The Hulkster: Hulk Hogan
Hello everyone, MillenniumMan coming at you once again with another Coliseum Video review. This one is from The Collector’s Series of 1986, is a 45 minute quickie, and takes a look at the WWF Champion at the time, Hulk Hogan. The box I have of this video is in super cruddy condition. I literally have scotch tape all over the box. Plus, the stickers on the tape itself are long gone. Anywhoo, let’s get started.
- Vince McMahon welcomes one and all to this special presentation. The Wrestling Classic is playing on the monitors in the background for those who get a kick out of that sort of thing. McMahon preaches that this tape contains “the best of the best.” Mr. McMahon is the shillest of the shillers. Hey, not that there’s anything wrong with that, someone’s got to be the breadwinner. Vince states that Hogan has been champ for two years and has 25 successful title defenses. We begin with . . .
- WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Brutus Beefcake w/ Luscious Johnny Valiant from The Spectrum --- Gorilla Monsoon and the underrated Dick Graham with the call of this one. Bruteye (credit: Monsoon) is already ˝ of The Tag Team Champions with Greg Valentine so this is probably late 1985. Hogan attacks before Beefcake can even get his vest off. An atomic drop sends Brutus to the floor and into the arms of Johnny Valiant. The Beefer regroups and heads back in. Lockup and Brutus actually shoves Hogan back. Hogan’s all “what’s the deal?” Lockup . . . NO Brutus struts out of it. They go to lockup again but they both start strutting which really irritates Brutus for whatever reason. Hogan with the Greco-Roman posing. Punches, kicks, elbows, and clotheslines send Brutus to the canvas. Hulk bites Beefcake (umm, that sounds weird). Side headlock by the champ and into the corner they go. Beefcake gets in a pretty lame-o cheap shot and follows it up some forearm drops and axehandles. Hogan blocks the turnbuckle smash and gives Beefcake several shots into the buckle. I should add that the heat for this match is roughly 132X that of their Starrcade 1994 match as if anyone’s really surprised. I mean Hogan could of wrestled Arnie, the vending machine refill guy during this time period and it would of gotten 101X the heat of Starrcade 1994. Hogan hits a bodyslam and two elbows. However, Beefcake turns the tide with a clothesline in the corner. Well, at least they’re keeping the offense simple enough for the fans, as if they have any control over it. Valiant taunts Hogan a bit and Beefcake starts gouging Hogan and choking him on the 2nd rope. Bruteye gets a 2-count which draws a “Whoooaaaa!!!” out of Dick Graham, God bless him. Brutus chokes some more and gets another 2-count. Brutus with a quasi-powerslam of sorts for another 2.5. Beefcake hits even more forearm drops and Hogan starts QUIVERING! You know what that means, right? When Hulk Hogan starts quivering all over the place during a match, he is really just powering-up since the ensuing cover will almost ALWAYS be a 2 count followed by a Hulk UP! Here, he really didn’t quiver too much but enough to catch my eye, so there. Sure enough, Brutus gets 2 and let THE HULKING UP . . . BEGIN!!! Typical Hulking up process that finishes with the legdrop, BUT Valiant jumps up on the apron and distracts Hogan. Beefcake takes this opportunity to hit Hogan in the back with a high knee. Hulk gets his leg way under the rope at 2, but Valiant figures his man won and grabs the belt. Beefcake celebrates as well. That in itself gives Beefcake two chances of winning this match, slim and none. And slim just walked out the door! Hogan rolls him up and gets the 3-count. Of course, Hogan double-noggin-knocks the heels after the match and Graham is pumped! The match was a bit dull, probably because they’ve been working the same match twice a night for two weeks already, but still fun enough for a peek.
