I was but a little jimmy when The Rock became The Nation’s/Corporate/People’s Champion. I think I was twelve when Smackdown launched, The Rock called it his show and whatnot, that was when he was at the height of his career, when he became a real main-event guy…
They didn’t have a fancy term to describe his fans back then. He didn’t have “Warriors” or “Hulkamaniacs”, just “people”. The “people’s champion” would come to the “people’s arena” and defend the “people’s championship” in “the people’s ring” on “the people’s show” via “the people’s elbow”. Every week, The Rock would finally come back to a town and promise to kick some candy-asses, or other flavours, and then he’d raise the “people’s eyebrow”.
Smackdown launched in April of 1999.
Hulk Hogan won the WWF Heavyweight Championship at the start of 1984. For the next 8 years or so, he’d talk about the Hulkamaniacs, Hulkamania running wild, eating vitamins, saying prayers… He’d rip his shirt, flex his muscles, point his finger at whoever the opponent was and then start shaking his head… In 1994, Hogan jumped ship and appeared on WCW. Naturally, after seeing Hogan’s popularity drop on their rival’s show, WCW decided to build everything around him and have The Hulkster come out in the in the same old red and yellow gear, with the same catch-praises, the same shirt-ripping promos, the same finger-pointing and head-shaking that people had been seeing for 10 years. WCW’s biggest stars at the time (Sting, Vader, Flair) were jobbed out in order to showcase the man who made Santa With Muscles and Mr. Nanny. WCW were so obsessed with milking what was left of Hogan’s popularity that they wasted (and ended up losing) under-card guys like Mick Foley, Steve Austin and Triple H while forcing Brutus and The Nasty Boys on an unwilling audience.
Thank fuck The Rock doesn’t have an entourage, eh?
The Usos? Roman Reigns? Camacho?
Right, i’ve got two serious questions for you now:
- Do the Anoa?i family have disturbing pictures of Vince in a safety deposit box somewhere?
- Taking into account all the family members that WWE hired and actually pushed, why the fuck was Meng relegated to episodes of Sunday Night Heat?
The Rock was always fantastic at taking bumps and selling though, and that’s something Hogan wasn’t all that into. After he shakes off the “ring-rust” (and figures out what cardio means), lets hope he makes someone look amazing.
Tags: brutus the barber beefcake, Hulk Hogan, Rocky Johnson, the nasty boys, WWE