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Why I am now and always will be a Hulkamaniac.

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Rico Len View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/November/2013 at 20:37
Let me state right off the bat, I've never actually been a die-hard fan of Hulk Hogan. Never. When i started watching pro-wrestling Hulk Hogan was already on top of the world. He was the epitome of pro-wrestling even back in 1987, when I watched my very first wrestling match; The Can Am Connection vs Bob Orton & Magnificent Muraco with Mr. Fuji on a Sunday just a couple weeks after my 8th birthday.

I watched half-heartedly, not really all that interested in what was going on, but my 3 older brothers, who are 15-18 years older than me made a huge deal about being able to see this, just like they did when the 49ers were in the Superbowl. Snacks were prepared, friends came over, and I was allowed to hang out in the living room with my brothers and their friends as long as I was quiet and didn't bother anyone.

I remember seeing Hercules & Bobby Heenan, King Kong Bundy & Hillbilly Jim, JYD & Harley Race, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as a face (even today it's pretty hard for me to imagine that he was once among the greatest heels of all time). The first match I REALLY watched, and I mean, I couldn't take my eyes off what was happening was the 6-man tag between the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs. That match to me, blew me away.

The next match, I swear was NOT Butch Reed vs Koko B. Ware. I don't know how that match even got on the tv without me noticing, but I just assume I must have gone out to play for a few minutes or something, because the next thing I really remember was Randy Savage in the ring. It was even better than the tag team match. For years I considered it the greatest match I'd ever seen, and I still to this day love it.

Even though Randy Savage lost, I was hooked. My brothers and their friends wouldn't shut up about how great he was and I bought into it hook line and sinker. After that match I kinda tuned out, the event was simply too long. I remember coming back and seeing Hogan vs Andre already in progress, and I watched the ending. My brothers and their friends were all pretty pissed off at the ending, so that didn't help my impression much, but I thought it was kinda cool seeing Hogan slam someone that big.

Time went on, I watched for Randy Savage, and then later for Mr. Perfect as well, and also Rick Rude, Jake Roberts, & Roddy Piper. My brothers were pretty knowledgeable smarks, and I followed their lead. At school, I kind of got into it with some of my friends because they were all either die-hard Hulkamaniacs, or Ultimate Warriors, and Randy Savage was by and large, the bad guy.

Then came The Undertaker. My brothers hated him because he couldn't wrestle for shit and all he did was strangle his foes, walk the top rope, chokeslam, tombstone and then win. Fuck'em, I didn't care. Undertaker was pure awesome. Plus he was a bad guy, so he got points there right? He's not a goody two shoes. When Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series I went nuts. My brothers on the other hand were /facepalming. They said things like "Great, from one 5 move wonder, to another." I didn't really understand that at the time, but for some reason it stuck with me.

I wish, looking back on it, that now we had been able to get This Tuesday in Texas. My brothers convinced me that it was going to suck because it had no build and was only a few days after Survivor Series. No way it'll be worth watching. To an extent they were right. Except that getting to see Undertaker walk down to the ring with Paul Bearer as the WWF champion would have been amazing for me as a kid, and it would have been the only chance to see it too until I was much, much older. Plus Savage vs Roberts would have been out of this world big for me. Those promos Roberts cut before and after the match are two of the greatest heel promos ever cut IMO. And plus I was pretty conflicted with that feud at the time because here's Savage as a good guy, and for once I was eating it up, and then there's Jake, being the most vile heel to ever lace up his boots. Trust Me Jake still stands above everyone else as an evil character. For most of the time I was completely behind Randy Savage in this feud, but I couldn't help but marvel at how great Roberts really was.

Hogan won Royal Rumbles, I watched him win the WWF title 3 times, from Savage (boo), Undertaker (on tape, after the fact, still, boo) and again from Yokozuna. Hogan was always the main event of every PPV he was involved in, and I never cared unless someone I liked was involved in his match, and then I was rooting against him. Well... except Yoko. I really hated Yokozuna when he eliminated Randy Savage from the 93 Royal Rumble.

