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Charles (Loss)

[1991-12-03-WWF-This Tuesday In Texas] The Undertaker vs Hulk Hogan

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It seems weird to not even have Hogan address what happened to Savage and Elizabeth, and talk about this being the happiest day in the history of Hulkamania against the backdrop of what we just saw.

 

The amount of choking the Undertaker can do without getting disqualified is ridiculous. I've heard praise for this match, but it's not good at all. Lots of choking and a blown criss-cross sequence with Undertaker falling for no reason.

 

Ric Flair shows up again, but this time Jack Tunney is there to stop him. Hogan ends up hitting Flair with a chair from behind and Flair falls on Tunney. Flair tries to help Undertaker with a chair, but Taker ends up eating a chairshot. Hogan ends up throwing urn ashes in Undertaker's eyes to get the pin and regain the WWF title. But Flair pulled Tunney up just in time to see it, so there is some doubt as the show goes off the air.

 

Great finishing stuff, and suddenly the WWF is being booked like the USWA.

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A match can be all choking/avoidance of a choke and still be good. This match is good in context of Survivor Series where Taker really just goozled and contained Hogan to a huge degree. Here, Hogan plays a sort of scared desperation that I don't remember ever seeing out of him in trying to avoid the choke. Honestly, it's not really worth my time (or yours) to write up both matches, but I will say that I enjoy them both mainly in the context of each other and more broadly in a linear progression of how they laid out Hogan matches over the few years before it.

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They presented it in a way that it was allowed. I'm okay with it. in another setting other than 1991 WWF it might have bothered me, but the rules are whatever they say the rules are. It's not real. Within the confines of the story they were telling, it worked. I also figured that the ref was just terrified of him, but that's probably more rationalization than it needed. The Jerry Lawler vs Kerry Von Erich match on the AWA set needs rationalization (the ref was a Memphis ref and thus didn't care when he blatantly saw the chain attacks fifty times in the match) because of the setting and how it was worked. This? Not so much.

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When did they start dimming the lights during Taker's entrance? They didn't here and I guess I never noticed that they didn't do that from the start.

I believe they started the gimmick of the lights going down during the Taker vs Taker match at SummerlSlam 94, for the real Undertaker only. They really began using light shows at WM 10.

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When did they start dimming the lights during Taker's entrance? They didn't here and I guess I never noticed that they didn't do that from the start.

I believe they started the gimmick of the lights going down during the Taker vs Taker match at SummerlSlam 94, for the real Undertaker only. They really began using light shows at WM 10.

 

It was a bit before that. I remember they did it vs Giant Gonzalez at SS 93.

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Undertaker might have been one of the first guys to not wear the title around his waist. Taker struggles hitting the ropes and falls on his ass. Lots of cheating. Hogan knew exactly what he was doing with he hit Flair with that chair shot and Ric fell on top of Tunney. He gets the title back but it won't last long as Tunney gets a good view of Hogan's cheating antics.

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I agree this was not the direction Hogan's promo needed to go. I'd like to see him take the role of knight in shining armor trying to rescue not just Hulkamania but the WWF as a whole. It would have that Hogan self-aggrandizement but it would properly address all the chaos happening in the company. Instead the two big feuds stay in their own bubbles. Considering how much better the WWF had been at overlapping feuds lately and that Jake and Undertaker are still loosely aligned, that's an oversight.

 

The match is better than Survivor Series with more sustained heat, and is laid out pretty well, but UT still just isn't compelling when he's in control outside of the ropewalking. The rest is just stalking, choking, and gesturing to the urn. There's a comical sequence where both guys get their signals crossed and then Undertaker trips and almost Tommy Youngs himself against the ring ropes. The finish is very out-of-the-box for a WWF Hogan match as Hulk has to cheat just to get Undertaker in position to lose, throwing the urn's ashes into his eyes and rolling him up. A primo camera shot sees Flair hoisting up the fallen Jack Tunney, who gets a view of what the referee doesn't see...

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Andre the Giant won the title and never wore it around his waist for the 30 seconds he held it for. For months, people wondered what was in the urn, and that night they found out. As for dimming the lights for Taker, it first started on Raw 7/5/93 against Samu. Since the PPV had 5 matches, they should of just moved the PPV to Saturday and called it Saturday Night's Main Event on PPV.

