Hulk Hogan: Karmamania?!?
Saturday, May 3rd, 2008
The poor Hulkster has been taking a beating over the past nine months or so. . .just deserved? Karmamania running wild, brother?
I'm not a big fan of Hulk Hogan, but I will say that he has done a lot of tremendous work for ill children over the years that he should be given props for. But when it comes to business, he has been for the most part an extremely selfish individual that buried a lot of careers and was a huge part of what killed WCW. He also had his personal lapdog Jimmy Hart no-show our WrestleFest fan reunion in October 2004 so Jimmy could hold Hogan and Brooke's bags while she "sang" at a seafood festival in NC. I've never, ever been one to hold back on those that purposely no-show an event they committed to, disappointing the fans and making a hard working organization out to be a bad guy. Jimmy Hart is another story for another day. . .
To the naked eye, Hulk was in great shape up until about a year ago. His family "reality" show (more of a work and scripted than pro wrestling ever could be) was drawing big numbers on VH-1. He could make big money for one time appearances in WWE. Hell, he was even planning a Hulk Hogan world tour to celebrate himself along with some of Beefcakes, Valentines and Nasty Boys of the world. Ever since then, though, it's been an up and down ride for the almighty Hulkster. . .
After helping WCW flush itself down the toilet, Hulk has used his mark radio friend Bubba The Love Sponge to spread the word that he was going to start up his own national wrestling promotion, just days away from signing a huge television contract. The funny thing is, these discussions usually took place just before WrestleMania in an effort to get a payday. In 2001, he came close to working HHH in Houston, but the deal couldn't be put together in time to promote the dream match to it's fullest extent, and HHH worked Undertaker. Hulk wasn't having that again, so in late 2001, he was going to be the face of the extremely short lived XWF promotion. Hulk worked Mr. Perfect at the one TV taping they had, and WWF had signed the two of them to contracts by January. The rest is WWF/WWE history, as he and the Rock worked the real main event at WrestleMania 18 (you would have been amazed at the amount of people leaving the Skydome in Toronto during HHH vs Chris Jericho). Hulk got another quick run with the belt and even put a couple of guys over - shock, shock. But, even though Hulk moved like a man in his mid-60's, he wanted to be the man to end Brock Lesnar's winning streak at Survivor Series 2002. That would have been great for business (extreme sarcasm). Amusing enough, it was actually Big Show that ended the streak at the same event Hulk was watching on PPV down at the mansion while Jimmy Hart cleaned the bathrooms. . .
Hulk came back for a quick run in 2003. . .put over the Rock, battled a bloody Vince, at WrestleMania then donned the hood as Mr. America for a battle with Roddy Piper in a PPV that nobody bought, and nobody cared about. Then, Hulk walked, whining over his $250,000 WrestleMania payoff (which only did about 60% of the buys the years before did) and claimed that Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle didn't know how to work the crowd during a six man against Big Show and the World's Greatest Tag Team (an interesting trivia fact was that this was the same event where Roddy Piper said farewell for a couple of years). . .
With WrestleMania 20 coming up, Hulk was itching for a big payday. This time, he wasn't claiming he was starting his own promotion, it was that he was going to help put TNA on the map by working Jeff Jarrett. Hulk even taped an angle for TNA (at a huge event in Japan). His lapdog Jimmy Hart had a military base lined up to run the PPV at since they knew he wouldn't sell any tickets. And then, after TNA thought they had their saving grace, Hulk had a series of personal commitments and knee injuries pop up. Jimmy was still at Universal looking like a 60 year old fool with a megaphone trying to recruit people to go to TNA's tapings there. . .this year, Hulk was outta luck. . .Mania's 20th anniversary did quite fine without him. . .
Hulk got his wish in 2005, as he was brought in for the HOF and WrestleMania. That led to a big tag team showdown on Backlash the following PPV where he dream-teamed with Shawn Michaels against Mohammed Hassan and Daviri in an event nobody bought or had much interest in. He was in such bad shape, he couldn't even do the leg drop. In fact, the Backlash in 2004 that featured the Mick Foley-Randy Orton hardcore match did much bigger business than old (literally) Hulk. Hulk was back for SummerSlam in a dream match against Shawn Michaels that did huge business (but at the same time, Bret Hart's return was heavily teased). However, he whined that his payoff was good. . .for his limo driver. Hulk was back to reality television land. . .
The best Hogan could get at WrestleMania 22 was inducting Mene Gene at the HOF, when Steve Austin & Bret Hart gave him the ultimate "go fuck yourself" at the reception before the ceremony. In between his master manipulating in wrestling, Hulk was flushing a couple million dollars down the toilet on his daughters "singing" career, releasing an album that sold less than Randy Savage's rap CD. He was back for SummerSlam once again, on a loaded show right here in Boston. His NBC Saturday Night's Main Event return bombed something royally. He pissed on Randy Orton by getting up and cupping his ear after giving him the leg drop and before pinning him, really making him look like a jobber. . .that really had me hot the night of the event. . .some old piece of shit who was 20 years past his prime showing up a guy that was a baby when Hogan was somewhat decent and a future player in the business for years to come if he keeps a good head on his shoulders. . .
