Story: In the world of professional wrestling, there’s never been a more iconic character than Hulk Hogan, who would drive the business into the stratosphere, becoming a pop culture legend in the process, not to mention racking up a wealth of world championships. In this ultimate anthology, the entire career of Hogan is explored, though this was produced in 2006, so any of his involvement after that point isn’t covered here. But this release still spans from the start of his career until just after his Hall of Fame induction, so the lion’s share of his active years are on tap. And what a career Hogan built, so this entire release is packed with memorable moments and memories, from the biggest icon in professional wrestling himself, The Immortal Hulk Hogan.
Entertainment Value: As a huge wrestling fan that holds Hulk Hogan as one of my favorites, I couldn’t wait to dive into this ultimate anthology and I wasn’t disappointed. As with some of WWE’s other anthology releases, we have brief segments that discuss Hogan and what was going on with him at the time of the matches shown, then we’re treated to a lineup of Hogan’s cornerstone matches and some of his more interesting ones, as well. The interview segments are mostly Mean Gene Okerlund and Jimmy Hart praising Hogan’s every move and decision, with some brief interviews with Hogan and some of his peers interspersed as well. The content of the interviews is fluff, which is a shame, as I would have loved a more in depth, documentary type approach. But they’re short and watchable, so it is hard to complain, especially with some terrific matches on showcase. You’ll see full matches from his early career, his landmark WWF run, his WCW/nWo days, and his return to the WWE, so a broad spectrum of his career is examined here.
I love the match selection here, as we witness some of Hogan’s most iconic matches, which happen to include some the biggest clashes in the history of the wrestling business. Hogan takes on Andre the Giant in multiple matches, battles Macho Man Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Sting, Sergeant Slaughter, Roddy Piper, and The Iron Sheik, plus more. Most of these are historic battles between wrestling titans, so they’re widely available and indelible moments for fans. So I can see why perhaps some might be let down, if they were hoping for a collection of rarities or unlocked vault treasures, but this is more of a greatest hits, so it makes sense his most famous matches would be included. You still get some lesser seen content as well, so there is a balance of sorts, but it leans heavily toward the high profile content. But with around 8 hours of wrestling in this collection, you’re bound to find some good stuff in here and to be honest, I think Hogan’s matches hold up well to return views. The anthology ends when Hogan clashes with Shawn Michaels, but a bonus disc keeps the fun rolling ahead. The bonus disc highlights some real gems, with Hogan taking on Harley Race, Terry Funk, and others, including an interesting handicap match from his AWA stint. I had a blast with Hulk Hogan: The Ultimate Anthology and for fans of Hogan or wrestling, this is a must have for the collection.