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Heel Hogan in WWF circa 1993?


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Was it ever on the cards for Hulk Hogan to turn heel in the WWF back in 1993, prior to him leaving for WCW?

With hindsight, it seems like it would've been the natural thing to do. His act was already stale by that point and the fans were starting to turn against him anyway. A Hogan heel turn would've generated massive publicity for the struggling WWF at that time, and a feud between the newly hated Hogan and Bret Hart as the babyface underdog could've been a big draw.

All you ever heard from Vince McMahon at the time though was that he wanted Hulk Hogan to become the "Babe Ruth of the WWF", steadily phased out of the limelight but brought back periodically as a "special attraction".

McMahon was so fixated on this particular conception of Hogan's future that he couldn't see the forest for the trees. He could've stolen a march on WCW by a good three years and made a mint from a Hogan heel run.

Were they that blind that they couldn't see it? Surely turning a wrestler when his act is going stale is one of the oldest tricks in the wrestling promoter's manual? Did McMahon really just see Hogan as a perennial good guy and nothing besides?

​Sure seems that way.  Hogan for his part was equally behind the times, as he didn't see Bret Hart as a viable alternative to the top babyface spot, so blame can go both ways there.  And then look at what Vince did as soon as Hogan left -- he tried to create Lex Luger in his image as another patriotic top musclehead babyface!  Plus, although Hogan's act was stale, it's not like people were actively booing him like they were once he got to WCW, so the dynamic might not have worked the same.  ​

Comments

  1. This feels like a "Cena should turn heel" e-mail under clever disguise.... hmmmm...

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  2. It's kind of nice that Bret writes emails to the blog.

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  3. The ending of 9 would have been amazing if it had led to a Hogan heel turn.

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  4. You're talking about a Vince McMahon who felt a Bret Hart Vs Macho Man Randy Savage feud wouldn't work because 42 year old Randy was too old.


    So he let Bret feud with that young up-n-comer Bob Backlund instead who was a sprightly 45.

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  5. "It's not like people were actively booing him."


    Hmm. Whilst I'd agree that the levels of antipathy - and apathy - that greeted Hogan in WCW circa 95 were not in evidence at the end of his WWF run, there's no denying the crowd were turning on him big time. The boos he received at the 92 Rumble were pretty major - major enough that McMahon had them mixed out in video releases. The reactions he received in 1993 upon his return were pretty tepid to say the least - and wasn't there a pop when Yokozuna crushed him at KOTR?

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  6. Isn't that what everything's about, really, when it all
    comes down to it?

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  7. McMahon clearly didn't count on guys like Savage and Hogan wrestling full time for the next 10 years.

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  8. At least it's something different this time though!

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  9. Could be a lot of fun...I'm amusing myself right now with the thought of Hogan losing the belt at KOTR and doing a stretcher job for good measure, then taking Crush's place in the Savage-Crush Summit, and having the 93 Survivor Series main event be Luger/Tatanka/Steiners vs. Hogan/Yoko/Quebecers

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  10. That would have been good. Just something subtle, maybe
    in the way he pushes Bret aside, or just a look, something you might not notice
    live but is there when you look back. Like that jealous look Savage gave Hogan
    at Mania 4.

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  11. Funny question: Does Vince dare to ask Savage to go out and lose in 9 seconds to Diesel?

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  12. He's learned his lesson at least at has relentlessly used the same guys for the past 15 years now

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  13. his matches with UT also had the crowds turning on him a bit with a good 40% or so cheering UT. Now I will say that the booking at RR92 didn't help Hogan. It made him look like a whiner going in (and we all know that whether someone is right or wrong in wrestling, if they whine, they get booed) and then his interaction with Sid made him look even worsel

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  14. Hey WAIT A MINUTE! The crowd totally booed Sid when he threw out hogan at the Rumble!! I clearly remember the SNME footage where the crowd loudly booed, while smiling, jumping up and down and making clapping motions!!

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  15. Yep, that was just unforgivable. I mean, Sid threw him out 100% fair and square, then Hogan threw a temper tantrum which led to the heel winning the thing. Terrible.

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  16. 6 degrees of Cena heel turns?

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  17. It would have made perfect sense, but Hogan would have to put Hart over, which wasn't going to happen. And even if he did, Hogan would want his win back at some point. This reminds of Bob Backlund a decade earlier when he wouldn't turn heel after dropping the title. If Backlund would have harnessed just a taste of the Mr. Backlund character at that time, your first WrestleMania main event would have been Hogan/Backlund. They would have sold out MSG and it would have been a major, major deal; a true changing of the guard.

