A couple of Hogan questions

Hi,

Long question first:

I was watching a bit of SummerSlam ’90 a while back and after the Hogan/Quake match, I thought about how Earthquake gave Hogan almost nothing during the match. Now, I realize that Hogan’s matches against the big monsters were often built along this philosophy to maximize sympathy for Hulk, but it still struck me as a bit strange given the whole "Hogan seeking revenge" aspect to the build-up. I momentarily wondered if they were saving something for the subsequent house show run, but then I remembered an MSG match that I saw ages ago that wasn’t much different in terms of the ratio of Hogan offense to Quake offense.

Obviously, the feud drew a good buyrate for the PPV and further strong business for months around the horn, so it probably wouldn’t have been wise to tinker with the formula too much, but still would it have been too out of line to restructure the matches a little so that Hogan gets a few more licks in at the start to satisfy the "revenge" narrative (namely, a bit more like Hogan against Bundy at WM2) before going into the extended heat segment? Or should we just say "don’t argue with success"?

Second (shorter) question: was there anything to the story about Vince wanting to get Nikita Koloff to headline WM2 against Hogan, but Nikita didn’t want to come in just to job to Hulk? Was this actually in the works at any point, or is this just a wishful "might have been" story passed around by fans?

The Quake thing definitely seems to be "don’t argue with success". Hogan obviously knew what he was doing, and yeah, if he destroyed Quake at the PPV then there would little left for the house shows, which also did big business for them. Maybe he was even saving something for the NEXT run of shows, because Hogan-Quake matches I’ve seen from December-ish are pretty much Hogan wiping out Quake by that point.

As for the second one, there’s no definitive evidence that the Nikita jump was a viable thing. I’ve heard many times that Vince WANTED it to happen, but I don’t think a concrete offer was ever made. The timeline just wouldn’t work out. It would certainly have been an awesome WM2 main event, however.

83 thoughts on “A couple of Hogan questions”

    • At least the gloves can be used for other things. What exactly are you going to use a “Get Well Hulk” bracelet for? Except hours of ridicule?

      Reply
    • I thought the Diesel glove thing was cool. The last few months of his WWF run was great. He was basically the same as his nWo character.

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        • I’ve been watching a lot of WCW 98 and man did Nash just take the piss in 1998. He has this big split with Hogan, then spends the next few months just joking around, doing the odd run in, powerbombing Disco Inferno…

          For several months after the nWo splits he’s almost completely aimless. He was totally wasted, and I think he was cool with it. I think he killed his own drawing power for 1999 by appearing in so many segments that were entirely frivolous and pointless.

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          • What was crazy about 98 was they seemed to be building this big feud between Hogan and Nash which caused the nWo to split into Wolfpac and Hollywood and it didn’t really lead to anything like a big Wargames match or something you would expect. Even a Nash/Hogan match would be acceptable then but of course it ended up happening at Road Wild 99 after no one cared anymore.

          • I think the original plan was to do Nash/Hogan at Starrcade, but then the Golberg thing happened and Hogan wanting to take time off for whatever reason.

          • Aye, there’s some great Nash vs Hogan promo stuff in about March, and then the next few months are frittered away on tags and celebrities and Nash disappears pretty much until his strange non-feud with Hall and then the WW3 win. By the time they did Hogan vs Nash a year later, it was with a Hogan who’d only been face for a month versus a recently turned Nash, and it meant nothing.

          • They thought going the nostalgic route and turning Hogan back to red and yellow would make it more interesting but nope.

          • I kinda enjoyed it at the time. It was a trainwreck but I was just happy that it seemed the nWo era was finally over.

          • The dynamic of the whole feud was wrong. The whole angle originally started with Hogan being the leader and Nash being the muscle and as time went on Nash wanted more power, but Hogan was too selfish to relinquish his power and then a year later Hogan is a face and Nash is a heel, which totally defeated the purpose on how their feud started.

          • They think all wrestling marks can live off their dreams and imaginations. That Nash vs. Hogan would do Super Bowl sized numbers whenever they did it. All part of the Bischoff “brand names” mentality.

