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WWF Coliseum Home Video: Hulkamania 4

by Scrooge McSuck

- We're skipping over Hulkamania 3 for obvious reasons: don't have it nor do I have access to it's content, but for those interested, it basically chronicles the entire Hogan/Andre program from 1987, through 1988, with the inclusion of Ted Dibiase and Randy Savage into the mix. The majority of the tape is non-wrestling segments, and the wrestling is, for the most part, recycled, clipped down PPV footage. It's worth checking out at least once, if you're interested in the entire saga.

I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think anyone else, during the Coliseum Video era, had more than two tapes dedicated to them (not including those secondary, hour-long cheap tapes that were occasionally released). We're already at Hulkamania 4, and we've still got a few of them left in the tank. The recycled footage from television programs is at a premium, and would eventually get worse, if memory serves correct. With all that out of the way, let's see what we have first on the agenda...

[Note: The entire tape is littered with promos from babyfaces praising Hulk Hogan, as well as a bunch of promos from heels and Hogan himself setting up most of the matches. I'm going to ignore them, unless I find anything interesting. There's also hype for some movie called No Holds Barred... and guess what, it stars WWF Champion Hulk Hogan.]

Hulk Hogan (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Bad News Brown:

Recycled from the March 16th, 1989 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, and yes, I have recapped that show fairly recently (sometime in the last 6-months counts). At the time, Bad News' go-nowhere, lackluster program with Randy Savage came to a hault, so Hogan is here to pick up where it left off and put Brown out of his misery, and he's even got Elizabeth with him for support. Bad News attacks Hogan while the referee checks him over, and pounds away. The canned heat is obvious, and surprising, at the same time. Brown misses several elbow drops, and now Hogan is up and he is MAD. Hogan with a series of rights, sending Brown out of the ring. Hogan follows and punches s'more. Hogan slingshots Brown back into the ring, then rakes the eyes. Irish whip is reversed, but a shoulder block goes in Hogan's favor, and he follows with a clothesline and elbow drops. Irish whip, and Hogan with the big boot, but he pulls him back to his feet and rams in to the buckle. Brown no-sells and headbutts Hogan, then clobbers him with more rights. Whip across the ring, but Brown runs into another boot. Hogan with an atomic drop, sending Brown over the top rope, to the floor. Hogan heads outside again, but gets the eyes raked and whipped into the post. Bad News measures up, but punches the post instead. Brown grabs a chair, but Hogan blocks and rams it into Brown, instead, IN FRONT OF THE REFEREE, but no DQ is called. Brown looks around under the ring, then heads backstage, and he returns with... a snow shovel?! He's hardcore! He's hardcore! We cut to a commercial, and come back with Hogan driving a knee into the midsection of Brown. Back in the ring, and Hogan pounds away. Whip to the corner, but Brown charges back out and connects with a clothesline. Brown rams Hogan face-first into the canvas and hammers on the back of the Hulkster's head. Brown scoops him up for a slam, then connects with a leg drop, but that only gets a two count. Brown knocks Hogan out of the ring with a boot to the chest, then has words for Elizabeth. Hogan catches up to him and gets rammed into the post for his troubles. Back in the ring, and Brown with a Russian leg sweep for a cheap two count, as Hogan's leg was just far enough of the ring to break the count. Brown continues to punish Hogan, then gets on the house mic' to talk smack. He calls for the Ghetto Blaster and Hogan ducks, of course. Now there's calling spots, and there's calling spots. Hulk-Up time, and you know what that means. Hogan with a running high knee and a leg drop for the three count at 9:56. After the match, Hogan and Elizabeth celebrate the victory, including Hogan hoisting her up on his shoulder, Macho Man style. Not a great "wrestling" match, but it was a fine brawl, and both men seemed game for it. Didn't care for the finish, but it was different, I guess.

Lumberjack Match: Hulk Hogan vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil):

