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Thread: “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan Thread

  1. #1
    I was saying Boo-Urns. lunchbox1981's Avatar
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    “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan Thread

    From WWE.com

    The red and yellow is back, brother.

    WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan has returned to WWE and will host WrestleMania 30 on Sunday, April 6, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Hogan will make his long-awaited return to WWE on Monday’s Raw. He will also appear on WWE Raw Backstage Pass, airing live on WWE Network immediately following Raw.

    “We are thrilled that Hulk Hogan has returned home to WWE,” WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon said. “It’s fitting to have him help us celebrate 30 years of WrestleMania and usher in a new era with the launch of WWE Network.”

    A larger-than-life icon, Hogan was regarded as the “Face of WWE” when Randy Orton was still in snakeskin diapers. The Hulkster’s rise to sports-entertainment immortality began on Jan. 23, 1984, when he defeated The Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden to become WWE Champion. That victory began a pop culture phenomenon known as “Hulkamania” with Hogan bringing WWE to international prominence with appearances on MTV, his own animated series and a definitive WrestleMania III main event against Andre the Giant in front of a record 93, 173 fans in the Pontiac Silverdome.

    The Hulkster went on to become a six-time WWE Champion, and a WrestleMania icon, battling everyone from The Rock to 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee The Ultimate Warrior on The Grandest Stage of Them All. In 2005, Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his “Rocky III” co-star Sylvester Stallone. His red and yellow boots have not touched a mat since December 2007, but that will change this Monday night.

    “Words cannot express how excited I am to be back in the WWE family,” Hogan said. “I only have one question for the WWE Universe: Whatcha you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild as the host of WrestleMania 30?”
    Well the WWE has taken to announcing on their website what we all long suspected was true. The one and only Hulk Hogan will return to the WWE this Monday night on RAW and act as the Host of WrestleMania XXX in April. If you could see the smile on my face right now you’d know how happy I am about this news. I am also sure that I am not the only one who feels that way. At the same time I realize that there will probably be people that are less than thrilled about this announcement. However I am not going to let that ruin my good mood.

    So getting back on topic what do you think of this announcement and Hogan’s role at WrestleMania? It doesn’t sound like he’ll be involved in any great amount of physicality at the PPV if any at all. So that’s a little bit of a disappointment but was also very much expected. I’d also be interesting in finding out what kind of contract he signed and how long it is for. I hope that he has signed some kind of deal that keeps him around beyond WrestleMania XXX.

  2. #2
    You've been waiting too long to post this thread.



  3. #3
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    I figue Hogan signed a hefty Legends contract and we,'ll see him on the network alot and tv a few times. I dont like him in a GM role but there are so manyways WWE can use him

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    I was saying Boo-Urns. lunchbox1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    You've been waiting too long to post this thread.
    That is true. What can I say other than I am an unapologetic mark for the guy. He is the whole reason why I got into wrestling.

  5. #5
    Follows buzzards Smart_Mark's Avatar
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    WWE's all like, "CM who?".

    Even me, a self-confessed non-Hulkamaniac, would be tuning in Monday if I wasn't planning to anyway. Should be interesting, brother.
    I think it's awesome that the word lisp has an "s" in it.

  6. #6
    DBPanterA
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    I realize this is Hulk Hogan, the Babe Ruth of wrestling, so I will choose my words wisely.

    One of the many big picture issues in the WWE over the past decade is the inability to create new stars. We got Cena and Orton. As a Hulkamaniac, my opinion on the need to focus on the current roster still stands. Hogan can be used in many ways, but that doesn't mean he needs to be seen on WWE television programming on a weekly basis. Put him in the Legends House, have him do studio work for the Network. Heck, have a Hulk's Corner segment where he gives his thoughts on the current feuds and "superstars," found exclusively on the Network.

    The question is when do you wheel Hogan out on Monday? Start of show? Top of Hour 2? End of Show?

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    Start of the show. That will be your max viewing audience tuning in just for Hogan.

    Like I said, Hogan doesn't need to be there every week. It's like an ex great player doing commentary every week.. like it's not needed and could tarnish a legacy.

    Edit: So I'm watching Hulk Hogan ultimate anthology dvd on netflix and I was surprised to learn that hulkamania was born in AWA not WWE.

