From the WWE Network: Hulk Hogan: Real American

A Hulk Hogan highlight reel of matches against Giants, evil foreigners, royalty and millionaires!

Unlike the “Macho Madness” VHS, the Network plays generic music over the WWF logo flying over the mountains during the intro.

We see a brief music video set to “Real American”. This must have been from something they aired in 1986 or 87 as the matches featured are Hogan against Nikolai Volkoff and Bob Orton Jr.

Steel Cage: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant

We are kicking things off in a huge way! This is from Milwaukee’s “Wrestlefest” with “40,000” people on hand at the Brewers baseball stadium.

Andre stands in the middle of the ring and dares Hogan to come get some of this. Andre mauls Hogan at the bell, choking Hogan and dropping him to the mat dismissively. The Giant uses Hogan’s shirt to choke the life from him.

Hogan rebounds by shoving Andre into the corner and using the ropes to mount Andre. He chokes the big man and drives fists into the Giant’s skull. Andre fights him off, then uses the shirt to tie Hogan to the cage, making him vulnerable to abuse. The Giant tries to get to the door, but Hogan stops the escape.

Andre dumps Hogan to the mat, delivering an elbow drop for good measure. This leads to the men struggling in the corner, with Hogan grasping Andre’s head, and the Giant pawing at the turnbuckle until he removes the padding. Hogan’s skull is introduced to the steel corner piece. The announcer’s sort of ruin this bit by talking about how odd the logic is to use the corner piece instead of the steel that is surrounding the ring. Nonetheless, the Hulkster comes up bloody.

The Giant batters Hogan into the cage, but can’t escape. Hogan staggers Andre with a clothesline but can’t quite knock him down. A second clothesline rattles Andre and he slowly stumbles to the mat. Hogan drops the leg, and that draws in Bobby Heenan. Heenan takes some abuse from Hogan, allowing Andre a chance to try and climb the cage(!)  Hogan cuts him off, knocking Andre down, with Andre falling into the ropes and becoming entangled. Heenan is abused once again, and Hogan escapes over the top.

This was not a “good” match, as Andre was clearly compromised physically. However, this encounter was laid out well, and probably was a better bout compared to their (then) recent high profile clashes on “The Main Event” and Wrestlemania 4. It’s surprising Hogan didn’t work the bodyslam spot in here somehow, but the men were more than likely smart enough to realize that the slam becomes less impressive each time we see Andre suffer it.

WWF champion Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff

This is from an early “Saturday Night’s Main Event”. Hogan says he is defending the American way by denying Volkoff’s right to free speech in some wonderfully twisted xenophobic logic. We sadly don’t see Volkoff’s pre-match promo where he promised to tell the Kremlin to nuke America.

The men wave their country’s flags in one another’s faces. Volkoff jumps Hogan and batters him with boots, forearms and turnbuckle blows. Hogan rebounds with a series of fists and a clothesline. They somewhat botch a big boot spot, with Hogan catching Volkoff too low, making for an awkward bump to the apron. Hogan tries to smash Volkoff into the mat, but Volkoff’s bumping for this is hokey.

Volkoff gains control inside the ring as he presses Hogan over his head and drives him down across his knee. Hogan is so hurt by this that he fixes his tights as he lays on the mat. Volkoff stalls as to not kill his move, then fails to earn the finish. Volkoff keeps the pressure on, until Hogan “Hulk’s up”, delivers the boot, leg drop and pin.

Hogan spits on the Russian flag, and wipes his boots with it. Thus must have been a bit trippy for some fans watching this when it was released in 1989 as Volkoff had been a jabroni for several years by that point.

Hulk Hogan vs. “King” Haku

This is from October 1988’s “Saturday Night’s Main Event”. “Mean” Gene and Hogan do a painfully scripted promo that lacks the usual magic that Hogan and his bag of cocaine normally provides on the mic. Elizabeth is joining Hogan at ringside, setting off Jesse Ventura’s alarms.

Haku attacks Hogan during the pre-match body cavity search and gains the early edge from a series of chops. Ventura gets off a line about Haku biting Hogan’s nose that HAS to be a reference to Haku assaulting a bar patron that previous June in an incident that involved Haku munching on the man’s honker.

Hogan rallies with eye rakes and punches. Haku tries to assault Hogan on the floor, but Hogan pulls Heenan in the way. Haku checks on his manager, allowing Hogan a chance to run over and steal his crown.

Back in the ring, Haku chops and kicks away at Hogan as Heenan is hauled away. Haku downs Hogan with a kick, setting up the “Hulk up”, big boot, and leg drop for the pin. Haku had been getting a push in the Fall of ’88, challenging the Macho Man for the World title as well as working the main event of the “Survivor Series” against the Mega Powers and their buddies.   Hogan lifts Liz on his shoulders to give Macho Man even more fuel for his jealous insanity that would erupt a few months after this.

We are treated to Hogan’s training montage from February 1988’s “The Main Event” set to a rip-off of “Eye of the Tiger”.

WWF World champion Hulk Hogan vs. the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk and Pete Doherty call this Houston title match. Prichard is far and away the best of the three as McGuirk is only good for empty platitudes and Doherty just growls in an annoying tone. Bruce meanwhile tries to hard to “sound” like an announcer, if that makes any sense. Andre is with Dibiase. Hogan batters Dibiase quickly, then smashes Virgil when he tries to run interference. This leads to Dibiase stalling for a while as Hogan and Andre make eyes at one another.

Hogan is overwhelmed during a brawl on the floor, giving Dibiase the opening to lay his offense into the champion back in the ring. Hogan makes a comeback, trying to embarass Dibiase by stepping on his back and walking back and forth on him. Hogan does this several times before Andre trips the champ. The ref calls for the bell. They announce Andre must leave the ringside and that he is fined 2 grand. Chief Jay Strongbow makes a cameo as the office stooge enlisted to make Andre leave.

Dibiase gets the drop on Hogan during the confusion. Hogan is downed briefly, but “Hulk’s Up”. Virgil tries to distract Hogan, but he and Dibiase end up colliding, allowing Hogan to cradle Dibiase for the win. This was pretty much a paint by numbers house show match, with Andre’s role being the only point of intrigue.

Final thoughts: This was just a cash grab VHS, and really not worth checking out other than for the Hogan/Andre cage match oddity.

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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