Wednesday, December 9, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Double H will be back!
Brother, I admit it. I used to be a full fledged Hulkamaniac! Headband paraphernalia and all. I never really thought much of the bleached-blond Terry Bollea as a wrestler. Call me a rube, mark...whatever. I got sucked in by Hogan's ring theatrics and all the hype surrounding Hulkamania. What a relief. I just had to tell someone. I feel so much better now. To think I actually fell hulk-line-and-sinker for the training, the prayers, and those steroids...errr vitamins. At least I had plenty of company!
Brother, the Hulkster possessed the best, face persona in the history of the squared circle (only in wrestling is a circle squared). After many, many, many years of analyzing wrestling for untold hours I began to see a pattern emerge to all of Hogan's matches. A la Muhammad Ali's famed rope-a-dope, Hogan ingeniously allowed some heel to waste valuable energy beating the tar out of him. After raising his finger to let us Hulkamaniacs know the end was near, a rejuvenated Hogan would then proceed to pummel the you-know-what out of his opponent! None of whom survived his patented boot to the face and leg drop.
Hulk Hogan was my hero.
Brother, Hogan had me juiced with adrenaline all caught up in this make believe world of headlocks, hammerlocks and mat choreography fertilized with loads of razzmatazz. For those brief, shining moments Hogan made it real for me. Good had triumphed over evil and all was right in the world of the squared circle! This was way too much fun to let a little thing like reality get in the way of my entertainment!
Oh brother, then Hogan turned heel. I felt betrayed despite being bored silly with Hulkamania. I just couldn't understand why Hogan defected to the dark side. The Hollywood gimmick was refreshing but I refused to buy into it. Why? How could he do this to the millions of Hulkamaniacs all over the world? Did the Outsiders (Scott Hall and Keven Nash) brainwash him? He did make a good villain with that fake five o'clock shadow of his. But somehow it didn't seem right.
Brother, for me Hulk Hogan has turned into Bulk Bogan. Kind of like an aging Casey At The Turnbuckle who can'[t retire with grace. This so-called retirement on the Tonight Show should have happened 5 years ago. Hogan never bothered to develop his ring skills and now at 45 he's paying for it. He can't give the fans more than five minutes of solid wrestling. And he can no longer captivate an arena of fans with his charisma. There were times when nWo head honcho Eric Bishoff would actually whisper his lines to him.
I have long suspected Hogan of wearing a bandanna to conceal an earphone so someone in the control booth could feed him his words. As for this running for president bit? It's all nonsense. By sticking around as long as he has, all he's done is bore fans and prevent good wrestlers from getting their chance to shine.
Brother, the only way I can envision Bogan prolonging his career would be by jobbing via clean pinfall to every Lenny, Disco and Lodi.
Oh, think of the indignity for Bulkamania!
The once unbeatable Bogan desperately wanting to go out a winner but losing week in and week out to everyone from Barry "Kin'g of the Jobbers" Horowitz to Ernest "Puss In Boots" Miller! Heh, I wouldnt stop at the jobbers.
I'd love to see Booker T. or Ric Flair beat the Bishoff out of Bogan! Who would not delight in seeing The Nature Boy lock the figure-four on Bogan till he cries out the truth that millions of Horsemen around the globe have been dying to hear: "Uncle Ric, you made wrestling what it is today and I'm just a no talent, overrated, underachieving steroid-bound egomaniac!"
Brother, WHOOOO! That felt sooo good! If Terry Bollea has any respect for WCW and the wrestlers that jobbed for him he'll do it. Of course Hogan will have to go out a winner. But not until he turns face and denounces Eric Bishoff as the devil: "You know brothers, Bishoff brainwashed me! He's the devil! But now I've seen the light! Thanks to the big dude upstairs Hollywood is dead! Hulk Hogan LIVES! And, what you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild over you?."
Brother, Hogan's final match will be against the monstrous Giant. After taking the beating of his life, Hogan will raise his finger one last time. Then the fans who booed him for turning heel will turn into Hulkamaniacs for one more cheer and Hulkamania will live forever! Don't believe Hogan's retirement spiel. There's too much money to be made staging his last official match in the squared circle!
Michael Goldbarth is from Stouffville, Ontario. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org