    Also if Wiki is correct, Gagne was an idiot in handling of Hogan.
    Last edited by Lazyking; 02-22-2014 at 01:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazyking View Post
    Also if Wiki is correct, Gagne was an idiot in handling of Hogan.
    Yup, Vern didn't want to strap a rocket to the guy who was getting huge for reasons that nobody will ever understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by DBPanterA View Post
    The question is when do you wheel Hogan out on Monday? Start of show? Top of Hour 2? End of Show?
    End. They'll build him all night, but if they know what's good for him, they'll hold off until the very end so that it bleeds into the Network overrun.

    I'm super pumped for Monday, now.

  9. #9
    I beat up Kong! Powder's Avatar
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    Not going to lie to you. I would love for Hogan to come out to a new theme song.


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    I'm no Halkawotsit but it's pretty cool. Although, I was really hoping to see him feud with the Real Americans for the rights to the song Real American.

  11. #11
    There are ways to use him to make him effective with the modern product. But personally, I don't care that he's back all that much. I'm not against it, but in terms of exciting possibilities for the next few weeks his return will be on the lower end of the spectrum for me.


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    Its cool to see him return and it's made me watch some older stuff even though I became a young warrior fan, the attitude era was really when I got into wrestling hardcore.

    To your point Cult, even if you were excited for Hogan, its not like he's going to wrestle a match and if he does, it won't be a singles match. He can add to the product but in more of a limited role.

    I don't need to see him every week.

  13. #13
    I beat up Kong! Powder's Avatar
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    The Only thing that would ruin Hogan's return for me is if he over does it. let him come back, play to the crowd, but don't be the over-the-top Hulk Hogan.

    He can be the Real American, but not the 1980's cartoonish character.

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    Here's a thought: The Real Americans (at least one of them) appear to be on the verge of a face turn. Hulkster has proven in TNA that he wants a more regular role.

    Does it dilute how special Hogan is to have him take over for Zeb as their manager?

  15. #15
    I was saying Boo-Urns. lunchbox1981's Avatar
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    I really want to see him work with The Real Americans just because it makes a whole lot of sense. Whether it’s something similar to what he did at WrestleMania 21 with Muhammad Hassan or becoming a manager/mentor to one or both of them I am not entirely sure yet. However I don’t think it would dilute anything if he took on the role of manager. It would be an incredible rub for whoever he worked with and as you can imagine I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him on TV every week. If given the choice though I’d rather see him given the role of General Manager that is rumored to be filled by Sting post WrestleMania.

  16. #16
    Hylton
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    I'm so hype for this. So hype. BROTHER.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    Yup, Vern didn't want to strap a rocket to the guy who was getting huge for reasons that nobody will ever understand.

    End. They'll build him all night, but if they know what's good for him, they'll hold off until the very end so that it bleeds into the Network overrun.

    I'm super pumped for Monday, now.
    Hogan will get a pop, and he's important in the WWE mythos for sentimental reasons, but he isn't a draw in 2014 and hasn't been one for years. There's no reason to put him at the end. There are other returns (Taker's or Lesnar's for instance), or other things (whether it be the Network, or EC fallout segment) that are more interesting, relevant, and a bigger draw for the ME slot. It also isn't necessarily a good image to have 60 year old Hogan be in the ME slot, you don't want to give the image that he's the focal point of the show in 2014.

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    I agree.

    Unless Hogan is going to make a major announcement, like inserting Bryan into the main event at Mania or announcing that he will be returning to action himself, I'm not sure there will be too much for him to do tomorrow night in terms of making fans want to immediately download the app and flip it on at 11:08 or whatever. Maybe have him in the ring to close the show, then have the Wyatts come out, ending the TV broadcast, with Cena coming in to make the save on the Network?

    Regardless, I'm excited for the return of Hulk Hogan in the abstract sense...but boy do I hope his hosting of Mania isn't a direct copy of what we saw with The Rock, where the show started out with a meaningless promo just for the sake of giving "the host" something to do. I'd much rather see Hogan advertised for a vague "appearance" at Mania, keep the audience guessing to what that is, and then have the writers pitch several ideas involving a current performer and go with the one that is most exciting - such as something to do with the Real Americans or Piper & Mr. T or, if possible, maybe even a brief face-to-face backstage segment with Austin. Really, there's a lot they can do with Hogan, but having him in the ring, cutting a promo on nobody as a "pseudo-authority" host of a show that has never needed a host, just talking up the WWWE Universe and Hulkamania for the hundred thousandth time, is the least interesting avenue to take.