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  18. I wonder if he would have told everyone to "stick it" which is probably like the uncoolest and least threatening thing to say outside of John Cena calling someone "Jack" when hes angry.

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  19. If he ditched Cena and Orton, they’d go to
    TNA, raise their business, WWE creative would get a spark lit up them as a
    result and they’d create new stars, business would boom, TNA would eventually
    implode anyway, and Cena and Orton could return as conquering legends.
    Everybody wins! (Except TNA in the end). This should happen.

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  20. I don't like John Cena when he's angry. Or when he's not angry.

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  21. Bret Hart was a viable alternative as a top babyface?

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  22. I don't think it would move tna's needle at all really. Those guys aren't big enough cross over draws for anyone to care. The wwe has set all theirs guys up as homogenous replaceable parts. They've gotten the universe to care about the entity and not the guys. It's one of the reasons the product so so bland now

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  23. Was a big fan of him, but I 100% admit that even as a kid, it felt like he only had the title because the WWF officially turned into a small pond. All the top guys left, Bret was the best of the remaining bunch.

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  24. Shit, forgot about that. UT's victory at SS 91 got a loud reaction - Hogan's win at TTIT (SNARKY RUSSO ACRONYM IF EVER THERE WAS ONE) wasn't greeted by cheers either.

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  25. I always disputed the "pop" UT got for that Survivor Series win. It was a "holy shit, that was unexpected" pop.

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  26. As a kid, I always wanted a good guy as champ, so while Hogan wasn't my favorite, he was basically the "safety". But when Sid came in, I definitely wanted him to be the top guy... Then he turned heel, I was like "ok fine, Hogan, do your thing... I guess..."

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  27. Bret in 1992 was a clear case of SOMEBODY has to be champ. He didn't feel like a real main eventer until KotR 93.

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  28. That's exactly how I felt. Only after he won those 3 matches, I thought afterwards "ok, Bret is a guaranteed thing. No way 1 guy can beat him, if 3 guys couldn't beat him in 1 night".

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  29. In 1993 Hogan was still trying to get his movie career rolling, which ultimately failed. One of the reasons he signed with Turner was the acting opportunities. I really don't think 1993 Hogan had any desire to be anything but a part time wrestler. He was essentially part time in WCW while he tried to become a movie star. I think once he finally turned heel he had accepted the fact that he wasn't going to be the next Stallone

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  30. It didn't feel like he was "made" guy until the Owen feud and WMX either

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  31. I was wondering when you would appear.

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  32. All because the Rocky/Thunderlips match was declared a draw. Stallone buried him by not putting him over.

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  33. as you all probably know, I'm as big a Bret fan as there is, but I remember myself being away from wrestling for about 2 years and then getting tickets to RR93. When I saw Bret as champ I went, "Huh?" I didn't see it either and I grew up loving the Hart foundation. Bret and Savage were the first heels I cheered for

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  34. I will have to rewatch but I remember UT getting pretty good reactions the whole match while Hogan's were somewhat muted compared to the past.

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  35. You sound like Dynamite Kid! (if you read bret's book, you know what i mean)

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  36. LOL. yep. I've read it like 15 times, mostly due to needing references for arguments around here

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  37. It's weird that Bret was the first real WWF champ that didn't feel like the focal point of the promotion. It set the precedent for Punk, Bryan, Benoit, Edge and all the other guys defending the title in the middle of the show.

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  38. I've gone over this before, but I don't blame Vince for still trying to push Hogan in 1993. His first attempt to phase Hogan out went spectacularly wrong (Warrior) and Bret Hart wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire.

    What still confuses me is why Vince didn't see Savage as the guy to carry the torch in the mid 1990s until Bret and Shawn were ready.

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  39. Hogan would've walked out on the company if Vince asked him to go heel. Even in 96 Hogan didn't see the huge amount of money left on the table with the NWO angle and Hogan turning in WWF in 93 wouldn't have drawn nearly as much. Moreover it'd be used to put someone else over as a star and we can't have that brother.

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  40. Its sad. He basically forced Savage's hand to go to WCW at a time Vince needed stars the most. At least that's what got him finally serious about pushing new guys. Still took him s year to figure it out though.

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  41. yeah Hogan still had reservations in 96 due to the kids and being seen as a hero. But his crowd reactions by 96 were way worse than 93.

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  42. I don't know, with the state of the business in 1993, I understand Vince not entertaining a Hogan heel turn. He definitely shouldn't be "The Guy" at that point, but Hogan as a special attraction probably made the most business sense.

