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

Reviews, Wrestling DVDs

Well what do you know?  This review actually got published before Duke Nukem Forever did.

Match #19
Ric Flair & Big Van Vader vs. Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage
5/21/95 Slamboree

As Savage and Hogan make their entrance, the Giant pokes his head through the curtain to make his debut.  Interesting way of going about it.  I’m pretty sure the long-term plan here was originally going to be trying to redo the Mega Powers angle in the WWE, but Savage and Hogan ended up reaching an ‘off again’ part of their on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again relationship.  It’s not entirely known what the long-term plan was originally, though there’s speculation that Hogan was supposed to originally wrestle Randy Savage at Halloween Havoc ’95 and then the Giant at Starrcade a few months later, and logically the storylines up until around July seemed to be leading that way.  Then it was just dropped out of nowhere.  Savage went on to feud with Ric Flair, Hogan had a fairly long series with the Giant, and then they teamed together in March of 1996 to beat like five-hundred guys (give or take) in a five-story-tall-cage inside an igloo with AIDS infected needles lining the walls exterminate all the Jews match.  Which they won of course.  Meanwhile, I’ll get to the Vader-Hogan stuff in the next match.  It’s pretty fun.

Oh, and the Renegade is at ringside.  For you newer fans, the Renegade was Rick Williams, an ex-stripper turned professional wrestlers who used a Tarzan gimmick in the indys but in reality was basically an Ultimate Warrior clone in every way possible.  Hogan somehow ended up with a tape of him and decided he could bring Williams in to WCW and build him up enough to potentially beat him at Starrcade in 1996 which would somehow get his win back from Wrestlemania VI.  I know, I know, Hogan and Eric Bischoff deny that was the intent.  But this is one of the cases where I’m going to side with the popular opinion.  Nearly every person associated with WCW has said that Hogan openly talked about how big that match (the Renegade/Hogan one) would be and how it would finally close the Warrior/Hogan angle.  I know, bizarre, but this is the guy who claimed that the dude his son critically injured in a car crash was at fault because he wasn’t “right with God.“  WCW gave the Renegade a monster push despite the fact that he was even less talented then the Ultimate Warrior.  He won the TV Championship from Arn Anderson in a ten minute long match that pretty much was the low point in Anderson’s career.  Bischoff had wanted the match to go a minute, and later said it should have gone ten seconds.  Ric Flair said “No, it shouldn’t have gone on at all if he can’t work for longer then ten seconds.”  Anderson had his pay cut as a result.

To the guy’s credit, he sure looked an awful lot like the Warrior, and since the real Warrior looked kind of different when he returned to the WWE at Wrestlemania VIII’s main event, the fans assumed he just changed his looks slightly again.  The WWE would normally sue for this kind of thing, but Williams was such an abomination as a wrestler that the WWE openly hoped they would go all the way with Williams, which had been the plan.  Sadly for the WWE and WCW, the real Ultimate Warrior started doing indy shows right after the Renegade won the TV title.  These appearances earned a lot of publicity in mainstream wrestling magazines, and it exposed what should have been obvious to even the densest mark: the Renegade was NOT the Ultimate Warrior.   After losing the TV Title, they basically phased out Williams, only having him do the occasional spot show.  When the real Ultimate Warrior arrived, they used Williams as his stunt double during a match at Fall Brawl ’98.  That was basically it for him.  He was released from WCW in December of 1998, and put a gun in his mouth two months later at age 33.  Weeks later, Hogan was spotted lying on top of his grave begging for a referee to make the count.

Yep, I’m going to hell.

Hogan starts with Vader and they lockup, but it goes nowhere.  Lockup leads to Vader slugging it out in the corner, but it’s not the average Vader punches.  They’re feeble, because Hogan is known to get injured getting up off the couch.  Hogan thumbs his eye to escape, punches Vader’s mask off, and then clotheslines him out of the ring.  Savage comes off the apron with a sledge to Vader, and then the Mega Powers shoot him off.  Vader shocks the shit out of me by actually clotheslining them both down.  Wow, they might look vulnerable if this shit keeps up.  Savage gets dumped to floor, where Flair dumps him over the rail.  Back in the ring, Savage fights back and slugs away at Flair, then shoots him up and over the corner.  Flair does his “run down the apron” spot right into Hogan’s Big Boot.  He then staggers down the aisle and flops.  Back in, Flair gets backdropped and clotheslined out of the ring, and it’s time for the heels to regroup.  This match is already five hundred times more fun then I thought it would be.  I honestly can’t remember ever seeing it.

