Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Last Match: Hulk Hogan in Major Promotions

As we all know Hulk Hogan is one of the biggest stars in all of professional wrestling and significant runs in several major promotions.  This post will look at the last matches that Hulk Hogan had in those promotions.

TNA: Total Nonstop Action
January 27, 2012 Manchester, England
TNA Maximum Impact Tour 2012
with "Cowboy" James Storm & Sting defeated Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, & Kurt Angle

Hogans final five matches were for the Dixie Carter run TNA between 2010 and 2012.  His only singles match in the promotion came at Bound For Glory 2011 in a loss to Sting.  His total time in the promotion as 4 years where he served mostly as an on air authority figure.

He was supposed to have a feud with Jeff Jarret in 2003 that was set up after his match with Chono in 2003 for NJPW when Jarrett attacked Hogan with a guitar.  However due to injuries the match never happened.  This would have been Hogan's first match for the NWA Championship since October 1983 when he wrestled Harley Race to a double count-out.

WWE: World Wrestling Entertainment
August 20, 2006 Boston, Massachusetts
defeated Randy Orton

Hogan first debuted in the then WWF on December 17, 1979 defeating Ted Dibiase at Madison Square Garden.  He would be a constant to the promotion until April 1981 where he went to the AWA.  He return in December 1983 where Hulkamania ran wild for a decade.  After the demise of WCW Hogan would have to short runs in the WWE as an in ring competitor and now works in an ambassador role.

I was actually at this match in Boston, compiling this blog is when I realized that I was there live for Hulk Hogan's last match in the WWE.

NJPW: New Japan Pro WrestlingUltimate Crush II
October 13, 2003 Tokyo Dome in Japan
defeated Masahiro Chono

Hogan debuted in NJPW in May 1980 in the 3rd Madison Square Garden Series.  Over the next five years he had multiple tours each year even after winning the WWF Championship.   He returned for a few matches in 1993 and the January 4th Dome show in 1994, and then his final match in 2003.

WCW: World Championship Wrestling
July 9, 2000 Daytona Beach, Florida
Bash at the Beach 2000
defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Hogan's six year run with WCW began and ended at the Bash at the Beach pay-per-view in Florida winning the WCW World Championship both times.  The first, July 17, 1994 in Orlando he pinned "Nature Boy" Ric Flair and the last in controversial fashion pinning Jeff Jarrett.

 AWA: American Wrestling Association
November 14, 1983 Phoenix, Arizona
defeated Jerry Blackwell

Won a Battle Royal

Hogan debuted in August 1981 after being fired from the WWF for appearing in Rocky III.  He started out as a heel but soon became a fan favorite and we got our first glimpses of Hulkamania.  He had several title matches against Nick Bockwinkel but the matches usually ended with Hogan winning by DQ or being awarded the title only to have the decision changed to a DQ leaving Bockwinkel as champion.

When Dale Gagne tried to claim the AWA and it's lineage he recognized Hulk Hogan as being a former AWA World Champion.  However the WWE lawsuit in 2007 - 2008 ended Gagne's claim and Hogan is not officially recognize as a former champion.

His final night with the promotion he competed in two matches.

NWA: National Wrestling Alliance
October 21, 1983 St. Louis, Missouri
defeated Crusher Blackwell

As Sterling Golden NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Champion
Hogan wrestled for numerous NWA promotions including Championship Wrestling from Florida and Georgia Championship wrestling, however this match in St. Louis was his last match on a NWA affiliate sanctioned show.

All images I found online using a google search.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Until next time!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Live Report: WWE Augusta, Maine July 12, 2019

For the third year in a row the WWE returned to the Augusta Civic Center for a night of wrestling.  WWE comes to Maine at least once every year and typically it's in Portland and Bangor but they go through spurts running in Augusta: 1996, 2002 & 2003, 2012 & 2013, and 2017 - current.  It's a great venue for wrestling, WWE even had a TV taping here back on December 15, 1993, and my favorite part is that it is only twenty minutes from my house.

