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WWF Coliseum Home Video: Hulkamania

by Scrooge McSuck

- Whenever I dip into the old Coliseum Video chest for potential tapes to recap, I usually try to ignore any tapes dedicated to a particular wrestler or tag team, just because I like variety, and have an incredibly low tolerance of watching a lot of bad wrestling from the same wrestler for longer than 5 minutes. So I'm finally busting my cherry and doing a solo act for Coliseum Video, and it happens to be the second Coliseum Video released, dedicated to everyone's favorite legend, the immortal Hulk Hogan.

[Note: Yes, I just remembered I did a very half-assed review of the Andre The Giant Coliseum Video. Oh well...]

- Vince McMahon is our host, from the WWF Control room, or whatever the hell they wanted to call the studio thing at this given time. We're informed that Hulk Hogan himself picked the following stuff, so if anyone has a problem with it, take it up with the Hulkster... brother.

- WWF Heavyweight Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine:

From the Philadelphia Spectrum, August 4th, 1984. The introduction for the commentary identifies Valentine as the Intercontinental Champion, but he didn't win the title until about a month later, from Tito Santana. "Hulk Hogan giving the finger to Greg Valentine", declares Monsoon. Mel Phillips, the ring announcer, is rocking a pretty impressive afro. I thought those were out of style by 1981, but then looking at his suit, maybe he doesn't know when styles end, or if they were in to begin with. Lockup to start, and Valentine hammers away with a series of forearms. Hogan blocks being rammed to the buckle, then unloads with rights and lefts. CLIP ALERT! They feel each other out for a test-of-strength, and Valentine quickly drives a knee into the midsection. Valentine stomps away, then applies a chinlock, but Hogan powers up and rams Valentine back into the turnbuckle. Whip to the corner, and Hogan follows in with a running elbow. Hogan follows Valentine out of the ring and continues to bring the punishment. Back inside, and Valentine with more stomping, followed by a second rope elbow to the back of the head. Valentine drops an elbow for a two count, then pounds away. Valentine with a slam and an elbow to the back, then applies a double toe-hold, and uses the ropes for leverage, directly in front of the referee! That's being a true heel. Valentine continues to work on the legs and bashes the left knee of Hogan with a chair. No disqualification, eh? Hogan wrestles Valentine to the canvas, but Valentine is relentless at this point and hammers away. Hogan starts Hulking Up and unloads with rights. Irish whip, and Hogan with the running clothesline. Valentine rolls to the apron, but Hogan brings him back in with a suplex. Weird clip job, as Hogan connects with an atomic drop. Irish whip, and Valentine clubs Hogan across the back of the head. Valentine drops a pair of elbows and chokes away. Valentine climbs to the top rope, and yes, it's the clip we see at the beginning of every Coliseum Video, as Hogan predictably slams him off. Hogan sells the knee though, and falls down to the canvas, too. Valentine stretches the hamstring of the left leg of Hogan, but the Figure Four is blocked. Valentine misses an elbow drop after being knocked into the corner, Hogan hits a clothesline, drops the leg, and it's over at a clipped down 8:55. Valentine wants some more though, but chooses to throw the referee into Hogan to get an unfair advantage, but Hogan catches him coming and sends Valentine running scared. **1/2 Good from what was shown. Not an outstanding match, but fine for Mid 80's Hogan, and not the same predictable finish with the Hulking Up, either. That's always a good thing.

WWF Heavyweight Championship; $15,000 Slam Challenge and Match:
Hulk Hogan vs. Big John Studd (w/ Bobby Heenan):

