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Wrestling Rumblings #5 - Wrestleview.com

Wrestling Rumblings #5

Wrestling Rumblings #4
March 6, 2009
By: Jose Marrero of WrestleView.com


It was a little over 22 years ago that I really became a fan of professional wrestling.? While I am sure I might have watched it before it didn?t really have that hold of me. I was too busy playing and watching Major League Baseball after all my favorite team the New York Mets had just come off a spectacular season just winning 108 regular season games which at the time I believe was the 2nd most wins ever in the regular season for a national league team. Of course the post season was full of ups and downs and to this day it is the greatest post season experience I ever had as a fan of the game. So to put it bluntly I wasn?t a Bob Backlund fan or a Jimmy Snuka fan I was a fan of guys like Rickey Henderson and Lenny Dykstra but one angle and one man changed all that for me?.Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan made me a fan of this crazy business and well I haven?t looked back since and as much as I appreciated what the Hulkster gave us over the years it is time to walk away. Hulk don?t come back. No more matches, no more anything just walk away. You are reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
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As I just said it was an angle involving Hulk Hogan that made me a fan of this business. It was the Pipers Pit segment where Andre the Giant tore the cross off of Hogan and pretty much started us on the road to Wrestlemania III. I really can?t say what it was that drew me into the angle but nonetheless it captivated me and I became a devoted Hulkamaniac. At that point in time I didn?t even realize that Hulk was on the tail end of a 4 year run with the title all I knew was ?Say your prayers, take your vitamins, believe in yourself and always give thanks to the man upstairs? and it was all I really needed and when Hulk did the unthinkable and slammed the immovable Giant well he validated everything I felt he stood for. f rom there on out it was Hulk Hogan action figures, T shirts and video games for me and I thought I would ride that ride forever.
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Of course that initial title reign had to come to an end and it was controversial as no one could beat the ?Immortal? Hulk Hogan so Hulk was no longer the champion but he had a shot at regaining the gold in the first ever WWF World Title tournament at Wrestlemania IV and well even though he had the ?Big bad, stinky giant? in his path I wasn?t sweating it. After all he beat the Giant a year ago and in my eyes he proved he could beat him again. Of course we all know Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant would go on to eliminate each other and wrestle to a double count out but good would triumph over evil as the Macho Man Randy Savage would go on to win the tournament with a little help f rom everyone's favorite hero Hulk Hogan. Hulk would later go on to say how everyone could never really accept the new champion and was more focused on him. I have to agree at that point in time me being all of 6 years old I didn?t initially really jump on the Macho Madness bandwagon as my hero was of course the Hulk. Looking back at it in retrospect though how could I accept the new champion and standard bearer when Hulk Hogan in an impromptu move had to make sure he was in the shot with Savage by grabbing the newly minted WWF title and making sure he was the one to hand it to Savage. How could I accept Savage when the closing shot was not of the champion celebrating but of what would later be known as the Mega Powers handshake? Hulk wouldn?t let us forget him and at the time I thought nothing of it.
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Of course Hulk would go on to pretty much shadow Randy everywhere he went under the guise of being his tag team partner in the Mega Powers and the Mega Powers would explode a year later and Hulk would go on to regain the title and all was right in the world for little old Jose. Its funny how much you remember the little things but I remember my idiot mark self posing with the big guy when he won. It felt like we all won and it was one of those moments you don?t forget growing up. Hulk Hogan did what only one other man at that point had done and regained the WWF title (I know Backlund had done that also but it wasn?t generally acknowledged at that time) The Hulkster would go on to adorn baseball cards, lunch boxes, video games and of course more action figures and really cemented himself as not only the biggest wrestling star of the 80's but a pop culture icon as well.
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The good times were not too last though as Hulk's act sort of started to wear a bit thin at this point. How much could you hear ?Whatcha gonna do?? after all? While others started to jump bandwagons to the Ultimate Warrior though I held true; I was going to be a hulkamaniac to the very end. Hulk wound up losing the title to the Warrior it was the first time I ever saw him just lose a match to what appeared to be a better man and I was destroyed and sure enough my lasting memory was of Hulk giving the new champion the title and the theatrics of him leaving. Hulk was again right no one paid attention to the new champion all eyes were on the departing champion and well why wouldn?t they be? All Hulk did was take the new champs spotlight and place it square on himself after all? It never really occurred to me at that point in time that in most cases a champion loses his title and just leaves the ring and why should it? All my hero did was succeeded in getting as much face time as he could. He even wound up on a poster that I had for many years that was a wide shot of the Ultimate Warrior celebrating and pointing to a departing Hogan. I have never nor have I ever since seen such a shot immortalized in that way.
