The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Hulkamania 3
I may have given up on NXT already.
Anyway, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this one, and I’ve certainly never reviewed it.
Released sometime in 1988, building up to Summerslam 88.
Your host is Craig DeGeorge, who is on a boat with Hulk. The theme of the tape is INSIDE THE GIANT BETRAYAL.
Piper’s Pit with Jack Tunney, as he awards a gigantic trophy to Hulk Hogan for being WWF champion for three years. What a random period of time to celebrate. Hulk is SHOCKED to even be nominated for this prestigious award from corrupt old Jack, but then his best friend Andre the Giant comes out and shares in the congratulations, but then only quips “three years to be the champion, it’s a long time” and then leaves.
Next week, Jack “On the take” Tunney has a smaller trophy, probably because he sold the real one and kept the money, and this one is for Andre in celebration of being undefeated for whatever made up period of time. Andre has only one thing to say, but of course glory hound Hogan immediately storms out and interrupts him so he can cut a promo all about HULK HOGAN and how Andre influenced HULK HOGAN. Andre is so annoyed that he leaves his Dollar Store trophy on Piper’s table and walks off in a huff.
Next week, Piper has both awards on the set again, and his guest is Jesse Ventura, who Piper accuses of stirring stuff up. Jesse ain’t stirring up nothing, but he points out that Andre was recently reinstated, but he didn’t even attend his own hearing! But Bobby Heenan was there, and now Jesse has done his own research and it’s gonna BLOW OUR MINDS. Piper telling him to “get to the point” is some supreme irony. Jesse isn’t gonna spill the story this week, and points out that Hogan has a gigantic gold plated trophy and Andre has this tiny little bowling league trophy. Piper points out that he’s fought both guys and no one is ducking anybody. Jesse thinks that maybe he and Piper should step into the ring to settle their disagreement, and Piper is good with that, but Jesse changes his mind and suggests having Hogan and Andre back the next week to talk it over. The fake crowd noise was really noticeable here but man what a great promo.
Next week, Piper produces Hulk Hogan as promised, and then Jesse has Andre the Giant…and his new best friend Bobby Heenan. Hulk is shocked and appalled, but Andre has nothing to say, leaving Bobby to do the heel promo of a lifetime. Hulk goes to shake Andre and Andre just gives him a terrifying “GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY SHOULDERS”. I’d listen to him if I was you. Andre challenges Hulk to the title match, and then just tears off Hogan’s necklace and shirt, drawing blood while Hulk lays there in horror. Piper quietly saying “You’re bleeding” was a fantastic bit of character addition.
Next week, Hulk is on the Pit again, and he’s feeling pretty rough. So Piper wants to know what’s going on with Andre, but Hulk is still wrecked by the betrayal of the man who he patterned his career after and hasn’t even put his shirt back on yet! And when Andre tore his cross off, he DROVE A STAKE through Hulk’s heart. But Piper is sick of listening to Hulk whining and just wants to know if Hulk is facing him for the title at Wrestlemania, and of course the answer is AS LONG AS I GET 15% OF THE CLOSED CIRCUIT GATE, BROTHER!
Meanwhile, at the official contract signing, Jack Tunney makes sure to write in his skim money off the top, but before Andre signs anything, he wants a new WWF title made to fit Andre. Hulk of course loses his shit at Bobby’s promo, looking like he drank 17 Red Bulls before the signing, while Andre just calmly sits there staring a hole in Hogan’s soul. Hulk notes that if Andre had wanted a title shot, all he had to do was ask! Um, pretty sure he did just ask for a title match. And after Hogan signs, Andre gives him some French shit-talking, and Hogan snaps “SPEAK TO ME IN ENGLISH” like a true racist, but Andre blows him off with “Au revoir” and makes Hulk look like the clown he is.
Back at the boat, Hulk speculates that Andre weighed “600 or 700 pounds” at Wrestlemania 3, so slamming him would be a huge challenge.
