HULK HOGAN ON ESPN'S UNSCRIPTED
I'm doing this again because it can be done. This time, it seems like their
are a lot more reports/commentary than last time, so you're probably looking
more for a transcript than an opinion column; I'll try to keep my mouth closed.
Before we start, have you noticed how they've dramatically changed the commercial
for Unscripted? Instead of the "loose, fun and goofy" image the first
one projected, the new one is all "hard-hitting controversy." I think
they both ignore the real problem - Chris Connelly.
Connelly hypes the show - "he's the biggest name in wrestling" -
while we get a wrestling-esque "getting out of his limo"
Connelly does his newsbit - the high scoring GMAC bowl, the Laker's play by
plan man, and Today's Katie Couric $60mil deal - this doesn't normally have
anything to do with sports, but Chris compares Couric's deal with Barry Bonds
probable deal and it appears to be a toss. Finnaly, New Zealand Casions. If
you're in New Zealand and betting on golf, let me know why? Intro for Hogan.
Here's a stock set of clips - Hogan WCW era stuff mostly with some movie
stuff and outside. Look, the robotic WCWSN set! Buffer's introduction over it.
Maybe this is the clip package they showed when he "retired" to
"run for president." Unless this is just stock footage WCW gave out to
hype something or other (possible), I'd think they need WWF permission to show
Hogan signs his name. Smaller and to the right of Angle. Like you care. Hogan
does an ear cup before walking to the set. If you switched his no-logo black
t-shirt with a nWo one, he'd still be dressing in his Hollywood gear. Black
badnana on his head, black pants, same old. No glasses.
Chris: Welcome! The good things never change!
Hogan: You know something, I'm really disappionted in you guys.
Chris: What did we do wrong now?
Hogan: Well, they told me I was going to get to sit on Santa's lap.
Connelly talk with no real point for a while, leading to Hogan begging
Chris: How are you?
Hogan: Great, man, very good.
Chris: What'cha doing these days?
Hogan: I'm being the greatest father in the world-
Chris: I can believe that.
Hogan: -spending time with my two kids, trying to get their undevoted [sic]
loyalties so they'll spend the rest of their life with me.
Chris: Is that right? Now, you got a son and a daughter, is that right?
Hogan: Yea, my son is a eleven years old, my daughter Brooke (?) is 16 and my
wife Linda keeps us all together. So, that's the time.
Chris: That's good. Now, does your son want to be a wrestler when he grows up?
Hogan: That's all he talks about.
Chris: All he talks about is wanting to be a wrestler?
Hogan: Well, he's into to the hockey too, but we spend most of our time in
Florida, and the Tampa Bay Lighting hasn't done too well the last few years, so
he's kinda leaning towards the wrestling.
Chris: They could use him a little bit, I think
Hogan: Yea, I think so.
Chris: Lotta great athletes out of Tampa this time of year. We've had Luis Gonzalez,
and Tino Martinez, and then you, of course.
Hogan: Well, I've been around for a long time, so I'm not the newest kid on the
block, but I'm an old mainstay.
Chris: But, you started out in Little League baseball, back in the day, didn't
you? Weren't you a pitcher or a catcher or something like that?
Hogan: I pitched and played third base and uh, I was so fat, when I played
little league baseball, if I didn't hit the ball over the fence - like if I hit
the fence, rounded first base and went for second, they usually throw me out.
[Connelly chuckles] So, I changed a little bit, since those days.
Chris: Everybody wants to know, of course, what's your situation with regard to
wrestling right now? Where do you stand?
Hogan: Well, right now, I'm in pretty darn good shape. A couple weeks ago, I
wrestled over in Orlando, just for fun, some friends of mine are trying to start
a new league up called the XWF, the Xtreme Wrestling Federation-
Chris: the *X*WF, okay
Hogan: -and they're putting the whole situation together, trying to compete with
the WWF, and, um, I was just there helping them out with a few ideas, [clip of
Hollywood Hogan choking Lex Luger in the corner, Dennis Rodman can be seen in
the far background, Bash at the Beach match] they said 'Why don't you get in the
ring and wrestle in between takes? We won't even film it!'
Hogan: So I went out the ring and I was supposed to only wrestle ten minutes but
I stayed in the ring about thirty minutes. [Connelly chuckles.] And, I got the
fever again, and I just can't decide if I should go on the road and [clip ends]
leave a couple days a week, or just take the whole world again.