In 1993 I kinda slowly stopped watching. Savage stopped wrestling, Perfect, who I was at that time massively marking out for was failing to win the matches I wanted to see him win, like the Royal Rumble, and for some reason he never got a WWF Title shot! That really made me mad. Lex Luger ruined 1993 for me, and his face turn just made me sick. Matt Osborne as Doink was pretty awesome, but there just wasn't enough to keep me interested, and by 1994 I was pretty much not watching anymore. I was 15, starting high school, and had other things, like girls on my mind.

Summer of 1996 rolled around, and I was home for the summer, and WCW was starting to get big. I caught a Monday Nitro in late June and saw that Razor Ramon and Diesel were in the WCW starting a war between the WWF and WCW (or so it seemed to me at the time). Well by this time my brothers had all moved out and I didn't watch PPVs anymore, but I watched Nitro because WWF had nothing at all going for it, and Nitro had practically everyone worth watching, like Randy Savage.

Next week rolls around, and I see "The Outsiders" have got a match with Savage, Sting, and (ugh) Luger. Cool! Hopefully they bring in Mr. Perfect or Shawn Micheals, or Bret Hart, or Undertaker! That'd be awesome! ... yeah I was way off there.

Then comes the next week's Nitro, on July 8th. Son of bitch! I was thunderstruck. Hulk Hogan is a bad guy? Geez and was he ever bad. I still didn't care much for Hulk Hogan, even bad. In fact I hated him now, where as I was simply apathetic to him before.

Thing was I LOVED the nWo. Hall and Nash were the most awesome tag team I'd ever seen. Assholes through and through but they were fucking cool! I quickly fell in love with WCW, yet continued to hate Hogan. One of the greatest nights of my pro-wrestling fandom came when Bill Goldberg (who I was a massive mark for) beat Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. It's just one of those iconic matches that deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest matches ever, obviously not based on technical merits, but for sheer story-telling.

OK So WCW faded out, and so did my watching of pro-wrestling in general. I got myself a new girlfriend, and she took all my time. We got married, bought a house, and I eventually decided to start watching wrestling again. It took me a while to get interested in the WWF, but WCW was just about done, and horrid to watch. However WWF was bigger than ever before, and it looked pretty good. I just needed to figure out who all these guys were hanging with Jericho, Benoit, Eddie, Saturn, The Giant, Taker, & HBK.

I knew Foley fairly well. I followed him in the WWF even though I hated the WWF back then, because Foley was worth watching. I followed Kurt Angle as an amateur, and was looking forward to seeing what he was like as a pro. Rock was already on Saturday Night Live, and Mad TV a lot, as was Steve Austin, but Austin was still on my shit list for the Austin 3:16 promo he cut on Jake Roberts.

In time I grew to enjoy watching Angle and The Rock a whole lot. They easily carried the whole show for me. And then came No Way Out 2002. Now I noticed almost instantly that the initials were NWO, and when I found out that Hall, Nash and Hulk Hogan were back, I flipped out. How awesome would it be to see the NWO run wild in the WWF the way they did in the WCW? Now if they could just get Goldberg everything would be perfect.

Hogan came out on Raw, and I don't know, something about seeing him again really hit a switch for me. I couldn't stop grinning like a stupid kid watching him. The crowd started heckling him with "WHAT!?" and he responded with "Cha gonna do?" I marked so hard for that, it was both awesome and hilarious.

It was then I realized, that through it all, even though I never really liked him growing up, I had always conceded grudgingly, that he was the biggest name in the 'sport' and that no one was bigger than Hulk Hogan. He was the epitome of pro-wrestling even to me. For as much as I loved Savage, Perfect, Rude, Piper, Roberts, Undertaker, (evil) Doink, Hall, Nash, Goldberg, DDP, Sting, Angle, Rock, etc. That whenever I thought about pro-wrestling I always pictured Hulk Hogan standing in the ring tearing off his yellow t-shirt, or waving the American flag.