2007 until now was a rough period for the Hulkster. Luckily, he had Jimmy Hart to serve him dinner on the new Hulk Hogan grill he was shilling on QVC that sold "millions," according to Hulk on Bubba the Love Sponge. Remember, the folks that marketed the George Foreman Grill actually called Hogan to see if he wanted to do it years ago, but Hulk wasn't home, so George was plan B and he answered the phone. . .the rest is indoor grilling history. Yeah, right, Hulk. Hogan and Easy E were setting the table for the Hulk Hogan World Tour, where fans from all over the world that never got to see Hogan in person could feel the power of Hulkamania. Europe. . .Australia. . .Japan. . .Russia. . .endless possibilities. Worldwide footage for Hogan Knows Best, with Linda sitting at home in front of the fireplace, pining for Hulk to be by her side. Brooke going out on scripted dates with Harry Smith. Nick running around with Brian Knobbs. And where did this world tour begin?? Memphis, TN. It was supposed to be a rematch of legends, Hulk Hogan vs Jerry Lawler, playing off of their big feud from the early 1980's. However, WWE wasn't having any of this, and pulled Jerry and (of all people) Robert Gibson from the event. It turned into Hulk vs the Big Show, the match that was supposed to take place at WrestleMania. . .oh, and it took place. Hulk and his running buddies jam packed 2,300 fans into the Pyramid with tens of thousands of people dressed up as empty chairs instead of yellow and red t-shirts. . .that was the end of the world tour. . .short, sweet and to the point. . .
And WrestleMania 23, how could we forget?? Hulk was indeed planning on working the Big Show at WrestleMania to play up his legendary match with Andre The Giant in the same city 20 years earlier. However, Big Show needed time off to recover from his injuries, so that idea was out. Shane McMahon was talked about. . .even the Great Khali. Donald Trump was talked about as being in Hogan's corner at one point. However, with Hogan's contract stating he was to be paid as much as the highest paid guy on the event, he wasn't getting the Donald's payday, that's for sure. Hulk buried himself by putting his cell phone on speaker during a Bubba interview when Vince McMahon's personal secretary called him to get his input on potential Hall of Fame inductees on the air prior to it being announced on WWE television. . .
Hogan Knows Best continued to do strong numbers, including an episode where Hulk was named father of the year. What a father indeed. It takes a real dad to allow his daughter to dress up as a whore to try to become a B-List Brittany Spears and allow his 15 year old son to drop out of high school due to the "reality" shows success. Nick wanted to live life in the fast lane, maybe hearing about the stories of his dad, uncle Brutus, Brian Blair and Billy Jack Haynes doing lines at close to 100MPH after MSG events. Nick loves his cars and he loves to race. Last summer, after having a couple of brews with Hulk, Nick and his good friend home after serving the country in Iraq got into a car crash due to Nick's speeding, leaving his friend a vegetable, with little hope of him ever not needing around the clock care. Other police reports of Nick's disregarding the speed limit time and time again began to surface, and a big chunk of the Hogan empire is going to be going to the troops family when it's all said and done in court. . .
It got worse. . .Hogan Knows Best became a thing of the past as we prepare for Brooke Knows Best coming soon, where the giant pop star goes to college. It wasn't all bad for Hulk. . .he became the host of American Gladiators on NBC. He became the spokesperson for a fishing show (Roland Martin, eat your heart out). There was the big return to Monday Night Raw's 15th anniversary program in a "classic" encounter with the Great Khali and Hornswoggle. He's even going to be part of a program on Country Music Television where D-level celebrities train to become professional wrestlers. And then Florida was hit by Hurricane Linda. . .
Linda Bollea. . .a lot of stories have been told of Linda and her marriage to Hulk over the years by many of the sports biggest stars (saaaaaa-wing!). She loves animals almost as much as she loves spending Hulk's money. What REALLY happened when Miss Elizabeth moved in with the Hogan's just before she divorced Randy Savage?? Oh my! Through the good times, and the great times when Hulk was raping WCW, she stood by her man. And then, in recent interviews, she stated that Hulk really couldn't "stand" much at all, as he needs viagra for Hulkamania to run wild these days. A nasty divorce is in the works. Could it be another Hulk manipulated work to split the family assets before they officially get sued by the family of the friend that Nick almost killed?? Will Hulk EVER get the match with Steve Austin he's been pining for going on eight years?? Could this be the end of Hogan?? Will we ever find out why Hulk was banging his teenage daughters best friend (that looks like Greg Valentine in drag)?? Will he be whoring himself about at the Chiller Theater with Virgil and company trying to unload 8X10's?? As many (and I mean many) that have been sabotaged by Hulk's manipulations over the years are saying right now, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. . .
Whatcha gonna do when Karmamania runs wild on you??