Back in, Savage and Flair tease a test of strength but Flair thumbs the eye and chops away.  Savage reverses it and slugs it out.  Tag to Hogan and its punches for all.  Backdrop to Flair and a clothesline.  Snapmare by Flair and a boot rake to take control, then various brawling.  Flair climbs and gets tossed off, then Hogan slaps on the figure-four.  Hogan repeats the “small-package the guy while holding the figure-four on” spot from the previous match, this time rolling up Arn Anderson.  The Renegade gets on the apron, things break down, Hogan turns his back and gets clipped on the knee.  Flair goes to the knee, hits a snapmare and a knee drop.  Tag to Vader who ties up Hogan’s leg with a grapevine.  Meanwhile, the Giant shows up on the aisle again.  We spend a bit of time showing him while Jimmy Hart has a spaz-out.  Back to the match, where Vader is still holding the grapevine.  He releases and fires off a suplex, but Hogan no-sells it.  Shoot-off but Hogan lowers his head.  Vader was supposed to kick him but instead hits his standing splash, which likely legitimately tweaked Hogan’s neck.  Vader gets into it with Savage while Flair chokes away.  Vader shoves the referee down, but this does not draw the DQ.

Vader shoots Hogan to the corner and splashes his back.  Pump splash to Hogan hits.  Vader climbs to the top, but it’s not for the moonsault.  Pump splash off the top rope misses, which means the previous second rope one might as well be the WORST MOVE EVER~!!  Maybe the splash in the corner stopped Hogan’s heart and the pump splash restarted it.  Both guys tag out and Savage kills Flair with some shots, and then knocks Vader off the apron.  Savage charges into an elbow from Flair, who climbs.  Same corner, same result.  Randy climbs for the flying elbow and it hits, but Double A pulls him out of the ring, which leads to Vader hitting a standing splash on him.  The Renegade does his weird pose-down, and how anyone could mistake him for the Warrior is beyond me.  He looks much shorter too.  Maybe everyone assumed the Warrior wore lifts during his entire WWE run.  Renegade goes around beating up Anderson to set up their shitty feud, while in the ring Flair works on Savage.  Tag to Vader who goes up top and for the Moonsault That Shall Never Hit… which hits.  Actually, this was a variation of that move, the Moonsault That Shall Seldom Hit.  It’s true.  Thus the running gag is spared for now.  Actually, that was by far the most nasty looking moonsault I’ve ever seen outside of Kurt Angle/Hardcore Holly and Savage was legitimately knocked goofy by it.  It gets two after Hogan makes the save.

Savage gets brawled in the corner by Vader.  Flair tags in and fires off some chops.  Savage is taking some fairly shallow breaths here, but he does manage to comeback with some nice punches.  Still, that moonsault has its effect, so Savage is unable to make the tag, and possibly wasn’t even supposed to be in his own corner during that last spot.  Hogan only had to bend over to make the tag, but he’s old and his knees can’t take it, so Flair and Savage continue.  Shoot-off and Savage hits his diving clothesline for a double KO.  Hot tag to Hogan, who punches away at Flair and does a ten-punch in the corner, then a clothesline to the throat.  Punches for all.  Scoopslams for all.  Anderson to the apron where he gets punched off.  Big Boot to Flair, but Flair trips up Hogan as he bounces off the ropes for the Leg Drop.  Hogan’s knee is wrecked now so Vader comes in and splashes him.  Flair covers, but it’s HULK UP TIME~!! which the fans don’t even notice because Savage and Vader are going at it on the outside.  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, then Anderson misses a free shot on Hogan and knocks out Flair.  Leg Drop by Hogan and that’s all she wrote.

****1/2 Man, who gave this DVD permission to start kicking ass?  Any tag match that sticks close enough to the formula is going to be decent.  This is one of those rare matches where the overbooking seemed to have helped, because it gave three broken down old farts and a seriously unmotivated monster the ability to have non-stop action from bell to bell.  Of course since Hogan and Vader had one last match to blow off their feud scheduled, the logical ending here should have been Vader pinning Hogan, but the Hulkster wasn’t jobbing to anyone at this point, brotha.  Ignoring all that bullshit, this was a hugely entertaining match.  Not a technical masterpiece or anything remotely close to that, but just fun.  Sometimes it’s okay to have fun watching this stuff, you know.