I hated Hollywood Hulk Hogan, hated him. But here he was, looking older than ever, being the asshole, that growing up I usually liked, and finally I was getting into what he was doing. And brother, it wasn't just me. Wrestlemania came around, he lost to The Rock, turned face, and man, NO ONE EVER has gotten pops like Hogan was getting. I was eating it up too. He was back, the red and yellow wearing Immortal Hulkamaniac. When he finally started coming out to the ring not to his old nWo theme, but rather Real American I was 23, 24 years old with my first kid on the way, and I was marking like I did as a kid for Savage and Undertaker. For Hulk Hogan.

Now, it was around that time where I really finally tried to figure out what people actually meant when they said "wrestling is fake". I'd heard it all along, but I never really understood it. It was while following dirt sheets online trying to figure out when Goldberg was going to return to the WWE, that it started all making sense. It wasn't a big surprise. I mean, while I never once thought Undertaker had been killed in his casket/buried alive matches, I just glossed over what that would have really meant.

Yeah, I was pretty much a straight up mark until I was 23 years old. I don't care. Wrestling has always been some of the most fun stuff I've ever watched. Thing is, as I started learning more and more, the more impressed I became with Hulk Hogan. I started watching youtube and watching his old matches again, and they were so much fun for me to watch. I was kind of a born again Hulkamaniac I guess. Somehow I had missed the boat and never liked him, but now? He was just so much fun to watch, a lot like watching some of the old cartoons I used to watch, like the first generation Transformers, or Conan The Adventurer, G.I. Joe (I used to love Slaughter).

Hogan, not Randy Savage, somehow became emblematic with my childhood memories of pro-wrestling. To be fair, I went back and watched Randy Savage on youtube as well, and fell it love with him all over again. Far more than Hulk Hogan. I was completely in the right to mark out like a little kid for Randy Savage. He is the GOAT. But Hulk Hogan, just hearing his name brings back so many more memories of watching wrestling and playing wrestling, and talking about wrestling with my friends, and my brothers than Randy Savage ever does. And when I hear Real American? This very moment, I fight not to mark out as I listen to the song.

It's pure nostalgia. I get that. But it's nostalgia of my childhood watching the WWF in the 80's and early 90's, and also my teenage years watching WCW Monday Nitro. I'm not going to be able to extract Hulk Hogan from those memories, and I wouldn't want to try. He is the greatest of all-time.

I listen to the Steve Austin Show religiously now. I've long since gotten over my markish hatred for Austin. Austin is easily one of the smartest guys I've ever heard talk about the business, and his character was undeniably huge. But popularity is more than just T-Shirt and ticket sales. The thing that really told the story for me was how Rock was instantly the heel in his match against Hogan the first time around, and Hogan was the face despite being Hollywood. The fans back then were the truly qualified fans to tell the story.

Young guys today in their 20's talking about how Austin was bigger than Hogan would be like me trying to say that Bruno Sammartino was nothing compared to Hulk Hogan. They're just not qualified to say, they weren't around marking out for both eras, just like today these same fans are frequently crapping on the wrestling product of today. I simply cannot respect their opinions when it's so obviously narrow-minded. On the other hand, the fans in 2002-2004 told the tale. Rock and Austin? Big, huge even, and together, they probably were more popular than Hulk Hogan, but at the end of the day Hulk Hogan single-handedly blew every roof off, drowned out all haters, and outshined what both Rock and Austin were getting at the exact same time.

BTW the people of MY generation are by and large the fathers in the audience with the kids wearing John Cena t-shirts. I personally would rather have a narrow rimmed straw hat to go with the Hawaiian t-shirts I already frequently wear, but to each, his own.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kondor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/March/2020 at 13:46
Originally posted by Rico Len Rico Len wrote:

When i started watching pro-wrestling Hulk Hogan was already on top of the world. He was the epitome of pro-wrestling even back in 1987, when I watched my very first wrestling match; The Can Am Connection vs Bob Orton & Magnificent Muraco with Mr. Fuji on a Sunday just a couple weeks after my 8th birthday.

