Legends of Wrestling 2: Hulk Hogan & Bob Backlund
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In one of the most popular shows on WWE's on demand channel, panels that include WWE Hall of Famers Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes discuss the life and times of the legendary Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund. These shows have never been available on DVD - until now! Fans can now enjoy these panel discussions along with bonus matches featuring the best of the highlighted superstars. - Roundtable Discussion - Hulk Hogan & the High Flyers vs. Bobby Heenan, Jesse Ventura and Ken Patera - AWA, 8/9/81 - Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant vs. Bobby Heenan, Bobby Duncum, Nick Bockwinkle and Ken Patera - AWA, 11/7/82 - Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race - 3/12/88, Saturday Night's Main Event - Bob Backlund vs. Spiros Arion - 3/25/78 - Bob Backlund vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka - 6/28/1982 (Cage Match) - Bob Backlund vs. Buddy Rose - 8/30/82
Top customer reviews
In this one, you can't get any more polar opposites than these two! On one side, you have Bob Backlund who was about as old school as you can get! A master technician who wasn't the best mic man but with his skill and ability to put on an entertaining match, he really didn't need it! In his prime, Backlund was one of those guys you could've put in any era (including today) and would've held his own.
On the other side, you have Hulk Hogan. 6'8", 302lbs. of mostly muscle and charisma to boot! Maybe not the most technical wrestler out there but he knew how to talk people into the arena and was responsible with Vince McMahon for the WWE being where it is now.
The first half hour is devoted to Backlund. Mainly how he had different charisma as opposed to a Hogan or "Superstar" Billy Graham. Also, his legendary workout ethic is discussed (particularly by Mike Graham and Pat Patterson) as well as other topics.
The second half hour is devoted to Hulk Hogan. There, they talk mainly about his impact on the sport as a whole and how he made it mainstream. They also talk about his ability in the ring as opposed to a Ric Flair or a Dory Funk, Jr. They even compare him to Dusty Rhodes during this discussion.
Here are the bonus matches:
Hulk Hogan & The High Flyers ("Jumping" Jim Brunzell/Greg Gange) vs. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Ken Patera - This was a nice six man tag team bout that saw all of these men get their moments. The crowd was definitely hot for this one!
Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant vs. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Bobby Duncan, Sr., Nick Bockwinkel, Ken Patera - Though outnumbered 4 to 2, the opposing team only outweighed Hogan and Andre by around 300lbs.! Loopsided at times, this was actually a very good match with Heenan's team trying everything in the book to win but it wasn't to be as Andre and Hulk overcame the odds. Also watch the beginning to see Andre have some fun at Bobby Heenan's expense! LOL!
Hulk Hogan vs. "The King" Harley Race - This took place prior to WrestleMania IV in 1988. While past his prime, Race could still put on a good match and he did with Hogan! Watch for the table spot where he literally bent it almost in two trying to headbutt Hogan (long before putting people through tables was cool). This would put Race out of action for nearly a year.
Bob Backlund vs. Spiros Arion (WWF/WWE Title Match) - Just an average match showcasing the skills of Backlund as he took on former WWE United States Tag Team Champion in Spiros Arion.
Bob Backlund Vs. "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka (WWF/WWE Title Cage Match) - This is a legendary but lost gem in the annals of WWE. One interesting note is that you could only win by going through the door as over the top of the cage to escape was barred for this contest. This features Snuka going to the top of the cage with his legendary "Superfly" splash but misses! Backlund managed to escape after that. A pretty brutal match.
Bob Backlund Vs. "Playboy" Buddy Rose (WWF/WWE Title Match) - Just another match to show off Backlund's skills. Interesting to note that one of the valet's for this bout is Rose's future AWA manager, the late "Sensational" Sherri Martel.
Overall, one of the better volumes of this series mostly for the roundtable. Bonus features aren't spectacular but they are interesting. I would recommend this volume.
Of course for some the proposed question might seem absurd. But for others it might be cause to think. And that's what makes this show interesting. Wrestlers and wrestling events from the past re-examined with a more critical eye. Although the panel did do plenty of smooching towards the Hulkster by constantly singing his praises as if he was the "God" of wrestling.
It's funny how both Spiros Arion and "Playboy" Buddy Rose are like the polar opposites of Backlund(with Backlund being a workout machine and Rose/Arion looking like they enjoy pizza a lot). Arion's favorite move seems to be that big/arrogant foot-stomp forward followed by a semi-hop and smug laugh. Both matches feature plenty of old-school headlock stalling moves interspersed by Backlund doing an athletic move or two.
Backlund/Snuka cage match was plenty bloody. Seems like there were extra mics around the ring since every move seem to produce an extra loud "thump". Backlund always has this goofy and befuddled look on his face right at the moment the ref raises his hands in victory. The AWA matches both take place in the St Paul Civic Center where there's just one stationary camera covering the action from a long view. You'd think the AWA could afford a 2nd camera.
The Hulk Hogan/"King" Harley Race match was from Saturday Night's Main Event. I remember watching and recording this event when it originally aired. This was right before the Hulkster went up against Andre at WM4 in Atlantic City. Race did a nice high spot by falling onto a metal table stomach-first and bending it. Not all the matches were great but from a historical perspective it was nice to see some of these rare matches.