Match #20: World Heavyweight Championship, Cage Match
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Big Van Vader
7/16/95 Bash at the Beach

Hogan has Dennis Rodman with him.  This was filmed on an honest-to-god beach, which actually comes across as fairly low-rent.  But, it’s WCW and they liked to fuck around with locations.  Some of them worked.  I, for one, loved the Nitro that took place in the Mall of America.  Fuck you, I thought it looked neat.  Others like this and Sturgis were not so well thought out.  As far as this match-up goes, Vader had outright refused to work with Hogan when he first arrived in WCW, and apparently Hogan wasn’t anxious to work with Vader either.  When Rick Rude refused to work with Hogan for his debut match at Bash at the Beach 1994, Vader was tapped for the spot, because they were going to save Hogan/Flair for Starrcade.  Apparently both Vader and Hogan refused to work with each other, Hogan on the grounds that he didn’t know Vader and couldn’t trust him or whatever garbage, plus the fact that Vader was stiff as hell in the ring, and Vader on the grounds that Hogan was feeble and all his matches looked phony.  A year later and they finally are together, mostly because there was nobody else for Hogan to work with.

Hogan tosses Vader into the cage a few times using his shirt, then chokes at Vader.  To the corner where Hogan mounts a ten-punch.  Hogan then climbs on top of the cage and stomps Vader in the face ten times.  Camera angles suck and the lighting is horrible.  Hogan comes off the second rope with a sledge, and then slugs it out.  Shoot-off and a running elbow by Hogan, but Vader won’t go down.  Hogan goes to ram Vader into the cage, but Vader blocks, then Hogan blocks a ram and they slug it out.  Hogan rakes the eyes and seems a bit annoyed.  They again block each other on the cage, but Vader finally wins out and rams Hogan.  Meanwhile you can’t see anything because the setting sun is drowning out everything.  Vader rams Hogan into the turnbuckle, then brawls him around.  Hogan blocks getting rammed into Vader’s elephant mask thing and slams him into himself.  He then puts the mask on and mocks the fat ass.  I bet it smells like a combination of Pringles and Bratwurst.  Hogan then “headbutts” Vader with it, though it looks more like not-head butting him.  More feeble punching but Vader reverses a whip to the corner and splashes him to take control.  He goes for the pump splash and hits it, then hits a second one, but Hogan kicks out at two.  Pitiful battering ram by Vader and this match really fucking sucks.

Vader punches Hogan in the corner, and then fires off a release vertical suplex.  Vader tries to walk out of the cage, but Hogan saves and cages him.  He goes for a slam but can’t get him up and Vader clubs him down.  Kneelift by Vader and then a headbutt.  Snapmare and Vader climbs to the top for a big elbow, but it misses.  Vader I believe legitimately tweaked his elbow bouncing off the mat and is slow to get up.  Punches by Hogan and a clothesline in the corner, but his back gives out on a slam attempt and Vader falls on top for two.  Now to a chinlock.  Vader releases and we slug it out in a fairly awkward transition.  Shoot-off and Hogan gets a clothesline.  LOOK AT THIS, HE SLAMMED HIM~!! but his back is hurt after the move.  Vader punches Hogan around and hits a short-arm clothesline.  Splash off the second rope by Vader gets two and it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, then he no-sells a couple cagings to show his versatility.  Punch, punch, caging, caging, caging, caging, Big Boot, Leg Drop, then a blatant kick to the balls.  BUT WAIT~!! because here comes Kevin Sullivan and Brutus Beefcake.  They get as far as the steps before Dennis Rodman scares them off.  Maybe they thought he would try to marry them or something.  Either way, they split.  Apparently Hogan just watches this whole thing play out, then casually drops a leg on Vader and posses.  He drops another leg and asks the fans whether he should go for the pin or climb out of the cage.  He goes to climb out of the cage, but Vader saves.  He only lasts long enough to get crotched and Hogan climbs out.

DUD And thus ends the streak of good stuff.  Horrible match, horrible structure, no pacing, overkill of an ending, brain fart run-in that did nothing, and even some bad production issues.  There is nothing here that was redeemable.  I would say it was the low point of Vader’s career, but then 1998 rolled around and he ended up jobbing to Mark Henry and fucking Bradshaw in 1998.  I’m sure while he was lying down to Mark Henry he was longing for the days where he could sleepwalk through a pay-per-view main event with Hogan.

