Andre the Giant did what he wanted, and as a rib, he’d often “check the oil” of wrestlers who pissed him off. Two of those unlucky recipients of Andre’s thumb were Hulk Hogan and “Playboy” Buddy Rose.
Date: March 14, 1988 (most likely)
Location: Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Source: TMZ, The Raven Effect podcast
Unfortunately we don’t have many details of these incidents, but that’s probably a good thing given how gross (but funny) they are. There are two separate incidents, so we’ll start with Buddy Rose since it happened first.
“Playboy” Buddy Rose is most remembered as the rotund, comical heel in the AWA in the 1980s. Prior to that, he was a very good worker who had memorable feuds with some of the most iconic WWF/WWE characters in history. Rose had numerous matches with Roddy Piper (in Oregon, which put Rose on the map), Jimmy Snuka, Shawn Michaels (when he was in the Midnight Rockers in the AWA), and headlined Madison Square Garden against Bob Backlund and Pedro Morales. He’s also the answer to the trivia question of who was in the very first match of the very first WrestleMania, losing to Tito Santana under a mask as the Executioner.
His most successful years in the WWF were in 1982 and 1983. We don’t know the details, but Buddy told several people about the time Andre the Giant got upset with him and shoved his thumb up his ass. Raven told the story on his podcast earlier this week, and Tommy Dreamer also tweeted about it several years ago.
Raven said it happened in the locker room, while Dreamer said it happened at Madison Square Garden in the middle of the ring, resulting in cheers from the crowd. However, we found no record of Andre and Buddy in the same ring at MSG in the 1980s, and those records are very complete. Perhaps it happened backstage at MSG, or maybe it was in a different building. There is a somewhat famous match from Philadelphia in 1982 pitting Rose against Andre in a 10-man tag team match. However it could’ve been elsewhere, as the two certainly wrestled each other more than once during this time period.
Raven said Buddy would talk about it almost with a badge of honor.
Hulk Hogan was a lot more specific with the details, saying it happened in Montreal. If that is true, then it would’ve had to have been the March 14 house show in 1988. This was a year after their legendary WrestleMania III match, and two weeks before their rematch at WrestleMania IV. It was also six weeks after their famous match on NBC Main Event in February with the twin Hebner finish, which is still the most watched wrestling match in American history (by far).
This particular house show was a tribute to Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, whose leg was amputated months earlier and he was a legend in that town. 18,000 fans showed up, and this was during a time the WWF was on fire (1986-1989) when it came to syndicated TV ratings and house show attendance. The main event pitted Hogan and newcomer Bam Bam Bigelow against Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase.
The story is that Hogan was bodyslamming Andre on house shows quite a bit, but had gotten a little sloppy since his back was hurting. Andre’s size was such that even a little sloppiness would cause problems for both men, and Andre was upset with how he landed. As the story goes, Andre went to slam Hogan, and “accidentally” slipped his thumb up Hogan’s butt. It was meant to teach him a lesson, and Hogan said he couldn’t walk upright after the match. He confronted Andre about it in the locker room, who told Hogan to be more careful with his slams or next time he’d get two fingers instead of just one thumb.
Hogan is of course known to be an habitual liar of Clinton-like proportions. This story, however, is likely true because of its similarities to what Buddy Rose claimed. Hogan noted that Andre’s thumb was the size of two of his own fingers, which is only a slight exaggeration. Raven was a lot more vulgar, saying Andre’s thumb was the size of a man’s c*ck.
The Andre/Hogan story got media play on TMZ in 2011, and the headline used was “Andre checked Hogan’s oil.” Checking someone’s oil is a street slang term for doing what Andre did to Hogan and Buddy Rose.
Andre the Giant is certainly the last guy anyone would want as a proctologist, and we pity Hogan and Rose for having to be violated by the Eighth Wonder of the World. But if it was going to happen, we only wish it was at WrestleMania III or NBC Main Event. Now THAT would’ve been a major news story.