Chris Jericho again posted an excellent podcast, this time with WWE legend Hulk Hogan in a two-parter.
I suppose I should first mention that Hogan has a penchant for outright lying and rewriting history whenever he does interviews. That’s how Hulk operates, so any of his stories must be scrutinized.
That said, Hogan told Jericho about when Vince McMahon approached him to be the flag bearer for McMahon’s national expansion plans. Hogan said he agreed less because of Vince’s big ambitions and more to get back to Madison Square Garden and the Northeast wrestling scene that the WWF had long ruled over.
“I felt whether [the expansion] would work or not, I wanted to go back to New York,” he said. “If you’re a wrestler, the biggest you can get is to wrestle in the Garden.”
“That Northeast, that’s wrestling up there. That’s where the electricity is,” Hogan added. “Being in those bigger cities, even if you don’t have that great of a match, people think it’s great.”
McMahon brought Hogan in just after Bob Backlund lost the WWF Heavyweight Title to the Iron Sheik. By Hogan’s own admission, he came into the WWF without giving proper notice to his former boss, Verne Gagne, the owner of the AWA.
“I did the most unethical thing you could do in wrestling business: I just split,” he said. “That’s when Verne tried to get Sheik to break my leg in the Garden.”
Hogan beat the Sheik at MSG for the WWF Title about a month after arriving. It has long been wrestling lore that Gagne, pissed off that Hogan high-tailed it to the WWF, allegedly contacted the Sheik and offered him $100,000 to shoot on Hogan in the match. That type of money sounds ridiculous for Gagne to offer.
Jericho himself seemed to doubt the story, but Hogan insisted it was legitimate.
“Sheik, thank God, had enough conscience of mind to tell Vince about it. That was a true story,” Hogan said.
Other highlights from Part 1 of the interview:
- Hogan was a legit 338 pounds and “gassed to the gills” in his early territory days.
- Wrestling great Jack Brisco gave Hogan his first pair of wrestling boots.
- Hogan claimed he was the “first guy to ever do any merchandising” by having his own T-shirts made in his AWA days and selling them out of the trunk of his car. Hmmm…