HULK HOGAN INTERESTED IN ONE MORE MATCH AT WRESTLEMANIA 32 Apr 9, 2015 7:47:00 GMT -6
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on Apr 9, 2015 7:47:00 GMT -6
Brian Fritz of Sporting News is featuring an interview with WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan who once again expressed his interest in having one more match at WrestleMania 32 next year in Arlington, Texas inside AT&T Stadium.
"If it makes sense. In my world and if you’re in my brain right now, I’m looking at WrestleMania next year at AT&T Stadium. I’m looking at the WWE breaking my indoor attendance record of 93,000-plus at the stadium where the Cowboys play. Put that ring in the middle of the field and load that football field up with people, you’re going to put over 100,000 in there. So in my mind, it would make sense to have world title match, my next run start there or my retirement match happen there. If you’re in my brain you’re thinking oh my God, I better be ready just in case they let me do it."
You can check out the full interview at the link below:
Hulk Hogan coming to MegaCon 2015, ready for another run while avoiding the crazy
After a 35 year run in the wrestling business, Hulkamania is still running wild. With the power of the WWE Network, Hulk Hogan and his legacy are living on and will for a long time to come.
Just over a week ago, the Hulkster was back on the biggest stage in the WWE — WrestleMania 31 — where he and his nWo cohorts got involved in the match between Triple H and Sting as they confronted DX in a turn-back-the-clock moment for the ages.
Now at the age of 61, the latest version of Hulk Hogan is a different one; more relaxed, more about enjoying the moment. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking about what could be next for him in the WWE including one more match or maybe even one more run.
You can imagine how many stories Hogan has from his legendary career in the wrestling business. This Saturday night, fans can hear some of them and ask questions to the Hall of Famer in person as part of Hulk Hogan: Uncut, a special Q&A that will be hosted by his good friend the "Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. It’s part of MegaCon 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL this Friday - Sunday where you can meet Hogan along with other guests from the world of comics and science fiction.
Recently, I spoke with the Immortal One about coming to MegaCon, being a part of WrestleMania, what is next for him in the WWE and trying to avoid any craziness in his life.
Brian Fritz: You have a huge fan base which is very loyal and so passionate. They’ve been with you for a long time now as you’ve been in the wrestling business for about 40 years now. Why do you think your fans have stuck with you so long and continue to be so loyal and passionate?
Hulk Hogan: I think they, first off, fell in love with the character Hulk Hogan, the all-American guy going against the Iron Sheik when it was a perfect storm when the U.S. was at odds with Iran I think. The character served well for what the storyline was pointing towards. So I think it was kind of the perfect storm of being in shape with the tan, saying I was from California and being plugged in to the right thing by Vince McMahon. I think that put me at a higher level than I could have achieved by myself by building my house one brick at a time. I think I got a launching pad right out of the shoot and that’s not counting the six or seven years I wrestled before. But from that point on I think people just fell in love with the character and then I was really consistent. When they came to see Hulk Hogan wrestle, I delivered a performance that was consistent with a main event performance. I got to be tangible and the people kind of knew me and felt like they could reach out and touch me. I wasn’t a distant star like an Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt or somebody like that. They just became loyal to the character and the man behind the character because they figured out I was a human being and survived all the ups and downs and were loyal to a fault. I think it was a combination of all that stuff.
BF: And the think is too when you talk about being loyal to the man, when you turned heel and joined the nWo, fans at first hated you for that. But then it came the cool thing. You look back it now and the many lives of Hulk Hogan people have stuck with you and then with you going back to the red and yellow and Hulkamania afterwards. Are you even surprised that the run has lasted this long, especially with your overwhelming popularity to this day?
HH: Yeah I am. I thought for sure, by now, there’s been three or four generations that have come along and been handed the football and everybody carries it differently. (John) Cena carries it differently than Stone Cold or The Rock. I thought for sure there would be somebody would kind of carry the football like Hulk Hogan did and pretty much step into my shoes but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s been really cool that I got so well established. I think it’s at a point now that no matter what happens, the name Hulk Hogan will be around for a long time because it’s just been etched in stone. The WWE is very supportive with the network. The word immortal becomes true now because even if I was to pass away this instant you can still watch my matches for year to come on the network. It’s been a really cool spot to live forever.
BF: Are you finding now that some of the younger fans are going back and watching the WWE Network and saying they’ve just watched a match of yours for the first time and it’s an iconic match of yours from maybe 20 or 30 years ago?
