Icon Vs Legend
Hulk Hogan Vs HBK
A Summerslam main event by the two most important wrestlers of all time.
I know this match is generally regarded as a failure and a disappointment but hear me out.
If you take any mark and ask them who was the better man that night, they would obviously say Hogan (the winner of the match in the history books).
But if you were to ask any real smark, someone who has been watching for years and truly understands the art and politics behind pro wrestling, they would not even hesitate to tell you the better man that night was Michaels.
Why? How can the loser of the actual match be the real winner? That is precisely the beauty and art of professional wrestling.
Hogan and Michaels have long standing personal and professional differences. Which of course led to neither wanting to do the job for the other. Though I don’t know all the specifics of why and how, HBK ended up deciding to take the fall. (Perhaps as a redemption for his past arrogance)? Regardless HBK wasn’t going to let this slide that easy. Michaels oversells every move by Hogan as if Superman himself was attacking the Looney Toons. Flipping and flopping around like a fish HBK makes a mockery of Hogan’s offensive arsenal. To a kid HBK may look like he’s getting his ass kicked, but to the astute viewer he is satirizing Hogan’s gimmick the entire match! Hogan (much like Cena) has been harassed by smarks through most of his career as being booked as a Superman: getting their ass kicked the whole match, kicking out of every pin attempt as if he wasn’t hit by any moves and then suddenly hitting 4 or 5 moves to win the match.
This match was Shawn Michaels’ way of spitting in Hogan’s face and ridiculing his career. Imagine a mid-carder like Swagger or Evan Bourne playing this shtick today on Cena. Its a guaranteed suspension, televised burial for a few weeks, and then the dreaded “future endeavored” notice.
At then end of the night Hogan’s hand is the one raised, but the showstopper goes home with the smile on his face. Not a technical four star clinic, but definitely a classic.
Disrespectful, but pure genius.