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We could do this all day I could chronicle Hulk's entire career if I really had to but needless to say I am not a Hulkamaniac anymore. I outgrew him and even after his attempts to recreate himself with the N.W.O I really just wanted him to step away but for some reason he wouldn?t, some would say he couldn?t and to this day I still don?t know why. It would appear to me that Hulk would make the cardinal sin of wrestlers?he started to believe that he was really Hulk Hogan. He started to believe the hype and he started to believe that not only was he bigger than wrestling but that wrestling couldn?t do without him. The man who was my hero to me, who inspired my passion in this business slowly eroded his stance with me and replaced my hero with an egotistical glory hog. Point blank he became a mark for himself.
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Still it saddened me later on when he was forced out of WCW the way he was as I felt he deserved better than that. I always envisioned Hulk Hogan getting the kind of send off that Ric Flair received last year but Hulk would keep listening to the chants of ?One more match? and keep giving the people what he wanted. Hulk sometimes fans are just trying to be polite. A wise man once said a good story teller keeps his audience wanting more. You used to be a great story teller but now I have heard your story one time too many. Your quest for the spotlight could not be quenched and you went ahead and subjected your family to your insatiable desire to be seen and noticed. I am not going to pass judgment on Linda, Nick and Brooke. I don?t know them and unlike many of the fans out there I don?t feel it is my place to knock them. Fame does weird things to people and unless you have been in someone else's shoes it is really hard to understand how warped fame can make children become. While Hulk may tell everyone that the Vh1 show was a vehicle for Brooke we all know better it is, was and will always be about Hulk even if the desire to be Hulk Hogan tears Terry Bollea's personal life apart.
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Hulk Hogan should be in a position right now where he is revered by young and older fans alike and instead he is mocked at and ridiculed and why? Because he never truly gave back to the business that made him what he is today. He never stopped and thought about what he could give the business but only about the paydays the business can give him and while on one hand I have no problem with anyone trying to make a buck I do on the other hand have a problem when a icon who should no longer be in the spotlight puts himself there at the expense of others who are more hardworking and deserving than he is.
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Say what you will about HHH but he shouldn?t have had to do the job for Hulk Hogan 7 years ago so that Hulk could get a ?victory lap?. The same goes for Shawn Micheals and Randy Orton what good did it do for any of these men to let Hogan get his victory, what good did it do for the business? None, yet Hulk will still tell you how no one can approach his star power he won?t hesitate to tell you how much the business ?needs? him but do we really? Do we really need a 55 year old bald headed wrestler with bad knees, a bad hip and catch phrases f rom 20 years ago to spike business? I don?t think so.
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I?m not the biggest John Cena fan in the world but I wouldn?t sacrifice John Cena to Hulk Hogan no matter how big Hogan thinks the match will be. Would it really be a big match? Do we really need to see the battle of old hero vs. new hero? We never saw Ali vs. Tyson for a reason. Some things should stay forever debated. Hulk stop politicking for a spot. Stop going on Bubba the Love Sponge and saying how you would give your check to John Graziano and using that poor soul as leverage to keep yourself in the spotlight. Stop putting up blogs saying how you are salivating at the chance to take on Cena or Jericho, just stop it and walk away while you still have some dignity. You once referred to yourself as the ?Babe Ruth of Wrestling? slowly you have degenerated into the Pete Rose of wrestling stop before you do anymore damage. If you want to make an appearance at the Hall of Fame this year by all means do so. You shouldn?t need a payday to do that. Show some respect to those that were your peers who helped make the business what it is today. If you want to come out and every so often participate in something like a promo for an angle like the Legends angle going on right now go for it I have no problem with that but stay out of the ring in a serious angle. The business is not for you anymore. It is for the Ortons, Cena's, and AJ Styles (I had to throw a TNA in there sorry). Let them honor you and celebrate you and not dread your presence as I am sure they do now.
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Let me and others like me remember you as you were. The great hero who never gave up and conquered all and was the spark behind the wrestling boom and not as what you are right now; a greedy, conniving, egomaniac who can?t walk away. Money comes and goes but your legacy?that lasts forever.
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I?m going to wrap it up on that note for this week. As usual if you like the column, hate the column or anything in between you should email me and let me know. Of course you can do that by sending your email to wrestlingrumblings@hotmail.com and of course for those of you who want to see some of the older editions of ?Wrestling Rumblings? including those that you may have missed her on Wrestleview you can do so by going to www.myspace.com/wrestlingrumbling . Next week I will try to do better and of course until then I am out.