Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

"Dark Side" Hulk Hogan, WCW circa 1995


sek69
 Share

Recommended Posts

Watching The Giant's WCW PPV debut match vs Hulk Hogan on WWE 24/7, and I can't help but marvel at how that whole period where Hogan had his mustache shaved off and was dressed in all black has been almost completely forgotten by history. Even more so when you consider it seems like it was more or less a test run for what ended up being the Hollywood Hogan gimmick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think a rehash. Hogan wasn't mentally ready to turn at that point, and Vince is definitely a fan of formula booking. Hogan/Warrior and Shawn/Sid, for example, had almost the exact same build-up, and there was six years between those matches.

 

I always thought a really interesting set of questions was that if Vince managed to get Hogan and/or Savage back in 1996-1997 (and according to the rumor mill, there were attempts made):

 

(1) Would they be brought in as heels or in their old gimmicks?

(2) How do they reconcile the Billionaire Ted skits?

 

And yeah, dark side Hogan was really the final straw for WCW fans cheering him as a babyface, especially when he criticized Sting and Savage. The Sting/Hogan match on Nitro (Can you believe they put their first-ever match on Nitro?) had Sting getting overwhelming fan support. A few weeks later, Hogan/Sting vs Flair/Arn in Charlotte had fans ripping up Hogan merchandise on camera, and Hogan getting crazy heel heat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to Bret's book they went even far as doing a magazine cover shoot with the two of them doing a sort of tug of war with the belt.

 

I only seem to remember that Savage was the one that seemed more likely to come back in that 96-97 time period because he wasn't on for a few months WCW TV after Halloween Havoc. The best thing would for them to have brought him back as a heel and start a program with Shawn or Bret.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, had some of the natural rivalries for Shawn stuck around (Diesel, Razor, Bret), his whole run probably would have been different. Not to mention that Michaels/Savage probably would have worked really well.

 

And that may have been Hogan floating rumors to drive up his bargaining power. I can't see Vince matching his 25% of PPV gates deal, much less surpassing it, giving him more of a base salary than he had in WCW, *and* adding in full creative control, which is what it would have taken for Hogan to even consider jumping.

 

And in a bidding war, something tells me Bischoff would have paid any price necessary and promised anything he had to if it meant not doing so would leave them without Hogan.

 

The Hogan rumors started up again in early '98 and were a lot more prevalent. Hogan jumping in '98 when the WWF landscape was wildly different than it was in '96 would have had Hogan with far less leverage, as WCW was stronger than they were two years earlier, as was the WWF. Not to mention that Austin (and to a lesser degree, Shawn) were red hot, and he wouldn't have been the guaranteed top star. He probably knew that, which is why he stayed put.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is kind of interesting that while Hogan was test running a harder edge to his character in WCW, over in the WWF Vince was experimenting with a similar idea with Diesel and the whole, "I'll still slap your hand if you're wearing a black glove" deal. Both companies were giving the anti-hero thing a whirl long before they actually went full on with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...