Wrestling News, Analysis and Commentary

News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

Old Fogies Unite?  Hogan on "Hiatus"...
And Other Monday News
June 30, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Leave it to me to be ahead of schedule, loaded up with a column by about noon, when BAM! a deluge of e-mail hits (OK, maybe it was only 4 at first from people who actually heard it, but the flow has continued steadily for the past couple hours from people who want to know what's going on)...

Apparently, Hulk Hogan went and did something nutty this morning, and now I'm left to tack an incompletely-researched new bullet point on to the top of today's column.  I guess that's better than ignoring it and letting it sit till Wednesday, though, right?

  • During one of his semi-regular appearances on the "Bubba the Love Sponge" show this morning, Hulk Hogan let it slip that he felt his days in WWE were over.  When pressed, Hogan was also pretty clear in saying that it wasn't just "Hulk Hogan" that was through with WWE, but that the "Mr. America" gimmick was also done.  The insinuation was that Hogan walked away because he was displeased with the creative plan for him.
    Now, a week previous to this, I'd gotten a handful of reports from Hogan's previous "Bubba" appearance, and though there was nothing noteworthy, I did note that a couple of readers seemed to agree that Hogan sounded resigned and unenthusiastic when talking about wrestling.  Hogan went to the MSG SD! tapings, where he was pinned by Big Show, and then, less than a week later, is talking about being finished with the company.
    I guess as utterly surprising as this seems to be, you CAN sort of go back and see the pieces coming together in recent weeks, if you're so inclined.
    Then again, you can look at Hogan's past appearances on "Bubba the Love Sponge," many done completely in character, and suspect that he was -- to at least some degree -- working fans with his comments.  Certainly, in past appearances, Hogan has done everything from claiming adamantly that he was done with WWE (just last year, mind you) to feigning ignorance of Mr. America's identity.  It's near-impossible to tell whether Hogan's statements should be given full weight at this time, or if this might just be another case of improvised hyperbole.
    According to readers, Hogan did NOT completely write-off the chances of an in-ring comeback.  He specifically mentioned that he would like to work some matches in Japan before retiring for good, and also -- according to two reports -- mixed in the word "hiatus" with regard to his departure from WWE.  That clashes with other portions of the interview in which he made it sound like the door was pretty well closed.  A "hiatus" is the sort of thing that Hogan could come back from in a few months... or maybe around WrestleMania XX....
    Obviously, among the meager sources I can check with, nobody has any insights as to exactly what happened in the last week between Hogan and WWE.  Whatever DID go down, it's only in the past few hours that it's become public knowledge.  So although I can mention it, any serious examination of the details of this story or the motivations behind it may have to wait till Wednesday.
    For now, let's just assume that -- at the very least -- Hogan's heading for a hiatus, perhaps the for the reasons he suggested, but perhaps not.  We won't give full weight to the possibility that he's completely through with WWE till we hear more (and from a less easily impeached source), but as an intellectual exercise, what really happens if Hogan's gone for a while?  Well, just as Roddy Piper's release will most directly affect Sean O'Haire, Hogan's departure will likely impact Zach Gowen's initial push.  I mean, there is a nice big laundry list of things I like about Stephanie McMahon, but one thing I wouldn't put on there is "Abundant babyface appeal, sufficient to help get new wrestler over."  I'm not a huge fan of anything they've done with Zach so far, but having him palling around with his idol-under-a-mask was slightly less silly than having him be the one good thing in the entire world that can save Stephanie's soul.
    Of course, chances are all the storytelling in the world won't matter a damn once this kid shows you what he can do inside the ring with his one leg.  But still, it'd have been nice to have Gowen's debut click on both fronts.  The sudden loss of Mr. America would undermine those efforts.
    Or could it be a plus?  Just thinking out loud -- and if this idea seems dumb to you, keep in mind I'm just throwing it out there after literally SECONDS of contemplation -- we must remember that "Mr. America" passed a lie detector test, "proving" that he wasn't Hulk Hogan.  Could this be a chance to put someone else under the mask?  Obviously, the fans and Mr. McMahon would have to realize a change was made, which probably means playing such an angle for laughs... but might that be preferable to simply having Mr. America evaporate into thin air without any explanation?  I don't know.  I'll think on it a bit and we'll talk more about it on Wednesday....
    Something else that's pretty significant: as long as Hogan's words weren't misconstrued (by four different readers?  I think not), this will mark the second time he decides to sort of walk away from WWE on a distinctly unsatisfying note.  Last summer -- almost exactly this time a year ago, actually -- Hogan took a leave of absence after being completely thrashed on TV by Brock Lesnar.  It seemed an odd decision from a guy who you'd have to think understands the value of getting a proper send-off, and has the clout to demand it.  