  19. #19
    Hylton
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    According to fans in attendance, the Hogan promos got a HUGE pop from the crowd. You can't gauge a superstar's worth by what they did in TNA; just about everyone who has come back from TNA to WWE has been leagues better. Superstars just try harder in the WWE. Goldust, RVD, the Outlaws, there just seems to be more appreciation for the legends by the WWE Universe. And that makes sense; the history is there, plus TNA fans are, in general, more interested in the indie guys than they are the established stars.

    Hogan returning is huge.

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    I agree that Hogan returning is huge but it's like Ric Flair; he'll get a good return pop and will always be the fan favorite legend but you can't over expose him. He's not wrestling. Let's see what they do with him beyond mania.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hylton View Post
    According to fans in attendance, the Hogan promos got a HUGE pop from the crowd. You can't gauge a superstar's worth by what they did in TNA; just about everyone who has come back from TNA to WWE has been leagues better. Superstars just try harder in the WWE. Goldust, RVD, the Outlaws, there just seems to be more appreciation for the legends by the WWE Universe. And that makes sense; the history is there, plus TNA fans are, in general, more interested in the indie guys than they are the established stars.

    Hogan returning is huge.
    It really isn't. It has sentimental value, particularly within the WWE lore, and the WWE machine will get more out of him than the TNA machine did, but that's about it. Hogan is NOT a draw in 2014, and he hasn't been one for years. A nostalgia pop, no matter how huge it is, is NOT the same thing as someone being a draw. Hogan is not someone that most people would pay money to see anymore.

    Yeah, it's exciting, but it's a nostalgia run, that's all.

    Edit: meant to say "it's a nostalgia run", not "it's not a nostalgia run".
    Last edited by Allystare; 02-24-2014 at 03:16 AM.

  22. #22
    Hylton
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allystare View Post
    It really isn't. It has sentimental value, particularly within the WWE lore, and the WWE machine will get more out of him than the TNA machine did, but that's about it. Hogan is NOT a draw in 2014, and he hasn't been one for years. A nostalgia pop, no matter how huge it is, is NOT the same thing as someone being a draw. Hogan is not someone that most people would pay money to see anymore.

    Yeah, it's exciting, but it's not a nostalgia run, that's all.
    What's wrong with that though? WWE has made a lot of money off of nostalgia. the WWE Network is mostly just that. The WWE Universe loves legends. It's why the Old School Raw is always so highly rated.

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    There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not a HUGE deal, and Hogan isn't a draw anymore. And the longer he sticks around, the more diminished the returns will be.

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    Cool, I get to see Hogan for FREE on my television screen on Raw.

    Once I see that, I won't have to fork out $70 for Wrestlemania to see him on my television screen.

  25. #25
    Hylton
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allystare View Post
    There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not a HUGE deal, and Hogan isn't a draw anymore. And the longer he sticks around, the more diminished the returns will be.
    WWE's really good at using their legends to maximum potential. And Hogan is THE legend. Of course he isn't the draw he used to be, but I still say he gets people to tune in.

  26. #26
    bdi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post

    Does it dilute how special Hogan is to have him take over for Zeb as their manager?
    Not if it was one of them. Zeb works the other side of the fence. Might be a nice dynamic.

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    I was saying Boo-Urns. lunchbox1981's Avatar
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    I don’t want to see The Real Americans split up because they still have a lot to offer as a tag team. However the writing is on the wall that the days of them as a team are probably numbered. I can see it playing out exactly that way post WrestleMania after a confrontation between Hogan and the team at the PPV. Swagger and Colter want to take out Hogan but a conflicted Cesaro sees the light and saves the day. The next night on RAW Hogan takes Cesaro under his wing and shows him what its like to really be a Real American and the feud goes on from there.

  28. #28
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    Hogan doesn't have wings. He has pythons.
    I think it's awesome that the word lisp has an "s" in it.

  29. #29
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    What if Hulk Hogan stayed in Japan and not gone to Vince?

    It is 1983. Hulk Hogan has won the first International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) tournament. Antonio Inoki had offered Hogan "Top Gaijin Money" Hogan still would have been able to work outside American dates but he would have been a member of New Japan Pro Wrestling's full time roster. Hogan had an offer in his hands that would have paid him significantly more money than even Vince was offering. What would have happened if Hogan had taken the money and become Antonio Inoki's answer to Stan Hansen?

