Wrestling’s Greatest Feuds – Warrior v. Hogan – Part II
Dig it! As we last left off, War Games came and went. The Warrior teleported into the ring, then teleported out, then was locked in and had to rip apart the very fierce fence. Could it get worse, we all thought? Oooh, you bet.
Later on a following Nitro, Hogan was in a dressing room, looking for Leslie [The Disciple]. It was probably gimmick change time and he had a good one that crossed an astronaut and a lawn-mower.
They walk in, Hogan says “Where are you man, you idiot!” and Bischoff looks around with some Waldo esq interest, they banter for a minute about having just seen him, when Hogan slams on the table in frustration….then, then it happens. Warrior appears in the mirror! Tony clearly says “fuck”, marking the only time in his 20 some odd year career as an announcer he ever said anything interesting or cool. Zonka says “he’s in the wall!” clearly stating he can see him, Heenan says “he’s in the mirror” clearly stating he can see him. Hogan screams “ok brother, I get it, I get the game, I got the number” clearly stating that he can see him. The crowd pops, clearly stating that they can see him. Bischoff sits there and says “what? Hogan, what? Why are you so excited? What?” clearly stating that he’s bat-shit crazy. This goes on for a minute or so. Bischoff clearly stares RIGHT at the mirror and just goes on “Who you talking to?” to which Hogan says “The Warrior! Look!” and Bischoff says “LOOK AT WHAT?! LOOK AT WHAT?!” Hell, even watching this 10 years later makes me wonder if I’m even seeing the things I do. The Warrior eventually disappears, yet Hogan is still screaming at the mirror, and claiming he can see him. The adults who allowed this to be filmed, and shown on national TV were then allowed to drive cars, spend money, and raise children.
I…..I just don’t know who the hell is supposed to be crazy here. I could sure tell you who’s stupid though.
And speaking of stupid, this was all to lead to Warrior fulfilling his destiny. What’s his destiny you ask? To beat Hogan? Nope. He already said he wasn’t here to do that, as he already had. To start a revolution called the oWn? Nope. Already did that. Nope, his destiny is to beat Hogan. So this all leads to Halloween Havoc ’98, where soon logs would roll, and fireballs would fly. Because I suffer for my art, I’ll give the one and only match review in which I do play-by-play.
Match: Hulk Hogan vs. The Warrior
Place: WCW’s Halloween Havoc – October 25th, 1998
Company: World Championship Wrestling
‘The return match the whole world has been waiting a whole decade for, is out our doorsteps!’ utters Schiavone.
A decade is 10 years. Half a second later, the ring announcers tells us this match is 8 years in the making.
Hogan’s music starts as the Jimi Hendrix tune, Voodoo Child [Chille? Chillie?], but then a quarter of the way through it, it just stops and goes into the original nWo music. More Warrior head-games I’m sure. I’m also sure he was behind Regal’s musical rib during that match in Europe. As he makes his way to the ring, we get a recap from last week’s Nitro where Hogan hits his nephew with a chair, and Tony tells us it’s something that’s as vicious as anything we’ve seen in pro-wrestling. It’s true, when I first saw the act I wondered how WCW was allowed to air Terry Funk vs Mick Foley – King of the Deathmatch.
It’s Warrior Time, baby! Wow, he’s breathing like he ran to the arena. Wouldn’t surprise me, to be honest.
WCW: Warrior, we’ve arranged a car to take you to the arena.
Warrior: A car? What is a car, more than a vessel to take you to places, where’s I, I am the same! Hop on my back and I’ll piggy-back you to the arena!
At this point he rushes off to the sound of him going “wooooosh”.
They talk about how great their respective builds are, and how that makes them two of the greatest of all time. Sure.
