Hulk Hogan's Final TV Match & Initial WWE Network Plans Postponed: The Cultaholic Time Capsule - October 2011

Cultaholic looks back in time at the stories doing the rounds ten years ago....

Let's try something a little bit different.

We here at Cultaholic enjoy looking back at the past, contextualizing wrestling history, while also dredging up nostalgia (which makes for some easy hits to the feels).

That said, I decided to look back at the wrestling world from ten years ago, mid-October 2011, to see what was going on across the squared circle landscape. I've pored through results archives, Wrestling Observer archives, etc, to create a little snapshot of that period in time.

And it's been an interesting expedition: some stories facilitate the "knowing nod", while others make one go, "Wait, really? Huh."

If this feature reads well enough, I'll be more than happy to this do for future weeks, whether it's looking back five years ago, 25 years ago, whatever. Consider this your Monday morning historical "hair of the dog" to ease into the day with.

And now, a look back at 15 items from mid-October 2011 that I found interesting for one reason or another:

1. Hulk Hogan wrestles his last televised match, submitting to Sting at Bound For Glory in Philadelphia

Dave Meltzer awarded a respectable three stars to a match in which Ric Flair did much of the bumping for Hogan. The 58-year-old Hulkster would go on to wrestle a pair of house show bouts in the UK the forthcoming January, and has not wrestled since.

The crux of the match was that Sting was fighting on behalf of Dixie Carter, trying to wrest control of the company away from heel Hogan, and give it back to her. Frankly, the most babyface thing Sting could have done here was take a dive.

But yeah, ten years since Hulk Hogan wrestled a match that was broadcast to a wide audience. Has it really been that long?

Tna bound for glory 2011

TNA /IMPACT Wrestling

2. Bobby Roode doesn't win the TNA Title as originally planned

It looked for all the world like Roode was going to waltz into Bound For Glory a determined babyface with loads of momentum, and dethrone a banged-up Kurt Angle to win the TNA title. Instead, Angle won via chicanery, confusing many fans. They were even more confused when Roode's Beer Money partner James Storm defeated Angle for the title at the Impact tapings days later.

Credit where it's due for TNA - they had a clever angle up their sleeve. Roode went on to challenge Storm to a title match between friends. When frustrated, come-up-short Roode was on the verge of blowing it again, he succumbed to heel instincts, smashed Storm with his own beer bottle, and took the tainted win. It led to the best run of Roode's career.

3. Bound For Glory also featured Rob Van Dam taking on Jerry Lynn in a Full Metal Mayhem match in front of 3600 fans in Philadelphia

Ten years prior to that, RVD and Lynn faced off in the final ever ECW pay-per-view match. That was in New York, and Philly got the belated encore between the longtime rivals, which admittedly wasn't the same without Bill Alfonso there to incessantly blow his whistle.

Lynn went on to wrestle his final ever match less than a year and a half later, and was still cranking out solid performances here at 48. An eternally underrated talent.

4. Velvet Sky won the first TNA Knockouts title of her career, winning a four way bout over Winter (Katie Lea Burchill), Mickie James, and Madison Rayne

Kinda surprising that it took so long for Sky (a TNA personality of four years, and quite prominent as part of The Beautiful People) to capture a singles title in the company. Her partners had already held that title on multiple occasions - Rayne three times to that point, and Angelina Love five times.

Sky only went on to hold the belt one other time, winning it from Tara on a tour of the UK in January 2013.

5. WWE internally plans for its WWE Network to launch in April 2012, in conjunction with WrestleMania 28

7276 vince mcmahon wwe network


Despite the Network ad campaign beginning shortly thereafter (complete with that Skrillex song that earwormed its way into everyone's life), the Network launch would actually be held off until February of 2014.

The postponed launch deprived Twitter users from being able to use the hashtag #CancelWWENetwork immediately after Sheamus pinned Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds.

6. Wrestling Revolution Project tapes a season's worth of television, but the product never truly materializes

Founded by film producer and comic book writer Jeff Katz, WRP is in some respects a precursor to other "serialized" wrestling programs like Lucha Underground.

