Hulk Hogan "Down Under"

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Dedicated to the wrestler that is acknowledged as the greatest, certainly the most famous and charismatic ever, Hulk Hogan.

Newsflashes

2003

Rumor: November 2003 - Hulk Hogan Vs Jeff Jarrett in the NWA!? see the Media Man Australia interview with Bill Behrens

Article: The Great Yankee Promoters, by Greg Tingle

Hogan still rules the WWE. Hogan wrestles McMahon at Wrestlemania 2003. Official Wrestlemania website

20th August 2002

WHEN WILL HULK HOGAN RETURN?

The last image WWE fans may have of Hulk Hogan - at least for the immediate future - is one of a battered, bloodied and aged Hulkster struggling to make it to his feet and leave the ring.

Whether Hogan is really down for the count, however, most likely hinges on his future business dealings with WWE owner Vince McMahon. Reports that began to surface last week indicate that Hogan and McMahon are once again at an impasse, with money and an exhausting schedule at the core of the dispute.

Hogan's last-minute removal from the recent Australian tour placed an unfortunate blemish on the company's otherwise wildly successful event, with a number of excuses given for his absence. Hogan had been heavily advertised for the tour, but was scratched from the event when it was announced, for storyline purposes, that Hogan had been injured by Brock Lesnar in a Smackdown match that was taped on Aug. 4 in Richmond, Va.

Official sources said they were concerned that the 16-hour plane ride to Australia would be too stressful on Hogan's legitimately ailing back, while others hinted that Hogan wanted to spend his 49th birthday with his family.

More recent reports, however, claim Hogan confronted McMahon over payment for the tour, with Hogan arguing that making the trip Down Under was beyond any regular appearance and that he should be paid accordingly. McMahon then made the decision to pull Hogan from the tour.

Hogan also reportedly was angered by statements made by the WWE crew while in Australia.

WWE executive vice president Roger Marment, who apologized for Hogan not appearing at the Australian event during a press conference, claimed it was Hogan's desire to attend, but added that he was 49 years old that weekend and didn't know how much longer he would be wrestling. The Rock then added that he thought Hogan was "52 years old," a remark that reportedly drew Hogan's ire.

Hogan has not been booked for any future dates with the company, including next Sunday's Summer Slam pay-per-view.

Hogan's return to the WWE earlier this year after an absence of nearly a decade generated mixed reviews. A widely panned reformation of The NWO was followed by a highly successful reception for Hogan's Wrestlemania match with The Rock, but a lackluster title victory over Triple H and a weak run as champ marked what likely will go down as Hogan's final hurrah as the company's top player.

His track record the past couple of months, however, has been exemplary, with Hogan receiving credit for helping elevate younger talent and cleanly putting over stars such as Kurt Angle and the 25-year-old Lesnar, who left Hogan in a bloody heap at the Smackdown in Richmond.

14th August 2002

HOGAN OFF FOR A WHILE?
Dave Scherer of 1wrestling.com today broke the story reporting that Hulk Hogan might be off WWE TV for the foreseeable future until the financial problems with him and the company get sorted out. Scherer says that the problem first came around when Hogan asked McMahon what was the bonus pay for the Australia event, and McMahon, without giving an answer, pulled the plug on the Hulkster. Should be noted that Hogan, since returning, did everything the company asked him and even worked with stars who weren't main event material, giving them the much needed rub by someone of his star power. When he'll be back is a question that cannot be answered right now, but even if it's time for Hogan to leave, rest assured that there's still one match left for him to do, and we all know which one it is.

14th August 2002

Hulk Hogan supported by Wrestling Fans despite off WWE TV and no show in Australia (credit 1wrestling.com)

Hulk Hogan was not at Smackdown last night and, as it appears right now, will not be part of WWE programming any time soon. As we reported last week, despite the publicly stated reasons for Hogan not making the Australian tour (WWE said he had a sore back and wanted to spend his 49th birthday at home with his family), the real reason Hogan was not at the show was because of financial concerns.

