July 18, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WWF World Champion Bob Backlund (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. Hulk Hogan Ė (Philadelphia Spectrum, 4/12/80)
Wonder where Freddie Blassie is at? Hogan comes out in a rainbow-colored cape, which is hilarious. At this point in Philly wrestling history, they werenít so much as a smart crowd as they were really hot for everything. Hogan might have been a heel, but he still shakes Bobís hand before the match! And the seeds are planted for RING OF HONOR! *clap clap clap-clap-clap* Hogan obviously overpowers Backlund to start. Later in the í80s, Hogan always wrestled guys as big or bigger than him, and Backlund makes Hulk looks HUGE in this match. Backlundís a little hunched over to make Hogan look taller, but I mean heís 6 foot 1! Thatís not very short IMO. Backlund and Hogan trade waistlock takedowns with Backlund coming out on the winning end of that. Hogan hits the floor and takes a powder. Back in, Hogan wants a knucklelock contest. Of course Backlund canít win, so he breaks free and rolls out to trip Hogan up. Backlund grabs a headlock and he STICKS with the headlock. They play around with that for a few minutes. Thatís one thing that guys in those days knew how to do. They could keep your attention with a headlock. Very few guys can do that now. Finally, Hogan backbreakers out of the hold and hits a Oklahoma Stampede! Iím not kidding. Backlund kicks out at one. For some reason, Hogan starts working the arm. He grabs a short-arm scissors and Backlund tries to lift Hogan up and slam him down! He canít get him up on the first try, but he does on the second try and puts Hogan in the corner for a good pimp slap across the face. HOLY MOSES! Hogan charges into a powerslam, but reverses a corner whip and grabs a bearhug. Backlund collapses and nearly gets pinned. He manages to fight up and right out of the bearhug he delivers a piledriver to Hogan. Cover, 1-2-NO! Splash hits knees, so Hogan hits a suplex for 1-2-NO! He tries another, but Backlund reverses into a suplex of his own for 1-2-NO! Now Backlund misses a jumping legdrop (IRONY~!) and takes a Airplane Spin from the future Hulkster. After 25 minutes, that move really doesnít do any favors for either man. Just as I say that, Backlund grabs Hulk and gives him the Airplane Spin! They both tumble over the top to the floor where Backlund continues to spin Hulk around. When heís close to being counted out, Backlund puts Hogan back in the ring. Oh but heís just too exhausted. Backlund falls down on the floor and gets counted out, giving Hogan the victory. (29:00) Extremely impressive match on both parts, but especially Hogan because you just donít think of the man going thirty minutes with anybody and it coming out on a positive note. So many people forget that he could really work outside of his clichťd Hulkamania act. ***ĺ

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