Hulkamania is STILL Runnin’ Wild!


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When I was a kid there was one man that was a true American hero. One man that embodies what all kids wanted to be when they grew up. One man that was always able to stop evildoers in there tracks and still has time to put kids on his shoulders and smile for the cameras. One man that could make millions of dollars just by saying something like “Hulkamania is runnin wild all over this product! Any true Hulkamaniac should own it!!” That man was and is Hulk Hogan!

Almost 40 years after starting his wrestling career, a guy with little to no actual wrestling ability is still making people in the arenas around the world chant his name. But this story really isn’t about what Hogan has done in the ring, although you really can’t talk about The Hulkster without at least mentioning it… this story is about what he has done over the years outside of the ring. More importantly, The money he coned out of parents all over the planet!!

First there was one of if not the damn coolest cartoons of the 80’s, Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling!! It was Hulk Hogan and other good guy wrestlers fighting the nastiness of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and his band of evildoers. Every Saturday morning (And sometimes Saturday nights when they would have a prime time special) I would watch my great American hero do good and still have time to sell all the great Hulk Hogan products that I will get into a little later.

It was so great to see the late and great Andre the Giant and Junkyard Dog help The Hulkster in his adventures. I had no idea that after all the wrestlers left the arena they all hung out together and went on adventures all around the world, saving people in trouble and defeating the forces of evil, but as the cartoon showed us that’s exactly what they did week in and week out. The weirdest thing was that if one of the good guys on the cartoon turned evil in actual wrestling they still seemed to stay with the good guys on Rock N Wrestling. It was weird to see Andre fighting with Hogan as teammates at 10am Saturday morning then at noon on WWF Superstars he would hate Hogan and try to hurt his supposed friend. Also it was kinda weird that none of the wrestlers seemed to have to same voice on the cartoon as they did in real life. I guess they just didn’t have the time to voice their cartoon counterparts when they were out living those adventures we were watching in cartoon format.

I watched it every week yet I still begged my parents to buy me the videos, which just contained the episodes I had already seen hundreds of times. Most of the episodes on each tape I had already taped off TV when they aired. I’m actually quite surprised that they had time to wrestle at all with so many adventures and all the great WWF merchandise they were getting my parents to spend their hard earned money on.

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 Image Credit: infinitehollywood.com

One of the fine WWF products Hogan and the gang tried (Quite successfully I might add) to get all the kids at home to buy was the video game WWF Wrestlemania on the old Nintendo Entertainment System. I can still remember when I got that game for Christmas and the first time I fired it up. The title screen was the same as the box art but in the tradition of all NES classics looked like total crap (Not that I didn’t think it was really cool back then.) and had some awful music playing in the background. I pressed start and off I went into one of the greatest gaming experiences of my life. Now just because I said that don’t go out and buy it because I played it again about 2 weeks ago and I wasn’t quite as cool as I remember it. Actually it sucked really badly! There is no crowd, just a black background. Plus I don’t think anyone has special moves and if they do don’t ask me how to do them cuz I sure as hell don’t know! In fact the only plus is the music during matches. The different wreslter entrance music plays while you fight and they sound awesome in their classic boops an beeps and yesterday. You can play as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Bam Bam Bigelow, Andre the Giant, The Honky Tonk Man, The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, and of course Hulk Hogan.

As soon as you pick your player you go a match up screen showing pictures of you and the computer of player 2 controlled guy with the awful generic music playing in the background. As soon as the match starts 2 things became very clear… 1 was that DiBiase couldn’t kick. Everyone could kick and punch except for The “Million Dollar Man”. He had 2 punches and he sucked really really bad. And 2 was that this game has the weirdest power ups I have ever seen! Power ups floated by in the background throughout the match. Hogan had a cross, Dibiase had a $, Bam Bam had fire, Savage had sunglasses and Andre the Giant had the best power up off all… a foot! Well it might have been a foot. Every time me and my friends played that game we would argue about what it was… it was either a big foot or a steak. If you ask me the only way it was a steak is if steaks have toes. Either way my folks spend $50 or more on it and I loved it for at least 2 or 3 weeks.

And then there are the amazing cinematic masterpieces that Hogan has starred in. Mr. Nanny, Suburban Commando, Santa With Muscles, The Secret Agent Club and of course the Thunder in Paradise trilogy. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually do like Mr. Hogan’s movie but I also like Knucklehead with The Bog Show and The Chaperone with Triple H and my wife has told me that as much as I like them, those are actually not good movies.

Luckily for me, my son has the same sense of loving awful movies and there have been many nights at home where he has asked me “Daddy, can we watch Hulk Hogan Drives The Boat?” (that’s what he calls Thunder in Paradise) or “Dad we should watch Hulk Hogan Babysits (Mr. Nanny) tonight!” But his, and my favorite is the one he calls Hulk Hogan fights Zeus which we all know is the classic film I have already talked about on SDL, No Holds Barred.

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 Image Credit: wwe.com

At this point I have taken up way too much of your time talking about crap most people probably don’t care about in the slightest, so I guess I’ll just say that even now some 38 years after “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan started a career filled with “sayin our prayers, and takin our vitamins” (And makin our parents shell out lots and lots of money!) Hogan is still rippin up the wrestling world and rippin money out of peoples hands. So what cha gonna do brotha? What cha gonna do when Hulkamania and the millions of Hulkamaniacs run WIIILLLLDDD on you… and your wallet??

 

– Keith White Jr.

Follow Me @KeefWhiteJr