In essence, Hogan reportedly wanted to know what his payoff would be for making the 16 hour trip to Australia beforehand and Vince McMahon's response was to pull him from the show. As I have heard it, McMahon felt that this was "just another house show". Hogan's position was said to be that making a super show like that was not part of his basic deal. Instead, he viewed it like a pay-per-view, where the talent gets a payoff over and above their regular money. With the incredible amount of money that WWE made on the show, it's hard to take issue with Hogan's point of view.

All I can surmise is that in the current financial climate, where WWE's revenues are not what the company had expected them to be due to the sluggishness of their business, McMahon chose to not bring Hogan on the tour rather than pay him a bonus. Or, it's possible that McMahon didn't think that Hogan had any right to ask in the first place.

At a press conference in Melbourne last week, WWE gave the reasons mentioned above to explain why Hogan was not at the show, even though he had been heavily promoted as a focal point of the event. Sources close to the Hulkster told us that when Hogan heard that the company was making him out to be a broken down old man, it incensed him, no doubt because it was a way of running him down to the public.

The irony of all of this is that on his current tour in WWE, Hogan has done everything asked of him by the company, and then some. He has been very easy to work with, has been accommodating to the young talent backstage and put them over and given guys the rub on camera. In comparison to some of the other big WWE names (past and present), Hogan has been a joy to work with and from all accounts, very straightforward (read, "not manipulative) in his dealings with the company. That, perhaps, was mistaken for weakness by McMahon and possibly Jim Ross (who is in charge of talent relations). In the past, Hogan had always been someone who "protected his turf", much like many of the top guys do today, but on his current run he had stepped into more of an "elder statesman" role and had received a lot of respect for
doing so.

On last week's Smackdown, an angle was filmed where Brock Lesnar destroyed Hogan and left him laying in the ring. It appears that will be the last image of Hogan fans will have for a while. I expect he will be back eventually, possibly in a few months, but after the way he was treated this time around, and not rewarded for putting the company first, it wouldn't
surprise me if he is more out for himself when he comes back. And if he is, who could blame him?

14th August 2002

Hulk Hogan off WWE TV

Hulk Hogan was not at the SmackDown tapings last night, nor will he be part of WWE television for quite some time. As I mentioned last week, despite WWE claiming Hogan missed the Australian tour for back pains, the real reason centered around financial issues.

Hogan basically saw the show as something special, not a regular house show and considered it to be much like a pay-per view. He saw two 16 hour flights and show to work on the other side of the ocean, and felt he should receive a bigger payoff than usual as it is not part of his deal with the company to do things of that nature. WWE made an incredible amount of money with that show, it's hard to believe they would make such a big deal out of giving a 49 year old man a better payoff for being willing to fly around the world the day before his birthday.

Hulk Hogan was said to be even more upset with how Vince McMahon handled it by pretty much making Hogan out to be an old-beaten man to the press. He felt it was a way of McMahon running him down to the public because he didn't get his way.

Hogan has been a changed man, words you hear a lot these days with guys like Shawn Michaels. Hogan used to be considered a political player, much like HHH and Nash, in that he protected his spot on the company no matter what it took. Since returning to WWE he has been a great person to work with backstage, and more than willing to put over any young talent that is asked of him.

It appears as though the crushing at the hands of Brock Lesnar we saw a few weeks ago on SmackDown! will be the last time we see Hulk Hogan for several months. He will be back eventually, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be anytime in the near future.

WWE Changes and Hulk Hogan not coming to Australia (announced on RAW at "last minute")

Trying to understand real reason for Hulk Hogan not coming down under. Must be good reasons by Hogan and / or WWE

Australian fans upset over Hogan not coming down under

Madison Square Garden 10th July 2002

Reborn and Runnin' Wild Again (Hogan returns to Madison Square Garden in July 2002)

Smackdown! 4th July 2002

Edge and Hulk Hogan win the WWE Tag Team Championship (4th July 2002)

Backlash 2002

Hulk Hogan vs HHH "The Game" Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the WWF Undisputed Title

Wrestlemania 18

Hogan Vs The Rock!

