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#41 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 03:47 PM

Yeah I'd say Hunter did the most individual damage in that period.

On Hogan's selling, I feel like just because it may not be realistic selling, doesn't necessarily make it bad or ineffective selling. There's Terry Funk's goofy selling, for one example. Hogan himself is a cartoon. Cartoonish, OTT selling fits the character, and it was effective at gaining sympathy and peaking crowds for his comeback. I think a lot of it has to with Being Hulk Hogan, but not all of it, because there are guys who have charisma and who are over to a crowd who then lose them during the match, or can't get that timing right.

#42 Loss

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 03:56 PM

Ratings did tank when Hogan was champion for a month, but that was inevitable to a degree. It was clear from the start that Hogan could be successful at that stage, but not for very long.



#43 goc

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:37 PM

Hogan did not tank them in 2002, they tanked themselves. They were IDIOTS to rush the belt onto Hulk like that. They hurt the title and essentially killed off a lot of Hulk's popularity. He could have been a hot attraction in 2002 if they'd used him right.



#44 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 11:18 PM

Yeah I'd say Hunter did the most individual damage in that period.
On Hogan's selling, I feel like just because it may not be realistic selling, doesn't necessarily make it bad or ineffective selling. There's Terry Funk's goofy selling, for one example. Hogan himself is a cartoon. Cartoonish, OTT selling fits the character, and it was effective at gaining sympathy and peaking crowds for his comeback. I think a lot of it has to with Being Hulk Hogan, but not all of it, because there are guys who have charisma and who are over to a crowd who then lose them during the match, or can't get that timing right.


I think Hogan is very good at selling and excellent at generating sympathy. Better than lots of babyfaces at it.

#45 Hawkeye12

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:32 PM

Hogan did not tank them in 2002, they tanked themselves. They were IDIOTS to rush the belt onto Hulk like that. They hurt the title and essentially killed off a lot of Hulk's popularity. He could have been a hot attraction in 2002 if they'd used him right.

 

Hogan got the belt a week or two after they split the brands, that's more what caused the downturn in ratings.  In comparison to what came after he very well have been a factor in keeping them decent for the extra month, rather than being a reason for a decline.  Maybe a further extended Hogan run actually would've been beneficial, but you only can judge that in hindsight and knowing the bottom fell out after he dropped the belt to Undertaker.  Hogan's month as champ outdrew Rock's month that summer, so who knows.



#46 SomethingSavage

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 05:18 AM

Hogan did not tank them in 2002, they tanked themselves. They were IDIOTS to rush the belt onto Hulk like that. They hurt the title and essentially killed off a lot of Hulk's popularity. He could have been a hot attraction in 2002 if they'd used him right.

 

The 2002 Hogan run is tricky. The Hulk-A-Mania nostalgia act wasn't going to have a long lifespan, but man. It was hot for a moment, and so I kind of can't fault them for wanting to strike while the iron was hot & people were buzzing.

 

At the same time, it may have been a smarter move to stretch things out and have Hogan embark on this quest to regain the crown that he once held as WWF/E Champion. It could have made for really "epic" storytelling, and the payoff could have felt HUGE by the time he got around to dropping the leg o' doom and getting the win.

 

By way of that, Brock's annihilation of Hulk would have meant even more. So yeah. It could have been a domino effect that would have worked out better in the long haul. But I don't know if that would have been enough to keep interest up & keep fans invested in the narrative. It's just as likely that people would have tuned out before the payoff came anyway.

 

I do think part of the problem was in the way the whole thing was handled though. Hulk lost to Rock at Mania (right move, not arguing that), but then he turns around and automatically receives the title shot. He dons the red & yellow again with about an hour of buildup, which felt like a major missed opportunity to make a memorable moment out of the whole ordeal. And then he beats Hunter - of all people, AND a fellow babyface - for the belt. It was just the wrong way & LIKELY the wrong time to move the belt onto Hogan.

 

They didn't exactly follow it up with anything spectacular either. The entire build to Hulk/Taker was like a backstage rib you'd see pulled at one of the WCW Road Wild shows or something, and then Hulk was quickly booked into the mid-card "Even Steven" booking mix, where he won as much as he lost and traded wins with everyone in sight.



#47 Loss

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 06:29 AM

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.



