The Enduring Legacy of Hulk Hogan

Part Thirty Nine

Operation Desert Storm was over but the World Wrestling Federation was still hoping to capitalize on the Persian Gulf crisis by pitting Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter against “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan. With Slaughter still proclaiming the virtues of Iraq’s leader Saddaam Hussein, and Hogan fighting to defeat Slaughter for the WWF Championship, the two’s fateful showdown at WrestleMania VII had arrived.

 

However, in an amazing reversal of fortune, the Hulkster had gone from hunter to hunted, as Slaughter gained the upper hand after hitting the Slaughter Cannon (aka the clothesline) on the Hulkster.

Slaughter wasted no time going out after the challenger, ramming his head into the steel post, then clobbering Hogan with a steel chair. With Hogan down, Slaughter applied a blatant choke outside the ring, using a television cable. Color commentator Bobby Heenan pondered whether Slaughter was trying to get disqualified so he can keep his championship, then told broadcast partner Gorilla Monsoon that Slaughter wouldn’t do that because he’s not that kind of champion.

 

After throwing Hulk back into the ring, Slaughter dropped forearm smashes on Hogan’s back. Backbreaker on Hogan followed by a cover for a two-count. Slaughter told referee Dave Hebner (or is it Earl? I never get them straight) to make a fast count. Bobby Heenan reminded Gorilla Monsoon you only need a two-count to win in Iraq.

 

With Hogan weakened, Slaughter positioned him for the Boston Crab, going to finish the match after targeting Hogan’s back with chairshots, forearm smashes, and a backbreaker. Hogan resisted, but Slaughter locked in the Boston Crab near the ropes. Hogan fought off submitting, trying to power out of the hold.

Guest commentator Regis Philbin asked why Hogan doesn’t just go for the ring ropes to force a break. After two frustrating minutes, the Hulkster finally grabbed the ring ropes, forcing a break. Slaughter thought he had won the match, raising his arm until the referee put it down. Slaughter went after Hogan, looking to wear him down again. Slaughter went to the top rope, jumping onto Hogan’s back. A cover by Slaughter could lead to a win, but Slaughter’s manager General Adnan inexplicably argued with the referee, giving Hogan extra time to kick out. When referee Hebner finally went to make the count, Hogan was able to kick out.

 

As Adnan distracted the referee, Slaughter went out and grabbed a steel chair, hoping to seal the deal with a chairshot to the Hulkster’s head. A cover on Hogan came close, but Hogan kicked out at the last moment. Hogan was busted open as Slaughter slugged away, bringing forth even more blood. Slaughter stomped away at Hogan and somehow Hogan got to his feet, only to be clotheslined down by the champion. Hogan seemed senseless as he writhed on the mat, Slaughter hovering over him. Sgt. Slaughter locked in the Camel Clutch then let go to dish out more damage, stomping at Hogan’s back. Slaughter reapplied the hold, with Hogan fighting to somehow escape.

Despite sustaining tremendous punishment, Hogan drew on his incredible power, actually rising to his feet with Slaughter on his back. Hogan got up but Slaughter pushed Hogan into the corner, stunning him.

 

Slaughter showed off his patriotism by grabbing the Iraqi flag from General Adnan and covering the Hulkster with it. Slaughter’s disloyalty obviously was Hogan’s breaking point as he somehow kicked out, and startedto “Hulk Up.” Hogan tore the Iraqi flag in half (almost as if it’d been sewn that way) as Slaughter threw punch after punch at Hogan.

 

Hogan is in the Hulk Zone which means Slaughter could drop a cinder block on Hogan’s head and he’d shrug it off. Hogan gave Slaughter the Hulkamania pre-beatdown finger point as Slaughter haplessly threw more punches, only for Hogan to block them. In case you haven’t been paying attention, this is what’s known as the finish, as Hogan whipped Slaughter into the ropes, connecting with a big boot that floored the WWF Champion and resident traitor. Hogan ran from the corner, hitting a beautiful legdrop (although when you watch the elevation, you can understand why Hogan needed hip replacement surgery later on) on Slaughter. Cover and 1-2-3, we have a new WWF Champion—Hulk Hogan. The WWF Championship has finally returned to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave after months being held hostage by Slaughter and his Iraqi collaborators.

After the match, a triumphant Hulkster (still carrying the U.S. flag) walked backstage with an exuberant “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Hogan tells Mean Gene he did it for his country and his Hulkamaniacs. Now, it’s time to call home and talk to his family. Hogan opens his dressing room door only to get a complimentary fireworks display from Sgt. Slaughter as the former champion throws a fireball in Hogan’s face (and if you watch the video closely, Mean Gene looks like he got a taste of fire as well).

 

Slaughter wasted no time, delivering a verbal beatdown on Hogan, following up with chairshot after chairshot to the fallen Hogan. Slaughter taunted Hogan, asking him “Hulk rules?” and replying “No, Slaughter rules!” With Hogan writhing in pain, Mean Gene stood by as General Adnan directed traffic and Slaughter continued his assault until he’s satisfied with the punishment he’s inflicted.

 

Just minutes after his win, Hogan would realize his war with Sgt. Slaughter wasn’t over. Following the insidious attack by Slaughter, Hogan would battle the unrelenting Marine over the next few months, culminating in a big tag team match at SummerSlam. Join us next time as we look at the wrap-up to Hulk Hogan’s feud with Sgt. Slaughter.

Works Referenced:

 

Cawthon, Graham. “The History of the WWE. Results. 1990”. The History of the WWE. Accessed 26 May 2017.

 

Wikipedia contributors. "WrestleMania VII)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 May. 2017. Accessed 22 January 2018.

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