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[2000-05-01-WCW-Nitro] Hulk Hogan vs Mike Awesome

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A pretty fun Hogan brawl with a biggie. Hogan’s new attitude is working for me as the Terry Bollea moniker as it does feel genuine. Hogan beats up Awesome and does some high impact offense for him including a back suplex onto the floor. Awesome uses a chair on Hogan on the outside. Hogan does a mini Hulk up and pounds away on Awesome. Hogan gets the big boot in when Kidman runs into the ring with a chair. He hits Kidman with it and continues to stalk after Awesome. Kidman recovers and hits Hogan with the chair diving from the top rope to the outside. Hogan clearly blades right for us and has color. Awesome gets the pinfall now. Bullshit or not, Hogan is getting a lot of falls against him right now. Hogan comes back with a chair and clears the ring until a fan with a Sting mask runs in and gets a good bit of ring time before security scatters him. The red liquid rains down again on Hogan and covers him as the show end. **1/4

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Hogan during the 'FUNB' run is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I know he pretty much squashes Kidman still, but it's fun watching him work some 'ECW-lite' matches around this time. In fact, all of WCW got a bit this way, as I think at the first Russo-Bischoff show they said the DQ rule was being relaxed as they were trying to tap into the ECW style of having tables and chairs etc get involved in every match even though that style was already starting to get passe. In this match, and others at the time it was pretty shocking seeing things like Hogan set up tables and that makes it more interesting. I actually thought in this match that Awesome and Hogan had some pretty good chemistry and wonder how things might have gone if they'd used Awesome in the program rather than Kidman, even though that did fit the story line given Hogan's comments on him and not headlining a flea market.

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Hogan worked his ass off here and the result was a very good match, maybe the best Awesome had this year too. For whatever reason, these two meshed well, and Hogan was awfully motivated. I'm all for younger guys beating established guys, but I also think three pinfall wins over someone at Hogan's level in less than a month creates a backlash and goes a bit too far in the other direction. In the same way DX got heat every single week in 1997, I think that's what Russo was going for here with Kidman. The good of this program is that it has definitely brought out the best of Hogan and showed that he still had a lot to give if he was presented the right way. ***1/4

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I thought this was a surprisingly fun brawl. Hogan was super motivated. However the finish didn't really help Awesome at all, but kept the interest with Kidman leading up to the PPV. **3/4

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Hulk Hogan had come to save his nephew Horace from an attack by The Wall and Billy Kidman earlier in the show, only to get jumped from behind by Mike Awesome. The Hulkster is handling the three of them until the odds got too much and it ended with Awesome powerbombing him through a table. Later in the show we cut to Hogan and Awesome fighting in the dressing room.

 

Onto the match and Hogan has got ‘TCB’ on his vest and says to the camera that it stands for ‘taking care of Bollea’s’, and from now on it’s him and Horace. Awesome jogs to the ring and is met by a double axe handle the moment he slides in there. Eye rake to try and turn the tide, but Hulk curtails that with a back kick low blow. He shoves his bandana down Awesome’s throat whilst the commentators try to emphasise that this is Terry Bollea and not Hulk Hogan. A clothesline by Awesome and a boot to the mid-section sends Hogan tumbling through the ropes and to the outside. A big running lariat on the floor and back in the ring, Awesome with a clothesline off the top for two. Hulk takes to the outside himself and drags Awesome out after him. Chair shot to the head of Awesome and a couple more to the back, before The Hulkster takes off his leather weightlifting belt and uses that on his opponent. Belly to back on the floor and Hogan then crotches Awesome on the guardrail. Awesome grabs a chair and repeatedly jabs it into the Hulkster’s sternum before nailing him across the back with it. Slingshot splash back inside for two as Hogan kicks out. He’s fired up, starts to choke Awesome and then gets on top and rains down punches on him. Big boot to the face and here’s Billy Kidman. He’s primed to clock Hogan with a chair, but Hulk gets in first with a kick to the stomach and Kidman drops it. Hogan picks it up himself and then levels him across the back. As Hulk and Awesome go at it on the outside, Kidman with a chair shot off the top to the head of the Hulkster who blades himself right infront of the camera. They roll back in the ring and Awesome makes the cover for the win. Kidman and Awesome celebrate their win post-match, but get waffled by a chair swung by the bloodied Hogan. Chair shot to referee Slick Johnson and a fan in a Sting mask hops the rails and gets in the ring. Not sure is this was a real fan or a plant to distract the Hulkster, but the ‘blood’ red liquid then falls from the ceiling covering Hogan, and Douglas, Bagwell and The Wall join Kidman and Awesome in putting the boots to him as the show goes off the air.

 

A pretty spirited brawl between the two, with the belly to back suplex on the floor being a nice addition to Hogan’s arsenal. The punches and kicks of these both leave a lot to be desired, and Hulk could’ve at least tried to hide the fact that he was blading himself after that chair shot. I was wondering if ‘count outs’ had now gone out the window, something which Tony Schiavone confirmed later in the match, saying how the referees can apply a bit more leniency when they’re officiating the matches. The interference was predictable, although I was kinda expecting a Horace turn after how Hulk said it was just the two of them from now on.

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