WWF Coliseum Home Video: Hulkamania Forever
by Scrooge McSuck
We're back with the FIFTH Hulkamania themed Coliseum Video, released around the turn of 1990-1991. Honestly, by this point, Hulk Hogan had jumped the shark, and I officially recognize this era as the paint-by-numbers Hogan matches, where his "comebacks" seemed like a self-parody with even more over-the-top manuerisms, and it was obvious casual fans were starting to burn out on the whole "eat your vitamins say your prayers, and train" nonsense... but hey, a cash cow is worth milking to the very end, so let's jump into Hulkamania 5... I mean Hulkamania FOREVER!
WWF Championship Match:
It wouldn't be a Hulkamania Coliseum Video without a recycled match review from yours truly. This is from the UK Event from October 1989, and I'm not going to sit through that one again: It takes a while for anything to happen once the bell rings. I don't know why, but Savage pairing up with Sherri seemed to have sapped him of his ability to consistantly put on good matches. Lockup, and Hogan throws Savage down with ease. Savage slaps on a headlock, but Hogan wins the shoulder block wars. Savage tosses a plastic chair in the ring, but Hogan catches it in mid-air and takes a seat. JERK! Hogan heads outside, but Savage uses Sherri as a shield. Savage gets on the house mic' to waste more time. I'm sorry, but this card continues to prove my theory on the lack of effort given on these cards. Sherri helps double team Hogan (No Disqualification?), but Hogan no-sells, atomic drops Savage out of the ring, then gives the evil duo a taste of the canvas. Savage goes for Elizabeth, but Hogan makes the save and hammers away. Back inside, and Hogan punches some more. Whip to the corner, and Hogan follows in with an elbow. Sherri gets involved again, but Hogan leads her into doing the Macarena, then Elizabeth gives Sherri a hand, quite literally, to shove her into the ring. Hogan dicks around with her again, allowing Savage to attack from behind. That dress is WAY TOO SHORT on Sherri. Savage to the top for a double axehandle. Back in the ring, and Savage with another axehandle for a two count. SLEEPER HOLD! My God, it's the most exciting move of the match! Hogan elbows free, but a double clothesline puts both men down. Both men exchange missed elbows, and Savage rolls him up for a two count. Savage with a knee drop for a series of two counts, then back to the sleeper hold. You know, sitting through this card, Tony Schiavone reminds me of how tolerable he could be, before the days of selling out during the Monday Night Wars. Hogan fights free, but gets tripped by Sherri. Savage attacks from behind and hangs Hogan up across the top rope. Savage gets the loaded purse of doom, and nails Hogan with it. Savage heads to the top for the big elbow, and it's Hulk Up Time! Hogan doesn't even bother to sell long enough for a pin attempt. Elizabeth gets a cheap shot in on Savage, Hogan with the usual routine, and it's thankfully over at 14:05. After the match, Hogan abuses Sherri, AGAIN, and celebrates with Elizabeth for no less than SEVEN minutes. Match sucked, and I just don't see how a 6'7", 300 pound man, beating up on a woman, no matter how evil, can be considered a good thing.
Hulk Hogan © (w/ Elizabeth) vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Sensational Sherri):
Hulk Hogan vs. The Genius:
Pulled from the November 25th, 1989 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, and easily the high point of Lanny Poffo's tenure as "The Genius". Poffo offers a LEFT-handed handshake, but Hogan dicks around, offering the opposite hand for a little game of "fucking around." Genius with some stretching in the corner, then some prancing. Lockup, and Hogan shoves Genius clear out of the ring. Genius returns with a handspring, and Hogan offers a round of applause. Lockup, and Hogan shoves, but Genius pops up with a kip up. Hogan with a hip toss, followed by a slam. Irish whip, and Genius bails to escape the big boot. Genius grabs his scroll, and writes an equation that = HULK DOWN! Genius skins the cat back into the ring, and takes Hogan down with an arm drag. Hogan's reactions to the entire match is priceless. Lockup to the corner, and Genius bitch slaps Hogan after teasing a clean break. Genius with more acrobatic performances, until Hogan blows through him with clotheslines. Hogan sends him from corner to corner, follows in with an elbow, then does his own prancing to mock the Genius' feminine behavior. Hogan with an atomic drop, followed by a back suplex. Two elbow drops and a rake of the eyes, and out comes Mr. Perfect to treat the WWF Championship belt like the underbottom of a table... by sticking his gum on it. Hogan comes out to get him some, but Genius dropkicks Hogan into the ring post from behind. Back inside, and the Genius pounds away with rights. Genius with the Honor Roll, and Hogan kicks out at two... HULK UP TIME. Genius' reaction is another gem of a moment, adding something new to the situation. Hogan with the usual, but he stops before the leg drop, and gets his back raked several times for his troubles. Hogan returns the favor, and then some. Hogan scoops him up, and tosses him over the top rope, to the floor. Hogan follows, gets whacked with the belt by Perfect, and Genius WINS by Count-Out at 8:33. Yes, it's a Count-Out, but THE GENIUS went over Hulk Hogan on national television. One of the more memorable matches from the Saturday Night's Main Event cards, and a totally different match than you normally would see from the Hulkster.
