#113 – Hulk Hogan v Stan Hansen, Tokyo Dome, April 13, 1990

This week we dive into the Hulk Hogan in Japan myth and review an incredible match between the Hulkster and Stan Hansen. What happens to the Hulkster when he flies across the ocean and wrestles in the Tokyo Dome? Find out this week on the Old School Wrestling Podcast.We also give Robert a call to discuss the new issue of the Atomic Elbow zine and have an interesting although slightly disturbing “Quick 1-2-3” as we discuss urban myths in pro wrestling that is not for the faint at heart.

This episode has been archived in the Season 4 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!


  1. Bryan Pflanz says:

    Happy New Year, Black Cat & Dre(w)! I hope the two of you and your families had a wonderful holiday. Loved episode #113! Like many, I was amazed to hear that Hogan could actually chain wrestle! In all of the times that I’ve seen him wrestle, I barely remember him throwing one “scientific” move, let alone a few! You know, way back in the Vince Sr. days, Hansen actually had a major program going in the old WWWF with Dre’s favorite, Bruno Sammartino! As legend has it, he actually broke Bruno’s neck back in the late 70’s, putting him on the shelf for a couple months, with the program culminating in a blow-off match in Shea Stadium, which was help on the same card as the legendary Inoki-Ali fiasco. Legend also has it that Hansen was as blind as a bat without his glasses, which probably explains why his matches were always potato fests. He also never went anywhere without having his lip packed with about a pound of chew, always leaving the ring a mess when his matches were done. A true throwback to the good-old days!!

  2. Bad News Boucher says:

    Great episode, as always, but the highlight for me was the Mike Jackson story! He was always a favorite of mine on the Superstation and, later, on some early episodes of Pro Wrestling USA, where he had great, convincing matches with guys like Bob Backlund and Carlos Colon. I want to believe that if Jackson was born ten years later, he could have had great matches with Malenko, Guerrero, Benoit, etc in the early days of ECW, perhaps eventually carving out a niche for himself in the WCW Crusierweight Division. Probably not, but this is something I think about whenever I see his pasty, hairy, prematurely balding body in a singlet pulling off a flawless flying headscissor in a match 95% of the audience does not give a shit about.

    Oh and here’s my QUICK 1-2-3:

    1) Harley Race paying a visit to the WWF locker room and pulling a gun on Hulk Hogan when Vince
    McMahon started to move into the Kansas City/St. Louis area.

    2) Bruiser Brody having been offered money to do an actual, for-real run-in during Wrestlemania I. Not sure who it was who allegedly made the offer, but I’d put my money on Verne Gagne.

    3) And I was really trying to stay away from an Andre one, but… The body of Andre The Giant being secretly interred somewhere in the bowels of Titan Tower.

    • Robert says:

      Mike Jackson’s not pasty anymore. Dude is all kinds of tan. And he’s still pulling off great matches in high school gyms, VFW halls and National Guard Armories all over the southeast. Come down and visit sometime. We’ll go find him.

  3. Great show as usual guys. I recently purchased a 7 disc best of Stan Hansen set, I’ll have to see if this match is on it.

    As for how you could get Hansen into the Fed to feud with Hogan, there are a couple of different scenarios.

    1. Do the obvious “former foe from overseas” where Hansen comes in and attacks Hogan, citing former issues with Hogan in Japan. Show highlights of Hogan beating Stan Hansen with his very own move!

    2. If we are going more cartoony, Hansen is some redneck oil tycoon that wants to buy the WWF and dig for oil. Hogan doesn’t want the WWF to go away, so he fights the good fight to save wrestling for everyone, and banish that evil oil man. This may or may not be heavily influenced by the plot to a recent Muppets movie.

    3. Cowboy Bob Orton’s crazy uncle.

  4. goat says:

    New Japan ran their biggest show of the year on Saturday in the Tokyo Dome so in the Observer Meltzer wrote up a huge history of the Tokyo Dome article. Here is the section for this show.

    “The success of the two prior shows at the Dome led to something nearly unheard of–the three most powerful pro wrestling companies in the world at the time, WWF, New Japan, and All Japan, combined for a show on April 13, 1990. As one could imagine, when you had Giant Baba and Vince McMahon working together, there were all kinds of problems from people seeing things in different ways. The sides had all kinds of minor problems and cultural differences. When McMahon and Hulk Hogan showed up fashionably late for the press conference, Baba felt it was an insult.

