A couple of Hogan questions


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.

Hogan and the Brain

I think the argument could be made that Hogan's greatest feud was against Heenan and not any one particular wrestler.  What one moment or match would you think would be the peak of that feud?  Do you think Hogan had a greater opponent in hindsight?

​Anyone else humming "Hogan and the Brain, Hogan and the Brain, one is a genius and the other's insane" right now?
Obviously the feud peaked with Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania, which was Bobby putting all his ​chips on the one number and swinging for the fences or whatever other mixed metaphor you want.  And then his best shot lost and that was pretty much it for his serious challenges to Hulkamania.  
I still do think that Randy Savage was Hogan's greatest opponent, though, because he actually outsmarted Hogan for a time by becoming his friend and using Hogan like a secret weapon to win the World title before going crazy and losing it back to him again.  

Shango v Hogan

OSW claimed the original reason for the Papa Shango run in at WM8 was to setup a Summerslam match… Really???

Did Vince love the character or was it Hogan's idea… Or is it all crap?

​I hadn't specifically heard that one before, but it would make sense.  Shango fit right into the usual Hogan monster heel formula.  ​

Hogan vs. Jobber

Hey Scott,

Did Hogan ever wrestler an enhancement match? I was wondering because Hogan matches were basically enhancement matches no matter who he was facing (Shine, Heat, Comeback, Go Home) so the idea of him selling like crazy for, say, Barry Horowitz's offense and then making a huge comeback like he was overcoming insane odds would be hilarious to me.

He wrestled the Mountie that one time.  And there's no bigger jobber than him!
​During the actual Hulkamania era, no, he never appeared on regular TV except for one match against I think Bob Orton on Superstars.  Using him to squash geeks would have been a ridiculous waste of him.  

Flair pinning Hogan in 1991 with brass knuckles

What's up with this? In Flair's first run of non-televised matches against Hogan, he would pin Hogan with brass knuckles, be announced as the new WWF champion, only to have the decision be reversed. Here's handheld video of it happening in their second-ever match: https://youtu.be/QJA_BYb_eFI?t=16m40s  Just seems strange that Hogan, who was always protected, would be pinned by the little new guy from down south. Even if it wasn't televised, it was still seen by several live audiences. We've seen all kinds of hokey finishes in house show/dark match main-events, but Hulk Hogan being pinned to lose the title by a complete newcomer only to be awarded the title back on a technicality has to be the strangest right? So was this done to elevate Flair in the eyes of the live-show attendees? To gauge audience response? Did Hulk lose a bet? What gives?

​Well, clearly they were dead serious about pushing Flair as a big deal when he came in.  Yeah, the houses kind of sucked for the rematches and they lost interest quickly, but Flair had those matches going over Hogan and Piper even put him over, so it's clear there were plans.  I checked the WON for that week and despite a hilariously wordy review of the match from Dave, there's nothing about why they chose that finish, so it's probably just what they picked to build for the rematch, with Hogan trusting Flair enough to do a fake job for him.  Dave gave the match ***1/2 in case anyone is wondering.  ​

Randy Savage/Crush Summit: Savage shoots on Hogan

 So I am watching the Monday Night Raw episode on the WWE Network where Crush turns heels and attacks Randy Savage, because Crush says Savage turned his back on him because he didn’t save him from Yokozuna a while back. During the episode, Savage makes a Comment how he friendship went down the drain with Hulk Hogan. And he also made the comment how Hogan is an backstabber, big ego and how Hogan thought of himself as God but there’s only one God. This seems like an shoot from Savage and not something Vince told him to say.

​I dunno, sounds like something Vince would say by my reckoning.  But as noted a few days back, Hogan and Savage had a really bizarre relationship and they were definitely in the "hate" portion of it in 1993.  ​

Hulk Hogan Disgraces The WWF Championship

What was the story here?! How did McMahon let Hogan insult his belt like that?

Plus, how awesome is that HULK HOGAN is ripping on other wrestlers for not leaving and returning to wrestling?

​Yeah, Vince definitely didn't sign off on it, and it was a bone of contention between them for a while to say the least.  I think I can KIND of understand where Hulk was coming from with the promo, because he was trying to make the IWGP belt sound like a big deal and he just didn't think about what he was saying, but it just comes off as a really bad idea.  ​

Racist Hulk Hogan promo

Preview by Yahoo

I'm a little surprised that someone A). Decided to give him those lines, and B). Decided to let this go to air. 
​Well there you go, you can add "being a racist" to "holding people back" and "refusing to do jobs" on Hogan's list of career accomplishments now.  ​

Hogan and Andre

Even though Andre died the night after mania, and everything from the survivor series on was apparently a schizophrenic episode by you, me, and the rest of the world, did Hogan and Andre ever make up in the kayfabe sense on WWF TV after Andre turned face?

