Friday, August 27, 2010

Bad TV: Hulk Hogan's Rock 'N' Wrestling (1985)

In 1985, the then-World Wrestling Federation partnered with DIC and CBS to produce a half-live-action, half-animated series "starring", and I use that term loosely for a reason, then-champion Hulk Hogan. While Hogan and his compadres appeared in person in skits, they didn't contribute any voice work to the cartoons, which, by DIC's standards of the period, were little more than jobber fodder. For one big example, future sitcom star Brad Garrett (ex-Everybody Loves Raymond) was the one speaking for the animated Hogan, while James Avery (later of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) was the voice for Junkyard Dog. That discrepancy between the wrestlers and voice casting alone may have been the biggest reason why this show flopped, and badly.

I admit I tried watching this show, but couldn't get through no more than maybe five minutes at a time. It was one thing to see the wrestlers in the sketches, testing their acting skills, but the toons were painful to watch. Worse, it was on opposite the superior Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians over on ABC and Alvin & the Chipmunks on NBC. Not a surprise, then, that Rock 'N' Wrestling was cancelled after the one season, though some enterprising soul tried to revive it by putting the reruns in syndication in the 90's. No station in my market bit on it, thankfully. If anyone actually gained anything from this, Hogan aside, it'd be the late Captain Lou Albano. DIC would bring him back 4 years later to star in the weekday series, The Super Mario Brothers Super Show. Albano, like Hogan and Roddy Piper, did make an inroad in movies, but most kids remember him more for his Mario Brothers work as far as non-wrestling work goes.

CBS would recover from this debacle just a year later, thanks to someone named Pee-Wee.

Here's a sample montage.

Rating: D.

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