WWF Hulkamania IV
Written by: Matt Peddycord
I stumbled upon this at a local used bookstore and snagged it for only two bucks. This video was released November 1989, and really plays up the “No Holds Barred” movie which is deemed a box office hit. Sure, it only made $16M, but who’s counting.
First off, they show the beginning of Hulkamania at Madison Square Garden as Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik on January 23, 1984, to win the WWF title. We go from there to this…
Hulk Hogan (w/Elizabeth) vs. Bad News Brown – (Saturday Night’s Main Event #20 – taped 2/16/89)
From my SNME #20 review. Bad News has been spreading nasty rumors about Elizabeth, saying that she had been doing “favors” for WWF “President” Jack Tunney for special treatment. I love how Jesse is like, “This is something I have long suspected.” All of that was to get a title shot, but since Savage has gone COMPLETELY nuts (turned heel) and doesn’t care to defend Elizabeth’s honor, Hogan says he’s going to do it instead. Having Elizabeth in Hulk’s corner makes you think, “Well, now we know whose corner she’ll be in at ‘Mania.” Is that so, hypothetical person? “Yeah, I think so.” Guess you’ll have to wait and find out. Back and forth brawl to start. Hogan hits the Big Boot early on, but doesn’t cover and pays for it with a headbutt from Brown. Bad News charges into a boot in the corner as they head out to the floor. Bad News looks to waffle Hulk with a chair, but Hogan blocks it and slams the face back in his face. Haha, Bad News NO-SELLS it and beats himself in the face with the chair a couple times, because he’s bad news. Hogan gets back in the ring, but Bad News is busy looking for something underneath the ring. When he doesn’t find it, he tells Marella and Hogan that he’ll be right back! He comes from the back with what appears to be a metal snow shovel. I can’t really tell, but it has a long broomstick attached to it. Hogan easily blocks whatever Bad News had in mind for that and they head back in the ring. Well, that went NOWHERE. Hulk whips Bad News into the corner, but Brown explodes out with a clothesline. Bad News connects with a leg drop for two. When Hogan tries to stand up, Bad News KICKS Hulk square in the knee to send him rolling out to the floor. Bad News follows him out and starts to chase Elizabeth around the ring, but Hogan stops that with a punch. Bad News comes back and sends Hogan into the ringpost. Back in, Bad News delivers a Russian legsweep for 1-2-NO! Bad News continues the punishment on Hulk and grabs a mic to degrade the Hulkster. “You think I’m going to give you some mercy? No way. It’s Ghetto Blaster time, fool.” He comes off the ropes for the GHETTO BLASTER (running enziguri), but Hogan ducks out of the way! Hogan HULKS UP. He connects with a running knee to set up the LEG DROP for the win. (9:54) The Hogan beatdown was fun even though he came back and won it with two stinking moves. Hogan & Liz celebrate with STEREO CUPPING OF THE EARS. **
Hercules and Tito Santana talk about how Hulk Hogan is a great role model for all the kids out there.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ted DiBiase – Lumberjack Match – (taped 3/12/88)
This is right after DiBiase and Andre screwed Hulk out of the WWF title a few weeks prior on The Main Event. Hogan runs DiBiase from corner to corner to start. DiBiase rolls out to the face lumberjacks (Brutus Beefcake, SD Jones, Koko B. Ware, and masked Killer Bees) and gets pushed back into the ring. Hogan meets him with a clothesline and a pair of elbows. DiBiase now gets thrown out to the face lumberjacks and gets shoved back in again. Hogan delivers the running corner clothesline and then an atomic drop sends DiBiase out to the heel lumberjacks (Virgil, Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo, Johnny V, Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov). They try and help DiBiase, but the faces come by and make sure DiBiase gets in the ring. Hogan pounds away and chokes him with his wrist tape. There’s your role model right there, folks. Hogan hits the Big Boot and DiBiase’s out to the floor again. Hogan comes out to grab DiBiase, but the Killer Bees start beating down the Hulkster. Remember, they’re wearing face masks so it’s obviously not them. Back in, DiBiase controls with elbow drops for two. Hogan starts to HULK UP! Big Boot follows, but he’s tripped up by those fake Bees as he goes for the LEGDROP. Meanwhile, DiBiase climbs up top, but Hogan sees him and slams him down for the LEG DROP to get the win. (6:05) The fake Bees attack afterwards. Hogan fights them off and gets one of them to himself to try and unmask him, but the Bee had on another mask underneath. Really one-sided match here. *
