Hulk Hogan’s Hulkamania Tour
Brisbane, Australia – November 26th, 2009
Report by Andrew Marrington, PWInsider.com
I was at last night’s Hulkamania show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. It was a fun nostalgia show, with production values easily comparable to WWE house shows in the same venue. The arena was just over half full. I’m really bad at estimating crowd numbers, but with floor seating the capacity of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre is somewhere between 11,000 and 13,000, so I would guess around 6,000 people were in attendance. I don’t think I am going too far out on a limb when I say that every person in the arena was there for the main event.
The first match was Heidenreich vs the Pimp Father (and three young women of questionable virtue). These two didn’t really seem to click in the ring, and the match was mercifully short. The finish saw Heidenreich get whipped to the buckle, and then rolled up for the pin. I think Heidenreich went into the turnbuckle the wrong way around (backfirst) as the Pimp Father rolled him up from the front and he had to sort of spin around as he fell in order to land with his shoulders down.
The second match was Spartan 3000 vs Shannon Moore. The crowd didn’t know who Spartan 3000 was and wasn’t very into Moore, either, although the two men put on a great athletic match. The match was the third match in a best of three series for a briefcase containing $25,000. The crowd did not like the match ending in a time limit draw (I didn’t have a time for the match – but the limit must have been very low), and a “bullshit” chant started up. Moore challenged Spartan 3000 to a ladder match for the briefcase, and Spartan 3000 accepted but not for tonight – the ladder match will take place in Sydney. This only provoked louder “bullshit” chants.
Next we had a “Down Undies” lingerie competition. No idea who the participants were, I’m sorry. It was followed by a match between Sean Morley and Nick Dinsmore, both of whom were very much doing their old WWE gimmicks. Morley presented Dinsmore with a soft toy koala, and then attacked him from behind while Dinsmore was cuddling the toy. It was a solid match, although I had forgotten how uncomfortable the “Eugene” gimmick always made me feel. The highlight of the match was Dinsmore hitting Morley with a Rock Bottom, followed by a People’s Elbow. Morley ended up turning the tables by grabbing the toy koala and then ripping it apart. As Dinsmore gathered up what remained of his toy koala mournfully, Morley kicked him in the head and pinned him.
Following an intermission, the team of Orlando Jordan and Uso (Umaga) wrestled Brutus Beefcake and Ken Anderson (managed by Jimmy Hart) in a tag-team match. My section of the crowd was profoundly disturbed by Beefcake’s tights which revealed far too much of the ageing Barber’s buttocks, but were pretty into the match. Beefcake was in the match for no more than a couple of minutes at the start, didn’t really do anything but circled the ring, and then tagged in Anderson (who remained the legal man for the rest of the match). Uso got a lot of heat as the Samoan monster, and he and Jordan did all the usual heel tag-team double teaming on Anderson while Beefcake played the moron babyface who was easily goaded into trying to get into the ring, inadvertently distracting the referee from the heels double teaming. Eventually Uso ended up brawling with Beefcake on the outside and Jordan was clobbered by Jimmy Hart’s megaphone to let Anderson score the pin.
Next up we had a four team elimination match featuring The Vampire Warrior (Gangrel) and Black Pearl vs Rok of Love vs The Nasty Boys vs Brian Christopher and JR Fatu (Rikishi). The Vampire Warrior and Black Pearl jawed with the crowd a lot, and got a lot of heat. Rok of Love were everybody’s punching bag, and were lit up bright red from all the chops they took. Christopher was eliminated first, after a DDT by Vampire Warrior. The Nasty Boys were eliminated next, when they brawled with Rok of Love outside the ring, and were disqualified for using a trashcan and a chair (which Sags broke by hitting the Rok of Love guys over the back with it so much). Rok of Love was then counted out as the Nasty Boys continued to beat them down on the outside. This left Vampire Warrior and Black Pearl to double team Fatu, until some interference from the babyface participants in the match let Fatu win by pinning Black Pearl (no idea when Vampire Warrior was eliminated – he wasn’t pinned and it wasn’t announced that he had been disqualified or counted out). Fatu and Christopher danced in the ring afterwards. A rematch between the Vampire Warrior and Black Pearl and Fatu and Christopher was setup in a backstage vignette.
Finally, the main event featured Ric Flair (accompanied by Lacey von Erich) vs Hulk Hogan in a no disqualification match. Hogan entered the ring to his WCW “American Made” theme. The match featured a lot of brawling and interference. Hogan started bleeding early on, and Flair followed soon after. Flair bumped a lot for Hogan throughout this match, and Hogan spent a lot of the match selling (if not bumping) for Flair. Hogan had several “hulk ups” before it was all said and done. Entertaining spots included Hogan hitting an atomic drop on Lacey von Erich, then hitting Flair, who staggered around doing his out on his feet routine before falling face first into von Erich’s nether regions. Flair was assisted at one point by Uso, who Flair would “psyche up” by chopping until Uso was worked up into a frenzy and directed at Hogan. The match ended with Hogan clocking Flair with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone, and scoring the pin fall. There were no leg drops, but there was a classic Hogan pose down at the end. This was a really fun match, and was booked well to work around the limitations of both men (especially Hogan).
All in all, the show gave the crowd exactly what they wanted – nostalgia in spades. It definitely seemed like there were a few storylines which were being progressed across the whole tour, which, combined with recent advertisements for “Hulkamania” as part of One HD’s summer programming, suggested to me that all of the shows on the tour may end up on TV and DVD.