The Biggest Highlights Of Hulk Hogan And The Undertaker's WWE Feud

When putting together a Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling, it stands to reason that a handful of names would pop up in most peoples' lists. The Rock, John Cena, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and the like are shoo-ins for such discussions, as are Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker. After all, The Hulkster and The Deadman are two of the biggest names to ever step foot in the squared circle, engaging in classic rivalries and keeping their championship cases well-stocked. What some tend to forget is that these two larger-than-life superstars did indeed clash between the ropes from time to time.

Hogan and 'Taker's feud dates back to the early 1990s and continued sporadically until the early 2000s. Over the course of their on-and-off program, these wrestling titans would trade victories and championships as they sought to either reach or remain at the top of the card. Along the way, the personal animosity between them would even brew behind the curtain, making their oft-forgotten rivalry a real-world affair as well. If the Hogan-Taker saga is one that you've never heard of that's caught your attention, but you don't have the means or desire to go back and check it out in full, fret not. We've got you covered.

For all you Hulkamaniacs and creatures of the night, here are the highlights of Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker's feud — one that transcended on-air storylines and promotional boundaries alike.

July 29, 1991: Their first singles encounter

As noted, the feud between The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan dates back to the start of the 1990s under the WWF banner. At the Survivor Series 1990 pay-per-view event, 'Taker made his debut as a part of the Million Dollar Team, alongside "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, The Honky Tonk Man, and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. This intimidating newcomer put on an impressive performance that night — one outshone by the WWF's biggest star, Hulk Hogan, who competed in two huge tag team matches that night and, despite the second being a handicap match, walked away from both victorious.

In the months that followed, both 'Taker and Hogan continued to look strong on WWF television. Since the former was the terrifying new heel on the scene and the latter was the top babyface around, it should come as no surprise that by mid-1991, they wound up on opposite sides of the ring from each other. They battled for the first time ever in a Coliseum Home Video exclusive dark match at the July 29 TV taping of "WWF Superstars," where The Hulkster only narrowly scored a win over the monstrous Undertaker to defend his WWF Championship. After taking a monumental amount of 'Taker's offense, Hogan rallied and rolled his opponent up for a three count — much to the chagrin of 'Taker's manager, the spooky Paul Bearer.

While Hulk Hogan celebrated in the ring with his WWF Championship in hand and countless Hulkamaniacs voicing their support around him, The Undertaker and Bearer slunk back to the dressing area to regroup. Little did he realize it then, but Hogan had a new enemy on his hands that wouldn't stop until the gold was all his.

Survivor Series 1991: The Gravest Challenge

In the wake of their Coliseum Home Video championship match in July 1991, Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker wouldn't do battle again until November of that year. Hogan would once again defeat The Undertaker in a non-televised dark match that was part of a "WWF Superstars" TV taping — this time via a disqualification decision — before they met in a pay-per-view match for the first time ever. Survivor Series 1991 saw Hogan put his WWF Championship on the line against 'Taker in what was billed as "The Gravest Challenge." Could The Hulkster finally lay The Undertaker to rest? Or would The Deadman achieve his goals of becoming WWF Champion and taking Hogan's mortal soul?

As The Undertaker himself recalled to Yahoo! Sports back in 2020, something was immediately different about that November night. Despite him walking into the match as a heel, the crowd was largely on his side instead of Hulk Hogan's — something seldom seen prior to that point during Hogan's WWF championship run. After they made their entrances and the bell rang, for the most part, their match was standard fare for both of them. Each man got in his usual spots, leading up to a surprising ending. As Paul Bearer distracted the referee, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair came down to the ring and slid a chair underneath Hogan's head as 'Taker hit him with a Tombstone Piledriver. That proved to be enough to keep him down for the three count.

In underhanded fashion, The Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship, cementing himself as the WWF's most unstoppable competitor. Who could possibly take the title from him and end his reign of terror? Well, if you're familiar at all with this era in WWF history, you likely already know the answer.

