Rick Rude, Ultimate Warrior & Chris Masters were all “Physique Guys”, but none of them could have ACTUALLY won Mr. Universe. Atlas… actually could have. His “Mr. USA” nickname was actually a shoot- he really won that competition (thrice!).
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time- a request, as The Incredible Hulk Hogan takes on “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas in two different matches in 1981! This is a heel Hulk Hogan and Atlas, one of the most authentically “Mr. Universe”-ready wrestlers of all time. I’ve never seen Atlas in his athletic prime, so here I’ll see if he’s any good (um… haha)!
Also up is another part of the legendary “Tape Trading For Sabu” series, as he takes on Chris Candido again in a Ladder Match! WrestleMania X saw an ass-ton of Ladder Matches in its wake and this was… one of them. Then it’s more Well Dunn goodness, as they team up with BLAKE BEVERLY to take on Tatanka & The Steiner Brothers! Yeah, early in their run, they’re set up to die by teaming with a solo tag wrestler against actually pushed acts. And finally, I throw in Papa Shango vs. The Repo Man in a rare Heel vs. Heel featured match on WWF TV!
THE INCREDIBLE HULK HOGAN (w/ Classy Freddie Blassie) vs. “MR. USA” TONY ATLAS:
(March 16th 1981)
* This is a feud from the 1981 run of Hulk Hogan in the WWF, back when he was a smirking heel under Blassie. In a separate YouTube video, Atlas gives a good, if stumbly, “humble babyface” promo where he talks about how he loves working out, but wrestling is more than big muscles and you have to know your way around the ring, then Vince badgers him into posing to show off said big muscles. He indeed has monstrous arms and a huge chest, with a pretty small (if under-toned) waist. Skips leg day, though. But in comes Hogan & Blassie- Hogan, in a much less gravelly voice than I’m used to, talks down the physique of “this brown clown right here”, then repeatedly tells the “boy” that he can’t even shine his shoes- Tony shoves him back, proclaiming “My momma didn’t raise no BOY- she raised a 6’2″ 250-lb. MAN!” and it’s on.