    That said, *IF* you are going to turn Hogan heel in that era, I think you build to Hart vs. Hogan at WrestleMania X and do the turn there. Just have Bret regain the belt from Yoko at SummerSlam '93 and give him a chance to draw as champion (with Hogan on the shelf after KOTR). Hogan can return and win the Rumble, or just demand a title shot at the 10th WrestleMania based on history. Bret agrees and you build it as a "changing of the guard" face vs. face match. When Hulk is outwrestled, he turns heel and shows his true colors. Show ends with a heel Hogan getting pelted with garbage hopefully. Then spend all of 1994 with Hogan ducking challengers and retaining against babyfaces. Build to the Hogan-Hart re-match after Hulk has had a strong heel run, either at WrestleMania 11 or whenever it's time to pull the trigger. As a heel, maybe have Hogan lead a 1994 faction of "old guard" types, like Jerry Lawler, Bob Backlund, etc. to give Bret established veterans to fight through.

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  43. I kind of understand it though. As delusional as they were to think babyface Hogan's act could endure forever, I can see Hogan being nervous about it. If the heel turn flops, he's basically blown his whole schtick.

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  44. Yeah, it is odd for sure. Bret vs. Savage could have headlined WrestleMania 9 (with Hogan vs. Yoko as a special attraction). It could have been the WrestleMania 10 main event too.

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  45. I think it somewhat started with Warrior too. Hogan just never went away long enough to see if Warrior could be the true top of the company. Warrior's first title defense (SummerSlam '90) was more of a co-main event and felt secondary to Hogan-Quake to me as a 7 year old mark. As a Hogan fan, my hero was still there and Warrior was just the guy with the belt. I contend that they should have had Earthquake put Hogan out through SummerSlam and have him challenge Warrior at SummerSlam. Warrior beats Quake at SummerSlam, Hogan returns for Survivor Series and leads his Hulkamaniacs team against the Natural Disasters. At least Warrior gets a chance to draw as champion at SummerSlam and on the house show circuit without Hogan's name attached still

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  46. absolutely. And as silly as it sounds to us, he WAS a genuine hero to kids. Think of the dying kid he visited seeing him on screen telling fans to stick it. It was a big move for a guy who's identity was wrapped up in being the hero to kids for 14 years. And he did a ton of make a wish and charity work without the WWE machine needing to publicize it all the time like they do with Cena.

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  47. Good. Because you wouldnt like him when hes angry.

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  48. Exactly why I say it absolutely wouldn't have happened. Even in 96 he really couldn't see a future as a heel.

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  49. I agree. I was a Bret fan from the start of his singles push, but even when he got the belt I never saw him as "Hulk's replacement".

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  50. Eh, he ended up turning into a psycho. He gets a pass.

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  51. I think the Bret Hart and Diesel title wins were hurt by not taking place on the big stage. As a young mark, I felt conditioned to the biggest wins taking place at WrestleMania, including Hogan's big matches and Savage's first title win. To hear that Bret Hart won the title in an untelevised match and only see still photos in the WWF Magazine left 10-year old me thinking it just wasn't as big a deal as Hogan (and he wasn't). Same with Diesel to some degree: when we just hear "he won the title a few days ago" in a match you couldn't even watch back then, it felt like his win wasn't that big of a deal. I think in both cases it set the tone for their abilities to "draw" as champions

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  52. If they had done a Hogan heel turn, I think they could have put together an EPIC video package to emphasize "The Hulkster's True Colors". Put in video clips of all the heelish things he had done over the years. There were plenty of examples of Hulk pulling heelish things and you could put it all together to drive home the point that "Hulkamania" was just an act and he really is a ratfuck human being by nature.

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  53. Totally. I was 10 years old in 1993 and even if the WWF was growing tired to me, Hogan was still a hero figure. I think it's the same with Cena now. Turning him now might make for interesting story arc for us adult fans, but I totally get why they don't turn their surefire "hero"

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  54. He's Vince McMahon, so he probably does have the stones to ask.


    He probably gets a punch in the mouth and an "I QUIT, MOTHERFUCKER!" as an answer, but he probably asks.

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  55. If Diesel had stayed the dominant monster heel, I can see them having him destroy Savage for the title (albeit not in nine seconds) at MSG to kick off his monster run. Then do Diesel vs. Hart at Mania 11.

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  56. I don't know. I think it's much better for everyone to turn the top face heel, than take him out of the shows or let someone else take his spot while he is still face and in the shows, because he will always steel the new guys spotlight. If he is heel, he can be on top AND he can push his successor.

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  57. Not true. I was there as a kid a TTIT and place erupted when hogan won. Nobody thought undertaker could be beaten.

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  58. Narrated by Bobby Heenan.

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  59. See, somehow some way Luger will be involved in a fan letter. He's the Kevin Bacon of wrestling.


