Hulk Hogan Ultimate Anthology
Name the top five icons in the world of wrestling and you'll say Hulk Hogan before all others, before The Rock or Stone Cold, even the legendary Ric Flair on this disk admits he isn't as famous as Hogan. For many years (and even now) he was the embodiment of the WWF/E... End Of Story. Superstars come and go, but still over twenty years later Hogan is still the pinnacle all other wrestlers aim to achieve and all of them ultimately fail. With each DVD release the WWE raise the bar in documentaries and with each one they surpass themselves, though I'm more looking forward to the Roddy Piper DVD, this set of Hulk Hogan is certainly nothing to sniff at and definitely one of the finest WWE DVDs I have watched yet.
As with all WWE documentaries this is a mixture of interviews and archive footage in between over twenty classic Hogan matches from across his career.
The comments come from many of his peers (Ric Flair, Roddy Piper), members of creative (Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff) and those who he influenced (HBK, John Cena, Edge). Introduced by Mean Gene Okerland and Jimmy Hart, they manage to bring an eager enthusiasm to the disk, without sounding too much like they are kissing Hogan's a$$!
The anthology includes most of Hogan's title wins, though at times I wish they had looked at the quality of the match rather than the gold it achieved. Also includes matches from AWA, XWF and WCW. It is odd when you look at the disk at how cherry picked to reflect WWE the disk feels, as his time in WCW is largely ignored (with only three matches representing his seven year stint there) and though there were more lowlights than highlights for Hogan in WCW, some kind of highlight reel would have been nice.
Matches: (Marked out of Five)
vs. Andre The Giant ***
Good archive match, but the ending doesn't make any sense?
AWA Heavyweight Title *** - vs. Nick Bockwinkel
A fabulous match. Lots of controversy surrounding it. As good as anything Hogan ever did!
WWE Championship Match *** - vs. Iron Sheik
A nothing match, should have been more back and forth between the two, but just felt short (and at less than six minutes, it is!). However, the electricity surrounding the match beefs it up that little bit more.
vs. Big John Studd **
A good 'Big Man' match. But not as re-watchable as others.
War To Settle The Score ***** WWE Championship Match - vs. Roddy Piper
I love Piper and so this match has something special for me. The two look so uneven that you'd think it would be just a squash (Think Rey Mysterio vs... well anyone!!!) but this turned into a great match that really helped show WWE as a big event.
w/ Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff Classic for so many reasons. It has the glitz and glamour of all the celebs
(Ali!!!!) But also has the great performances of some of the greatest in the business at that time.
Wrestlemania 2 *
Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship vs. King Kong Bundy No. No. No. No NOOOO!!!! I hate when they try and solve a horrible match by putting them in a cage. (Having flashbacks of watching the Punjabi Prison Match from Great American Bash!) Awful!!!
WWE Championship Match *** - vs. Paul Orndorff
A good match that really helped to develop the idea of a lengthy feud and the perfect 'heel turn'.
Wrestlemania III *** WWE Championship Match - vs. Andre The Giant
Most over-rated match ever! Andre couldn't work because of his back and Hogan just couldn't adapt to that. However, it is a special moment when Hogan finally slams Andre. Good, not great!
Wrestlemania V ***** WWE Championship Match - vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
This match was planned out in such detail by Savage that you sometimes wish that he was with the WWE today. Both he and Hogan have great chemistry and the lead into this match was just electric.
Wrestlemania VI ***** Title vs. Title Match - vs. Ultimate Warrior
This is where my WWE history began. I will say that this was the greatest match ever. Sure, it isn't a classic technical bout like a Benoit/Angle match but the charisma both of these guys had just made this match something more special. Good tip: Watch the Hogan Royal Rumble victory on Disk 4 before you watch this match as it makes it even more spine tingling!
Wrestlemania VII **** WWE Championship Match - vs. Sgt. Slaughter
A great build. At this time, Hogan had America in the palm of his hands and it shows throughout this match. Not a high point in WWE (exploiting the first Iraq war) but gained the biggest heel reaction I have ever seen.
WWE Championship Match ** - vs. Undertaker
A mess! How can a match involving Hogan, Flair and Undertaker be this appalling? I know why it's here, but really should have just been part of a highlight clip.