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Andre the Giant
Andre of course had a massive back brace here to keep himself mobile. Gorilla notes that “win lose of draw” it’s the last time for Hogan to be wearing that version of the WWF title, but in fact he was wearing it for another year after this. After the famous staredown Hulk goes for the slam, but Andre falls on top for two. Now, to be clear, listening on headphones you can distinctly hear idiot referee Joey Marella’s hand hitting the mat TWICE, but not the third time, so it was definitely a two count. Plus, of course, Marella could barely count to three as it was. Andre beats on Hogan’s back and easily slams him twice before casually stepping on the back. Andre whips him into the corner, barely able to walk or follow up, and he slowly goes to work and throws the headbutt while Hogan does his usual sell job. Hulk finally slips away and makes a brief comeback, slugging Andre into the corner for the 10 turnbuckle shots, but he charges like a moron and runs into Andre’s boot. And then it’s bearhug time for Andre as THAT goes on a while. But of course Hogan’s arm is up on the third drop, which is actually a trope that has gone away in the era of tapping out, and Hulk slugs out of the bearhug before walking into a chop. It’s interesting how smartly they structured the match, basically 10 minutes of Andre not having to do anything but stand there and chop. They fight to the floor and Andre headbutts the post. That poor post. Hulk pulls up the mats, apparently a fan of Bill Watts, but tries a piledriver and Andre backdrops him onto the “concrete”, which looks suspiciously like plywood. Man Andre just looks so pained and immobile. Back in, Andre misses a big boot and Hogan kind of clotheslines him down and then does his Hulking Up without Andre’s assistance. And then, the famous slam, and the legdrop to finish at 11:34. ½* Man, it’s just so transparent how LITTLE Andre was able to do here, as the entire climax of the match was lacking involvement from Andre in any significant manner and this match was just NO GOOD. Like what even was the storyline of the match? There were no significant twists or turns in it and it just ended with Hogan slamming him.
Meanwhile, Mean Gene sits down with Andre and Bobby on SNME after Wrestlemania, and Andre claims that he was CHEATED. The referees are biased! Jack Tunney is biased! To be fair, Tunney is biased towards anyone who puts money in his pocket on the side.
Next up, we get the highlights of the Hogan-Bundy match from SNME, as Andre trips up Hulk to prevent the legdrop and gets sent back to the dressing room. Andre shoving the handheld cameraman down and then putting the boots to him in the aisle is an amazing visual. “He’s kicking him!” a disgusted Vince says. Lots of pronouns there, Vince. Bundy then wins by countout later on.
Later in 1987, Ted Dibiase joins Craig DeGeorge for a special interview, and announces that he is going to BUY the WWF title as the ultimate payoff to the series of skits where people do stupid stuff for money. Because everyone has a price, even the producer! Dibiase bought him as well, you see, and he wasn’t cheap! Dibiase should have bought stock in WWE when they went public. He’d be doing even better today. Might even have a shot being CEO.
Meanwhile, Craig sits down with Jack Tunney, who isn’t sure about the legalities of someone buying the WWF title. Well he’d certainly be the expert in dirty money.
Hulk Hogan joins us for an interview with Craig to answer Dibiase’s proposal, and he thinks that “thinking about money 24 hours a day makes you a little goofy”, but it’s a good thing he doesn’t have all that money. Poor Hulk, living payday to payday. So he thinks about Dibiase’s offer and thinks about all the crippled orphans he could help, and then takes off the belt and tells him HELL NO. I think they should have cut to an orphanage on remote, where these pathetic kids are watching with their Hulkamania shirts that they got second-hand from Goodwill, and then Hulk teases them with enough money to have three meals a day before ripping it away and leaving them all in tears. Then the nun comes in and tells them all that it’s time to get back to working for their gruel, because those wallets aren’t gonna sew themselves! I would have laughed and laughed! Stupid orphans, maybe try having some parents, losers!
