Tag Archives: Retro wrestling

Hulk Hogan is Here: The Greatest Heel Turn in Wrestling History

Harvey Dent once said, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” This now iconic line of Dark Knight dialogue effectively accomplished two things: (1) it provided attentive viewers with foreshadowing as to how the film would end; And (2), it made it abundantly clear that Harvey Dent was watching WCW’s Bash at the Beach in 1996.

hulk hogan
Photo Credit: WWE

Make no mistake about it, at the time, Hulk Hogan was a hero. Arguably the greatest “face” throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, Hogan’s name had become synonymous with wrestling- and to this day, he’s considered to be one of the all-time greats. Before World Championship Wrestling’s pay-per-view in the summer of ‘96, the Hulkster was adored by every man, woman, and child who was even a passing fan of professional wrestling. Not only were they taken by his hot dog-colored skin and questionable acting chops, but they longed for the positive American values he represented at the time. On that fateful evening in Dayton Beach, Florida, however, everything changed.

With 8,300 Hulkamaniacs in attendance, Hulk Hogan achieved the greatest heel turn in the history of the business. Allow me to paint the scene:

Plans for the betrayal were set in motion on May 27, 1996. Scott Hall, previously Razor Ramon of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), made his first WCW appearance on Monday Night Nitro, making his intentions of a brand invasion crystal clear. Hall challenged Eric Bischoff, Executive Vice President of WCW, to select three of his best wrestlers to take on Hall and two yet-to-be-determined partners.

hulk hogan
Photo Credit: WWE

The first of the partners was eventually revealed to be Kevin Nash, also coming over from the WWF, who became one half of The Outsiders. Over the next several weeks, Hall and Nash continually interrupted WCW events, prompting Bischoff to accept their challenge and give them a three-man tag team match. The opponents? Randy Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger. The venue? Bash at the Beach.

Though The Outsiders already knew the three men they’d be taking on at the pay-per-view, they kept the third member of their faction under wraps. Even when the match, dubbed the “Hostile Takeover Match”, began, the duo wasn’t yet accompanied by their mystery partner.

Even still, the Outsiders held their own against Savage, Sting and Luger, with the latter eventually being knocked out cold and forced to leave the match. When the match resumed, the teams battled back and forth, with Hall and Nash gaining the upper hand. That’s when everybody’s favorite American, Hulk Hogan, trotted briskly down the ramp to raucous applause. The Outsiders fled the ring, leaving a nearly-defeated Randy Savage lying face-up on the mat, and it appeared that the Hulkster had saved the day for WCW…until he bounced off the ropes and delivered an atomic leg drop to Randy Savage, revealing himself to be the third man.

Stunned, the crowd began to throw trash into the ring as they watched Hulk Hogan take the mic from “Mean” Gene Okerlund and deliver a speech about the future. “You can call this the new world order of wrestling, brother.”

And so they did.

Hulk Hogan
Photo Credit: WWE

The nWo went on to become one of the most iconic factions in wrestling history, allowing WCW to rival the WWF in ratings- which remains unprecedented still more than twenty years later. The stable dominated wrestling for years to come, and it all began with Hulk Hogan and the greatest heel turn in the history of wrestling entertainment.

(Featured Image Credit: WWE)

That Moment in WWE Wrestling History That Scared Every Kid Watching

I don’t care if you were the toughest 11-year-old on the block. When this moment came out of nowhere during the Saturday morning program Superstars of Wrestling, you were shook. And possibly pissing your pants if you were really upset.

 

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I miss the good ole days of Wrestling when McMahon gave no fucks about making a kid cry.

