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Hulkamania Limps Wild In Australia – Videos

Hulk HoganAfter a lengthy layoff, two of pro wrestling’s biggest stars in the 1980s returned to action. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair limped their way to the ring in Australia for their much anticipated encounter. The match was anything but what a match in the 80s would have looked like between these two men. As a matter of a fact, it sounded more like an alternative ending to The Wrestler.

Ric Flair lost a retirement match to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 last year. Vince McMahon brought Flair back with the promise from Flair that this would be his last match. Flair was subsequently honored by the WWE the night after with a retirement ceremony for the ages. It only took a few weeks, but it wasn’t long thereafter when Flair started making noise about a “comeback.”

A lot has happened since that memorable night on WWE RAW. Flair has turned himself from a wrestling legend to a wrestling laughingstock. Since that night on RAW, Flair has quit the WWE, sucked the convention circuit dry of $100 autographs, been divorced and married, got into a bar fight with his daughter’s boyfriend, and has reportedly screwed indy promoters out of thousands of dollars. Flair’s return to the ring was imminent, yet frowned upon by many in the industry including Flair’s closest friends.

Hulk Hogan has also had quite a ride since his last big match. It has been three years since Hogan’s last big match in the WWE against Randy Orton. Since that time, Hogan attempted an indy tour which started and ended two years ago with a bombed show. Hogan has also had his share of family issues from a very public divorce, a new engagement, fame and destruction of his family, capped off with a ton of tragedy surrounding his son. Like Flair, Hogan is also in financial need due to a terrible divorce. It was also no surprise when Hogan announced his new venture, a tour of Australia and a comeback match. Needless to say, Hogan’s return to the ring was far less memorable than his WrestleMania classics.

Reportedly, only 50% of the seats were filled for the big Hogan-Flair encounter in Melbourne. Reports of the match vary, but it sounds like it was exactly what you would have expected. It sounded like two guys trying their best to entertain, yet looking every bit of their age in the ring. The match ended with Hogan hitting Flair with “brass knuckles” and pinning him. I must admit that I was kind of surprised not to see Hogan go over Flair clean, since he beat him like a drum in their WWE and WCW runs.

There is a big joke in here somewhere. Here are two guys that used to sell out the biggest arenas in the world, desperately trying to cling on to something that has long past them by. For Flair, it is almost pathetic that he sold his WrestleMania memory for this. Instead of going out with one of the most memorable matches and moments in his career, he will instead have to live with a slow-motioned match against Hulk Hogan in front of a minimal audience.

It is almost a worst case scenario for Hulk Hogan. Hogan at least still gives the perception to the mainstream media that he is still a huge wrestling superstar. His last two attempts to independently resurrect his career have been dreadful. Out of the WWE or WCW machine, his name attracts more media attention to TMZ.com than it does wrestling fans to a match. At a time when Hogan announced a deal with TNA Wrestling, this only shows TNA that the Hogan name doesn’t have nearly as much pull as they were led to believe.

Don’t misunderstand me, as I was a huge Hogan and Flair fan. I am still a fan of their older matches and moments. I just think there is something terribly wrong with two guys who earned millions of dollars and ruled the wrestling world 25-years ago to be limping around a half-empty arena to cover an alimony payment. I still enjoy seeing them pop up from time to time on the WWE shows, but this is not the way that these two guys should be going out. Whatcha gonna do when the Hulkamania tour comes to a town near you?

Probably not go.

Ric Flair’s Entrance

 

Thanks to ProWrestling.Net for the tip!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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