Real-Life Animosity Brews

With the WWF Championship around The Undertaker's waist, it seemed as if dark days were ahead in the WWF. Although, behind the scenes, 'Taker becoming champion for the first time was a good thing for all involved. Not only did it raise his stock as an in-ring star, but it made him a top heel in the WWF — one that boss Vince McMahon could promote as a must-see main-event attraction. However, there was some animosity brewing between The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan behind closed doors that had the potential to bleed over into their TV work.

In May 2020, The Undertaker was interviewed by ESPN, where he recalled the evening of Survivor Series 1991. Hogan warned him before their match to be careful of his neck, particularly when he went for the Tombstone Piledriver spot. 'Taker heard him loud and clear, and to this day, he attests that he kept Hogan safe during the maneuver. "As soon as my knees hit, I hear 'Oh, you got me, brother,'" he said, sending him into panic mode. When he got back to the locker room, Hogan was on the floor of McMahon's office in hysterics over his alleged injury. Hogan even requested someone reach out to his wife and kids. 

The days that followed saw numerous WWF superstars approach The Undertaker and confirm to him that there's no possible way he hurt Hulk Hogan with the Tombstone Piledriver. His head never came close to touching the chair. He confronted Hogan about it and The Hulkster claimed it was actually 'Taker's tight grip that aggravated his neck injury, not him hitting the chair head-first. Now well acquainted with Hogan's penchant for lying, 'Taker had a gut feeling that his upcoming title rematch with the WWF's golden goose wouldn't swing in his favor. 

This Tuesday in Texas: The Hulkster Regains the Gold

Hulk Hogan got an opportunity to reclaim his lost championship at This Tuesday in Texas: a pay-per-view the WWF tried out to test the waters in case there was a market for Tuesday-evening paid events. As it turns out, there wasn't, so the December 3, 1991 edition of This Tuesday in Texas is the only one the promotion ever put on. But that's not the only reason this event has become a widely remembered piece of WWF history. Hogan's main event match with The Undertaker would ensure that wrestling fans never forgot about its existence.

For the most part, 'Taker and Hogan's WWF Championship match was your typical run-of-the-mill clash between these two during this era. The Deadman did the unstoppable monster routine, Hogan battled back, and the crowd watched on eager to see who'd leave San Antonio, Texas' Freeman Coliseum with the title around their waist. The Hulkster would ultimately prove to be that person, putting 'Taker away in just over 13 minutes. With that, 'Taker's inaugural WWF Championship reign came to an unceremonious end at a meager six days.

Was it always the plan for Hulk Hogan to beat The Undertaker for the title so soon after he won it? Or did Hogan's claim of 'Taker hurting him during their Survivor Series match push the powers that be to make a quick change? That's more or less up for individual interpretation at this point. 

Royal Rumble 1992: Hogan Dashes 'Taker's Title Aspirations

With This Tuesday in Texas behind them, the feud between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker cooled down tremendously. Though they still occasionally clashed, it became abundantly clear that the WWF had plans to pit Hogan and Ric Flair against each other as 1992 began. While they never got a significant program in the company during this era, The Nature Boy and The Hulkster met fairly often in the squared circle — especially on the house show circuit. All the while, Hogan still had 'Taker to worry about, since The Deadman had made it clear his business with him was far from settled.

Since Ric Flair had made his presence felt in both of 'Taker and Hogan's WWF Championship matches, WWF president Jack Tunney vacated the title following This Tuesday in Texas. A new champion would be crowned via the 1992 Royal Rumble match, where 30 superstars would enter and attempt to secure the gold. During the chaotic bout, The Undertaker came face-to-face with Hulk Hogan — a clash that didn't end well for the former. Hogan ultimately tossed 'Taker from the match, dashing his hopes of reclaiming his lost title. Although, Hogan's efforts were in vain as Flair left the arena that night as the winner and new WWF Champion.

Even though their feud lost much of its momentum in the early months of 1992, Undertaker and Hulk Hogan weren't finished with one another by any means. If their time as adversaries had proven anything, it's that neither of them were keen on allowing embarrassment at the hands of the other to stand. Thus, their rivalry in the WWF would resume for a little while longer on the road to WrestleMania VIII.

