So, get this. It’s 1990 and you’re watching the WWF. Hulk Hogan is out there on the Brother Love Show, saying whatever it is that Hulk Hogan says, brother, until he’s interrupted by Jimmy Hart. Hogan puts his hands on Hart and is attacked from behind by Earthquake, a gigantic man whose girth would be impressive were he an active wrestler in 2022. After a chairshot, Earthquake hits Hogan with the Earthquake Splash, safely getting his gooch up in the Hulkster’s face, as a real earthquake metaphorically does to a city.
Hulk Hogan is dead. He is so dead that he is carried off on a stretcher. So dead that Gene Okerlund took to wearing a Hulk Hogan friendship bracelet. So dead that the company encouraged fans to write get well letters to a recovering Hulkster. Hulk Hogan was so goddamn dead that the WWF put together the kind of video package wrestling rolls out for legitimate retirements or deaths. Hulk Hogan came back, but that’s what heroes do.
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Fast forward to 2022.
You’re watching WWE and, before the Hell in a Cell premium live event begins, you’re told that Cody Rhodes, 2022’s America loving babyface with somewhat hypnotic blond hair, suffered a fully torn pectoral muscle while lifting weights after suffering a partially torn pectoral muscle during a brawl with Seth Rollins.
That’s bad, right?
Yeah, it’s bad. Cody’s right arm and pectoral muscle are the color of rotting eggplant, and he’s doing everything he can to avoid or brace for contact to his alarmingly limp appendage. He wrestles for just shy of 25 minutes in this condition, a heroic performance that will live forever because there will never be a moment that goes by where you’re not reminded that Cody Rhodes risked it all for the sake of entertaining people on a somewhat minor show in WWE’s yearly cycle.
You’d think this would be the end of things between Rhodes and Rollins, right? Rollins lost three times, once while Rhodes was protecting an injury that put Triple H and John Cena on the shelf for months. Rollins comes out during a promo where Rhodes says that his aim is to wrestle in a ladder match four weeks from now and gives him respect for walking away.
This is a ruse, of course. While Cody backs towards the entrance way, Rollins conks him in the back of the head with a sledgehammer and does a bit more of his light kink shoulderplay before actually leaving. This is horrible, you are told. Seth Rollins has gone too far, you’re told.
But then it turns out that Cody Rhodes got up and left the arena under his own power.
What the fuck, dude? Is Hulk Hogan a chump?
I mean, yes, but is he?
Again, yes, but is he?
Yeah, Hulk Hogan is a chump. And Cody Rhodes belongs in a David Cronenberg movie. Just, like, one of those David Cronenberg movies that people haven’t seen. Like a student film that shows progress and points to a future full of televisions eating people and car crashes turning people on and people having sex via radical surgery. Cody Rhodes is before all of that because, like, there’s not much point to his suffering.
He just suffers.
— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2022