    This time round, Hogan's last appearance was a pinfall loss to Big Show in a tag match.  Again, fairly ignominious.  It's enough to make me suspect that "hiatus" is the accurate term to use here, as both Hogan and McMahon strike me as the types who could get past whatever minor squabbles might pop up to turn Hogan's farewell match into a money-making spectacle, instead of a Thursday night afterthought.  A genuine walk-out/parting of the ways just flies too much in the face of common sense, while a temporary hiatus (perhaps one given a fancy "worked shoot" cover story?) would fit in well with what we know about Hogan's health status (limited by a bad back) and ability to work a regular schedule, and what we suspect about Hogan and Vince's business senses when it comes to setting up Hogan's farewell.  But far be it for me to get all conspiratorial at this very early juncture.
    [And if you want to play with semantics, and say Thursday was only "Mr. America" getting beat, I'd counter by reminding you that Hogan's last match as Hulk Hogan was a loss at WM19, so there...  still not a fitting send-off.]
    Though if Hogan really were never to step into a WWE ring again, it'd give last week's MSG SmackDown! a chance to be a VERY notable event:  Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan, the architects of WrestleMania, were both wrestling on the show, probably the first time in over a decade both were on the same MSG show, and both were pinned -- something that happened so rarely during their previous WWF runs -- in what could be their final WWE matches.  You might want to set that tape aside, instead of taping over it with RAW tonight.  You know, just in case.
    Like I said, sorry I can't add a ton of detail to this story, but we'll have more on Wednesday.  
  • Tonight's RAW will look to build on the ratings momentum that built steadily over the course of 2 hours last Monday, culminating in a huge number for the unmasking of Kane during the over-run.  Did fans like what they saw?  Or more appropriately: were they adequate repulsed?  Or maybe, were they underwhelmed by the shocking revelation that Kane's been secretly wearing WAY too much eye make-up for the past five and a half years?
    Project Kane is clearly going to be the focus tonight.  I think it's pretty clear that we'll see him in a bit of a tweener role: by focusing his aggression on Rob Van dam -- the guy who gently annoyed him with his stoner ways for the past six month -- he'll be playing the heel, but if I know my wrestling fans, by kicking so much ass and appearing ultra-motivated, he'll be generating some mild babyface responses, too.  My opinion: book him to do all the heel stuff you want, and to hell with it if a few fans want to cheer...  do NOT over-react and do something zany like put him with Evolution just so that you can dampen out the cheers.  The way I see the New Kane, it's a Lone Wolf gimmick, through-and-through.  The only alternative would be to attach him to a manager of some kind, a manipulator (not a stable) who could get into his mind and take advantage of Kane's psychological trauma to his own benefit while keeping up the dark/mysterious facade.  Oh what I wouldn't give for Raven to still be on the roster....
    Oh, wait, that's not an idea new for 2003...  that's something I fantasy booked two and a half years ago.  Well, if it was a good idea then, I guess it's still a good idea now....  [side note: in the absence of Raven, the only idea I can come up with just now would be for Bischoff to act as Kane's new handler.  It might sort of fit, since Bischoff's the one who forced the unmasking and who might take a vested interest in the New Kane's career.  Plus, it gives Bischoff something to do besides being Austin's bitch.]
    The beauty thing about keeping Kane a lone wolf is that if you want to burn a few more weeks with Kane chasing Triple H and the World Title, you can.  Whether they follow through with the plan to rehabilitate Goldberg to World Title contender status by SummerSlam, or if they think they can lure Mick Foley back soon rather than later to feud with HHH, it's probably gonna be a few weeks before HHH's next contender really steps up.  Having Kane embrace a tweener role means we can fill up that time a little bit more easily.
    Since Kane/RVD is also going to be a going concern, you MIGHT even realize the secondary benefit of getting RVD in on the fringes of the World Title picture, which will be important now that he's going to be back in the singles game after half a year tag teaming.  Though I suspect he'll be the loser in a feud against Kane, you can lay the foundation for down the line by including him in a compelling way in a temporary HHH/Kane/RVD title feud.
    RAW's two other (men's) titles are in different states at this point.  The IC Title, held by Christian, has a clear top contender (Booker T) and a pretty obvious storyline (Christian seems incapable of winning a match cleanly, but somehow always retains his title), and I'm excited for more of the same.  The tag titles, however, are another story: held by La Resistance, there are no top contenders, and outside of dragging the Dudley Boyz back into this after toying with Teddy Long's stable for the past month, there aren't even really any serious babyface candidates.  Given the state of tag teams on RAW, and given that my past campaign to use the APA as La Resistance's first challengers was denied, I re-assert my belief a transitionary "super-team" era might be what we need to get the division rolling again.  Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, please step up to the plate.... Sgt. Slaughter, please return to your WWE Road Agent ensemble of gold shirt and slacks.