I watched half-heartedly, not really all that interested in what was going on, but my 3 older brothers, who are 15-18 years older than me made a huge deal about being able to see this, just like they did when the 49ers were in the Superbowl. Snacks were prepared, friends came over, and I was allowed to hang out in the living room with my brothers and their friends as long as I was quiet and didn't bother anyone.

I just finally read through this. Rico, this was well written. It was a great story you told of how you were first introduced into wrestling by your older brothers, who you liked at the time, and of course of your view of Hulk Hogan over the years. You wrote this when I was on one of my sabbaticals from this place, or else I likely would have responded to it a long time ago. I myself don't like it when I work hard on a post that no one responds to (as has happened a time or two), so I'll make an effort to provide a proper reply to this. I'll share my thoughts on Hogan over the years as you did. As you did I'll try to talk about my own introduction to the sport, as well as my own wrestling favorites over the years. I'll also try to touch upon how and when I gradually began to realize wrestling was what it is.   

It was my father who introduced me to wrestling. He had it on when I was young and was watching it before I was born. So I have no idea what the first match I saw was. But later when I was a tad older I began to put wrestling on myself. Hogan was in the WWF and seemed to me like one of the top guys. When I was in 5th grade I used to hang out with this girl who also happened to be a wrestling fan. We would talk about Hulk Hogan and his friend in the WWF Hillbilly Jim. 

Around 1986 Hogan was feuding with King Kong Bundy for the WWF Title. They would eventually meet in that Cage match as WrestleMania 2, which was the first WrestleMania I ever saw (on tape afterwards). But one day the girl I hung out with told me that Hogan and Bundy were at a bar together hanging out. I was 10. This was one of my first realizations that wrestling was not as it appeared to be and that at least an aspect of it was just pretend. Yet I always still saw wrestling and watched each match as if there were two guys trying to win.   

But as you I saw Hulk Hogan "on top of the world" in the 80's. While I liked Hogan at the time, as you he was not one of my favorites. The first wrestler I ever began to think of as my "favorite" was King Tonga, who later changed his name to Haku. He was in the WWF of course. I just got a kick out of seeing Tonga fly off the top rope, as he used to do quite regularly before he put on more weight. Over in the AWA, I loved the tag team of Curt Hennig & Scott Hall. 

But what Hogan was to me was a person who was at the top of the wrestling chain and deserved to be at the top as it seemed nobody could beat him. In this regard he Hogan was a very credible World Champion to me; as he in my mind was the best. At this time Hogan was the WWF Champion and Rick Martel was the AWA Champion. I began to piece together in my mind that if Hogan fought Martel Hogan would win, and that the WWF was a step above the AWA as its champion was better and therefore its competition was better. It was Hogan and Bruno Sammartino who provided me with my definition of what a World Champion should be that I hold to this day. 

Hogan was also a massive pop culture icon. I remember going to my local grocery store and seeing a huge cardboard display of Hogan in his sleeveless t shirt; if I remember right I think is was for his vitamin line. Around this time I started to collect trading cards. Topps made WWF trading cards and Hogan's was one of the coolest. There was also stickers that came with the trading cards. I still have the cards; but I stupidly stuck the stickers on my wall. 

Hogan was on TV in more than just the wrestling shows. There was the cartoon show Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling which I loved. So Hogan was everywhere. And he was so cool with that white headband and his matching white "American Made" sleeveless t shirt (I actually like the American Made one better that the actual "Hulkamania" one.) So Hogan was a pop culture icon; and as you I will always mentally connect him with my childhood and the first time periods in my life when I watched wrestling.   

There was also a channel afterwards that showed Hogan's previous matches in the AWA during his feud with Jerry Blackwell. They made it out to be such a massive deal when Hogan slammed Blackwell, as Blackwell was heavy.  

One person Hogan was feuding with at this time that you mention is Macho Man Randy Savage. At this time Macho Man often wore a t shirt and trunks that said "Hulk Who?" on it. He was awesome in interviews. I think I always liked Macho Man better than Hogan as you also did. 

