The year is 1987. Hulk Hogan is heading into Wrestlemania 3 as the WWF Champion, standing at the top of the Wrestling world and slightly lower down in the Hollywood world.
He is set to defend his title against the menacing Andre the Giant, the star from France who stood at about 27 feet tall according to Hulk Hogan, telling the story years later, and weighing upwards of one million pounds.
Hulkamania is in full swing, with Hogan giving an Oscar-Winner worthy performance in the beginning of Gremlins 2 – The role of “Himself” he would continue playing into his later years.
Hogan jumped ship from WWF to WCW, later forming the villainous NWO – The New World Order were the most popular team in wrestling, winning multiple world titles and catapulting Hogan back to the top of the game he had been running since the early 80s.
A renaissance in his career almost 20 years into it, it looked a last hurrah to send off one of wrestling’s biggest stars, and avoid the dreaded trope of watching old, washed up wrestlers fizzle out and wither beyond the very eyes of the 20 or so die hard fans, lined up in a school gym watching them attempted to string moves together well into their twilight years.
But the Hulkster, brother jack dude, was not done yet. No sir, you jabronni. Hogan returned to the now-called WWE (Vince McMahon lost the name WWF to a giant panda in a “Loser changes their name Lawsuit on a pole match” in court) as part of the invading NWO.
However that angle petered out fast, and Hogan became the biggest babyface in the fucking world, as he lost to the Rock at Wrestlemania 18.
The match hailed as “terrible if you turn the sound off”, the Hulkster thought he was entering the match as the devious heel, but the fans turned him into the Hulkster as soon as the smooth sounds of his classic NWO theme filled the arena.
The Canadian crowd went apeshit, and he and the Rock had a classic of crowd participation, and one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history.
Word spread that Hulkamania was indeed still running wild, with thousands shelling out millions of Pastamania Bucks to see the immortal one competing in the WWE. The Hulkster defeated the Game Triple H at Backlash that year to win his 6th and final WWE Title, the first of the new WWE era and last of the immortal era of Hulkamania.
He lost the title to Undertaker later that month, an interesting parallel to when he lost his WWF title to Undertaker in 1993 for Undertakers first title, whereas Undertaker also defeated Hogan for both of their final reigns.
Hogan had a few feuds then on, the most notable being that incredible match against Shawn Michaels, with the heart break kid oversell everything, making a mockery of the spectacle and making both men look like absolute idiots.
It was peak 90s HBK’s giving-not-a-single-shit attitude, and peak Hogan’s 90s That-doesn’t-work-for-me-brother-i-need-to-go-over-dude attitude. Two titans collide in a match that really was better than anyone could have imagined, in a “this is so bad it’s good” kind of way.
In this post, I will examine how to give Hogan a 7th title run. And it will not be in TNA in 2010, which upon googling I was surprised that Hogan did not give himself the belt during that time.
We know that Hogan couldn’t work a match now, what with his many hip and back surgeries rendering him no more than 5 foot 7 and less than 100 lbs (probably, maybe he’s only about 6’3 now”, and that at 67 years old is a pensioner who has no right even being outside during the pandemic, let alone working a match brother.
“Yes Yes Yes” the crowd roars. Daniel Bryan hoists the WWE title belts above his head in celebration, as 70,000 fans chant in unison as their hero wins the day. Randy Orton and Batista lay unmoved in the ring, as Triple H tends to his injured wife, looking on at the celebration, seething.
The time is Wrestlemania 30. 2014 was the peak of Daniel Bryan, the short wrestling genius who shocked the world by winning the WWE World Heavyweight championship in the biggest show of them all, in a company where people like him don’t get to be champion. In the land of the giants, the plucky underdog shows that with enough heart, grit and desire, even the smallest man can achieve his dreams.
Somewhere, backstage, friends and family hug at what they’ve just witnessed, in jubilation at the celebrations that are occuring. But one man sits alone, stirring, plotting. From his large, moustachioed lips, 6 infamous words eek out into the celebrations.
“That doesn’t work for me brother”
2014 is the perfect time for a Hulk Hogan comeback. It’s certainly the latest point he would be physically able to work a match. Not a good match in the slightest, but I know for sure I would watch Hogan slamming down with someone at Wrestlemania. And don’t worry, this will be a 2 match plan, Hogan wont be main eventing Raw in six man tags versus the Shield.
The Realest American
After Daniel Bryan’s coronation at Wrestlemania 30, the WWE title scene was a little disappointing. A lackluster feud with Kane followed by a career threatening neck injury derailed any sense of interest in the world title scene.