    ''How much involvement do you think Luger had in the Montreal Screwjob?''

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  60. Well, Lex's abrupt departure from the WWF and sudden appearance in WCW did give Nitro a huge shot in the arm for its kickoff show. That had to weigh on Vince's mind when he considered the disaster of Bret making the same jump with the a WWF title (along with Medusa's betrayal).

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  61. What's with Vince's obsession with Babe Ruth anyway? I've heard his use that "I wanted wrestler X to be the Babe Ruth of the WWF/E" in relation to Hogan, Savage and Bret.

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  62. if slaughter could go back to being a face after Iraq, Hogan could've too

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  63. Yup, plus I'm sure he worried that if he turned heel that he'd also kill the golden goose. If he bombed in the heel role and if fans wouldn't take him back as a babyface that he'd gone and killed his own marketability.

    Hogan is funny though, because he's still routinely go to those elementary school "Twas The Night Before Christmas" readings in his Hollywood Hogan gear, so ultimately I guess being a celebrity is more important than being a heel/babyface for booking those gigs.

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  64. I think the reason he didn't see Savage in that role was because of how bad Savage/Flair bombed and Savage's post WM8 house show run.

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  65. He wanted them to get out-of-shape on booze and hot dogs and become shells of their former selves?

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  66. Fuck yes! That would have been pure gold

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  67. Another thing to keep in mind was that Hogan's initial WCW deal was a short term one -- so I'm sure he had his eyes on the acting opportunities and other possibilities within the Turner organization, so his focus wasn't on all on wrestling.


    But then Hogan/Flair did big numbers almost every time they put it out there in 1994 and he drew well with Vader on PPV, so I'm sure he saw that as the more lucrative avenue at that point since he was contracted to get such a high percentage of the PPV revenue for shows he was on that drew high buy-rates.

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  68. Yeah, but Slaughter didn't have to go back to being a TOP face though. There was no real risk in turning Slaughter heel because he didn't need to do anything as a face. I see your point, but there wasn't really any downside to "risking" a Slaughter heel turn

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  69. Vince heard about Babe Ruth from the candy bar, not that sportsball stuff.

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  70. Yeah the Tuesday in Texas crowd popped big for his win. His cracks were showing though for sure, especially in some of the bigger wrestling markets.


    As a fan personally, I didn't really start noticing a backlash until the Undertaker match at Survivor Series and then the Rumble the next month.


    I actually think the audio was sweetened a little bit for his entrance too at WrestleMania 8 in preparation for any negative reaction based on the scandals airing that weekend on TV. You can kind of hear it swell up and then cut of as the camera is focused on him in closeup in the aisleway. I don't think they needed it though, he got a huge babyface reaction anyway.

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  71. Yeah I have had that thought too. They also boo Hogan a bit as he's being helped out though, which makes me lean towards that as a 'pop'.

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  72. Heel Hogan in 93 probably would have made I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac even better.

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  73. After he pinned every opponent, he'd dedicate "Another Hulkster in Heaven" to them?

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  74. I imagine Vince first heard of Babe Ruth around the time Scarface came out.

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  75. Vince knew about Bret's impending departure WAY in advance and could have done things to ensure it came off well (plus grabbed the belt). Besides, I don't think Bret really had any interest in hurting Vince or the WWF until AFTER the screw-job He obviously viewed him as a father figure.

    Vince was just crazy paranoid at that time IMO.

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  76. Monsoon would have to be there expressing shock at Hogan and WILL YOU STOP?!!ing Heenan for his glee.

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  77. I know we like to get on guys for being marks for themselves but I agree. Sometimes these guys just like being a hero and all that. It's not an apples to apples comparison, but I knew a few athletes who went out of their way to be good guys b/c they liked it when kids looked up to them. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

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  78. All stemming from a discussion sparked by Freddie Blassie eating a Baby Ruth.

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  79. For want of a Luger, the ratings were lost.
    For want of ratings, money was lost.
    For want of money, Bret Hart was lost.
    For want of Bret Hart, a job was screwed.
    All for the want of a Luger.

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  80. Luger bombs as the top face, resulting in Bret getting the title back, falling in love with it and refusing to let it go, resulting in Montreal.

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  81. Or he wanted his exiting champion to lose the title before he left. It's not the outrageous request Bret makes it out to be.

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  82. They did that when Sting turned heel in 1999 and it was so well done you'd think they planned it for years.

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  83. FUCK THE LIONS!!!!!

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  84. I didn't think going back to Hogan was such a bad idea. He was the biggest star in history at that point, why not try to recapture it? It was worth a shot at least.