I should also mention Hogan's feud with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff in 1986. Just like with Macho Man, they were enemies, then friends, then enemies, then friends again. I remember watching that tag match, Hogan and Orndorff against Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy. Orndorff helped Hogan up to his feet, asking him if he was alright. Then he clotheslined Hogan down and walked away with Heenan, Studd, and Bundy. This likely was the first time or one of the first times I had seen a "turn." Hogan and Orndorff had a massive feud that lasted into early 1987. 

You had a totally different experience than I did, as you saw WrestleMania III right off the bat without first seeing the build up to it whereas I saw the epic build up for the main event. This is not just in the actual start of the feud as it unfolded week to week on Piper's Pit, but also in the aura both Hogan and Andre had at the time. 

The actual match build up was set up with Jessie The Body Ventura on Piper's Pit comparing two trophies side by side of Hogan's (for being WWF Champ for 3 years) and Andre's (for being undefeated for 15 years) with Ventura stirring shit by saying "Hogan's trophy is bigger than Andre's." Eventually this lead to a Piper's Pit with Andre coming out with Bobby The Brain Heenan to challenge Hogan to a title match. 

But more importantly than the direct set up for the match, also I mean in what I believe was the true build up to that match... the actual careers of Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant beforehand and how both seemed totally invincible going in to the match. Hogan never lost. He beat everybody. Andre never lost, and was the all time "King Of The Battle Royal." I firmly believe if you see that for several years beforehand, then you get the full impact of what that match was. Even Andre's WrestleMania 2 battle royal victory was part of Andre's build and thus (regardless of when Vince had the idea for the match) part of the set up to the match. That is why these days I have such a hard time explaining what that match meant to newer fans. 

But one other major difference between yours and mine experiences is that I never saw any live pay per views at this time. When a pay per view (or closed circuit television event as they called it) was on, I either tried to listen to the results on the radio or tried to watch the scrambled picture on the TV without ordering it. Then I waited a few months in hopes that my local video store would have the latest pay per view; and when they did I would run down and rent it, watching each tape a billion times. The first pay per view I ever actually ordered and saw live was SummerSlam 1993, which of course was after Hogan left the WWF. 

I saw the tape of WrestleMania III and in turn saw Hogan conquer a giant. But there was also a big hoopla made about the opening few seconds where Andre came close to pinning Hogan after Hogan collapsed in his first attempt to slam Andre. Of course Heenan used this to say that Andre was the "uncrowned champion" and was still undefeated. I questioned within myself, "Did Hogan really get his shoulder up? What if Andre really won? Does Andre deserve to be the champion?" In the end I determined that Hogan did indeed get his shoulder up and therefore deserved to win and be champion. What all this did to me was bring value to the belt; both in terms of how much it meant to the WWF as a whole, to Andre and Heenan, but also in terms of how inoften it changed hands at the time. 

I was also very confused later that year when Orndorff turned good again and teamed with Hogan at the Survivor Series. 

As said I wasn't yet able to see a pay per view live; but what I did see when it aired was Saturday Night's Main Event, or when it was on a Friday just The Main Event. Hogan's first title loss on The Main Event shocked me as it shocked everybody. My thoughts were probably similar to everybody who saw it live as I did. I can't believe Andre won! What is going on with two Dave Hebners?? Did The Million Dollar Man pay for surgery so that another guy looks just like Dave Hebner?? I can't believe Andre gave the belt to Ted Dibiase!! Hogan was Champ for so long; that him no longer being Champ was massive. It was unheard of. 

Then there was one time, might have been on a Main Event, where Hogan and Macho Man were chasing guys out of the ring (I think it was when Macho Man was feuding with The Honky Tonk Man and the Hart Foundation) and Hogan and Macho Man backed into one another. They turned around and stared at one another and eventually shook hands. It was massive when the Mega Powers came together. Hogan helped Macho Man get the title at WrestleMania IV. 

