In the summer of ’94, World Championship Wrestling brought in Hulk Hogan to give the company a much needed mainstream star. After a feud with Ric Flair that lasted from June to October of the year, which saw Hogan win the WCW World Championship, Hogan would venture into a feud with Vader. That feud has been highlighted in a previous Reliving A Feud column.
After managing to fight of Vader, Hogan would feud with the evil Kevin Sullivan. In reality, the seed of the feud started at Halloween Havoc when Brutus Beefcake turned his back on Hogan by joining Sullivan and the Faces of Fear. Hogan would successfully defend the championship against Butcher at Starrcade in one of the worst main events in wrestling history.
Sullivan would become obsessed with getting the WCW World Championship off of Hulk Hogan, but more importantly, ending Hulkamania.
The Taskmaster would go out and recruit several men to be part of the group, all of whom had some kind of history with Hogan in years past. The group was officially formed after Slamboree 1995. The members of the group were the following men.
The Ugandan giant got national exposure while in the WWF in the late 80’s. He had a brief run with Hogan in ’86 but wasn’t able to win the championship from the Hulkster. Kamala would lose to Hogan on a preshow match before a Clash of the Champions event in ’95. Kamala would have a short run with the company as he wouldn’t appear for the company after Fall Brawl in September.
Personally, Kamala had never been much of anything impressive in the ring. My earliest memory was his days in the WWF circa 1992/1993. Most of you may recall Kamala not being overly impressive in the ring, at least at that time.
The former Earthquake from the WWF had a successful run in the WWF that lasted from 1989 to mid ’94. Shark originally arrived to WCW in late ’94 under the name Avalanche. He would be transformed into the Shark in ’95 and would proceed to dress up as a shark. It was one of the more embarrassing things to witness during a time where there were outrageous characters being developed in wrestling.
Out of the four original members, Shark had the most creditability. In 1990, Shark had a memorable feud with Hogan, which main evented SummerSlam that year. I had always enjoyed Shark’s ability and he was a believable monster. The ridiculous gimmicks he would be given during his WCW tenure, hampered his success in the company.
Formerly Brutus Beefcake and Hogan’s best friend, Zodiac went through a series of names. After roughly eight months of feuding against Hogan, it was revealed that Zodiac was actually a mole and was with Hogan the entire time.
Probably the member of the group I had the least interest in.
While Meng didn’t had a singles run against Hogan, he was part of a heel stable in the WWF during the late 80s that attempted to end Hulkamania. The Heenan Family couldn’t get it done, so Meng joined up with the Dungeon of Doom to try their luck.
Meng had previously gotten a fine push in WCW prior to joining the Dungeon. He had a feud with Sting that produced some good matches for the WCW United States Championship, but once joining the Dungeon, Meng wouldn’t recover from the de-push, of sorts.
The biggest acquisition of the group saw Lex Luger join the Dungeon after the War Games match in September. Luger provided a huge lift to the group as they badly needed a serious threat to Hogan. Luger provided that. He was not the only serious threat to Hogan, but at the time he was the only credible threat.
The 7’0’’ giant first appeared for the company in May at Slamboree. Giant would get his hands on Hogan at Fall Brawl where he “broke” Hogan’s neck. That led to a title match between the two at Halloween Havoc, which Giant won when Jimmy Hart turned on Hogan, but the title would be vacated the following night. Giant’s feud with Hogan during the factions run ended at Superbrawl VI inside a steel cage.
Not only was Giant not a WWF guy, but he had a great look and scared the crap out of as a child. Looking back at it, this one guy Hogan should have worked longer with and not beaten so quickly. Obviously, Giant’s career didn’t suffer badly.
Other members included Hugh Morrus, Big Bubba, the Yeti, Loch Ness and Konnan.
The whole purpose of the group, according to Kevin Sullivan, was to make Hogan comfortable. There were maybe two or three guys in the group who had creditability, but Hogan being the star that he is, quickly ended that momentum for the sake of remaining strong.
People remember the group for the ridiculous characters and how seven guys couldn’t beat two guys in a cage match at Uncensored ’96. I remember when watching Saturday Night and Hogan would visit the headquarters, so to speak, of the Dungeon. You’ll enjoy the video below.
To a certain extent, the Dungeon of Doom is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s not a highly ranked stable as the group members were just fed to Hogan so he would trust WCW management in the future. I suppose in some way, if it weren’t for the Dungeon of Doom getting Hogan to trust the company, then the huge popularity boost the biggest heel turn in wrestling history may have not happened. You never know.
What are your memories of the Dungeon of Doom? Did you like them, dislike them? Share your thoughts below!
Thanks for reading.