Sgt Slaughter’s 1991 feud with Hulk Hogan garnered a lot of headlines because of how controversial Slaughter’s character was, but the storyline did not end at WrestleMania 7.
While Slaughter spent much of his early WWE career in the 1980s as a babyface wrestler, he would turn heel by late 1990 at the height of the Gulf War.
Slaughter went from being a proud American to an Iraqi Sympathizer. Even though it made Slaughter uncomfortable, he did it because he received a big push, which led to him winning the WWE Title from The Ultimate Warrior at Royal Rumble 1991. That would lead to WrestleMania 7 when Slaughter would defend the WWE Title against the Royal Rumble winner, Hulk Hogan.
“Before the show I went to Vince and I said, ‘You always end WrestleMania with the hero being the victor, winning the title and that’s it. The programme’s over. Terry and I have hardly even wrestled each other. Why don’t you let me do something to him after the match and continue this thing?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t like to break away from tradition.’”
Slaughter noted that McMahon liked the idea and it would lead to Slaughter throwing a fireball in Hogan’s face.
“Finally, he came to me and said, ‘I gave it some thought, let’s do something. What have you got in mind?’ I said, ‘Well, what about a fireball? A fireball when he’s not expecting it. He’s coming back from the ring and I hit him with this fireball and do some damage to him, and we continue the program. He’s been burned and he’s the champion, but he wants me.’ Vince said, ‘I like that. Let’s do it.’”
It was noted by Slaughter that after the fireball spot worked so well, he was hated even more by the crowd.
“We set it up where Adnan and I were back in his locker room, and it’s a one-time thing—this was live. We had one chance to do it. He came walking to the door, and I hit him in the face with that fireball and he went down. He was yelling and screaming, and I was stomping on him. Those people hated me even more when I did that to him. So we carried it on—we had Desert Storm Matches, we had all these different types of matches.”
In those Desert Storm Matches, Hogan even got to get some fireball payback too.
When the feud with Hogan was over, Slaughter went back to his babyface roots. Slaughter would go on to be the Commissioner in the WWF during the Attitude Era and then the former WWE Champion was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.