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March 27, 2008

Top 20 WrestleMania moments: No. 4

The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania VI, 1990)

For the first time since Bruno Sammartino challenged Pedro Morales in 1972, the top two babyfaces in WWE faced each other for the WWE title. The raucous sold-out crowd at SkyDome in Toronto seemed evenly split in its support for WWE champ Hogan and Intercontinental champ Warrior. While the two larger-than-life figures were anything but skilled technical wrestlers, they put on an exciting match that far exceeded expectations in terms of quality.

After nearly 20 minutes of action, Hogan began “hulking up,” a familiar routine in which he dramatically rallies just as he appears on the verge of defeat, becomes impervious to pain and finishes off his opponent. Hogan knocked down Warrior with a big boot to the face, then prepared to hit his famous legdrop and retain his title – the same finishing sequence fans had been seeing for six years. Only this time, the Warrior moved just before Hogan landed on him. Hogan was momentarily stunned after crashing to the mat, and Warrior quickly took advantage. He bounced off the ropes, hit a splash and covered Hogan to win the title. It was the first clean pinfall loss Hogan had suffered since returning to WWE late in 1983.

After the match, Hogan, with tears in his eyes, presented the belt to Warrior – the symbolic passing of the torch – and the two muscular superstars embraced. “The Hulkster has just taken one giant step towards immortality,” commentator Gorilla Monsoon said. It was an emotional moment for wrestling fans, as Hogan, riding in a cart back to the dressing room, saluted Warrior, who was in the ring basking in his victory. Because fans had such a connection with Hogan, the moment turned out to be more about him losing than as it was about Warrior winning.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 1:02 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Top 20 WrestleMania moments
        

Comments

Not a bad choice, though the match made John Cena seem bearable. I guess it's more about the history of Hogan losing and Warrior becoming the face of the company, a role that he wasn't prepared to handle.

I never understood the outrage that Hogan sabotaged Warrior at the end...I thought it was a great emotional moment.

The fact that Warrior was a failure had more to do with his own personality and insanity than anything.

It was a great Wrestlemania moment, and I hope we get a special one Sunday out of the Flair/Michaels match. It should be quite emotional.

AAR

If only Hogan knew his 'job' would be pointless considering Warrior didn't turn out to carry the company and be the next 'Hulk' , like everyone had hoped.

I hate that the Warrior turned out to be such a long-term flop, because the gimmick was legend. He was the Road Warriors, Bruiser Brody and Hulkamania all swirled into one package. There was just something about him that was like a train wreck. Even if you don't want to, you have to look. The guy had restless body syndrome. He was shaking from the minute he left the dressing room to the minute he stepped back into the dressing room. It was so Pavlovian. In the same way that I eagerly waited every Saturday night for the Road Warriors to roll out to "Iron Man" and punk a couple of jobbers, I loved watching Warrior sprint to the ring and bounce from one side to the other. WWE did all it could to destroy his legacy, but how many wrestlers can claim to have ever been over enough to cleanly pin Hulk Hogan?

Yeah Kevin I remember asking my mom at 3 years old to let me watch it, but she said it was too expensive...It is amazing to see how far the wrestling industry has come going from $19.95 being too expensive to $49.95 for WrestleMania and people buying like it is nothing....but this match was very slow paced to me in the beginning, but I was amazed when the Warrior moved away from the legdrop and splashed Hogan...what a mini-turning poing for the WWF at that time.

Speaking of Hogan losing, God, Warrior stunk. Can you imagine a few years earlier Hogan being beaten with a splash? Rubbish and Poppycock.

The best main event has got to be Undertaker vs Batista. A recent Wrestlemania Match, both superstars put up a great fight and The Phenom bumped up his streak to 15-0.

That Warrior splash was soooooo weak. It's a shame such a historic/classic match ended with such an anti-climatic move.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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