- Next, we get the ending to The Bob Backlund vs. Iron Sheik WWF Championship Match from MSG. The date is December 26, 1983 and Monsoon and Pat Patterson are manning the commentary table. Sheik injured Backlund’s neck prior to this match with a 75-pound Arabian club. Now there’s something you don’t see under the ring of your average hardcore match, do ya? Anyways, we pick things up with Backlund trying a bridge but his neck gives out. Sheik hooks the Camel Clutch and Backlund refuses to give up. Blassie is yelling for The Sheik to pull on it. Cripes, if he pulled any farther, he’d fall backwards. Arnold Skaaland, manager of Backlund, throws the towel in thus making the result of the match the same as a submission thus making The Iron Sheik the NEW WWF Champion. The New York crowd is something less than amused by the outcome. Fortunately for them, a hero was on his way . . .
- WWF Championship: Iron Sheik w/ The Ayatollah Blassie vs. The Incredible Hulk Hogan from MSG --- The date is January 24, 1984 just to confirm what many of you already know. Monsoon dubs in some uninspired commentary to drown out “Eye of the Tiger”. I read in Hogan’s autobiography that he slipped the music guy about $50 to play the song in fear Vince may not let Hogan come down to it. On the contrary, McMahon thought it was a fine idea and Hogan wasted his money. I’m surprised he’s not over that by now. If you look “FIRED UP CROWD” in the dictionary, an audio sample of MSG during the introductions would be what you would find. Weird seeing Hogan introduced first. Man, MSG is RUMBLING! Hogan attacks immediately and beats The Sheik from pillar to post. Hogan chokes Sheik with his own robe. Hogan with a clothesline and knee drop. Hogan follows up with a neck hang and starts hocking in the Iranian. Hogan’s premature Big Boot gets a 2-count. An elbow drop gets another two and this is a 100% purified squash! Well, that goes until he misses a blind charge. Sheik stomps away. Backbreaker gets 2 for the champ. Sheik applies a Boston crab to perhaps get Hogan to give up; but not tonight! Hogan powers out but Sheik hits a gutwrench suplex (or ‘suplay’ as Gordon Solie would call it). That gets 2 so Sheik figures to make it a quick night and slaps on the Camel Clutch, the very hold that got him the championship. Hogan, much to New York’s delight, won’t give in. He starts to get up with Sheik still on his back as if to say, “I’m taking your belt you foreign bastard and there’s NOTHING you can do to stop me!!!” Of course, Hogan would use this philosophy time and again throughout his career. Hogan smashes Sheik in the corner, does a mini-Hulk up, and drops the inevitable legdrop for the 1-2 and decisive 3 count! There is not ONE person standing still and/or booing. EVERYONE is pumped up and rightfully so. There is a new guard in town. The Fink belts out, “The winner of this bout, and NEW World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion, The Incredible Hulk Hogan!” Now, I know I’m coming across as a Hogan mark. Many say he overstayed his welcome in WCW (me included), BUT this was the guy to carry the company at the time like it or not. Not unlike Stone Cold Steve Austin, his time and the company’s time has come and Vince scored big time!
- Post-match interview w/ NEW WWF Champion Hulk Hogan --- Mene Gene Okerlund is conducting this right after Hogan’s victory. To say Hogan is ecstatic is a bit of an understatement. Andre the Giant comes in to pour champagne on the champ. Ivan Putski joins in on the fun as well. We come back with Hogan and his parents Ruth and Pete. His parents are very proud of their son. Hogan gets his “Hulkamania is running wild!” line to send us off to . . .
- WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Iron Sheik from The Spectrum --- We are in May of 1984 for the rematch. Dick Graham and Lord Alfred Hayes are commentating here. We’re JIP and Sheik is taking the advantage. Hogan is wearing blue if you’re keeping score at home. A CLIP takes us to The Sheik spitting on Hogan. Hogan blocks a vertical suplex and gets one of his own. Both men are down. Sheik up first but Hogan starts Hulking Up! That’s odd. No quivers, no 2-count, no nothing. Hogan is bleeding but the reason must have been clipped. Doh! Hogan hits the legdrop, BUT would rather bust the former champ open then get the pin. BIG mistake if it were happening today, but it’s not; it’s May of 1984. Oh yeah, you already knew that; see you’re learning. Crowd supports the decision. Hogan eventually gets Sheik’s hooked boot off after a few tries. He slams it on the mat while Sheik bails out. Hogan catches up and nails his rival with it. CLIP! The ref is down, bith guys are in the ring, and Hogan is continuing to nail Sheik with the boot. As Gorilla would say, “Turnabout is fair play.” Sheik is now a bloody mess. Some 1984 jobbers step in to stop The Hulkster. The only one I recognize for sure is Terry Daniels. Sheik leaves. Ring announcer Mel Phillips states that there was a double countout after 18:14. Yikes! They only showed about 5 minutes here and they clipped the ending. For what they showed, it was pretty good. Sheik escaped without a loss but Hogan was made to look awfully strong. So with the Hogan/Sheik saga out of the way, it’s time to move onto the finale . . .
- WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Don “The Magnificent” Muraco in a Steel Cage Match from MSG --- This would have to be mid-late 1985. This is the rubber match between the two after Muraco beat Hogan by a countout and Hogan won the rematch by DQ due to Fuji Vice’s interference. Monsoon and Okerlund with the call. Big staredown to start but it’s kinda hard to take either man seriously with a nerf football in the cage. Hogan, ever the champion and consummate athlete, gets rid of it. Somehow, I doubt Hogan is going to leap off the top of the cage ala Superfly Sunka in this one, but we’ll see. Hogan blocks a quick ram into the cage. Another staredown and this time Muraco blocks a cage charge. Good for him. You know, it’s kind of weird to see Muraco this close to being the WWF Champion and then be reduced to jobber boy by 1988. Of course, in RVD’s case it happened in the span of around 8 days. Strange how everything in today’s wrestling world is so accelerated. That’s what 5 hours of original TV a week will do to you (I’m counting Heat/Velocity as one hour). Anyhow, back to the match, Muraco gives Hogan a classic mule kick. Donny starts kicking, stomping, and kneeing away. Muraco hits a kamikaze drop on Hogan ala Fuji. Muraco tries to escape but it’s way too early. Very slow paced match. Either they’re lazy tonight or they’re building up to the first taste of steel and consequently blood. Since I like Muraco and I’m a GGTK (Good Guy to Know), I’ll go with the latter. Hogan with an early Hulk Up. Hogan bites Muraco and ends up ramrodding him twice into the cage. Muraco is wearing the proverbial crimson mask, well kinda. Man, The Magnificent One is a professional ass-kickee. However, after a blind charge, Hogan ends up eating the steel mesh and Muraco becomes the ass-kicker. A slingshot into the cage makes Hogan bleed. Muraco starts climbing up but Hogan stops him. Okerlund thinks Hogan bleeding is quite the tragedy. Well geez, Muraco has been juicing, pardon the pun, for longer than Hogan and Gene-O seems to be fine with that. That ain’t cool. Hogan, however makes a comeback and catches Muraco with the big boot. Muraco does his patented head caught between the top and middle ropes. What kind of clutz does that every single night?!? It costs Muraco the match as Hogan escapes through the door and retains the championship.
- Closing credits roll to the theme song for Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling cartoon show. For those that care, Brad Garrett (Rob Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond) did the voice of Hulk Hogan on the show. We finish with clips and a rundown of the entire WWF Coliseum Home Video Series to the beat of the ultra-hip tune that introduced every Coliseum Video until 1987.
- Final Thoughts --- Well, this sure isn’t a big investment in time to watch as it clocks in more around 40 minutes, so how can you lose? However, it’s super rare and if you can find it on ebay, it’s probably not worth what the high bidding it’s at. For a reasonable facsimile of this video, pick four old school Hulk Still Rules DVD extra matches to watch which is of the highest recommendation by this reviewer. Take a pass on Hulkster and I’ll assume you’ll pick up the Hulk Still Rules DVD set instead. Any and all questions and comments can be left in this thread or at my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!