Warrior starts the match with a punch. They circle, collar and elbow tie up leads to Hogan kneeing the Warrior in the mid-section, then dropping about twenty fore-arms to the back. Twists the arm 3 times. Then Warrior twists the arm and Hogan sells it like Warrior ripped his arm off and beat him in an arm-wrestling contest with it. After this Hogan drops out of the ring, and walks around to calm down. Back in. Warrior wants a test of strength. So after he begs him for a test of strength, they collar and elbow. To the corner, Hogan rocks a bunch of forearms, a bunch of clumsy mish-mash and Hogan gets a choke or something like it, then drops the boots a couple of times. He grabs Warrior’s arm and bends it up above the turnbuckle, then drags him out for a test of strength. Stomps the mid-section of the Warrior a couple more times. They’re basically intentionally recreating their famous test-of-strength from WM6. Warrior mounts the comeback, Hogan kicks him and sends him back to his knees. Hogan laughs like a villain. Warrior back up. Arm twist again. Warrior reverses it. Hogan whips him, then Hogan runs the ropes with a criss-cross. Hogan stops and body-slams him. Warrior gets right back up from this bomb-shell and does the same. Then sends him outside with a clumsy clothesline and Hogan acts like death is at his door. Warrior follows. Face smash to the guard-rail. Hogan rakes the eyes. Smashes Warrior’s face on the rail. Warrior smashes Hogan’s face on the rail. Warrior then smashes Hogan’s face on the turnbuckle pole. Back in. Warrior goes for a clothesline, Hogan ducks it, comes back with one of his own, Warrior drops, Hogan hits the ref. Then drops a knee on him, whoops. Hogan slugs Warrior, and ties him up in the ropes. Pulls him out and calls for some help. Here comes the Giant. Hogan holds Warrior, Giant comes in, rocks the boot, hits Hogan. Warrior follows with a clothesline and out goes Giant. He hits the rest of the nWo, and they scoured. Goes for a pin, but there isn’t a ref. He goes to wake him up, only to get a Hogan forearm to the back for his efforts. Then he puts Warrior’s arm over his head, as if to back-suplex him, but then just sits there for like, 2 seconds. As if both dudes were so winded from this crap that they couldn’t even execute the most simplest of moves. But that couldn’t be. Hogan rocks the impossible-plex and goes for the pin. Warrior manages to kick-out. Hogan then drives the knees into Warrior’s back. He picks him up, and kinda punches him, then chokes him. Backs off. Hogan takes the belt off and starts to whip Warrior. Who flails around the ring like he’s being electrocuted and accidentally kicks the ref. It’s damn funny to see. He chokes Warrior. The ref pulls him off. Hogan fish-hooks him. Back in the middle, a body slam. Hogan misses an elbow. Goes for it again, Warrior rolls out of the way, Hogan gets back up only to find the Warrior isn’t the Warrior anymore! But a log of sheer rolling destruction. The Log comes at Hogan at a break-neck speed, and instead of stepping to the left, or the right, the Log takes out Hogan’s feet. Sorta. Hogan stumbles. Tony saves the day by calling it a rolling block. Flair and Steamboat get the itch. Back up. Warrior clubs Hogan, sending him to the ground. Tries the splash, misses it. Hogan picks him back up, they trade blows, and Hogan stumbles and falls. Warrior takes off Hogan’s belt, and it’s odd-looking. He whips Hogan. Warrior makes a fist out of the belt and slugs Hogan. Back up, Hogan pulls out a baggie with like a hundred things in it. He throws paper at the Warrior, who deflects it, thank God. The flash paper then lights up in Hogan’s hand. Warrior slugs Hogan, then goes to the corner to investigate. He stomps out Hogan’s little scheme and takes him back to the middle of the ring. At this point, you can audibly hear Warrior say to Hogan “you’re fucking it up”. Yup. That botched fireball really did it. Warrior goes up, hits Hogan with a double ax-handle, but only gets one fist. Tries it again, but just ends up patting Hogan on the head. Hogan low-blows Warrior, hits a weak clothesline, and rocks the leg-drop. Here comes Horace. With no stitches. Hogan misses the second leg-drop. Warrior hulks-up. Hogan can’t stop it. Three clotheslines and Hogan’s down. Bischoff comes over and gets the ref in a head-lock. Horace is slower than all-hell and Bischoff holds the ref for about 10 times longer than expected. Horace is ready to give Hogan the receipt. But instead hits Warrior with the WEAKEST…I repeat….the WEAKEST chair shot to the center of Warrior’s back. I mean, the center of his back. Tony screams that Warrior got blasted in the back of the head. Might as well have, because Warrior sells it like he got blasted with a shot-gun. We get the 1….we get the 2….we get the 3. My goodness. Well, at least the ridiculousness is over…..oh no wait. They douse Warrior in lighter-fluid, and attempt to murder him in the middle of the ring. No such luck. Office heads come in and muck the plan up.
