April 21, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (w/Bobby Heenan) – (Oakland CA, 10/25/91)
It’s widely thought of as the first meeting between these two, but they actually met for the first time a few days earlier in Dayton Ohio when Hogan subbed for Roddy Piper. Flair is wearing the REAL world championship belt to stick it to Hogan. This was what people have been wanting to see for over five years and finally we got it at a house show no less. Flair shoves Hogan off to start and the mind games have begun! These two could stand in the ring for ten minutes and do nothing and probably get the same reaction. Hogan shoves off a headlock and drops Flair with the shoulderblock. Hogan struts like we saw at their Bash at the Beach match and even does the ‘woo’. Hogan blocks a hiptoss and takes Flair down with a clothesline to send him to the outside. Back in, Flair goes low and corners Hogan with chops. Hogan NO-SELLS a chop as he comes off the ropes and runs Flair down with a clothesline. Flair begs off and takes a ride into the corner for the Flair Flip which of course Hogan stops him with another clothesline. Flair checks with Heenan while Hogan poses in the ring. Hogan tosses Flair back inside, but gets stomped as he slides in the ring. Flair heads up top and takes a slam to the mat. Hogan avoids a corner charge and drops a series of elbows on Flair before the eventual boot rake across the face. He looks like he’s about to put Flair away when Bobby Heenan gets up on the apron. Flair knees Hogan from behind and chokes him down on the mat. He goes after the knee and takes Hogan to school. WOO! With some distraction from Heenan, he bashes a chair on Hogan’s knee. Rolling Knee Drop connects, but Hogan kicks him away when he tries the Figure-Four. Not once, not twice, but THREE times. Come on. Hogan ducks low off a whip and takes a back suplex for his efforts. Cover gets two. It’s HULK UP TIME! Three punches followed by the Big Boot. He hits the LEGDROP, but Heenan sticks Flair’s foot on the bottom rope to break the three-count. Hogan steps away to celebrate thinking that he’s won. Meanwhile, Heenan slips Flair some taped knux. Hogan turns back around like a fool and gets WALLOPED! Cover, 1-2-3! (11:36) Now it’s Flair’s turn to celebrate with the WWF title! Another ref and a suit come out to explain to the original Hebner what Flair did to reverse the decision and give Hogan the victory via DQ. To retaliate, Flair slaps the FIGURE-FOUR on Hogan! WOO! Of all people, Greg Valentine and Davey Boy Smith make the save. This was exactly what it needed to be – Hogan being Hogan and Flair being Flair. This really wasn’t a case where it was meant to be a MOTYC in terms of amazing work rate. It was more of a situation where the Flair fans wanted to see that no-talent Hogan finally get what is coming to him to prove he was the greatest of all-time just like we always knew and the Hogan fans who wanted to see their ultimate hero prevail over the biggest so-called cheater in wrestling and that he was the greatest of all-time just like we always knew. Either way, I think it was a great way to start their series of matches – at least for what it was. ***

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