From the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey, held on December 10th, 1984. Gorilla Monsoon and HOWARD FINKEL are calling the action, with Gary Michael Capetta doing ring introductions. Just weird for a WWF show, to say the least, and I don't have any faith in this being any good, but you never know. I don't know, but the Coliseum editing department might've tuned out Hogan's entrance music, as he gets no introduction. CLIP to nothing happening, still. Lockup, and Studd goes for a slam, but Hogan blocks. Then Hogan tries, and Studd blocks. Repeat. Studd clubs away, but a shoulder block does nothing. More lame slam attempts. Irish whip, and Hogan pounds away, then hits him with a big boot. Slam attempt, but Studd blocks. Hogan blocks being sent to the corner and unloads with more rights, then comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Another failed slam attempt, and Studd pounds Hogan to the canvas. CLIP! Whip to the corner is reversed, and Hogan follows in with a clothesline. Slam attempt fails, with Studd and his exposed butt crack landing on the apron, and the action spilling to the floor. Studd rams Hogan into the broadcasters table and ring post. Hogan blades while the camera focuses on Studd arguing with the referee inside the ring. Back in the ring, and Studd comes off the top rope (!) with a forearm across the back. of the neck. Irish whip, and Studd with a running elbow for a two count. CLIP! Studd with a scoop slam, but he doesn't follow up on it, allowing Hogan to get back to his feet. Studd ends up booting Hogan out of the ring again. Hogan drags Studd out of the ring, but continues to take a beating. Hogan starts no-selling though, and it's the unpredictable HULK UP! Hogan scoops Studd up and slams him on the floor, then rolls back in to win the match by Count-Out at 7:57. Hogan wins the match, but not the cash, because the slam didn't take place inside the ring. Whatever. 1/2* Pretty much a dog of a match, but the crowd was into Hogan and the slam at the end, so I'll be generous and not call it a complete dud.

- And we already get recycled material thanks to Coliseum Video, as we bring you back to an episode of Tuesday Night Titans, where Hulk Hogan unveils to us his vitamin packs and Python Powder, a nutritional drink that makes Lord Alfred Hayes sick. This clip has been re-used so many times, it's unbelievable. That's twice.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan vs. "Dr. D" David Schultz:

From The Met Center in Minneapolis, MN, held on June 17th, 1984. Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene Okerlund are calling the action. I commented on Schultz in my Bloopers, Bleeps and Bodyslams review, and basically look at him as a rough draft version of Stone Cold Steve Austin, except more redneck, if that was possible. For those who are unfamiliar with Schultz, he was basically blackballed after smacking around an ABC News Reporter for daring ask the question "is wrestling fake." Hogan does a lot of trash talking until Schultz jumps him from behind and pounds away, then chokes Hogan down with his own Hulkamania head band. Irish whip, and Schultz with a clothesline for a two count, followed by more choking. Schultz heads to the second rope and drops a fist across the forhead. Whip to the corner, with authority, then choking across the middle rope. The action heads to the floor, and Schultz bashes Hogan with a chair. Hogan blades, and is quickly wearing the crimson mask. Hogan stumbles around, getting kicked in the head every time he tries to return to the ring. Schultz takes a bite out of the Hulkster, then comes off the second rope with an elbow drop. Schultz chooses to play to the crowd before covering, and only gets two because of it. HULK UP TIME! Hogan with a rake of the eyes and a pair of roundhouse rights. Hogan with a choke lift, followed by a running clothesline and an elbow drop for a two count, pulling Schultz up before the three. Hogan with a scoop slam, followed by the leg drop, and again he pulls Schultz up at two. I can't tell if Schultz bladed, or if he's wearing some of Hogan's blood. Hogan tosses Schultz out of the ring, then rams him into the ring post. CLIP! We're back in the ring, and both men are bleeding pretty good. Whip to the corner, but Schultz charges back out with a clothesline. Schultz heads to the top rope, but he misses an elbow drop. Hogan hulks up as we get a replay of the missed elbow, then we return to the action. Hogan with a clothesline, and the three count is made at a clipped 8:58. ** Good brawl with some nice intensity from Hogan, but the weird clip jobs hurt the flow of the match, and this wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be. Schultz attacks after the bell and straps on the WWF Championship around his waist, but Hogan isn't having none of that., and sends Schultz running for the hills.

