March 13, 2005
Backstory: To trace this feud, you actually have to go back to the Andre the Giant-Big John Studd feud. They had been feuding with each other since 1983. Studd teams with fellow giant and Heenan Family member King Kong Bundy against Andre & Tony Atlas. Andre is getting beat down and because Tony was a jobber to the stars he couldn’t do anything, when who should arrive but Andre’s good friend Hulk Hogan. Hogan & Andre team against Studd & Bundy. From this Hogan and Bundy start feuding. Then on Saturday Night Main Event Hogan gets avalanched by Bundy and Hogan’s ribs are broken. So Hogan’s out for revenge, and Bundy is looking for the title.
Playing fantasy booker for a moment, there are A LOT of better thing they could have done for the main event of WrestleMania 2. First, one that they were actually consider was Hogan-Savage. This is because of a tremendous match they had in the Boston Garden. In my opinion, no one ever got the best out of Hogan like a heel Savage. Savage’s Memphian cheating meshed will with Hogan’s Superhero antics. But those plans were scrapped and Savage got an even greater honor- fighting George “The Animal” Steel second match on the card while Susan St. James went “Uh Oh.”
My personal choice however would have been resolve the long standing Piper-Hogan situation in the cage. Or I would have done it sooner at Wrestling Classics. The point is, I would have resolved the situation instead of letting it peter out like it did.
But if you had to have Bundy in there, I wouldn’t have put them in a cage. Instead I would have had Bundy beat Hogan on TV then, ask for five, but Hogan kicks out at four. He Hulk’s up and gets him with a double axehandle and pins him, but barely. Heenan is incensed because Bundy had Hulk beat, and Bundy wasn’t beat by Hogan decisively enough. So Heenan challenges Hogan to a Texas death match (or they may want to change the name, because of the WWF becoming a family organization). Hogan accepts and you could have even had Bundy avalanche Hogan on Saturday Night Main Event again. Then finally at WrestleMania 2, Hogan gets the legdrop, and finally beats Bundy decisively.
Finally a word on WrestleMania 2 as a whole. This was essentially a three hour version of Primetime Wrestling, with a house show main event tacked on. No real long matches. Mainly stars versus jobbers to the stars. This event came from three different locations. Chicago in the Rosemont Horizon which didn’t sell out, The Nassau Coliseum in Long Island and the Sports Arena in Los Angeles where this match is coming from. Fun note, the matches from the Nassau Coliseum and Horizon aired in LA after the main event. The triple location idea was probably done to boost closed circuit TV sales by giving some towns a part of WrestleMania, only problem is they underestimated PPV, and Chicago didn’t sell well.
Also, since the first WrestleMania worked so well with celebrities like Billy Martin and Muhammed Ali as announcers and referees, they MUST do better with celebrities in EVERY facet. So you had celebrities as ring announcers, officials, and even commentators! Which brought us Susan St. James who knew nothing about wrestling, and just said “Uh oh” all the time. Plus triple the cities, you triple the celebrities and you really dig down deep getting people like Herb the Burger King Guy and the Where’s the Beef Lady. For those under the age of eighteen, I apologize that you don’t know those names, but that’s the point exactly. So anyway, enough backstory, on with the match...
-Steel Cage Match: WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
Elvira is giving color commentary with Jesse Ventura and Lord Alfred Hayes. Hogan comes in with his ribs taped. Fist fight to begin with and Hogan gets the upper hand. Hulk beats on Bundy with punches, kicks, and chops. Hogan gets a big boot and chokes Bundy with the strap from his tights. Hogan goes back to the usual punch, chop, kick combo on Bundy. Hogan gets an elbow to Bundy’s head, but it only phases him. Bundy finally goes after Hogan’s ribs, but much like the psychology in the Taker-Sid match I reviewed earlier, it isn’t very exciting. Bundy goes to leave through the door, but Hogan holds onto his leg to stop him. See here’s the problem with WWF steel cage escape rules. You have to have the babyface look weak holding onto the heel’s legs like he’s begging him to stay in. Also, to win he ESCAPES the cage like a cowardly heel, and since faces typically win the cage match (especially during the Bob Backlund days) it was particularly mind blowing. Speaking of blowing, the match continues as Bundy slams Hogan into the cage. Bundy then rips off the tape from Hogan’s ribs. Elvira proves she’s no better than Susan St. James by exclaiming like a horny teenage girl “OH HE’S TAKING OFF MORE CLOTHES” as he takes off the tape from the ribs, then says “Oh he’s taking off his BELT!” She incorrectly corrects herself. Bundy then begins to choke Hogan with the tape and Elvira exclaims “HE CAN’T DO THAT, can he?” So of course poor Jesse Ventura has to explain that he can. Thankfully through most of this match Jesse is the one who’s talking, and so much so that his throat hoarse by the end of the match. Elvira trips over Alfred Hayes a few times through the match. Bundy ties Hogan to the middle rope by the neck and goes to leave through the door again, but again Hulk stops him but looks like a wimp doing so. Hogan comes back and whips Bundy into the cage, and Bundy blades .Hogan rams Bundy into the cage, then suddenly hits a hurricanrana, however Bundy hits a Asia Moonsault and gets the pin to win the title. Actually no, I just got a little bored and thought of how funny that would be. Go ahead and picture it in your head. Anyway, Hogan chokes Bundy out on the top rope. Hogan goes for a slam, but falls back when it was still sort of a Hogan cliché instead of the biggest Hogan cliché of all-time. Bundy goes to escape through the door again, but Hogan catches him and chokes him out with the tape. Bundy gets a shot on Hogan however, and then whips him in the corner and gets the avalanche. He follows it up with a splash. Both guys get back up, and Bundy gives Hogan another avalanche. Since it knocked him down earlier in the match and broke his ribs before it’s enough to at least phase him right? Nope, Hogan no sells it which is followed by the typical slam and legdrop combo. Hogan goes to climb over the top and Heenan is there to meet him. Bundy grabs Hogan’s leg, but Hogan kicks him off. Hogan finally climbs over the top for the win. Hogan goes after Heenan who runs away INTO THE CAGE which proves he should have kept the “Pretty Boy” moniker for a couple more years. Hogan beats on Heenan in the cage since Bundy is on the outside bleeding and gives Heenan an atomic drop (remember that move) to send him out of the cage. Hogan is declared winner, and there was much rejoicing. Yah. Anyway this match is sort of good for Hogan nostalgia to see how his matches use to work with him kicking ass for a while, then getting his ass kick, then no sell, slam, legdrop, before Hogan’s style became REALLY ridiculous. But Hogan’s style was never consistently good so I’ll give it ½*
Aftermath: Well this was pretty much the climax, Hogan moved on and continued to fight guys as champion. Bundy moved down the card of course. This probably gave Bundy a boost as a Z level celebrity. Of course Married...with Children started the same year, and the family was named Bundy after King Kong. So I guess overall this match gave Bundy a bit of celebrity status. Of course I still would have preferred characters named Al Piper and Peggy Piper. But that’s just me.