Monday, January 24, 2011

Hulkamania 27 Years Later

The 3 Faces of Hogan: Hollywood, Mr. America, Hulkamania
I feel bad, I missed the birthday of Hulkamania.  It was yesterday, January 23.  Hulkamania was born on that day in 1984 at Madison Square Garden.

I had just started watching wrestling and the Hulkster beat the villainous Iron Sheik for the WWF world title. 

It was the official changing of the guard so to speak.  Sheik had just recently beat Bob Backlund for the belt.  Backlund was champ for years, but had an image that wasn't up to par with what Vincent Kennedy McMahon was looking for.  Vince had just acquired the WWF from his father and was taking the company in a whole new direction.  That included a larger than life hero leading the way.

Like him or hate him, you must admit Hulk Hogan helped change the face of wrestling.  Of course you hear stories about him being a control freak and his ego getting out of check.  Based on what I've seen over the years after he was clearly past his prime, I would tend to believe those stories.

Dorkamania is running wild!
That hasn't stopped me from dressing like Hogan on several occasions.  You can see the 3 Faces picture up top.  I also donned the red and yellow for the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics and again at Wrestlemania 25.  My buddy Chad was Rowdy Roddy Piper.

I was 11 years old when Hulkamania started running wild.  I bought into the whole philosophy.  I didn't literally eat my vitamins and say my prayers, but I did believe in the virtues the Hulkster was trying to instill in us.  I was a devoted follower for a few years at least. 

I remember around late 1986, early 1987 I turned on the Hulkster.  I just thought it was getting a little old, his whole dominance of the WWF.  I remember cheering like crazy when Paul Orndorff climbed over the steel cage on Saturday Night's Main Event in January 1987.  It appeared he was the new champ, but the split screen revealed that Hogan's feet hit the floor at the same time as his challenger.  The match restarted and of course the Hulkster won.  That further infuriated me.  But it wouldn't be long before I was back supporting the champ.

When Andre turned on Hogan a few weeks later, I found myself again cheering for the Hulkster.  He seemed so alone.  He needed my support again.  So for the next few years I backed him.  Then when he came and went from the WWF in the early 90's, my support started to wane again.  When it officially came to an end was in 1993 at Wrestlemania 9.  Hogan and Brutus Beefcake had lost their bid against tag team champions Money, Inc. by disqualification.  I should have known something was up.  Later in the night, Yokozuna beat Bret Hart for the WWF title, and Hogan came down to protest the interference by Mr. Fuji.  Then Fuji foolishly challenged the former champ to face his charge right there on the spot.  Of course Hogan won the title back.  At least that reign was short lived and Hogan would soon be gone.

I don't hate Hulk Hogan.  I like him in small doses.  He still has a place in wrestling, but it's not in the main event or in the spot light like his current role with TNA.  I didn't enjoy his training of Abyss and giving away his Hall of Fame ring.  But, whatcha gonna do, brother? 

Look for more of my "Confessions of a Hulkamanic"...

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