Arena Reports 11/26 Hulkamania Tour in Brisbane, Australia: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair III, Mr. Kennedy & Beefcake vs. Jordan & Umaga, Val Venis vs. Eugene
Nov 27, 2009 - 12:23:28 AM
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Hulkamania Tour house show report
November 26, 2009
Report by L. Spina, Torch reader
The Show started at approximately 7:15 p.m. Crowd number, in my estimate, was 4,000-5,000. Unfortunately, i think I am exaggerating. All upper sections were empty. At 9:00 a.m. that day, tickets went 2-for-1 in all sections. And, by looks of it, it was not enough to get people in. Also, Boondall is in the upper northside of Brisbane and traffic is usually not good in peak hours. You pretty much have to live in Brisbane to know what I mean.
They started with a clip on the Titantron of bits and pieces of previous matches of the Melbourne and Perth Shows. Maybe building up for a proper opening for the Sydney show in the final stop on the tour, which I believe is to be shown on an HD channel here in Australia in December.
(1) Pimp Fatha (Godfather) defeated Heidenreich. The Pimp Fatha came out with three hos to the ring. He offered Heidenreich a night off with the three girls instead of fighting the match. Heidenreich took him up on this offer and left the ring. However, Pimp came up behind him and started the match on the outside. During this match, I noticed the ring was small and the ropes had a lot of give. The match was over in two minutes when Pimp Fatha Irish whipped Heidenreich into the corner and followed with a botched roll up. Heidenreich had come out of the corner front first and found Pimp Fatha at his feet. Heidenreich pretty much had to step around to fall on his back so he could be pinned.
(2) "Spartan 3000" Matt Cross and Shannon Moore went to a 10-minute time limit draw. This was match three of the Best of Three series for $25,000. This match was unfortunately very bad and I DO NOT mean this as a reflection of Shannon Moore. I believe, as much of an expert that I am, that the fault lay with the size and give of the ring and maybe Matt Cross's inexperience. The match didn't seem to gel. Shannon Moore was almost dropped on his head at one point. There was a very badly botched elbow move from the corner where Matt Cross was just too close behind Shannon to allow him enough space to back elbow. Instead, Shannon pretty much back pressed into him. And worse of all, in my opinion, was Matt Cross grabbing Shannon Moore's arm and suddenly Shannon Moore has pretty much Irish whipped himself into the opposite corner. As for the finish, Shannon had Cross pinned when the bell rang. The time limit was up and Shannon got on the microphone and pretty much demanded an extension. He asked for a ladder match with the $25,000 briefcase to be hung up and the crowd wanted it. Spartan agreed to it, "but not today!" This was met with Boos. Spartan then blindsided Moore and went under the ring to grab a ladder - a five-foot ladder. I guess the plan was to hang the briefcase on the top rope.
(3) Sean Morley (Val Venis) beat Nick Dinsmore (Eugene). This match went around ten minutes. Back and forth and maybe this was the match that almost brought the crowd back into the show with a couple of familiar faces. Sean played the heel again tonight. He said, with his old WWE voice, "Hello Ladies," etc. He presented little Nicky with an Australian stuffed toy koala. It was most probably made in China, as are most Australian souvenirs, which Dinsmore immediately took to in his Eugene persona. The end of the match came when Morley had grabbed the toy and threatened to rip in half, which terrified Nicky. Once Morley carried out his threat and threw the koala onto the mat, he kicked him in the head and covered him for the pin. I dare say, there was no Money Shot finishing maneuver due to the quality of the ring. There were no top rope moves all night.
(4) Kiara Dillon beat out Koa Marie and Stephanie Pietz in a lingerie contest. Big deal. Enough said.
[Intermission went for 20 minutes]
(5) Mr. Anderson (Mr. Kennedy) & Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (w/Jimmy Hart) defeated Orlando Jordan & USO Fatu (Umaga). This was probably the match of the night. Once Orlando and USO came out, we waited to see who their opponents would be. First was Brutus. When his partner was announced, I was surprised because it seemed like a very odd pairing. This match was not so predictable. I honestly thought once USO tagged in against Brutus, it would be over in 30 seconds. Mr. Anderson wrestled most of the match, as I would dare say he was the most popular man on tour outside of Hogan and Flair. He did his opening mic spiel the same as in Melbourne and Perth, which the audience loved. It was good to hear Jimmy Hart on the megaphone at times for nostalgia. This match went around 12-15 minutes. The finish came when Orlando held Anderson up for a Samoan Spike from USO, but Anderson ducked and Orlando took the thumb to the throat. Anderson then got USO over the top rope and covered Jordan for the fall.
(6) Junior Fatu (Rikishi) & Brian Christopher & The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags w/Jimmy Hart) defeated Vampire Warrior & Black Pearl & Rock Of Love. It was announced as a four-on-four elimination match. Things went awry when Saggs was in the ring with one of the Rock Of Love guys and tagged in Black Pearl. Pearl yelled out that he wasn't on the same team, but the referee motioned him in. Junior Fatu was shaking his head in the corner asking Christopher what happened. He had four fingers up, but the match continued. Pearl eventually tagged in Christopher. Brian Christopher was eliminated by Vampire Warrior with a implant DDT when he was distracted by his falling pants. Nasty Boys were DQ'ed for brawling outside the ring with Rock Of Love with weapons. Not long after, Rock Of Love were counted out. This left Fatu against Vampire Warrior. Brian Christopher then came back out to aid Fatu when Pearl and Vampire Warrior were going to attack Junior with a chair with the ref down. The match ended around the 20-minute mark when Fatu pinned Black Pearl. That's right, Vampire Warrior was not eliminated and the match ended with Fatu as the sole survivor. Fatu was letting his frustration show a bit when the ref tried to raise his arm, but Fatu kept pointing at Vampire Warrior on the outside. I am sure Vampire Warrior was just as confused. Brian Christopher and Fatu then closed off with their dance routine.
(7) Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) defeated Ric Flair (w/Lacey Von Erich) in the main event. This was a repeat of the Perth match from what I read. It was great to finally see Hulk in the flesh, but outside of nostalgia, there wasn't much to it. Even kids in the audience knew who was going to win. Yes, Hogan could hardly move around. They bled very early on, Hogan within 30 seconds. After run-ins by Heidenreich and Orlando Jordan were neutralized by the Nasty Boys, Flair called out USO Fatu. After Hulk was squashed in the corner, he Hulked up. He threw Fatu out of the ring and gave Flair the big boot. He called for the megaphone and yelled out "No Disqualification" before hitting Flair in the head with it. He than lay on top of Flair for the pin and the win. He posed for about five minutes before leaving.
After the show, USO Fatu and Jimmy Hart made the effort to sign a few autographs, but others went straight to the bus.
Overall, the show was disappointing, but I would go again because I am a wrestling fan. The ticket prices and cost of merchandise must come down, though. It was good to be moved up in ticket grades for seating due to low ticket sales, but the overall product needed more polishing.
I believe the main factors behind my "disappointment" with the tour has been, in no particular order:
-- The negativity of smart fans
-- Hogan as the primary focus of all advertising. Sure, some other faces would splash up in an ad or two, but not enough for recognition.
-- Inability to use proper ring names due to WWE trademarks for promotion
-- Prices were way too high for what was being offered
-- No cards announced ahead of time
-- Website not updated for almost a month as yet.
I really wanted this to be a success. I am looking forward to any DVD releases or TV screenings. It may look better with a bit of editing.
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