    Other stuff: one of these days, Ivory's winning streak will be remembered and she'll get a shot at Jazz's title... also, Gail Kim has been working house shows (albeit, SD! ones), which might indicate we're getting close to her debut...  meantime, Trish has been losing left and right on Heat, something that has now gone beyond random-seeming booking and is probably an angle; a heel turn for Trish?  Might be, what with Lita coming back....  Mick Foley won't be there in the flesh, but how much time they spend recapping his being assaulted last week by Evolution might help to indicate how soon Foley will be back...  Teddy Long was soundly embarrassed last week: Nowinski lost to Maven, and Rodney Mack got squashed by Goldberg.  I doubt that will sit well with him; hopefully, that'll mean more of Nowinski and Long, and not so much of Mack...  Austin's problems with Lance Storm may well continue, and after last week, they might have expanded to include Chris Jericho... and fresh of winning the feud with Jericho, Goldberg's looking to be rebuilt as a strong-but-silent ass-kicker; who's next after last week's decimation of Mack?  Maybe more Jericho?
    Check out RAW tonight, or come on back here tomorrow for full results and analysis.  
  • Final rating for SD! last week:  a 3.4, which is just about in line with where the shows been doing the last month or so.  No substantial gain for the huge six-man main event, or Piper's tag title shot, or Dragon's debut.
  • Some interesting stuff at house shows this weekend, especially on the SmackDown! side.
    Roddy Piper's slate of house show "Piper's Pits" was supposed to start this weekend, but obviously, that was out the window.  So Brother Love (Bruce Pritchard) took his place hosting an interview segment with guest Vince McMahon.  The segments quickly turned into obvious test runs for Zach Gowen's in-ring TV debut.
    But perhaps I should just turn you over to someone who was there.  Thanks to OO Reader Ted Varipatis for providing this report of the show that took place in August, ME:
    Hi Rick...I thought I'd pass this on to you and your readers.  I attended the house show in Augusta, Maine Sunday night, and the card was absolutely loaded.  The highlight of the night, however, was the appearance of Zach Gowen.  I think they were using this house show as a test run for the Smackdown taping Tuesday night, because the almighty Vince McMahon himself actually appeared on the show.  He was introduced by Brother Love, who was subbing for the dismissed Roddy Piper.  Brother Love made a brief mention of Piper's no-show, saying he was at home because he was fighting a sickness he needed to overcome.  Anyway, Vince came out and briefly played the babyface, asking the crowd if it wanted to see him kick Brother Love's ass.  But before he could, Brother Love introduced Zach, and Vince shifted in full heel mode.  He wound up punching Zach, and removing his prosthetic leg.  He and Brother Love played a game of keep-away with the leg for a while.  The segment wound up with Vince giving Zach a tencount to get out of the ring, as Vince and Brother Love both turned their backs on him in disgust.  But when Vince reached ten and he and Brother Love turned around, Zach hit him with a moonsalt from the top rope.  Zach then dished out a pair of amazing drop kicks.   He then retrieved his prothesis and smacked Vince in the head with it.  The segment ended with Zach taking the prosthesis and giving Vince the Hogan legdrop with it.  Simply put, it was amazing to see this kid in action.
    As for the rest of the card...the main event saw Lesner and Angle defeat Big Show and John Cena.  Angle had the anklelock on Show as Lesner F5'ed Cena for the pin.  Good ten minute match.  Angle and Lesner are scary over, like you didn't already know.
    Ultimo Dragon defeated Jamie Noble with Nidia.  A much better effort for the Dragon as he continues to shake off the ring rust.
    Rey Mysterio defended his cruiserweight title by defeating Kidman.  Kidman does indeed have short hair.  Typical cruiserweight stuff, with good back and forth action.  Mysterio won after hitting the 6-1-9 and a flying legdrop.  He did not use the West Coast pop as his finisher, for whatever that's worth.  Both men shook hands at the end of the match.
    Mr. Ass with Torrie defeated Matt Hardy.  Hardy was much more over than Ass, as it appears Mattitude is running wild in Maine.  Hardy dominated most of the match, but Ass made the comeback, and after several reversals hit the Fame-asser for the pin.  Ass then mooned a group of MF'ers who had been cheering on Hardy for most of the match, and gave them the finger.  Funny, I thought the babyfaces weren't supposed to flip off the crowd.
    Torrie won a bikini match, defeating Nidia and Dawn.  Frankly, Dawn was the hottest of the bunch by far, and revealed much more than either of the other ladies. The crowd was actually torn as to who should win.  As Torrie was celebrating, Sable came out to a big pop, and wanted to know why she wasn't invited.  She then disrobed to reveal a very slinky outfit and declared herself the winner.  Torrie and Sable got into a brief catfight before Sable lost her top, and the crowd was treated to a brief nipple shot.  Of course, when you've seen it all in Playboy, a brief nipple shot isn't all that much to get excited about.