    WWF only had two demands when it came to finishes, that their two big stars, Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior, be protected. Baba built the show around Hogan defending the WWF title against Terry Gordy. McMahon had Warrior beat Hogan at WrestleMania just 12 days before the event, and Baba was insulted that he wasn’t informed ahead of time. New Japan after a while, decided it didn’t even want to be involved, and eventually only stayed with the provision its wrestlers would only work with each other. Then, just before match-time, Gordy decided it wasn’t in his best interest to do a job for Hogan. Gordy noted that his business was based in Japan, where he was a rising star. He was treated as a serious wrestler. Hogan’s business wasn’t based in Japan, and while popular in Japan where he was a national star before the U.S., Hogan was not considered a serious wrestler at the level of Gordy. WWF felt insulted that Baba couldn’t get one of his top stars to do business as agreed upon. Stan Hansen, at the time a bigger star than Gordy, volunteered to put Hogan over. As it turned out, when the story of how things happened got out, Hansen ended up more popular for losing. The idea is he did the right thing for business even though he was considered a bigger star in Japan than Hogan, for the good of saving the show.

    Still, it was notable that WWF coming to Japan for the first time, and the three big groups on the same show wasn’t nearly as strong as New Japan’s show a few months earlier, as this event did 43,700 fans and a 14.1 rating when aired on television a few days later.

    One of the things notable about the show is two of the key wrestlers of the 90s, Bret Hart and Mitsuharu Misawa, wrestled for the first and only time in a 20:00 draw in a prelim match. Misawa was just two months away from getting his big break with his win over Tsuruta at Budokan Hall. Hart was more than a year from his singles break when he beat Mr. Perfect for the IC title at Madison Square Garden. Other dominant stars like Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi and Liger all appeared in prelims. “

  5. I don’t know if you guys or Robert have mentioned this before, but actor James Avery (Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who died at the beginning of this year) was the voice of Junkyard Dog on Hulk Hogan’s Rock n Wrestling!

  6. Dean says:

    Hi, guys.

    Great show, as always. Hansen is such a unique character and style of wrestler, to me. Seeing Hogan elevate his style would be mindblowing, no doubt.

    A few other notes:
    The Sheik’s mansion is in Williamston, MI, about 25 miles east of Lansing. If Mania ever does come back to Detroit, we’ll have to set it up to have the OSWP convention/weekend there.

    There was a Nitro Girl named Fyre (Terri Byrne). She was my absolute favorite because she was a hot redhead with a great set of breasts. I adored her.

    Thanks for another great show.

  7. The Small Package says:

    Hey guys, another great show! There was mention during the show that there was talk of Stan Hansen maybe getting a big push in the WWF, but he actually got a push of sorts in WCW. I would remind you that later on in 1990 Stan Hansen would feud with and actually defeat Lex Luger for the United States title.

    And speaking of Lex Luger leads me to my main point. I used to be known as “RickySteamboatsArmDrag” but OSWP Creative has seen fit to “re-package” me as “The Small Package” due to a story I told in the last comment I left. Instead of fighting it and risk being “future endevered”, I will whole heartedly embrace my new moniker and run with it. And like “The Ringmaster” turning into “Stone Cold” or “Mean Mark” becoming “The Undertaker”, my career will surely skyrocket after this.

    That being said, I must now request that Dre only be referred to as Drew on the show. When a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, even one such as Tommy Rich, says your name is Drew, then your name is Drew. And unlike Terry Taylor with “the Red Rooster” gimmick, you should embrace your new name and make the most of it.

    Lastly, I say we scrap the WrestleMania trip and all head to the Shieks’ mansion and pile into the hot tub for the weekend.

    Happy New Year!

  8. SlingshotSuplex says:

    When I first followed Kevin Von Erich on twitter, it seemed that every tweet was a graphic description of him gutting one animal or another. Granted, it was in a socially acceptable way–for food, sport, etc-but he’s not squeamish about the subject.

    George Steele was a high school teacher and coach. There were parts of his career where he only wrestled in the summer around his school schedule. This is documented in Gary Hart’s book and in various Wrestling Observers.

    Mike Jackson is great.

  9. elvisboogens says:

    Hey, great show as usual. I just wanted to chime in about the Savage/Stephanie rumor, per a conversation I had with some of my locker room buddies in the OSWP forum. I just wanted to reiterate that somewhere recently the rumor about the terrible affair was shot down and there’s apparently strong evidence to support that the Randy Savage blacklisting had to do with taking Slim Jim with him when he left WWF for WCW at a time when that money was very important to Vince, 1994. And in fact it was 1994 when Savage left WWF, not 95 like Drew suggested. His last day was cohosting Raw with Vince and in the episode (which is available in its entirety on youtube) you can clearly hear that there is no ill will between Vince and Savage. The Stephanie rumor was reported to have happened sometime in 93, and the Slim Jim fiasco was reported to have unfolded after Randy departed. So I choose Slim JIm.

