Hulk Hogan managed to make headlines earlier this week by revealing that, following an upcoming back surgery, his goal was to get into the “best” shape of his life. However, the Hulkster doesn’t just want to be physically fit, he wants one more match. Specifically, he would like his final match to be at Wrestlemania, and he wants it to be against Vince McMahon. Yes, Hogan’s final match would involve the two men who created Hulkamania and took wrestling to new heights of popularity in the 1980s.
Now, realistically, Hogan having a Wrestlemania match in 2020 seems unlikely. He hasn’t even had the back surgery yet, and then who knows what the timetable for recovery would be, much less getting into ring shape. On top of that, Vince McMahon at 74-years-old is preparing to launch a football league and for the first time in many years actually has prime-time cable competition to deal with. Highly doubtful he is thinking about taking a legdrop. Still, with that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to look at the Wrestlemania possibilities for the Hulkster.
The Wrestlemania Matches Hogan SHOULD Have (in other words, matches where Hogan wouldn’t have to do much in the ring)
The Andre The Giant Battle Royale – To me, this is the match that makes the most sense on numerous levels. First, it allows Hogan to get a big pop, as you can have him be the last (or first) man to enter for the match. Second, the nature of the match would allow Hogan to just throw punches and clotheslines, rather than taking bumps and having to carry a regular bout. The benefits of winning the match have been debatable in terms of getting a push post-Mania, so it isn’t a case of Hogan stealing a spot from a younger performer. The visual of Hogan with the Andre trophy would be a fitting finale to Hogan’s Wrestlemania career.
Six-Man Tag Team Match – As best I can tell, Hogan’s last “official” match was a TNA bout in January 2012 in England where he teamed with Sting & James Storm to defeat Kurt Angle, Bully Ray & Bobby Roode. A six-man tag is a great place to put a veteran performer who can get a pop but shouldn’t be going all-out in a singles match. Giant Baba spent the last decade of his life working six-man tag matches alongside a mixture of young talent and fellow veterans in All Japan, and the fans always appreciated him. Put Hogan with a pair of younger partners to carry to load, or just make it a short “Legends Match” where everyone just does a spot or two before going home.
Hulk Hogan & Brooke Hogan vs. Ric Flair & Charlotte Flair – When I heard Hogan wanted one more Wrestlemania match, this bout popped into my head. I mentioned it on Facebook, and felt I had to apologize for even putting the idea out there. Still, I could see it happen. Hogan vs. Flair, but with the next generation involved. The issue, of course, is asking Charlotte Flair to carry Brooke Hogan… and the fact that Ric Flair probably should not be taking bumps given his recent medical issues. Given those two reasons, I’m pretty sure Charlotte Flair would be begging for them NOT to sign this match.
Hulk Hogan & Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon & Vince McMahon – I should immediately point out that yes, this match would make more sense with Steve Austin teaming with Owens, but this is a column about Hulk Hogan. Also, given that Hogan hasn’t even had his back surgery yet, the idea that he would be ready for Wrestlemania this year is also a stretch, and the Owens-Shane feud is pretty much over. That said, we know Owens and Shane can deliver a great match, so just sprinkle in some brief Hogan-Vince moments and you’ve got a bout that can work in regard to entertaining the fans.
The Wrestlemania Matches Hogan COULD Have (in other words, singles matches, for better or worse)
Hulk Hogan vs. Steve Austin – This past August, Steve Austin revealed to Sports Illustrated that he had recently spent time with Hogan, and that he actually regrets not having worked a program with Hogan. Would a Wrestlemania match (and payday) entice Austin to come back and have a brief match with the Hulkster? Austin, more than any other past megastar, has been very selective about his return appearances and still protecting his persona in the ring. It would be a huge draw, but Austin would have to want it to happen. Oh, and we haven’t even discussed a finish yet…. someone has to go over, right?
Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – The Wrestlemania match that should have happened in 1992. Yes, Wrestlemania VII, where Vince McMahon decided that Flair vs. Randy Savage and Hogan vs. Sid Vicious (Justice) was a better idea than the dream match wrestling fans had been wanting. Hogan vs. Flair did a series of DQ finishes on house shows instead, and WCW actually got the honor of the first Flair-Hogan PPV match. 27 years later, the Nature Boy and the Hulkster? I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure medically, this match should not happen. Still, a few chops, a big boot… you never know.
Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker – Hulk Hogan’s Wrestlemania Retirement match fantasy probably includes him being the babyface, and most likely going over. So, the idea of him facing off with the Dead Man seems unlikely. However, if Undertaker is going to make an appearance, Hogan is someone he can beat without hurting the current roster. If we switch our focus from Hogan to Undertaker, wouldn’t beating the iconic Hulkster be a great final Wrestlemania victory (although probably not match) for the Dead Man? If nothing else, it would be a late career highlight (in terms of name value) for Undertaker’s Wrestlemania history.
Hulk Hogan vs. Goldberg or Sting – It’s WCW nostalgia time! Hogan vs. Sting had the biggest build in WCW history, Goldberg’s career was essentially made by his win over Hogan. Hey, WWE could go all the way with this and bring back Hall & Nash for an NWO reunion. Throw in Diamond Dallas Page and we could have a WCW six-man tag. Okay, this one is probably unlikely, but there is always that temptation to bring back past stars for one more round.
Hulk Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik – End Hulkamania the way it began, with Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik. Yes, it would be a 77-year-old vs. a 66-year-old. True, neither man should probably be taking bumps, and may not even be able to. However… just think of the promos. That alone might make it worth considering.
The Wrestlemania Match Hogan Wants
Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon – Wrestlemania 19 featured a very entertaining Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon match. The crowd was into it, a surprise Roddy Piper appearance added to the fun, and it was a far better match than anyone could have reasonably expected. It was also 17 years ago. Vince McMahon has no reason to get back in the ring and have a match at this point in his life. As much as Hulk Hogan would like a Wrestlemania farewell against Vince, it is hard to imagine it happening. Then again, did anyone think we’d be talking about Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 2020 in the first place?