We all love creating lists and debating the merits and shortcomings of our favorite Hollywood stars and athletes. After all, poll questions get you thinking about putting players, teams and films/television shows in perspective and stir emotions. Some dismiss the polling process as a quick check-box exercise, but that’s selling it woefully short. The best debates and analysis surrounding a topic sometimes stem from a quick “either/or” proposition.
In this instance, I’m bridging the entertainment and sporting worlds with a nod to the world of professional wrestling. I remember hustling paper routes and trading card shows to save up cash to watch The Road Warriors and the stars of the AWA (before the WWF started doing house shows out in Rosemont, IL). Every now and then, I still tune into an episode or reference a classic character on-air and the memories of big moments flood into the conversation.
On Monday night, the WWE will celebrate Hulk Hogan’s birthday. And there are rumors that a reunion of nWo is in the mix ….
But WWF/WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin stirred it up this week when asked about his place in the history of the squared circle. As you’d expect, “The Texas Rattlesnake” vaulted himself into the No. 1 slot over Hogan. He gave a nod to Hogan’s longevity, but pointed to the profitability and scope of the company during his reign as the top draw.
Man, it’s hard to look past “Thunderlips” and the marketing machine that was “Hulkamania” in the mid-80s. It’s difficult to not hearken back to the days of the Fabulous Freebirds and Ric Flair in his prime. However, the PPV salesmanship and dominance of the toy aisle in recent years cannot be understated. And, Austin probably wins the final medal count for catchphrases of that grouping, no?
Of course, “The Rock” is off on a level by himself while celebrating the box office receipts of “Hercules.”