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Feels weird seeing Taker come out with the belt. Much like the MSG Flair match, I really enjoyed Hulk's house of fire and think a case can be made that 1991 was one of his more solid in ring years. Crowd is also really hot and solidly behind Hogan which is nice to hear this late into his WWF run. The rules of the match are a little wonky as they were outside for a long time and the choking was to an absurd level at times. Hulk does get pretty desperate at the end. Flair comes out and Monsoon is outraged but Tunney cuts him off as Hulk is doing his routine. Hogan spots Flair and gets some revenge with a chair shot but Flair falls on Tunney. Hogan with a forearm shot and chop which looked odd in the ending routine. Taker actually interrupts this sequence making him look strong. Flair is doing fine after the chair shot but TUnney is out. Flair grabs the chair now but Hogan sends Taker face first into it. Holy shit, Taker hits a punch after the big boot. He is looking strong here. The urn hits Taker and Hulk being a dick throws it in Taker's eyes and rolls him up to regain the belt. In a brilliant move, Flair pulled TUnney up so he got a glimpse of all of this. Man, underrated booking on this show with both top feuds feeling strong at the moment.

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I must be in some kind of weird mood, because this is another match I didn't care for.

 

As is the case so often, Pete said it before I could: Taker wasn't a main event-style wrestler yet. He showed that he could be in later years, but even though the gimmick and the character are close to pitch-perfect, the wrestling is still at jobber level. I don't give a damn how some people justify (or don't justify) it, that amount of choking is wrong. Of course, Andre got away with it too when that's all he could do, so there's precedent for it. But more than how the rules are or aren't enforced, this shows that Taker not only has no business being champion under the circumstances in which he got the title, but under any circumstances whatsoever, at least at this point.

 

So why was he chosen? I'd rather have had the lousy Repo Man pull the upset than this guy; I'm sure they could have found some way to link him and Flair. Or maybe give Teddy a short run at long last; six days is better than nothing, and there aren't any two more natural allies that I can think of among WWF heels (except maybe Jake and Taker) than Flair and Teddy. Taker wouldn't even sniff the belt for another six years at least after this, so why did he need it now? Did Vince really not want a World champion under three hundred pounds or without bulging muscles? If that's the case, why did he turn around and give it to Flair at the Rumble when he could have put it back on Taker or a multitude of other guys?

 

I never thought I'd see the day when Hogan had a broomstick match, but he sure did here. He somehow turned what could have been one of the most boring World title matches in history into a decent spectacle, if not a decent bout. Just like he did with Andre, he turned the selling of the choke/face claw into a work of art, and the camera work helped here as well, as you could literally see the life being choked out of Hulkamania. Heenan's unrestrained glee reinforced the point on commentary, as he was finally getting to see his longtime nemesis being put down for good, or so he thought.

 

Taker was basically a three-move wrestler at this point: rope walk, flying clothesline, and tombstone. We saw the first two, which were well done. Where he excelled was in no-selling and playing undead; the only move Hogan made which knocked him down immediately was the big boot right near the end, other than that, he was on his feet at all times, which made Hogan's performance all the more compelling; You could see him thinking, again just like with Andre: "How the hell can I get this guy off his feet without getting myself arrested?"

 

As for the finish, it was good because it was different, but that didn't mean it was good, period. Again, just like at Survivor Series, Hogan attacks Flair for no reason outside, so you could say that he brought his own problems on himself. If he doesn't knock down Flair, who in turn wipes out Tunney, he at the very least gets away with the ashes in the face bit, which he's done quite often before with other foreign objects. Instead, Tunney's revived by Flair at just the right time, which leads to the belt being held up.(although, as Tunney points out in the promo announcing his ruling, Joey Marella's decision isn't overturned).

 

Gino was tolerable until the very end, when his cheering for Hogan even in the light of what had just gone down became too hard to take. Instead of putting over the weirdness of what we'd just seen, he insisted that even though Tunney had clearly seen what Hogan did, he still had no right to do anything whatsoever about it. Both he and Heenan stank at getting over the aftermath, mostly because Bobby was too busy worrying about Flair and gloating over Hogan's demise. He did at one point say that Marella should restart the match, but at no time is stripping Hogan of the belt even mentioned as a possibility, as it should have been. Maybe they were trying to make sure that Tunney's decision would come across as a complete shock when he announced it over the weekend.

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The match itself shows how limited Taker was at this point and how good Hogan is at playing FIP and putting over an opponent's offense. Taker does really well at playing the zombie big man and wobbling but not falling. Finish is overbooked and silly but it's a Hogan match so color me surprised.

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