Hulk Hogan vs. Big Bossman (w/Slick) – Cage Match – (taped 3/18/89)
Wow, Bossman has pit stains before the match even begins. This is not the Hogan/Bossman cage match that is more well known from SNME, although the two are very similar. Hogan controls early and hits the Big Boot. He follows up with a vertical suplex and starts to climb out, but Bossman is there. He takes over with a headbutt and tries to climb out now, but Hogan follows him up. Hogan chops and punches on him, but Bossman puts Hogan back on the mat with a headbutt. Bossman climbs over the cage wall, but takes too long to crawl down as Hogan pulls Bossman back up the cage wall. Hogan grabs hold of him and gives Bossman a SUPERPLEX back in the cage! That’s such a great spot. Bossman is bladed, by the way. Both men are out cold. Finally, a ref comes in the cage to put the count on both men. Hogan sits up at the nine-count. Hogan crawls for the door, but Bossman grabs his foot and yanks him back in by his tights. Hogan rakes away at Bossman’s eyes and then bites on his cut, but then runs into a spinebuster. Bossman whips out a chain and chokes on Hogan. Slick tosses in another chain for Bossman to wrap around his fist, but Hogan blocks. Next, they send each other face-first into the cage. Hogan’s back up first and tries to climb out again, but Bossman brings him down and gives him a headbutt. Hogan goes to the eyes again and slams Bossman. He grabs a chain and decks Bossman with it wrapped around his fist. Hogan sends Bossman back and forth into the cage and then hits the LEG DROP. Hogan ascends the cage wall, but Slick is in the cage now to grab Hogan’s foot. Slick gets kicked away and Bossman is crotched on the top rope. Hogan handcuffs Bossman to the middle rope and then crawls out the cage to win the match. (11:14) Slick unlocks the cuffs, so it’s too late. Hogan goes ballistic afterwards and tosses a chair in Bossman’s face and then beats down Slick. Seriously, it’s basically the same match as the SNME one. Not that it’s a bad thing. **½
We take a break from the ‘rasslin world to witness Hulk Hogan being honored at a New York City elementary school. Oh wow, a bunch of kids sing “That’s What Friends Are For” to Hulk in quite an awkward moment.
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) – (Saturday Night’s Main Event #22 – taped 7/18/89)
From my SNME #22 review. Honky’s nothing more than the “challenger of the month” here. Honky tries to take a whack at Hogan with his GEETAR down on the floor, but Hogan yanks him out of the ring and beats him up the entrance way. Jimmy Hart leaps on Hogan’s back, so Hogan walks Jimmy into the ring and rams the little guy in the corner. Honky follows suit, but gets nailed all over the ring. Hogan delivers an atomic drop for Honky to do his oversell. Now Hogan can rip off his t-shirt! Next up, Jimmy gets pulled into the ring for a DOUBLE-NOGGIN KNOCKER! Hulk chases Honky out to the floor while Jimmy comes around the corner and KABONGS Hogan in the back. Honky brings Hogan into the ring and starts working on the Hulk’s back. Hogan stands up out of a rear chinlock and drives Honky face-first into the turnbuckle, but Honky comes back with a clothesline. Honky sets up for the SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL (swinging neckbreaker) and delivers! Honky decides to dance rather than make a quick cover. When he does finally cover, it’s HULK-UP TIME! Hogan hits three of his signature punches and then Big Boots Honky out to the floor. Hulk grabs the GEETAR and nails both Jimmy and Honky, and then tosses Honky in the ring for the LEG DROP to finish. (6:15) A Hogan formula-type match in every sense of the definition. “Rugged Referee” Ron Garvin gets in the ring to celebrate with the Hulkster in a bizarre moment. ½*
Hulk Hogan vs. King Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) – (taped 8/2/88)
