@WhiteLion: A is the one who's overhyped.
I'd say the mistake is comparing Sasuke and Juugo to the 1st and 2nd. It's a whole different ball game, the 1st and 2nd would be leagues faster and leagues more powerful, unless you want to try and convince me that Sasuke could take one of them on. Like I said in another thread, speed is relative. Although it may have looked like a slow battle between Hiruzen and the 2 former kages, they may have actually been fighting at a speed similar to that of A. It's not totally impossible, and to say A is the third fastest character in the series is a fallacy. A thought he was the fastest character before he met Minato, yet he was outsped. He probably thought he was the second fastest character but then Naruto outsped him too. At the end of the day we have no idea how he compares to Hiruzen, they may in fact be very similar in speed and I wouldn't rule that out at all.
1st and 2nd didn't want to fight him? That wouldn't have mattered anyway because they were totally mind controlled, they had no say in the matter. They were fighting at their full power, maybe not using their best jutsus but they weren't holding anything back. Kabuto's Edo Tensei was different from Orochimaru's because he purposefully let his Edo's retain their personalities thinking it would let them fight better and morally cripple his enemies. Trust me the 1st and 2nd were coming at Hiruzen with all they had. Even the Top Anbu members at the time were amazed by the high level of the battle and those are some of the most powerful ninja in Konoha
Oonoki is slow and old. He was also soundly beaten in his youth by Madara, this was shown in a flashback. Yes he has a very powerful jutsu but it's only effective if it connects so in order for it to work he has to trap his enemy. I don't see how he could do that against the God of Shinobi.
It's not all hype, I really don't understand how people can just take all character statements as hype. That's just plain old ridiculous. 3 people stated it, why would the author of the manga state it 3 different times from 3 different people if it wasn't true. It's a manga, things are said for a reason. Also it was in the databook, there's no possible comeback that you can provide for this that isn't wrong. Hiruzen in his prime was the GOD OF SHINOBI, he would've taken any of the Kage on easily.
Either way, the thirds been revived so we'll see what he can do now. As far as this battle goes, it's a win for the third.