The bite heard around the world back on November 23rd, 1991 all started back with the infamous Career Ending Match between Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 7- in which The Madness lost to the Warrior after a grueling back and forth that I considered, the REAL main event of the evening. While a dazed Savage attempted to gather his bearings after his defeat, his manager at the time Scary, I mean the Sensational Queen Sherri took her frustrations out on Randy by mercifully kicking the man while he’s down (literally). Unbeknownst to anyone other than the announcers, Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan who spotted her before the start of the match, the lovely Elizabeth who had stayed by Savage’s side for years before a fallout, looked on in horror as she watched Savage be absolutely humiliated. That is until, she hopped the railings, into the ring, grabbed Sherri by the hair, and flung her ass out like a piece of hot trash. Thus reuniting the infamous duo, leading them into the first-ever WWF Pay Per View wedding appropriately called, the Match Made in Heaven to be aired during Summerslam ’91. Well, it was adorable and all, but the real action happened during the reception…

Randy and Elizabeth opening gifts from guests looking all super happy and whatnot turns into terror as Elizabeth opens a gift containing a snake that pops up like a twisted jack-in-box. Then out of nowhere, both Jake the Snake and The Undertaker run in with a surprise beat down for the Groom. Which totally confused me at the time because there was NO REASON for any of this to even happen, on top of the fact Jake was one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWF, goddamnit, WWE up until the incident. It’s like Jake woke up that day deciding to turn heel and he was going to be the biggest prick possible. I mean, seriously, anyone wanting to hurt or even frighten Miss Elizabeth was automatically the biggest piece of shit on the face of the Earth.

Like, seriously how dare you Jake.

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via palooza.com

Anyway, with Savage being barred from wrestling via the Career Ending Match, he couldn’t get his hands on Roberts for revenge. However, Jake continued to taunt the man for months even dropping Elizabeth’s name in promos to further infuriate him. Well, during one fine Saturday morning during Superstars of Wrestling, it all came to a head and The Mad One couldn’t take the assault on his manhood anymore. After Jake pinned some no-namer, he grabbed a microphone and addressed Savage, who was doing commentary; calling him a “gutless, yellow, stinkin’ coward who hides behind the skirt of a woman.”

Oh yeah. That really pissed him off. Savage ran towards the ring despite pleas from his comrade and fellow commentators Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper, got distracted by a ref which in turn gave Jake the upper hand, tied Savage to some ropes, and commenced to have every child watching under the age of 12 shit their pants for the next eight minutes.

 

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I don’t recall anything before or after this looking and feeling so terrifying for anyone watching. Just another reason why Savage will forever remain a legend in the world of wrestling. Aside from the show, reports state he was super excited to get bit by that King Cobra. What a fuckin’ beast.

Retro Saturday Morning: Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling

Chances are if you were a child of the ’80s and ’90s, you may remember this thing we used to have every Saturday morning- cartoons. Cartoons everywhere. From 6:00 am up until noon when the Saturday afternoon movies would begin, it was an animated festival of gloriousness. We sat in our PJs, sipped on Ecto Cooler, and ate about three bowls of sugary diabetic cereal, with remnants of dried milk on our little metal TV trays. And sometimes, we’d break for a quick play of Super Mario 2 on our NES.

Yep. Those were the glory days.

Saturday morning cartoons, with the exception of a few cartoon networks, have become a thing of the past. If I may be so bold- THAT JUST SUCKS. I feel bad for current or future generations of children who have their media content so scattered, and walk around watching YouTube all goddamn day long. (Am I showing my age yet?). But hey, whose to say Teen Titans GO! won’t be fondly remembered by my eight-year-old twenty years from now. I guess only time will tell.

Anyways enough with the rambling, today we’ll be focusing on one of the greats of the ’80s- Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. Say what you will about this weirdly awesome Saturday morning gem, but I will defend its epicness until I cease to breathe. The WWE (ugh I still call it WWF) spiked during the mid-’80s and goddamn if it wasn’t everywhere- mostly thanks to a yellow speedo wearing, all-American hero by the name of Hulk Hogan. Love him, or hate him, he made the sport a rite of passage for every man, woman, and child during that time and you just have to respect that. I’m not even sure Wrestling would be as mainstream today if it wasn’t for Thunderlips, I mean Hogan. At night, we had Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the morning, we had Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. 