WWF Heavyweight Championship, Steel Cage Match:
Hulk Hogan vs. Big John Studd:

From the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, MO, held on April 6th, 1984. Despite the previous match between the two taking place in December of '84, this match is introduced as the "re-match". And honestly, who in the hell wanted to see another match between these two, anyway? The first match was pretty bad to begin with, so this is probably going to be equal to, or worse. CLIP immediately to Studd being in control, ramming Hogan into the cage, and Hogan bleeding. Studd goes for the door, but Hogan cuts it off. CLIP to Hogan in control and lifting Studd up, ramming him face-first into the steel cage. CLIP to Studd being whipped to the corner, but catching Hogan coming with a clothesline. Both men are bleeding pretty good. Hogan stops another escape attempt and pounds away. Studd to the second rope, and he clubs Hogan across the back of the neck. Studd goes for the door again, but no dice, Jerry Rice. Irish whip, and Hogan eats cage, again. Studd starts climbing the cage, but Hogan stops him and they trade blows. Irish whip is reversed, and Studd tastes the cage, then Hogan drops the leg. Hogan crawls for the door, and he's out of there, retaining the WWF Title at a heavily clipped 5:49. I won't bother rating this one due to the excessive amounts of clipping, but from what was shown, it was heading towards the territory of DUD, without much doubt.

- Vince McMahon is with Hulk Hogan for a very special interview. Questions include Hogan's choice of entering Professional Wrestling instead of any other legitimate sport, then about his physyical attributes and training program. Hogan talks about his first live wrestling experience influencing him on becoming a wrestler, and being influenced by the money... I'm sorry, he name drops Bruno Sammartino, Johnny Valentine, The Grahams, and especially Andre The Giant. Once again, off topic, I'd love a tape of just people talking about Andre The Giant. Decent segment for the tape, but I don't take much of it at face value.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Match:
The Iron Shiek (w/ Ayatollah Blassie) vs. Hulk Hogan:

From Madison Square Garden, January 23rd, 1984. The match that started it all, and if you've never seen or even heard of this match, what rock have you been living under all your life? Hogan is very freshly returned from a stint in the AWA, and you know the old saying strike while the iron's hot... the crowd is very much into this one, of course. Hogan attacks from behind and pounds away. Hogan whips Shiek to the corner and follows in with an elbow. Hogan grabs the Shiek's robe and clotheslines him with it and starts choking away. Hogan unloads with rights, then connects with a clothesline, followed by a running knee drop. Hogan rakes the eyes and choke lifts Shiek, then tosses him back down. Irish whip, and Hogan with a big boot, but that only gets two. The roar of the crowd has yet to die down. Irish whip, and Hogan with a running elbow, followed by an elbow drop for another two count. Whip to the corner, but Hogan misses a charge. Shiek stomps away on the back of Hogan, finally mounting some offense. Shiek with a back breaker, but that only gets a one count. Shiek continues to work Hogan over, then loads up the boot, because he stomped three times so you know it's loaded. Shiek sweeps the legs and applies a Boston crab. Hogan quickly powers up, tossing Shiek off of him, but the Shiek recovers quickly, takes Hogan down with a gut-wrench suplex, then slaps on the Camel Clutch. Hogan fights back up to his feet, with the Shiek on his back, and rams him hard into the corner. Hogan hits the ropes, he drops the big leg on him, and we have a NEW WWF Champion at 5:34. To say the crowd goes nuts would be an incredible understatement. Hulkamania is here, indeed, Gorilla. Howard Finkel's announcement of the new Champion just makes it that much sweeter. **1/2 Not half bad for the actual match, but for historical significance, the rating is off the charts and unrateable. Every wrestling fan, especially one of the WWF/WWE, needs to see this match at least once, and really, how hard is it to track down? It's available on about 40 different video tapes and DVD sets.

Final Thoughts: Running a tick under the 90-minute mark, it's not too bad of a time killer. Granted, as a Hogan fan (the performer, not the person... or the performer, past certain points of his career), it wasn't too hard to sit through a tape dedicated to him, even if it did include two incredibly lame matches with Big John Studd, but the first title win, and his matches with Valentine and Schultz are good enough for a viewing, and hey, it's got that TNT segment too, don't forget about that! Mild Recommendation for the casual fan, just remember what you're getting yourself into if you decide to pick up a copy.

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