The Under the Ring blog recently talked to Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper about the 1980s scene in the WWF. There was some fun memories in the post, as well as least one instance in which Hogan’s famous tall stories reared their ugly head.
The blog, which is published by the Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal, interviewed Hogan and Piper to help promote a big independent card on September 22 from Northeast Wrestling. The two wrestling icons will make appearances during the event.
Hogan discussed who influenced him during his career, and he reached back to his Florida training days with a nod to Hiro Matsuda and Jack and Jerry Brisco. He also mentioned Verne Gagne and Vince McMahon, Sr. (the late father of the more famous “Mr. McMahon”).
However, it was notable that he didn’t talk about Superstar Billy Graham, from whom much of Hogan’s schtick came from. The Hulk’s “24-inch python” line was a take-off of something Graham often said.
Then Hogan appeared to go into full-blown working mode when asked about his WWF Heavyweight Title win over the Iron Sheik on January 23, 1984. Hogan tried to imply that until the last minute, he didn’t know if he was winning the belt for sure.
“I’m sure [McMahon] was thinking of changing his mind and even putting the belt back on Bob Backlund until the last moment I was going into the ring,” Hogan told Under the Ring.
What? That may be the scatter-brained way Vince runs the WWE today, but back in late 1983, he and Hogan laid the plans to have Hulk become the face of the WWF and lead the national expansion of the federation. There was no way McMahon was giving the belt back to Backlund, who was on his way out of the spotlight after losing the belt and refusing to turn heel.
Meanwhile, Piper remembered Poughkeepsie’s Mid-Hudson Civic Center, which was the home to WWF TV tapings for many years. He vaguely referenced wrestling-related stuff that must have gone down in that arena’s dressing room.
“It was the heart of the WWF,” Piper said. “If (Mid-Hudson Civic Center) could talk, oh man. That building must be protected by God because Satan would have burned it down.”
I’ll let you read some of the other tidbits for yourself, including Piper recalling Adrian Adonis’ death.
By the way, Under the Ring is a great wrestling blog if you’ve never checked it out.