Bash at the Beach ***
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match vs. Ric Flair This is the equivalent of Arsenal vs Man Utd. Or (for me) Everton vs Liverpool. Flair really helped Hogan become a star in this match as he shows more and more just how much he can't actually wrestle. However, he had this crowd in the palm of his hands and thankfully Flair was able to carry him through this match.
Hog Wild *
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match vs. The Giant By god this is horrible, just horrible. Giant (Big Show in WWE) looks so awkward in this match and the ending looks terrible, making very little sense. Again, I know why it's here, but I wish it wasn't.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match vs. Sting OK. If you ask any wrestling fan what was the worst ending of a match ever and they will say Starrcade 1997. Why? Because something goes wrong in this match at the end that ruined WCW forever! Though the actual match was ok, what made it was the year long build towards the match with Sting stalking Hogan and the NWO. Judge for yourself whether people are overreacting or not.
XWF *** - vs. Curt Hennig
Hogan vs Mr Perfect? You're joking right? No, I'm not. This is more or less a sub-WCW-Indy match and it's quite good. Hennig gets the best out of Hogan and he really shows that he could still wrestle at that time.
Wrestlemania X8 *** - vs. The Rock
A great build to this match. Almost like the Warrior vs Hogan match, except that Rock didn't need this match. Against Austin would have been better.
Backlash * WWE Undisputed Championship Match - vs. HHH
A horrible match. Again, I know why it's here, but it's still truly horrible.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match ** - w/ Edge vs Billy & Chuck
Hogan never excelled in tag matches, but this was a great match. Hogan fan Edge is so delighted to be in this match that he works even harder to make this match great to watch.
WrestleMania XIX *** Street Fight - vs. Vince McMahon
And oddly wonderful match to watch. McMahon at his most evil, Hogan finally meets his match in terms of egos. Lots of surprises to keep you guessing throughout.
Summerslam *** Legend vs. Icon - vs. Shawn Michaels
A good match to end this set with. Probably the last good performance Hogan will ever be able to give. Disappointing ending, this match should have lead to an extended feud or elevated one of them more.
vs. Tito Santana **
I love to see Tito as he is a great performer. But a pointless match overall.
AWA * vs. Sonny Rogers & Chuck Greenly
Why? I could understand them putting in his awful debut match in WWWF (which they don't?), but why this?
WWE Championship Match ** vs. Terry Funk
Many of these matches include the use of the old before match promos which are all great to watch. This match involves two of the greatest. This is similar to the Flair/Hogan match. It should be great, but isn't and I can't figure out why.
vs. King Harley Race **
Once again, put two of the greatest wrestlers in the ring and you end up with a pointless match. It was at this point that you could predict the outcome of 99.99% of all Hogan matches. This match is saved by the awesome promo by Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
Hulk Hogan Wins the 1990 Royal Rumble *****
Although I love the Rumble, I wished they had included his 1991 victory too.
As they were only including from his entrance this would have easily fit...
or getting rid of one of the four above matches...
Summerslam **** vs. Earthquake
A great tribute to the late Earthquake (John Tenta). He was the perfect Monster Heel for Hogan and I wish this had been in the main feature just to show how much Earthquake's attack had an effect on the audience at the time.
After all this any extras will seem redundant, and to some extent they are, these include two interview segments with Hogan explaining how he got into the business and a wonderful unintelligible story told by Iron Sheik about how he had been offered $100,000 to break Hogan's leg in their title match.
Also included is his full Hall of Fame induction and short interview segment from the Raw Homecoming (Though these are actually part of the main feature) these are both great with him receiving standing ovations for both. I do wish more info had been included such as highlight reels of all of his championship achievements, a few extra early matches or maybe an alternate commentary on a few matches, but this does not take anything away from the disk.
Apart from that, there are very few negatives to talk of on this set, as with all 'best of' there is the absence of certain matches, but they are mostly available elsewhere. A lot of footage is recycled from the 2004 Hulk Still Rules DVD, but as this is supposed to be the 'ultimate' collection, I can forgive that. It will be hard for the WWE to top this as this set managed to include solid, interesting interviews, stories from other wrestlers and a good number of classic matches to keep all Hulkamaniacs running wild for a good few hours.
Reviewed by David Simpson on May 2, 2007.
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