Hulk Hogan is famously known for being the flag bearer WWF/E Champion in the 80s going mainstream, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin dominated 90s WWF/E.
The two men have never stepped into the ring together and fans have always wondered what it would be like to see these all time great stars battle it out. Hulk Hogan left the Vince Mcmahon led WWF in 1993 after helping the wrestling league become the number one outlet for sports entertainment.
THE ADVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA VIA HULKAMANIA
Under his reign as champion that started in January of 1984, Hulk Hogan carried the company on his back to its inaugural WrestleMania event in 1985 by headlining with the co-star of the classic Rocky III movie. Mr. T was a household name at the time and Hulk Hogan followed suit by being the only pro wrestler to don the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1985.
Hogan would go on to headline more record breaking events in 1986 in Toronto at Exhibition Stadium with the then record crowd of 70,000 plus fans. The record didn’t last long as Hogan would go on to headline the historic WrestleMania III with the iconic Andre The Giant. Almost 93,000 fans attended the event at the Pontiac Silverdome.
HULK HOGAN HELPED GET PRO WRESTLING BACK ON LIVE BROADCAST TELEVISION ON NBC
The business becoming more mainstream by the years eventually would get back onto prime time television with a live NBC program in February of 1988 entitled “The Main Event.” That event saw Hogan and Andre have a record smashing 33 million plus viewers witnessing their rematch.
It was a precursor to live weekly sports entertainment programming that would dominate ratings in the 90s on Monday nights. As Hulkamania was winding down in the early 90s, the WWE were searching for its next superstar. There were multiple failed projects as Hogan jumped ship to the competition over at Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling.
THE MONDAY NIGHT WARS
As the landscape of pro wrestling was changing, the steroid scandal caused the business to focus on smaller and more skilled in the ring athletes. The rise of stars such as Bret “The Hitman” Hart of Hart Foundation fame and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels of The Rockers fame helped a new generation for the WWE.
WCW had the aging stars from the 80s WWF/E, but their experience and popularity saw Monday Nitro beating Monday Night RAW in the ratings when Hulk Hogan turned on fans to form the NWO. The WWF had trouble keeping up with their competition’s new popularity, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would rise to the occasion to garner a newfound resurgence for the WWF/E. His rivalry with Vince Mcmahon and The Rock would be the perfect formula that would eventually crush the competition.
HULK HOGAN RETURNS TO WWE TO FACE THE ROCK
As WCW eventually got sold to WWE, their main stars were now brought in to blend under the Vince Mcmahon conglomerate. The biggest acquisition at the time occurred in early 2002. Hulk Hogan made his triumphant return to face the modern day version of himself in terms of being a crossover mainstream star in The Rock.
Many fans were anticipating Hogan to face off against Steve Austin, but the match never happened. A new breed of stars also started popping up such as Brock Lesnar and John Cena. It appeared the company had missed the boat on doing the dream match.
WRESTLEMANIA 40 ONE LAST MATCH?
Hulk Hogan appeared on The MMA Hour and talked about the possibility of appearing at the 40th WrestleMania next year. Hogan talked about winning his first world championship in 1984 at Madison Square Garden, which was followed by a discussion he had with Shane Mcmahon about WrestleMania 39.
“He [Shane] goes ‘Hey, you got one more in you, old man?'” Hogan said. “I said ‘Take it easy with the old man stuff, brother … What do you want to do?’ He said ‘All you got to do is stand in the middle of the ring, and I’ll come to you.’ I said ‘Well right now, my back needs a little more work. But that’s something we can talk about next year.'”
“I have always wanted to have a retirement match … I’m not moving around the way I should be,” he continued. “So I’m going to keep working, keep training, and keep doing rehab and see where I am about six months from now. All I’ve found out from the wrestling business, brother, is never say never.”
STEVE AUSTIN VS. HULK HOGAN?
Hulk Hogan then spoke about Steve Austin and how he would be willing to have his retirement match against the “Texas Rattlesnake.” That if his body is able by early next year, he would be fine going out to face the man who helped to carry the WWE back to prominence once he left in 1993. Check out the interview clip below.
Hulk Hogan says he would wrestle at WrestleMania 40 if Stone Cold Steve Austin agrees to do it. Hogan says he never had a retirement match. This would be the one. #WWE pic.twitter.com/XieQCz86gF
— Wrestling News (@WrestlingNewsCo) May 24, 2023