Chris' Blog


WWF Hulk-a-Mania

The second tape in the Coliseum Home Video library features the World Heavyweight Champion, Hulk Hogan. The first tape was clips from TNT, mostly skits, however the second tape features some of Hulk Hogan’s best title defenses from his first year as champion. Hulk Hogan captured the World Title in January 1984 from the Iron Sheik, and thus began Hulk-a-Mania and the change in wrestling forever. The WWF quickly capitalized on this with their national expansion and Hulk Hogan leading the charge. This would lead to the Rock-n-Wrestling Connection followed by Wrestlemania, and then the birth of Wrestling Pay Per Views. However we’re getting ahead of ourselves, as right now it’s only 1984 and Hulk-a-Mania was just starting it’s surge.

Case

We open the tape with the same cool video from the previous tape, which then sends us to our host, Vince McMahon in a dark blue suit. Darn, was hoping for the classic pastel pink or yellow, no one rocks pink like Vince. Vince says Hulk Hogan picked the matches himself, including the match where Hulk won the belt, challenges from David Schultz, John Studd, Greg Valentine and interviews from the Hulkster.

1. Hulk Hogan v. Greg Valentine for the World Title

Hulk does a voice over before the match talking about his fear of the figure four leg lock. Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to Philadelphia tonight for this big match, Mel Phillips is our ring announcer tonight. Best known for taking an ass kicking from Terry Funk for wearing his cowboy hat. This is for the World Title, and Greg is the Intercontinental Champion at the time. Hulk starts out quick and the Hammer ducks in the corner to slow down the World champion. Greg uses a cheap shot during a test of strength to take down Hulk and works over Hogan’s back before locking on the Camel Clutch. Hulk powers out and rams Greg into the buckle, a move we will see again later tonight. Hulk connects with a headbutt, seriously, that was different, as Greg bails out of the ring. As Hulk follows I just realized, we have no other commentator other then the Gorilla, that seems odd. Hulk gets caught coming back in the ring by the Hammer, I also notice how dark the arena is, no big lights back then. Of course there was no pyrotechnics for anyone back then either, as Valentine slams Hulk down hard in the middle of the ring. Gorilla mentions the last time the title changed hands in Philly was when Stan Stasiak beat Pedro Morales, while Greg begins working over the legs of Hogan. Hulk finally tires of being pounded on by Valentine and comes back with the right hands and a clothesline, knocking down Valentine and sending him to the apron. Hulk suplexes Greg back in the ring, nice move from the Hulk, who then hammers the head of the Hammer. Hulk gets caught going for a backdrop and Valentine pounds the Hulk down and follows up with a knee drop to the head. Greg climbs the ropes, big mistake as Hulk catches him with a big slam and both guys are down. Greg up first and back on the leg and goes for the figure four. Hulk kicks him off and Greg misses the elbow drop, Hulk comes back with a clothesline and the legdrop for the big win. A very good hard fought match. After the match Greg shoves the ref into Hulk and attacks with the belt, but Hulk ducks and catches the Hammer. Valentine quickly rolls out of the ring and leaves the building

1. Hulk Hogan pinned Greg Valentine with the legdrop at 11:18 on August 4, 1984 from Philadelphia, PA 8/10

2. Hulk Hogan v. Big John Studd for the World Title

Hulk talks about being worried if he can slam the big giant, as the body slam challenge was in effect. Big John comes out with manager Bobby Heenan, the best manager in wrestling. Odd, as Hulk comes out to no music, did he not have Real American at this point? The bell rings and both men circle, as Heenan joins the commentary to say the body slam challenge is valid tonight, but no one can slam Studd. Both men try for an early slam, and neither man can do it this early in the match. Studd hammers the back of Hulk and shoots him in, they collide and no one moves, again both guys try for the slam and Gorilla Monsoon is having a fit. A slugfest, which Hulk wins, follows up with a big boot to the head of Studd and another slam attempt fails as Studd forces Hulk to the corner. Studd unloads on Hulk and tries to shoot him in, but Hulk holds the ropes and hammers Studd. Hulk with a big clothesline and Studd is still standing, another slam attempt fails. Hulk catches Studd in the corner with a clothesline and again clobbers Studd and tries to slam him again, but Studd holds the ropes. Both men fighting on the floor now, and Hulk rammed into the post face first as Studd reenters the ring. Hulk is busted open, and staggers around the ringside area, Studd quickly attacks again. Hulk tossed into the guard rail, which is just a little fence and the kids pat Hulk on the back. Hulk rolls back in and Studd drops a forearm on Hulk from the top rope. Studd hits a running elbow and covers, but Hulk just kicks out and Heenan is beside himself at ringside. Studd slams Hulk with ease in the middle of the ring, Hulk pulls himself up using the ropes and Studd knocks him back out of the ring. Studd follows Hulk out of the ring and beats on Hulk’s back, but Hulk starts to Hulk Up. Hulk slams Studd on the floor, and rolls back in the ring as the bell rings. Not a bad match, but too much focus on the slam challenge took away from it.

