Vintage VHS Tape Review #1 – Hulk Hogan’s Real American

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I’ve been waiting to do this for months after I found a collection of old tapes, but finding a player proved troublesome. I was going to buy one, but have you ever tried buying a VHS player online? It’s not the easiest thing to shop for. Luckily for me, my sister bought one from a car boot sale last year and is letting me borrow it for the foreseeable future.

Real American

I grew up watching VHS tapes. Granted, most of them were cartoons, but I always enjoyed watching them with my sisters. I liked recording things even more, so I’ve got dozens of tapes with WWE Raw, Smackdown, and PPV from the late 90’s to mid-2000s that were gathering dust. I don’t believe there’s many reviews for old tapes, or unedited shows which include the WWF logo. I found some Royal Rumbles too, so I’m going to save those for when I get back to the Rumble series.

The video was in storage so long I had to do the fast forward/rewind trick to tighten it up so it would play properly. Putting it on a HD screen made it somewhat blurry, but watchable. Real American was released in 1990 (I was three) and has a runtime of 60 minutes. I’m not the biggest Hogan fan .. in fact, I criticize more than I praise, but I will remain unbiased for the Hulkamaniacs out there. So I pushed the tape in, got my pen and paper ready .. and frantically wrote down everything I could as it happened.


Introduction – A Hulkamania montage with The Hulkster in the ring, working out, and meeting fans to the song “Real American”. If I was American, I’d feel patriotic for it. Afterwards, Mean Gene Okerlund popped up and introduced us to the Real American video tape. He told us we’d get to see some of Hogan’s classc encounters, as well as a look at his workout regime. Luckily this didn’t last long, and we got straight in to the action with the first match.


Match #1 – Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant (w/ Bobby Heenan) in a Steel Cage at Wrestlefest 1988.

*Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes, Superstar Billy Graham on commentary*

The crowd was huge and red hot! Very clear through the blurriness. The two huge superstars got in the ring and Andre took the early advantage. He got Hogan’s red shirt and choked him out. Commentary let us know they could only win by escaping the cage over the top or through the “gate”. Andre tied Hogan to the ring ropes with his shirt, chopped him, and tried walking out the gate. Miraculously, Hogan broke free and stopped him. Hogan came alive and took it to Andre. After Andre threw Hogan in to the cage a few times, Hogan’s face started to bleed.

Andre tried escaping again, but Hogan clung on. After some strong shots, Hogan finally knocked the big guy to the floor. Hogan nailed him with the leg drop. Heenan jumped in the ring to provide a distraction while Andre climbed the cage. Hogan stopped Andre, then threw Heenan in to the cage! Hogan started climbing and made it to the outside. He won the match, and the crowd were in to every minute. Short match, but a lot of reaction .. so worth it. Wasting no time at all, the second match came on immediately after.


Match #2 – Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie) on Saturday Night Main Event.

*Jesse Ventura & Vince McMahon on commentary*


I’m not American, but I could feel the patriotism oozing from this one. It started with Voloff singing the Russian National Anthem. Afterwards, he insulted the American audience. We cut to Mean Gene and Hulk Hogan in white attire, as he cut a promo about fighting for the USA. He carried the American flag to ringside, and the fans prepared themselves for the action.

A cheap shot from Volkoff! And he spent a good amount of time beating down Hulk in the early stages. Hogan made a comeback and the fight spilled to the outside, with Volkoff almost taking out the guys sitting at the table. Volkoff shoved Hogan’s face in to the post and regained the advantage. He got Hogan back in the ring and taunted the crowd. He went for a pin and got a 2-count. Hogan managed to back drop, but Volkoff got the advantage again and picked up another 2-count. Hulkster was having none of it, so he started HULKING up! And as is tradition, Hogan finished Volkoff with the leg drop.

Hogan got hold of the Soviet Union flag, broke it from the wooden pole, and held it up to the crowd. He headbutted it .. and used it to shine his boots. When he was finished he threw it on the floor, smushed it under his boot, grabbed the US flag, and celebrated with the patriotic fans. If that happened today? We’d never hear the end of it. Not the greatest match, but the fans seemed to love it. And before I continue, I do have to say that I’ve never seen these matches before .. so it’s all new to me! I wonder how much is new to EWN readers? Anyways, we’re about halfway through.

Match #3 – Hulk Hogan vs. King Haku (w/ Heenan) on Saturday Night Main Event.

*Jesse Ventura & Vince McMahon*

Much like other Kings, Haku was carried to the ring on a throne. Mean Gene was backstage with an animated Hulkster, who was still fuming from his feud with The Big Boss Man. Hogan told King Haku that he doesn’t get to tell his Hulkamaniacs to bow down to him. Hulk revealed someone would be accompanying him to ringside .. the one and only Miss Elizabeth!