Bryan had to relinquish the WWE title, to the despair of most, except for a giant 6 foot 7 300 pound Hulkster who just knows that a vanilla midget like Daniel Bryan wouldn’t have a chance against the 24 inch pythons of the Immortal One brother.
As Daniel Bryan lays in a hospital bed after neck surgery, licking his wounds and planning his next big comeback, Hulk Hogan is waiting backstage.
He’s waiting for Vince McMahon to show up, to show him plans for the Hulkster’s big return. Hogan waits patiently, flexing his muscles and posing in the corner, whilst holding his tongue as much as he can whenever the camera is on, Brother.
The build up to the Hulkster’s return is a simple one. Who is the man you’d want to see fighting the realest American this world has ever seen? You want a super-duper, stereotypical foreign heel. And in 2014, the ready made man for Hogan to squash was the
Bulgarian Russian weightlifter, and hater of all things American, such as Jack Swagger and the army, Rusev (Now known as Miro in AEW). Rusev debuted at the Royal Rumble 2014, but became a full time main roster member on the raw after Wrestlemania 30. Led by his definitely Russian manager, Lana (whom he later married), the duo ran through the WWE roster throughout 2014, remaining undefeated until he lost to John Cena at Wrestlemania 31 in a completely bullshit decision. Rusev beat a number of wrestlers with his finishing maneuverer, a camel clutch that he called The Accolade. He tapped out the likes of Big Show, Mark Henry and Jack Swagger, the highlight being Mark Henry shedding a tear before he passed out in the accolade, failing to defend his country from the evil foreigner who has generally been a bit mean.
Only one man has the power to fight for the rights of every man. As long as that man is American, he will protect you at all cost, and cradle you tight with his 24 inch pythons. But if you happened to be from a country different from his, then Hulk Hogan does not care for you, and if anything actively wants to beat you up. In the ring, of course.
Rusev will have the same run as he did in real life, he will defeat the likes of Jack Swagger and Big Show to continue his undefeated streak. He will still place second in the Royal Rumble to Roman Reigns (because that doesn’t involve the Hulkster I shan’t be redoing it) and he will still be equally Anti-American. In promo’s he will hint towards fighting an American Hero. Hinting towards fighting a legend who represented America. Clearly hinting towards what we all wanted during that time, Kurt Angle vs Rusev if he wasn’t busy wasting his time in TNA. Rusev will beat everyone on the roster who thinks they represent America. He will even take on John Cena as he did at Fastlane, locking in the Accolade tight and forcing the Champ to tap. Cena will beat Rusev at the PPV after ‘Mania, and the US Open Challenge will still be happening.
The Raw after Fastlane, Rusev will enter the ring to the Russian anthem, flanked by soldiers. A flag will be hoisted above him, furled, and after a speech by Lana, and some denigration of everything about the U S of A, the flag will unfurl. However, rather than boo, the crowd will cheer! They will gasp, then cheer, then laugh as Rusev and Lana freak out about how someone has sullied their flag and replaced it with their own, a “Classic American Trick” Lana will call it. She will demand the culprit reveal themselves, and bring themselves out here to face their punishement.
BWA BWA BWA BWA BWABWABWABWA
Then, it came crashing down on Rusev. It hurt him inside. Hogan had to take a stand, he could not hide. Rusev had hurt his friends, and hurt his pride. He is a man, he couldn’t let it slide.
The Real American, Hulk Hogan, clad in red and yellow, stands on the ramp, pointing at Rusev and telling him “Not today Brother, not on my watch”. He has the courage, which is the thing that keeps us free, to stand up to these no good
Bulgarian and American Russians in their pursuit of destroying American and the American dream.
Hogan gets into the ring, fighting off Russian soldiers one by one, which good, strong American Punches right to their skulls. They fall, one by one, until he meets Rusev in the ring. The two stare down, before Rusev attacks. He punches Hogan, who didn’t expect the cowardly Russian to fight back, because that’s only something a real American would do. In a way, he gains some respect for Rusev as he starts beating him down. Hogan falls to his knees, as the crowd goes silent. Rusev fits continue to smash into Hogan’s head, and the crowd are sure Hogan must be dead.
But then, he begins to shake. “A concussion induced seizure?” the crowd ask, due to Hogan’s age and general condition. But then he looks up. His arms shake uncontrollably. He gets to he feet, as Rusev’s blows continue but appear to be doing nothing. Hogan is now marching around the ring, vibrating like a hummingbird as the crowd go into a frenzy. “He’s Hulking Up! It’s Hulk Time! Vintage Hogan!” Michael Cole yells, incredibly annoyingly, before JBL shouts “BALLGAME I HOPE YOU DIE” at Michael Cole. They almost ruin the moment, as they do most moments.