And speaking of the late Giant, how really good of a job did they do making him seem like a legit threat at the time he turned on Hogan? I remember it like yesterday and thinking "Well, Hogan's fucked". Now of course as I'm older I look at Andre now and see this slow, out of shape guy who even I could have beat up.

Probably explain why he passed away after mania.

Dude, the man was 900 pounds!  The force of the bodyslam alone was enough to rupture his vital organs.  Especially since Hogan didn't know going into the match what the finish would be or if Andre would cooperate, so he likely had to slam him as a SHOOT.  And then James Hetfield saw it and decided not to hire Hogan as their lead guitarist because he was too dangerous, brother.
Anyway, Andre pretty much disappeared after the face turn, didn't he?  I certainly don't recall any making up on TV, but then I'm old and forgetful anyway.  I will say that 12 year old Scott was terrified of Andre and would have bet all his allowance on the title changing there.  

Heel Hogan in WWF circa 1993?


Was it ever on the cards for Hulk Hogan to turn heel in the WWF back in 1993, prior to him leaving for WCW?

With hindsight, it seems like it would've been the natural thing to do. His act was already stale by that point and the fans were starting to turn against him anyway. A Hogan heel turn would've generated massive publicity for the struggling WWF at that time, and a feud between the newly hated Hogan and Bret Hart as the babyface underdog could've been a big draw.

All you ever heard from Vince McMahon at the time though was that he wanted Hulk Hogan to become the "Babe Ruth of the WWF", steadily phased out of the limelight but brought back periodically as a "special attraction".

McMahon was so fixated on this particular conception of Hogan's future that he couldn't see the forest for the trees. He could've stolen a march on WCW by a good three years and made a mint from a Hogan heel run.

Were they that blind that they couldn't see it? Surely turning a wrestler when his act is going stale is one of the oldest tricks in the wrestling promoter's manual? Did McMahon really just see Hogan as a perennial good guy and nothing besides?

​Sure seems that way.  Hogan for his part was equally behind the times, as he didn't see Bret Hart as a viable alternative to the top babyface spot, so blame can go both ways there.  And then look at what Vince did as soon as Hogan left — he tried to create Lex Luger in his image as another patriotic top musclehead babyface!  Plus, although Hogan's act was stale, it's not like people were actively booing him like they were once he got to WCW, so the dynamic might not have worked the same.  ​

October Classics: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – WCW Halloween Havoc ’94

This is the blowoff to Hulk Hogan’s feud with Ric Flair after Hogan’s debut back in the spring/summer of ’94. It has a cage, Mr. T as the referee, a mysterious masked Hogan attacker being unveiled. Overbooked, yes. Entertaining, also yes.

Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (HH94 Part One) by mrbling

Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (HH94 Part Two) by mrbling

Hogan not on Starrcade ’95

You mentioned in your latest Nitro rant that Hulk Hogan didn't have a match at Starrcade '95. Even as a markish youth (becoming increasingly apathetic to Hogan), I remember being very confused and annoyed at WCW not putting presumably their biggest draw on what was traditionally their biggest show of the year.

So what was the deal? Was it Bischoff trying to de-emphasize Starrcade as a big deal to get rid of the old southern audience, which he seemed to do more of in later years? Was he already reading the signs on Hogan's popularity plummeting? Was Hogan owed a month off in his contract? Or was the New Japan "invasion" SO HUGE as to not leave room for a Hogan-Giant blowoff or something?


As I understand the situation, Hulk asked for that time off well in advance, so WCW burned through his limited number of contractual dates by using him Nitro a bunch of times.  But yeah, in the bigger sense, Bischoff was pretty open about wanting to make SuperBrawl into their version of Wrestlemania instead of Starrcade.  And really, what could they have done with Hogan at that show anyway?  A tag match with the Megapowers against Lex & Sting?  Who would want to see THAT?

Wrestlemania 18 and Hogan

Does anybody know what the plan was for Hogan in 2002? Was the nwo stint with his Hollywood character always meant to just go until Mania?

​More or less, yes.  The plan was always to turn him babyface pretty quick, but the reactions he got accelerated it even more.  The title reign was definitely an audible on their part, though, as HHH was supposed to hold it long-term.  As I've noted before, that's one case where they actually pulled the trigger on something at exactly the right time and place to cash in on it, but the fad died out so unexpectedly quick that they couldn't even be blamed for the backlash that followed.  ​

Hogan Spin

Specifically citing this quick interview (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/wrestling/os-hulkster-back-on-track-looking-for-one-more-match-20140822,0,7466942.post ) where he has a chance to put some caveats on his “one last match” rhetoric, is the Hulkster the single most legendary spin artist of all time or has he ACTUALLY learned something from age and suffering?