Match #21
Sting vs. Hulk Hogan
11/20/95 Nitro

Random.  Randy Savage accompanies Hogan… maybe.  Hogan actually sneaks in from the crowd.  The fans boo the ever loving shit out of Hulk.  Mind you, this is before the nWo thing.  Hogan is dressed all in black and wearing a black mask.  He sneaks up behind Sting and does… nothing.  Then he taps him on the shoulder and takes off his mask to reveal that he is clean shaven.  He’s also a lot less beefy.  King of the Ring ’93 thin I’m talking here.  Sting smacks him around to start, and the fans are hot as hell for this.  Hogan reverses a whip to the corner and nearly trips all over himself clotheslining Stinger.  Fans are just booing the holy shit out of Hogan, to the point where it legitimately hurt his feelings.  Hogan chops away in the corner, but Sting ducks a clothesline and hits a couple dropkicks to send Hogan over the top and to the floor.  The smaller frame sure helps Hogan move around.  On the outside, Hogan smacks Sting on the guardrail and suplexes him on the floor to huge heat.  Back in, Sting bounces off the ropes but charges into a forearm.  Rake of the back by Hogan, but Sting comes off the ropes with a stiff crossbody for two.

They trade hammerlocks, and then Hogan gets a drop-toehold.  Hogan does a borderline impressive sequence with an armbar, twisting Sting around, but Stinger reverses into a hammerlock and his own armbar.  Headlock by Hogan, and he avoids getting shot off and moves into a headlock takeover, leading to near-falls for both.  Am I watching the wrong disc?  Sting kicks Hogan in the corner to escape and goes to the legs.  He tries for the Stinger Splash but Hogan catches him in a bearhug, rag dolls him for a bit, then releases quickly.  Nice.  Shoot-off and Hogan kicks Sting in the gut.  Shoot-off and an elbow by Hogan gets two.  Back suplex with authority gets two.  Vertical suplex gets two.  Shoot-off and Sting dropkicks Hogan’s knee, then kicks his leg out from underneath him.  Sting twists down on Hogan’s leg and slaps on the Scorpion Deathlock.  Hogan is actually flexible enough to take the move here.  Hogan actually has the balls to Hulk up against this hostile crowd and breaks the hold.  HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, punch, punch, punch, Big Boot, but the Leg Drop misses and Hogan’s leg is hurt.  Scorpion Deathlock by Sting and Hogan cries to Randy Savage to help him.  BUT WAIT~!! because the Dungeon of Doom hits the ring and the match gets scrubbed.  Somehow Hogan and Sting clear the ring of a zillion guys.  The Giant shows up, so Savage chairs him to save Hogan and Sting and gets chokeslammed for his efforts.  Sting and Hogan then take out the Giant with a chair.

**** If they had somehow used CGI graphics to edit out Hogan with just a generic wire frame wrestler, it would have taken me a long time to guess this was a Hulk Hogan match.  This fucking ROCKED!  I loved the dynamic they were using here, which resulted in them cutting a fast paced and fairly stiff little brawl mixed with an angle where both guys were trying to one-up each other.  Just really entertaining and I’m fucking floored to be saying this but this set is heading towards getting a recommendation.  I can’t believe that these two guys would go on to stink up the joint the way they did at Starrcade.  I can’t blame WCW for thinking the match would be good based off what was here.  I honestly never saw this live, and figured it would be a quick little nothing Nitro match.  Instead, it was a fucking miracle.  A fucking miracle.

Match #22: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant
1/25/97 nWo Souled Out

Like all WCW wrestlers during this pay-per-view, the Giant gets no music on his entrance and is called “the biggest failure the nWo will ever have” in a monotone voice by the pre-recorded ring announcer.  Hogan’s entry is more elaborate, and he’s coming down to the ring with the Dallas Cowboys, who apparently joined the nWo.  Everyone knows they are evil anyway so it’s not like it was a major revelation or anything.

Hogan slugs at the Giant to start, then kicks at him, but it doesn’t get him anything.  The Giant chops away and Hogan bails.  Giant gives chase, so Hogan rolls back into the ring and drops an elbow as the Giant rolls back into the ring.  Weird fucking camera angle follows, which was supposed to be the gimmick of this show.  Hogan brawls him around, then tries to punch him over the ropes.  That doesn’t work, so he shoots off and both guys clothesline each other.  Hogan on the ropes, while the Giant is up with big punches and a ram into the corner.  All the weird, funhouse style camera filters are giving me a headache.  To the outside where the Giant wipes out Hogan on the rail, plus one of the Cowboys I think.  Fuck professionalism, I’m not rewinding this shit.

