Playing Backstage Politics
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Far Away From Uncle Ole
Re: How come we never saw Hogan vs Bret Hart?
According to the June 21, 1993 WON, Hogan/Yokozuna was going to happen again at Summerslam and Bret/Lawler was already the plan, based on King Of The Ring. From there, Hogan would win the title again. But according to Meltzer, the idea was to bring Hogan back because buyrates were pretty low. However, they didn't improve with him and with Hogan having an image to up hold in Hollywood, he left before things could really get bad.
And it's something about Bret that makes me question if Hogan/Bret was actually ever supposed to happen. It was known Flair was on his way out in 1992, Hogan had left and Warrior got fired again. So, they put the belt on Bret, as he was really over. But, business didn't increase and actually got worse. So, they made the play for Hogan to come back and hyped the hell out of his Wrestlemania return. Now, I did read that Hogan agreed to only come back if he would get the belt. And WWE thought it would benefit the buyrate of Wrestlemania, so it was given the green light.
Then, the problems started. Storyline wise, IIRC Yokozuna had began campaigning to get his rematch, so Bret wouldn't have gotten the shot at KOTR in that sense, as WWE had been moving forward with the Hogan/Yokozuna feud. Weeks before KOTR, Hogan was said to have done an interview in Japan and pretty much downplayed the title as if it wasn't important to him at that point. Also, he negotiated to bring in Masao Hattori for the KOTR match and have the role as a heel referee that screws Hogan out of the title. This was going to set up Hogan/Yokozuna for Summerslam, with Hogan winning the belt for the 6th time. But, a week before KOTR, the plan changed and WWE informed Hattori they would not be using him.
From there, they came up with the "photographer fireball" but had still planned for the Summerslam match. About a week after KOTR, Hogan, Beefcake and Jimmy Hart all pulled themselves from previously committed dates, as well as the Summerslam PPV. Meltzer basically said Hogan didn't like the direction of the company or the fact that business didn't go up after his return. So, a few weeks later, he officially parted ways with the company.
To my original point about Bret, if the plan was for Bret/Hogan at Summerslam, why didn't Bret replace Hogan in the original main event with Yokozuna for the title? It just doesn't seem real that Bret/Hogan was ever going to happen, at least in 1993. Because for 1, Bret was out of the title picture from Wrestlemania onward. Hogan was in the picture, he left, Luger came into the picture and he didn't work out as planned and then Undertaker began a program for the title.
I have every copy of the Observer in 1993 and not once have I read anything about Hogan vs. Bret. Not saying that it wasn't planned but where's the proof? I'm not saying anything bad about Bret but WWE tried their best to avoid giving him the belt in 1993. And the problem is, nothing else worked. At that time, only 1 guy was just as over, if not more, than Bret and that was Taker. And his gimmick didn't really call for him winning the belt. But, Bret was consistently putting on good matches and had really stepped it up. But, WWE obviously didn't not want him to be the man. It wasn't until Hogan left for good, Luger was a bust and the steroid allegations that they really pushed forward with him.