In total five of us went to the show, my son Canaan, cousin Paul, my nephew AJ who is 8 years old and attending his first ever wrestling show, and for the first time since June 4, 1989, my Dad.   We grabbed some dinner at the KFC before the show.  If you get a chance try to Cheetoh's Popcorn Chicken, holy cow it's good!

We got the venue and our seats, we have a great view of the ring and entrance way and could appreciate all the nights festivities.  As it was AJ's first show I bought him something from the merchandise table, he wanted a hat and with three to chose from, Cena, Reigns and Becky Lynch he went with The Man.

Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder defeated Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder by disqualification at 5:25

I was the most excited to see The Revival tonight, it was my first time seeing them live and they have a reputation of putting on killer house show matches.  Tonight was not one of them.  The match with the former Major Brothers was just okay and after Ryder hit Rough Ryder on Dash and Dawson pulled the referee out before he could complete the three count with generate the DQ.  This frustrates me to no end as on TV or PPV the ref never calls for the bell.

The Viking Raiders came down and attacked Hawkins and Ryder with The Revival.  The Usos ran out and made the save which lead to...

The Usos: Jimmy & Jey and Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder defeated Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder and The Viking Raiders: Ivar & Erik at 9:29

The Revival wanted no part of this match but were coerced into it by the Vikings.  This was a much better match than the opening one.  After several minutes we got one of those fantastic everyone takes turn hitting a high spot on someone spots and that lead to and Uso pinning Dash after a splash from the top rope.

No Way Joe pinned Mojo Rawley at 3:25

Mojo sorta looks like and indy jobber with his black MVP style gear and lightning face paint.  This match felt longer than it was but the pin came out of no where with a quick roll up.

Mojo cut a promo calling Augusta Disgusta, he's not wrong, and saying he's not going down like and issued and open challenge which lead to...

Titus O'Neil pinned Mojo Rawley in 24 seconds

Mojo jumped Titus as he got in the ring beating him down in the corner.  The ref made Rawley step back allowing Titus to get up and he called for the bell.  Not to long later we got Clash of the Titus and a three count

Mojo cut another promo, once again saying he wasn't going down like that.  These promo's were actually quite hilarious and well done.  Braun Strowman answered the challenge this time.  After Braun got in the ring Mojo said he challenged any man and as Braun is a monster he can't answer the challenge.  Mojo then tried to attack Braun and...

Braun Strowman pinned Mojo Rawley in 13 seconds

Not much to say, he hit him a couple times and nailed Mojo with the powerslam for the pin.  Braun was scheduled to wrestle Bobby Lashley tonight but he didn't appear.  The fans were super pumped to see Braun.  After the match he signed a lot of autographs at ringside making his way to the back.  It's nice to see the wrestlers doing that.

The first two matches lead to five matches which was half the card

Dana Brooke & Naomi defeated Tamina & Sara Logan at 7:32

Talk about two throw together tag teams, but I enjoyed the match and it's all thanks for Dana Brooke.  She spent about five minutes in the ring, looked awesome on offense with some great acrobatic moves and sold her ass off on defense.  I would love to see her on TV for more than a minute in her matches.

Dana timed her hot tag to Naomi perfectly who came in and cleaned house getting the pin on Tamina after a split-leg and moonsault.  When Naomi landed her knee struck Tamina right directly in the face, it was wicked!  Naomi knew straight away something was wrong and after the three count alerted the referee who looked at Tamina and threw up the X.

She lay in the ring for several minutes while medical staff attended to her.  She eventually left the ring on her own power but it was nasty.  I'm glad she appears to be okay.

United States Champion: Ricochet pinned Cesaro at 11:13

This was a great match as I expected it to be.  The action was fast paced with Ricochet showing off his high flying mastery and Cesaro his technical prowess and uncanny strength.  Ricochet got the pin after a standing shooting star press.

