Hulk Hogan discusses TNA Champion Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, his own sex tape, how his kids are handling it, TNA creative, and more
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Hogan on the sex tape: I actually came to New York City on a trip that was already booked and planned to promote our new timeslot, 8pm on Spike for our show on Impact, and also pump our Super Bowl of wrestling, Bound for Glory. All of sudden, out of nowhere, this tape gets released and it was game changer. I had options, stay home, tail between my legs, not come up here, but that’s not me. It’s not my deal. If I did something, I’m accountable, and if I didn’t do it I’ll tell you the truth. That’s who I am, good or bad. So I’m here brother.
Hogan’s reaction to timing being conspicuous: Timing is conspicuous? How about destroying my kid’s lives? And ruining my new marriage? I’d rather promote a pay per view then protect my new family and my children? Bro come on; let’s get real about it if you want to talk.
Hogan on his kids handling the video situation: I don’t want to say good, but okay. They have been through a lot. They were in a household where there was a lot of crazy stuff going on, and when I went through the divorce and I tapped out, and I don’t do crazy anymore, they still love their mother; they still have to deal with a lot of crazy stuff sometimes. They are used to stuff being pretty intense. With the accident my son had and everything like that, there has been a lot of stuff that has made them grow up real fast.
Thank God Brooke is 24 and Nick is 22 because something like this, some people can just listen to one side of the story. Like when they were 10 and 12 they may have only listened to one side of the story, so thank God, they know who I am and what I am about. And my new wife doesn’t have anything to do with media or the entertainment business. All this ridiculous sex stuff happened before I even met her. Because if it happened last week or last year, I would tell her. That’s what I do, I step up. If I did something, I did it. If I didn’t, it’s not true. I’m not releasing a tape for timing reasons to promote a pay per view bro.
Hogan on release of the sex tape: About seven months ago some pictures leaked out, so right away I figured out there was a camera in there. No one cares about the 'woe is me' story that’s all so what. Everyone in here has a woe is me story, whether its parents, problems, girlfriend, money, woe is me, no one cares. That’s so what. What matters is, what now? But what now is, I’m accountable, I’m the guy there. But there is a woe is me story, which nobody cares about.
The woe is me story is, Bubba and Heather they were married, were my friends. Heather was always a great mother, always kind. Bubba was always my best friend. And they liked to party, which had nothing to do with me. But all of a sudden, about two years before the incident, Heather started saying, 'Hey, I want to have sex with you' 'I want to party.' I was just like 'yeah right, whatever.' Nice compliment for an old guy like me. But Bubba was cool too, 'Hey man it’s okay, it’s okay!' and he admits it wide open.
And so this went on for a couple years. And the woe is me story is, all time low, when I was living at the big 'Hogan Knows Best' house with my sons precision driving team, and my wife was really unhappy with the marriage and pretty much told me she didn’t want to be married to me and whatever goes along with that. So I was at an all time low, and I was with Bubba when we went back to his house and this offer was thrown at me, and I just said to hell with it. And that’s the 'woe is me' story, which doesn’t really matter because I made a bad choice. And the thing that is so disturbing to me is that I have been defending Bubba across the board. Because I asked him, 'Where did the camera come from?' 'I even asked you because I know you have security cameras in your house; you’re not filming this are you?'
He was like 'No, I would never do that to you, how dare you insult me.' When the pictures came out, I said 'What’s up! This was on your watch?' and he said 'Oh, it must have been Heather that did it.' It’s crazy dude. You got to stop this. Up until the day before yesterday, when I was coming up here and they released part of the video, I told Bubba, they showed part of the tape and if they show it all, this has totally destroyed my life again, flipped it upside down. I need to know.
I don’t want to insult you, but I need to know if you had anything to do with this. Because it’s not just you, me, and Heather, but your son Tyler is on the altar too, he is on the chopping block. I don’t want his dad to go to prison or his dad to lose everything. And I said, 'Did you have anything to do with this?' and he flat out denied it and said he wasn’t going to lawyer up.
So I just got some disturbing news, and I haven’t seen the tape yet, but I got people like TMZ saying Bubba was in front of the camera saying he can use this for a retirement if he ever needed to. That’s why I am rattled, but bro; I am not releasing a tape or doing anything. I did not know the cameras were there. I just told my attorneys do whatever you have to do criminally, civilly; I still won’t believe Bubba is not my friend until I see the tape. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve had people tell me they have seen it. Probably one of the worst days of my life yesterday. It’s been a tough ride, but I’m here to promote the pay per view. If you were going to bring that up and say anything about a tape you had to let me talk.
Hogan on Austin Aries as Champ for TNA: He crossed the line, he came in fighting for a contract in the X division and talent speaks for itself. I watched him, he had a little NWO vibe to him, a little Macho Man vibe to him, and very talented in the ring. Right away, I said everyone keeps one upping each other, and all of a sudden Austin is showing us this crazy new level that we need to function on all the time. He raised the bar. So right away, when there was an opportunity for Austin Aries to be the champ, I was like I really hope everything works out perfectly with him and the belt. And so far, he has really stepped up and changed the look of TNA all of a sudden. He got himself over; he really stepped up and got himself over first.
When you talk about Hulk Hogan, the normal traditional wrestling train of thought mind set from Vince Sr., to Vince Jr., to Eric Bischoff, to everybody I ever worked for is, don’t talk about the bald headed Hulk Hogan, don’t talk about how old Hulk Hogan is, talk about how devastating he is, and the greatest wrestler of all time. That’s always the mindset, and keeping with that old school philosophy, I tell Austin Aries don’t talk about your size and being the underdog, it has nothing to do with it. If you’re the greatest man in the world, you’re the greatest man in the world. At the end of the day, focus on your strong points and that’s what he has done and I really think that this kid is going to be around for a long time, actually he’s not a kid he’s a grown man, but I think he’s going to be around for a long time, barring no serious injuries.