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  85. Hogan as a heel in '93 would have drawn, just not as much as Hogan as a heel in '97. The Rock n Wrestling kids had to be in their late teens/early twenties for it to work fully. The same with Cena. He will turn, but it won't happen for another three or so years. The kids that grew up on the hero turn against him and then re-embrace him as an anti-hero. Hogan had a sizable following as a heel, that cool factor that comes with novelty of being a bad guy. He had to go full Memphis chickenshit to really get heel heat.

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  86. Yep. There was always the option of Bret Hart getting over himself, dropping the fake wrestling belt, and going to where he was going to make way more money working for the competition.

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  87. If they wanted to put the belt on Hogan then that would have been fine, but WWF should have built up to it. Having Hogan win the title the way he did at WM9 made the belt look cheap, made Hogan look bad and made Bret and Yoko look like idiots. Non-one came out of that angle looking good.

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  88. Really? I need to see that.

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  89. Yeah, I can't remember that either, but sounds awesome.

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  90. Plus Bret was still under contract for another twenty or so days, and thus couldn't have "turned up with the belt on Nitro" the next monday.

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  91. Even in Bret's doc he admitted he didn't feel like the rightful champion until he lost the title and realized that him being champion was a lot better to the alternative.

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  92. Oh yeah, the way they did it was terrible, probably a last minute decision. I remember even as kids us all being confused about how Hogan was suddenly champion. I don't think they'd end WM with a heel winning back then, so maybe Bret retains somehow, loses to Yokozuna at KOTR and try Hogan again at Summerslam?

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  93. But WCW could have announced that the current WWF Champion is leaving to join WCW. They announced Bret's impending arrival the next night, if he still has the belt they're bragging about the WWF Champion leaving the WWF because WCW's the place to be.

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  94. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02IVz6fbF-8

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  95. That would have been fine, or if Vince really wanted Hogan as champion at WM9, they could have had Hogan win the Rumble, Yoko beats Bret for the title around February and then Hogan beats Yoko for the belt at WM9. Sure it would have still been bad, but at least they would have built up to it and not confuse the viewers in the process.

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  96. It sounds like it was all a last minute decision. In Bret's book he was under the impression he'd be beating Yokozuna until the day before when the Hogan plan was told to him.

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  97. I forget what Bret said about the match since it's been awhile since I read it, but I believe it was probably a last minute decision. If WWF had it planned from the outset then I'm sure they would have done some things different and positioned Bret and Hogan as on-screen friends because as a kid watching this live, I was confused that Hogan and Bret were suddenly buddies now.

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  98. That's pretty cool. Surprised WWE hasn't done a heel turn similar to this where they could put out a video piece where we should have seen the clues.

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  99. That's pretty great. Gotta give WCW points for effort, there.

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  100. Yeah, fair point. In the same vein as Nash's victory over Goldberg, I suppose.

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  101. Screw Bret, I'd have been all about a Hogan/Savage feud with Savage as the face this time who FINALLY beats Hogan.

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  102. Don't see Cena ever turning. I just don't feel he has the passion to ever play a heel convincingly enough. Yes, I know he was one before (though I'll argue no true heel would or should ever get the crowd to repeat his catch phrases, etc) but that was a different time. Since he's been pushed as the face of the E, he has really embraced that role and it's like he absolutely relishes being the kid friendly hero. Mostly because so much of that is him. Cena the wrestler may be blander than a vegan thanksgiving, but I don't think many would argue that Cena the person is a pretty alright dude. My bullshit meter is always up when it comes to celebrities and their charity work or interaction with fans, and not once have I ever thought Cena came as as a phony. Again, I just don't think Cena has the heart to be this generations Hollywood Hogan.

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  103. When did Bret ever object to losing the title before he left?

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  104. Yeah, why not have Bret get the win in Montreal or have some non finish with multiple interference, then set up a fatal four way where Shawn gets the belt on Raw or something?

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  105. .....And WWE's highly efficient propaganda machine would have worked overtime to portray Bret as another washed-up old boy selling out for a cushy contract from Billionaire Ted who, lest we forget, was DETERMINED to put WWE out of business. Austin, DX, Rock, Foley....they're where it's at! Bret who? When it came to spin, Vince was always a master.

    Not saying it was an ideal situation, but in my opinion its potential fallout has been highly overstated.

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  106. I know no-one stays the same and people change, but Cena gets the business and since he played as awesome heel before he can do it again. I never thought Shawn could play a good heel again after 2002, but the guy ended up being a super heel in 2005 in his feud with Hogan.

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  107. I don't remember much from this time. How much of a major fail was Sting as a heel? That's another guy I just can't see ever really getting into the role. Plus, I'm assuming he still has the face paint too, right? To me a heel Sting would have to get rid of that and everything else that made him a face.