It was also on Saturday Night's Main event a year later when the team exploded. It was The Mega Powers against The Twin Towers of Akeem and the Big Boss Man. Akeem threw Macho Man out the ring and he landed upon Elizabeth. Hogan carried Elizabeth back to the dressing room and left Macho Man alone to fight both of the Twin Towers. There was an explosion in the back and soon Hogan got the title back at WrestleMania V. I tried to watch the scrambled picture of WrestleMania V but as before had to wait for the tape to come out. 

Of course by this time Curt Hennig had moved back to the WWF and became Mr. Perfect. I as you was still a fan of his. This is probably the first time in my life I was a fan of somebody who was supposed to be a bad guy. Of course around this time Macho Man aligned himself with Sensational Sherri and Zeus, and Hogan was Champ once again and feuding with both of them. Then of course shortly after this there was that famous time (also on Saturday Night's Main Event) where Mr. Perfect took a hammer and smashed Hogan's championship belt. 

I mentioned Hogan's feud with Zeus and because of this I was sure at the time that the main event of WrestleMania VI was going to be Hogan against Zeus. I was shocked when Ultimate Warrior became the opponent for Hulk Hogan at that WrestleMania and even more shocked when Warrior won!! Hogan didn't lose. I was 14 at the time and this was the first time I had ever seen anybody beat Hogan. This massively elevated my view of Warrior. I always thought Warrior should have been champion longer but that is another story for another thread. But the match itself told an outstanding story and to this day it is my favorite WrestleMania match of all time. 

And speaking of WrestleMania VI, that was when Andre The Giant turned good again after his split from Heenan and Haku. I may have mentioned this in another thread; but one thing I wanted to happen with Andre now a good guy was for Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant to reconcile their differences, shake hands, and become friends again as they were before the aforementioned episodes of Piper's Pit. I was disappointed when that never happened and Andre vanished for a time.  

But in the meantime that spring and summer, Mr. Perfect won that tournament to become Intercontinental Champion and introduced Bobby Heenan as his "Perfect Manager", Warrior was Champ, Hogan was sent to the hospital by Earthquake and began a feud with him, and I began to like the Hart Foundation for the first time in their Tag Team Title feud with Demolition. I also still loved Haku, whom was also managed by Heenan, and thought (to this day) he had the awesomest wrestling pants ever.      

You mention the 1991 Survivor Series and the Tuesday In Texas that had the feud between Hogan and The Undertaker. But one major major event that also happened at this time was Ric Flair coming in to the World Wrestling Federation. I was blown away when Flair came in with the NWA/WCW belt. Of course by this time Hogan was WWF Champ for a third time. That first feud between Hogan and Flair in the WWF should have been much bigger than it was. Of course Flair caused Hogan to lose the title at the Survivor Series (the first of many Survivor Series screw jobs.) I was shocked when they just put Hogan vs Flair on TV afterwards, as we got shows from Madison Square Garden on the MSG Network. It just seemed like a special treat to see Hogan against Flair; but I was disappointed that nothing seemed resolved. And as far as my view of Undertaker at this time goes; he was in the same "invincible" mode as Hogan and Warrior. But as your experience it did seem rare to see him with the belt. 

Let's back up a bit and talk about my man Bret Hart. By this time he was my favorite and I loved his technical style. He was in a good solo career having won the Intercontinental belt twice. I was absolutely ecstatic when I turned on the WWF show and Mean Gene announced Bret as the new WWF Champion. Luckily my local video store had a copy of the tape that had his victory over Ric Flair on it. All this for the backdrop entering WrestleMania IX. 

I was rooting for Bret against Yokozuna and was of course let down when Bret lost when I saw the video. I had no problem at all with Hogan right away taking the belt from Yoko right then and there. What I did have a problem with was Hogan not fighting Bret afterwards. The WWF Magazine even teased the match; but it never happened. But of course after Hogan dropped the belt to Yokozuna he left and I patiently waited a year for Bret to get the belt back. 

