The saga of pathological lying that is Hollywood Hulk Hogan (the audio version) has mercifully reached its predictable conclusion. Tape 2, side B brings us up to the present (well 2002, but the present in terms of when this project was slapped together) as the Hulkster yammers about the downfall of WCW, his disdain for Vince Russo, and his return to WWE as a member of the NWO faction, culminating in his WrestleMania match with The Rock and face turn.
Hogan recites these passages with all of the effortlessness, sincerity, and tender emotion of a porno casting call for the role of pizza delivery boy. Thankfully, this side of the cassette was abridged in duration and rather lean in terms of salacious falsehoods and transparent and unabashed hypocrisy, hence the truncated nature of this recap. Worry not, for Hogan’s trademark self-absorption and self-centeredness are in full and rare form.
Let’s get this wretchedness over and done with:
Cheers: To Vince Russo for trying his hardest to break the Hulkster’s spirit and send him out to pasture during the post-boom period/waning days of WCW.
Jeers: (1) To Vince Russo for failing in his ambition to destroy Hulkamania, for pretty much every other edict he made during his tenure as booker at WCW, for running WCW out of business, for leaving the WWE with no serious competition to keep their creative feet to the fire and contributing to the malaise of their product and fan base, and for giving TNA! a blueprint by which to disappoint and screw over its viewership on a weekly basis; (2) To whoever decided to close the tape the way it opened – with the blaring of “American Made,” a song so atrocious it makes me long for the extended club remix of “I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac (Have Fun with my Family and Friends).
Choicest Quote: (Although I strongly suspect this particular passage was ghostwritten based upon the syntax and inferences) The Hulkster takes umbrage with Vince Russo’s Bash at the Beach in-ring shoot in which Russo called the Hulkster “A politician, which suggested that I would take covert and undue advantage of opportunities to manipulate my fellow wrestlers.” You got the wrong guy, brother!
You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me: (1) In passing, he refers to The Rock as a “kid” on a couple of occasions; (2) Hogan takes credit for The Scorpion King not bombing at the box office because he was able to get the fans to cheer The Rock (or at least to stop booing and chanting “Rocky sucks”) during their WrestleMania match.
Curious: Hogan laments not beating Vince to punch and buying the WCW and the rights to its tape library so he could have “sat home in my office, watched those tapes all day, and made millions of dollars.” I fail to see how the Hulkster watching tapes of Hugh Morrus battling Bobby Blaze, High Voltage (Robbie Rage and Kenny Kaos) teaming up against Disorderly Conduct (Mean Mike and Tough Tom), Sgt. Craig “Pitt Bull” Pittman squaring off with The Gambler, or Scott Norton laying a clubbering on the whimsical Shark Boy on the ol’ WCW Saturday Night mothership would allow him, let alone anybody, to make millions of dollars.
Shameless: The Hulkster treats his late father as nothing more than a rhetorical device/plot advancement tool, recounting how on his death bed, his father encouraged him to go back to the WWE to avenge Vince Russo, fix wrestling, and become the Hulkster that he used to be.
Captain Obvious, Meet First Lieutenant Formulaic Happy Ending: After the Hulkster and The Rock created the greatest Wrestle Mania moment ever for the WWE Universe, Hogan concludes that he still has it and that he can still bring it/do it better than anybody else in the squared circle. He also notes that he is content with his legacy and could walk away from wrestling at any time and be at ease with it (tell that to the TNA! fans and locker room), but he still driven. Not by the quality of his in-ring output, making his opponent look good, helping out the younger generation of grapplers, or strengthening the future of the company mind you, but by seeing if he can get a little bigger pop/reaction. Egomania personified.