Rusev goes for one more punch, but Hogan brushes it off, points him finger in Rusev’s face, and shouts in unison with the 10 million Hulkamaniacs in the arena “YOU!”. He follows it off by blocking Rusev’s punch, following it up with his own 3 punches, as the crowd count along with them. He then Irish whips Rusev into the ropes, charging up the biggest boot he’s ever done in his life.
But Rusev is grabbed by Lana, thrust out of the ring and down the ramp. Hogan has been stopped mid Hulking Up, and will have to Hulk himself up in his hotel room later on. They stumble down the ramp, filled with fury and venom at Hogan not only disrepecting their flag, but also beating up the best Russian soldiers they could find. Hogan starts posing in the ring as they retreat, cupping his hand to his ear and flexing his saggy, old man muscles at the crowd.
The next week on Raw, Hogan gets a microphone after about 25 minutes of posing in the ring, and challenges Rusev to a match at Wrestlemania. The Real American vs The Bulgarian pretending to be Russian with a American manager pretending to be Russian who is also his wife. It will be Hogan’s big return, and he’s had since last Wrestlemania, since he had the idea of his comeback, to prepare for it, so he would be in the best possible shape of his life. Also, America.
Wrestlemania 31 – Hulk Hogan vs Rusev
With the Hulkster left red, white and blue balled mid Hulk-up by Rusev on Raw, the build up for this match will a lot of promo’s between the two – As it’s probably best for Hulk Hogan to not get physical just in case one of his hips explode and he crumbles into dust. He’ll ramble about how the Hulkster has one last run in him, about how he beat guys in the past who disrespected the virtues of the Land of the free and home of the brave. Typical Hulk Hogan lets go America woo stuff.
Rusev will do the exact same thing, but swap America for Russia. Rusev and Lana will talk about how awful America is with it’s freedom, democracy and being allowed to be gay without persecution. All of the most horrible evils of the decedent west. Lana will go on about Rusev being a hero of the Russian Republic, and flaunting the medal that Vladmir Putin gave Rusev on Raw (Putin wasn’t physically there but that did happen).
The match is set. Wrestlemania 31 is here. Roman Reigns takes on Brock Lesnar in the main event, while Seth Rollins takes on Randy Orton. John Cena, now free from facing Rusev, takes on the Undertaker, one year after losing the streak. Cena shares the same sentiment as the rest of the fans – can the Phenom still do it at Wrestlemania?
But the real, the REAL main event is just a man fighting for his country, versus another xenophobic racist awful man who is a former world champion and has been the face of wrestling for decades.
Rusev enters first. We all know how it goes. Lana walks in holding the US Title (which is not on the line because Hulk Hogan will not be defending a second rate championship; he wants the big one) with a white suit, and white fur adorning her shoulder.
She is escorted by Russian soldiers, who hoist the Russian flag proudly in the air as the Russian National Anthem blares through the speaker. As she makes her way to the ring, pyro goes off, and Rusev’s theme song starts to play.
He enters the arena in a fucking tank. I still can’t believe this happened but it did, and no amount of fantasy booking could make this any better. He rides in on a cold war era Russian Tank, as his iconic theme song blares. He joins his wife in the ring and waits for his opponent.
“I am a real American” is sung softly and slowly into a silent arena. A montage plays on the screen of all of Hulk Hogan’s past triumphs over the previous foreign invaders he has faced, and vanquished.
It shows him pinning The Iron Sheik to win the WWF Championship. It should him leg dropping Sargent Slaughter during the very controversial angle during the First Iraq War. It shows him beating up La Resistance, and protecting Hornswoggle from The Great Khali on Raw 15.
It shows one after another, the Hulkster beating up people from a foreign land who came to this country looking for hope. Really hammering home that the Hulkster does not like people who do not look like him.
Suddenly, those iconic guitar rifts hit. BWA BWA BWA BWA BWA BWA BWA BWAAAAAA. The crowd erupts into a USA Chant. The Hulkster, looking someone like his peak in the 80s due to the power of Hulkamania, marches down to the ring holding an American Flag above his head.
He pointing at Rusev, shouting things that knowing the Hulkster are not repeatable on television. He runs into the ring, as fast as his little legs can carry him, as Rusev and Lana retreat to the outside.
He waves the flag around like a madman, raising his hand to his ear an making sure he can hear every single person in that arena, chanting “Build that Wall” and “Get out of our country you commie bastard!”. Hogan has turned the whole crowd into just like himself and it is awful to watch.
But god damn do these people love the Hulkster!
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.