    Also the alleged reason why Savage wasn’t inducted into the hall of fame before his death was because he refused to be unless his dad and his brother were inducted with him. He and Vince had buried whatever the hatchet was by his death in 2011, and savage started to appear in the video games again and in dvd sales and all that.

    If those aren’t good urban legends, my favorite one is one that Savage apparently started himself during a shoot interview he did on WWF radio with Jim Ross in 1993, and that is that he was the one that punched Hulk Hogan and gave him a black eye right before wrestlemania 9. A lot of guys say that it’s not true, and I don’t even care. I’d like to think it is.

  10. That was seriously my favorite Hogan promo ever at the beginning of the show. I’m not kidding. Now I can’t decide which of Dre’s impressions is my favorite: Dusty, Bill Alphonso, or Hogan.

  11. John Stossel's Ear says:

    The talk about The Sheik’s mansion in Williamston got me to thinking about a story that’s loosely related to the Farhat family. For a brief period in about 2007-2008 I worked as a manager around a couple of Michigan indies in Michigan. Truth be told it was about maybe a dozen shows in total, one of them being the All World Wrestling League which was founded by members of the Farhat family.

    My experience initially meeting good Old Captain Ed George was interesting to say the least. My first show for him he had me run in during the finish to a ladder match. Well enough I guess for the first time.

    Of course trying to make an impression I went into the thing using a gimmick that closely resembled Jim Mitchell if you bought Jim Mitchell at a swap meet that was being held on the grounds of a closed down harness racing track.

    The payoffs were well enough I suppose for a guy that had no experience and it was fun so I quite honestly had no reason to complain.

    Then comes the last show I ever worked for the AWWL or anyone for that matter. It was the first show Ed had run in about six months and he had decided to scrap whatever constituted angles and was going to be taping TV with a fresh start. I work the semi main and the main with one of the wrestlers involved being a guy who worked as Tim Horner Jr. Which begs the question, is he really related to Tim Horner or was that just the best he could come up with.

    The show was held at a National Guard Armory in Williamston, not too far from The Sheik’s mansion. You guys want to know the first sign you are at a bad indy show? The gimmick table is selling pictures of Bobo Brazil that have the familiar brown ring that comes from leaving a cup of coffee on a piece of paper too long.

    Oh, there was a promo room too! And now thanks to the creative genius that was Captain Ed George the gimmick had now been melded into a strange combination of Jim Mitchell, Benny Hinn and Colonel Robert Parker. It was like mixing Crystal Pepsi with any random protein powder from your neighborhood GNC and a glass of warm mayonnaise. If video ever surfaced of this, which I don’t think the seventy people in attendance for this tv taping would have been interested to see, it would be quite the sight indeed.

    Anyway, second and last sign you are at a bad indy show. The main event happens and I’m told to go out there and distract the ref so the wrestlers can brawl all over the building instead of just booking the damn thing as a street fight. And how am I being told to do this? Continually attempt to baptize the referee with holy water from an Aquafina bottle. I swear i’m not making this up.

    Then the big run in and brawl happens to send the crowd home happy. I get a splash and tossed out of the ring. I’m selling like I’ve been shot, splitting between limping and crawling back through the curtain. I’m about halfway in between the curtain and the ring and Captain Ed George leans down and hands me exactly three five dollar bills. What a way to keep kayfabe in front of the people, hand your top heel’s manager money while he’s still in full view of the audience. I was fully waiting for Ricky Morton to materialize out of thin air to try and sell my a Rock N Roll Express shirt. Gotta love the wrestling business.

  12. Dead Reckoning says:

    In one of the first editions of Pro Wrestling Illustrated I bought (it wasn’t available in the UK until the early 1990), they ran a feature about the legendary Demolition (Greatest Tag Team ever tm) versus Andre and Baba. It was the first time I had seen Ax and Smash out of makeup and in suits of all things! Shocked was not the word. I wasn’t 100% sure it was even real

  13. Butter Douglas says:

    Behind on my OSWP, but coincidentally my friend just told me about Macho/Steph right around the same time I heard this episode, and I was just as stunned as Dre. We almost came to blows about it, too. He’s nearly 100% sure it happened, but I just can’t see it. Like Black Cat said, there are way to many vague details, too much hearsay, etc. He is convinced just because his savior Dave Meltzer said that “it’s the only possible conclusion”. That’s his trump card. I can’t believe it. I won’t believe it!! It’s the lousy smarks trying to make a story out of nothing!!

  14. IanEvs79 says:

    The urban legend I remember about WWF when I was young was that when The Ultimate Warrior left, that he actually was crazy and was in an asylym. The rumour about him dying also managed to cross the pond to the UK too.

    I also vaguely remember someone telling me that Hulk Hogan was born in Wales (I’m from Wales, so it’s probably not a suprise that someone made that up).