WWF Championship and Intercontinental Championship Match:
From WrestleMania VI, of course, and a match I have seen so many times, I couldn't possibly keep count. This one has seen the light of day on about 50 compilation sets, Coliseum Video and WWE DVD eras alike, but I still watch it every time I pick up a new one. Since I don't remember doing a detailed recap of WM VI, I might as well give this one a crack... when people say the crowd is jacked up for this one, they aren't lying. This is one of the hottest crowds I have ever seen, not including one of those weird overseas love-fests for Davey Boy Smith or some other wrestling deprived crowd. Warrior comes out first, sprinting like a madman (he would learn his lesson for WM VII), and Hogan too, opts not to use the motorized ring cart. In a nice touch, Ventura and Monsoon go silent during Hogan's entrance, letting the crowd's reaction speak for itself, rather than drown it out. Hogan talks trash while Warrior looks as if he's going to sneeze. Shoving match, initiated by Warrior, and a lockup, won by Warrior, as well. Lockup #2, and Hogan with a much better shove-off. Warrior wants a test-of-strength, and holds control until Hogan powers back from his knees to put Warrior on his knees. You don't mess with the power of Hulkamania, bitch! Hogan sweeps the leg of Warrior, then drops an elbow for a two count. Criss-cross sequence, and Hogan catches Warrior off the ropes with a slam. They do it again, this time with Warrior slamming Hogan. Warrior with a clothesline, sending Hogan over the top rope. Hogan sells hurting his leg, but about 2 minutes later, seemed fine... maybe the PBP team didn't catch it might've been playing a game of possum. Warrior goes to the leg, then it's a battle of eye rakes and choking, to the delight of Jesse Ventura. Hogan gets pissed and lays into Warrior with rights. Whip to the corner, and he follows Warrior in with a clothesline. Hogan with mounted punches, followed by a scoop slam and a pair of elbow drops for a two count. Hogan slaps on a front facelock, then turns it over and starts pounding away. Hogan takes it to the corner for more punishment, then comes off the ropes with a clothesline for a two count. Hogan with a back breaker for another two count, and it's back to the chinlock.
Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior:
Hogan drives a series of knees into the back, and takes Warrior down with a back suplex for another two, and immediately puts on the chinlock to keep Warrior from catching a breather. Warrior struggles to his feet and escapes with elbows to the midsection, and a double clothesline puts both men down for a lengthy count. Warrior goes through his rope shaking routine, ignoring Hogan's blows. Warrior with a series of clotheslines, then whips Hogan from corner to corner. Warrior takes Hogan over with a suplex and covers for a two count. Warrior slaps on a bearhug, using Hogan's earlier strategy of near falls, and quickly keeping the preasure on with a wear-down hold, and again, even the commentary team picks up on this. Hogan finally escapes with short rights, and the referee gets wiped out as Warrior came bouncing off the ropes. Warrior to the top, and he comes off with a pair of double axehandles. Warrior hits the ropes again, but Hogan sidesteps the shoulder tackle, and Warrior gets nothing but a faceful of canvas. Hogan covers and counts his own fall, with the referee still laid out. Warrior recovers, and brings Hogan down with a back suplex, and does the same with the referee out cold. The referee finally comes to, and counts a slow two. Hogan surprises Warrior with a school boy, and that gets a two count. Irish whip, and Hogan elbows Warrior over the top rope, to the floor. They slug it out until Warrior sends Hogan into the ring post. Back in the ring, and Warrior comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Warrior with the press slam and splash combo, but Hogan is up at two, and uh-oh, it's Hulk Up Time! Hogan with a trio of roundhouse rights and a big boot, but the leg drop misses, and Warrior quickly comes off the ropes with a splash for the three count and posession of both the WWF Championship and Intercontinental Title at 22:49. After the match, Hogan offers his former gold to the Warrior as a "passing the torch" moment that really didn't mount to much in the short or long-term. While not a wrestling masterpiece, this one is an all-time classic, thanks to a strong effort from both of the wrestlers, the television audience getting a broadcast team focused on point out that this was THAT big of a deal, and of course, the live crowd, being on top of everything with the two biggest names in the company at this point in time.
Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart):
From the April 30th, 1990 card held at Madison Square Garden, with Monsoon and Hayes calling the action. Looking back, I don't know why Earthquake couldn't have been a foil to Warrior, the New WWF Champion, rather than Hogan, who was passing the torch to Warrior, but you know, the past is the past, and we could argue anything. Earthquake attacks before the bell, clubbering away, then puts Hogan down with a clothesline. Hogan rolls away from an elbow drop, tears the shirt off, and unloads with roundhouse rights. Whip to the corner, and Hogan follows in with a clothesline. Hogan with more rights, a running elbow, and a clothesline, to bring Quake to one knee. Hogan threatens a slam, but nails Jimmy Hart, instead. Quake follows him out of the ring, and introduces the Hulkster to the post. Back in the ring, and Hogan with a weak cross body attempt, countered with a powerslam. Quake hits the ropes and drops the elbow twice for a two count. Earthquake slaps on a bearhug, then crushes Hogan into the corner. Whip across the ring, and Quake misses a charge. Hogan goes for a slam, but Quake is too fat. Hogan rakes the eyes, then takes it to the corner for more rights. Hogan with another slam attempt, but Quake shifts his weight and lands on top for a two count. Earthquake with a bearhug to eat up a few minutes. Hogan punches out, but goes down to a shoulder block. Earthquake with his Vertical Splash, but Hogan kicks out at two, and it's HULK UP TIME! Hogan with rights, a big boot, and leg drop, but Jimmy Hart runs in for the Disqualification finish at 8:33. Hogan does get to slam Earthquake after the match, of course. Total snore-fest, but at least it was kept under ten minutes. Sadly, we have more to sit through with this combination...
- We recap the Hogan/Earthquake program with the Brother Love Show where Earthquake "injured" Hogan and nearly put him into retirement, but all the get well cards convinced him to come back... oh, and that bastard Tugboat was like the 1990 version of Hillbilly Jim, kissing his ass for all it was worth.