The match we never thought we would see will happen at WWF Wrestlemania 18!

The Rock & Hulk Hogan match at WrestleMania 18 wrestler Interviews

March 2002

HOGAN VS RIKISHI TONIGHT!

2nd March 2002: Fans in the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, FL., will witness Hogan's first match in a WWF ring since leaving the Federation back in mid 1993 tonight. Hogan will wrestle Rikishi in a match billed as a 'special attraction' on the 9-match show.

February 2002

Hogan and the NWO returns to WWF TV at the Pay-Per-View No Way Out. Hogan grants WWF.com an interview

25th January 2002

Hogan resigns with the WWF. This will be the rebirth of the NWO in the WWF, that is expected to bring the company to the next level.

September 2001

Speculation that Hogan has met with McMahon regarding a return to the WWF

Mid 2001

Hulk Hogan is currently in litigation with WCW regarding creative control of his character etc. Hogan has not wrestled or been on TV for many months. For updates on the situation, examine the links and wrestling news pages.

Hollywood" Hulk Hogan is unquestionably the most famous wrestler the world has ever known. He is now rewriting wrestling's future as the leader of the New World Order (nWo). After making the industry what it is today, Hulk is doing things his way. Dressed in nWo black, "Hollywood" Hogan, along with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, have staggered World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to challenge for supremacy.

Before Hogan cast off his famed "yellow and red" for nWo black, he burst on the WCW scene with much fanfare in June '94. Hulkster quickly made an impact by winning the WCW World Heavyweight title from "Nature Boy" Ric Flair at Bash at the Beach, one of the best pay-per-views in WCW history.

At 6'7", 275 lbs, Hogan has always done things in a big way. "Hulkamania" had already begun when Hogan defeated Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden to claim his first world championship in 1984. In one of his most memorable bouts, Hogan body slammed 7'4", 500 lbs. Andre the Giant before an indoor record crowd of 93,000 at the Pontiac Silverdome. Packing arenas from coast-to-coast, Hogan rocketed the wrestling business to tremendous popularity in the 80's and powers a multitude of new fans into the 90's. No other wrestler has impacted American culture like Hogan. His signature bandanna, fiery eyes, blond mustache and rippling biceps that tear T-shirts to shreds created a larger than life persona beyond the squared circle. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan has transcended wrestling stardom. He is a genuine American icon.

Hulkster first made his screen debut as Thunderlips, tossing Sylvester Stallone out of the ring in the movie "Rocky III." He also appeared as himself at the request of Steven Speilberg in the move "Gremlins II." From there Hogan pinned down leading roles in "No Holds Barred," "Suburban Commando," "Mr. Nanny" and "Santa With Muscles." He also starred in the action-adventure movie version and syndicated series "Thunder in Paradise," as ex-Navy SEAL for hire, R.J. "Hurricane" Spencer. Always animated in the ring, Hogan provided his voice for the highly successful animated series "Hulk Hogan Rockin' Wrestlin'," which aired for three seasons. More recently, his music bass playing talents hit the right chords on the select Records release "Hulk Rules, Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band," a collection of rock, pop and ballads that rose to the top-ten among the Billboard children's chart.

Hulk Hogan is a "real" American hero. Despite his busy schedule, he always finds time to visit with ailing children through the Make-A-Wish and Starlight Foundations as the most requested celebrity of these youngsters. Hulk Hogan and his wife, Linda, take a special pride in their two children, daughter Brooke and son Nicholas. Born Terry Gene Bollea, Hulk Hogan was a part time body builder, part time bouncer, very part time musician and full time bank teller.

