This installment of Déjà Va Wrestling looks at two matches between Hulk Hogan and Ted DiBiase, from 1979 and 1987.
The first match, from 1979, was Hulk Hogan’s first match in Madison Square Garden and Ted DiBiase’s last match in the WWF. In a reversal of roles, Hogan, managed by Classy Freddie Blassie, was the bad guy and DiBiase was the good guy. At the time, Hogan was known as the Incredible Hulk Hogan (by the ring announcer) but it was changed to Fabulous Hulk Hogan (that’s what Vince McMahon refers to him and what was displayed on the graphic). Hogan won the match from the departing DiBiase, but not before DiBiase kicked out of Hogan’s leg drop. DiBiase would also resist succumbing to the sleeperhold, which would go on to become his finisher, Million Dollar Dreams, in his second and more famous run with the company.
In 1987, Ted DiBiase would redebut in the WWF as The Million Dollar Man. He and Hogan faced off at the end of the year. DiBiase, with Virgil and Andre he Giant in his corner, was the bad guy and Hogan was at his most popular. Much like in their 1979 encounter, DiBiase spent a lot of time on the outside of the ring. In a pleasant coincident, one of the commentators referred to DiBiase as fabulous during the match. Not surprisingly, Hogan beat DiBiase. However, he didn’t try to use his standard finisher, the leg drop, this time around.