Sunday, 24 October 2010
As a young lad I was well into a bit of WWF WRASSELING! It was like a pantomime that lasted all year, just with fighting men in tasseled boots, and when you're a kid that is totally cool and not questionable at all. Of course the big dog was Hulk Hogan; a balding super star with bleach blond hair and handle bar mustache who would rip the shit out of any vest he put on. Hulk Hogan wasn't just a man, it was a brand, and Hulkamania was running wild and taking all your parents cash.
Of course there was cartoon to be made somewhere in all this hype, and it came in the form of 'Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling'. The title is inaccurate in that the show features a minimum or wrestling and rock isn't overly prominent either. You instead get a lot of capers and wacky situations involving the good guy wrestlers, led by Hogan, and the evil foreign wrestlers, led by Rowdy Roddy Piper, the most un-Scottish Scot ever (he's actually from Canada but has some Scottish roots so they lied and said he's from Glasgow). Despite not having much actual wresting in it the show did tick a lot of the same boxes that you find in the world of 'sports entertainment'; the characters are one dimensional, broadly drawn stereotypes (Tito Santana calls everyone 'amigo'), the plot set ups are ridiculous (Hulk and the gang form a band to play at the school dance?) and when there actually is any 'fighting' it's not even what you'd call a real fight (a group of muscle men have a snowball fight in a walk in freezer rather than kick the crap out of each other). So you see, it's just like wrestling... sorry, WRASSELING! Kinda.
The wrestlers in the show didn't actually do their own voices so Hulk isn't really Hulk and the Junk Yard Dog sounds kind of like Harvey Fierstein. They did, however, do some lovely live skits like this:
What the hell is up with that music? It sounds like someone's about to get stabbed. I also like the way Andre The Giant rocks up in his short shorts and the fisherman is just like "Hey, w'sup? Nothing out of the ordinary here". Well as fantastic as that little skit is the long and short of it is that this isn't a great show. It's lazy and seems a bit like Scooby Doo on steroids. For proof of the badness of this cartoon check point 1:15 on the video bellow and see how the animators can't be arsed to have the train even run on the tracks drawn in the background... super lame but super funny! At least the artists are kind enough to give Hulk a full head of hair.
So that's Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, and if you think wrestlers doing battle of the bands and having snowball fights with kidnappers on trains is an odd thing to do with the franchise then you should take a look at how bat shit crazy the source material is! Honestly, wrestling in real life is way more loopy than this cartoon. Just check out Hulk Hogan plugging PASTAMANIA:
Still not strange enough? How about Chucky from Child's Play threatening Rick Steiner and plugging his new movie?
No, still need more... RoboCop rescues Sting from a giant cage maybe?
Maybe you'd like to see Booker T call Hulk Hogan the N word? The instant look of 'Oh shit what did I just say' is priceless!
I think the point I'm trying to make is that compared to the real life spectacle of WRASSELING, the cartoon just seems pretty normal and totally grounded in reality. Nothing sums this up better than The Macho Man Randy Savage on a major coke rant.