SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Hogan should give it up
I swear WCW fans are insane. Just a few months ago Hollywood Hogan was disappointed by the lack of fan interest for his weekly boring main event with a run-in or screw job ending.
Think back. He gave us some of the worst matches during the past two years. His Roddy Piper matches were a joke. The two know a combined 10 moves and could barely breathe two minutes into a match. He refused to cleanly lose to Sting at Starrcade '97, ruining one of the greatest angles in history, starting the current downward spiral. DDP and Ric Flair had to carry Hogan, as did Lex Luger, making for somewhat watchable matches. The Warrior? Please. Randy Savage? All they did was whip each other with a belt for 15 minutes and Randy had two title reigns for a total of two days thanks to Hogan.
Who else has Hogan wrestled with a clean outcome? The only two I remember were the Giant and Goldberg. Hogan looked tired in every match, never once won cleanly, and had to be bailed out by the NWO every rare time he got in the ring.
Not to mention his repetitive, stupid 10 minute rant/interviews. But now the fans cheer him because he's in yellow and red. How can you cheer for Hogan? Every match is the same as it was in the WWF and early WCW years.
Start off fast, play to the fans, take a beating, no-sell a move, get momentum, lose it, get beat down real good, squirm like an epileptic after his opponents finishing move, kick out and Hulk up. Every time he Hulks up, I want to throw up. His opponents are shocked their punches are ineffective, even though we've all seen it hundreds of times. Punches, boot, leg drop. Then either a pin or a run-in.
And what did we get recently on Nitro? While the Nitro hyped up "the greatest wrestler of all time," the show sucked and Sid Vicious vs. Hogan was as bad as Hogan vs. Kevin Nash at Road Wild. Predictable, annoying, slow and disheartening. It ended with, surprise, a run-in, this time by Rick Steiner. And Steiner got pinned! What? Is that so we can all sleep better? Are all WCW fans five years old?
And his influence was all over the show. His vision is of the past. Jobber matches like Cat vs. Mike Enos and NWO jobbers vs. Harlem Heat filled up the rest of the show. What happened to all the feuds built up for Road Wild? Dead Pool vs. Rey, Kidman and Eddie Guerrero, Rednecks vs. Revolution, Harlem Heat vs. Triad? They barely got going, and they were actually interesting. Hogan is controlling the booking. How can anyone call him the greatest of all time when he books his own matches and never wins or loses cleanly and can barely wrestle.
Another annoying part was the Vicious hype. The attacks were fine, but he is not 55-0. Does any thinking fan believe this? In two months, 60 days, we're expected to swallow him as undefeated? 55 wins in 60 days? Need I point out he lost by DQ to Nash, to Sting and to Hogan on previous Nitros, and was on the losing end of Nash's team a week earlier? DQs are losses people. Plus, I've read house show results and he's lost a few.
Hogan is why the ratings never change. Savage, Vicious, Sting, Nash, Piper, Goldberg and every other guy who won the top title can't hack it because Hogan is WCW's disease. Eric Bischoff should hire people to come up with new and interesting angles and use the depth WCW has instead of throwing out a product with last minute disorganization. Oh, and those Hogan chants were as fake as the old Goldberg piped chants. If they were real ... refer to my first sentence.
Have you ever seen Hogan wrestle someone out of his over 40 years old clique of has-beens, with the exception of Goldberg? Christ Benoit? Buff Bagwell? Raven? Even Billy Kidman. I respect DDP for putting guys like Benoit and Kidman over. Would Hogan? No. After all, he's the greatest of all time.
So I'm asking every fan to boo him like you booed him in 1995 and 1996. Deafening. Bring signs like Hogan Sucks, Hogan Should Retire, Hogan is Older Than Dirt, Crapamania, WWF Retirement Home Champion. Be creative and flood WCW with email and letters to fire Hogan. Until he does, WCW will never, ever, catch the WWF.
Hire writers. Wrestlers should not book their own matches and ruin other people's careers because they're not in "your league." Unless you fans like celebrity matches and snooze per views with rehashed reputation matches that sound good but never deliver.
He needs to call it quits. It's something Hogan should have done after losing to Goldberg. It would have been a nice exit.
If I was in charge, I'd have Shane Douglas and the Revolution drive him out of the sport and put them over, and most importantly, get the title to fresh blood. Someone who can bring NEW viewers and stop hardcore WCW fans from throwing their remotes in disgust like I did this past Monday. He kissed Sting! And they're gonna wrestle next week? I hope they don't get any closer.
Hogan was great. So WAS Flair. So WAS Savage.
Wayne Gretzky and John Elway went out with dignity. They recognized their shortcomings. They couldn't hack it and admitted it. Can Hogan? The tired limping man named Hulk so fittingly sums up where WCW is now.
Danny Goodwin is from Reading, MA. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.