Part Thirty Four
Hulk Hogan’s feud with Earthquake had brought other wrestlers into the fracas, a sign of good booking as it gave other wrestlers the chance to get the rub by being put into a main event program. While Hulk Hogan was ready to take Earthquake on one-on-one, Earthquake had manager Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart as well as fellow heel wrestler Dino Bravo helping him. Hogan brought in his friend Tugboat to even the odds and when Earthquake and Bravo took out Tugboat, Hogan enlisted Big Boss Man. With Survivor Series fast approaching, Hogan assembled some of toughest friends, giving him and his allies the chance to get all of their adversaries in the ring at one time.
1990’s edition of Survivor Series was held at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut on November 23, 1990. This pay-per- view has gone down in history for the infamous segment where the Goobledy Gooker hatched from a giant egg. If you’re masochistic and want to learn more, I encourage you to check out the book Wrestlecrap.
On a brighter note, this Survivor Series saw the debut of The Undertaker. Ted DiBiase brought in the mystery man (known as Kane The Undertaker, managed by Brother Love) on his Survivor Series team. The Undertaker destroyed his opponents, making an immediate impact. Just a year later, The Undertaker would win the WWF title at Survivor Series, pinning Hulk Hogan. That however, is a story for another day.
This year, the Hulkster had assembled his team the Hulkamaniacs (“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Big Boss Man, and Tugboat to take on Earthquake’s team the Natural Disasters (Haku, Dino Bravo, and The Barbarian). Anyone familiar with these wrestlers knew there was going to be a lot of brawling in this one.
Once again, Survivor Series was held on Thanksgiving Day (U.S.) but this year, a shadow hung over the event. At the time, war was looming in real life as Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces had invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, threatening Saudi Arabia as well. The United States and a coalition of nations assembled a military force to defend Saudi Arabia with the ultimate goal of ousting Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
The turmoil was shamelessly exploited by the WWF which had former patriot Sgt. Slaughter now turned heel and praising the toughness of the Iraqi regime. Slaughter led his team The Mercenaries in a separate match at the Survivor Series against the team called The Alliance.
The Hulkster mustered his forces backstage for an interview with Sean Mooney. Hacksaw Jim Duggan stood with his ever-present 2x4, now adorned in yellow ribbons to symbolize the family and friends waiting for loved ones in the military to return home. Tugboat and Big Boss Man stood by as well. Mooney introduced the captain of the Hulkamaniacs, Hulk Hogan, who talked of how he and his little Hulksters had been surviving for quite some time. Hogan mentioned that the world was in a state of confusion and the WWF was topsy-turvy which was a good chance to show that the Four Demandments (The training, the prayers, and believing in yourself) would make you a survivor in any situation. Hogan boasted of how he’d assembled the baddest team of Hulkamaniacs he could possibly find (if by bad, he meant bad workers, then Duggan and Tugboat definitely qualify).
Hogan talked up Hacksaw Duggan and his 2x4, a deadly weapon, then compared the Tugboat to the USS Missouri and how he had all the little Hulksters’ backs. Hulk talked of how sometimes in Survivor Series there are no rules but that Big Boss Man was there to maintain law and order.
The Boss Man said that he’d been a survivor all his life and that tonight would be no different. He said when it was all said and done, he’d see if Bobby “The Brain” Heenan (with whom Boss Man had been feuding after Heenan insulted Boss Man’s mother on numerous occasions) could survive (not only was the Boss Man a remarkable worker for his size but he was capable of delivering some good promos. Yet another example here).
Tugboat said he was indeed like the battleship Missouri. He was loaded and ready for war, prepared to watch the Hulkamaniacs’ back. Tonight, he said, things would be like out in the wild where only the strong would survive. Hacksaw Jim Duggan proclaimed it was Turkey Day at Survivor Series and he was excited, the hair on his neck standing up and the blood pumping through the heart. There’s a reason the yellow ribbons are on the 2x4, Duggan stated before turning things back to The Hulkster.
Hogan said that the first thing in their sights was to have their focuses on (nice grammar, Hulk) winning at Survivor Series and proving that the Hulkamaniacs could survive. There was another reason as well: the Hulkamaniacs team was dedicating the match to all the men and women in uniform around the world, all of them Hulkamaniacs. Hogan noted they were especially dedicating the match to the men and women in uniform in the Middle East who were fighting to protect our freedom. The Hulkster ended the promo by telling President Bush (George H.W. Bush) that as soon as he and his team had proved they are survivors, they were ready to lend their services as heavy artillery or whatever else was needed. Hogan then addressed Saddam Hussein saying, “whatcha gonna do when my team of survivors runs wild on you?”
Announcer Gorilla Monsoon and color commentator Rowdy Roddy Piper observed the arrival of the Earthquake-captained team, The Natural Disasters. Manager Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart escorted Earthquake and “World’s Strongest Man” Dino Bravo into the ring. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan escorted his charge Haku into the ring. Haku was substituted for “Ravishing” Rick Rude who had left the WWF. WWF President Jack Tunney had suspended Rude (kayfabe) for insulting Boss Man’s mother. Finally, The Barbarian entered the ring, wearing his antlered helmet and fur coat. The Barbarian had been repackaged following the break-up of The Powers of Pain team (comprised of The Warlord and The Barbarian).
Ring announcer Howard Finkel then introduced the team of The Hulkamaniacs. Tugboat entered the ring first with Gorilla Monsoon reminding fans that Tugboat was the man most responsible for getting The Hulkster to return to action after Earthquake had injured Hogan. Hacksaw Jim Duggan entered next, brandishing his 2x4. The Boss Man followed, running to the ring with his nightstick in hand. Boss Man had helped the Hulkster at SummerSlam, seconding the Hulk in his match against the Earthquake. The team captain came out last, with Hulk Hogan pointing to the Big Man Upstairs before making his way to the ring. Hogan ripped off his shirt as always, acknowledging the fans’ support as he prepared for the match.
Before the match, Gorilla Monsoon commented on a fan’s sign that read, “Earthquake You Made a Big Mistake.” The reality of the situation suggested otherwise. Earthquake had proven to be one of The Hulkster’s toughest opponents, putting Hogan on the shelf for weeks after injuring him on “The Brother Love Show.” The Hulkster’s quest for revenge at SummerSlam only netted a count-out victory and since then, Earthquake had tried to put Hogan out of action again, jumping him after a match on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Now, with three formidable teammates at his side, Hogan had the opportunity to face Earthquake with the odds evened. Still, would this be enough to finally drive a stake into the heart of the former sumo wrestler named Earthquake? Join me next time as we look at the Survivor Series slugfest between The Hulkamaniacs and The Natural Disasters.
Cawthon, Graham. “The History of the WWE." Results. 1990. The History of the WWE. n.p. Web. 15 Aug. 2016.
Wikipedia contributors, "Gulf War." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Aug. 2016.
Wikipedia contributors, "Survivor Series (1990)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 18 July 2016.