Mirade: Why I "Hate" Hulk Hogan
Sunday, June 8th, 2008
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A lot of fans have written in stating they believe I have some kind of long standing grudge against Hulk Hogan. It's hard to have an issue with a fictional character. However, I disagree with many of Terry Bollea's actions over the years.
-- Prior to WrestleMania II, WWF wrestlers were trying to form a union to give them basic rights (to be classified as employees, receive health insurance, pension, better wages, etc.). If the wrestlers weren't going to be treated like humans, there was a plan to boycott WrestleMania. Hulk Hogan, making a ridiculous amount more than anyone else in the company, ratted the wrestlers out and the union was never to be. This was during the "wild west" days of the WWF, where wrestlers were working sometims over 100 days straight, never seeing their homes. They had no rights, they had no protection. Many turned to drugs, alcohol and other vices to survive. Some are physically, financially and emotionally cripple. Many are dead and don't live in $25 million mansions.
-- At WrestleMania VI, Hulk played politics and the sympathy card in a losing effort to Ultimate Warrior to make sure the top babyface spot was warm for him when he returned from making another movie that sucked and no one went to. Warrior's road as champion was going to be a tough one, as WWF didn't do much in lining up quality opponents for him. 1990 saw a huge drop in business from the late 1980's with Warrior and Dusty Rodes as the top two WWF babyfaces that summer. Hogan's plan worked perfectly, as what was planned for a WrestleMania VII rematch in front of 100,000 fans at the LA Coliseum turned into the Hogan-Slaughter feud over the war with him getting the belt back.
-- In 1991, Hogan left the entire industry out to dry when he lied on the Arsenio Hall Show about his steroid usage. The company line had been "well, I used them when they were legal" (which was until the late 80's, I believe). Hogan went back on an agreement with Vince McMahon to protect his image as well as his kids vitamins deal. He said he used them a couple of times in the early 80's to recover from an injury. Everyone knew he was lying. The company's credibility was shot to shit thanks to Hulk. The scandals that followed over the next ten months or so led to business dying and Hulk running away from the company for a year after WrestleMania VIII. WWF had to continue on, and it was a nightmare of a time for the company and the fans who saw superstar after superstar vanish with no explanation. It took the company the better part of four years to recover from a live events standpoint.
-- In 1993, Hogan played politics to get the WWF World Championship back at WrestleMania IX. After getting the title, he wouldn't work house shows or even television tapings to defend the title. He did, however, work in Japan, where he verbally degraded the championship at a press conference there. In Japan, this would be comparable to a member of the Red Sox saying the World Series trophy they won last year meant nothing. Back in the States, Hogan lined up "Thunder In Paradise," an action series that didn't last long once it hit the air. Hogan refused to drop the title to Bret Hart because he was a small guy. He did lose it to Yokozuna at King of the Ring 1993, but only after a photographer wearing a bad wig and fake beard jumped up on the apron and a camera flash blew up in his face. Please. . .
-- In 1994, Hogan's WCW run began, which destroyed the quality of their events. He drew some high buyrates for the company at the time (which isn't saying much), but had little effect on the ratings. Even though he looked like the incredible shrinking man, he still made Ric Flair and Vader out to be jobbers in their matches. Bringing in 80's retreads that had little left in the gas tank only made matters worse (did any long time fans ever think they'd see Brutus Beefcake in the main event of Starrcade?).
-- By the late 90's, Hogan's political games destroyed the short term mega success that WCW became after Nitro hit the air and the nWo was formed. Every hungry, young athlete was buried and counted the minutes until they could jump to WWF. His matches generally sucked unless he was working with Flair. He buried Bret Hart upon arrival from WWF after the Montreal screw job to make sure Hart didn't get over and he remained the top star, even though they were paying Bret nearly $3 million per year. Fans ran away from the product by the millions. Not all of the blame of the destruction of WCW can be blamed on Hogan, but a good chunk of it can. Hulk walked away with mega-bucks, while many hard working individuals lost the job that fed their families.
-- After a somewhat successful return to WWF/E in 2002, he walked after being denied the chance to be the first guy to beat Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was an animal, Hogan was moving at Billy Graham like speed (funny what those vitamins will do to you). Right choice by WWE, even if Lesnar left the company two years later. Hogan also released an "autobiography" for his fans filled with lies. It was such a work that it was like a hard cover edition of WWE Magazine. Hulk wanted to write a book that his kids could read some day instead of, well, an autobiography.
-- In 2003, he made an agreement with TNA to work with the group and help elevate them. In the end, it was all a ploy to get WWE "worried" so they'd book him for WrestleMania 20. Most years he hasn't been booked for WrestleMania, he's talking in interviews about being "this/close" to signing a deal to start a new national promotion, etc. in hopes WWE will contact him to bring him in for the big event (to get a payday he'll complain about). His working with TNA as he agreed to really could have been a big boost to help the company grow. Instead, it was just another one of his political moves that didn't help anyone. . .
-- In 2005, he refused to make his feud with Shawn Michaels continue past SummerSlam. They had a storyline set to go from July-November, where each would win one match culminating to a finale at Survivor Series. Hogan, who has creative control in his contract, demanded that he win all three matches. Shawn, who was working full time, was not going to lose three straight matches to a guy that could barely walk. That's why Shawn Michaels verbally attacked him on Raw the night after the PPV.
-- At SummerSlam 2006, he buried Randy Orton prior to pinning him, as a dig at DX. Again, a long term storyline was put into motion for Hogan and Orton to continue into the fall, but Hogan, in his early 50's and barely able to move in the ring, refused to lose to Orton.
-- The Graziano matter speaks for itself.
That's just a sample. He's done some great things for sick kids. His character was inspired a generation. But, the real person behind the name leaves a lot to be desired. . .