Next week, Ted Dibiase returns to talk about getting turned down by Hogan, who is a 330 pound FOOL. He offered Hogan a stupendous amount of money! The biglyest amount of money! Many people are saying the most money ever offered for a title belt! So now Dibiase is going to have to do his own dirty work and humble Hogan himself. Good luck with that labor there, Ted.
And now finally a match! Although I actually really enjoyed the whole hour of recapping the Hulk-Andre story week by week in full.
Hulk Hogan & Bam Bam Bigelow v. Ted Dibiase & Virgil
From MSG in January of 88, although oddly enough we skip ahead to Andre being with the heels after going step-by-step through the entire storyline on this tape up until now. I should note that Bigelow was MAIN EVENTING with Hulk Hogan in MSG and somehow managed to fuck it up by the end of the year. Hulk runs Dibiase from pillar to post and rubs his face in the mat, and Bigelow comes in and puts Dibiase down with a shoulderblock while Ted sells for him like he’s getting hit by a truck. Hulk comes in and puts the boots to Dibiase before dropping a fist on him, and Dibiase goes to the wrong corner and gets double-teamed by the faces. Hulk drops elbows on Dibiase and slugs Virgil off the apron to be a jerk, and then gives Ted the windup Popeye punch, but he goes for the legdrop and Andre trips him up. Dibiase chokes him out on the ropes and Andre adds some abuse. Virgil comes in with a forearm from the top and beats Hogan down, allowing Andre to give Hulk more abuse. Dibiase tosses Hulk and Andre helpfully throws him back in for a clothesline from Virgil. Dibiase drops the fists on Hulk for two and goes to a chinlock, which he turns into a sleeper on the mat. Hulk fights out of that, but they clothesline each other for the double down and it’s HOT TAG Bigelow. He hits Virgil with a press slam and drops a headbutt and elbow on him for two. Dibiase saves and hits Virgil by mistake, so Hulk drops the leg for good measure and Bigelow pins Virgil at 11:05. Hogan and Dibiase have great chemistry together as usual here, even if Bigelow was out there flailing like a bull in a china shop. ***1/4 And then Hulk taunts Andre with the belt, which seems like a very bad idea.
Back to SNME as Hulk has his rematch with Bundy and beats him with the legdrop this time, then taunts Andre again, resulting in Andre waiting until Hulk turns his back before giving him the choking of a lifetime. The Bulldogs try to save Hulk and get thrown out like garbage, and then a parade of midcard babyfaces also try to pull Andre off and finally it takes Duggan using a 2×4 to break it up.
Ted Dibiase joins Craig for another special interview, and even though he’s given up on buying the WWF title, he’s buying the next best thing in the form of Andre the Giant’s services. Bobby Heenan is of course all too happy to take Dibiase’s money.
From the Royal Rumble, we get a quick highlight of Andre and Hulk signing the contract for the rematch, and Andre puts the “stamp of approval” on the contract by ramming Hulk into the table.
Meanwhile, Hulk works out to Jake Robert’s entrance music, perhaps due to the python connection.