An impressive list of wrestlers are recast with new names for the program, including Kenny Omega as Scott "Cornerstone" Carpenter, Sami Callihan as "Satanic", and MVP as The Lord of War. Finn Balor (then Prince Devitt) was forced to pull out of the project, due to visa issues. He was replaced for the tapings by Chris Hero, who wrestles under the barely-modified handle of Chris Hyde.

7. Vignettes continued to air on WWE programming, hyping the re-debut of Brodus Clay

In something of running gag, the vignettes continue to air throughout the weeks and months that followed, and his planned debut continued to be pushed off. It's not until January that the imposing, immovable Clay debuts ... as a happy-go-lucky dancer known as The Funkasaurus.

8. Viscera surfaces for the last major run of his career, returning to All Japan Pro Wrestling for a 22-match stint

The former Big Daddy V shortened his name to just Big Daddy, and teamed with current Impact wrestler Joe Doering as part of the annual Real World Tag League. The team goes on to win five of their nine tournament matches, including a victory over legendary stars Koji Kanemoto and Minoru Tanaka.

9. WWE's tour of Mexico is a mixed bag when it comes to attendance

WWE embarked on a five-day, two-brand tour of Mexico that included Raw and SmackDown TV broadcasts from the Sports Palace in Mexico City. The Raw show does over 14,500 paid (80 percent capacity), while SmackDown is barely over 60 percent capacity, at around 11,000 in attendance.

Some of the house shows were also dismal attendance-wise, including a SmackDown card in Monterrey that only did a third of a house. If only WrestleTix existed in 2011; certainly the responses on Twitter would've been uniformly rational.

Wwe mexico 2018


10. The opening match of the October 17 Raw broadcast sees Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, and Christian defeat Randy Orton, John Morrison, and Sheamus

In other words, three current AEW stars beat three current WWE ones. And two of the AEW personalities left WWE in 2021 shortly after on-screen confrontations with Orton. Life really is a time loop.

11. The Wrestling Observer noted that Dolph Ziggler was getting "strong reviews" for coming off like a star in interviews, as well as internal praise for carrying Mason Ryan to a watchable match

This was a month before the soon-to-be-dubbed "Show Off" had a forgotten gem of a match with WWE champion CM Punk on Raw. From there, Ziggler would continue to crystallize himself as a top guy in the making, capturing the briefcase, outlasting Cena at TLC, and then cashing in on Alberto Del Rio on Raw the night after WrestleMania 29. What felt like the start of a lengthy main event run flamed out far too quickly. Alas.

12. Sin Cara defeats impostor Sin Cara by submission in a mask vs. mask match at the Mexico City SmackDown tapings

"Evil" Sin Cara originally played "good" Sin Cara while the original served a wellness suspension. The two then feuded for weeks before this match, in which Sin Cara II was unmasked as Hunico. OG Sin Cara then feuded with Hunico for a bit before Hunico became Sin Cara once more, when the original ended up on the outs with WWE. He then portrayed Sin Cara from 2013 to the end of 2019.

So to recap - Hunico becomes real Sin Cara, then becomes fake Sin Cara. He unmasks, assumes a new role, then reverts to being "real" Sin Cara when the "original real" Sin Cara is on the way out of WWE. And, well, yeah.

Sin cara v sin cara october 2011


13. ESPN's E:60 runs a piece on Scott Hall's fall from grace, with footage of him in a very dishevelled state at an indy event earlier in 2011

The rather troubling feature also reveals a little known source of Hall's inner turmoil: he admitted to shooting and killing a man in self-defense outside a nightclub in 1983. Today, this E:60 piece feels almost like a spiritual predecessor to Dark Side of the Ring, as it tackled a harrowing wrestling subject with unflinching aplomb.

14. Jesse White, the son of Leon "Vader" White, joins the roster of WWE developmental group Florida Championship Wrestling

White ceased wrestling with WWE by the end of 2013, and has not wrestled since 2015. At last check, the son of the famed "Mastadon" has been working in Dallas as a business development manager.

15. The main event of the October 17 Raw sees John Cena and Jim Ross defeat Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole

No matter how annoyed you get today with whatever wrestling brand you watch the most, take solace: at least neither "heel Michael Cole" nor "heel Michael Cole that wrestles" are a thing any more.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.