Ventura questioned Hogan and Miss Elizabeth’s motives, as it was apparently the first time she’d ever escorted someone to the ring who wasn’t called Macho Man. Hogan said he’d been given the all clear, but Ventura figured something fishy was going on. Elizabeth went to open the rope for Hogan, which was a nice gesture, but Hogan felt it should be the other way around.

And again a cheap shot to start the match! Haku bit Hogan’s nose as well, to add insult. Hogan fought back with a clothesline and chops, but Heenan provided a distraction, just long enough for Haku to take back the advantage. Ventura noted how useless of a manager Elizabeth was compared to Heenan. Some nice back-and-forth here, which I didn’t expect. That was til Haku super kicked Hogan in the face, and he spilled to the outside. Haku got on the ring apron, ready to double axe handle Hogan when he got up. But Heenan was too close .. and Haku accidentally axe handled (Hogan pushed him too) Heenan instead! As Haku looked over Heenan, Hogan grabbed Haku’s crown and posed in the ring; to a loud pop.

Haku got back in the ring and delivered a picture perfect suplex. But it had no effect, as Hogan HULKED up with a comeback, big boot, leg drop, and the victory. Hogan celebrated in the ring and listened to the fans, and Miss Elizabeth did the same. Hogan picked her up on to his shoulders and she beamed an excited smile as they celebrated with the fans.


Extras: Back to good ol’ Mean Gene, like he was at the start of the tape. He talked about Hogan’s history and the 1984 title win which began a 4-year reign at the top. To show how he stayed dominant, Gene introduced us to a workout video. Hogan’s facial expressions were humourous, but I couldn’t get something out of my head. They used Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ entrance music for it. I’m not kidding, I sat and watched Hogan lift weights to Snake Bit. I’m never going to get that image out of my mind.

Match #4 – Hulk Hogan vs. Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil, Andre The Giant & Bobby Heenan)

*Bruce Prichard, Pete Doherty & Mike McGurk* 


Not sure where this match took place but Andre and Hogan were still heavily opposed. Before the bell, Andre had a word with DiBiase. Hogan’s music hit and he wasted no time clearing the ring. DiBiase dodged him, so Hogan went to the outside and threw him in. Hogan’s all over him til DiBiase spilled to the outside again. After a long wait, Hogan sneaked up on DiBiase, Virgil and Andre as they talked strategy, and banged Ted and Virgil’s heads together. With Hogan and DiBiase back in the ring, Virgil got on the ring apron, but Hogan was having none of it. Hogan taunted Andre to get in the ring and face him, which The Giant refused.

Hogan wanted all three at the same time and motioned it to the crowd. The heels refused, and there was another long wait on the outside. Hogan’s already impatient state of mind grew tenfold. DiBiase got back in and they started working, and Hogan did a nice wrestling sequence ending with a drop toehold (I was legitimately shocked). Virgil distracted Hogan and DiBiase got the cheap shot, followed by many stomps and chokes. Hogan recovered and scoop slammed DiBiase to the mat. He walked all over him, showing disrespect. Hogan ran the ropes setting up for the leg drop, but Andre tripped him up in front of the referee. The bell rang. DiBiase disqualified!?

After some drama, an annoucement was made stating the referee had decided to eject Andre from the ringside area, as well as fine him $2,000. Wow, well that’s one way of getting rid. The bell rang and the match restarted. DiBiase took the advantage with some sweet jumping fists to the face. Hulk got mad and began HULKING up! Big Boot to DiBiase! Virgil got up on the ring apron, so Hogan grabbed him and wouldn’t let go. DiBiase got back up and ran at Hogan, who sidestepped .. leaving DiBiase to collide with Virgil. Hogan rolled him up for the pinfall victory. A rare win without a leg drop.

It didn’t end there! Hogan picked the ref up (think it was Earl Hebner) and placed him on the turnbuckle. He taunted DiBiase, goading him back to the ring. Ted grabbed a chair, and looked to jump in the ring, but Hogan walked up and unexpectedly snatched it out of his hands. Hogan set the chair up in the ring and sat on it, taunting The Million Dollar man even more. DiBiase had enough and walked away, leaving Hogan to celebrate his triumph with the fans. An interesting match, but the commentary left little to be desired. The video ends with Mean Gene Okerlund thanking the fans, and saying so long everybody. Thanks Mean Gene!

Conclusion

I didn’t grow up watching Hogan, but I get what he’s about and why Hulkamaniacs love him. It’s easy to get access to old footage, but to sit and watch a video seemed more enjoyable than scouring the internet for the matches listed on the back of the box. I’m glad I found a VHS player, and I have a few more videos I’d like to go through. Also I didn’t buy any of these tapes, they were handed over years ago and never played.

On a whole, I felt like I didn’t waste my time with Real American. I’m not going to say what’s coming next as I’d like it be a surprise, but I guarantee they should be more enjoyable and interesting. What do you guys think? Should this be a regular thing on EWN? Maybe others have videos gathering dust they’d like to share? Does any of the Disqus community have Real American? I’d like to see your comments. Thanks for reading everyone! See you again soon.

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