HH: Well, the little kids are the ones that surprise me. When I have a five year old kid come up to me and say “I just watched you body slam Andre the Giant, you’re my favorite wrestler”. I’m going wait a minute, your father wasn’t even alive when I did that. It kind of puts me in a weird spot with these really young kids coming up to me and saying I’m their favorite wrestler. And now, I guess it’s because of the six or seven years of “Hogan Knows Best” as a dad, a father and a husband there’s a female fan base for me. So, it’s really cool to see young kids and the girls step up and go hey, you’re my favorite wrestler. It’s really neat.
BF: You talk about the character and the many lives. I’ve always wondered when it started coming together like when was the first time you ripped off your shirt and that became a thing?
HH: It was way before I wrestled the Iron Sheik. Back in the WWWF — the World Wide Wrestling Federation working for Vince Sr. — and I only lasted a couple of years in the federation. And then I went to Japan and filmed the Rocky movie (Rocky III where he played Thunderlips, The Ultimate Male) and then Verne Gagne asked me to come to Minnesota. When I was in Minnesota, I became a good guy and they wanted me to come in and beat up Jesse Ventura. He was the bad guy there in the Twin Cities. When wrestling was really regional and we just stayed around the Twin Cities area, I became the good guy and started figuring out that I didn’t want to carry the big robe with me anymore. You know, The Hulk was on TV and he was hulking up out of his clothes so I figured why don’t I just rip a shirt off? It’s a lot easier to carry around from town to town. So I started ripping the shirt off and starting figuring out the Hulk Hogan, Hulkamania character. It took me about two and a half, three years to get it dialed in there in the Twin Cities. Just by happenstance, Vince McMahon called me — not Vince Sr. — and asked me to come back. So I pretty much figured out the Hulk Hogan character when I was in the AWA.
BF: We’re now a little more than a week removed from WrestleMania 31 out in the Bay Area. You got to be a part of the show with the nWo in the match between Triple H and Sting. What was it like being a part of the show and back on that stage again and even being an active participant?
HH: It was cool. I keep saying what Vince says, never say never. Vince had his last match when he was, I think, 67. I’m a lot younger than him. I’m 61. I’m still training like I’m going to have a shot at the world title. But to actually be put out there and not be just a talking head and actually get involved in the action, it made me feel alive again. It made me feel part of the team. So it was really cool that the nWo walked out and got such a huge response. It was just unbelievable.
BF: Leading up to WrestleMania, I had wondered like a lot of others if you would have a role on that show. I thought what might fit was you doing something with John Cena since he was taking on Rusev and the whole patriotic theme. Is there where you thought you fit in if you were going to be on the show?
HH: Brother, I thought after I said the SilverDome in the SuperDome they’d never use me again after last year. I was the host of WrestleMania, it was my first big stage and I go out and do a blunder like that. If I had been Vince McMahon, I would have made Hulk Hogan walk the plank and stick him in the back with my sword and make the sharks eat him. But Vince was really cool. “No that was a great moment! That was one of the greatest moments of the show because The Rock and Stone Cold can come out and make fun of you. It was great, great TV.” So, Vince was very supportive but I just figured after my blunder last year that they’d probably never use me again. It was a huge opportunity and I didn’t know what my role was going to be. I had people asking me up until the day before if I was going to at WrestleMania. I said, “yeah, there’s a big plan but I can’t tell you what it is”. I didn’t know if anything was going to happen. I had no idea.
BF: Do you still want one more match?
HH: If it makes sense. In my world and if you’re in my brain right now, I’m looking at WrestleMania next year at AT&T Stadium. I’m looking at the WWE breaking my indoor attendance record of 93,000-plus at the stadium where the Cowboys play. Put that ring in the middle of the field and load that football field up with people, you’re going to put over 100,000 in there. So in my mind, it would make sense to have world title match, my next run start there or my retirement match happen there. If you’re in my brain you’re thinking oh my God, I better be ready just in case they let me do it.
BF: I like how you said that because you said maybe it would be a retirement match or maybe it would be the beginning of my next run. Is that the mentality you always have?
HH: Yeah. Whether I hurt my back or I blow my knee out or break a thumb or whatever, I just never looked at an injury or old age as making my wrestling career over. But mortality comes into the picture and I’m pretty hard-headed and I’m going I really can’t run like John Cena runs — 300 days a year — or I really couldn’t keep up with the pace that these guys go at. I guess I’m in denial. I still look at it like there’s still some gas in the tank. What would happen if I reformed the nWo with me and Kevin (Nash) and Scott (Hall) and we brought in young guys like Roman Reigns and Cena or I took the whole NXT and went against Vince and the WWE? My mind’s always clicking so I guess in my mind I’m in denial. (laughs)
BF: How is your back doing?