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Andre the Giant
Of course we move to the Main Event, as Hulk debuts the Winged Eagle belt. So after four years as champion, it all leads to this for Hulk. An underrated camera shot sees them pan from Andre’s boots up to his head, making him seem larger than life, and that clip ended up getting used in various B-roll footage about Andre for years afterwards. Hogan storms in like the cheater he is and attacks both Dibiase and Virgil, then slugs on Andre but can’t knock him down. So he goes and stomps on Dibiase’s hands like a sore loser, sending money flying. I know for a FACT that Dibiase had earmarked that cash as a donation to the NAACP, so I’m not surprised Hogan would pull that. Hogan tries to go to the top rope and Andre slams him off, but misses a headbutt. So instead he chokes Hogan out from his back like Royce Gracie if Royce somehow absorbed the mass of all the other Gracies into himself and moved to France. He sends Hogan into the corner and stomps Hogan’s hand, and then slams him to get some revenge for Wrestlemania before kicking him in the back and chopping him down. Andre adds a headbutt while Hogan is of course selling his ass off, and Andre puts him out of the ring with a big boot. Virgil throws Hogan back in and Andre goes to another choke with his shoulder strap, but Hogan fights out of it and slugs away in the corner. Hulk goes AERIAL with a middle rope clothesline, but Virgil trips him up to stop the legdrop and takes the ref, as Hogan pins Andre but there’s no one to count. So Hogan yells at the ref, but Andre grabs him from behind and delivers two headbutts and his suplex thing for one, and then the ref ignores Hogan getting his shoulder up and counts the pin anyway at 9:08, making Andre the Giant the WWF champion for the one and only time in his career. *1/2 Hulk of course is immediately crying and complaining, while Andre surrenders the “World tag team championship” to Ted Dibiase. And then in the most batshit brilliant plot twist ever shat from the womb of Vince McMahon’s coke binges, we suddenly have two Dave Hebners in the ring. SHOOT ON HIM, HE’S THE IMPOSTER! NO, SHOOT ON HIM, HE’S THE IMPOSTER! We get an epic ref fight and one of them wins, which is somehow a sign that he’s the fake referee. My god, if you can’t count on Earl Hebner to fairly officiate a WWF title match, then what world are we even living in? And of course Hulk tosses poor Earl, who was only trying to feed his family, onto Dibiase and Virgil.
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan is back in the dressing room with Mean Gene, and he wants to know HOW MUCH MONEY DID THEY SPEND ON THE PLASTIC SURGERY? THEY WERE INDENTICAL!!!!!! You know, for someone who calls everyone “brother”, Hulk is sure missing the obvious explanation.
Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase has the WWF title around his waist, and he promises to be a true champion, unlike Hogan’s pathetic reign. In fact, many people are saying that Hogan is the one who paid off the twin referee in order to confuse the issue and cover up his title loss! Huge if true.
Meanwhile, Jack Tunney’s hands are tied, and the referee’s decision is final, so Hulk Hogan is not the WWF champion. But you can’t win a title unless you pin someone or make them submit, so Ted Dibiase is NOT the WWF champion. Where was corrupt old Tunney after Montreal, then? But the rulebook also states that a champion may surrender the title any time they want, so Andre is NOT the WWF champion. So now we’re gonna have a tournament and the title is vacant.
Meanwhile, on SNME, Andre and Dibiase are beating the hell out of Randy Savage, so Elizabeth goes to find Hulk Hogan, who will not stand for any injustice that indirectly inconveniences him.
Andre the Giant v. Hulk Hogan
From Wrestlemania Bore, as the second round of the tournament kicks off with an Andre that was in no condition to be even walking to the ring. Andre attacks to start with the chops and headbutt, but Hulk goes after Dibiase and then rams them together. Andre gets tied in the ropes and Hulk slugs away on the prone Giant like the sportsman he is and drops an elbow. Andre chokes him down and he can barely stand up without losing his balance and falling over. I know how you feel, big guy. Getting older sucks. Andre does more choking and nerve pinching, but Hulk somehow fights out of this assault of restholds and slugs back while Andre staggers around the ring. Hulk tries for the slam, but Dibiase hits Hulk with a chair and they fight over it, drawing a double DQ at 5:23. I will say, the show was so long and dull that I completely forgot about Dibiase hitting Hulk with the chair here, which actually makes Hulk returning the favor in the main event a nice little receipt. Andre was completely embarrassing here, although this was the only thing on the show with any heat. -**
And we finish with Randy Savage beating Ted Dibiase in the finals of the tournament, wrapping up the Giant storyline and kicking off the next great year-long storyline. Because of course HULK has to be the one who grabs the belt and presents it to Savage.
Back on the boat, Hulk notes that he’s not going to chase Savage down and demand a title shot like Andre did. Actually that’s exactly what he did, the selfish prick.
This was a really great and different Coliseum video, actually going through chronologically and recapping the entire year of story week by week instead of just doing highlights and random Boston Garden matches. If you’re looking for a complete record of the whole deal, this is the one. Strongly recommended.