Back in, Hogan goes for a small package, but the Giant blocks and slams him.  Elbow drop by Giant, then some clubbing blows which leads to Hogan wiggling out of the ring again.  Hogan loads up a handful of powder and tosses it in Show’s face (to those who bitch about me switching up names: choke on a dick), then rakes at his eyes.  Random brawling by Hogan on the floor and a choke with his weight lifting belt.  Show blocks a ram on the apron and gives Hogan one of his own.  Back in, Giant hits a backbreaker into a submission hold.  Hogan is down and out, so Giant climbs and goes for an elbow drop off the top.  It whiffs, and Hogan covers for two.  Chinlock now by Hogan, with mounted punches as well.  Giant tries to fight back, so Hogan shoots him off and hits the Big Boot.  Giant no-sells it, so Hogan does the EVIL LOOK AT THIS, HE SLAMMED HIM~!! and the Leg Drop.  Hogan goes to celebrate, but the Giant no-sells and calls for the Chokeslam.  Hogan’s too much of a pussy at this stage in life to actually take the move and nearly sandbags it.  He ends up taking a feeble one that makes the Giant look like he’s gently putting Hogan down for a nap.  It only gets two because evil nWo referee Nick Patrick claims Hogan gets his shoulder up.  So the Giant holds down both of Hogan’s shoulders, but again he won’t count.  Show folds Hogan in half and again it only gets two.  Cue the screwjob.

Giant chokeslams Patrick.    BUT WAIT~!! because here’s Buff Bagwell.  He gets chokeslammed.  BUT WAIT~!! because here is Eric Bischoff, while Virgil gets chokeslammed.  BUT WAIT because here’s Mike Rotundo.  Chokeslam for him.  BUT WAIT~!! because here’s the Bossman.  El splat for him too.  Bischoff hits the ring and almost gets it too, but Hogan beats Show down with a guitar to make the save.  The fans chant for Sting but he’s nowhere to be seen.  The Outsiders hit the ring, along with everyone else in the nWo who was above letting anyone but them look good at the time.  A huge circle jerk follows, and then they take turn glazing the Giant’s back with their STDed up, tar-like cum.  Match is apparently a scrub.

1/2* Fairly horrible and with a television quality ending.  Big Show, to his credit, actually worked his ass off but Hogan wasn’t in a position to do anything watchable at this point in his career.  I have no clue what they were thinking choosing this for the set.  After seven of the previous eight matches were solid, this felt really out of place.

Match #23
Bret Hart vs. Hulk Hogan
9/28/98 Nitro

Not really a match.  Hart, who was a heel, turned face to set up this match.  Hogan and Bret wrestle for five minutes, just long enough for Hulk to ‘injure’ Bret’s leg.  Sting comes out to save Hart and ends up taking his place in the match.  Lex Luger and Konnan are out to wheel Bret to the back, where Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner jump them.  Bret is selling the leg injury and gets unhooked from the gurney by Steiner, yet he doesn’t get jumped by them.  He hobbles back to the ring and the fans are already booing because a blind-deaf-mute-quadruple-amputee who has to communicate through tears he creates by squeezing his own testicles with his thigh muscles can see what’s coming a mile away.  Bret shows up as Sting is slapping the Scorpion Deathlock on Hogan and hits a DDT on Sting.  Hogan and Bret beat on Sting with a chair for a while.  Luger and Konnan can’t even attempt to make a save.  Thus Bret Hart makes his like third or fourth heel turn of the year or the night or something like that.

No Rating But this ‘match’ was notable as it is officially the only double cock-tease in wrestling history, first by WCW for advertising this match on Nitro, and then by WWE Home Video for fooling unsuspecting fans who didn’t know any better into thinking this was legitimate by advertising it on the back of the DVD case.  What assholes.  The only redeeming thing of this whole segment was the fan wearing the WWF Attitude shirt with a sign that said “OTHER CHANNEL JACKASSES!”  Thanks for the reminder.

-From March 18, 2002, a tearful Hulk Hogan comes out on Raw to thank the fans for making him feel loved.  The fans go absolutely nuts for him and won’t shut up for him.  It’s actually pretty cool, plus if you listen carefully you can hear various IWC heads pop.  He cuts a fairly generic post-Wrestlemania 18 promo and ends up turning babyface.

