It’s time for another installment of Tuesday’s with Terry, my compulsory foray into the pretentiousness, illogicality, narcissism, and self-sycophantic prattle that is Hulk Hogan’s audio autobiography. The Hulkster covers a lot of ground on this side of the tape – the Richard Belzer incident, his match with (or more precisely his body slam of) Andre The Giant at WrestleMania III, the family tragedies that were the death of his brother and birth of his son and daughter, the federal steroid trial leading to a rift with Vince McMahon that brought about his departure from the WWF, the insufferable Thunder In Paradise, and his arrival in WCW culminating with his heel turn and the formation of the NWO. Hogan imparts these anecdotes with all of the warmth and amenability of a train ride to Dachau circa 1938.
Time to resume the fear and loathing marathon!
Cheers: (1) To Richard Belzer for suing Hulk Hogan for physical distress, bilking him out of a substantial albeit unspecified amount of cash, applying this settlement towards the purchase of a home in France, and christening this domicile as Chez Hogan. Nice…nice! (2) The powers that be who swiftly and mercilessly (and mercifully from this writer’s point of view) pulled the plug on Thunder in Paradise after its 18 month reign of syndicated terror.
Jeers: To whoever decided that Hulk Hogan rambling on for 10 minutes about his & Mr. T’s infamous appearance on Richard Belzer’s show would make for compelling listening.
Revisionist History Alert: (1) In taking credit for putting together their awful WM III main event match, Hogan mentions in passing that Andre weighed 700 lbs when he body-slammed him. Assuming this was in fact the case and seeing as how professional wrestling has a tendency to exaggerate the heights and especially the weights (not to mention their hometowns, ain’t that right Hulk “Pride of Venice Beach” Hogan brother?) of its competitors, you would think that Andre would have been billed and introduced that night as weighing at a bare minimum of 700 lbs instead of his announced weight of 520 lbs. (2) Hogan claims he tore his back out slamming Andre, but it was worth it to give all of the fans a “special moment,” going so far to declare it as a once in a lifetime moment that never happened again. By never happen again, of course the Hulkster actually means the VERY NEXT WRESTLEMANIA when he body slammed Andre (albeit after the bell) in their WWF title tournament match that ended in a double disqualification. I also strongly suspect that Ultimate Warrior was given the green light to slam Andre during their feud. *Checks You Too* Yup. (3) Hogan boasts that upon his arrival, WCW went from a minor league to a major league promotion, ignoring the fact that (a) it was the second most popular North American wrestling company before he showed up; and (b) it remained the second most popular wrestling company for roughly 3 years after his arrival.
Hypocrisy Alert: The Hulkster deservedly puts over for Andre for doing his job, working the match despite a bad back, and acting like a consummate professional. He then takes umbrage with unspecified “other wrestlers” he has come across over the years who would use an injury to get out of working or putting someone over. I suspect these folks probably learned this tactic by watching the master manipulator himself, Hulk Hogan, who waxes nostalgic on these very tapes about the numerous times he left the business and screwed over promoters without remorse out of his own covetousness.
Curious: While glossed over and breezed through, the section on the steroid trial is told as if Vince, or possibility a college intern that went onto a lucrative career as an outrage manufacturer for the Tea Party movement, assumed provisional ghost writing duties. While not in the least bit surprising, Hulk becomes Vince’s lickspittle, exonerating him of any culpability or wrongdoing whatsoever in the proliferation of steroid use and abuse in wrestling and claiming the federal government had conspired to soil Vince’s shining reputation and destroy his business.
Real Life Ted DiBiase Alert: Hogan’s characterizes Thunder in Paradise as nothing more than a means to make money, then goes onto complain that he was in almost every shot/scene which made his days long and brutal. My sentiments exactly. Hogan then talks about how he was starting to miss being in the ring...not because he loved the camaraderie with the other wrestlers, telling a story in the ring, putting on high caliber matches, entertaining the fans, or simply being a part of the business …but because he wasn’t making “wrestling money”…oh, and he missed the rush he would get from the crowd chanting his name. Egomania, greed, and self-indulgence personified.
Choicest Quote: “I probably started taking anabolic steroids in 1975 [ed. note: Hogan didn’t make his wrestling debut until 1977]. But at the time every wrestler I knew was taking them. I’m not making excuses, but they were everywhere.” [emphasis mine]
Thank God, the finish line is in sight.