From the March 12th, 1988 card held at the Philadelphia Spectrum, with Tony Schiavone and Sean Mooney calling the action. This tape was released in the Fall of 1989, when Hogan was Champion, so Mooney and Schiavone insist this is for the WWF Title... oh well. Hogan attacks before the bell, and sends Dibiase from buckle to buckle. Hogan continues to pound away, sending Dibiase out, where he is met by Beefcake, S.D. Jones, and Koko B. Ware. Irish whip, and Hogan with a clothesline, followed by a trio of elbow drops. Dibiase goes out again, and I notice the Killer Bees are on the babyface side, too. Hogan plays to the crowd, then sends Dibiase over to the heel side with an atomic drop. Heels include Dino Bravo, the Bolsheviks, and Greg Valentine. Hogan snapmares Dibiase back into the ring, and continues to lay inbto him with blows. Irish whip, and Hogan clotheslines Dibiase with his wrist tape. Irish whip, and Hogan boots Dibiase back out of the ring. Hogan follows, and gets worked over by "the Killer Bees". It's clearly not Brunzell or Blair, but well just move along. Back inside, and Dibiase finally has control of the match. Dibiase with a pair of jumping stomps to the face, then introduces Hogan to the turnbuckle. Irish whip, and Dibiase with a clothesline. Dibiase with his own series of elbow drops, but it only gets a two count. Hogan starts going through his routine already, no-selling Dibiase's punches. Irish whip, big boot, but the leg drop is interrupted by "the Bees." Dibiase climbs to the top rope, but Hogan slams him off, hits the leg drop, and picks up the three count at 6:09. Short match, but very energetic. Hogan's aggressiveness stemming from the Main Event fiasco was evident, even though the commentary team ignored the place in history the match came from. Post-match, Hogan whoops one of the Bees and unmasks him, but another mask is on underneath.

Steel Cage Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Big Bossman (w/ Slick):

From the March 18th, 1989 card held at Madison Square Garden, part of a double-header that included a show at the Boston Garden, and we've got Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred calling the action. Fun tidbit: In a WCW Magazine article from 1995, Tony Schiavone (or so we're lead to believe) recalled some of his favorite matches, and THIS one made the list... in a WCW publication. WWF wasn't mentioned, but I distinctly remember the date and location. Huzzah! The Hogan/Bossman program was pretty much a non-issue at this point due to the Mega Powers exploding, but they still ran with it to kill time leading up to WrestleMania V. We get promos from both men before heading to the match. Hogan attacks from behind, choking with his t-shirt, then lays Bossman out with a clothesline. Whip to the corner, and Hogan follows in with an elbow. Irish whip, and Hogan with a big boot, followed by a suplex. Bossman prevents an escape and pounds away, then Hogan does the same, working Bossman over from the top rope. Bossman headbutts Hogan off the top rope, but still can't manage an escape, despite being on the outside, and maybe 5 feet from the floor. I HATE THESE SPOTS SO FUCKING MUCH. Hogan drags Bossman all the way back up, and brings him back in with a superplex! Bossman has a minor cut above his eye, probably hardway. I don't recall many bladejobs from this era (sans Dusty Rhodes at Survivor Series... was that necessary?). The referee comes in to lay a count on them for being down so long. Hogan wiggles to the door, but Bossman grabs the ankles. Irish whip is reversed, and Bossman catches Hogan off the ropes with a spinebuster. Bossman grabs handcuffs from Slick and proceeds to choke Hogan out. Hogan recovers, but both men taste the cold, blue steel and get laid out, again. Bossman prevents escape, so Hogan slams him, then uses the chain as a measure of redemption. Hogan sends Bossman from cage wall to cage wall and drops the leg. Slick climbs in to stop Hogan, and Bossman is bleeding like his name was Dusty Rhodes. Hogan fights Slick off, crotches Bossman across the top rope, then cuffs him. Hogan climbs, and makes it to the floor for the victory, even though the referee is KO'ed. Hogan lays Bossman out with a chair, and the suddenly revived referee magically raises Hogan's hand in victory at 11:14. Not a classic, but a pretty good cage match, and one of the better blue cage matches from this era. It didn't hurt that the crowd was jacked and the commentary team treated it as a huge deal.

Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion) vs. The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart):

Pulled from the July 29th, 1989 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. I've never recapped that one, so we won't have to worry about recycling another match recap for this. At this point, Honkytonk Man was basically used to put over everyone on the roster. During the Coliseum exclusive promos, Hogan claims he's going top beat Honky, take his pink caddilac, and "give it to Liz." I know what he meant, but it just sounds a little dirty, considering the whole Hogan/Savage program. Honky misses a guitar swing, and Hogan quickly pounds away on him. Jimmy Hart tries to run interference, but Hogan just gives him a piggy-back ride back into the ring. Hogan pounds away and sends Honky from corner to corner. Irish whip, and Hogan with a clothesline. Honky whiffs on a roundhouse right, and Hogan counters with an atomic drop. Whip to the corner, and Hogan follows in with an elbow. Jimmy gets dragged in and a double noggin-knocker clears the ring. Jimmy Hart whacks Hogan with the guitar, but it doesn't break. Back in the ring, and Honky works the back of Hogan with his usual shitty offense. Honky with a seated chinlock, but Hogan powers up and rams Honky face-first into the turnbuckle. Honky is up first, though, and puts Hogan back down with a clothesline. Honky calls for the finish, and indeed hits the Shake, Rattle, N' Roll. Honky plays to the crowd, then FINALLY makes a pin attempt, and we all know the rest... Hogan with rights, the big boot sends Honky out of the ring, guitar shots for everyone, and back in the ring for the leg drop and the three count at 6:15. Typical Saturday Night's Main Event "Hogan match"... short, one-sided, and very rushed. When Hogan was in control, it was fun, but Honky's offense made me want to take a nap.