Cedric Alexander pinned Robert Roode at 12:44

Another really good match that was far more competitive than I thought it would be, but with Cedric getting the clean pin after a lumbar check it appears that he is in for a push.  He hasn't done much of anything since leaving 205 Live for Raw brand.

Lacey Evans pinned Nattie Neidhart at the 7 minute mark

My Dad was super excited to see Lacey Evans, he's a big fan.  Me not so much, but she is getting better and look good.  I really think that Natayla needs to leave the promotion and wrestle elsewhere.  Right now all she does is put people over, which is fine but I think she could do well for herself on the indies or even in AEW or Impact.

"Street Fight" WWE Universal Champion: Seth Rollins pinned Baron Corbin at 16:46

This was billed as an Augusta Street Fight, but I've seen actual street fights in Augusta that were better than this.  They barely fought outside the ring, the didn't even break the rules and when the kendo stick was introduced Corbin gave Rollins two weak ass shots across the back that could barely be heard over Corbin stomping his feet, same thing for the single chair shot the back that made a barely audible "tink" upon impact.

Yes they broke two tables but they were pre-cut and it was not impressive.  Just don't have a street fight if this is what you are going to do.  Just have a normal match give us a good wrestling display.  This is precisely what turns me off to WWE house shows, when the main event talent just goes through the motions.  These two guys looked like they were rehearsing at the PC in front of no one.  Rollins pinned Corbin after a curb stump.

In the end though we all had a good time and AJ loved the show, and that's all that really matters, that the 8 year old had fun and his first live wrestling experience was a positive one.

WWE is returning to Bangor and Portland at the end of August, I will not be going. Not because of this show but because of work and other plans I have.

I took all the photos with my phone and the match times are from @CPGOAT on twitter.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Signed Trading Cards: Dr. Tom Prichard, Steve O, & Jim Cornette

Here are some through the mail successes that I've had.

Dr. Tom Prichard

I mailed these cards on March 1, 2019 and got them back signed on March 8th!  This is the fastest turn around I have ever had when I've mailed cards to someone.

The card on the left is from the Topps 2016 WWE Then, Now, Forever set and shows Prichard as his character Zip when he was one half of the Body Donnas.  The card on the right is from the 1995 WWF Action Packed card set.  Sadly Jimmy Del Ray passed away in 2014.

Steve O

Steven Olsonoski was trained by Verne Gagne and debuted in the AWA in 1978.  He is known for this time in the AWA and Georgia Championship Wrestling.   This card is from the Series A 1982 Wrestling All Stars trading cards set.  I mailed this out on April 29, 2019 and got it back on May 17, 2019.

Jim Cornette

One of the greatest wrestling personalities of all time that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years.  I already have a few cards signed by Mr. Cornette but when I came across this card of him holding the NWA World's Championship I just had to ask him to sign it.  To me he is synonymous the tradition of the NWA and it just seemed fitting.  This card is from the 2008 TriStar TNA Impact Cross the Line series.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Until next time!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Reflections of a 40 year old Wrestling Fan.

Back on June 24th I turned 40 years old and honestly I'm having a hard time with it.  Over the years I have I've picked up and put down a lot of interests and hobbies, some of them I just lose interest in and others I feel like I'm "too old" for.  One thing that I have never given a single thought to stop watching is professional wrestling.

My love of wrestling has never waned, in fact my passion for professional wrestling has grown over the years.  My collection of wrestling memorabilia and collection habits has changed tremendously though.  Beginning with getting my first job and driver's license at age 16 and until the majority of my collection was destroyed in a basement flood I collected everything and anything wrestling that I could get my hands on.  Side note, you can read about the flood and how it lead to me getting a tour of Titan Towers here: My Tour of Titan Towers.