One other difference between mine and yours respective experiences was that I was never that much into WCW. I only watched WCW sporadically, and in the whole Monday Night Wars I remained loyal to the WWF. But boy was it massive when Hogan turned and the nWo formed; I will give you that. What I did see of Hogan at this time was a massive name who rarely wrestled but was still the Champ. While at this time there were various times I didn't have cable and couldn't watch what was going on (by this time I was moved out) I was trying to watch the WWF when I did have cable and was into the WWF attitude era. I liked Stone Cold but considered Owen Hart my favorite up until his passing. When Chris Jericho came in I considered him my favorite, as I knew he was trained by the Harts. 

Also, as with many, this was also the first time I was introduced to what was called the world wide web. My roommates and I saw WrestleMania 13 live on pay per view in 1997 and my roommate was in a chatroom. I eventually started using the internet to find wrestling news, seeking rumors of who was coming and going. But I was always reluctant to admit that wrestling wasn't real, and tried to talk about it as if it was.  

I was very very happy for Hogan's return to the WWF in 2002; because I liked any big name returning and Hogan was one of the biggest. I saw WrestleMania X8 live at a friend's house. I am not gonna say anything that 18 billion people haven't already said beforehand, including you, but you just had to see that Hogan vs Rock match to get its full true impact. The fans realized that Hogan was back in the WWF and was back at WrestleMania and was in a WWF ring once again. That was all they needed. You mention nostalgia and for sure it was; but I think it was more. Hogan could still tell a good story in the ring. I was disappointed when Rock won. I was also disappointed the match wasn't Hogan against Stone Cold, which was and is what I really wanted to see.       

Over the next few years I enjoyed Hogan's various comebacks and appearances in WWE. I was shocked at how badly Brock Lesnar beat him in 2002 though. His 2005 appearance on Carlito's Cabana (where Carlito talked about Brooke in a sexual way) was wild. I got a kick out of Hogan coming back to have an altercation with the Great Khali in 2007. Khali fits the mold of the perfect Hulk Hogan opponent, being big and bad as were Earthquake, Andre, Bundy, and Blackwell before him. 

Since you made this thread Hogan has come back to WWE again, been in a sex tape scandal, had his reputation smeared by racist remarks, left, and came back to the E yet again. But even though as said you and I have had different wrestling experiences over the years and decades, and also as covered in various threads on here you and I view wrestling vastly differently, I feel my overall view of Hogan is largely the same as yours. Hogan is an icon and a part of both my childhood watching wrestling growing up and also a part of my adulthood. You can't tell the story of the first couple of WrestleManias without him. Regardless of whether I considered him to be "one of my favorites" at any given time, Hulk Hogan and my life watching wrestling are inseparable from one another. I think that is your point. 

But also in the larger picture of things, Hogan was in the spot he was in for a reason. We all know his charisma. But I actually feel Hogan doesn't get enough credit for his actual performance in the ring. Sure he is great at power moves. But he can also tell a great story in a match. He has done this time and time again, in so many matches mentioned by both you and me in this thread, against Piper, against Bundy, against Andre, against Savage, against Warrior, against Rock. Hogan is better at match psychology than many people realize. And his technique is actually not bad.  

To me today he is a person I would always want to see make an appearance any chance he can get and would even like to see that "final match."      

Originally posted by Rico Len Rico Len wrote:

Those promos Roberts cut before and after the match are two of the greatest heel promos ever cut IMO.
 

I fully agree. Jake's interview on Elizabeth I would consider perhaps the greatest ever. 

And finally, maybe, just maybe, this post will help you understand my view of wrestling a little more.

Maybe. Tongue 


Edited by Kondor - 04/March/2020 at 17:37

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rico Len Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/March/2020 at 17:38
Quote Let's back up a bit and talk about my man Bret Hart. By this time he was my favorite and I loved his technical style. He was in a good solo career having won the Intercontinental belt twice. I was absolutely ecstatic when I turned on the WWF show and Mean Gene announced Bret as the new WWF Champion. Luckily my local video store had a copy of the tape that had his victory over Ric Flair on it. All this for the backdrop entering WrestleMania IX.


