Also, I never knew there was a third Wild Samoan in addition to Afa and Sika.
Samula was brought in while Sika recovered from an injury. They did 6-man's for a while, Afa and Sika bolted and Samula was turned babyface. He had an infamous bit on Piper's Pit challenging Piper after Piper had assaulted Snuka, with the WWF referring to him as the Tonga Kid (even though the interview itself clearly has him being referred to as Samula). Samula eventually became Samu of the Samoan Swat Team and Headshrinkers.
I thought Samula was Headshrinker Samu's uncle. And if he was the Tonga Kid, didn't he become Tama in the Islanders?
Post by Joe Neglia on Dec 27, 2014 23:00:52 GMT -5
No, no, sorry for the confusion - Samula = Samu but not Tonga Kid/Tama. His Piper's Pit interview was just later ID'ed on WWF tv as being the Tonga Kid, even though it wasn't. I don't know why, figuring Samula had already bolted and they didn't want to confuse fans so just called him the name of a then-current guy (Because, y'know, WWF and "they all look alike" mentality).
Doubtful. AWA didn't go national on ESPN for another year or so. They were probably aware of them from the magazines, though, but keep in mind Hogan had just been one of the top heels there a couple of years prior and had also just been in one of the biggest movies of the year.
Didn't AWA syndicate its show pretty widely before ESPN? I know they didn't get to Boston or New York, but maybe Pittsburgh? (For some reason I remember the Hogan return as occurring in Pennsylvania somewhere)
Hogan's return was a random episode of Wrestling at the Chase on December 23, 1983 in St. Louis. His next appearance was the above video, January 3 1984 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which was still a pretty major WWF stronghold. AWA had a "syndicated" program then, yes, but I can't say how far outside the territory it reached - it was rare for a show to bother syndicating further than that, as there would be little point; the people they were selling their wares to were inside their territory. UWF and World Class ended up syndicating in some very odd places, but I dunno about AWA.
The thing is, the AWA got the ball rolling with the Hogan face run and got a lot of hype going for him in the magazines, but it was Rocky 3 that made him a superstar. The crowds then weren't quite as jaded on heel/face turns yet, so between all that, when the very recent top heel showed up as a top babyface, the crowd ate it up. Certainly wouldn't pin it all on the latter, but still of the mind that exposure to actual AWA shows played very little role in the whole thing.
Post by lildude8218 on Dec 28, 2014 12:09:35 GMT -5
a lot of people also forget that Bill Dixon and Gilbert Guerrero had amassed a huge combined winning streak of 201-0 at that point so Hogan beating them without any problems was definitely a reason to shoot him up to that #1 contender slot
Watching Hogan burst on the the scene in 1983 - it really was like a guy from the future going back in time and changing everything. He just explodes off the screen in that world of lower production values and blander workers.
Post by Joe Neglia on Dec 28, 2014 19:53:22 GMT -5
One minor tidbit - Samula, the heel in the match that saw Hogan return to WWF TV would end up being Hogan's tag partner a little over a year later in Japan as part of Samula's last matches with the company before leaving.
Post by La HeAdCaSe Grande on Dec 29, 2014 9:54:04 GMT -5
Didn't WWF want Backlund to turn heel off this? I remember hearing something about them asking him to dye his hair, wear a leather jacket and do a punk rock gimmick. I can't remember if that came from Backlund himself but either way he refused to do it.
Really enjoyed Albano's "OH NO, OH NO, HE HIT ME, OW, Okay, I'm just gonna leave" sell of Hogan's wind-up punch.
I still get irritated every time I watch Albano "sell". I saw him no-sell Andre once on an old MSG show. He did the same thing... "OW! OMG OW! Well, I'm just going to walk away now." I was wanting Andre to grab him and give him a stiff headbutt and then watch him no-sell it.