My buddy Jay and I had a weekend route that we would take hitting up a half dozen flea markets, KB Toys, yards sales, and other places looking for anything wrestling.  After the flood wrecked everything I became a bit depressed and really thought what do I need with all this stuff anyhow.  At the end of the day no one cares about it besides me and the reason it was in the basement to begin with is because when we moved into this house I didn't have a space of my own to display it.  Before have kids I had a wrestling room where I stored it all, now I didn't have that.

My collection is much more scaled down and I'm a lot more selective about what I spend my money on.  Especially when it comes to wrestling figures, they are so damn expensive now!  The two things that I collect the most are my ticket stubs from events that I have attended and my signed trading cards.  I also have a large collection of wrestling related books and DVD's, however, my I don't buy nearly as many DVD's as I used to.  I like to buy wrestling documentaries over full events.

My favorite time of wrestling to watch is the mid 1980's Jim Crockett Promotions / NWA at the height of the Horsemen.  There is just something about the style of wrestling that appeals to me the most.  My buddy Jay and I over the last 25 years frequently talked about how great it would have been to go to a Jim Crockett Promotions / NWA event or an AWA show.  Sadly we never made the journey to see the original ECW, a regret.  Hell it took us 24 years to go to finally go to Madison Square Garden.

I do feel fortunate though that I was able to attend two WCW shows in the late 1990's.  Nitro in Boston on June 9, 1997 and a WCW Saturday Night taping in Portland, Maine on May 19, 1998.  I've also attended two TNA shows first on June 24, 2007 at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in New Hampshire and then on December 4, 2009 in Portland, Maine.  In the last three years I've attended four Ring of Honor shows, two Pay Per Views which I had front row for, and two house shows including their debut in Maine.  I also attended the NJPW & ROH G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden.  I'm not sure how other people feel about it but I really like going to shows from different promotions.

On the WWE side of things I've been to a few dozen events including 6 PPV's, WrestleMania 14 & 24,  Backlash 2005, SummerSlam 2006, Survivor Series 2008, & Royal Rumble 2011.  Also a five hour WWF TV taping in 1995, and Monday Night Raw in 2005.  Also a WW-ECW house show when they first relaunched as their own brand.  I haven't been to a Smackdown TV taping by I'm not sure that matters. I'd like to go to an NXT show someday.

At this point in my wrestling fandom I still have a list of wrestling events, wrestlers, promotions, and venues that I want to go to and see.  Some of them are more realistic than others but here goes:

Go to a show in another country, to expand on this I also want to attend any Lucha Libre show in Mexico. I'm spending 4 nights outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this September and I'm hoping to check this one off

A lot of historic wrestling buildings like The Omni & The Sportatorium have been demolished.  Others like the Greensboro Coliseum and Cow Palace no longer run wrestling shows with regularity. Venues I'd like to see a show at include: ECW Arena, Maple Leaf Gardens (now Mattamy Athletic Centre) and the Hamburg Fieldhouse & Mid-Hudson Civic Center where WWF taped their television shows.  Pipe dream venues are the Tokyo Dome, Korakuen Hall, and Arena Mexico.

Promotions and events I want to go to include: an official NWA show, Chikara's King of Trios, any PWG show but Battle of Los Angeles specifically, Progress Wrestling, CZW Tournament of Death, and others.

The list of wrestlers I want to see wrestle live that I haven't is huge but there are some more than others including: The Rock n' Roll Express (this door is closing), British Strong Style, Toni Storm, Jimmy Havoc, The Von Erichs, Rickey Shane Page, Josh Alexander, Christi Jaynes, and so many more.

So far I have been to 240 wrestling events in 11 different states.  I once had considered trying to go to a show in every state but that would be very expensive, so now if it works out then it works out.  For those wondering its Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, & Florida.

I've seen a lot in wrestling over the years and I feel very fortunate for the shows I have been to and the places I have been.  As you can see there is so much more that I want to see and experience.

Talking to my friends our next big wrestling trip is going to the ECW Arena.  A couple times a year they have a wrestling convention during the day and a wrestling show in the evening. That is what we are looking at doing as it makes the trip there worth it.   

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Until next time!