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Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan


Guest Bruiser Chong
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Guest Bruiser Chong

Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF Title Match/MSG/1.23.84):

 

This is it. The match that signaled the true beginning of Hulkamania, a movement that has still arguably not subsided. If anyone has seen a piece of vintage wrestling footage, this is probably it. The complete match and bits and pieces have made their way onto countless commercial releases over the years.

 

It should first be noted that although less than a month after the Backlund/Sheik match in the same arena, the atmosphere here is entirely different. The lights are down, the crowd is electric, and there's that aura that would characterize most of the Rock 'n' Wrestling era. The crowd was subdued throughout most of the Backlund/Sheik match, but they're rocking here. Just like they were sure Backlund wouldn't lose to the Sheik, they seem sure there's no way Hogan isn't walking out without the belt.

 

Sheik at least has learned how to wear the belt since winning it a month earlier. Too little, too late, though. Things get rolling with the roles from the last match reversed. The Iron Sheik had used his entrance apparell to choke out Backlund as the match got underway. Here, the same thing happens, only this time, the Sheik is the one being choked with his own gear. The Sheik dominated the Backlund match, but here, he looks out of his league. Hogan's familiar, one-note offense makes the Sheik look like he's some schmuck filling in for the real WWF champ. The crowd continues to go crazy during Hogan's dominance over the Sheik.

 

The tides are briefly turned in the Sheik's favor, highlighted by a Boston Crab and the Camel Clutch. Hogan then no-sells the first of many devastating finish holds and stands up with the Sheik still on his back. After ramming him into the corner, we get the now famous legdrop that seals the deal less than six minutes into the match. The crowd goes crazy and Gorilla proclaims that Hulkamania is here.

 

Final Thoughts: Not a great wrestling match by any stretch of the imagination, since it was little more than a glorified squash. But Vince knew Hogan was going to be huge and if he was going to put his company on the shoulders of Hogan, the title win should leave no doubts. This falls under the category of being a great wrestling moment, with the landscape of wrestling being altered from this point on.

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I would note that for those who discussed how Batista/HHH at Wrestlemania should go, THIS is how you book a strong face squashing his opponent and winning the title.

 

I really like this match. Exceptionally hot crowd, the booking hit the right note, and it was too short to drag.

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