[ This is Part Four of a four-part series on the 12/28/1986 card in Toronto, Ontario Canada. See parts One, Two and Three. ]
As I explained in a previous post, WWF booking had Hogan facing a series of monster heels in a predictable series of matches. It was no different from how The Original Sheik was booked at the Gardens in the 1970s. Match, no-DQ match, cage match. Maybe an odd other stipulation like a bunkhouse match to prevent the heel from running away and being counted out, or a strap match for the same reason.
I was not a Hulk Hogan fan. Even in 1986, I preferred the speedy and agile Bret Hart or Dynamite Kid, or witty bad guys like Roddy Piper. Hulk's balding blond head, obscenely dark tan, greasy-sweaty body, overinflated muscles and growling patter just rubbed me the wrong way. The whole "saying your prayers" schtick sounded insincere to me.
But there was no denying Toronto liked Hulk Hogan. They left the lights on when he walked up that famous MLG ramp on December 28, 1986.
|WWF Champion Hulk Hogan marches up the ramp to the wrestling ring|
at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, December 28, 1986.
|Hulk Hogan has white powder on his thigh and knee pad after pulling it out of his trunks|
and throwing it at Kamala. Referee John Bonello is admonishing Hulk, even in this no-DQ match.
But it was Hogan who pulled out the cheating tricks early. He reached into his tights and pulled out a package of white powder. Hulk, we'd learn years later, was no stranger to white powder. Anyway, he threw it in Kamala's eyes, raked his back....
|Hulkster sets a bad example by choking opponent Kamala in Toronto's old NWA ring at Maple Leaf Gardens.|
The sold-out Toronto audience cheered. I booed. I wanted Kamala to win! I wanted Kamala to make Hulk Hogan bleed!
Soon, Kamala got the advantage and had Hulk on the ropes, winded and beaten.
|A CBC cameraman looks on as Hulk Hogan sells a beating from challenger Kamala|
at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario Canada in December 1986.
|Kamala bodyslams Hulk Hogan in a no-DQ championship match at Canada's Maple Leaf Gardens, 1986-12-28.|
But then, Hulk stopped feeling pain. Kamala's blows just made Hogan shake. He stood and shook. He shook his fists. He shook and shook. Then he just stood still, with wide eyes. Kamala reeled back in fear as Hogan waved a finger in the Ugandan's face and prepared to deliver a clubbering.
Then, Kamala's buddies jumped up. Kim Chee and The Wizard got Hulk's attention, and the champ ran out of the ring. He pursued them from corner to corner, past the timekeeper's table to the ramp and around the high red railings patrolled by the white-hatted Maple Leaf Gardens ushers.
Referee Bonello counted ten. The bell rang. Hulk was counted out of the ring.
OH MY GAWD. Did Kamala just win? Did I just see a title change? This was a no-disqualification match, right?
Ding ding ding. The referee has a decision.
"Your winner," said Marty, "as the result of a count-out ....... The Ugandan Headhunter, Kamala!"
OH MY GAWD. KAMALA WINS THE TITLE. THIS IS AMAZING. HOGAN IS DONE.
"But," said Marty. But what? But what? Give Kamala the belt! "Since the championship can only change hands by pinfall or submission, the World Wrestling Federation Champion remains......Hullllllk Hooooogannnn!"
NO! That's .... what? What kind of rule is that? I've never heard of such a thing! What a rip-off! BOOOO. Boo, Hogan, BOO, you big fat phony.
|Hulk Hogan displays poor sportsmanship by attacking The Wizard with a|
Maple Leaf Gardens folding chair as Kim Chee cowers on the Toronto ringside ramp.
|Boo, you jerk. Toronto ringside fans stand on their chairs to see Hulk Hogan pose after losing.|
|In the middle of the Maple Leaf Gardens wrestling ring, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan|
demonstrates his 'most muscular' pose in his red and yellow outfit.
Bah. Not going.
I went home with a Rowdy Roddy Piper "Hot Rod" t-shirt, a WWF Program magazine, and these fantastic photos my dad captured. I think we went up the road for pizza. It was a great afternoon, even though Hulk Hogan won.