Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hulkamania

Hulk Hogan has returned ( if he ever REALLY left ).

Not only has he signed a partnership with TNA, he has also embarked on a tour of Australia ( and possibly other parts of the world later ), facing off against none other than longtime rival the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
Back in the mid to late 80's, the news of Hogan facing Flair, would have been the biggest news to hit wrestling ever. Bigger than Austin, bigger than Rock, bigger than Vince's ego, Jimmy Valiant's beard, or Kamala's belly... Bigger perhaps, than all of these things combined. When Flair signed with the WWE in 1991, anticipation built that he would finally face off against the Hulkster, and we would finally have our answer to just who was the best. But the few bouts they had were largely disappointing, and the proposed program between the two was eventually scrapped in the midst of steroid scandals, court cases, and fights over the last bottle of peroxide.



Much water has passed under the bridge and through the urinals at many arenas since then. Ric Flair retired, Hogan has faced divorces, legal battles, reality tv cameras... Both men have had their children enter the spotlight... Hogan has had surgeries, Ric Flair has had unexplained black eyes... But when the dust settled these two warriors ( not Ultimate Warriors you understand... nobody wants to see THAT rematch ), dusted themselves off, and were ready to do battle once again. And perhaps now, more than two decades later, we can finally get our answer.

As I type this, sitting in an airport in Australia, awaiting my lift to take me to one of these show-downs... I can't help but think of young Terry Boulder, and "Rambling" Ricky Rhodes when I see the carnage these two have already caused in their bloodbath in Melbourne. They may be older ( though neither man shows any sign of grey hair ), but they are also wiser ( current legal and financial problems notwithstanding ), wilier if you will... And that promises to make for a battle for the ages. Well, either that or a more highly publicized equivalent of those two old blokes you saw fighting at the pub the other week. But either way, it will be settled, once and for all...

And tomorrow you will ask yourself "just who is the best?", and you will answer yourself... "Ric Flair"... just like you always have.
( * these pictures of Brooke Hogan are entirely gratuitous and have nothing to do with my article... I'm just follwing the fabulous sebastian school of layout started over at dvdpurgatory, and ending my post with shots of a hot girl )

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