And it all began like this…

The DIC Entertainment series ran originally on CBS Saturday mornings from 1985 until 1987 featuring the shenanigans of Hogan and buddies who usually had to deal with Piper and his “baddie” comrades in the face of seriously wacky situations. For instance, having to rid Bobby Heenan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling theme park of a hoard of zombies. (That one, in particular, was my favorite by far) You know, typical Saturday morning fare for us growing up. Unfortunately, due to the wrestler stars hectic schedules, their animated counterparts were voiced by actors. Fun little fact, comedian, and Everyone Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett voiced Hogan. However, in between the usual two-story episode, we would get a break in the middle with a live-action segment of a wrestler in some sort of awesomely ridiculous skit.  I can’t make it clear enough the ones featuring Hot Rod were the damn best.

The series that ran for only two seasons featured “faces” Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog, Captain Lou Albano, Andre The Giant, Hillbilly Jim, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Tito Santana, and Wendi Richter. The “heels” led by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper included Nikolia Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, Mr. Fuji, Big John Studd, and The Fabulous Moolah and was an effort to cross-promote the rock-n-wrestling connection that primarily involved pop music icon, Cyndi Lauper. That being said, I really feel like there was a huge missed opportunity there not including Randy Savage in this Saturday morning national treasure. I mean, can you imagine an animated reign of madness? Holy snopes, what could have been, will never… dammit.

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Sigh… They just don’t make them like this anymore. I’m still patiently waiting for a streaming service to pick this up, and while I’m not sure if it will ever come to fruition, there is a five-disc DVD series offered by RetroTVMemories.com here.  Or, if you really want to do things the correct way, Amazon has seasons available on VHS. I mean, if we’re going to bask in “Real American” nostalgia, what better way than blowing into your VCR head and reliving your childhood once again.

WWF: Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, Vol. 1 [VHS]

That Time Elvira Was a Guest Commenter at WrestleMania 2

Just when you thought Elvira couldn’t get any cooler, she went and did this thing. Which was kind of one of the most bad-ass things ever..

No matter how you slice it, the world of professional wrestling doesn’t come a hair close to the magic of what once was. In the early eighties, the WWE (even though to this day I still refer to it as WWF) became a powerhouse in the entertainment industry thanks to the likes of heavily promoted heroes such as Hulk Hogan and no hero would be complete with a heel to despise, and that title belonged to the late, great Roddy Piper. Even better were the special events like Saturday Night’s Main Event, and what was to become the annual WrestleMania that brought these heavily promoted soap-opera worthy feuds to a head in an epic battle of, at the time to us kiddos, basically good guys against the bad guys. And it was goddamn glorious my friends.

 

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Let’s go back to 1986’s Wrestlemania 2. Not only was this the first WrestleMania to be broadcast exclusively on Pay-Per-View but also, and I don’t think I’m wrong here, was the ONLY Wrestlemania to be held in three cities at one time; New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, each with its own main event. New York had the great boxing match between Mr. T and Roddy Piper with ring commenters Vince McMahon and Susan St. James. Chicago with the 20-man Royal Rumble that mixed wrestling greats with NFL football players with voice-overs from the fantastic Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund, and Cathy Lee Crosby. And last but not least along with the reason you’re here, the steel-cage match between the immortal Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy with ringside commenters Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and the Queen of Halloween herself Elvira in Los Angeles!

 

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Celebrity guests have always been a fun addition to the shenanigans in and out of the ring. Whether they’re part of a feud that builds into an exciting Main Event, like the pinnacle start to the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection in the early ’80s that began with Cyndi Lauper smacking her purse over Lou Albino’s noggin; or like in this case, a ringside guest appearance that generates sparks and interest to bring in viewers that may have not had to begin with. Such is the case with the Mistress of the Dark, Elvira.

Because the WWE is rather strict with their videos on the interwebs, the best I can do as far as a video visual is to send you to the official WWE website to take a look at snippets of Elvira’s appearance at the ’86 spectacle by clicking here. However, this wasn’t the last time Elvira rubbed elbows over-greased champions of entertainment…

The Queen of Halloween did some promos for that OTHER wrestling federation WCW, hyping up what was to be the annual Halloween Havoc. I mean, who else better to spread the word and give some spooky validation to the October event than Elvira?! Take a look at the promos below from 1989 and 1990!