          • For example, my dad would say Elvis Presley was always Elvis Presley and would always be famous. But fame doesn’t equal to money. At the time of his death, Elvis was still touring to pay off bills. He could pack an arena, but outside his fan base I wouldn’t call him a draw.

          • Because of politics and WCW nonsense, there was never really any sort of payoff to anything with the nWo. Logical feuds and big outcomes just never happened.

          • You’re right. Nash was making too much money to give a fuck how he was being booked. I think in Nash’s mind the less work he did the better. He was pretty proud in booking his own retirement angle and getting paid to sit at home.

          • Such short-term thinking though. He should have put himself in a position to do business in 1999, but he didn’t protect himself at all.

          • Yeah, Nash’s credibility was totally destroyed in 1999 and I can’t think why. He didn’t lose many matches. I think he still had his credibility following the fingerpoke of doom, but by the time nWo disbanded and he turned face, it was obvious he stopped being cool at that point.

          • He also spent the majority of ’96 and ’97 being a lackey for Hogan (which he and Hall *were* pissed about, at least for awhile). I think this is another reason why Giant going NWO was a mistake–he and Nash were supposed to have a big program and that would have given Nash some focus and direction.

    • I’d use my time machine to have senile old Vince in today’s WWE book WWE back in the 90s. No matter how bad things looked in the 90s, it could have been a lot worse with an older more stubborn Vince booking things.

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        • On the other hand, WCW allowed him to work New Japan when NJPW was the biggest company in the world, and then UWFI when they were doing monster business. Even though he wasn’t a full-timer he probably made some bank there, plus he established himself as a huge name in the country with quite a bit of leverage during contract negotiating time.

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      • Despite Hogan no selling the powerbomb that crippled other wrestlers, the Vader/Hogan feud didn’t go so bad. I think not beating Shawn did more damage.

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    • I don’t know, I like Vader, but I thought Earthquake was a great heel and worked well with Hulk. Seemed always out of control in his promos. Don’t think he got enough due.

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  1. With regards to Nikita, the spectacle would’ve been better than the matches. I can absolutely see a string of DQ matches and them doing incredible business during the summer of 86.

    IMO, Nikita’s feud with Magnum was the best thing to happen to him.

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  2. A guy named Brandon Truitt used to review shoot interviews on TheSmartMarks.com (at least I think that was the site) and he reviewed Nikita’s. All of his archives are on KayfabeMemories.com now. Here’s an excerpt pertaining to his (Nikita’s) thoughts on jumping.

    “Did the WWF ever talk to him about coming in? No, the only time he really
    considered it was when Kruscher Kruschev left to become Demolition Smash in the
    WWF. Smash asked him to come in and be his partner, but he told him he’d worked
    too hard in the NWA to get the Nikita Koloff gimmick over to throw it all away
    and start over again. He also thought about it briefly when the Apter magazines
    where doing theoretical dream matches and one of the big ones was Hulk Hogan
    vs. Nikita Koloff.

    Did he ever watch the WWF product? Yeah, and he always felt it was pretty
    cartoonish although he loved Vince McMahon’s marketing genius. If he’d
    gone there, it may or may not have worked out for him because Vince would have
    scrapped the whole Nikita gimmick.”

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  3. Earthquake-Hogan was a great feud. Clearly their Summerslam match was to lead to house show main events, Hogan even alludes to that in his post match promo from Summerslam.

    It is too bad they decided to go with the Slaughter thing and moved on from Earthquake, they had Hulk get him at Royal Rumble, and then they finished on TV with their feud with an afterthought tag match on SNME with Tugboat against Quake and Bravo. Earthquake vs Hogan could have worked at WM7.

    One thing that I think could have been interesting, but I didn’t capitalize on it was when Tugboat turned to join Earthquake a few months later, I remember there was a big deal made on TV for a very brief time about what Hogan thought about it, or how he felt with Tugboat turning. That was something that could have led to something. In fact, a Hogan/Warrior vs Natural Disasters tag match at Summerslam that year would have actually been a fun one. Not perfect, but way better than the dead-end Slaugher stuff.

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    • Don’t think Hulk/Quake could have worked for WM7, but would have been cool if they held it of for a year and did the Hulk/Quake rematch at Summerslam 91 and this time it’s for the title. In order to do that booking Quake probably would have needed to win in their Summerslam 90 match.