Bish’ says he agrees with the critics, in that it’s one of the worst matches ever. That Hulk is one of the most entertaining, and charismatic performers he’s ever seen, but when it comes to wrestling he has a certain style. If you compliment it, then things can happen. However, Warrior couldn’t compliment a damn thing. Hogan takes blame for the fireball idea. Stating that Warrior’s character was so off the wall, that he needed to do something like this. The idea was for Warrior to make a blind come back. Well, the lighter wouldn’t work at first, then when it did, it burnt off his eye brows, and a good portion of his facial hair.
Mean Gene states that the timing was so off, he was surprised they didn’t just re-start the match.
So Warrior, after a near death experience, comes back on Nitro to deliver this;
WCW’s Monday Nitro – 10.26.1998
Warrior: Last night, Hogan, you had the opportunity to face the challenge, like a man! And you failed! Last night, Hogan, you had the opportunity to set a fire, with but one match, what will now haunt you forever! You see, Hogan, there’s a difference between beating someone up, and genuinely having beat a man. And the whole world of warriors knows, I beat the hell out of you last night! And the bullshit pin-fall, doesn’t change it! You, have opened a door, to the Warrior’s hell! And I, am it’s gatekeeper! The time is near, same Warrior time, same Warrior place, same Warrior channel!
To which Hogan then comes down, and looks to enter. But Horace won’t let him get in. They don’t want him to get in. None of us do. Horace goes in, and takes a couple of Warrior’s HUGE swinging punches. Seriously, he could paint a house in 2 minutes with how wide he swings his punches. The Giant misses with a clothesline and a big boot, then he’s sent out. Hogan comes in, gets a couple punches, Warrior ducks it and hits Hogan in the shin with a flying shoulder block.
Tenay: That’s way you jump-start a revolution in pro-wrestling!
Is it, Mike? By getting beat, coming out and saying there’s a difference in beating someone up, and beating someone, and saying you beat the hell outta someone, and the fact they beat you doesn’t change that they beat….so, wait, where was I? That’s right, stay outta my booze, boy.
After that, they had a match about a week later that was Warrior & Sting vs. Hogan & Bret. Warrior did absolutely nothing but stand there with his stupid jacket on, and that was it. After this, he vanished like so many unfortunate smoky-haze-induced Nitros. Some say it was contract disputes or something, but what’s to dispute? He got a million dollars to do this. Yes, they paid a man 1 million dollars for that.
Hogan says despite all this, they wanted to do something long-term. Such as storylines, merchandise, and all the fun-stuff that comes with pro-wrestling. However, Warrior was asking for some Hogan type money. Sure, Hulk doesn’t say that, but it’s basically what he means. Plus, people knew his reputation for not delivering. So, they told him to turn into a puff of smoke and vanish up his own ass. Well, those weren’t the exact words, but it would have been cool if they were.
In the end, 1 million dollars brought us two of the worst matches in history. Some of the most inane promos and back stage vignettes, a major nail in WCW’s coffin, as well as the passing of Davey Boy Smith. Money well spent, guys.