Match #24: WWE Undisputed Championship, No Disqualifications
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair
5/13/02 Raw

Welcome to Jurassic Park.  Hogan rides out on a motorcycle to mock the Undertaker.  Fans are hot as hell for this one.  Flair goes for a shoulderblock but Hulk pushes him down.  Lockup and Hogan grabs a headlock.  Shoot-off by Flair but Hogan hits a shoulderblock.  Mind you, the WWE just a year earlier was making fun of WCW for putting on matches like this on Nitro.  Flair gets pissy and bails to grab a chair, but referee Charles Robinson disarms him.  Flair is old and senile so he asks for a knucklelock, which Hogan then turns over on him.  Chops on Hogan don’t work and Flair gets smacked to the corner and ten-punched, leading to a flop.  Laughable spot sees Flair get shot to the corner but he’s slow and can’t do the up and over spot.  He climbs but Hogan catches him and tosses him off.  Chop by Flair and a blatant low blow to take control, and then he slugs it out in the corner and chops away.  Headlock and punches to the nose by Flair.  Stompery and then Flair dumps Hogan to the floor.  This is actually embarrassing.

Hogan fights back on the outside and slams Flair on the rail and the stairs.  Back in, Flair thumbs the eye and chops Hogan down for two.  Knee drop but Hogan blocks it and slaps on the figure-four.  Flair makes the ropes, which somehow leads to a rope break in a no-DQ match.  Flair on the apron, where Hogan suplexes him back in the ring.  Elbow drop misses, but Hogan no-sells a couple chops and it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, finger point, Big Boot, Leg Drop, BUT WAIT~!! because it’s X-Pac.  He breaks up the pinfall and gets smacked down.  BUT WAIT~!! because it’s Big Show.  BUT WAIT~!! because fucking Bradshaw shows up to make the save.  Flair goes for the figure-four on Hogan BUT WAIT~!! because it’s Steve Austin.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~!! to Flair, Leg Drop from Hogan, and thankfully it’s over.

DUD Pitiful.  Nothing else to say about it… other then I’m not sure why TNA thinks it’s a good idea to relive this geriatric in 2010, when both guys are eight years geriatricer.  On the plus side, it leads to fun stuff like this.

Match #25
Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan
6/6/02 Smackdown

Winner gets a title shot.  Lockup goes long and into the corner where Trips slugs it out.  Shoot to the corner but Hogan “explodes” out with a clothesline.  Punches and a clothesline by Hulk and some punches that sends Trips to the floor.  On the outside, Hogan blocks a ram into the stairs and gives Trips one himself.  Hogan punches Trips over the rail, then drags him back in.  Whip on the floor by Hogan is reversed and wipes out on the post.  Back in, Trips brawls Hogan on the corner and chokes with his boot and hand.  Man, this is exciting.  Shoot-off and a back-elbow, then an elbow drop for two.  Hogan fights back so Trips shoots him off and grabs a sleeper.  He’s an old man, he needs a nap, so this goes on forever.

The arm drops twice but Hulkamania lives or something like that.  Hogan grabs a sleeper, Trips back suplexes out of it but it’s HULK UP TIME~!!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, seizure, finger point, punch, punch, punch, Big Boot, but the Leg Drop whiffs.  Hogan backdrops out of the Pedigree and hits the Leg Drop for two.  Hogan thinks he won, then turns around into the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! for the pin.  After the match, Hogan offers up a hug, and then both guys do Hogan poses together.

Hulk was in desperate need of the Old Yeller treatment by this point.

Match #26: Tag Team Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan & Edge vs. Billy & Chuck
7/11/02 Smackdown

Sadly Edge doesn’t have a shotgun on him with both barrels loaded and pointed at Hogan’s head to show how much love he has for the Hulkster.  Edge starts with Chuck and hits a flying forearm and a spinkick.  Billy comes in and gets tossed into Hogan’s fist.  Shoot-off by Edge but Billy hits a tilt-a-whirl slam.  Chuck with shoulderblocks in the corner.  Edge tries to fight back but Chuck launches him with an overhead suplex for two.  Tag to Billy who slugs it out and stomps away.  Tag to Chuck who slams and elbow drops Edge for two.  They dump Edge, allowing Billy and Rico to double up on him for two.  Now a chinlock by Chuck.  Edge escapes but charges into a back-elbow.  Implant DDT out nowhere by Edge leads to a double KO.  Edge reaches for the tag but Chuck cuts him off.  Billy comes in but Edge hits an armbar-takedown.  Hot tag to Hulk.  Punches for all and a Big Boot to Chuck.  Big Boot to Billy but Rico grabs Hogan’s foot to stop the Leg Drop.  Edge spears Rico off the apron while Billy hits the Fameasser on Hulk, but it’s HULK UP TIME~!! at two.  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, Hogan needs his mush, finger point at Billy to get off his lawn, punch, punch, punch, Big Boot, spear from Edge to Chuck, Leg Drop to Billy, bye bye.

