More on why Hulk Hogan and Vader Had Issues in WCW

Feb 19, 2020 - by James Walsh

On the latest edition of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed Hulk Hogan’s concerns about working with Vader after signing with WCW in 1994, and why it wasn’t until 1995 until the two finally worked together. Highlights are below.

On the delay in WCW doing Hogan vs. Vader: “I don’t think it was necessarily a delay. Hulk didn’t come in to WCW until, what, around July of ’94? His first match was with Ric Flair who arguably absolutely should have been his first match, and then, we got July, August, September, October, November, December, January, seven months later we got Vader. I don’t think waiting that amount of time, look, other than Ric Flair, I think the Vader – Hogan matchup was one of the more anticipated matchups at that time. Ric Flair and Kevin Sullivan, who were booking at that time, did a pretty good job by 1994 standards, mind you, of building anticipation for this match. Certainly we all would have done a better job at it today. I think storytelling and booking and writing and all that has advanced since 1994 just like play calling has advanced in the NFL, but they did an adequate job building up anticipation.”

On Hogan’s concerns about working with Vader: “Legitimately, Hogan had concerns about working with Vader. The primary concern was that Vader’s style, although he was so capable and after watching this match [SuperBrawl V] back, only reinforces that feeling on my part, Vader was so capable of working with anybody in any style he wanted to, unfortunately he had a track record. He was a unpredictable personality, you never knew which Vader you were gonna get. Which is why Harley Race was his manager. Harley Race wasn’t Vader’s manager because Vader couldn’t talk. Vader could cut a pretty good promo given the opportunity, and a little bit of direction. Harley Race was there to talk Vader off the cliff more often than not and try to manage him and get what we needed out of him creatively. So I think that Hulk was concerned about Vader’s willingness, not ability, willingness to work a Hogan style match and tell a Hogan style story, as oppose to the type of stories and the types of matches Vader typically was involved in, where he basically ate everybody alive.”

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