A History Of Hulk Hogan’s Backstage Politicking

July 11, 2017 | 4 Comments » | Topics: Sports

Here is a list of reasons as to why many people in the wrestling industry don’t have many good things to say about The Hulkster.

1985 – Would Hogan be willing to work a program with Rick Steamboat if Steamboat agreed to turn heel? No. Give him Big John Studd instead.

1986 – Hogan-Savage is tentatively planned for WM 2, after the two had feuded in house shows which Savage had won by DQ or countout. Hogan nixes the idea of facing the dynamic, atheltic Savage at ‘Mania, even though he would be booked to win. Hogan handpicks King Kong Bundy to embarass in a cage match. Savage wrestles George Steele far down the undercard.

1986 – Hogan agrees to work with Paul Orndorff, but won’t do the job to him. Hogan agrees only because he is guaranteed a win at a huge event. He defeats Orndorff in a cage match on SNME to end the feud.

1987 – Hogan again turns down the idea of feuding with Savage; but suggests turning him face, so Hogan can step aside for awhile, film a movie and get some needed rest. Savage turns face that summer.

1988 – Hogan agrees to “drop” the belt to Andre, but only under questionable circumstances to preserve his character. Hogan agrees to “give the rub” to Savage at WM IV. Hogan only agrees because he is promised he will get the title back at WM 5.

1988 – Six months later, as Savage is having a successful run, Hogan suggests putting them together as a team “Mega Powers” and they headline Summerslam. Hogan is no longer the champion – but still in the main event.

1989 – Hogan finally meets Savage at Wrestlemania V. Hogan beats him for the title. Rather than face Savage in the anticipated rematch at Summerslam, or a program with Rick Rude as creative suggests – Hogan decides to go a different route. Hogan suggests a tag team match, pitting himself and his close friend Brutus Beefcake, against Savage and an ACTOR, Tiny Lister who played Zeus in the Hogan film “No Holds Barred”. The film opened that summer to decent business, so Hogan uses a WWE PPV to promote the film, while “giving the rub” to his friend Beefcake.

1990 – Hogan agrees to drop the belt to Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania. Only with a guarantee of an extended break and the promise he would get the title back. A month after ‘Mania, Hogan is “attacked” by Earthquake and off TV for a few months. After teasing retirement on TV, Hogan returns at Summerslam as “Immortal” and vanquishes his good friend John Tenta (Earthquake).

1990 – To preserve the Warrior character, creative decides he will drop the title to someone OTHER than Hogan. Despite the allure of a Hogan/Warrior rematch – Randy Savage is rumored to be the man Warrior will drop the belt to at Royal Rumble ’91. Hogan suggests Sgt Slaughter. Slaughter has just returned as an “Iraqi sympathizer” and Hogan pushes for Slaughter to beat Warrior, then he can beat Slaughter to regain the belt.

1991 – Hogan defeats Slaughter a few months after “Desert Storm” starts. He waves his flag and defeats the Iraqi villan at Wrestlemania. After headlining Wrestlemania for the past two years, Savage and Warrior are reduced to the undercard.

1991 – Hogan again decides against a rematch with Warrior at Summerslam, and suggests they team together against Slaughter & The Iron Shiek. Six months after he had beaten Slaughter for the belt, he feels the feud is not over and that fans will tune in to watch him team with Warrior against “the enemy”.

1991 – Hogan agrees to drop the title to Undertaker, but refuses to do a clean job to him. Ric Flair interferes in the match with a chair and ‘Taker gets the win.

1992 – McMahon decides that Flair will win the title at Royal Rumble, then drop the title to Hogan in a “dream match” at Wrestlemania VIII. Hogan decides he wants to take another extended break after ‘Mania. He suggests Flair drop the title to Savage instead and he can work with Sid Vicious and “give him the rub”. Despite the fact that Flair/Savage is the WWE Title match, it is placed in the middle of the show. Hogan and the lumbering Sid Vicious close the show. The first time the WWE Champion has not been in the main event of Wrestlemania.