*1/2 Meh, just a really quickie match that was little more then an excuse to get Hogan on Smackdown.

Match #27
Kurt Angle vs. Hulk Hogan
8/1/02 Smackdown
Special Stipulation: Winner gets to die at the hands of Brock Lesnar next week.

Go Hulk!  And mercifully, this is it for this set.  Hulk shoves Angle down on a couple lockups.  Weak looking takedown by Kurt and a front-facelock.  You could stick a fork in Hogan by this point.  Angle wrings Hogan’s arm, but Hulk reverses and elbows away at Kurt’s.  Angle slugs back, then Hogan shoots him off into a couple clotheslines.  Hogan blocks a hiptoss and hits one of his own, then dumps Angle with a clothesline.  On the outside, Hogan tosses Angle into the post, and then slams him on the stairs.  Back in, ten-ram into the turnbuckle by Hulk and a big wind-up punch.  This just pisses Angle off, who fires off shoulderblocks in the corner.  Elbows across the apron by Angle, then back in he punches some more.  Hogan blocks a vertical suplex and hits one of his own.  Clothesline by Angle gets two.  Choke on the ropes by Angle, then some punches and kicks in the corner.

Hogan blocks a punch and tries to comeback, but Angle rakes his eyes and hits a back suplex for two.  Angle grabs a chinlock and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage.  After about six months, Hogan tries to fight back, but Angle hits a back suplex.  Hogan pops straight up from this and slugs it out.  Backdrop, scoopslam, and some elbow drops by Hulk get two.  Hulk slugs it out and but gets caught in the Ankle lock.  Angle can’t quite get it on, and then Hulk shoots him off and boots him in the face.  Hogan bounces for the Leg Drop but Angle catches him with the saddest Angle Slam ever for two.  Straps are down and the Ankle lock is applied.  Hogan makes the ropes, but Angle pulls him off.  Hogan almost taps, but the power of Medicare compels him to kick off, wiping out the referee in the process.  Angle bails and grabs a chair, but Hogan boots it into his face and hits the Leg Drop for… nothing because there’s no referee.  BUT WAIT~!! because here’s Brock Lesnar.  Hogan knocks him off the apron, so Angle chairs Hogan’s back and gets DQed for it.  After the match it’s HULK UP TIME~!! for Kurt, but then Brock comes in and F5s Hogan.  Interesting way to end the set.

** Which is just about as good as anyone was going to get out of him by this point.  Decent match in theory that was too slow and feeble to be watchable.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You get eight special promos.  And I mean special in that Sarah Palin sense.

: You get 27 matches, ten of which score the three-stars or better passing grade.  That’s only one higher then the amount of DUDs in this set.  So is this set worth recommending?  If you’re a Hogan fan, you already own it.  If you’re a Hogan hater, you never will.  For all those in between, is this worth your twenty bucks?  You know what, it kind of is.  The Backlund/Hogan match is crazy awesome, even if it’s just Bob carrying the entire thing all by himself.  You get to see what could have been with Ric Flair and Sting, and some various other random goodness.  Although nearly two-thirds of this set is unwatchable garbage, the good stuff is full of all that truly entertaining nostalgia that sometimes you just need in order to feel like a little kid again.  God help me, but I’m giving this set a marginal thumbs up.  I mean come on, it’s a Hulk Hogan set with FIVE four-star matches.  I didn’t even know Hogan had been in that many in his entire career.

Thanks to Red for the editing.

Follow me on Twitter.

Check out Charlie Reneke's archive for more of the awesome, ranty, ravey, hilariously cool Way Too Long Reviews. If you enjoyed his review and want to contribute towards more, you can check out his Amazon Wish List at Likewise if you hated his review, you can punish him by buying stuff off his Amazon Wish List and give him lots more stuff to carry around. That'll learn him.