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      • or have Quake/Warrior at Summerslam and bring Hogan back via run-in at the end or something. Warrior was the hot new champ, Quake the hottest heel after literally squashing Hulk – it would have been awesome. The Rick Rude stuff was just so random.

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  4. they probably also saw there was more to Quake than just a big dumb monster with a manager mouthpiece. He was a good worker, could talk on his own, and had more to offer after the Hulk match.

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  5. I don’t believe Koloff turned WWF down because he didn’t want to job. I don’t know why any wrestler wouldn’t want to job to Hogan in 1986 at a big show. It was a surefire way to get a check with a bunch of zeroes on it. Piper is the only wrestler I can think of who was dumb enough to say “no” to a clean Hogan job in the 1980s.

    “You asked who did I like wrestling the most, well, that’s one answer; Hulk Hogan. Believe me, brother, when you’re getting that leg dropped on you and you’re making $10,000 to take that leg drop everyday for nine shows a week, that’s 90 grand. Believe me. I loved that leg drop.” – Honky Tonk Man

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    • Piper made even more by being the one guy who DIDN’T cleanly job, thus leaving the door open for another rematch in that same town.

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  6. Earthquake taking out Hogan for a more long-term hiatus (til Survivor Series ’90) would have benefited Warrior much more. Hogan can return at that show for a big “comeback” pop or something. Run Hogan-Quake house show matches. Hulk rallies a team of guys Quake injured (The Hulkamaniacs) and faces the Natural Disasters. Blow off the Hulk-Earthquake stuff and move on.

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  7. The story arc was pretty good for a young Hulkamaniac

    1. Hogan always wins
    2. Hogan finally does NOT win, vs. Warrior at Wrestlemania VI
    3. Hogan looks more vulnerable than ever when Earthquake takes him out
    4. Hogan returns to slay the monster (kind of) at SummerSlam, then Survivor Series
    5. Hogan wins the Royal Rumble
    6. Hogan beats Slaughter to reclaim the title and his Mr. USA spot

    #7 should have been Hogan beating Warrior at SummerSlam, in MSG, to get that monkey off his back.

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  8. This has to be the first time in history I’ve seen somebody question that Hogan didn’t get *enough* offense in a match.

    I really, really liked that SummerSlam match, by the way. And I loved the visual of the post-match with Boss Man frantically clobbering Earthquake with a chair, even opening up his back, and not being able to get him to break the choke on Hogan.

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    • I was just watching that SummerSlam match again. During Earthquake’s entrance twice Dino Bravo just runs in circles in the ring like an over excited schoolboy.

      Dino Bravo was such a twat.

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  9. Nikita has said in multiple interviews with WrestlingInc (April 2013 & May 2015) that the only time he was approached about going to WWF was when Barry Darsow asked him to go with him and be his partner in Demolition. These Hogan/Wrestlmania 2 rumors are bullshit.

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      • That’s a good question. In the interview, Nikita makes it sound like Darsow was still in JCP and about to go to WWE to become Smash when he made the pitch to Nikita. This would have had to be January or February of 1987 because Randy Colley was part of Demolition in mid-January and Darsow replaced him in mid-February.

        Crush didn’t come about until more than 3 years later when Eadie was having some health problems. I wouldn’t think that WWF was planning to make the group a trio initially; if the were, I can’t see them waiting 3 years to finally pull the trigger.

        My guess is that Darsow was disgruntled when leaving JCP and he said to his buddy “Come with me. We can be tag team partners with this Demolition gimmick” even though he had no power to make that happen. The other possibility is that Nikita is lying, but I don’t see the motive.

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        • Darsow was with JCP until early 1987. Time wise, the Nikita/Hogan match doesn’t work. If Vince wanted to bring Nikita in early 1987, yeah, but 1986 doesn’t work.

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  10. They need to book a Nikita Koloff vs. Hulk Hogan staredown at Wrestlemania (32). Not a match, just a staredown with Magnum T. A. as the moderator. That would be the greatest 20 minutes in the great history of our sport.

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  11. This is one of those cases where Vince might’ve retained an old gimmick, since the idea of a Russian star against all-American Hogan was too good to pass up.

    Reply

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