Saturday, April 13

Hulk Hogan’s Definitive 10 Best WWE Matches, Ranked

When one talks about the biggest names in professional wrestling history, the name Hulk Hogan always comes up in the conversation. While Hogan isn’t exactly known for his impressive in-ring skills in WWE, The Hulkster did compete in some of the biggest matches ever.


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Realistically, Hulk Hogan could’ve wrestled these top wrestling stars at one point. However, it never happened for one reason or another.

Hogan had several runs as an active performer in WWE from the 1970s all the way to the 2000s. Over the years, Hulk Hogan had epic battles against countless top stars. Here are The Hulkster’s ten best WWE matches, ranked.

To learn more about how we rank wrestling matches on TheSportster, please check out our match ranking criteria guide here.


10 Hulk Hogan Vs. The Genius – WWE Championship (Saturday Night’s Main Event #24)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 6.75/10

Storytelling

1.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2.25/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 1.25 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 6.64

While Hogan’s battles with Randy Savage are quite famous, few people talk about the underrated WWE Title match The Hulkster had with Savage’s brother, The Genius, on Saturday Night’s Main Event in November 1989.

The Genius was managing Mr. Perfect, who was feuding with Hogan at the time. Their match was a ‘sports entertainment’ spectacle, one where everyone included and everyone watching had fun.

9 Hulk Hogan Vs. Shawn Michaels (SummerSlam 2005)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 7/10

Storytelling

2.25/2.5

Technical Ability

1.5/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.25/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 3.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 7.05

In 2005, Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Fans chanted ‘one more match’ during his induction, so Hogan came back for a program with Shawn Michaels heading into SummerSlam 2005.

The Heartbreak Kid turned heel in that storyline and the two closed out The Biggest Party Of The Summer. They had heat backstage and Michaels oversold everything on purpose. While it was hilarious and the crowd had a lot of fun, it’s not higher on the list because the psychology was all over the place.

8 Hulk Hogan Vs. Ric Flair (WWE On MSG Network, November 30, 1991)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 7/10

Storytelling

1.25/2.5

Technical Ability

1.75/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 3.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 6.90

When Ric Flair jumped from WCW to WWE in 1991, fans wanted to see a dream match between WWE’s top star Hulk Hogan and WCW’s top star Ric Flair. While that’s not what fans got at WrestleMania 8, they did have a really fun match in Madison Square Garden.

Flair had cost Hogan the WWE Championship against The Undertaker at Survivor Series days earlier, so Hogan was looking for payback. Flair used that to his advantage, outsmarting Hogan and beating him after using brass knuckles. However, the decision was reversed to a Hogan DQ win.

7 Hulk Hogan Vs. Brock Lesnar (SmackDown, August 8, 2002)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 7/10

Storytelling

1.75/2.5

Technical Ability

1.25/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: N/R
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 6.54

After 9 years away, Hulk Hogan came back to WWE in 2002. Although Hogan initially returned as a heel, WWE fans wanted to cheer their hero so Hogan turned face and went to SmackDown.

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Meanwhile, newcomer Brock Lesnar was on his way to the main event of SummerSlam, so Hogan challenged The Next Big Thing. Their match was really good, with Lesnar looking like a world-beater after beating the legendary Hogan via TKO.

6 Hulk Hogan Vs. Paul Orndorff – WWE Championship (The Big Event 1986)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 7.25/10

Storytelling

1.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1.5/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1.75/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.5/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 3 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 6.41

Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff was one of Hulk Hogan’s biggest rivals. The two men were on opposing teams in the main event of the first WrestleMania, but their biggest singles meating came the following year.

In front of more than 74,000 vocal fans in Toronto, Canada, Orndorff took The Hulkster to the limit and nearly became WWE Champion. The atmosphere was amazing and it was one of the best matches of Hogan’s first WWE Title reign.

5 Hulk Hogan Vs. Vince McMahon – Street Fight (WrestleMania 19)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 7.5/10

Storytelling

2.25/2.5

Technical Ability

0.75/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2.25/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.25/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 3 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 7.40

A match between Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon had no business being any good. And while it was from a classic from an in-ring perspective, that’s not what their Street Fight at WrestleMania 19 was about.

They had a fun bloodbath with some entertaining spots, including McMahon delivering an impressive legdrop off a ladder onto the announce table. Roddy Piper returned and attacked Hogan, but The Hulkster made the comeback and waled out the victor.

4 Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre The Giant – WWE Championship (WrestleMania 3)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 8/10

Storytelling

2.5/2.5

Technical Ability

0.5/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2.5/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.5/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 1 Star
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 5.55

The epic meeting between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in the main event of WrestleMania 3 has probably been more talked about than any other wrestling match in history. It wasn’t a technical classic, but it’s one of the most impressive spectacles you’ll ever see.

Hogan tried to slam Andre early on, but hurt his own back. Andre went to work on Hogan’s back until he headbutted the ring post by accident. Then, Hogan famously slammed the big man to a giant reaction, before dropping the big leg to retain the gold.

3 Hulk Hogan Vs. The Ultimate Warrior – WWE & Intercontinental Championships (WrestleMania 6)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 8.25/10

Storytelling

2.25/2.5

Technical Ability

1.25/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2.25/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.5/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 3.75 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 7.59

This match was arguably Hogan’s finest hour inside a wrestling ring. Not just because it was one of his greatest match, but because The Ultimate Warrior was reportedly exhausted the entire time, and Hogan did a fantastic job leading him to the finish.

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The crowd was divided between the two top stars, creating a fantastic atmosphere. Hogan and Warrior traded some nearfalls near the end, and the fans were excited for all of them. In the end, Warrior shocked the world by splashing and defeating The Hulkster.

2 Hulk Hogan Vs. Randy Savage – WWE Championship (WrestleMania 5)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 8.5/10

Storytelling

2.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1.5/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.5/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 2.75 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 7.03

The controversial end of Hogan’s first WWE Championship reign led to a tournament at WrestleMania 4, which Randy Savage won to capture the vacant title. That was the beginning of an epic one-year story between Hogan and Savage that culminated in the main event of WrestleMania 5.

The former Mega Powers partners settled the score in an intense contest that saw Miss Elizabeth getting involved. After the referee sent her to the back, Hogan kicked out of the flying elbow drop before defeating The Macho Man and reclaiming the strap.

1 Hulk Hogan Vs. The Rock (WrestleMania 18)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 8.75/10

Storytelling

2.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1.25/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

2.5/2.5

Crowd Reaction

2.5/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer’s Rating: 3 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 8.48

As mentioned earlier, Hogan returned to WWE for the first time in 9 years, and did so as a heel. Hogan and his nWo partners went after The Rock, leading up to one of the biggest dream matches in wrestling history at WrestleMania 18.

While Hogan was the heel, the crowd went absolutely wild for The Hulkster, forcing the wrestlers to basically switch roles on the spot. After an exciting contest that went back-and-forth, The Rock delivered the Rock Bottom followed by the People’s Elbow and picked up the win.

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