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Hulk Hogan

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Parties, do you consider Chris Jericho and Edge "stars"? If you mean "the guy", yeah, I agree, but they have created a decent amount of second and third-tier main eventers.

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Did he have a good match after Vader in '95?

Yeah, one. The Superbrawl match was shockingly fun. My theory on that one is that Hogan was legit pissed off at Vader for, well, being Vader. You can literally HEAR the smack of Hulk's fist hitting Vader's face, multiple times in the match. How often did that happen? But whatever the motivation was, Hogan looked fired up for once (which didn't happen often in WCW) and the two of them clicked pretty well.

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Personally I really don't agree that Brock is "more a creation of UFC".

Agreed, Brock was only the star he was in UFC because he'd been in the WWE and pushed as their top guy. Otherwise he was just another former NCAA wrestler in MMA.

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A good match after Vader 95? I like his Mania match against The Rock. So to me, yes...

Hell, his entire 2002 return is full of gems. Don't be put off by the stinky Undertaker match or the boring HHH match, go find the Smackdowns where he was working Jericho or teaming with Edge or getting squashed by Brock and you'll find a lot of fun stuff. Hell, I think it even included the only time we've ever seen Hogan tap out, against Kurt Angle (and Hogan took at least half a dozen suplexes like a champ in that match). It's a shame that Hogan's ego got the better of him and he seriously thought that he should still be the top guy at that time, otherwise they could've kept on doing some really good stuff.

 

In WCW, however... well... yeah, there's not very much. He had a few good matches with Flair here and there, more because of Ric than Hulk of course. (Their Superbrawl match is especially slept-on, the nonsensical booking blinded everyone to the fact that they were getting a shockingly good bout out of these two guys at this period in their careers.) I remember the Goldberg title change being everything it needed to be. One or two of the Kidman matches were alright. Did he have any forgotten gems on Nitro with DDP that I'm blanking on? I'm pretty sure everything he ever did with Sting was mostly garbage, I think Hogan was legit threatened by the Stinger's popularity and didn't want to make him look good (is it a coincidence that their best matches happened when Sting had turned heel in '99?). The first match with Piper at Starrcade was actually a perfectly decent brawl, which gets overlooked because of the lame non-title booking and all their increasingly-terrible rematches. And then there was that one bizarro-world week where Arn Anderson actually pinned the Hulkster in '95. Did I miss anything? I remember every single one of the matches with Savage, the Giant, and Luger as being just awful; as were most of the other Vader encounters besides the first one.

 

EDIT: also, people were way too hard on the match with Shawn Michaels in 2005. That's EXACTLY how it should have happened, with Shawn taking the exact same pinball bumps that he always did as a heel against a much larger and stronger opponent. He bounced around the same way for Nash in 95 and Taker in 97 as he did for Hulk in '05.

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Hogan is a big yes for me. It's impossible to separate his work from Being Hulk Hogan, but there are a lot of guys who were massively over or big stars and didn't produce the kind of work that he did.

 

I have little time for him early, as a heel, but as soon as he turns face, woah baby. Love the Bock matches in AWA. I am a big fan of the Hulkamania run, I think there's a lot of juice there. A lot of memorable feuds resulting in lots of good matches. There's the Andre feud from WMIII to Survivor Series to the title switch. The Savage team and then angle and WM5 match. Warrior. There's matches with Orndorff, King Harley, Bundy, Bossman, etc. Even early on in 1984 there's more grittier stuff with Schultz, Valentine. He has this in-built level of heat that makes his matches exciting, but crucially he also knows exactly what to do with that heat and how to time things just right to take the crowd along for the whole ride. So many guys have heat for their entrance but lose it during the match. Hogan never does.

 

His WCW career is kind of a different beast, but I give him credit for transforming into the complete antithesis of what he was and being such a convincing piece of shit heel. Not everyone can be that good at both AND draw so well as both. I don't enjoy what I've seen from WCW but he at least knew how to work to his character by turning up the back rakes and eye pokes and bullshit, even if he wasn't capable of putting on compelling matches anymore.

 

His WWE comeback lead to really good dream matches with guys like Rock and Shawn. The Rock match in particular is such a testament to the strength of Hogan as a kind of wrestling force - no matter what he'd done or how shitty he'd been for so long, there is something about him that is eternal, that can't help but touch people. I remember when he did the run in for Eugene at WM21, I was a kid and had NEVER seen Hogan as a wrestler before, although of course I had heard of him. I had no previous attachment to him at all, and by the end of it I was jumping up and down going nuts. That's the power of Hogan, and that says a lot to me.