    What would have happened to Vince and the WWF in 1984? Who would have been in Vince's spot?

    What would have happened to the AWA if they had been able to keep Hogan for limited dates like they had Stan Hansen?

    What would have happened to Japan between Inoki and Baba if Hogan had stayed?

    Would Vader have been such a big star? Would Hogan still had jumped to WCW? What other ripples would have happened?

  30. #30
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    This is a really interesting question. Obviously Hogan wanted that American success more than anything, but what if he didn't, or what if he had hedged his bets instead of going exclusive with the WWF?

    One thought is Hogan might have been big enough for Vince to get him on an Andre type deal and use him non-exclusively. It would have been tougher to expand though, and he might not have been able to put the title on him.

    If not Vince, then who? It was clear AWA was not going to put the belt on him. Verne was just too paranoid. I don't know every in-and-out of the NWA politics but it seems unlikely they would have put Hogan as champ. Maybe they bring him in as a challenger for Flair though? But where? Difficult to say. Hogan working in the US would have been trickier. Possibly Crockett brings him in a few years later in the Luger spot. Possibly not.

    Where does WWF go? Surely the plan to expand was still in place, but without an heir apparent. Does Vince try to double down on Andre, who was the only guy set to draw on a similar level to Hogan, and milk his last few good years before he broke down? That seems possible to me. Randy Savage was a little ways from coming in yet, but he could have been an outside chance. If they wanted another body guy they could have possibly tapped Paul Orndorff for a face turn, though that probably wouldn't have had nearly the clout of the bigger names. I just can't see Vince going all in with JYD, no matter how popular he was, and I don't think a Piper face turn would have worked nearly as well then as it did a couple years later. If they delayed the expansion a couple years, maybe they could have discovered an early Lex Luger, though considering he came up through Florida it's doubtful. If Vince was dead set on his expansion time table, Andre would probably be the best bet, though I'm sure he still would have wanted to work elsewhere so again, there's a good chance he doesn't work as champion. Most likely they would have had to wait, or at least slow down the plan significantly. Hogan really was the lynch pin.

    Keeping Hogan for limited dates in AWA would have helped them in the short term, but without committing him as champion (which I really believe Verne never would have done) eventually his appeal would have worn off in the territory. I'm more curious about AWA's ability to retain talent through the mid 80s if Vince was not able to cherry pick so many guys out of their roster. If they have more time to develop home grown guys like Martel and Hennig, if they keep familiar faces like Okerlund and Heenan, do the fans still drift away? They might have extended their shelf life, though it's hard to imagine them lasting indefinitely with Verne's booking.

    I can't even hazard a guess to the effect in Japan. I don't think Hogan would have blown up there to the level he did here, but he would have been a very major player.

    I feel like Vader being a star was inevitable, so I don't think that would have changed too much. The idea of Vader/Hogan in the late 80s is salivating, especially without the millstone of Hogan's backstage influence that ruined most of their WCW encounters. It would be fascinating to see if Hogan was still with New Japan later in the decade, to see if Hogan was brought into WCW for a Hansen-like run. I don't think him jumping there would have been as big a deal though, because without the Hogan/WWF relationship the boom doesn't happen in the same way, so the entire WCW set up would have likely been different. It's a big enough question that I think it would have changed modern wrestling as we know it.

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    Interesting on the WWF front, I just heard Cornette talk about something similar, basically answering the question of "if not Hulk, than who?"

    He provided a lot of interesting insight, and, in his opinion, the best option would have been Dusty but it would have required a fundamental shift in Vince's opinion of what a pro wrestler looks like, and what pro wrestling is (Dusty got over with wild, bloody, brawls). But Cornette said that Dusty aligned with Vince on being more "entertainment" than "sport".

    Cornette also makes the great point that Cindy Lauper still would have happened. That was a Lou Albano gig. So, here's the thing, Lauper, the "Rock & Wrestling Connection" and MTV are what took WWF mainstream. They made WWF mainstream, but it was Hogan who immediately caught their eye, made them stay and made all of their friends come along for the ride. He looked exactly like what you'd draw if someone asked you to draw a wrestler, was white bread enough with "say your prayers and take your vitamins" that parents were unthreatened by him, but intense enough that older people bought in.

    So, who on the WWE roster could fit that mould? If Rock & Wrestling/MTV is the spark, who's the guy that can be that TNT?

