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Hulk Hogan vs Arn Anderson (WCW Monday Nitro 02/12/96)

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This is notable for Arn getting a pinfall victory over Hogan. (The previous week, he also got a DQ win.) It's really telling how fast Hogan was sinking at this point, as Flair walking down to ringside gets three times the reaction Hogan gets for cleaning house on Arn. Hogan is on offense 90% of the match, so this wasn't much of a job of course. Flair and Arn take over the broadcast booth (hmmm, maybe heels should try that out sometime in the future) and do a promo on the headset until Hogan and Savage chase them off. Pretty hot ending to Nitro.

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I remember this match vividly. I hated Hulk Hogan so much then and was just waiting for Arn to lose. Then out of nowhere he pins Hogan. Watched it a few years ago and it is pretty obvious Hogan was losing since Arn gets no offense til the end. But still was so great to see Arn win here. That Nitro had a Devon Storm/Konann match I liked at the time.

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It's really telling how fast Hogan was sinking at this point, as Flair walking down to ringside gets three times the reaction Hogan gets for cleaning house on Arn.


Yeah it amazes me how little heat Hogan had during the match. The match was fine and the finish was memorable.

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Bischoff runs down a list of the celebrities that love Nitro. Hogan’s eye is looking silly. Arn used up all his timeouts. Ax Bomber by Hogan. Here’s Flair and Miss Elizabeth! Flair tries to grab a chair from ringside but nobody is accommodating. Is that figure four/small package a Hogan invention? Woman throws some powder into Hogan’s face. Nick Patrick walking through the cloud of it in the air and not thinking much was wrong was hilarious. Well maybe it’s actually good officiating since he didn’t see it happen in first place. Anderson gets the win by pinfall!! Hogan has to try get his heat back right away by beating up Flair and Anderson. So Arn got a win over Hogan before Flair?

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Flair pinned Hogan two weeks before this.

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What a stupid match. Hogan takes 95% of the offense, most of it consisting on heeling it up on Arn despite already getting no babyface reaction. And he sells Arn's stuff for a good 10 seconds before hulking up. Heenan is great as pointing out everything bad about Hogan here. This is no way a real job, it's a joke, and Hogan makes sure it's even more a joke by coming back immediately after the lethal "high heel to the eye" spot, performed on an already injured eye mind you, that had him cry in pain for several minutes a few weeks before. Hogan sucks. In his 96 Timeline, Sullivan says those two jobs were Hogan's call because he was getting so much heat in the back and the constant pressure from Flair to do jobs. Hogan thought by doing "clean jobs" to Flair & his best friend back to back he would get some heat off his back.

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Another tepid reaction from Hogan--as a few weeks ago, the fans aren't hostile anymore, they're just burnt out on him. Hogan dominates the entire match and bitches Arn out on everything he tries, before Double A gets a token run on Hogan's eye at the end. Heenan is in his glory here. In my book, it's all worth it, though--Woman tosses powder in Hulk's bad eye, Arn clobbers him with Liz's boot, and ARN WINS! ARN WINS! ARN WINS! Of course Hogan and Savage destroy Arn & Flair afterward (where the hell's Benoit?), but the post-match chaos at the announcer's desk makes for a fun ending. Hulk and Savage are just a little too chummy in their promo considering what's happened to them over the past week.

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I thought Hogan's reaction here was slightly better but yeah it is still played out. The match is another one for Hogan in 1996, nothing offensive but nothing great either and you are just waiting on the wild finishes. This one delivers too as Arn this time used Liz's boot to pin Hogan to the shock and delight of some in the crowd. *3/4

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