2. Hulk Hogan beat Big John Studd by countout at 10:01 on December 10, 1984 from the Meadowlands, NJ 6/10

Now we get the TNT segment from the last tape of Hulk Hogan making a milkshake. Hulk calls Vince, Vicious Vince, hard to be vicious in a pink suit. Hulk says milk is for babies, as he pours in water and something called Python Powder. Hulk asks Alfred Hayes to hold the button as he adds the fruit and two entire eggs. Hulk then pulls out a sandwich bag of pills, quick hide them from the Hardy Boys! Vince asks what they are, and Hulk says they’re vitamins and minerals and will keep you in good shape and hungry as a bear. Great, he’s going to give the kids the munchies, so that’s what started RVD on the munchies! Hulk pours the milkshake, and shotguns the twelve pills followed by the gray shake. Hulk offers Alfred some, and he says he’s not hungry however Vince is just too eager to try Hulk’s stuff. This is is a lot longer then it was on the previous tape, as Alfred finally tries it and gets sick.

3. Hulk Hogan v. David Schultz for the World Title

Hulk says he worried about David Schultz coming at him from all sides, but good triumphs over evil. Hulk in blue tonight, which just looks strange as that’s not something you’re used to seeing. Mene Gene is in the ring to do the intros, which are cut out as the bell rings and Schultz is slow to get in there with Hulk. Hulk stupidly turns his back on Schultz and gets clobbered, as Gorilla Monsoon and Mene Gene are doing the commentary for this match. Schultz takes Hulk down with a vicious clothesline and chokes Hulk with the wrist tape. Schultz drops a forearm off the top rope on Hulk and then shoots him to the corner, where Hulk crumples. The beating on Hulk continues as Schultz chokes Hulk on the ropes and hammers Hulk to the floor. Hulk slowly gets to his knees as Schultz grabs a chair and cracks Hogan in the face with it, busting open the champion. Schultz continues the offense keeping the Hulk out of the ring, finally Hulk gets back in the ring and Schultz is relentless as he bites the Hulkster. Hulk begins the Hulk Up sequence as Schultz hammers Hulk, who comes back with an eye rake and the rights before choking the challenger. We get some clipping as Hulk hits the clothesline and drops an elbow and covers, but pulls Schultz up before the three. Hulk slams Schultz and drops the big leg and covers again, but again pulls the challenger up. Way to be the nice guy Hogan, as he throws Schultz to the floor and drives Schultz’s head into the ring post. Clip again, as Gene calls this the greatest match he’s ever seen as Hulk charges Schultz, but Schultz comes back with the clothesline. Schultz climbs the ropes and drops the elbow, but Hulk rolls away and Hulk comes back with the clothesline for the three count. A very hard hitting brawl, not the usual Hulk Hogan formula, which made it more entertaining. Hulk was a real jerk sometimes, make you wonder how he was considered a role model for kids. Schultz attacks Hulk after the bell and clobbers Hulk with the title. Schultz puts Hulk’s title belt on as Hulk pulls Schultz down and hammers Schultz who runs away as Hulk holds his title overhead.

3. Hulk Hogan pinned David Schultz with the clothesline at about 9 minutes shown on June 17, 1984 from Minneapolis, MN 7/10

4. Hulk Hogan v. Big John Studd for the World Title in a Cage

This match actually takes place before the previous match between them, and I expect some clipping here. Howard Finkel does the rules and introductions, was nice to see Finkel back at Survivor Series. The cage looks enormous here, as it towers over even Studd and is just your basic fence, as we clip to Studd hammering Hulk and busting the champion open. Studd tries to escape and Hulk grabs the ankle to hold the giant in the cage. Hulk scoops up Studd and rams his head into the cage wall, busting Studd open and more clipping. Studd continues to hammer the champion and drops a forearm on Hulk from the second rope then tries to escape but Hulk again makes the save. Studd throws Hogan into the cage hard and decides to climb the eighteen foot high cage, so says Gorilla Monsoon, and Hulk catches him again but Studd clobbers Hogan. Studd tries to send Hogan in but Hogan reverses and Studd crumples to the mat, Hulk drops the leg on Studd and crawls for the door. Hulk almost out but Studd grabs the ankle, and Hulk kicks Studd off and escapes the cage to retain the gold. After the match the battle wages on the floor. Looks like it would be a good match without the clipping, only got about 7 minutes of it. Would’ve been a higher rating had we seen the whole match, but enjoyed what there was.