    (Sorry, 1984 and later is the earliest roster that I could find with no real effort)

    -Savage might be a little too over-the-top for people to latch on to in the way they did Hulkamania, and he doesn't show up until '86 so he's too late for WrestleMania and to be the guy that the company makes "the man". He had the tassels, the look, the bright colours, everything that it took for him to rival Hogan by the late 80s, but if Vince had lured him in by '84, could they have Savagamania?
    -Superfly is already almost 40 and his best days are behind him. He might have been able to take them through (he was a legit mega star pre-MTV) to Savage, but that's a big might.
    -Soulman Rocky Johnson has the charisma and the look...but, again, he's about 40. His best days are behind him.
    -Jesse Ventura isn't much older than Hulk, he's got the ex-Marine angle...but a LOT of baggage being a Mongol and he's not as "safe" as Hogan for parents.

    Looking at the the WWE roster pre-'85, getting Savage from Memphis might be it. He's got the personality, he's colourful, he can promo. Looking at the WWF roster from '85 and beyond...can they lure JYD in there as early as '84? He was huge in New Orleans, but does he have the crossover appeal? Is the general freakshow that is the early 80s WWF roster of giants like Bundy and Andre enough to explode without even needing Hulk?
    Last edited by Team Farrell; 03-14-2017 at 01:48 AM.

  32. #32
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    JYD was already in by mid '84 so the timing is ok, but I just seriously can't imagine WWF trying to run with him on top.

    The more I look at it, the more I really wonder if they might have tried to run with a babyface Orndorff. He's definitely got the right body type and was charismatic to a point, though nowhere near the level of Hogan/Savage. It still feels like a long shot, but so does pretty much everyone else.

  33. #33
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    I remember reading that one of the reasons why the Iron Sheik got his WWF title reign was because Bob Backlund refused to turn heel when there were plans to have Hogan at the top dog, although I'm unsure if the issue was the heel turn or dropping the title to Hogan. If Hogan no longer factored in the plans, I wonder if Backlund could have been convinced to have that heel turn and they had gotten a bit more mileage out of him, at least for that era of the first Wrestlemania. That would have been enough to build someone else up, like Orndorff as mizfan mentioned above.

  34. #34
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    Oh man, I never thought of that. They have to get that belt of Backlund before they enter the MTV era.

  35. #35
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    OK, I am glad everyone found this interesting. I guess I will start with the WWF first. I am writing this at work. I reserve the right to add to it later.

    I think Vince has to go outside the WWE to get his star. Sure there are rumors that Tony Atlas was offered the spot. I think JYD was rumored to be in line for a top guy run. Terry Funk was repeatedly offered serious money to come work for Vince repeatedly after 1981. (His horse got sick) Snuka was too unreliable. Ritter and Atlas were too black to draw in certain areas of the country. An ethnic champion never would have worked for the expansion. There are two guys I think that Vince had on the roster that might have been really interesting.
    Curt Hennig and Eddie Gilbert were both young boys on the roster of the WWF in 1983-1984. They tagged together and did jobs mostly. They were young, technically sound but they were skin and bones. Both were so undersized that they both were easily 2 years away from being top guys.Vince had to look outside of New York for his star.

    I believe there are 2 main paths this might go. Here is the first one.

    The Florida Path - The McMahons always had a relationship with Eddie Graham. Vince Sr. got the florida TV airing on a Spanish language station late night in New York. Vince often sourced talent from Florida. For example, Bob Backlund was a young shooter getting over in Florida when Eddie sent him to Vince.

    In 1983, Dusty Rhodes was the person Vince thought was going to be his headliner for his national expansion. They had brought Dusty in at Madison Square Garden, in 1983, to work a few shows and an angle with the Samoans. Dusty’s ego meant that if Big Dust was going to sign a contract, it would be for a lot of money. Vince Jr. was still broke at the time from selling out to Vince Sr. But, If Vince doesn’t find Hogan, I could easily see, by 1984, Vince bringing in Dusty to do the angle with The Iron Sheik. Wherever Dusty went he drew. Dusty was an attraction that could sell out MSG. He had a history with Superstar and in the territory. He was also over everywhere Vince wanted to expand. The American Dream vs the Iron Sheik would have been the perfect moneymaker to hit the West Coast. Dusty would have helped Vince in a lot of places he had trouble (Florida/ Georgia). The thing is, I do think Dusty’s ego is too big to co-exist with Vince for a few years as his top star. I think Dusty probably gets the WWF through Wrestlemania 1 and 2. I do not think Dusty is the replacement to Hogan. But if Dusty goes to the WWF in 1984, then he probably does the same thing he did with Jim Crockett Promotions. He brings his guys from Florida with him. So instead of going to Charlotte, now some of these guys have the opportunity to go to the WWF right around the Rock and Wrestling connection. Among them, I believe is the replacement for Hulk Hogan.

