Have you caught Hulkamania? It used to be running wild and now remains alive in our minds.....while it's practitioner runs it into the ground.
Just The Facts
- Say Your Prayers
- Eat Your Vitamins
- Suburban Commando
The Early Years
In 1984 many of us became infected. Hogan beat The Iron Shiek for the WWF title and the truly immortal Gorilla Monsoon announced that Hulkamania was here. Suddenly we were all Hulkamaniacs. As the disease grew it went beyond wrestling. Think about it, now you scoff at wrestling, say it's dumb and fake. But at one time we were all captivated. We all wanted to believe in real-live superheroes. Impossibly strong people who dressed up in costumes, fought evil and stood for everything that was right about America. This was our Superhero.
Hogan and one of his arch rivals, Jake "The Little Girl" Armstrong.
In the beginning Hogan was a perfect good guy (or Face), telling us to say our prayers, eat our vitamins, always swim with a buddy...the list goes on. Hulk Hogan only wanted the best for all his little Hulkamaniacs and we, as his Hulkamaniacs, followed him lovingly and with complete admiration. He was a strong, bright mustachioed symbol of pure American goodness.
Indeed he does.
Until 1994 Hogan stuck with the WWF ending out his contract and looking to move on. Yeah there is a lot more history there, but it's mostly summed up by "Men in underpants tried to punch Hogan but he punched a little bit harder. A leg was dropped atomically and everyone clapped. The end."
The Later Years: Hulk Joins The Dark Side
While WWF's fanbase was shrinking, Billionaire Ted Turner's WCW had gained momentum offering an alternative to WWF programming. In 1994 Hogan brought Hulkamania to WCW, but for a million reasons it just didn't fit. His vitamin-shilling antics, and uber Americanness, though very popular in the 80s, in the 90s just looked dated, and silly. The Hulkamaniacs were growing up and "staying in school" and "saying our prayers" just wasn't as appealing as "listening to Nirvana" and "not watching professional wrestling." The people just didn't want a hero like Hulk Hogan anymore. Hulkamania was defeated?
But Hogan was not. A common way of keeping a wrestler fresh is a heel turn; basically a good guy becomes a bad guy (think of how many tag matches end with a partner hitting a partner) in some "unexpected" way. So it was big money for the world's biggest good guy to turn bad. Hogan had to turn on the Hulkamaniacs, and show that he was not a guy in red in yellow tights, he was in fact a bad ass all along. In the video below you can see the transformation occur. The bad guys have beaten Hogan's friend, Macho Man Randy Savage and our aiming to beat him up a little more. Hogan decides to run in, (we assume), to the rescue, but turns on the entire crowd and joins in on the Savage beatdown.
The nWo (New World Order) became a new Hulkamania. This time it was all about being a bad dude....with a bad beard. He renamed himself Hollywood Hogan and the world went along with it. The former hero was now an asshole. The WCW brand marketed the nWo everywhere. People who didn't even follow wrestling had seen the familiar nWo logo, it absolutely took over the world of professional wrestling and bled into pop culture. Hulk Hogan has the distinct honor of being both the world's biggest hero and its biggest villain and two different times in his career. It looked like someone had finally beaten Vince McMahon's WWF.
Eventually, WCW was purchased by the WWF and, even more eventually, Hogan left and joined one of those wrestling federations that no one actually watches or pays attention to, and now he does reality shows on VH1 about having a hot daughter, (we think). And that's...something.
Still, though, that "biggest hero/biggest villain" thing was pretty impressive, right?
"Hogan would deliver steady offense, but eventually lose momentum, seemingly nearing defeat. He would then experience a sudden second wind, fighting back while "feeding" off the energy of the audience, becoming impervious to attack-a process described as "hulking up". His signature maneuvers - pointing at the opponent, shaking his finger to scold him, three punches, an Irish Whip, the big boot and Atomic Leg Drop - would follow and ensure him a victory. That finishing sequence would occasionally change depending on the storyline and opponent; for instance, with larger wrestlers, the sequence might involve a body slam" - Wikipedia
Sounds pretty dry huh. Just naming the moves like that steals the thunder from them. That is dumbing down what's really going on, any Hulkamaniac can tell you Hulking Up is a surefire way to win any fight. Here is what is really going on.
1) Hulk starts feeding off the energy that Hulkamaniacs create....like clapping to believe in fairies. Although he is beaten down, Hulk is getting a second wind. Look at the Rock, even though anyone could tell you Hulk does this, he is shocked. Infused with our energy Hulk unleashes his first painful move....
2) Nobody likes being pointed at. This finger goes into your soul. It asks the question "How could you hit an old man?" That finger is wagging back and forth as if to say "The Tooth Fairy....really?" His opponent stands frozen, preparing to recieve a wrestling attack that could only be delivered by a true master of the craft.....
3) Three punches. Ok, we couldn't find a good picture of the three punches, but they're really strong, trust us. After those punches the opponent is weakend, and easily thrown to the ropes. My god, how much more pain could be inflicted???
4) How big is that boot? That is the biggest boot ever. A boot like that will change your life. A boot like that can lead armies. A boot......ok lots of guys do this move, it's essentially a lazy kick to the face, but Hogan does it.......harder?
5) And finally, the leg drop. After your soul has been pointed at, as you lay there in disbelief, you forget that your throat called a few minutes ago and ordered a full-sized helping of Hogan's sweaty, tanned inner thigh.
Put it all together and it looks like this:
Man, that game sucked.