Looking at the mess with Hulk Hogan.
Hulk Hogan. Oh boy, how things went to hell for him huh? Since that transcript of an old video has been released I’ve seen a lot of people freaking out over this. I’m not. Maybe I’m too cynical of the wrestling business, or seen one to many of these types of “scandals” before, but I’m not going to call this the end of the world for him.
Granted, what he said was inexcusable. Yes, it was (what he thought) was a private conversation, and despite the scumminess of how this conversation has come to light, it’s not really a great look at the man whether the world was meant to see it or not. But he said the things he did and here we are.
But while a world of Hulkamaniacs from a day gone by are freaking out, I’m not. First thing’s first, His being fired by the WWE isn’t as big a deal as the news outlets would want you to think. He was let go by the WWE because his only function was as a judge on that awful Tough Enough reality show. Sure, they would trot him out on RAW every so often to try to pop a rating (and fail), but his primary function was to squeeze out every last eyeball for a reality show that is an exercise in futility, nothing more. He was drawing money I’m sure in merchandise sales, but probably not at the levels of John Cena. Vince McMahon and the WWE brain trust aren’t stupid. If Hulk was bringing in more money than this wouldn’t have happened, but as it is, he’s out on his ass.
Hell, this isn’t even the first time Vince has fired him! I think this is like the fourth time the WWF/WWE has ceased to do business with him over the years. He got his pink slip in 1993, 2003, and 2006 and he’s done just fine. Hell, the WWE brought him back each and every time. So give this a few months to die away and I’m sure Hulk will be back on RAW and his merch will be back on the WWE shop website again.
Hulk, for those of you that haven’t followed wrestling for a while or only watch it on tv, does have a bit of a reputation amongst wrestling fans. Certainly not as terrible as using the n-word about a million times, but as a Huckster, a self-promoter, always making himself seem larger than he really is. There has long been a running joke that as the years go by, Hulk’s telling of his match with Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3 seems to get more epic. Last I heard Hulk was saying how Andre weighed over 1,000 pounds for that match (he didn’t) and that Andre died “a short time later” (7 years). He once claimed to a friend of mine who had spent a year in Japan that he “lived and worked there for 10 years” which while he did go on a number of tours there in the early 80’s, it wasn’t for a solid decade. He once claimed he was going to be the basis for METALLICA in a lie that was so bad that the band itself shot it down sending Hulk scrambling (He later claimed that he sent demos to them). Hulk is one of those types of wrestlers who just doesn’t have an off button. He is in constant mode of trying to work people. Honestly, I find those types to be sad.
Hulk’s other bit of reputation is as a huge backstage politician. Stories of Hulk basically taking over whole promotions just to make himself look good are numerous and plentiful. Hell, his run in TNA was enough. Remember when he was coming in as head of creative and said he wasn’t going to take the spotlight or bring in a bunch of old wrestlers AND THEN DID JUST THAT? Besides that, listen to the stories of his time in WCW where basically everyone had to kowtow to his wishes and demands and everything else was secondary. Hell, he even joined with TNA in 2003 and promised to wrestle for their first 3 hour pay per view, only to never show up, just in the hopes of making Vince so jealous that he’d get a fat WWE contract and a huge payout to be at Wrestlemania 20. Of course, that didn’t work either.
And don’t think the WWE is a big hero in this either. Like I said before, Hulk was fired for not being a big money draw anymore. Some active WWE talent has done a lot of terrible things over the years and weren’t fired. JBL goose-stepping and giving a Nazi salute IN GERMANY? He got a WWE Title reign for that (but lost his job at Fox News). Randy Orton’s numerous drug infractions and that time he spit on a 13-year-old fan? Nope. He got a couple of paid vacations and then was back to making more money than he lost. And let’s not leave out all the racial stuff that went on with the writer’s for Smackdown around the same time that Hulk was saying this stuff. Those guys still have jobs too. And to top everything off:
Of course, Vince never had anything happen. Hell, the WWE even publically excused it.
So what am I getting at? Yeah, this stuff makes Hulk look terrible, but the WWE has done just as bad if not worse, and everyone turned out okay. So if you are a Hulkamaniac, don’t pull the gun out and aim for your chin over this. Things will work out just fine for everyone given a little time. But just remember, neither side are angels.
You can find my books HERE