Monday, July 25, 2011

My Favorite Wrestlers Ever: #5

Photo Credit:

Hulk Hogan
Three Favorite Matches: vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III, vs. Sgt. Slaughter at WrestleMania VII and vs. The Rock at WrestleMania X-8
Three Favorite Moments: Bodyslamming Andre the Giant, Vanquishing Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX, Joining the nWo at Bash at the Beach 1996

Prayers, vitamins, Hulkamania. These were staples for any wrestling fan in the Northeast or anywhere in the country outside of NWA/WCW country in the 1980s. It's true, I was a Hulkamaniac growing up, and in many ways I am. The wild spirit of that larger-than-life, statuesque blond bomber is the one that I try to remember now, because for all his faults, for all the backstage machinations and the overblown interviews and the blaming of the fans for WCW and the hobbling around past his prime in Impact, he still had one of the biggest hands in making me the wrestling fan that I am today.

Yeah, he wasn't a great worker in the sense that I look for today. That was Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect and all those guys. Hogan could work in the way that he could hold the audience in the palm of his hand1. That's what he was called upon to do. He was meant to fight the bad guys, be they foreign or just dicks. He was supposed to take a beating, shrug it off as he hulked up, threw up the big boot and dropped the leg. And you know what? I ate that shit up.

And that's how I choose to remember Hulk Hogan, at least the good Hulk Hogan. It's hard to like the Hogan who rages on Twitter or bumbles through segments on Impact. Very hard. But the thing is, that embarrassment doesn't do anything to take away my enjoyment of watching his classic clips. That's the sign of someone who's had that much of an effect on you.

1 - Hogan actually was a good worker in technical terms too. Look up some of his Japanese stuff.

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