#48 Loss

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 06:33 AM

I remember him also being pretty angry in 2003 when he worked a six-man on Smackdown teaming with Brock and Angle at MSG and the crowd was chanting LOUDLY for him. However, Angle and Lesnar stuck to the pre-planned layout regardless and didn't tag him in until much later. Hulk felt like they should have called an audible based on the crowd, and he's probably right.



#49 Danish Dynamite

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:55 PM

Come on. Hogan's selling works. Sure, some prefer more subtle or realistic selling, and some like Undertaker playing dead and then rising. For the character of Hulk Hogan what he did was awesome. And I don't see how his selling is any more over the top than Flair or Valentine falling on their face, or Austin's bumping as Stunning Steve. Those three will be way higher on my list, but Hogan's on there as well. Haven't heard the real sound argument against, and Parv's made plenty of solid arguments for. Plus his AWA, Japan, 84-87 WWF, early NWO and lots os select other highlights are more than enough for me. Add to that matches I totally enjoy outside the best periods against guys like Savage, Slaughter, Warrior, Boss Man, Vader, Hansen and others and I'm almost talking myself into pushing him further up my list...

#50 Parties

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 02:16 PM

Hogan did not tank them in 2002, they tanked themselves. They were IDIOTS to rush the belt onto Hulk like that. They hurt the title and essentially killed off a lot of Hulk's popularity. He could have been a hot attraction in 2002 if they'd used him right.

 

Hogan is not someone who wants to "be used right". He wanted to be the main event, as always. Which you can't totally fault him for, given that athletes/performers tend to be megalomaniacs who don't recognize when to hang it up. It would have nice if the biggest star in wrestling history had any self-awareness, but I think this month has taught us what Hogan is and how distorted his world view has become. Back in 2003, the moment they realized he was tanking business and that having him as your champ looked bush league, he took his ball and went home.

 

I'm overstating the point as we're currently in a particularly bad era for WWE booking too much nostalgia and relying too heavily on over-the-hill acts that can't go anymore. But that goes back to my original thought: the damage Hogan's '02-03 run did was plant the seed in Vince's head that you can always get "one more drop" from that rag. Which has now been the company mindset for over a decade. They've created exactly one new star in the last thirteen years. Two if you count Brock, who's really more a creation of UFC. And I think it's very clear that the detrimental attitude of always going back to the old-timers (coupled with Vince's own seniority) starts with that Hogan run. It's as much Vince's fault as it is Hulk's, but it directly led to the terrible pattern that the company has been stuck in ever since.

 

All of which could forgiven if he was a great wrestler. Which he was at various times between 1980-1987. But his career in total tends to be a mix of selfish mediocrity, poor babyface psychology, and dull matches that still got massive crowd reactions. I'll never argue he wasn't incredibly charismatic. He does nothing for me, but he obviously did it in his time for tons of fans. But in assessing the 100 best wrestlers of all time, you have to be prioritizing star power and crowd reaction much more than I am to list him.

 

Did he have a good match after Vader in '95? Hogan's a textbook example of someone who should be docked points for staying around too long and being horrible for longer than he was good. I have the same opinion of Foley, Savage, Michaels, Taker, Bruiser/Crusher, Kobashi, and lots of other megastars who became lousy. Because that's part of their story. Whereas if you look at guys like Finlay, Regal, Fujinami, Lawler, Dundee, Funk, Casas, Santito, and so many others at the top of my list, they were not only still technically proficient-to-excellent, they also became wiser in their tactics, better at conveying drama, and had the self-awareness to adapt to their aging physiques and limitations. Even Flair, for all his egotism and faults, worked a 2011 match with Jay Lethal in lame-ass TNA that I just watched randomly on Youtube that thought showed a lot of heart and brains.



#51 Loss

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 03:08 PM

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.



#52 Jingus

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 03:49 PM

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.

#53 Danish Dynamite

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 04:07 PM

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

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

#54 Hawkeye12

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 04:25 PM

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.



#55 Jingus

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:06 PM

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.

#56 Danish Dynamite

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:45 PM

Jingus: the Shawn match wasn't really for me, but I'm with you pretty much all the way besides that. And you named a couple I really wanna revisit :-)

#57 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:47 PM

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.



#58 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:53 PM

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?

#59 Loss

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:59 PM

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



#60 Eduardo

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 01:18 AM

Re: Brock/Star/UFC

 

I think Dave Batista has probably been a more impressive professional wrestling star/draw than Brock Lesnar. 






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