February 28, 2004
WrestleMania Rewind: Hogan loses crown (WM6)
By FRANK ZICARELLI - Toronto Sun
Hulkamania is dead - at least for now.
Long live Warrior Madness.
In a stunning miracle on the mat, the Ultimate Warrior officially silenced Hulkamania with one big splash in yesterday's colossal jostle at WrestleMania VI.
A stunned, record-breaking SkyDome crowd of 67,678 WrestleManiacs witnessed a mat classic and the passing of wrestling's turnbuckle torch from the hands of Hulk Hogan to the Ultimate Warrior, wrestling's new and undisputed king of the ring.
Billed as the Ultimate Challenge, the World Wrestling Federation card royally entertained the mat throng through 3 1/2 hours, culminating with Warrior pinning the Hulkster.
Given the often - dare we say - predictable nature of the sport, even wrestling's self-styled pundits were surprised with the Warrior's upset win.
Warrior is now the WWF and Intercontinental champion.
The Hulkster, who has held the championship belt twice, is expected to take a summer break from the ring.
"Give the Warrior dude his due,'' said a dispirited Hogan, who is scheduled to appear at WWF TV tapings this week before embarking on a Japanese tour.
"Hulkamania will return and all my Hulkamaniacs will be beside me. The Warrior won fair and square. He deserves to have both belts.''
Although it was the second title loss for Hogan, it was the first to come under what might be called fair circumstances. In February of 1988, Hogan "lost'' to Andre the Giant, but Hogan's shoulder had come off the mat before the referee had finished his three-count. Hogan regained the title at WrestleMania V in Atlantic City last April, defeating Randy (Macho Man) Savage.
Last night's bout was a classic from two mega WWF stars who are not noted for their wrestling skills. Slams, suplexes and suspense-filled near pinfalls were the order of the day.
At one point Hogan appeared to have the Warrior pinned, but referee Dave Hebner, knocked to the mat in a collision of bodies, lay motionless and never saw it.
A few seconds later, Warrior delivered an inverted suplex and pinned the Hulkster. Again, Hebner never saw it.
Hulkamania was stifled a few minutes later when the Warrior deftly avoided Hogan's patented leg drop. The Warrior then delivered his equally-patented splash and Hebner, who had recovered from his injury, performed the pinfall.