Welcome back to the “What the Crap?” (WTC) column. I’d like to start this column back up by discussing a serious plague that’s been bothering me…no, not just me…the entire world for quite some time. That plague, my dear friends, is Hoganlessness. It’s time to raise some Hoganlessness awareness.
You may have noticed that a search for “Hoganlessness” previously did not turn up anything on Google, but those days are now over. Hoganlessness is defined by me as “the state or attribute of a form of medium not including the Real American Terry ‘Hulk Hogan’ Bollea.” A professional wrestler, American Gladiators commentator, and all-around BAMF, Hulk Hogan has graced the world of martial arts, movies, and yes, even videogames.
Below are some hard statistics on Hoganlessness. While Hulk Hogan has been in many movies, such as Rocky III as Thunderlips, and Mr. Nanny, there are far more movies in existence that do not feature him. The fact that he is not in any movies prior to his reported birth date simply proves that time travel is not possible, so that is understandable. But how is it that The Rock is in every stupid movie nowadays? What the crap are they thinking?
Now let’s talk videogames…that’s why we’re all here, right? WrestleMania for the NES was the first Nintendo wrestling game to use real-life characters. It probably would have been put in that landfill on top of E.T. for the Atari if it were not for one saving grace: this game does not feature Hoganlessness. In fact, when you boot up the game, you see an image of Hogan right away…pretty impressive for 1988 standards. For some reason, however, the default character is “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. That guy is an asshole. The reason you put this cartridge in is so you can BE Hogan.
Two years later, they released WrestleMania Challenge. No more Hulk intro, and this time the default character is “Yourself.” WTC? “Yourself”? I guess this was one of the first games to allow you to make a custom character, but you can’t customize his appearance or even change his fucking name. What were they thinking? When you have to write your name down on a form, do you write down “Yourself”? No, you shithead.
Next came Steel Cage Challenge in ’92. The developers went back to what the people want…Hogan in the intro, Hogan default, and a superstar’s theme music when you have the character selected. In the first game, you were fighting in a dark pit. In this one, they brought in the steel cage…which may sound cool, but if you fight in a standard, non-steel-cage match, you can throw the guy out of the ring and attempt to knock him out right before he is disqualified by the count.
Finally, in ‘93, we got King of the Ring. What a turd. No Hogan intro, no Hogan default, and now your custom character is named “You.” You can change your name and your stats, but your guy has a question mark on his face. Are you supposed to be the Riddler? Is this some zen thing where you have to find your true identity by closelining Bam Bam Bigelow?
There were many others. I had Royal Rumble for SNES. Actually a pretty decent wrestling game…but no Hogan—at least, not on the SNES. He was in the Sega Genesis version. It’s like Sega knew their system was shitty, and after all the 32x and CD crap, they decided to pull a fast one to try to get all the Hulkamaniacs to pick up a Genesis. I was so pissed off that I ripped the head off of my WrestleMania IV VHS double pack, and then my brother beat me up.
Hogan really should have been in more games and higher-quality games. “Captain” Lou Albano, R.I.P., was a wrestler, but you may know him better as Mario “Jumpman” Mario on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. You’d think they could have gotten some deals going, or something.