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[1993-06-13-WWF-King of the Ring] Hulk Hogan vs Yokozuna

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The most upsetting night I have ever had as a wrestling fan. I got to order my first pay per view because I did not get to go to the WWF event in Huntsville. I'm looking forward to watching Hulk Hogan kill Yokozuna once and for all. Get to the match and Yoko kills Hulk. He needs a fireball to do it. but Yoko pinned Hulk after a leg drop then banzai drops him three times and Hulk is carted off with kids crying. I wrote as longer review here. http://www.cagesideseats.com/2009/8/26/100...estling-feedbag

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I never thought this was *that* bad, but then again, I've always liked Yoko and thought the Taker Casket match was a really fun five-minute match before the angle.

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Just the last few minutes, but the action is really good, and Yoko's bump timing is impeccable. I have to give them credit for not just ending Hulkamania, but putting it down in flames. The post match is great fun too, with the announcers going crazy and Yoko and Fuji posing for the cameras.

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Always love looking at the face of that super Hogan fan after Yoko drops the leg and and pins Hulk. I'm amazed Hogan never had a Japanese photographer show up in WCW so he could get his heat back. Enjoyable post match to see Hogan get squashed and buried.

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I've gone back and forth on Hogan over the years--from being a Little Hulkster to actively praying for Vader to fuck him up legit to a Hollywood Hogan mark to getting sick of him again to enjoying his old-timers run to...so on, so forth. But this was welcome to see again--it was past time for Hogan and the WWF to part ways and this rectifies a title run that never should have happened to start with. Hogan is noticeably skinnier, with Heenan even having to make excuses for it by claiming Hogan had trimmed down so he would be able to outpace and out-endurance Yokozuna. Yoko gets gets shot off Hogan when Hogan does the Hulk-Up kickout, which was cool to see. Notable that it was the belly-to-belly suplex that started the Hulk-Up comeback--they didn't let Hogan kick out of the Banzai Drop. Hulk also doesn't get to bodyslam him, needs three big boots to put him down, and of course the Big Leg doesn't put him away. A great way to build Yokozuna up for the rematch but an even greater way to slam the coffin door on Hulkamania. We'll see this again at One Night Only with Davey Boy, but this is another area where Vince can be a brilliantly evil mastermind.

 

Hogan's arrival certainly won't change WCW's product for the better but I can understand why it happened from both parties' perspectives. In the meantime I'm going to enjoy watching this next calendar year without him.

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This brings up some bad memories for my childhood. Hogan did a good job all things considered in putting Yoko over by not slamming him, letting him kick out of the leg drop after the Hulk up (when has that happened before?) and losing relatively clean, flaming camera aside. The main event booking has been stunted with Hogan gone but now with Yoko on top, at this moment it looks like things are turning around. I think the most glaring thing is that WWF doesn't have the in ring work or the cool storylines in 1993 whereas almost every other promotion has had one or the other and in most cases both.

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I really didn't see much different here than in any other temporary Hogan loss. If I didn't know better, I would think that this was just a temporary setback to set up the final blowoff at SummerSlam. Let's not forget one other thing: Hogan may have been done here in the States with the WWF, but he was still going to be a part of one more major European tour, so he had to kept strong as a viable threat to Yoko for those matches.

 

I think some people are seeing this as more complete of a burial than it was intended to be, quite honestly. Savage registered shock that Hogan couldn't slam Yoko, but wouldn't you expect him to do that now that they're friends again? Heenan crowed that Hulkamania was dead, but if we didn't know that it actually was (at least in the WWF), wouldn't that just be more wishful thinking on the part of the longest-standing enemy the man has ever had? As far as not kicking out of the Banzai Drop and Yoko kicking out of the legdrop, they protected the piledriver for Orndorff by not letting Hogan take one in a match (just to name one example), and the legdrop hasn't been a guaranteed finisher since Sid kicked out of it (accidentally or not) at Mania VIII.

 

There's no sign whatsoever that Hogan won't be back in time for SummerSlam to take out Yoko once and for all based on what we saw here. In fact, I'll go further and say that they did a better job in convincing the public that Hogan was finished at least three or four other times during his run, starting with the stretcher job he did for Bundy prior to Mania 2 and Quake squashing him like a bug on ​The Brother Love Show ​nearly three years before.​ ​Here, he leaves upright (albeit holding his eye to sell the exploding flash, which was a great finish), and not even limping much or holding his ribs. Again, unless you knew from reading the dirtsheets that Hogan was done after he finished his European commitments, you wouldn't catch even a subtle hint of it here. If Vince had wanted to bury Hogan for good, he'd have done a better job than this.

 

Is it true that the cameraman with the exploding flash was really Marty Jannetty? Not a bad consolation prize for losing the IC belt with no fanfare at a non-televised house show. (I just found out that it was Downtown Bruno/Harvey Wippleman, which makes more sense given the photographer's size.)

 

Have we ever seen any other champion's postmatch photo session even if it was staged? It's obvious that Vince wanted Yoko to be the man for quite a while, even if he'd lose on occasion to one challenger or another.

 

What was the upside for Hogan to lose the belt here? Even if he was leaving, why not demand that he not have to drop the belt until his last match for the company (August 6 in Sheffield, England). Granted, that would have made the SummerSlam main event almost impossible to promote with any certainty, but why should Hogan have given a damn about that?

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