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  108. Bobby never did manage the world champion did he? Now imagine him finally living the dream by teaming up with Hogan? Pretty shocking considering one could argue that Hogan vs Heenan was the feud of the 80's.

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  109. Yeah, Sting was never comfortable being a heel in 99, which was why it bombed for the most part. Sting kept the face paint and kept all the things that made him Sting and continued to do the 'woo' thing during his matches showing he was never serious about being a heel.

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  110. That's the thing. It worked so well in WCW because ubber WCW fans like me never really did embrace him. I won't argue his success, but I remember 1994 before he got there being a pretty good time.

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  111. Yeah, he even visited as kid before wrestling at summerslam 1992. Think the kid may have even died as he was picking up the 899lb Andre the Giant for a body slam. That slam would go on to cure AIDS.

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  112. Bret NEVER felt like a made guy. Vince always seemed to be letting him keep the belt warm until the next big thing came along.

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  113. I don't think that has as much to do it as other do though. Remember Hogan beat Sheik at MSG and not at a mania. Sometimes it's just all about the guy, and very few guys are ever going to be the megastars that your Hogan, Austins, and Rocks were.

    And it's also all about the booking afterwards too. In Diesel's case it didn't help matter any not having him go over Bret at the rumble and Shawn showing him up at mania.

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  114. It's not about getting rid of them. I see the case as to why Cena is where he's at (he makes them money and no business sticks around if they aren't making profits). It's about getting people on their level.

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  115. He felt like the made guy in 94 when he was champion and he became the face of the company.

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  116. I've never got the obsession with having to turn Cena heel to begin with. Just book your current heels better. It's also not like there haven't been faces to cater to the adult fans.

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  117. Would Savage have a problem with it? Was Savage known for playing politics?

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  118. all heels seem to have catchphrases now. Bad news barrett, Miz, Swagger and the REal Americans when they were heels, etc.

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  119. Don't recall a time Savage ever refused to job, and Savage was smart to the business and was good at making guys look like stars, but jobbing in 9 seconds seems like the only deal breaker in this scenario, but you never know, Vince is pretty good at making guys do things they're not happy with.

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  120. also cultstatus summed it up great in the CM Punk thread: "Making money ain't a work."

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  121. Because Bishoff still announcers at the start of Nitro the WWF Champion is leaving? And probably announces he'll lose the title so he can join WCW? And Bret handing over the title seemed to be the way he wanted to go out, that's what he kept suggesting as an alternative to losing to Shawn.

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  122. I just don't see any realistic business reason for the WWF Champion to not have to lose the WWF Championship before going to WCW. It makes all the sense in the world for Bret to lose and be on his way like everyone else does.

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  123. He wouldn't lose the title before Survivor Series because his Canadian fans were expecting him to be Champion going into the show. And he pretty openly says that he wasn't going to lose to Shawn specifically. I really don't see why the guy who's leaving can't just lose the title like anyone else would have done.

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  124. Well, didn't have have creative control?

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  125. I dunno, that's not nearly damaging to me as -- say Bret Hart showing up on TV with the belt. Bischoff said a lot of things.

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  126. "probably announces he'll lose the title so he can join WCW?"

    So you're expecting Eric to tell the world that wrestling is fake cause that's exactly what he would be doing there.

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  127. Yeah, I certainly have no beef with the idea of Bret losing in Montreal clean as a sheet. That's just a wrestling finish.



    We're getting more into ethics and legalities here -- if Bret had the explicit right to NOT to do that in his contract, then what I have issue with is Vince breaching his contract. Of course nobody here knows exactly what 'creative control' means and Bret never sued him (as he probably should have)/

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  128. But again, when did he say he was NEVER losing the title? The issue was Shawn right? But again wasn't he given creative control at the time? If so, they have to honor that right? So what would have been the big deal with him dropping the belt in a four way on a Raw?

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  129. Meltzer has speculated a bit that the reasoning behind having Hogan get the surprise win was actually to test the PPV market -- WrestleMania 9 was the first event where multiple replays would be available nationally over the next several days (as opposed to the customary one just after the show) and so they could spend all week hyping up the encore and see if people would still buy a PPV after it already took place.

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  130. Yeah I agree with this, Hogan and Bret had never really interacted at all and all the sudden Hogan is giving him his blessing on the show.

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  131. I do think it's less of an issue now for one important distinction -- in the early 1990s, Vince was not sure he could do it without Hogan. There was the feeling that the whole organization WAS Hogan in terms of the mainstream recognition they enjoyed. He knows he can do it without Cena now -- and in fact there are some that say Cena doesn't move the needle like he used to.


