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[1996-08-10-WCW-Hog Wild] Hulk Hogan vs The Giant

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The last few minutes of this are decent basic wrestling, with Giant working from underneath and Hogan dominating. Giant does Hogan's Hulk up, which was actually kind of cool, and again, it's a case of WCW not running in an arena in front of wrestling fans that would pop for it. In fact, they cheer Hogan, making it obvious they have no idea what's going on, despite him working overtime as heel. Booty Man brings out a birthday cake for Hogan, who has a birthday the next day, then gets beat up for his trouble. This goes on too long, as most post-main event NWO stuff did, but it has the historic moment of Hogan doing a great interview and spraypainting NWO on the WCW World title, which was HUGE at the time.

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Bobby Heenan is so drunk at this point in the broadcast that he is slurring his words and is basically unintelligible

 

Tony, bless his soul, is basically working by himself here trying to get this over

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My recollection of this is that it was a terrible match. The post-match is good, but Hogan vs Giant never worked for me inside the ring, they had no chemistry. The shitty crowd didn't help either.

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I haven't seen this for a while now but I remember that Hogan was having the time of his life doing the stalling heel thing at the beginning. He seemed to be just having a blast.

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The stalling at the beginning was fun, but the match wasn't good. Hogan was still experimenting with the Hollywood character, and the Giant simply wasn't a good worker yet. Ed Leslie comes off like a total suck up douchebag and gladly he wasn't included in the nWo (yet). I guess Hall & Nash had to fight against it, it would have been a pretty big stain on the angle. The spraypainting was Hall & Nash's idea too. Brillant.

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Okay from what we see, but yeah--the Giant's Hulk-Up would have had about 900% more impact in front of a more in-tune audience. Here the bikers have no idea that Hogan's supposed to be a heel, and the reaction to the post-match ranges from celebratory to pure confusion when he beats up the Booty Man. Hogan is terrific here, but the huge flaws in the Hog/Road Wild concept are apparent.

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Pros -

* The novelty of watching Hogan's first major heel match post-BATB 96'.

 

* The number of small details, from Michael Buffer's introduction to the finish, that WCW threw in to try to cement Hogan's heel status. Even The Giant's "finisher stealing" is kind of clever.

 

* Hogan's stalling in the beginning is fun.

 

* Beefcake gets beaten down.

 

Cons -

* I'm glad someone else mentioned Bobby Heenan being in "no condition to perform." Earlier in the show, he cheered the Outsiders by accident in their match against Sting and Luger (and then stumbled his way through an apology after a rather long, notable silence) and you can tell Dusty and Tony are peeved. His commentary in this match is a touch less awkward (at least he doesn't cheer Hogan), but his unprofessionalism is still pretty noticeable.

 

* Its not only bikers that cheer Hogan - its a very loud, seemingly large number of kids! Tony and Dusty wisely ignore the crowd on commentary, but it doesn't help because there is such a huge disconnect between the story Hogan and Giant are trying to tell and the one that the fans in attendance think they're watching.

 

* While Hogan's stalling is kinda cool at the beginning, unfortunately, those initial moments are probably the high point of the match. There's a hammerlock exchange that is particularly tedious. I'd have to dig through my reviews, but I believe this is my least favorite match of theirs in terms of in-ring efforts. Someone wrote that the Giant wasn't very good yet and I'd agree, but to play devil's advocate, his matches with Sting and Luger from the previous PPVs that year were significantly better, meaning that it took two to stink up this one as Giant had proved to be "workable" by this point.

 

* Hogan's post-match interview is reminiscent of some of his more recent WWE work, where he just kinda jumps around between different bullet points. The spray painting and beatdown of Ed Leslie is cool (I'll never tire of seeing the Booty Man get punched), but Hogan is noticeably scattered in his actual speech - mentioning his 22-year friendship with Beefcake, then referencing Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, then bringing it back to Beefcake in a kind of roundabout way, then finishing up with more about Flair...its not great.

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Did Hogan and Giant ever have a good match together? They main evented at least four different PPVs with singles matches, and iirc every single one of those sucked pretty hard. Especially that godawful Superbrawl 96 cage match, where Hogan just KEPT ramming Giant into the cage over and over and over and over and OVER until it started feeling like an endless Mike Myers joke.

 

Really puts all those Hogan/Andre matches (which were far superior to Hogan/Wight even all the way into Andre's sad 1988-era performances) into their proper perspective; and also makes me think that Andre must've been the one calling those matches, whenever Patterson wasn't scripting them anyway.

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Action at the end looked fun although the crowd sucks with this too. The Booty Man stuff I had forgotten about and was a good bit of continuity and I like how things are building to the Clash.

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Pretty bad match. Giant hulking up could have been cool in front of a responsive audience but it came off lame here. Overall great post-match, though turning on Booty Man was sort of wasted on this crowd. In front of a more traditional crowd it should have gotten over more as a really terrible heel move, here it just seemed irrelevant because the crowd couldn't care less. Spray painting the title was super cool.

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