4. Hulk Hogan defeated Big John Studd in the cage at about 7 minutes shown on April 6, 1984 from Saint Louis, MO 6.5/10

Now an exclusive interview with Hulk Hogan conducted by Vince McMahon, who asks Hulk why be a wrestler. Hulk says he loves wrestling and loves the physical contact with other guys! Vince asks about physical training and Hulk says he lives the training, prayers and vitamins and a positive attitude. Vince needs to ask him why all his friends turn on him, just saying. Hulk says when he was a kid he decided he wanted to be a wrestler and says he patterned his lifestyle after Andre the Giant.

5. The Iron Sheik v. Hulk Hogan for the World Title

This is the historical match, as Iron Sheik defeated Bob Backlund for the title last month after Bob’s manager threw in the towel when Bob was trapped in the camel clutch. Hulk later saved Bob from a two on one attack from the Samoans, and was then given this match due to Bob’s injuries. We get the classic shot of Hulk Hogan in the blue/white hallway before he comes to the ring and Finkel introduces Iron Sheik and his manager Freddie Blassie followed by the challenger Hulk Hogan. Sheik tries to remove his robe and Hulk jumps him and nails a running elbow. Hulk rips off the robe and clotheslines Sheik with it then chokes the champion with the robe. Pat Patterson and Gorilla Monsoon on commentary, as Hulk continues to clobber Sheik and hits a big clothesline and a knee drop as Hulk tears apart Sheik. Hogan with the double hand choke and throws Sheik down then spits on him before shooting him in again. Hulk connects with a big boot and cover, but Sheik kicks out, Hulk hits another running elbow then a big elbow smash for another two count. Hulk mises the corner charge and now Sheik kicks the Hulk using those classic curly boots, as the crowd is insane. Sheik hits a backbreaker on Hogan, as you can hear a kid screaming get up to Hogan. Sheik still on the offense and loads up the boot and stomps the back of Hogan and locks in a Boston Crab as Hulk taps out, but taps out didn’t exist yet. Hulk powers out of the hold and Sheik with a nice gut wrench suplex for a near fall, as Sheik goes back to the back and applies the camel clutch. Hulk does the same thing he did with Valentine as he powers up and drives Sheik into the corner. Hulk quickly drops the leg and covers for the history making three count. Madison Square Garden explodes as Hulk is handed the World title for the first time, and becomes only the ninth World Champion in the twenty year history of the WWF. Amazing nine title changes in twenty years, now we get that many or more every year. A quick paced match, and bonus points for being one of the most important matches in wrestling.

5. Hulk Hogan pinned The Iron Sheik with the legdrop to win the World Title in 5:40 on January 23, 1984 from New York, NY 7/10

MATCH RECAP:

1. Hulk Hogan pinned Greg Valentine with the legdrop at 11:18 on August 4, 1984 from Philadelphia, PA 8/10

2. Hulk Hogan beat Big John Studd by countout at 10:01 on December 10, 1984 from the Meadowlands, NJ 6/10

3. Hulk Hogan pinned David Schultz with the clothesline at about 9 minutes shown on June 17, 1984 from Minneapolis, MN 7/10

4. Hulk Hogan defeated Big John Studd in the cage at about 7 minutes shown on April 6, 1984 from Saint Louis, MO 6.5/10

5. Hulk Hogan pinned The Iron Sheik with the legdrop to win the World Title in 5:40 on January 23, 1984 from New York, NY 7/10

Overall a fun series of pretty good matches with Valentine of course having the best one on the tape. If you’re looking for pure wrestling, this is not it, but if your looking for some early Hulk Hogan this is a great start. The two Studd matches were not great, the first one focused too much on the body slam challenge and the second one was too clipped to enjoy, however the Schultz match, even clipped, was amazing for it’s time. Hulk and Sheik is just a great moment, when a title change meant something and was not something to be expected on every big show. As I said it’s amazing to think nine title changes in twenty years, meanwhile this year we’ve had the RAW title change hands eight times and the Smackdown title seven times, which is ridiculous. It makes the titles meaningless, with fifteen World title changes in eleven months. This was a fun way to spend an hour, that’s all this tape was, thus the clipping. Coming up next is Volume 1 of the Best of the WWF, stay tuned!

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