Hulk Hogan was recently on the Busted Open with Dave Lagreca, Doug Mortman and Mike Riker where he spoke very candidly about the current issues plaguing TNA’s talent contracts, the benefits of taking Impact on the road, fans taking Brooke Hogan seriously, his own recovery from knee surgery and much more.
On Hulk’s knee and overall health: “Thursday was a month, so a month and two and a half days for the old knee replacement, so I think I’m doing good. I saw some other wrestlers that had some knee replacements done and around the same time, I feel like Tarzan here all of a sudden, they said they weren’t even going to be able to walk around for eight or nine weeks, so I’m a little bit ahead of schedule. The weird thing is, now I got two new knees, two new hips; after eight back surgeries my backs fixed, I think I should be getting a title shot pretty soon. The oldest Heavyweight Champion of the world.”
Hulk’s fatherly perspective on Brooke getting more involved in TNA: “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It’s actually my worst nightmare coming true, but I’m not the one who’s in charge of her happiness and for some reason she seems to light up when she’s around this business. She’s really good on camera, like when we were doing ‘Hogan Knows Best’ I used to say she’s the only one in the family that’s a real actor. So for her to be around the business and she’s got this built in following and she’s got a good instinct for the wrestling business. I’m to the point where she’s not 18 anymore and she’s in her early 20’s so she’s got to choose her direction. Life is all about choices.
“The one thing I worry about, I’ll watch Kurt Angle walk around in back, I’ll watch Jeff Hardy walk around in the back, and they’re kind of borderline of maybe going too far and I don’t want them to end up like me, that’s what I’m worried about with Brooke. I don’t want her to get into this business and blow her knees out or hurt her back. We have a masseuse that comes to the house like once a week, maybe once every two weeks, and he goes ‘O my gosh, your daughters got the same injuries you do.’ I’m going, ‘what do you mean?’ He goes, ‘well her backs got that same tweak in it and the knees got the same tweak.’ A lot of it’s genetic, but my biggest fear is her getting in this business, and you don’t have to wrestle 30 years like I did, you could wrestle 2 years or a year and a half or 5 years and get hurt, so that’s my biggest fear.”
On fans buying into Brooke: “It’s just so weird, because, you’ve got all these naysayers. I run social media now because Brooke and my son, Nick, have taught me how to do it, and you get on the social media and you get all these naysayers that say, ‘How come Hogan is still hanging out in wrestling?’ or ‘I want to be a writer for TNA, their creative sucks, give me a job’ and ‘why is he pushing his daughter in this business?’ and all of a sudden, nobody realizes it, all of a sudden there’ll be the Pope or Jesse Sorensen or there’ll be Hulk Hogan, you don’t know what everybody’s contract is, you don’t know if Sting can wrestle 200 days a year or twenty days a year. You don’t know what his contract says and there’s so many givens that these people don’t know, so I kind of have to back away from them because I realize I’m the biggest mark there is.
“I love this business, I watch all the shows, I watch our show and everybody else’s show just like a fan and I realize that these are all a bunch of marks, just like me, that don’t know the whole story. Then when I see ‘what are you still doing in wrestling?’ or ‘why is your daughter in it?’ Then I think about Lou Thesz who wrestled into his ’70s, I think about Vince McMahon who is a lot older than me, I think about Vince’s daughter Stephanie who’s part of the business, so you just have to take it with a grain of salt. It’s hard to separate the two. There are a lot of family members who are part of the business, second generation wrestlers, and they don’t have to be all men, they can be women, just like Von Erich’s daughter Lacy was in it. Vince’s daughter Stephanie wrestled. It’s just so weird how the social media fans will try to pick individual things apart.”
On fans not knowing what is really going on backstage and Bobby Roode’s contract: “When you’re working for a company, sometimes you don’t focus on what your contract says. I was here last year, I was working at a PPV and my contract had run out. I didn’t know it. Dixie didn’t know it. We weren’t worried about it. We’re here because we love this business and all of a sudden I call my attorney and say, ‘Henry, is my contract up?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, it ran out ten days ago.’ I didn’t even know it. Dixie didn’t know. We weren’t worried about that; we were worried about putting on a good show.
“It’s just so weird that ‘Oh my god, Bobby Roode’s contract is over.’ I looked at Twitter today, ‘Hogan you’re an idiot, afterthought, dumb@$$.’ All these things that are being said to me, I’ve got nothing to do with that. Here’s the deal; Bobby Roode, great talent. I’m sure he wants to be here or he wants to be anywhere and he can make his own deal, but we sure don’t want him going anywhere. We love him to death. I was hoping that he’d have the belt on the UK tour just so we’d have a TNA champion over there. It’s all weird how everybody tries to tear our business apart. We’re all here for the same reason, we love this business and if he doesn’t have a contract I bet Booby Roode would wrestle tonight without a contract until we get it straightened out. That’s how much he loves it.”
On TNA’s new road schedule and leaving the Impact Zone: “The truth is, all that stuff [about the Impact Zone] was incorrect if I said anything negatively because there were a lot of crowds that came in that weren’t wrestling crowds, they were just part of the park. But the weird thing is, all that stuff that was so bad or was a horrible thing, I mean, now that I actually look at it, it was actually a setup to move on to something better or a stepping stone to this company becoming great. That all happened for a reason. We weren’t ready to go out on the road a couple of years ago. So thank god for Universal. Now I look at it completely different than maybe what I said before.”
On changing the format to four pay-per-views: “I think we need to switch gears and yes I do like it. It’s just helter skelter. All of a sudden it’s like every company has a PPV every month and nothing meant nothing and I think we’re just trying to get back to the dance. Not like wrestling used to be, but like how wrestling should be and just make things mean something again. I think for us as a company, for us to keep gaining momentum and not really care about what anybody else does, but like I said, make this from a good little company to a great company. I think we’re regrouping in the right places. The TV is our star, the Spike network. A lot of our payoffs, to me, we were throwing the dart at the wrong target. We were worried about a PPV where we should be worried about the TV that’s supporting us and build up some major angles and then bang, have them on TV instead of the PPV. Now we can get these major angles on TV and have the bigger, bigger ones for these four PPVs, so I think we’re on track with it.”