The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Hulkamania 4
Well the review for Hulkamania 3 was insanely well received, and also one of the best tapes that they ever put out, so here’s hoping lighting strikes twice! This one covers Hogan’s 1989 run so I’m sure when we can figure out the greatest hits already, but hopefully there’s something new and different here because this is another one I’ve never reviewed.
Your host is Sean Mooney.
BUT FIRST! The Rockers warn us about the dangers of SMOKING. That’s pretty fucking funny. Also Ultimate Warrior terrorizes some kids with Slim Jims.
Let us take you back to January 23 1984, as Hulk Hogan escapes from the backbreaking camel clutch and treats Sheiky Baby like a jabroni, winning the WWF title for the first time. Sean promises to take a look at the force of Hulkamania and see what causes it, and hopefully he also explores if a vaccine can be developed to protect against it. Maybe there’s a cream or topical treatment or something.
Hulk also warns us that if you’re not a Hulkamaniac, his arms will run wild over you. Is that code for “white”?
Hulk Hogan v. Bad News Brown
SEE MY POINT? This is from Saturday Night’s Main Event #20 in March of 89. Bad News beats on Hulk at the bell and slugs him down, but Hulk pops up and beats Bad News out of the ring like he had asked to marry Brooke. Vince of course declares that the match is going to be a ROMP ‘EM STOMP ‘EM AFFAIR and there will be very little scientific wrestling on display. Back in, Hulk puts Bad News down with a clothesline and drops elbows on him to set up the big boot, but he decides to continue punishing him rather than going for the legdrop. Bad News gets a cheapshot in the corner, but Hulk puts him over the top with an atomic drop and then runs him into the railing like the rulebreaker he is. Bad News accidentally punches the ringpost in frustration at Hogan’s cheating and he goes to grab a chair, but of course Hulk uses it first and Bad News freaks out and searches under the ring for something. Sadly it’s not 2022 and there’s not a stash of ladders and wild animals under there to find, so he heads to the back instead and Hulk tells Marella to stop counting. Yeah well he probably would have needed cue cards once he got to 7 anyway. But Bad News finds a SNOW SHOVEL back there, and we take a break on that bizarre cliffhanger. Wish he’d come to my house and do my driveway in the winter. Back with Hogan trying a corner clothesline, but Bad News fights him off with a clothesline of his own and beats him down to take over. Bad News drops his own leg on Hogan, but that only gets two. Hulk probably stole it from him anyway. They head to the floor again and Brown goes after Elizabeth, but you KNOW Hogan isn’t gonna stand for a black man talking to a white woman without permission! So they fight back into the ring, where Brown gets a legsweep for two and slugs Hulk down. Then Bad News stops to cut a promo, and calls for the Ghetto Blaster, but it misses. Well now he just looks dumb. And indeed, Hogan makes the comeback and hits Brown with a high knee, and then finishes with the legdrop at 10:00. This was a hell of a match, actually. ***1/2 Jesse points out that Savage is right to be jealous, watching his best friend come in and put the moves on his woman. TRUTH.
Tito Santana talks about what Hulkamania means to him. It means a bigger payday on the house shows, ARRIBA!
Lumberjack match: Hulk Hogan v. Ted Dibiase
This is from Philly, March 88, with commentary overdubbed by Tony Schiavone & Sean Mooney. Hulk attacks before the bell and beats on Dibiase with elbows, and slugs him to the floor. The babyfaces get some shots on him and send him back in, and for some reason the Killer Bees are just wearing the masks as a part of their gear here. Hulk sends Dibiase out again to the heel side, so of course he gets protected and gently put back into the ring. I gotta say, this is a pretty sad crew of lumberjacks, with the face side represented by Koko B Ware and the Killer Bees and Brutus Beefcake, and the heels are Dino Bravo and the Bolsheviks. Couldn’t they pull some jobbers out of the dressing room just for optics? Hulk puts Dibiase on the floor with a big boot this time, but now Hulk follows him out and the Killer Bees turn on Hulk and beat on him. Wait, are those fake Bees? Is that why they’re wearing the masks? Or were they heels at that point? Back in, Dibiase works him over and puts him down with a clothesline, but Hulk makes the comeback with the usual, only for the Murder Hornets to trip him up. So Dibiase goes up and Hulk slams him off, then drops the leg for real and pins him at 6:03. Hulk basically squashed him here, which is weird because Dibiase was red hot at this point and they were going into Wrestlemania. *1/2 And then Hulk gets his revenge, beating up the Killer Bees and trying to unmask them, only for another mask to be revealed underneath. What a bizarre angle that never went anywhere that I’m aware of. So were they the real Bees paid off by Dibiase, or fake Bees? Or clones? I WANT TO KNOW.
