The Legend lives on

By: Zack Zeigler
Written: August 20, 2006

Although Hulk Hogan’s torn meniscus in his left knee was a concern during his match with Randy Orton, his spirit, his heart and Hulkamania were stronger than ever. At SummerSlam, Hogan proved that not even the Legend Killer can stop the power of Hulkamania from running wild. 

In a historic clash that was teeming with angst from both Superstars, Hogan took out his frustrations for all the insolence that Orton has shown the WWE fans and the Hogan family. The disrespect the Hulkster has endured from the Legend Killer since their first confrontation at Saturday Night’s Main Event in July caused some extreme reactions from the 12-time World Champion during the match; he bit Orton’s head, rammed his thumb into his eye and gave him a fishhook—tactics not usually used by the WWE Hall of Famer.

Perhaps it was strategy, or maybe it was pure frustration and a way to teach the Legend Killer not to bite off more than he can chew. Either way, Hogan relied on his strength and vast in-ring knowledge to overpower and outsmart the younger challenger.

For weeks, Orton has claimed he would add Hogan to the list of WWE Legends that he’s killed and that he was going to rip the soul out of Hulkamania. When injury nearly sidelined the Hulkster a mere two weeks before their showdown, the Legend Killer used it as a stage for public ridicule for not just the Hulkster, but the entire Hogan family. 
At one point in the match, Orton had a strategy that was working. He isolated Hogan’s injured knee, which left the 12-time World Champion in agony. It took nearly all of the Hulkster’s energy to crawl across the ring to get to the ropes. When he finally got the strength to pick himself up, Orton was waiting and delivered a devastating RKO.

It looked like Hogan was finished; as if there was no way he could recover.  The Legend Killer thought he had the match won, and that he’d just killed the biggest Legend in WWE history...but he was wrong. The savvy veteran was aware of his surroundings and draped his foot across the bottom rope to render the three-count void. 

Orton was shocked, but shock would soon turn to fear as Hogan got a second wind and began to “Hulk up.” With the chants from the fans and the power of Hulkamania securely behind him, Hogan unleashed an assault on Orton that he was unable to recover from. After smashing Orton in the face with his signature Big Boot and Legdrop combination, Hogan was able to get the pinfall and successfully defend the legacy of Hulkamania. 

When caught up with Hogan after defeating Orton, he was so excited he was barely able to get his words out. 

“Tonight, I took care of Randy Orton, and proved that nothing—and no one—can kill the legend of Hulkamania.”

The Legend of Hulkamania lives on, and at SummerSlam, Hulk Hogan proved that it is thriving more now that it ever has. By defeating Orton, Hogan also showed the brash young Superstar that respect is something that can’t be taken in WWE—it must be earned.

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