So, May 1990, Brother Love Show, Earthquake smashes Hulk Hogan's ribs, putting him out until Summerslam where Hogan gets his revenge, via countout. (Similar to Summerslam 94 coincidentally).
So, even though Hogan won the match, he didn't pin Earthquake. Did they have plans for him before his run with the Natural Disasters? Could you have seen Earthquake as champion?
I mean, that WAS the plans for him. He smashed Hogan's ribs and drew a shitload of money for months on top and then got to be in a top tag team after being phased down. That's pretty much the ideal endgame for anyone going around the horn with Hulk. He didn't need to be champion and shouldn't have been.