The story has it -and separating fact from reality is difficult in the world of pro-wrestling - that one night while working as a bouncer Hogan met up with wrestler Jack Brisco who immediately saw the potential of this golden haired 6ft 5 inch 300 pounder. Hogan trained with legendary Japanese wrestler Hiro Matsuda and made his debut in 1978 as Terry 'The Hulk' Boulder. For a short time he was joined in tag team matches by his 'brother' Eddie Boulder ( Ed Leslie), an old friend of Hogan's who later became better known as Brutus Beefcake a.k.a Butcher a.k.a the man with no name a.k.a Zodiac. In 1979 Hogan joined the WWF as a heel yet in spite of this fact, the crowds loved him, and in pro-wrestling there is nothing of less value than a heel who isn't hated, so he left the WWF to tour Japan. Hogan was a huge hit in Japan. He fulfilled his desire to be a rock star by recording an album, he starred in a comic book and made nineteen successful tours of the country.

In 1981 Hogan returned to the USA to wrestle for the struggling AWA once again he began as a heel but with the incredible response he drew from the crowd the promoters had no option but to turn him face. Hogan's popularity was such that it was only a matter of time before he would be snapped up by one of the two main promotions McMahon's WWF or the Crockett family's NWA. Like circus, pro-wrestling tends to be a family affair and the McMahons and Crocketts ruled the two biggest promotions in the USA. It was also a regional thing with each family having clearly defined borders which were respected by the other promotions.

In 1981 all that ended thanks to Hulk Hogan and cable TV. Pro-wrestling was made for Television, it is relatively cheap to produce, takes place in a confined space, mostly indoors and has its own self created cast of colorful characters of the type that television loves. And unlike most sport pro-wrestling leaves nothing to chance. In the early days of television in both the US and Australia pro-wrestling was part of the staple diet. Now in 1981 for all the same reasons pro-wrestling became major part of the rapidly growing cable industry and Vince McMahon Snr and son Vince Jnr saw it as a way of expanding the WWF across the US and then on to the rest of the globe. It was the time of the Iranian hostage crisis, the spectra of Vietnam was still fresh in their collective memory. America was down. For blue collar America this was compounded by the raising rate of unemployment and the take over or disappearance of many US companies in the face of foreign competitors. In pro-wrestling McMahon Snr. had installed as WWF champion 'The Iron Sheik" (Khosrow Vaziri) a former Iranian Olympic wrestler whose character complete with traditional Arab head dress and curled up pointy toed shoes raised heat right across the USA via cable and in the stadiums. The Iron Sheik not only beat his American opponents, he humiliated them and their country including desecrating the holy of holies the US flag. Enter Hulk Hogan, Recently returned from his huge success in Japan. Hogan's new found face character was perhaps best summed up in the words of what was to become his theme song. I am a real American, fight for the right of everyman I am a real American, Fight for what's right, fight for your life. On January 23 1984 in Madison Square Garden Hogan bearing the US flag and a crucifix dangling around his neck ran into the ring and to the accompaniment of a fanatical capacity crowd easily defeated the Iron Sheik to win the WWF world championship.

Blue collar America needed a hero so one was invented. He spoke of his pride in being American reinforcing the almost xenophobic national pride of his fans. He urged the "little hulk-a-maniacs" out there to work hard, be honest and say their prayers. It was just what a jaded blue collar American audience wanted to hear. America was still great and if they all worked together and fought for what they believed in then the USA was still the greatest nation on earth. Hogan transcended wrestling. He became a regular on the talk show circuit, preaching his "commandments", train hard eat your vitamins and say your prayers'. He appeared in cartoon form on Saturday morning television and in movies. Hogan was articulate, witty and effortlessly maintained character.

Hogan Facts

April 29, 1985: Appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated next to the swimsuit issue, the magazine is the year's best seller.

Is married and has three kids

Early in his wrestling career was a regular in Japan and AWA, usually wrestling as a "heel"

 

(Thanks to WCW.com and 1wrestling.com for some of the information in the above article)

Updates

"Mean" Gene Okerlund comments on Hulk Hogan not coming to Australia in 2002

Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon

Hulk Hogan interview after defeating HHH April 2002

Hulk Hogan is injured in return to WWF April 2002

Hulk Hogan vs Tony Atlas

Hulk Hogan vs Brock Lesnar WWE 8th September 2002

Hulk Hogan's PWI Awards

Hulk Hogan and Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Hulk Hogan returns to WWE June 2002

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