February 23, 1992: The Feud Ends...For Now

Even though the WWF Championship was no longer around either of their waists, Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker continued to battle following the 1992 Royal Rumble. On the January 27 edition of "WWF Saturday Night's Main Event," Hogan allied with Sid Justice to defeat Ric Flair and 'Taker by disqualification. At non-televised events in the ensuing weeks, Hogan would team up with his longtime rival, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, against 'Taker and Flair to great effect. At this point — February 1992 — the 'Taker-Hogan program had been going on in earnest for months, so it should come as no surprise that an end was in sight.

With WrestleMania VIII on the horizon, it was time for Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker to go their separate ways. Their final time crossing paths in the WWF during this run was in a 20-man battle royal main event during the February 23 taping of "WWF on MSG Network." Sid Justice would toss out Hogan and the Big Boss Man would eliminate 'Taker, concluding this era of the two rivals' saga on a low note. For "The Show of Shows," Hogan wrestled Justice while The Undertaker found an opponent in Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Both 'Taker and Hogan won their respective matches that night.

Once the cameras cut on WrestleMania VIII, one had to imagine that another Hogan-Taker match couldn't be far away. After all, they both came out of the event strong. As it happens, this simply wasn't in the cards, but that's not to say they wouldn't duke it out in a different way.

Opposite Ends of the Monday Night War

Hulk Hogan shockingly left the WWF in 1993 to pursue a career in Hollywood. As evidenced by his filmography from the era, it's clear that his calling in life was to entertain in the ring, not at the movies, on television, nor as bass player of a rock band and thereby fulfilling his ambitious desire for a music career. By 1994 he became a prominent name on World Championship Wrestling programming, swiftly winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair in his first match. Two years later, he joined Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to form the New World Order and reinvented himself as the villainous "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. 

The fabled Monday Night War between WCW and the WWF was up and running, and for a while — over 80 weeks in fact — WCW had the WWF on the ropes. They were annihilating Vince McMahon's promotion by every conceivable metric, so how did the WWF respond? They launched the Attitude Era: a time of pushing the creative envelope and allowing wrestlers to take their on-screen personas in new, edgy directions. One such individual to do so was The Undertaker, who dialed his character work up to 11 and became a main-event fixture. All the while, he remained loyal to the WWF throughout the brand war that saw numerous others switch sides.

With Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker among WCW and the WWF's most valuable respective talents, the Monday Night War kept their feud alive. As has been well-documented, the WWF reigned victorious over WCW in 2001 when it purchased its chief competitor. Would Hogan return to the WWF? Would he physically compete against 'Taker ever again? These questions plagued the minds of wrestling fans as the new millennium began to unfold, and the answers weren't too far away. 

Backlash 2002: 'Taker Helps Hogan Win The WWE Undisputed Championship

Long after WCW was dead and buried and the attempted WCW-ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) invasion died out, Hulk Hogan returned to the WWF. With Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at his side, he brought the NWO to the forefront of wrestling once more, culminating in a legendary match between Hogan and the Rock at WrestleMania X-8. From there, fans made it clear they wanted to see Hogan shed the black and white in favor of his classic red and yellow look, so The Real American was back in action by early 2002. To complete the ensemble, though, Hogan needed championship gold.

To become the new WWE Undisputed Champion, Hogan would have to overcome Triple H, which was no easy feat during this era. The Game was riding high on a wave of momentum that stretched back to his in-ring return and victory in the 2002 Royal Rumble match. Even Hogan should've known he had an uphill battle ahead of him at Backlash 2002, but that didn't stop him from vying for the gold. The match was full of outside interference and referee shenanigans, but when it was all said and done, Hulk Hogan was once again a champion. Who made it possible? The Undertaker.

As the number one contender for the WWE Undisputed Championship, 'Taker got involved in the match to mess with Triple H. He struck him with a chair, which paved the way for Hogan to hit a Leg Drop on the champion to win. Hogan did hit 'Taker with a clothesline during all of this chaos, so even though the latter helped The Hulkster win the title, they were far from friends.