Hulk Hogan vs. King Haku (w/ Bobby Heenan):

A Coliseum Video exclusive, taped on August 2nd, 1988 from Dayton, OH. We've got Tony Schiavone and Sean Mooney back in the commentary "booth." Heenan has words for the Hulkster, allowing Haku to attack from behind with chops. Haku with choking in the corner, followed by... more choking. He throws a headbutt in, just to change it up. Whip across the ring, Haku misses a charge, and Hogan slams him with ease. Hogan with rights, then a shot to knock Heenan off the apron. Back in the ring, and Hogan remains in control, then starts working the arm. Haku escapes with a hair pull (obviously from the back), then he takes his turn at working the arm. Haku keeps Hogan down with excessive use of the hair pull. Both men are sweating badly, meaning this was either later in the taping, or the arena doesn't have A/C. Hogan escapes, forcing Haku to retreat to the outside. Haku with a crescent kick attempt, but Hogan blocks and sends Haku back out of the ring with an atomic drop. Irish whip is reversed, and Hogan comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. They blow a spot, but Hogan covers it up with a slam, then misses an elbow drop. Haku with more chops, then back to the nerve hold. Haku with a slam for a two count, then more nerve holds. Hogan with elbows to the midsection, and Haku responds with a crescent kick, for a two count. Hogan starts going through his routine, and it's a clothesline in the corner, big boot, slam and leg drop to finish Haku off at 8:54. Heenan takes a post-match beating from Hogan for good measure. Match was mostly junk, but I've definitely seen worse of these Coliseum Video exclusives.

- In the ultimate act of rehashing footage, we get yet ANOTHER recycling of Hogan vs. Andre from WrestleMania III. For the love of God, I think that match might have seen the light of day on at least 15 different videos and DVD releases. Short, short version: This match is mostly junk, but was one of the defining moments and matches from the Hulkamania era, and is worth at least one viewing from all wrestling fans.

WWF Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan (w/ Elizabeth) vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Sherri & Zeus):

Another Coliseum Video, taped on August 9th, 1989 from Fresno, CA, and it's also the final match on the tape. 1989 seems to be the cut-off year for Hogan/Savage matches being any good, so we'll see how this one turns out. Finally, Hogan is actually Champion when Mooney and Schiavone claim it's a title match. We get hell'a stalling, so I guess we've passed the cut-off date of this being a quality match. Savage attacks from behind, even though Hogan clearly saw the spot coming... nice. Sherri gets involved, but Hogan fights Savage off, then abuses her, too. Hogan follows them out and they taste canvas together. Hogan goes after Zeus, too, and he no-sells whatever Hogan tried with him. Whip to the corner, and Hogan with an elbow. Irish whip, Hogan blocks a boot to the face, and unloads with rights. Irish whip, and Hogan with the clothesline, followed by an elbow drop and rake of the eyes. Hogan with a choke lift, then some words for Sherri. Savage with a high knee from behind, and Zeus with an INCREDIBLY WEAK shove into the ring post. Savage to the top, and he comes down with an axehandle for a two count. Savage slaps on a chinlock, and the stick with that for a while. I mean a while... I'm watching Super Bowl XLVI pre-game, and Obama's interview is taking less time than this spot. Hogan escapes with elbows, but gets tripped by Sherri, allowing Savage to regain control. Savage hangs Hogan across the top rope, then comes off the top with a loaded-purse axehandle. Hogan kicks out at two, and it's Hulk Up time. Hogan with the usual, then he stops to give Elizabeth a free shot (and she totally whiffs it). Hogan with a clothesline and leg drop to finish it off at 8:03. Afterwards, Zeus attacks, but Brutus Beefcake makes his presence felt and helps Hogan clear the ring, finally bringing an end to the tape.

Final Thoughts: Well, it was going pretty good at first, but the last half of the tape really starts to go downhill. The Bossman cage match is pretty good, and there's solid matches against Ted Dibiase and Bad News Brown, but yet another recycle job of the WrestleMania III match and two subpar "exclusives" end things on a sour note. In short, take a look at some of the matches showcased early in the tape, then stop it once you get to the Honkytonk Man match, because the rest isn't worth your time.

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