Cage match: Hulk Hogan v. Big Bossman
From MSG, March 89, not to be confused with the famous SNME match. Hulk climbs into the cage and attacks Bossman like a maniac as per usual, slugging away and running him into the corner. Big boot and he hits a suplex, but he tries to climb out and Bossman clubbers him from behind to take over. Bossman tries to climb out already, but Hulk cuts him off and they slug it out on the top rope until Hulk goes down first. Bossman tries to climb out as the crowd is freaking out, but Hulk chokes him through the bars and hauls him back in while choking him out on the top of the cage. This sets up the SUPERPLEX as MSG comes unglued and both guys are out. Also nice that they let that one breathe for a minute. Finally the ref comes into the ring to check their arms and lay a count of them. When I was taking First Aid, that was one of the first things we learned in a situation like this: Immobilize the neck, call for help, and then start lifting up the arm and dropping it to determine their level of consciousness. Hulk pops up and desperately crawls for the door as if the FedEx guy just got to his home with a fresh supply from Zahorian, but Bossman grabs him and puts him down with the spinebuster. Bossman finds a chain and chokes Hulk out with it, which to be fair Hulk would do to Bossman in a heartbeat if given a chance so it’s justified. Hulk fights back and runs Bossman into the cage and they’re both out again, so Slick gives his man a motivational speech and gets him up and going. Hulk tries to climb out and Bossman clubs him down, so Hulk slams him and SURPRISE SURPRISE, grabs the chain for himself. See what I mean? So he brutalizes Bossman with the chain until he draws blood and then rams him into the cage and drops the leg. Slick runs in to help his man from this heinous unwarranted attack, but as usual Hulk beats up the helpless manager and then cheats further by handcuffing Bossman to the top rope. Left with no opposition to his evil scheme, Hulk climbs out of the cage and then beats up Bossman with a chair for good measure because SPORTSMANSHIP. And of course the bloodthirsty fans at MSG cheer all this, but that’s about what I expect from Yankee fans. Anyways this match mostly ruled or whatever but you’re a terrible person if you cheer Hogan. ****1/4
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan crashes an elementary school assembly and forces the kids to wear No Holds Barred merchandise while singing to him. I’m getting some real Homelander vibes here. Kids, don’t grow up to be Hulk Hogan, be Randy Savage instead. Just do less drugs. Hulk tells the kids not to do drugs, which is pretty rich coming from someone with a standing order from Skip The Needles delivery service and 15,000 steroid loyalty points saved up.
We get endorsements from the Bushwhackers and Jimmy Snuka, although oddly Elizabeth is overdubbed on top of the Bushwhackers, which makes for quite the visual. Thankfully Honky Tonk Man provides a counterpoint to all this Hogan propaganda, pointing out that Hulk is a coward and a chicken. Hulk threatens to STEAL HONKY’S PINK CADILLAC and give it to Elizabeth! He’s literally admitting to committing a felony on this tape! Also Hulk is going to run wild all over Honky’s shoes. Is that some kind of weird foot thing?