Hulk Hogan (w/ Big Bossman) vs. Earthquake (w/ Dino Bravo & Jimmy Hart):
Pulled from SummerSlam (1990), taking place at the Philadelphia Spectrum, a match I've never wanted to really have to recap, and to make matters worse, Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper are calling the action. Shoot me now. This is Hogan's in-ring return from "injury" (or filming another stinker of a movie, probably Suburban Commando), but it's not like he's been absent from television or anything. Bossman is filling in for Tugboat, selling a beatdown on Superstars the previous week. I liked him better beating the crap out of Hogan with the nightstick, but that's an argument for another day. Hogan, class act, spits a huge loogie at 'Quake, waiting outside of the ring. Lockup, and Hogan's shove-off barely does anything. Lockup, and 'Quake is much more successful. Quake with a shoulder block, sending Hoan out of the ring. Back inside, Hogan rakes the eyes, but fails at a slam attempt, allowing Quake to pound him across the back. Quake eats boot on a charge to the corner, and Hogan follows up with a pair of clotheslines and roundhouse rights, sending Quake out of the ring. Crowd is on fire for the Hulkster, to my surprise (it's a Philly crowd that cheers heels). Everyone gets into the act, and it spills back in the ring. Where's the DQ?! Hogan goes down, courtesy of a double slam, and Quake comes off the ropes with an elbow for a two count. Quake goes to the top rope, and he comes crrashing down with a sledge across the back. Quake stomps the hands, then slaps on a Boston crab. Hogan gets dumped for some cheap shots from Bravo, and things continue to slow down. Earthquake with a slam, but he misses another elbow drop. Hogan goes for a slam, but we all know what happens... incomplete. Quake slaps on a bearhug, and Hogan, in the attempt of escaping, practically rips the shirt off of poor Dave/Earl Hebner's body. THAT'S desperate. Hogan escapes, and comes off the ropes with shoulder blocks, but a cross body is countered with a powerslam. Earthquake pins with one foot, but Hogan rolls the shoulder at two. The Vertical splash connects... and we don't get a pinfall count? Quake hits it a second time, and now it's Hulk Up Time™! Three rights, whip to the ropes, big boot, and slam. Hogan with the leg drop, and Jimmy Hart runs in, but the referee doesn't see it. Bravo comes in, and Bossman disposes of him. The action spills outside, and Hogan slams Quake on a conveniently placed table, then rolls back in to win by Count-Out at 13:08. Match was at least more watchable than the previous encounter from Madison Square Garden, but again, why use a cop-out finish where the heel is completely done to begin with? Post-match, Bossman rips the shit out of Earthquake's back with an unusual folding chair. That looks painful.
- In an obvious "filler" portion of the tape, we get closing moments from Hulk Hogan's title defense against the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase, from the October 1989 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. It seems illogical to use it here, since the main purpose of that match was to continue the horrible program between Hulk Hogan and ZEUS. The full match is solid for television, but here, it's edited down to about two-minutes. Waste of time.
Hulk Hogan & Tugboat vs. Earthquake & Dino Bravo (w/ Jimmy Hart):
This is not the match from the February '91 Main Event, but rather a Coliseum Video EXCLUSIVE pulled from the August 28th, 1990 taping in Hershey, PA, or in other terms, the day after SummerSlam. To make it even better, it's Mooney and Alfred calling the action. Hogan offers to start, but wants Earthquake instead of Bravo. Hogan with some trash talking, as we wait forever for something to actually happen. Lockup, and Hogan shoves Bravo to the corner, then brings him over with a back drop and drops an elbow. Tugboat tags in, connecting with a double elbow. Tugboat works the arm, and Hogan comes off the ropes with a double axehandle. Hogan takes time working the arm, before tagging out, and it's time for Tugboat to start taking a beating. Tugboat eats boot courtesy of Bravo, then goes down from an inverted atomic drop. Earthquake FINALLY tags in, and misses an elbow. Hogan gets the tag, and alternates boots and eye rakes. Sorry if nearly 30-minutes of these two hasn't left me more inspired. Hogan with a clothesline in the corner, and an easy slam. Tugboat tags in for mop up duty, slams Bravo, then a double big boot to both opponents. Suddenly, Tugboat becomes face-in-peril (finally) thanks to a double-team slam. Quake drops an elbow, but only gets a two count. Bravo to the top rope with a sledge for another two count. Irish whip, and a shitty double clothesline gets two, again. Hogan gets the mildest of mild hot tags, hammers away on Bravo, hits the big boot, and school boys him for the three count at 8:12. Talk about an anti-climatic finish... I think they did the same for the Main Event match, but I don't give enough of a shit to look or remember. Typical garbage dark match to "satisfy" a dead crowd.
Final Thoughts: Woah, that was one tough tape to finish. On the positive side, the SNME match with the Genius was highly entertaining, and the WrestleMania VI main event is a classic, but then the negative: There's a LOT of recycled stuff from Pay-Per-Views and national television broadcasts. Most importantly, there's three matches dedicated to the Hogan/Earthquake saga, and basically putting them all together as a back-loaded series of matches on the tape, is just a major task to complete. One of the weakest of the Hulkamania series, if not THE weakest, and a solid recommendation to take a pass. This ends the run of Hogan Coliseum Video reviews (there was a 6th in the official series, I believe, and some cheap hour-long videos), which means it's time for the DVD era... does Hulk Still Rule? We will see...
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