Hulk Hogan was SUPPOSED to be at an AWA house show working Nick Bockwinkel. But was he? Nope. You could call it Hulk Hogan at the Chase. Hulk Hogan was at the Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis, MO, the former centerpiece of the NWA. He was at the house that Sam Mushnick built – making his WWF return after a three year absense, wrestling perrenial jobber Bill Dixon.
Vince McMahon’s national expansion in 1983 would take a huge leap forward on that night. Not only was the AWA’s most popular performer and the legitimate future of the business making his debut -nonetheless at the CHASE Hotel of all places – but Mean Gene Okerlund and “Dr. D” David Schultz, also AWA regulars, would debut on this program as well. Jesse Ventura and Bobby Heenan were also among the group to come over, and later, guys like Jim Brunzell, Adrian Adonis, and others would trek to New York.
Many purists considered this a slap in the face to not only the AWA, but the NWA. Wrestling at the Chase was legendary, and even though in late ’83, the peak popularity of St. Louis wrestling was a thing of the past, it was still seen as insulting that Vince McMahon and the northeast WWF would dare to run a show there. These were true shots fired – Vince was coming to take the business, and now with Hulk Hogan in tow, stopping him would be the biggest challenge a promoter could face. Continue reading
When it’s all said and done, what Wrestlemania 23 will be remembered for is a haircut match. This isn’t any random old haircut match. This was a billionaire’s haircut match. Well, at least one of them was a billionaire.
Donald Trump has been affiliated with wrestling in the past. He hosted Wrestlemania IV and V at his Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were two of the worst Wrestlemania’s ever, but that didn’t stop Vince McMahon from calling Trump’s name some 18 years later. And McMahon needed it.
Wrestlemania is what Vince McMahon and company build to every year. It’s their Super Bowl. It’s always the biggest PPV of the year, and the one in which they pull out all the stops. This year, the stops was Donald Trump. You might wonder why putting Donald Trump on a wrestling show, and one that he won’t even wrestle on, is important. The reason it’s important is because people wanted to pay to see who would get their hair cut between Vince and the Donald. Can you imagine a bald Donald Trump? Everyone wants to see that right? Even though anyone in their right mind would know that Trump would’ve never signed on to a match in which he’d lose his hair, it was built up so well, and it went on to be the main event in the biggest money making event in company history.
Donald Trump is still a big name. Even though his television show, The Apprentice was struggling mightily, he’s a well known public figure. And to get a well known public figure who isn’t a one hit wonder (like Kevin Federline) was a major coup for the WWE. It allowed them to enter the main stream media for a short while. The media picked up on Donald Trump being involved with wrestling and it sparked a little bit of a buzz. The wrestling fans are going to buy Wrestlemania. The goal is to get everyone else to do so.