    On the other hand, the WWE is a public company too now.

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  132. I agree. But they had until the end of the month to arrange it, I don't see why it absolutely HAD to be in Montreal.

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  133. Sorry, couldn't stop laughing after you said Bret hart and big draw in the same sentence. Good show, chap!

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  134. He did. But in this case he's using it to go into business for himself - there's nothing unreasonable about him losing the title to Shawn Michaels on screen, it's just the personal issues or Bret wanting to leave as champion that muddy it. I just find it to be a but hypercritical to rip Hogan for using his creative control for his personal benefit but not Bret.

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  135. Bret said he wouldn't job to Shawn unless Shawn jobbed to him first. Plus he really seemed to keep coming back to his handing over the title scenario.

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  136. In Bret's book it sounds like Vince went back and fourth on whether he wanted Bret to leave a couple of times so Montreal may have been the first pay per view after it was definitively decided. He probably wanted to get one last buy rate from the Shawn/Bret feud to. Probably should have taken the belt off him as soon as Bret's future was up in the air in September though. Actually if doesn't win it in the first Shawn could have gotten it from one of his matches vs Undertaker.

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  137. Possibly they could have inserted Taker into the mix and made it a triple threat, then Taker gets the win and transitions the belt to Shawn at the rumble. Really though, with the best of intentions personal issues get in the way of two guys working together properly. Just a shame things had to turn out the way they did.

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  138. CruelConnectionNumber2November 27, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Hogan was 100% NEVER turning heel in 1993. He had too many outside projects, a television series pilot being shipped, and was still rebuilding his damaged image from the steroid trials. He basically ran away overseas to work WWF/Japan shows while the steroid stuff blew over and wrestling was in a dead period. Had WCW not given him an asinine deal (large % of PPV/Clash percentages that put WCW in the red, as well as the base guaranteed salary) he probably would've retired from U.S. wrestling given the state of the business.

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  139. He could suggest Bret's going to throw the match so he can get rid of the inferior title and go where the big boys play.

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  140. It only lasted a month before Russo took over and reset everything, but it really wasn't getting over. Sting double crossed Hogan and beat him with a bat and was cheered. Fans didn't want to cheer him and beating up two less than sympathetic characters like Flair and Hogan didn't help. Sting was a WCW fans guy like Austin was to WWF fans.

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  141. But, as you mentioned, Bret was willing to job to Shawn. So who cares if it doesn't happen at survivor series? I don't get why it had to happen there other than a huge FU to Bret.

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  142. I think Savage goes down in 9 seconds, but not for the title. And then he has a match similar to the one Bret and Diesel had at Survivor Series 95, except he loses because he gets to caught up with heeltactics.

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  143. To be fair, it's not like Bret had any real stars to work against. Hogan wasn't around, Savage was shuffled off to the announce table, and Taker was still fairly new and not yet the legend he would become (and more of a mid-card special attraction at that point); the next biggest "star" they had was... what, Luger?

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  144. Don't forget the STDs.

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  145. My friends and myself still tell each other "you stick it" due to it and the Sting promo the night after.

    Oh man, we've been using it for over 15 years...

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  146. Yeah, but Hogan's title win in '84 predates WWF pay-per-views. Once PPV was established as the "must-see" material, it seemed the appropriate place for the big moments to happen. Even more so for WrestleMania specifically.

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  147. Yeah, they really needed new credible heels to feed Bret, because the old guard just was not there. I don't think Lawler was a guy that WWF marks were going to buy as a main event level threat. I think Lex Luger remaining the "Narcissist" and getting a big heel push (KOTR?) in '93 would have made him a viable top heel for SummerSlam '93 or even WrestleMania X with some long-term booking. Yokozuna pretty much killed my interest in the WWF until late '97.

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  148. Yeah, especially refusing to lose in his "home country". Like Canada is small or something. It would be like Shawn saying "I won't lose it to Bret in fucking Wichita" because it's his home country.

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  149. Exactly. Shawn, dickhead or not, was the guy who was staying and was going to become top heel. Vince needed to be looking down the road too. Austin was going to be the next Guy and without Bret to drop the belt to him, Vince needed Shawn to be that guy.

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  150. He easily could have just agreed to do business the way business is done and taken his fat paycheck in WCW.

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  151. I think that was a major insult back in the cowboy years. Kinda like calling someone "yellow".

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  152. I love the effort, even if that heel turn seemed ill-advised. Turning him on Hogan didn't make a lot of sense to me either. Given all the history between them why would we buy Sting as "evil", just because Hogan is wearing yellow tights again?