This is one of those CHV exclusives that was taped during a series of Wrestling Challenge tapings. Haku controls to start with chops and chokes in the corner. He misses a charge and Hogan puts him down with a slam. Heenan gets nailed on the apron and Haku rolls out for a breather. Back in, Haku pulls on Hogan’s hair to regain the advantage. Haku grabs a wristlock, but Hogan powers out and yanks Haku’s hair to break the hold. An eye for an eye, right? Haku tries a kick, but Hogan blocks and delivers an atomic drop. Hogan follows up with a slam, but misses the elbow drop. Haku grabs a nerve hold for a bit. Hogan begins to stand up out of it, but Haku powers him down with a slam for two. Back to the nerve hold. Hogan escapes again, but he’s nailed with a crescent kick for 1-2-NO! It’s HULK UP time. Big Boot, LEG DROP, and it’s done. (8:53) They were just going through the motions here. *
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (w/Bobby Heenan) – (WrestleMania 3 – 3/29/87)
This was on Hulkamania 3 as well, so I guess they just had to put it on here too. From my WrestleMania 3 review. HUGE staredown to start. Hulk fires away and goes for a slam, but Andre falls on top for a CLOSE near-fall. Andre pounds on Hogan’s back and then slams Hulk down to the mat. Andre picks Hogan up and slams him down again. Andre then decides to walk across Hogan’s lower back while the crowd chants “Hogan”. Andre whips Hulk from corner-to-corner to set up for the Big Thump. Andre tries a headbutt in the corner, but Hogan moves out of the way and Andre hits turnbuckle. Hogan staggers Andre back into the corner with a stick-and-move strategy. He rams Andre’s head into the buckle TEN times, which had probably never been done at that point. Hogan charges in the corner, but Andre catches him with a boot. BIG chop from Andre sets up a bearhug, which lasts for nearly three minutes. Hogan punches out and connects with two shoulderblocks, but Andre drops him with another big chop. Andre boots Hulk out to ringside and tries to headbutt him up against the ringpost, but Hogan moves out of the way of that as well. You’d think he would’ve learned from the last time. Hogan begins to fight dirty by lifting up the protective mat around ringside to try and give Andre a piledriver on the exposed floor. What was he thinking? Andre easily backdrops out of that before they head back into the ring. Andre tries to boot Hogan again, but he avoids it and takes Andre off his feet with a clothesline. He HULKS up and slams Andre to cause the biggest pop EVER. Hulk comes off the ropes and delivers the LEG DROP for the biggest win of his career. (12:00) Okay, so maybe the three-count caused the biggest pop ever. This was a definitely a case where the build and the anticipation overshadowed the actual in-ring work, so you don’t really care that the match was terrible because of the emotional connection with the wrestlers. ½*
Next up, we catch a behind the scenes look at the making of “No Holds Barred”. The actors talk about how Hulk is the nicest guy on the planet and then talk about Zeus being a bad person.
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan (w/Elizabeth) vs. Randy Savage (w/Sherri & Zeus) – (taped 8/9/89)
We end the tape a few weeks before the big Hogan/Zeus showdown at SummerSlam. Sherri distracts Hulk to start, allowing Savage to nail him with a top-rope double-ax handle. They stomp Hogan down to the mat, but then Hulk clears Savage out of the ring. He goes after Sherri, but Savage makes the save. Zeus meets Hogan on the floor and NO-SELLS everything so Hogan gives up on that. Back in, Hogan controls with clotheslines. Sherri causes more distractions, so Savage knees Hogan out to the floor for Zeus to throw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Back in, Savage delivers another flying double-ax for two. Savage puts on a near three-minute long chinlock until Hogan finally elbows out. He starts his comeback, but Sherri trips him up as he comes off the ropes. Hogan grabs at Sherri on the floor, which allows Savage to catch him with the Bossman straddle. He follows up with the running hot shot and then grabs Sherri’s loaded purse! While the ref is with Sherri, Savage comes off the top and nails Hogan with it. He covers for 1-2-NO! Hogan HULKS UP and fires back on Savage. Before he goes to finish him off, he brings Savage over for Elizabeth to slap him. The LEG DROP wins it. (8:03) Naturally, Hogan and Liz beat up Sherri afterwards. Zeus attacks, but Beefcake makes the save for a double-slam on Zeus. Definitely not their best, but it closes the tape appropriately. *
Final Thoughts: I had never seen a Hogan/DiBiase match during this era, so that was pretty cool to see. The Hogan/Bossman cage match was definitely the highlight of the tape, but most everything else was just kind of there. If you can find it for cheap like I did though, go ahead and grab it.