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. The Honky Tonk Man
From SNME #22, July 1989. Yes, Honky Tonk finally gets a title shot at the man who brought him into the promotion! Truly this is the greatest story ever told. Honky takes a swing at Hulk with the guitar but the ref rings the bell anyway, and Hulk carries Jimmy Hart around on his back to get rid of him and then beats on Honky in the corner and rams him into the turnbuckles. Hulk with the clothesline and atomic drop, and although Honky is no Rick Rude he’s pretty good at selling that. Jimmy tries to pull Honky out of the ring to save him, so Hulk pulls them both in and we get the noggin knocker, but finally Jimmy hits Hogan with the guitar behind the ref’s back to get the heat for Honky. Back in, Honky goes to work on the back and goes to the rear chinlock, but Hulk knows a thing or two about escaping from bad camel clutches and he rams Honky into the corner to break. Honky decides to put him away with the Shake Rattle and Roll and Vince sells this as a serious threat to Hulkamania, but he makes sure to celebrate before the cover, and I’m sure you can fill in the rest. Guitar to the back and legdrop finish at 6:16, as apparently the ref is so blind that he misses Hogan hitting the man with a guitar RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE. We can’t even blame Joey Marella for that one. Just a normal Hogan formula match and Honky is of course more than happy to bump like a pinball for him and put over the legdrop for a big payday. **1/2
Bobby Heenan talks about what Hulkamania means to him: Getting rid of Hulk Hogan to leave Bobby’s brain as the most powerful force in the universe.
Hulk Hogan v. Haku
We get a Wrestling Challenge dark match here, from Dayton OH in August 88. Haku attacks to start, giving Hogan a taste of his own medicine for once, and gives him the back rakes and chops. Hulk comes back with a slam and slugs away, then goes after Bobby Heenan for NO REASON. Back in, slugs on Haku and works the arm while Hogan whines and cries about Haku “pulling his hair”. First up, you need to have hair to pull. Second of all, technically Haku did do it, sure. But as Randy Savage famous rapped, BE A MAN, Hulk. Don’t complain about hair-pulling, just go something about it, you whiny baby. So then Hulk CHEATS and pulls the hair on Haku because he’s a filthy cheater. There was literally no reason for him to do that. Haku bails to escape all the cheating and tries the thrust kick, but Hulk catches it and puts him on the floor with an atomic drop. Back in, Hulk slams him and tries an elbow, but Haku dodges it and slugs away on him as they’re having a lot of trouble getting anything going here for some reason. Haku with the nerve pinch as even the crowd is bored with this one. Haku finally gets sick of this and hits him with the thrust kick for two, but Hulk makes the comeback and drops the leg at 8:51. Even Bobby bumping couldn’t save this yawner. *
Demolition are also fans of Hulkamania.
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Andre the Giant
This was literally just on the last tape! It’s just the WM3 match again, moving on.
Meanwhile, we take a look behind the scenes of No Holds Barred, and Joan Severance discusses how Hulk’s “massiveness becomes gentle” after a while. Cough. And then we’re blessed with a look at Hulk doing the fight scene on the limo, as Sean also claims that Hulk did all his own stunts and probably choreographed his own fight scenes as well. Also he had to maintain his rigorous workout schedule while doing 10 hour days on the set! I have no idea how anyone could watch this footage and actually want to see this dumpster fire of a movie. The highlight is Zeus doing a promo in character on the set, promising that he’s getting out of prison soon and he’ll be coming for Hulk at that point. Yes apparently Zeus was a REAL PERSON, whereas everyone else in the movie were portrayed by actors who had stunt people doing their dangerous bumps.
Randy Savage lays out the truth of Hulkamania: It’s about beating up women and crying when you lose! HE’S SAYING WHAT WE’RE ALL THINKING!
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Randy Savage
Another dark match to wrap up the tape, from Fresno CA sometime in 1989. For reference, Hulk has Elizabeth still under his lustful dark grasp, and Savage has Sherri and Zeus in his corner. Savage and Sherri put the boots to Hulk to start, but Hulk throws them out and runs them both into the apron. Don’t have to ask Hulk twice to beat up a woman. Back in the ring, Hulk hits Savage with a corner elbow and chokes him out, and then goes over to put the moves on Sherri like a creep. Thankfully Sherri slaps him one to stand up for herself, and Zeus runs Hulk into the post to teach him out being respectful to women. Back in, Savage with a sleeper. Hulk fights out of that, but Savage necks him on the top rope and goes up with Sherri’s allegedly loaded purse for two. And Hulk comes back, blah blah blah, legdrop and pin at 8:00. Say what you will about Bret Hart but no one could phone in a dark match like the Hulkster, brother. *1/4 Don’t worry though, because Hogan and Beefcake team up to beat on Zeus 2-on-1 like real heroes.
This one was definitely a lot more of the usual mix of dark matches and SNME footage, although the MSG cage match is a banger and even better than the SNME one. A mild thumbs up.