Chris: So, you're flirting with them but you won't commit?
Hogan: Exactly. [chyron: "Hulk Hogan, WCW wrestler 1994-2000"] I've
talked to a lot of people in the wrestling business, and I think it's about time
that some of the big guns came back in and taught these young guys how this, how
this should be done. So, you know, I'm thinking about it, definitely, I'm trying
to get back in shape [bicep pose], get the arms back where they should be-
Chris: Oh my god! [dinner crowd hoots]
Hogan: [hand to ear pose] I didn't hear that! [bicep pose, pause to soak in
cheers, then back to Connelly] No, but it's something that, once it gets in your
blood, whether you're 18 or 28 or 38 or 48, once it's in your blood, you know,
you kinda miss it. And uh-
Chris: [clip: Hogan vs Flair in First Blood Cage Match at Uncensored where both
men turned] You've been on the sidelines for quite a while, ever since, what,
the WCW merged with the WWF, we haven't seen you out there for a bit? Why is
Hogan: Right. Um, well, I haven't wrestled for about a year and a half. I had
some, um, problems with the new personnel that took over. They were going
towards, nothing personal, but they were doing the more a 'Jerry Springer' type
of wrestling, and- [clip ends]
Chris: You're talking about the WWF now? When you were in the-
Hogan: No no no, when I was in WCW, when I was working for the Turner organization,
they went more towards the Jerry Springer type of wrestling, and I thought that
there should be more wrestling than talking, and instead of all the comedy and
stuff going on-
Chris: Dude, you were a bad guy for a while.
Hogan: Yea, man I was the badest [sic] of them all.
Chris: That was weird. You know, You think of what a hero you've been to so many
young people over the years, and then all the sudden, you're a heel. That's
messing with our heads for a little bit.
Hogan: Well, it was kinda cool because when I went out and did the Hollywood
Hogan gimmick and I came sliding out there with the bad guys, the fans, uh, you
know, they were so loyal, they cheered me, so it kinda upended our plans a
little bit. But the cool thing about it was when the Hollywood Hogan came out
with the nWo, and Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and all the bad guys, the ratings
went sky high.
Hogan: So it worked and we stuck with it for a pretty long time.
Chris: Well, you know right, the WWF ratings are not in great shape. They've
been down a little bit - how about coming back?
Hogan: Did someone say they need Hulk Hogan?
Chris: [to the crowd] Do we think the WWF might need Hulk Hogan? [cheers and
applause] I bet you hear this five or six times a day. What do you say?
Hogan: Well, the thing is, Vince McMahon is the one that gave me the football. I
mean, I gotta give Vince credit for my career, for my financial situation, he
really gave me the football and [clip: Early WCW Hogan, wearing the WCW Title,
climbing into the ring at a Worldwide Taping] gave me the chance to run with it.
And I was watching the show few weeks ago, and I saw Ric Flair show up, and oh
my god the fans went crazy when they saw Ric Flair. So, I was sitting home with
my son Nick and said 'Well, Nick, what should I do, man? Should I go in and be
friends with the Rock? Should I go beat Vince McMahon up? Should I teach Stone
Cold a lesson? What should I do?' My son says, 'Just go back, just go back!'
[clip ends - chryon: "Hulk Hogan, WWF Wrestler 1979-93] So, my son is
trying to push me in that direction, but I dunno, that XWF, they seem to have
their act together too. I dunno what I'm going to do.
Chris: Oh, so, you're trying to get a bidding war started, clearly?
Hogan: There's nothing wrong with having a little leverage here.
Hogan goes back to talking about Santa and we head to break - what he thinks
about today's wrestlers, what he thought about the past, and why he might come
back. [clip: "3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain.]
Inside Look provides a look at names Hogan's used in his career: "Terry
Boulder, Super Destroyer, Sterling Golden, Thunderlips, Hulk Hogan and Hollywood
Hogan." They discuss, with Hogan slipping in a "I had hair then"
joke. Talk about the Thunderlips name:
Hogan: "I'll tell you what, I think that Thunderlips was the one that
put me on the map. When they saw Sylvester Stallone, who had a couple Rocky
movies out, [chryon: "Hulk Hogan, Former WWF Champion"] he was about
150 feet high in the American public's eyes, when Mr. Stallone gave me a chance
to be in the movie and we stood nose to nose, 'oh my god is that what a wrestler
looks like?', it was kinda like, [makes "wow" expression]-
Chris: You said nose to nose; it must've been a pretty big box.