    The Florida Clique -

    One of the people Dusty brought to the Mid-Atlantic Territory was a guy named Terry Allen. Terry Allen had tagged with Dusty in Florida during the Midnight Rider gimmick. In 1984, Terry would have been 25. He had been a collegiate wrestling champion. He was a shoot 6 ft 1 and in pretty good shape. Andre liked him and gave him his moniker in Florida, you might know him better as Magnum TA.

    Magnum had the look. Magnum could talk. Magnum was young and tanned. Magnum could work. He got over quick in Florida and the entire Mid-South territory. Magnum fit the bill for exactly what Vince was looking for. Magnum’s relationship with Andre, Terry Funk, and other guys who Vince seems to respect points to the fact that Terry Allen would have been the perfect person to replace Dusty after Wrestlemania 2. Andre would have probably done business with Magnum. I think if Vince gets Dusty and Magnum, then the Business survives and the WWF still flourishes.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x32...rd-steel_sport


    There are a few other Florida guys who would have been interesting. Blackjack Mulligan’s son Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda were both in the WWF at the time as the US Express. Big Scott Hall was probably too green in 1984. But if It wasn’t Magnum TA, there is one other really interesting potential Florida guy.

    There is an interesting story I heard Kevin Sullivan tell on Back to the Territories for Florida. Vince Sr. had asked Eddie Graham to send him an All American boy to be his champion. Eddie suggested a hot tag team at the time made up of wrestling star Bob Backlund second generation wrestler Steve Keirn. Eddie thought Steve Keirn would be the better choice as a top guy but Vince Sr. was enamored with Backlund. It is rumored that Vince liked Steve Keirn better, which lead to him eventually bringing in Steve to do the Skinner Gimmick in 1991, even with Steve Keirn’s limitations.

    So the question is, If Backlund turns heel (like Vince wants) in 1984, does Vince try to bring in Steve Keirn? (doing the Rock and Roll pretty boy gimmick which later made Shawn famous.) Steve might be too small for the Hogan spot but he fits perfectly into the WWE’s rock and wrestling thing. His use of music videos in the territories was pioneering and the Fabulous Ones got over everywhere. I personally think The Fabs are seriously underrated as a tag team (partly due to the lack of tape from Memphis). Steve was Blonde, Tanned, had a very Rock and Roll gimmick and was on the bleeding edge of pop culture in 1984. Tommy Rich got over being basicly the same build. What do you guys think? Maybe a stretch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSolr2_DWAY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue0qqqYIHrs

    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    This is a really interesting question. Obviously Hogan wanted that American success more than anything, but what if he didn't, or what if he had hedged his bets instead of going exclusive with the WWF?

    One thought is Hogan might have been big enough for Vince to get him on an Andre type deal and use him non-exclusively. It would have been tougher to expand though, and he might not have been able to put the title on him.

    If not Vince, then who? It was clear AWA was not going to put the belt on him. Verne was just too paranoid. I don't know every in-and-out of the NWA politics but it seems unlikely they would have put Hogan as champ. Maybe they bring him in as a challenger for Flair though? But where? Difficult to say. Hogan working in the US would have been trickier. Possibly Crockett brings him in a few years later in the Luger spot. Possibly not.
    The problem is MONEY. It was really hard for guys like Terry Gordy to turn down the Japan money, even when Vince is throwing serious fame at them to try and bring them in. Stan Hansen turned down Vince in 1990 because, even when Japan was no longer at it's peak money-wise, his payoffs were still so good that he couldn't walk away from Japan. I have a few thoughts of what happens to Hogan in Japan if he stays. I think Inoki finds it very hard to keep him in 1989 when Inoki starts shoving Big Van Vader. I believe Hogan probably would have jumped. But more on that later. I wonder if he might have jumped to All Japan in 1993 too when Gordy's spot opens up?

    Hogan and the AWA.

