In the early 1980s, Hulk Hogan was the money man for the World Wrestling Federation. Children, young adults and adults all bought into Hulkamania when Hulk Hogan defeated the hated Iron Sheik to win the WWF World Championship on January 23rd, 1984. For the next eight years, Hogan remained the top face in the company. Vince McMahon tried to phase Hogan out in 1990 by pushing the Ultimate Warrior to the WWF World Championship, but by WrestleMania VII in 1991, Hogan was back on top.
By the time 1991 came along business was going down though the WWF was still highly popular and had huge stars on its roster. However, it didn’t appear that anyone was ready or capable to overtake Hogan in the top spot. By this time, Hogan was doing movies and his days as a full-time wrestler were definitely numbered.
Knowing that his top draw was getting old, and heading for Hollywood, Vince McMahon was looking for a younger, bigger and more marketable guy to take over. Over in WCW, there was a 6’9’’, 315lbs monster known as Sid Vicious. Sid was mostly used in WCW was a tag team wrestler, though he did have a run as a member of the Four Horsemen. With a promise of a huge push, and the Hogan spot, Sid signed to join the WWF in the summer of ’91.
Sid’s first appearance was at SummerSlam ’91 as the special referee for the handicap match featuring WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan teaming with Ultimate Warrior to take on Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan and Col. Mustafa. Hogan and Warrior prevailed, Hogan celebrated with Sid, everything was just dandy.
Over the winter months, there was controversy over the WWF World Championship. Hogan and the Undertaker traded the championship in the span of a week and Jack Tunney declared the championship vacant leading into the Royal Rumble pay per view in January ’92. The 30-man Royal Rumble match would crown a new champion.
In arguably the greatest Rumble match of all-time, Ric Flair won the WWF World Championship. However, the main angle out of the match was that when Hogan was eliminated by Sid, he held onto Sid’s arm to allow Flair to eliminate Sid and win the championship. Hogan looked like a sore loser, and Sid was pissed.
Remember, a lot of people thought that Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan was going to headline WrestleMania VIII on April 5th, 1992. Heck, there was a press conference shortly after the Royal Rumble where Jack Tunney had five challengers on the stage as he was to announce the number one contender to Ric Flair’s championship. Roddy Piper, The Undertaker, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice all sat at the table. Piper was the WWF Intercontinental Champion, Undertaker a former WWF World Champion, Savage was a former champion and had just beaten Jake Roberts in an emotional feud, Hulk Hogan for obvious reasons and Sid Justice because he was the final man in the Rumble.
So, who would Jack Tunney pick? Technically, Piper should have been the number one contender because he was the WWF Intercontinental Champion, but Tunney ended up declaring that Hulk Hogan would challenge Ric Flair for the WWF World Championship at the Hoosier Dome. Sid Justice was livid with that announcement. He went so far to say that it was “the most bogus thing you’ve ever tried to pull” in reference to Jack Tunney! By 1992 standards, that’s a rough statement to say! Sid was confident that he could beat Flair while Hogan couldn’t. Plus, Sid was the last man to be eliminated thanks to Hogan’s help to begin with. Seems like a justifiable complaint, right?
Sid Justice would team with Hulk Hogan to take on WWF World Champion Ric Flair and the Undertaker on a Saturday Night’s Main Event on February 8th, 1992. Weeks prior to the match, Sid had issued a “heartfelt apology” and was playing along as if he was on Hogan’s side. Sid was on Hogan’s side for about eight minutes or so until Sid decided that he hated Hogan just too much and jumped off the apron as Hogan was going for a tag. Brutus Beefcake freaked out about this and nearly got pummeled by Sid. Sid wanted to be the man to end Hulkamania.
Justice would appear the next day on the Barber Shop talk segment hosted by Brutus Beefcake and wreck the set following an interview. Justice also had a new manager around this time by the name of Harvey Whippleman. Sid would have a path of destruction leading into WrestleMania VIII including breaking Virgil’s nose and causing several enhancement talents to be stretchered out of arenas.
Oh, you might be wondering about Hogan’s title shot at WrestleMania VIII. Well, Hogan gave that up because he wanted to get revenge on Sid Justice deeming that more important. Eventually, Randy Savage would be inserted as challenger to Ric Flair and they had a rather personal feud involving Elizabeth leading into the event.
At WrestleMania VIII, Hogan would defeat Sid Justice by disqualification due to Papa Shango getting involved. Shango mistimed his run-in causing Sid to kick out of the leg drop. Hogan would be saved by the Ultimate Warrior, who made his first appearance since SummerSlam ’91. This was all going to setup a feud between Sid and Warrior, but Sid failed a drug test three weeks later and left the company. Hogan wouldn’t wrestle again until WrestleMania IX.
They wouldn’t cross paths again until 1999 when Sid returned to World Championship Wrestling and aligned himself with Randy Savage. On July 19th, 1999 Sid Vicious issued a challenge to Hogan for the WCW World Championship, which Hogan had just won the week prior. Hogan accepted. Prior the match occurring, Sid power bombed Hogan’s friend, business partner and boss, Eric Bischoff. As for the match that main eventide, Hogan won by disqualification when Kevin Nash got involved.
By August 16th, 1999, Sid Vicious had been destroying many WCW wrestlers and often times ruining matches because he wanted to surpass the undefeated streak that Goldberg had managed to get a year prior. So, Hogan decides to save the universe from Sid accepting a title match with Sid for later on in the night. For whatever reason, Hogan won the match not by defeating Sid, but rather by pinning Rick Steiner. Ya know, because WCW was incapable of clean finishes.
For the rest of the ’99, Sid would win the WCW United States Championship, feud with Goldberg, team with Goldberg and then feud with Kevin Nash. By 2000, Sid was the WCW World Champion and feuding with Jeff Jarrett.
The night after Uncensored, Sid teamed with Hulk Hogan to take on Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner on the March 20th, 2000 edition of Nitro. During the bout, it was evident that Sid was annoyed with the popularity that Hogan was receiving even though Sid was the champion. By the end of the match, Sid turned on Hogan. However, the angle was dropped when three weeks later WCW rebooted. As you can see, there was never a definitive settlement between the two wrestlers. It’s also a rarity that Sid was never pinned by Hogan.
What are your memories of the feud between Hulk Hogan and Sid Vicious/Justice?
Thanks for reading.