Hogan: Yea, he opened the door for me and I walked right through it, and it was
Chris: Amazing. You really were the Babe Ruth of wrestling-
Chris: You can really say that.
Hogan: That's strong-
Chris: But it's true, though. You jakked it up to a place where it has never
been since and wouldn't have gotten without you. What's wrong with the game now?
Hogan: Um, I don't think anything's wrong with the game, other then they need
Hulk Hogan back. [Connelly laugh, then some of the crowd does.] That's about it.
No, I mean, I mean, you've got, I'm the biggest wrestling fan in the world, and
I'm torn between who my favorite wrestlers are. Like Triple H - you know, he's
so solid, everything he does, from his interviews, to his work, to his look, I
mean, I told my son Nick, 'Triple H, without a doubt, is my favorite wrestler.'
Chris: Don't you have beef with him?
Hogan: Um, I would love to have beef with him, because I'm also Hollywood Hogan,
I'm the second generation Triple H. [that's the way he said it, doesn't make any
more sense. Oh and, clip: The Triple H/Kurt Angle KO Pedigree] Then all of
sudden, the Rock comes along and he lights the place on fire - [reacting to the
clip] oh there's Triple H right there [clip: normal ring pedigree on Angle,
Foley reffing] - the Rock lights the place on fire and I knew his dad pretty
well so, [clip: Rock corner pose] I mean, he's like the epitome of what a professional
wrestler [clip: Rock Bottom on Storm from Monday] should be, and then you've got
ol' Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rattlesnake, and he's, [clip: Austin corner
pose] he's as tough as they come, and then it goes on and on and on, and
depending on the storylines they're on, I keep switching my allegiance-
Chris: So you admire these guys? You think they do the same sort of work you
used to do, in terms of selling the storylines and still keeping the athleticism
and the fun that everybody seems to love about wrestling?
Hogan: Yea, I really do. I mean, I really know the grind and sometimes these
guys, sometimes they're flying 300 days a year, sometimes they're wrestling 400
days a year, twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday, and you know, when they get
hurt, or when they bend a thumb back or when they break a bone in their ankle,
or their foot, they don't complain, they keep going. Just like when Triple H
tore his [points to his own version of the body part] whole quadriceps in the
middle of a match, I mean, Chris Jericho hooked him in kinda a Boston Crab, the
Walls of Jericho, and I mean, you know, Triple H could've tapped out, or quit,
but he kept going. I can't even imagine once that quad was torn how much pain he
was in, so-
Chris: [interrupting, again, but more abruptly then before] I heard you be
critical a couple of times of some up and coming wrestlers in WCW, back in the
day, for not wrestling through injuries like that, for taking time out.
Hogan: Well, you know, the whole situation in wrestling is, you've got to be,
um, in your blood. And every once in a while, when guys would get hurt, like
Andre the Giant or Roddy Piper, they'd keep wrestling. If they had ninety days
in a row without a day out, if they broke a finger or a thumb, they'd keep
going. And then the 90's came along, and all the big contracts came along and
all the big contract came along with the wrestlers with guaranteed money, and
these guys would jam a finger and the doctor would look at it, and go 'uh, oh,
you should take three weeks off', but you know because you're under contract,
you can actually take twelve off, and these wrestlers were pulled out of
storylines and it hurt the whole business. So, the guys like Triple H, the Rock,
Stone Cold, and all these guys that are dedicated to this business, and they
keep training - I mean not training, wrestling with injuries, they're the ones
who keep this business going and alive and I do respect them, and they do have
that old blood in their new veins.
Chris: How about someone like Karl Malone? An athlete-
Hogan: Oh my god-
Chris: -an athlete who loves wrestling. [Clip: BATB match] Could he be a
Hogan: Okay, well, I've been in the ring with Karl, I've been in the ring -
Chris: [reacting to the clip] Oh boy, that's being in the ring with Karl. That's
being right on the ring with Karl.
Hogan: He's beating that old bald head up pretty good.
Hogan: [clip ends] No, but this guy - you don't realize this, but when he
grabbed me, when he threw me around the ring, he was so strong, you know, forget
that he's a tall basketball player, in shape, he's got this unbelievable
strength that's just blew my mind. You know, I've been in the ring with the
dirty dog Rodman, [chyron: Hulk Hogan, Former WCW Champion], you know, and
someone like Rodman, who wouldn't take anything serious, who wouldn't show up to
train on time, and had all the wrestlers hot at him, when he got in the ring,
and the red light went on, he was there. These guys, they'll surprise you.
