter hits the referee with the chair, but then misses when he swings at Hogan.  A second attempt misses as well and Slaughter sells it like he had a heart attack.  Big Boot to Sarge, then Hogan chokes Adnan on the apron.  Slaughter holds Hogan and Adnan loads up his hands with powder, but Hulk ducks, Slaughter eats it, and the Leg Drop finishes.  And, like the rest of this set, you get all the posing.  Ugh.

***1/4 Hogan’s opening sequence of moves were actually really good.  If they had just kept that up for another ten minutes it would have been the best, most satisfying squash of all time.  Once Slaughter took control they had pacing issues, but overall this was a pretty decent follow-up to their Wrestlemania match.

Match #18
Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan
12/29/91 Madison Square Garden

This is the second ‘lost’ Hogan/Flair match to hit DVD.  The first can be found on the Greatest Superstars of the 90s set, which I gave ***1/4 to.  All the belt censoring is present, but by this point I’m fairly sure he was using a tag title belt in place of the NWA belt.  Flair and Mr. Perfect stomp Hogan as he crawls into the ring, but Hogan ducks their attempt at a double-clothesline and hits Flair with one of his own.  Flair hasn’t even taken his robe off yet, while Hogan slams him into the turnbuckle and then backdrops him with it on.  All the feathers are flying off of the robe, making for a hilarious visual.  Hogan dumps Flair with a clothesline, and then stalks him around the outside.  Flair still has the robe on while Hogan punches his head against the rail.  Back in, Flair finally manages to get his robe off and begs off to the corner, where Hogan punches him some more.  Hogan unwraps his wrist tape and chokes Ric with it, then clotheslines him in the corner.  More choking with the tape by Sportsman of the Year Hulk Hogan, then a whip to the corner that sends Flair up and down and to the floor.

On the outside, Hogan chops at Flair and sends him into the turnbuckle.  Flair walks to the entrance as if he’s going to walk out and then flops down.  Flair up to chop away, but Hulk no-sells.  Flair tries to get back in the ring but Hulk punches him.  Back in, Hogan boots Flair in the face.  Flair was supposed to take the bump over the top rope and to the floor, but he couldn’t get momentum.  He saves with an even better spot, walking over and then flopping through the ropes.  To the floor, where Hulk chops Flair on the rail, right next to that guy who always used to be front row for the MSG shows.  Back in, Flair begs off, rolling to the corner.  Hogan doesn’t care and mounts a ten-punch, though he only completes 20% of it.  Shoot to the corner again sends Flair up and over to the floor.  On the outside, Ric tries to ram Hogan into the post but Hulk blocks and rams him into it instead.  Back in, Flair begs off some more, but Hogan is still pissed at Flair costing him the belt.  Punch by Hulk leads to another Flair flop.  Punches by Hulk, then a wind-up punch, then Hulk turns his back to jaw with Perfect, and now Flair finally mounts some offense.

Flair kicks the back of the knee, and then rams Hogan’s leg across the apron.  Flair distracts the referee so that Perfect could jab Hogan’s knee with a chair.  Knee drop by Flair to the injured leg, and then he goes for the Figure-four a couple times.  Hogan keeps kicking off of it, so Flair rakes the eyes and climbs.  This goes about as well as you can imagine.  Hogan kicks Flair in the ass a couple times, then wrings his leg on the post, then hits a half-drop to the leg.  Lex… excuse me, Hulk, then slaps the figure-four on Flair.  The referee gets his eyes raked or something, so Perfect comes in with brass knucks, but Hogan small-packages him WHILE holding the figure four on Flair.  Well that’s just fucking awesome in about one-billion different ways.   Hogan goes to kill Perfect, but Flair gets the knuckleduster and punches Hogan down with it for two as it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  Flair chops instead of acting shocked, then tries to punch, then starts to cry when it doesn’t work.  God, why couldn’t this have been the Wrestlemania VIII main event?  Hogan punches away at Flair and hits the Big Boot, but Perfect helps Flair escape.  To the floor, where Hogan blocks a ram on the post and hits one on Flair, which quickly leads to Flair getting counted out.  Horrible ending considering they were only on the floor for a five count at most.  Flair keeps bringing it to Hogan but gets clotheslined.

****1/2 Very entertaining for what it was.  This felt more like a practice run for the big Wrestlemania main event then just an average match.  I’m not sure what was up with the ending, because damn yo, it was quick.  The MSG fans were disappointed because they wanted more, and so did I.  This was basically just Flair using the same psychology his matches with Lex Luger had, but unlike the previous Flair/Hogan match from the 90s DVD, this FELT like Hogan vs. Flair legitimately, and I loved it.  Excellent way to cap off the second disc.

STORY THUS FAR: Holy shit, it’s the second disc with the save!  After a slow start, there were six straight passing matches, with a couple surprise four-star gems thrown in there.  I would never have bet on two matches scoring four-and-a-half stars or better in a Hulk Hogan set ever, and yet this DVD has delivered that.  We’re about to hit the home stretch.  The final disc is filled mostly with quickie TV matches, but a couple pay-per-view matches from WCW are in there as well.  This will be interesting, as the second disc has very much made this a contender for earning a thumbs up.  Stay tuned for the long-awaited (and man do I mean that) finale tomorrow on Pulse.

Thanks to Red for the editing.

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