Two truths here:
1. Wrestling is fake.
2. Hulk Hogan is responsible for some really terrible moments in wrestling history.
For every admittedly magical moment he provided us growing up, he’s provided some cringeworthy moments that remind us that we’re watching something that can get really stupid sometimes. These moments have gone from “hey, this is pretty stupid” to “I hope nobody walks in and sees me watching this. Yes, we can admit Hogan’s contributions, but if we can’t acknowledge the massive piles of sh*t he’s dumped onto the sport, then what’s the point of living through it?
So yes, here are Hogan’s fakest, campiest, most hard-to-explain moments in wrestling history.
The Twin Refs – Saturday Night Main Event, 1988 – This was supposed to be the most anticipated rematch of all time or something between Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan. What we ended up getting was one of the screwiest endings of all time. Referee David Hebner made the three count (it was actually a four count I think) even though Hulk Hogan’s shoulders were up. Nobody knew what was going on. As it turned out, Ted DiBiase spent his millions to get a guy to get plastic surgery to look like David Hebner and be a crooked ref. In reality, David and Earl Hebner are twin brothers who I guess always wanted to be WWF referees. So naturally they played manufactured clones on TV. Classic DiBiase.
Hogan In Friday: The Prequel – Summerslam 1989 – So Hulk Hogan starred in a WWF-funded film called No Holds Barred and Tiny Lister was his main villain. So, to promote the movie, WWF had Lister show up to exact revenge on Hogan for beating him in the fake match they had during a movie. And also for Hogan claiming he was the star. This is basically the same as James Earl Jones showing up at Comic-Con to apologize to Mark Hamil for cutting off his hand and being a bad father.
Points here, though, for Lister’s manicured unibrow.
Communist Cameraman – King Of The Ring 1993 Hulk Hogan beat Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX in what was one of the most infuriating moments in wrestling history and went on to defend his title at King Of The Ring. Things were going as planned with Hogan doing his leg drop and going for the pin. Then a “Japanese cameraman” jumped on the apron to snap a pic of Hogan…but his camera exploded and apparently burned the Hulkster in the face, leading to him losing to the match. Because Hulk Goddamn Hogan can’t do a single clean job in the 20th century. I KNOW HE LOST TO WARRIOR AT MANIA JUST LET ME TELL MY JOKEZ.
Andre The Giant’s Son Dies – Halloween Havoc 1995 – Guys. GUYS. Where do I begin? So a tall guy started showing up at Nitro and everyone was saying “he looks like a ghost,” because he was tall. So naturally this big guy was supposed to be Andre The Giant’s son coming to extract revenge on Hulk Hogan because in Hulk Hogan’s mind he killed Andre at WrestleMania 3. I honestly, literally think Hogan thinks Andre died the moment the ref counted to three at the Silverdome. Andre’s fake son, The Giant, would eventually face Hogan at Halloween Havoc but not before a pre-match monster truck battle from a rooftop. Because nothing says “I’m stronger than you” than two trucks doing 100% of the work.
After Hogan won the truck battle, Giant attacked him, but fell off the roof to his demise. Only to show up a few minutes later for the match. A match, I must mention, that ends with Hogan getting faux-double-penetrated by Giant and a mummy. *blink* *blink*
The Dungeon Of Doom – Like, All Of 1995 – The video above is bad enough, but this one we can’t embed is worse. Really, this list could be all Dungeon of Doom because it’s the worst angle in all of professional wrestling. And I don’t think it’s even close. Basically, Hogan would just have all of his 400-pound friends from WWF show up and get weird supernatural gimmicks. We had Giants and mummies and some guy who everyone said was 700 pounds but he was nowhere close. Maybe the worst part of the gimmick was the series of vignettes featuring Hogan visiting the Dungeon.
If you watch closely, you can see a kid David D. crying inside and realizing that wrestling was indeed fake.
Jay Leno. – Road Wild 1998 – I get it. I really do. Put Jay Leno in a match and you get crossover appeal. But does Jay Leno have to put Hulk Hogan in actual wrestling holds and pose for cameras? Is this what they’re having us believe here? At least they didn’t give him the belt seewhatididthere.
Hulk Hogan Sees The Warrior – Monday Nitro, 1998 – The Ultimate Warrior returned to wrestling in 1998 so that Hogan could book himself to win the match and get his WrestleMania V victory back. Here’s a video from the angle. Apparently, Hogan was going crazy and hallucinating, believing he’d seen Warrior in the mirror. Except we all can also see Warrior, Tony Schiavone on commentary can see Warrior and Eric Bischoff can’t see Warrior. Here’s a crazy idea, why don’t they just have Hogan stare at an actual mirror and say he’s seeing Warrior? Because guess what: that’s generally how hallucinations work.
The Worst Match Ever – Halloween Havoc 1998 – The Hogan/Warrior feud culminated in the worst match maybe ever. We get Hogan trying to set Warrior’s face on fire, but he screws up and catches his own face on fire, bleeds and lays on the mat for five minutes. Nobody knows what to do and everyone sort of stands around for the last five minutes of the match. Hogan failed at setting Warrior on fire, but he managed to set the contest of a dumpster ablaze and dump all of WCW into it.
The Rock Is Dead, Too – Monday Night RAW 2002 – Here’s what they want us to remember about Hogan vs. Rock: the unforgettable challenge in Chicago and the match itself. What we aren’t allowed to remember is how Hogan apparently tried to kill The Rock by running over his ambulance with an 18-wheeler. Hogan reacted like he’d killed The Rock and everything. Then, Rocky showed up at WrestleMania without a scratch and the two became best buds. Of course they did.
Suicide – TNA Impact! 6/27/13 – I really could just put “TNA lolololol” here and call it a day, but TNA historian and apparent masochist Danielle Matheson was able to pinpoint one truly dumb moment of Hogan revealing the true identity of a video game character on the show. The video game character had a backstory totally different from the person who apparently was revealed as the character. Actually, just let Danielle take it away:
At the end of the X-Division match, Hogan brings out TJ Perkins, well known independent wrestler, and helpfully explains that he is the REAL Suicide, and has always been Suicide. This is where it gets tough. We can accept that at face value, knowing full well that is very much false thanks to any working knowledge of either Perkins’ career or, I dunno, the ability to use Google (or Bing, if you’re that person). As hamfisted as it was, Hogan just did something to establish canon and every part of me wants to go along with it. But why reveal who he is in the first place? If you’ve already worked to establish a character’s backstory through numerous shows and an entire goddamn video game, why suddenly pull the rug out from underneath all of that? Why not just get your graphics fellow to have a big flashing Titantron sign that says WRESTLING IS FAKE through this whole segment?
Clearly this Suicide moves and wrestles differently than the previous shows he’s appeared on. Even without the reveal, it’s pretty easy to figure out who is under there. Had TNA spent longer than five minutes thinking through how this was going to play out, I’m sure they could have come up with a way to do this without basically shitting on the entire concept of masked wrestlers or wrestlers with characters or wrestling in general. The worst part is that this in no way had to happen. The reveal later on ensures that. Were I an actual anime character, instead of just having hair like one and constantly having a piece of toast hanging out of my mouth as I write, this is where I’d be comically slamming my face into my desk shouting “BAKA! BAKA!” over and over again.