Especially Malone - he could be a wrestler if he wanted to.
Chris: Really, right now?
Hogan: He's got it in his heart. He loves it. Rodman, [clip: Rodman, BATB vs
Luger] I don't know what he wants to do. He might want to go to Broadway or
something, who knows.
Chris: Whatever he seems to be doing is working out okay. But he was strong when
he was in there? [clip ends] He was a quality wrestler?
Hogan: Oh, yes, yes sir. Heck of an athlete.
Chris: What about a guy like Bill Goldberg? Here's a guy who's also been sorta
out of sight for a while. [Hogan puts his finger to his ear for some reason,
then stops before he gets to talk] Some talk about injuries there, what did you
think of how he's handled his career, post WCW.
Hogan: Well, Bill Goldberg's a real good friend of mine. You know, on a personal
level, but business wise, [clip: Goldberg jackhammering Jericho Security] Bill
Goldberg was on the top of his game, had a couple real bad injuries, I know he
messed his knee up a little bit, then he had an accident with one of those so
called skits they were doing in the WCW, where he put his fist through a
Chris: Oh, right, some limo or something
Hogan: And he kept getting sidelines by weird injuries, and all the sudden, when
the WCW went out of business, he was still under contract and there's a lot of
legal reasons why he's not able to wrestle right now, but I kinda wish he was in
that mainstream of wrestling, because his career could've have really
skyrocketed from the point it was at.
Chris: Alright, still more to come with the guy with the man who is the
mainstream of wrestling for so many of us...
Clips for Mr. Nanny. FIGHT clips from Mr. Nanny. The best part of CRZ's new
archives is that you can actually look up and see he said "Huzzah!" to
a Mr. Nanny ad. And you can wonder about someone who actually types
"Huzzah!" Oh, it's over. Connelly laughs and makes a bad joke
Chryon says "Appeared in 16 films" but they're talking about new
film prospects so I'm going to stop - oh wait...
Hogan: ...I bodyslammed the wrestling world but I really didn't bodyslam the
whole movie world like I wanted too. I did a bunch of movies like Mr. Nanny,
which the kids loved, but all the sudden, like, we were talking during the
break, after the September the Eleventh, um, all the sudden, my agent starts
giving me these hero worship scripts, like, you know, the country's tired of
seeing disaster and violence and all of the sudden, I'm starting to get these
scripts with a lot of heroes in them, and I think it's cool how things are
Chris: That's great. Now, a lot of people are trying to remember why you left
the WWF in the first place. Did you get sorta tied into the steroid controversy?
Were you the fall guy, in a sense, for what happened in the WWF?
Hogan: I was kinda pointed out, definitely, I mean, we were in the era, when all
the athletes were experimenting, were using them, and it wasn't just wrestlers.
It was baseball players, and everybody who was a professional athlete, and um,
for some reason, the guys that I was working with and running with were at the
top of their game, and all the sudden, the finger got pointed at us and oh yeah,
they pointed at Hulk Hogan, and the bottom line is, thank god that dark cloud is
behind us and it's something you don't here too much about anymore in professional
Chris: Do you have any enduring anger or bitterness towards Vince McMahon about
how you were treated during that period?
Hogan: No [chryon's back to the WWF one], if anything, if anything, during that
period, now that I really look back at it, now that I really understand the big
picture [clip: Vince on RAW] of what was going on, I admire him about how he handled
it, because he's the one that they were really trying to smash up aside the
wall. He was the one that really took the brunt of the punishment in as far, as
far as the business effects, and the torture, and the time frame. It was three
or four years of uncertainty in his business and personal life. Now that I
really look back on it, I have to say I admire the guy for the way he handed it
and saying strong.
Chris: Yea, but you made him hundreds of millions of dollars. He may have given
you the football, but you ran with it and you scored over and over again. Given
the amount of money you made him, was he fair to you?