 

The Shawn match I think is great, I'll defend it to the death because if you knew absolutely nothing about the backstage bullshit surrounding it, and just watch the match, aside from the ridiculous Big Boot bump at the end it is pretty much the perfect, archetypal Hogan vs small bumping heel match. You could transplant that match straight into 1985 and it would have been amazing. Whatever Shawn was trying to prove, all he ended up doing was basically being perfect Hogan fodder and it made for the best possible match.

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One thing I'm still really torn on for Hogan is whether he should be getting points in the L [Longevity of Peak] rating. Nominally that rating is " the period of time that worker was roughly a top 30 worker in the world". And if I was to give Hogan points, it would be something like 81-91 = 10 years = 6.

 

He's currently getting 0 from me there.

 

But here's what I can't square, and where the "Being Hulk Hogan" thing comes into play.

 

Can anyone say with a straight face that Hogan WASN'T a top 30 worker in the world during that time frame? He was the biggest star by a mile. He had big memorable matches. Huge moments we all still remember. It kind of feels wrong to give him 0.

 

What do people think?

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This is why I felt like intangibles should be worth more than a fixed number of points. :)

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I dunno, I've seen many more shitty matches from Batista than I've ever seen from Brock. And Batista's probably a bigger mainstream star now; but he's certainly not a bigger PPV draw. Brock's rematch with Mir scored over 1.6 million buys, which is much bigger than any WWE show ever.

 

The Shawn match I think is great, I'll defend it to the death because if you knew absolutely nothing about the backstage bullshit surrounding it, and just watch the match, aside from the ridiculous Big Boot bump at the end it is pretty much the perfect, archetypal Hogan vs small bumping heel match. You could transplant that match straight into 1985 and it would have been amazing. Whatever Shawn was trying to prove, all he ended up doing was basically being perfect Hogan fodder and it made for the best possible match.

I'll agree with all that, and add one more important thing that everyone seems to forget: that's how Shawn ALWAYS works as a heel. Go back and watch his matches from 1997 with Undertaker, and you'll see him taking those exact same giant goofy bumps that he did in the Hogan match.

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The tricky thing about Brock is that 2015 was the year he was most heavily leaned on as a draw and we don't know how to evaluate it. I think the Network numbers were a positive reflection of his drawing power at Mania, SummerSlam, and HITC. But we have nothing to compare it with.

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I dunno, I've seen many more shitty matches from Batista than I've ever seen from Brock. And Batista's probably a bigger mainstream star now; but he's certainly not a bigger PPV draw. Brock's rematch with Mir scored over 1.6 million buys, which is much bigger than any WWE show ever.

 

The Shawn match I think is great, I'll defend it to the death because if you knew absolutely nothing about the backstage bullshit surrounding it, and just watch the match, aside from the ridiculous Big Boot bump at the end it is pretty much the perfect, archetypal Hogan vs small bumping heel match. You could transplant that match straight into 1985 and it would have been amazing. Whatever Shawn was trying to prove, all he ended up doing was basically being perfect Hogan fodder and it made for the best possible match.

I'll agree with all that, and add one more important thing that everyone seems to forget: that's how Shawn ALWAYS works as a heel. Go back and watch his matches from 1997 with Undertaker, and you'll see him taking those exact same giant goofy bumps that he did in the Hogan match.

 

 

Also, that 1.6 million was just domestic. I don't think any WWE PV has ever broken the 1 million ceiling domestically. IIRC, WM 17 came closest with 975k approximately.

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Hogan thought he should get his win back from Brock, which I can see arguments for and against, but disagreement over that led to him briefly quitting. While I'm not sure Hogan going over Brock in 2002 made too much sense, Hogan was professional in putting him over in memorable fashion, and there was still more fuel in that tank, even if Hogan never beat him.

 

For me personally I felt he should have got his win back and then they could build up a third and final match between Brock/Hogan on PPV making big money, I didnt really see the point in building Lesnar up for a main Event run only to drop the belt to Big Show 3 months later.

 

I would probably put Hogan in a top 10 Wreslers of all Time, was always a fan of his work and enjoyed his matches when he went to japan and I really cant see anyone as big as him not even Rock or Austin combined. Id make a pretty big valid case on Hulkamania merchandise overselling any Rock or Austin Merch regardless of how many different designs there were, Hogan deffinately ruled the roost in the 1980s & 1990s given it be WWF or WCW quite a feat I dont see anyone beating.

 

For me its a shame Vince didnt see more Longtivity in Hogan and Hulkamania in 1993 especially how he kept trying to create the next Hulk Hogan in Luger & Diesel, Im not sure how a Heel turn in 1993 would have worked in the WWF before a few years later leading to Hogan returning to the red & Yellow but 93 was a sad year for me to see how Vince wanted to shut down Hulkamania, even a decade later those crazy fans went mad for Hogan in Toronto and even the hall of fame and no one will ever come that close to a modern day reaction.

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