Review and Recommendation
The first two discs give us a nice tour of the house show circuit. While I currently complain about all the WWE programs having a similar look, during this era every arena looked different. Each had its own unique ring apron or entrance ramp that fans could immediately identify each arena by.
One of the quirks of this DVD for long-time fans is that while you probably haven't seen most of the matches on the first two discs before, you kind of have. The same match you saw in your local area was repeated in different parts of the country. While I didn't see many of these matches before, for the most part I was able to guess the ending based upon what I had seen many years ago in my local market.
As far as the action on this set goes, I enjoyed discs one and three more than disc two. In disc two, Hulk has set into his formula for a match against another big man and some of the matches blend together with one another.
Overall Recommendation: This DVD is for the most die-hard Hulkamaniacs. It is a nice compliment to the previously released sets Hulk Still Lives and The Ultimate Anthology. I would recommend buying both of those sets before buying this DVD.
Matches on the DVD
- Championship Wrestling 11/13/79: vs. Harry Valdez - For those that complain about RAW today, these squash matches are what fans from the previous generation had to endure.
- Philadelphia 4/12/80: vs. WWE Champion Bob Backlund - This is a '70s style match featuring some interesting commentary from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler about this era.
- All Star Wrestling 9/10/80: Handicap Match vs. Steve King & Angelo Gomez - This was main event quality for television in this era.
- MSG 9/22/80: vs. Andre the Giant - Gorilla Monsoon is the special guest referee for this match.
- AWA 5/2/81: Handicap Match vs. Nick Bockwinkel & Bobby Heenan - It's hard to believe that Hulkamania was born in the AWA.
- Detroit 4/26/86: vs. Randy Savage - I have seen these men wrestle dozens of times and can't think of a time that Randy ever pinned the Hulkster.
- Maple Leaf Gardens 5/4/86: Hulk Hogan & Junkyard Dog vs. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy - A few months later, Paul Orndorff would replace JYD as Hulk's partner in this feud. That turned out to be a bad move for the Hulkster.
- Houston 6/26/87: vs. Kamala - Two months later, the WWE held the Paul Boesch Retirement Show in this arena.
- Boston Garden 9/12/87: vs. Killer Khan - The WWE would repeat this ending for Khan's house show series against WWE Champion Randy Savage the following year.
- Philadelphia 12/5/87: vs. One Man Gang - None of the Philadelphia matches in this set feature the Spectrum logo on the mat that the arena was famous for.
- Boston Garden 1/9/88: vs. Rick Rude - Bobby Heenan actually told the truth in this match, Rick Rude really was an arm wrestling champion before becoming a wrestler.
- Maple Leaf Wrestling 3/12/88: Hulk Hogan & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Ted DiBiase & Virgil - Bigelow was being groomed to be a main event star during this era but left the WWE shortly after this to go to NWA where his talent was wasted.
- Los Angeles 10/16/88: vs. King Haku - Hulk's short-lived war bonnet made an appearance.
- Los Angeles 12/17/88: vs. Big Boss Man - If putting your opponent in hand cuffs in front of the referee doesn't cause a disqualification, what does one have to do to get disqualified?
- Boston Garden 6/3/89: vs. Randy Savage - It's interesting to see how Savage worked differently with Sensational Sherri compared to Miss Elizabeth.
- MSG 4/30/90: vs. Earthquake - This took place about a month before Earthquake injured Hulk Hogan on The Brother Love Show.
- London 4/24/91: vs. Sgt. Slaughter - It looks like Slaughter was more hated in Europe than he was in America at this time.
- MSG 12/29/91: vs. Ric Flair - I still can't believe the WWE didn't have this dream match on PPV during this era.
- Slamboree '95: Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair & Vader - While we get a brief glimpse of Michael Buffer, his ring announcing has been edited off the DVD.
- Bash at the Beach '95: vs. Vader in a Cage Match - This match was part of an episode of Baywatch
- Nitro 11/20/95: vs. Sting - Hogan had his mustache shaven a few weeks earlier by the Dungeon of Doom and it is weird seeing Hogan clean shaven.
- Souled Out '97: vs. The Giant - I can't believe the Big Show used to do moves off the top rope.
- Nitro 9/28/98: vs. Bret Hart - WCW loved to give away first-time meetings on Nitro for free. First against Sting, then Goldberg, and finally Bret Hart. As mind-boggling as that is, I still can't fathom that this was the only match between these men. I think WCW was allergic to money at this point in time.
- RAW 5/13/02: vs. Ric Flair - Both men are considerably older and slower in this contest than the one on disc two. I'm scared to think of what their match later this month in Australia is going to be like.
- SmackDown 6/6/02: vs. Triple H - The two never had a rubber match on TV to break their tie.
- SmackDown 7/11/02: Hulk Hogan & Edge vs. Billy & Chuck - Rico, the manager of Billy and Chuck, is not the same Rico that Hulk trained and whose brother was the judge in the Nick Hogan case.
- SmackDown 8/1/02: vs. Kurt Angle - I wonder if we will be seeing this rematch in the iMPACT! Zone anytime soon.
- Extras: 8 interviews that could have benefited from a play all feature.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.