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  153. It wasn't about losing in Canada. Bret has said he lost many times in Canada and didn't bother him. What bothered Bret was that his patriotism was on the line. Bret losing to Shawn at that time in Canada would have been the equivalent to Hogan doing the job to Sgt Slaughter at WM7.

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  154. If Hogan turns heel in 93, does Punk get to main event a WM?

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  155. Actually, Bret Hart was a big draw overseas. And those tours were pretty much the WWF's bread and butter in the mid-1990's when they were regularly taping Raw in high school gyms in the US.

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  156. It would seem that you're rather missing the point. The "draw" would be the fact that Hogan has just shocked the world by turning heel. Fans would be tuning in to see Bret Hart as an underdog babyface against the monster heel Hulk Hogan, rather than because Bret Hart was a major draw in his own right.
    Perhaps you are forgetting the massive shock waves, mainstream publicity and ratings boost generated by Hulk Hogan's heel turn three years later in WCW, and this long after he had ceased to be a major public attraction.
    Besides which, Bret Hart was the WWF's biggest draw in the immediate aftermath of Hogan's departure. Obviously he wasn't anywhere near as big a draw as Hogan was in his prime, or Steve Austin and the Rock were later, but he did a credible job under tough circumstances when the WWF was in major creative slump.
    I think fans would've bought into Bret Hart in a feud with the newly turned Hulk Hogan. All of the ingredients to build the storyline were already there. The fans had already booed Hulk Hogan for whinging when Sid Justice chucked him out at the Royal Rumble in 1992 (forcing the WWF to redub the crowd noise for later replays). And everybody totally shat on it when Hogan came back to win the WWF title from Yokozuna at WMIX, just moments after Yoko won the belt from Bret.
    The inbuilt sympathy for Bret and resentment for Hogan was already there, since everybody thought Bret had been hard done by when Hogan came back to steal his spotlight after all those months out making crappy movies. All the WWF had to do was capitalise on the existing sentiment. The fact that these were genuine emotions already widespread among fans, rather than some cock and bull claptrap concocted by the story department, would've made the storyline and feud resonate all the deeper. In other words, it's a box office win.

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  157. But didn't the WWF essentially sabotage Warrior's title run by not fully trusting him to carry the company by himself? Instead of making Warrior the new headliner, the focus remained on Hogan and Warrior essentially remained the co-star, despite being the champion.
    Also, they never really built any strong opponents for Warrior. A champion is only ever as big a draw as his challengers. It doesn't matter how popular your champion is; if you don't build up credible opponents for him or deliver storylines that capture the public's imagination, then he will not draw. As much as I think Rick Rude is great, the fans had already seen Warrior beat him on numerous occasions as the Intercontinental champ. Nobody bought him as a credible challenger to Warrior's belt. It just wasn't the way to go about cementing a new legacy.
    I'm not saying that Warrior would've ever been capable of drawing business like Hogan did, but you've gotta be fair to the guy here: they never really gave him a proper chance to try.

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  158. Yes indeed. You show Hogan cheating to win his matches (which he did surprisingly often) chucking fireballs (which he did in his feud with Slaughter) and play up the fact that he acted like a big cry baby when eliminated from the Royal Rumble.
    You also play up the fact that he's an "unworthy" champion because of the way he won the belt from Yoko, and then proceeded to sit out his reign, duck challenges and not give Bret Hart a rightful title shot.
    You then have Hogan go on TV and say that he never really believed in all that Hulkamania god bless America crap anyway, and that he was just doing it for the money (which is actually true, incidentally).
    Before long the fans are booing Hogan out of the building and itching to see Bret Hart beat him. None of this stuff is rocket science. It's just wrestling 101. But it works.

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  159. Wouldn't that then make the heel turn all the more shocking and dramatic, and therefore more successful?
    Let's not forget that Hogan's reputation as an all around good guy had already been irreparably tarnished by all the steroid controversy at that time anyway. He was still considered a big hero, but a fading one, and not quite as convincing a one as previously.

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  160. Another one of Vince's weird fixations. One day somebody is gonna look in the McMahon basement and find Hillbilly Jim sodomising a cardboard statue of Babe Ruth while Don Rather looks on and praises Vince for guiding wrestling into a new era of mainstream respectability.

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  161. The state of the business in 1993 is the exact reason why you would do it; as in: the established format wasn't working anymore and they needed to do something to shake it up and generate fresh interest.

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  162. Hogan not wanting to put Hart over or pass the torch would indeed seem to have been the biggest obstacle in something like this actually happening at the time.

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  163. Yeah, JR yakking about Hogan's 'friend' Bret Hart had all of the sincerity of Hulk's appearance on Arsenio Hall.

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