I loved Bret Hart. Watching him become intercontinental champion against Perfect was rather odd for me. As a huge Mr. Perfect mark, I should have been upset at 12 years of age to see him lose to the Hitman, but I wasn't. I was hoping Perfect would go back and challenge Hulk Hogan again.

Watching the Hitman get better and better and move his way up the ranks was awesome. His match against Davey Boy at SS92 was the first match I ever considered better than Savage vs Steamboat, it elevated the Intercontinental Championship to being something just barely a step down from the WWF title, and it elevated the Hitman and Davey Boy both as people I considered worthy of challenging Savage for the WWF title, especially in light of the fact that Savage had just moments earlier settled things and made friends with Warrior.

What I didn't realize was how soon Bret was going to be in that title picture.

I remember going to my friends house who lived 2 doors down and he had just gotten the latest issue of the WWF magazine and it talked about how Savage had just lost the WWF title after being stuck in the Figure Four Leglock for over an hour before he passed out and was counted down for the 3 count. AND THEN!!! Bret Hart beat Flair for the title! I was gobsmacked by the news. Not only was Savage not champion anymore, but Bret Hart had already beaten the guy that Savage lost the title to! It blew my mind.

I loved watching his matches. They were always featured on TV, and I liked watching how he wasn't some dominant force, but rather fit my definition of a fighting champion. Someone who had competitive matches with everyone, and frequently just outsmarted his opponent rather than overpowering them. He was just so different than any champion I'd ever seen. Savage had this big-man aura to him despite being much smaller, and he was high flying just pure badass, Hogan and Warrior were just monsters that dominated everyone in the ring. Undertaker was freaky and untouchable. Flair was a scumbag that didn't deserve to be anywhere near the title, and only cheated his way into the scene. But Hitman? He was the excellence of execution. His moves were crisp and technically advanced above everyone else's. He played possum a lot, letting people believe they had him beat before surprising them with a rollup for the win. (These days that's frowned upon, but back then that was considered clever.) I loved watching the Hitman back in the day.

Quote I actually feel Hogan doesn't get enough credit for his actual performance in the ring. Sure he is great at power moves. But he can also tell a great story in a match. He has done this time and time again, in so many matches mentioned by both you and me in this thread, against Piper, against Bundy, against Andre, against Savage, against Warrior, against Rock. Hogan is better at match psychology than many people realize. And his technique is actually not bad.


Hogan was a pretty solid technical wrestler. I never knew that until I saw youtube videos of him in Japan and saw him wrestling a completely different style. To say it was eye opening is an understatement. Hogan could wrestle, well.

His ring psychology was reflective of his era. He knows how to tell that kind of story exceedingly well, probably better than anyone, but not everyone likes that story. I do, and he never ceases to entertain me, even when he fucks up trying to throw a fireball at Warrior.

Above all else, just like The Rock, Hogan is a showman. People for a time had a tendency to say The Rock was a great technical wrestler, and uh... no not so much. He's not BAD mind you, but he's no Hitman, Angle or Daniel Bryan, and that's fine. He and Hogan IMO are about on par with one another in just about every respect. They know big match events and how to live up to them and get the fans of their respective eras to go batshit crazy in anticipation and when it comes time to deliver the goods, they entertain, they don't wrestle, they don't fight, they tell awesome stories in the ring. Only Austin got to be that same way after Austin broke his neck and had to change his style up, which coincided with him being the biggest name in the business. And John Cena, once he got that monkey off his back about the fans jeering him all the time about how he can't wrestle, and blah blah blah, Cena finally started rising to the occasion and just started telling great stories, and while he'd do it from time to time before this, it took his feud with The Rock to really put that final piece of the puzzle together.

There's a reason those 4 men are on my Mt. Rushmore of Pro-Wrestling, it's because they're the only ones that ever really learned how to just build and hype something to be gigantic, and when it came time to deliver the goods, they told a great story that you could talk about as a story, and not as a match. (Savage really got that too, especially when he worked with Warrior.)
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