Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Best of Hulkamania - Video Review

A lot of people (well, two) asked me some time ago "what was the first wrestling video you ever brought?" Well, considering that I've never really been a big fan of the guy, and from what I've written about him in the past, you may find it surprising that the first video I ever brought from anywhere was actually dedicated to Hulk Hogan, mainly because "The Best of Hulkamania" was the only wrestling video available in my local Woolworths in 1990. So now I'm going to take a step back in time to give a review of this tape.

The tape starts with Sean Mooney sitting in the old Events Center, the one where we used to get weekly updates on Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. Sean is basically hyping what's coming up on the video.

The first match features Hogan taking on his perennial foe, "Macho Man" Randy Savage. This was from around the time of Summerslam '89, and the No Holds Barred film, as Hogan had Miss Elizabeth in his corner, while Savage had Sensational Sherri and Zeus, the so-called "Human Wrecking Machine" in his. This was your usual Hogan/Savage battle, featuring tons of interference from Zeus and Sherri. Hogan hulked up after being hit by Sherri's loaded purse, and gained the win in the usual way. Afterwards Zeus attacked Hogan, before his old friend Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake came down to save the day.

Then we move back in time to an older match between Hogan and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. This was certainly better than the Savage bout, with Valentine showing just how good he was in his prime, showing great ring presence and psychology, although the outcome of this match was a bit tame. Valentine battered the hell out of Hogan, and after the Hulkster foiled Valentine's one and only figure four leglock attempt, he quick dispatched the Hammer with his patented leg drop.

Next up we go to early 1989, as Hogan takes on the Big Boss Man in a steel cage match. This was shortly before Hogan regained the WWF title from Savage at Wrestlemania V. An entertaining brawl here, with the main talking point being Hogan super-plexing the Boss Man off the top of the cage. Younger fans may find it hard to believe that Hogan took a bump off the top rope. Well, he actually did it twice in this match. These two literally kicked the crap out of each other, and Hogan won the bout by handcuffing the Boss Man to the ropes as he climbed over the cage for the win.

Then we go back to 1987, and Hog's bout with Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania III. A lot of people are highly critical of this match, but it seems that they fail to realize that Andre had major back surgery just a few months before, and was, for all intents and purposes, living on borrowed time because of his medical condition. This is probably my second favourite Hogan match of the 80's. Of course, Hogan won the bout after body slamming the giant, and finishing him off with the leg drop.

In conclusion - this hour long tribute to Hulk Hogan serves it's purpose, although the absence of his match with Savage from Wrestlemania V kind of detracts from the "Best of Hulkamania" title a little.

Production wise, well, this is a WWF video, so I can't fault it there. The commentary, handled at various times by Tony Schivane, Alfred Hayes, Sean Mooney, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura was hit and miss at times, depending on which match you were watching.

If you're a true Hulkamaniac, then this is a tape for you, if it's still available from Silvervision that is.

Match of the tape goes to the Andre The Giant match. Just try and suspend your belief for a while. You might actually find this bout entertaining.