1993 – Hogan agrees to return to team with Brutus Beefcake against Money Inc. at Wrestlemania and it appears to be the first time he will NOT be in the main event. When Hogan learns that WWE Champion Bret Hart is scheduled to drop the title to Yokozuna, he informs McMahon that this will be the first Wrestlemania that a face doesn’t win the main event and the “people aren’t gonna like it”. Hogan suggests “surprising” the audience by challenging Yoko immediately afterward and beating him to win the WWE Title. Vince McMahon agees. Hogan beats Yoko to regain the title.

1993 – McMahon and WWE creative suggests Hogan and Bret Hart engage in a face vs face match at Summerslam that will see Hogan “pass the torch” to Hart and drop the title. Hogan turned the idea down, and agreed to drop the title back to Yokozuna, who in turn would drop it to Hart at SS. Some critics believe, however, that Hogan simply didn’t want to drop the title to the new flagship of the company. Hogan drops the belt to Yoko at KOTR (but doesn’t drop it cleanly), while WWE goes with the failed Lex Luger “US Express” idea. Hogan leaves WWE two months later and does not appear at Summerslam.

1994 – Hogan signs with WCW after being courted by Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff. Hogan insisted on “complete creative control” over the Hulk Hogan character and a certain perrcentage of EACH PPV TOTAL REVENUE.

1994 – A three match series is planned with Hogan/Flair. Hogan would win the first, Flair would regain it and Hogan would win the finale. All parties agree. Hogan wins the WCW World Title from Ric Flair in his first match back in a year. When the time comes for Flair to regain the title, Hogan refuses, saying the fans “weren’t ready for him to drop it”.
Flair later admits in his book, that fans were already booing Hogan at shows, but that WCW was dubbing in a “cheering crowd soundtrack”. The subsequent PPVs featuring Flair/Hogan fail to sell.

1994 – Hogan negotiates for former WWE stars and Hogan allies Brutus Beefcake, Earthquake and Typhoon to join WCW. Creative suggests Hogan face Sting in a face vs face “dream match” at Starrcade. Hogan decides it makes better sense for him to face Beefcake as the heel, “The Butcher”. The PPV flops.

1995 – Hogan convinces Randy Savage to leave WWE and join WCW. Instead of starting a feud between the two former WWE Champions, Hogan insists on teaming with Savage against Kevin Sullivan and his 3 Faces of Fear.

1995 – Hogan agrees to work with Vader, but the program soon falls apart when both acuse the other of “not selling for the other”. Fans are steadily losing interest in WCW. The company begins to falter seriously, as executives point at the Hogan contract and “creative control” agreement as being a main culprit. Hogan takes extended time off – but remains the highest paid man on the roster.

1996 – With WCW desperate to compete with WWE, WCW signs Hall and Nash and plot the NWO angle. Hogan is booked to turn heel and he agrees. The angle is a smash. Within weeks, Hogan wins the World Title from The Giant. Instead of milking fresh matchups as a heel, Hogan decides that WCW should bring in Roddy Piper. Despite the possibility of a Starrcade matchup with Lex Luger or The Giant – Hogan faces Piper in a cage match in the main event. Hogan puts over Piper via the sleeperhold, in a NON-TITLE match.

1997 – Hogan feuds with Piper and Savage, while turning down suggestions he put over Luger or Diamind Dallas Page for the title. He appears weekly, but rarely wrestles on TV, while still remaining the highest paid star in WCW.

1997 – In his much hyped Starrcade match with Sting, it was decided that Hogan would beat Sting after an alleged “fast count” by referee Nick Patrick. WCW’s newly contracted Bret Hart would accuse Patrick and have the match restarted with Sting winning by submission. Hogan reportedly paid off referee Patrick, to count normally and make it look like Hogan had pinned Sting cleanly. When this DID happen, the planned finish played out – but fans booed because it was clearly botched and made Sting look bad.

