Well, this is it. We have finally come to the seventh and final match in the head to head series between the stars of the 80′s PG era, and their current counterparts. And what could be more fitting than Hulk Hogan facing off against John Cena.
Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster had a brief run in the WWF in 1979-80 as a Heel, with Freddy Blassie as his manager. Back then he wrestled against Bob Backlund, and Andre The Giant. But he would soon leave. That part of Hogans history is usually not as well remembered. The part that nobody can ever forget however was January 23rd 1984. That was the night that Hulkamania was born, as Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik to win first of 6 Heavyweight Championships in the WWF/WWE. Hulks first Title reign lasted just over 4 years, during which time the WWF grew into a nationwide promotion. Hulk Hogan became a household name, and a pop culture icon, as pro wrestling exploded in popularity. Playing the role of the hero of the American working class, he used his signature formula of starting strong, taking a beating, then “Hulking Up” in a massive comeback to finally defeat his opponent time and time again. Love him or hate him, Hulk Hogan is very much responsible for helping to make wrestling what it is today.
John Cena. The comparisons to Hulk Hogan are the first thing to come to mind when talking about Cena’s career thus far in WWE. During the “Attitude Era” you had The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, as the faces of the company. They were the biggest stars, they sold the most merchandise, and they were also called the Hulk Hogans of their time. But once they left, and the new PG era began, there has been one person that has been seemingly hand picked to be the new face of the company. And that man is John Cena. Of course there are others who are as popular in their own right, such as Triple-H, and Randy Orton, but it is Cena that mirrors Hogan the most. The short lived start as a Heel, leading to his underdog match at Wrestlemania 21 against JBL where he won the first of his ( so far) 9 World Championships. Then moving on from his rapper gimmick, to a more military style, which has been mostly toned down, and now we have what a lot of people in the internet wrestling community refer to as “Super Cena” The man who never gives up, and who comes back from seemingly impossible odds time and time again to get the big win. There is one small difference between Cena and Hogan however. And that has been the mixed reaction that Cena gets from the crowd. During Hogans glory years, there was no doubt as to his popularity, but that is not the case with Cena, who always receives almost as many boo’s as he does cheers. This has caused many to speculate that perhaps Cena should finally go back to being a Heel, as this formula worked for Hogan later in his career over in WCW. This could happen, but with Cena selling as much merchandise as he does, it is doubtful that it will happen anytime soon. Then again, this IS wrestling, and anything can happen.
So putting these two against each other, who comes out on top? As much as John Cena’s career has been similar to The Hulksters, from his superhuman victories, to making bad movies, and everything in between, there can really only be one Hulk Hogan. And head to head, The Hulkster gets the win, thus making the 80′s Era PG stars the winners, 4 wins to 3.
Winner….. Hulk Hogan.
By Bruce Shearon.