HH: It’s good. It’s really good. I had nine back surgeries so it’s probably stronger than it’s even been because it’s all metal. (laughs) There was a point for a couple years where they said you’ll never walk again, you’re going to be in constant pain but all that stuff went away. So it’s better now than it’s ever been.
BF: When we look at WrestleMania, you’ve been there since the first one and were a huge part of that. Now we see what WrestleMania has become including this most recent one with the amount of fans that come out, the huge, outdoor stadiums and the pageantry that’s involved. What’s your thought on WrestleMania from what it was to what it’s become?
HH: When we did the first WrestleMania, just like my career and my character Hulk Hogan, it was built one brick at a time. You went to every TV station, you called every radio guy, you made appearances everywhere and we launched it. And it was a tough launch. Vince bet the farm. He put everything he owned on the line that this would work and he came through. And now, WrestleMania is like 40,000 lightning bolts coming at you with social media, different vehicles. I mean, they have so many different platforms to promote on that’s it not even the same game. I can’t even imagine if I had these tools back in the 80’s when I started how big Hulkamania could have taken off. So it’s a different game now. It’s a different business. It moves much quicker than it ever has because there’s so many choices to make with reality-based stuff to the digital stuff. Just so many different media vehicles. WrestleMania has changed and it moves pretty quick now.
BF: If we had social media in the 80’s when Hulkamania when running wild, we’d definitely have No Holds Barred 2 by now wouldn’t we?
HH: Hell, I’d even have a cell phone to call a promoter back then. As for No Holds Barred 2, yeah I wish we did. I’ll tell you what, I sure wish we had Mr. Nanny 2 and Suburban Commando 2. People still ask me about those movies.
BF: Which of those is your favorite?
HH: I’m torn. Mr. Nanny was such a great kids movie and so many different wrestlers and even Arnold (Schwarzenegger) did a spinoff of that whole babysitter type of thing. I’m torn because Suburban Commando with Christopher Lloyd, Doc from Back to the Future. I was a huge fan of his and just loved being in that movie with him and The Undertaker.
BF: When it comes to WrestleMania this year, what stood out to you between The Undertaker coming back, the excitement around the main event and Sting making his debut in a WWE ring?
HH: I think the thing that stood out to me was The Undertaker and how over he is. He didn’t come back for a fight. He came back in shape this year and he looked really great. To me, seeing him come back and make that statement he made. One more for the good guys because he’s a constant. As far as the main event, I think Brock Lesnar did a great job. It’s just amazing to see how fast the fans have turned Brock into the ultimate good guy. It’s just amazing how much people cheer for
BF: The night before WrestleMania at the Hall of Fame, what was it like for you to induct the “Macho Man” Randy Savage who got to go in this year?
HH: I was nervous. Legitimately nervous because Randy and I were such, such good friends for some many years. I was with him more than his wife, probably for 15 years. When he went through that divorce he self-imploded and took everybody with him and I was on the outs for many years and there were all kinds of crazy things going on. Then a few months before he passed away we accidentally bumped into each other, mended the fence and it was the same old Randy with a gleam in his eye. He had just gotten remarried and was happy. It was the same Randy I used to know. So it was bittersweet to be there. I basically thought that Lanny (Poffo, Randy’s brother) should have inducted him into the Hall of Fame and Lanny lobbied hard for me to do it because he said I knew him better than anybody. It was tough. It was really hard. I was nervous. I wanted to do him justice. All the haters were going “oh, Hulk Hogan is going to make it all about him”. It was just amazing to see when you’re honoring somebody just how many people come out of the woodwork with different opinions. It kind of caught me off guard. I didn’t think in a moment like that when we’re there to honor someone and tell someone how much you love someone and what a great professional they were that there were all these left-sided comments coming out. It kind of caught me off guard but we got through it.
BF: Speaking of people being appreciated, what was it like for you just over a month ago at Madison Square Garden for Hulk Hogan Appreciation Night?
HH: That was a cool night. They brought me in there and Triple H was there and I said what are we doing? What’s going on? Well, you’re just going to have to find out. So when I went out I didn’t know anything about the painting or the banner or what was going to happen. I just kind of went with it. It was an amazing night. I know when I pulled up to the the Garden I saw that the whole Garden was red and yellow I knew something was up. (laughs) I knew it was going to be something special.