1998 – Hogan agreed to put over Goldberg cleanly on Nitro, but with the condition that Karl Malone & DDP get involved to prompt a Hogan/Dennis Rodman team to debut on PPV at Bash At The Beach. Hogan promoted the match on “The Tonight Show” and later teamed with Bischoff against DDP and Jay Leno HIMSELF! The Hogan celebrity tag team matches stole all the attention while WCW Champion Goldberg was all but ignored.

1999 – After six months without the title, and still being the top guy, Hogan regained the title from Kevin Nash in the “Fingerpoke of Doom” incident. Openly flaunting his creative control clause. He would lose the title, but not cleanly to Ric Flair. When the NWO angle began to lose serious steam, Hogan turned face again. Randy Savage had recently turned heel and regained the WCW Title. Once again, this time conviently as a face, Hogan defeated Savage to regain the title. Despite having names like Hart, Luger and Sting to work with Savage – the title went baclk to Hogan. At his request.

2000 – Hogan begins feuding with WCW booker Vince Russo over how he’s being used. Russo wanted to push younger stars and to appease Russo only, Hogan worked with young Billy Kidman. When a WCW Title match with Jeff Jarrett was booked, Russo had Jarrett winning. Hogan refused, because his contract with WCW was almost up and he feared Russo wouldn’t use him on future PPV events. Meaning Hogan would lose out on serious cash.
Russo pulled a swerve on Hogan by having Jarrett lay down for him intentionally. Hogan did so, winning the belt – then was immeditaely stripped of it. Hogan was never seen in WCW again.

2002 – Hogan accepts an offer to return to WWE and reunite the original NWO, with the understanding he would be in a featured match with The Rock at Wrestlemania X8. Hogan scored a huge deal from WWE, and agreed to put over The Rock. He suggests they close the show as he felt “they had drawn the crowd” – but McMahon and specifically Triple H refuse to put the WWE Title match in a secondary role. Hogan is later booked to win the title from Triple H, but is dissapointed when it comes with the condition he drop it to Undertaker a month later. After being booked to lose to Kurt Angle at KOTR 2002, Hogan decided he needed time off again. Despite only having been back for all of four months. Hogan is convinced to stay long enough to get in a quick tag team championship win with Edge. He is then asked to put over Brock Lesnar, which he does. He is dissatisfied with his role, because he isn’t be portrayed the way “he thought he would”. He takes another “extended brea” after the Lesnar match.

2003 – He returns at the request of Vince McMahon and the promise of a big Wrestlemania payday. Their street fight is a featured match on the card. With the WWE Title now revolving around much younger wrestlers, Hogan is frustrated by Creatives decision to book him in a secondary role on Smackdown and he leaves WWE again.

2004 – Hogan is openly courted by TNA Wrestling, but the deal hits a snag when Hogan was reportedly told he would have to put over Jarrett at some point. Hogan begins to complain of “knee problems” as the deal falls apart.

2005 – Hogan is inducted into the Hall of Fame, and agrees to the idea of a Hogan/Shawn Michaels match at Summerslam. McMahon proposes two matches, with each winning one. Hogan agrees. After spending all of his comeback as a face, HBK agrees to turn heel to sell the match. Michaels carries a clearly laboring Hogan through a decent match at Summerslam, and HBK does the clean job to Hogan. The second match in the series is called off, when Hogan began to complain “his knee was acting up again”. Hence, the Hogan win over HBK stands as their one and only meeting.

2005 – Hogan proposes the”Dream Match” scenario of Hogan vs Steve Austin to WWE Creative for Wrestlemania. Austin says no – citing the HBK scenario at Summerslam. He refuses to put Hogan over.

2006 – Hogan is asked to appear at Summerslam and face Randy Orton. He agrees with the rumoured condition that WWE pushes his daughter Brooke’s debut CD. Instead of putting over “The Legend Killer”, Hogan flexes his “creative control”. Despite being 53 at the time, having wrestled one match in over a year, and bad knees, Hogan defeats the 26 year old former World Champion via clean pinfall.