    I believe if Hogan stays with Inoki, I think it hurts him with the AWA. Hogan was already making the majority of his money from Japan when Gagne contemplated Hulkamania. Gagne had a working agreement with Giant Baba and All Japan Pro Wrestling and had a standing a greement for the AWA Championship to be defended in All japan on a regular basis. At the time, AJPW and NJPW were stealing gaijin talent and fighting over buildings, so there was no way that Gange could have put the title on Hogan even like they did with Stan Hansen. Hogan wasn’t going to stab Antonio Inoki in the back by jumping and working dates for AJPW, and Gagne wasn’t going to hurt his relationship with All Japan by refusing to give them dates on his champion. If he had it would have lead to serious consequences. I mean hell, the WWE is still dealing with the fallout of having Hogan drop the title before going to Japan (which hurt the relationship which lead to the SWS thing … I want to focus on this later because I think there is something interesting about it)

    So next I focus on the second potential direction for the WWF, The Texas Clique.

  36. #36
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    The idea of Magnum TA is really interesting to me. Backlund might have been willing to do the heel turn and do business for a guy with a legit background that he could respect. He might be the best guy to fully take on that Hogan role without a major shift in the company.

    The thing with Dusty, is he changes WWF entirely. You don't wind up with the family friendly, somewhat sanitized product that you got through the 80s, because Dusty's wild brawls don't fit that mould. Does that eliminate things like the Saturday morning cartoon that drew in so many kids? "The American Dream" is exactly the good ol' boy, red, white and blue guy that you go with against Sheik and to get people on the bandwagon in Regan's America and through the 80s.

    If you've got Dusty, you're right to assume that with him comes a few more southern boys. Do the Freebirds stick with WWF after getting into it with Andre? Vince Sr. loved his ethnic stars, and Vince Jr. is going to want someone that the northeast audience can relate to. Who's that guy? Who becomes the guy that average New Yorker or Bostonian or Pennsylvanian gets behind, maybe as that number two babyface? Are you looking at Soulman or Atlas in that role?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    The thing with Dusty, is he changes WWF entirely. You don't wind up with the family friendly, somewhat sanitized product that you got through the 80s, because Dusty's wild brawls don't fit that mould. Does that eliminate things like the Saturday morning cartoon that drew in so many kids? "The American Dream" is exactly the good ol' boy, red, white and blue guy that you go with against Sheik and to get people on the bandwagon in Regan's America and through the 80s.
    I dont understand why people don't think Dusty would work in the WWF if he was working a lighter, more family friendly style. Dusty worked a lighter style in some of the different territories. He worked a lighter styles in the 70s. He used to beat guys with an elbow drop. Dusty was such a good talker, he could have worked it out.

  38. #38
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    I think Dusty could have worked the style, definitely. What really gets me is Coach's other point, that Dusty is the opposite the kind of guy we now know that Vince really wanted. I do believe he would have run with him though, if he had had too, because especially in that time money talked.

    Steve Keirn does feel like a stretch, always assuming Vince's proclivities don't veer too far off what we know. Tommy Rich can go over Harley Race, sure, but guys like Studd, Bundy, Andre? He'd look pretty tiny, and though I do think he's underrated he doesn't bring that crazy Macho Man energy to bridge the gap.

    Magnum TA is my favorite answer so far, I didn't even think of him but he could have been ideal.

    Curious what you think of Orndorff's chances, Sara. Part of me thinks he just wasn't charismatic enough, but he ticks a lot of other boxes and proved capable of being VERY hot as a face at certain times, with the right angle (such as turning on guys like Heenan and Piper).

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Steve Keirn does feel like a stretch, always assuming Vince's proclivities don't veer too far off what we know. Tommy Rich can go over Harley Race, sure, but guys like Studd, Bundy, Andre? He'd look pretty tiny, and though I do think he's underrated he doesn't bring that crazy Macho Man energy to bridge the gap.
    Steve Keirn was about the same size as Backlund (maybe not in as good a shape in the 70s when they worked together) and had no problem working The Road Warriors and looking legit enough for Verne to want Keirn and Sweet Stan Lane to go over LOD. But then again, the Fabs were one of the hottest tags in the country.

    Personally, ive heard too many Orndorff is crazy stories to believe Vince would have strapped the rocket to him. BUT there were places in this country where he was a headliner. So it isnt super far fetched.

  40. #40
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    Well, now I just really, really want to hear some crazy Orndorff stories.

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