BF: Where is that painting right now?
HH: The painting is at my house.
BF: Do you have it up on the wall somewhere?
HH: No it’s still packaged up. It’s soon to be at Hogan’s Beach out in Clearwater Beach so all the fans can see it.
BF: Nice. Any idea what they’re going to do with the banner?
HH: I’m not sure. I haven’t talked with anyone since that night but Triple H told me for camera reasons that they were putting it up so the hard camera could get a shot of it and they were going to move it. And when they said move it I didn’t know if they meant move somewhere else in the Garden or just take it down. I didn’t ask. So I’m not sure where it’s at now.
BF: When you talk about Randy being in a happier place in his life, in talking with you now do you feel like you’re in a different place in your life and appreciating things more now especially with everything you’ve gone through over the past 10, 15 years?
HH: Oh yeah. I don’t do crazy anymore. When my kids call me up, “dad you won’t believe what happened here and there” I say guys, call me back because I don’t do crazy anymore and it’s pretty much that with everything. I went through so much craziness with the divorce and just all the insane stuff that happened. I was kind of in that vibration where I was in the middle of all that stuff and didn’t even know it. I was just crazy and off the wall and just nuts. I just pray for the person in that situation and wish them the best, just kind of calms down and settles because I won’t get involved in crazy. I’m not confrontational. I’m not negative anymore. I had enough carnage and craziness in my life where I just don’t want to get caught up in that upheaval. It just makes me nauseated to think about anything that’s negative or confrontational. It’s just not me.
BF: And I think when it comes to the business, there’s always going to be an added sense of craziness or paranoia to some extent but I think now in today’s WWE I think some of that has calmed down. Do you agree with that?
HH: Yeah I agree. There’s a lot of craziness back in the day with me and Randy. That calmed down. There was craziness with me and Shawn Michaels. That calmed down. There was craziness with me and the (Ultimate) Warrior. That all calmed down. When you get to be in your 50’s and 60’s, you need to grow up. It just grown me 50 or 60 years old acting like they’re 18 or 20 is just ridiculous. I’ve pretty much matured and have definitely come full circle.
BF: Let’s talk about MegaCon in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center this weekend. You’ll be out there on Saturday and Sunday signing autographs and you’ll be having the special Hulk Hogan: Uncut Q&A with fans on Saturday night that will be hosted by Jimmy Hart.
HH: Yeah I’ve been running with him for 35 years. He’s a good friend. We’’re starting early Saturday signing autographs and we’re doing the Q&A and that’s pretty much uncensored. The fans can ask whatever they want. We just let it roll. It’s a lot of fun.
BF: Do you like how wide open the business is now?
HH: It’s different. It’s changed. It was cool before when everybody believed that everything that happened in there was real, even if they thought it was not real but they didn’t know unless you told them. You know, there are no smart fans anymore. I’ve been in the wrestling business 35 years and I just figured out that guys in the back don’t talk kizarny anymore. I didn’t even know that. And I thought I understood the business and apparently I don’t. It’s completely different than it was last year. It’s amazing how many fans are like “I’m smart, I’m kayfabing”. Those words aren’t even used any more. It’s pretty amazing. I kind of liked it when there was more of a mystique to it and people weren’t so jaded. You know, you have to change with the times.
BF: What’s next for you? What would you like to do with WWE?
HH: Well, they’re on the Road to WrestleMania already. You know how that goes. I’m going to be lobbying real hard for Hulk Hogan in Dallas next year. Other than that, I’m just entertaining a few movie scripts here. When I get off the phone with you I’m going to go over my schedule with the WWE guys. I know I’m going to Australia then heading over to the UK. They've got me on a crazy treadmill right now but it’s a lot of fun.
BF: How often do you get movie scripts?
HH: Not very often. I just did a movie with David Hasselhoff called Celebrity Death Pool where we’re all trying to kill him. Then I did a movie with Scooby Doo where me and Scooby Doo teamed up. Actually before you called I got a message from the writer who’s doing the Hulk Hogan version of The Wrestler and I’m reading the second pass on that script. I don’t like working that much so my agent knows unless it’s something really special. Brittany Spears wanted me to be in her next video and I passed. I’d rather just be at the beach or at home and hang out with my wife and my dogs than stuck in my trailer for 14 hours a day.
BF: Yeah, this is the time you get to chill out. You’ve already put the miles on the road.
HH: You’re right brother. I sure have.