May 13, 2002: 'Taker takes Hogan for a ride

In 2002, The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan were vastly different people than they were the last time they met between the ropes. Hogan was older and was far from the vitamin-eating, prayer-saying face of the wrestling world, and 'Taker was no longer the grim, corpse-like Deadman from way back when. He'd transformed into Big Evil: a bandana-wearing biker who cared as much about fighting fair as he did his opponents' wellbeing. While this isn't necessarily everyone's favorite era of 'Taker's career, it did set the stage for a hilarious highlight in his feud with Hogan.

Ahead of their WWE Undisputed Championship match at Judgment Day, Hulk Hogan had a little fun with The Undertaker's motorcycle. He stole the bike (which didn't seem keen on turning on for him) on the May 6 episode of "Raw" and destroyed it later in the night. Understandably livid, 'Taker got his revenge the following week on "Raw" when he attacked Hogan backstage with a crowbar. Rope in hand, he then tied Hogan to the back of his own motorcycle, fired it up, and sped off. After dragging Hogan for a little while, 'Taker used his momentum to send his Judgment Day opponent through a stack of boxes and pipes.

Medical personnel then arrived to take Hulk Hogan to a local hospital, and as they placed him on a gurney, what did they put on him? A neck brace. One has to wonder if this neck injury was because of the collision, the ride, or the rope being just a tad too tight. At any rate, the Judgment Day match was still on, and unlike his match with 'Taker at This Tuesday in Texas years earlier, the odds were not in Hogan's favor going in. 

Judgement Day 2002: Hogan Loses The Title To Big Evil

Judgement Day 2002 emanated from the Gaylord Entertainment Center — now known as the Bridgestone Arena — on May 19 of that year. It featured a host of excellent contests, from Edge versus Kurt Angle in a match that saw Angle lose and have his head shaved bald to a Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Chris Jericho. The main event featured The Undertaker against Hulk Hogan, with The Hulkster's WWE Undisputed Championship on the line. This would prove to be the final time 'Taker and Hogan would lock up on pay-per-view, or television in general, so how did these two legends do in this highly-anticipated title match?

The bout started off strong, with Undertaker and Hogan brawling as the opening bell rang. Big Evil brutally used Hogan's weight belt against him, but The Hulkster battled back with his signature brand of intensity. The fight moved to the outside for a spell, but once it got back in the ring, the pace slowed dramatically. At this stage in the game, Hogan was no spring chicken, and he was starting to show his age as a wrestler (the chokeslams he takes here are particularly rough). To bring the match home, Vince McMahon got involved to mess with Hogan, 'Taker took advantage, and when the final bell rang, he was the new WWE Undisputed Champion.

Capping off their series of PPV encounters at Judgment Day, The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan put on one of, if not, the absolute worst singles match of their feud. Be that as it may, the match did what it needed to do, putting the title on 'Taker and planting the seeds for a rivalry between Hogan and McMahon for 2003.

June 29, 2002: Their final in-ring clash

Even though The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan's feud wouldn't result in any further televised matches, the wrestling titans came to blows twice more post-Judgment Day 2002. On June 28, 2002, they locked horns at a "Raw" house show at the MCI Center in Washington, DC, and the night after, they wrestled one last time at another "Raw" house show from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Both of these matches saw 'Taker put the WWE Undisputed Championship on the line, and both times, Hogan failed to unseat the champion. Just like that, their storied rivalry was over for good.

As the Ruthless Aggression Era rolled on, Hogan wrestled less and less with each passing year. His last WWE match took place at SummerSlam 2006, where he defeated "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton, but he wouldn't officially retire from professional wrestling until 2012. While Hogan would love to wrestle Roman Reigns, he has made it clear that his retirement is as legit as it gets. As for The Undertaker, he remained an active competitor for nearly another two decades, winning championships and putting on incredible matches with all-time greats. His final WWE bout saw him defeat AJ Styles in a cinematic Boneyard match on the first night of WrestleMania 36.

That's the story of The Undertaker versus Hulk Hogan: a rivalry full of twists, turns, title changes, and real-life tension that ended in pretty underwhelming fashion. Sure, both men are WWE Hall of Famers, and there's no dispute over why they each got the nod, but it's fair to say that their work against each other didn't do too much to earn them the honor. Still, their program had its moments, both in the ring and out of it.

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