Kevin Sullivan On How Hulk Hogan's Creative Approach Led To WCW's Dungeon Of Doom

Paul Wight, as a member of Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom, captured the WCW Championship in his first match — at Halloween Havoc 1995 — by defeating Hulk Hogan. Although the title was later vacated due to "The Giant" winning via disqualification, WCW was invested in establishing Wight as the company's next top star. On a recent "Tuesday with The Taskmaster," former WCW booker Sullivan gave insight into the thought process of crowning Wight in his debut match.

"Well, somebody has creative control — Hulk," Sullivan said, implying that it was Hogan's decision to put over the debuting Wight. "If you look at what Hulk was doing, he was going back to guys that he drew money with. So, Paul [Wight] became André, The Renegade became The Ultimate Warrior, and he surrounded himself with guys he had drawn money with — Kamala, [Jim] Duggan, Brutus [Beefcake]. He brought all his friends in, and the thing is, his friends had drawn money, but the business was rapidly changing. So, my idea about the Dungeon of Doom was, 'Let me put them all in one segment and kind of encapsulated them there' so I wouldn't have to put them all through the show."

Another part of Sullivan's reasoning — to put an array of former WWE stars in a stable feuding with Hogan — was the emergence of new in-ring styles brought about by luchadors, something he felt forced WCW to move away from cartoonish characters to a more realistic product. "It was hard for him to see that the business was changing — because he had been so successful," Sullivan said of Hogan. Sullivan then recounted a night in Chicago where Hogan was booed heavily during an interview segment with Mene Gene. As soon as Hogan returned to the backstage area, Sullivan approached him and went, 'You've gotta turn. You've gotta turn.' However, the turn didn't happen until a year later, since a number of heels relying on babyface Hogan for their television time "were always in his ear," per Sullivan. As is well-documented, Sullivan was the one who convinced Hogan to turn at Bash of the Beach 1996, a landmark moment that gave birth to the Monday Night War.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Tuesdays with The Taskmaster" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.