Oh sure, and Andre was totally 900 pounds when Hulk slammed him in front of 200,000 people too, brother.  

Goldberg vs. Hogan

Hey Scott, was there any reason why WCW gave away the Goldberg vs. Hogan title match on cable TV? Yeah, I'm sure it got a huge rating, but if they'd waited and put it on PPV it probably would have been the biggest buyrate they ever had in their history. Was there any reason for them putting such a highly anticipated title matchup on Nitro, other than "because WCW"?  

Yup, they basically wanted a huge rating to stem the bleeding, PPV revenue be damned.  What's really weird is that they never did a rematch on PPV and basically shunted Goldberg to the mid card as champion.  

More On Hogan

From the Clash XXX comments…

As horrible as Hogan’s face run was, that’s what WCW brought him in for. The superhero who beats up all the bad guys is what Hulkamania was about and that’s what WCW was trying to recreate. I didn’t like it either but I don’t know why some people think WCW should have made the huge move of signing Hulk Hogan and have him adapt to WCW’s product. The whole idea was to change their product and make a run at #1, not have Hogan and Flair trading the title like Flair did with everyone.

I’d like to stress once again, as someone who lived through Hulkamania almost start to finish, that is 100% the opposite of what his deal was in the WWF.  Hogan wasn’t a superhero who beat up the bad guys effortlessly, he was the larger than life but flawed hero who would get jumped by the heels and frequently betrayed by his friends, sell like crazy for them, typically lose or sometimes win by countout/DQ in the first house show run and then rally to beat them decisively in the rematch.  Yeah, if you were in Buttfuck, MN and happened to get a Hogan show with him defending against some midcard goof like Terry Funk or Bob Orton or god forbid Iron Sheik he would typically steamroll through them, but if it was the SERIOUS houses like MSG with the Big John Studds or King Kong Bundys on top, totally different formula, where the heels would be protected with a DQ for the first run.  Paul Orndorff won a TON of matches over Hulk by DQ after steamrolling through the midcard following his heel turn. All the way up until Zeus that was the basic formula – heel attacks Hogan and gets the best of him, Hogan has to figure out to foil their devious boss attack pattern, Hogan rallies and beats them with the legdrop after drawing a second big house.  It really wasn’t until he started getting ridiculous creative control in 92-93 and believing his own hype that you saw him turn into whatever it was he became when he went to WCW.  The formula with Vader should have simple – Vader lays out Hogan at the Clash with the powerbomb and all hope is gone, Hogan defends against Vader at Superbrawl and wins by DQ because Vader is beating the shit out of him and escapes the legdrop comeback by Race running in and saving him like a coward, and then Hogan wins the big cage match at Uncensored.  At that point with all the money gone he can no-sell the fuck out of the powerbomb and beat him clean because Vader has served his purpose.  Instead, they STARTED with Hogan no-selling the powerbomb.  It was the same deal with the Butcher/Flair nonsense at the Clash, although at least there he showed a slight bit of vulnerability, but then immediately came back to retire Flair and then put away Butcher in their very first match!  There’s a HUGE jump from “NWA style trading the title” to “Hogan is an untouchable superman who never ever loses or sells anything” and Hogan drew money in the 80s by finding the middle ground. 

Batista, Hogan, Flair, DOD and 1994


With the Batista rumored "win the belt" clause in his contract, it got me thinking back to Hogan's WCW jump in 1994. They bring him in, first PPV he takes the belt off Flair. Then in October, he beats Flair in a cage match with Flair's career on the line, all this to build to a Starrcade main with him against Brother Booty Man? 

Did Hogan's creative clause give him the power to book all of his angles? I mean, why not build to the Flair career match at Starrcade?

Oh yeah dude, I'm pretty sure Hogan's contract literally said the words "HOGAN CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS" in bold letters.  Really though, the Havoc show was more important to Bischoff than Starrcade, and it worked in this case and popped a big number.  But yes, Hogan had iron-clad and complete control over everything he did, absolutely.  

Hulk Hogan on TMZ

Hey Scott.  I hope all is well.  I just saw this article on TMZ and thought it was pretty interesting.
Hulk Hogan was at the performance center AND he was wearing his ring gear.  Could it be possible that Hogan said enough prayers and ate enough vitamins that Vince might  actually pull the trigger and have Randy Orton job to him this Monday on Raw to continue with their epic feud from 2006?!?!?!  Say it ain’t so!!!!

Sadly, Hogan lost three of the four demandments as a part of the settlement with Linda, so now legally he can only say his prayers and must get his vitamins from natural food sources.