Hogan: Oh yeah, people don't realize, people say, 'Well, Hulk Hogan built the
WWF' or 'Hulk Hogan paid for this or that', what people don't realize, it takes
two to tango. Vince was in it neck deep with me the whole time, whether it was
suggestions on how to wrestle, you know, advice on my career, on what shows to
do and how to handle things, I mean, this guy is part of the whole works of the
WWF and his company, and that's what people don't realize. Whether it's Hulk
Hogan, whether it's the Rock, Stone Cold or Triple H, don't forget it's Vince
McMahon that's just as much a part of it. Before, years ago, I didn't realize
sometimes what got me to the dance. But now I'm older, wiser, been there, done
that, and now that I see the big picture, it sounds like I'm sucking up, and you
can say whatever you want, but the truth is, if it wasn't for him, none of us
would have had the greatness or the run or the situation the way it turned it.
Chris: You had creative control, at the WWF. You got to control your own
storylines. I don't know that that's happened with every wrestler before. What
did that mean, in terms of what you were able to accomplish there?
Hogan: That's not true. [chryon: Former WWF Champion]
Chris: Oh, is that right?
Hogan: That's not true. Everybody thinks that I had creative control. I would
make suggestions, but Vince McMahon is the boss. Not matter what anybody else
thinks, Vince McMahon is the boss. But at the time, Vince and I were thinking
parallel thoughts. But sometime, Vince would turn one way and I'd say "why
don't we try to this way?" and it'd be vice a versa, and there'd a
suggestions made. I always relied on Vince, because he had the feel, he had the
right feel for the situation. The same was true when I went to the WCW - in this
situation, I did have creative control, because I was going with a new group of
guys [clip: BATB vs Luger] I didn't understand, but I relied heavily on a guy
named Eric Bischoff. And Eric was feeling his way around and we'd go back and
forth with ideas and stuff, but, in the WWF, that statement wasn't true.
Chris: [chuckles] Fair enough, glad you cleared it up for me. [clip ends
Chris sends it to commercial, promising viewer questions for the second straight
Video Courtesy: WWFE, Columbia/Tri Star, Turner sports, NFL Films (?), New
Line Home Video
Connelly plugs the website (no video questions? Guess it was too much work
and too bad quality) and poses the first question
George from Philly: "What would guarantee your return to the WWF?"
Hogan: What would guarantee my return to the WWF? [thinks] A shot at Vince
McMahon in the ring. If I had one shot at him, to wrestle him in the ring - we
did 94,000 people in the Pontiac Silverdome, and I pressed Andre the Giant over
my head and slammed him - I guarantee you if I had one shot at Vince McMahon,
the Pontiac Silverdome wouldn't be big enough because everyone says, well,
because a lot of people say Vince McMahon was responsible for wrestling, a lot
of people say Hulk Hogan was responsible for where wrestling's at today, but
Vince and I need to work this thing out and ruffle his feathers sometime.
Dan from Philly: "What was the greatest match of your career?"
Hogan: Well, defiantly it had to be Wrestlemania 3, when Andre the Giant got in
the ring with me, and at the time, he wasn't in the great of health, and his
weight was really high - he was about seven hundred pounds [odd shot of a
non-believing Connelly here] - and when I got in the ring, people could yell
"Hogan" 20,000 and with 94,000 uncoordinated but yelling
"Hogan" being a huge rush and with that many people there, to get the
Giant up - I don't think any of us will ever forget it.
Dan from Morristown, NJ: "Which current pro athlete would you pick as a
tag team partner?"
Hogan: As a tag team partner, well, I'll tell you, if I had to pick someone as a
tag team partner, and he is a wrestler, I'd have to go with Bill Goldberg. Even
though [clip: Goldberg with the Goldberg Midget over his arm, walking to the
ring] he's been kind relaxing the last few months, I think if I had to depend on
anyone to watch my back, it'd be Bill.
Chris: I bet. Finnaly, you know Jesse Ventura ran for Governor of Minnesota, he
did all right. Talk that you might follow in his footsteps, somehow, is that
really a possibility?
Hogan: [cutting a promo - Connelly has a goofy stoner laugh throughout] Well
brother, let me tell you about Jesse Ventura! Jesse "the Body"
Ventura! Jesse "the Body" Ventura simply because he said you could
catch seven walleye instead of six, that's how he got elected, but everything
I've ever done, I've beaten Jesse Ventura from pillar to post! I've beaten him
in the ring, and I'll tell you what, if I wanted to run for president of the
United States, I would beat Jesse Ventura, just like I've beat him in everything
else I've done! So whatcha gonna do Jesse, when Hulk Hogan beats up on you?!
That's it. THANK GOD.
The Cubs Fan
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