Hulkamania : 80s Wrestling
March 9th 2008 23:03
These were my heroes. Living legends.
Every chance I got I’d tune in to see the Hulkster stomp out some of my most hated enemies like Sgt. Slaughter, the Iron Sheik and the Undertaker.
And even though Hulk Hogan was drenched in Americana - after seeing him lift up a 500 pound giant and bodyslam him at Wrestlemainia III - I couldn’t help but jump aboard and cheer as he single-handedly saved the world, in and out of the ring.
Everyone talked wrestling in the school yard. We talked about The Rockers beating the Hart Foundation and how the Ultimate Warrior was the coolest dude on earth.
It was huge.
But like I’ve touched on before, we really seemed to have lost the spirit. I think Hulk said it best himself: ‘I won the match clean, and when I held the belt up, they booed me. They booed the good guy. I knew our era was over.”
No one wants the good guy to win anymore, and now it’s become more about the soap opera scripts than the hard hitting knocks.
Sure, when I watch an 80’s tag-team match it aint exactly the Hardy Boys VS the Dudley Boys, but there is a certain fond exuberance. I guess it’s like watching a Rocky fight – sure, sometimes it looks fake, and I know who’s gonna win in the end, but it’s hard not to get caught up.
The truth of the matter is that pro wrestling is a dirty and corrupt world full of drugs, money and violence. Since the recent Chris Benoit tragedy, people have started to raise their eyebrows. But the truth is it’s been going on forever. There have been more suicide deaths in wrestling than any other sport (if you call it that) and if they make it past that, they die young of heart attacks.
Hell, you can see Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts smoke crack in the wrestling doco Beyond the Mat(1999).
That’s the reality.
A true tragedy is the famous Von Erich family curse Really Long Link
In some way, this doesn’t take away from my childhood heroes; it just makes them more realistic. They really are living it hard in and out of the ring. Putting their minds and bodies on the line for something they truly love to do. That’s called blue-collar heroics.
I recently visited a friend whose young son is absolutely mad on wrestling; he knows the new guys and the old guys. But it was that spark in his eye that I recognized – he had Hulkamania! It reminded me of how I loved to watch the titans of good and evil clash, as if humanity depended on it.
Hogan slams Andre (Hogan actually ripped the muscle from his ribs and underarm doing this!)
The 80's 'Superstars of Wrestling' :
(feel free to suggest some others)
Its sad to note how many have died, and thats just the 80's guys.
Hulk 'Hulkster' Hogan
Randy 'Macho Man' Savage
Andre the Giant - RIP
Miss Elizabeth - RIP
Bret 'Hitman' Hart
British Bulldog/Davey Boy Smith - RIP
Owen Hart - RIP
Shawn 'Heartbreak Kid' Michaels
Ted 'the Million Dollar Man' DiBiase
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Ric 'Nature Boy' Flare
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Honky Tonk Man
Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Junkyard Dog - RIP
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Earthquake - RIP
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
Curt 'Mr Perfect' Hennig - RIP
Big Boss Man - RIP
Legion of Doom - RIP (Hawk)
Bam Bam Bigelow - RIP
Big John Studd - RIP
Rick Rude - RIP
Eddie Guerrero - RIP
Mike Von Erich - RIP
Chris Von Erich - RIP
Kerry Von Erich - RIP
Fritz Von Erich - RIP
David Von Erich - RIP
‘Whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania runs wild on you!’
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