    FBI defeated Spanky and the APA.  Nothing terribly exciting here.  Bradshaw's new haircut is going to take a lot of getting used to.  Palumbo pinned Spanky after he and Stamboli hit the Spankster with a double flapjack type of finisher. 
    The night's best action saw Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri defend their tag-titles by defeating Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin and A-Train and Sean O'Haire in a three-way match.  After a ref-bump, Eddie pulled out the fake "I got hit with the tag-belt" bit.  This was hilarious, as Tajiri threw the belt to Benjamin, who threw it to Hass, who threw it to A-Train, who threw it to O'Haire.  The ref came to, saw O'Haire with the belt and Eddie laying motionless, and DQ'ed them.  A-Train and O'Haire hit their finishers on Guerrero and Tajiri before leaving however.  Ex-team Angle then dominated for several minutes, until Eddie finally hit the frog splash on Haas for the pin as Benjamin was wrapped up in the Tarantula.  Great 15 minute match.
    We also missed the opening match because we were late, but we were told that Benoit anchored the babyface team in a 6 man tag-match, and won after hitting the flying headbutt.  I believe Rikishi was also on his team.  But I have no clue who their partner was, or who they were facing...possibly the Basham Brothers, but that's just a guess.
    All in all, three solid hours of satisfying action, with the wrestlers all working their asses off.  I'm sure Vince being there had a little something to do with that.  About 4500 people in an stadium that holds around 5000.  I'm really looking forward to Gowan's coming-out party on Smackdown, but if this show was any indication, he'll blow the roof off the joint Tuesday night.
    Biggest pop:
    1.)  Gowan landing the moonsalt on Vince and Brother Love
    2.)  Kurt Angle
    3.)  Brock Lesnar
    4.)  Vince McMahon  (I just think the crowd couldn't believe he was actually in Augusta, Maine!)
    5.)  Sable
    Most heat:
    1.)  Vince McMahon  (after he called the Maine crowd mentally handicapped, unlike Zach who is physically handicapped)
    2.)  Haas and Benjamin
    3.)  Big Show
    4.)  Brother Love  (annoucing Piper was a no-show for the event)
    5.)  Matt Hardy
    I enjoy your stuff Rick, and keep up the good work....
    These were largely the results around the horn for SD! shows this weekend, and unanimously, Zach Gowen's spots were the "Holy Shit" moments of the night.  Like I said above, the storyline will become largely irrelevant once Zach steps in the ring...  fans just won't believe what they're seeing.
  • On the RAW side, house shows this weekend were all headlined by Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam.  The scheduled main events were all HHH vs. Kane, but obviously, that didn't make much sense, so at all the shows, they had HHH come to the ring in the main event slot to brag about how he took Kane's mask and scared him off for good.  At this point, RVD came out to substitute for Kane...
    But of course, Kane wasn't as scared off as fans were led to believe.  All three nights this weekend, he made a late match run-in, choosing to attack RVD, in essence helping HHH get the win.  The new Kane was sans-mask, but didn't have a whole lot going on in terms of scary make-up.  Just a shaved head (completely, not just the half-shaved job from Monday).  Might be that's the extent of the new look?  We'll find out tonight.
  • So like I've been talking about for the past month, I got this new DVR thing from Time Warner Cable, which means I don't have to personally remember to record all the b- and c-level wrestling shows.  The box remembers for me.
    Point I'm trying to make: so I watched "Confidential" yesterday afternoon, and why was I not shocked to see absolutely no mention of Roddy Piper's dismissal on the Fed's supposedly "smart" current events show.  That decision was made on Wednesday, and you're telling me they couldn't have worked it in by Saturday night?  Why do I suspect we won't get an honest assessment of this situation on "Confidential" next week (or any week thereafter, for that matter)?  Oh, that's right: because it's easier to be honest and upfront when you're dealing with situations outside of your own company (i.e. Liz and Luger) than it is when it's your own house in disorder....
    On the upside, they did do a spotlight on the awesome Bret/Owen match from WM10, so it was not an hour of hard disk space wasted...
  • Spike Lee had till today to decide whether or not he wanted to post an additional $2 million bond to cover potential losses suffered by Viacom if they are eventually permitted rights to the "Spike TV" name.  I have no idea what Lee and his people intend to do, as the last newswire items on the story are all from last Thursday.
    If Lee doesn't post the bond, he's essentially forfeiting the case, and Viacom would, I presume, be allowed to go forward with the name change.  
  • Tis all from me today...  I'm back tomorrow with the RAW Recap, then Wednesday with Spoilers and other mid-week news.  Till then, kids.... 


Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.