When I walked in the WWWF, The World Wide Wrestling Federation, when it was 3 W’s and an F for Vince Sr., I wasn’t the only guy that worked with Andre the Giant, or Swede Hanson, or King Kong Mosca, there were a bunch of guys, Big John Studd, and we all were like okay here is an even playing field and everyone gets a football, let’s see how far you run with it. They gave me the ball bro and I ran with it to the goal line and back 20 times. Basically you got to get yourself over. You can push somebody and call them the greatest this or the greatest that.
You can push them, but all of a sudden you can push a guy for 18 months and really put your horse power behind him and all of a sudden somebody like a Jeff Hardy can stand in the ring that hasn’t been pushed at all and listen to the crowd, the crowd is telling you who they want. All of a sudden you go, oh my gosh, we have been pushing this guy and doing everything we can to get him over and all of a sudden Jeff Hardy walks out there and the crowd is screaming three times as louder than for the guy you put all your energy into. Sometimes you have to switch gears.
Hogan on Jeff Hardy in the main event at Bound for Glory: He’s new age, he’s ahead of the curve, and he’s ahead of the whole curve of the professional wrestling business. He’s got his own language that he speaks to his fans, he’s an innovator. He’s way out there and you have to watch and listen to him to understand. I keep telling everyone this whole business is about selling, it’s not about who does the greatest move, who’s the greatest, the best, the most phenomenal, it has nothing to do with that.
It’s the art of selling, making people believe and care about the character. When Jeff Hardy sells, he shines while he sells he doesn’t die. He’s got something, some magic, and if his offense isn’t that great, and you’ve seen the flip, the kick, or the double leg drop, whatever he does. He really comes alive when he starts selling. The more you beat on him, the longer he stays down, the more it starts rumbling. He’s something special; this is going to be a great main event.
Hogan on Bobby Roode: My opinion was you put the belt on him as a baby face and he is going to die seven deaths. So my idea was to stop the craziness, get everybody upset and mad at me, and said you know what guys, it’s not his time he’s not the guy. Let’s get him to be real consistent, solid as a rock, and then when you put the belt on him, it means something. So his progress to this day right now, no matter who wins the belt at Bound for Glory, you can switch the belt back to Bobby Roode off Aries, you can switch the belt off Hardy and back to Bobby Roode, and you can be safe, because Bobby Roode is that damn good .
Bobby Roode has come into his own as a heel, he’s got credibility now and he doesn’t miss a beat. If I’m in the ring with him bro, standing there doing a promo I can tell when something is going to be hard. I’ve been in the ring with guys, when I’m like oh my gosh I’m going to have to work my ass off to get this match over. When you’re in the ring with Bobby Roode it just works now. He’s got himself over, he’s established as a heel, and now he’s wedged in, now if you got in trouble if Austin Aries got hurt or if Jeff Hardy got hurt, you can put the belt on Bobby Roode tomorrow and he’d be gold, he’d be safe.
Hogan on Devon and Bully Ray: He has really stepped up, and speaking of Bully Ray, I have to say something about Devon. One of my biggest disappointments this year has been Devon and I really wish he was with the company. You talk about a guy that got in shape, you talk about a guy that carried himself well, you talk about a guy that’s a good person, you talk about a guy that went out with fire every night and tore the young guys up, you talk about a guy if you book him on a house show with no security and no ride and you tell him to go to six different media events and go to TV stations and he doesn’t bitch and complain and makes all the appearances driving himself on time and still gets to the building before anybody. To lose someone like Devon, it’s like what are you thinking! It’s been one of my biggest disappointments so far this year. I pray to God we get him back.
Now talking about Bully Ray, I hated seeing the team breakup because I loved 3-D. Okay so it happened, and he then got in crazy shape all of a sudden, and he told me, 'I want to be the single best main event heel in the business' and I heard that about a year and a half ago, and I’ll be damned he’s definitely the single best main event heel we have right now to date. And I can’t even imagine how much bigger he can get, but he’s on fire.
Hogan on James Storm: He is a fan favorite, I just think direction wise, it’s almost like 'the little engine that could', when a company is up and running, you got to get the steam, you got to get build up, before you put the belt on a huge baby face like a Hulk Hogan, or a Rock, or a Stone Cold. I just think that this company needed to be building, and with the roster of heels and baby faces I just really feel that our timing, and it’s not his fault, it’s not Storm's fault, I think our timing was off with this whole thing and me flipping the Roode thing and all the stuff I got my nose into, because they asked me. I think it kind of screwed his momentum up also, but he is such a good baby face and such a constant. I think this whole Roode thing is going to get him back on track and at the end of the day he is going to be better because he is not backing off and he is not discouraged. I think it was a timing thing and nothing to do with him as a baby face or his run.
Hogan on being live: Well, it’s not the end all be all, at the end of the day its being live and on the road and getting out of the studio atmosphere of course, but that’s budget and an executive decision by the Carter family. If you want to be a billion dollar company you have to invest, and I still stand by that. I said to everybody at dinner one night. Russo leaving was very impactful because he was there for so long and he worked really hard and I have noticed the difference storyline wise since Eric Bischoff over rides the story with Eric.
Nothing against what Vince Russo did, because he has his style, but what I have noticed with Eric is that storylines have a beginning middle an ending, unless I come in and screw them up. It’s just across the board for some reason, everybody is on the same page and same team, oppose to before when everybody was up in the air a little more. For me it has been more consistent except for when I stick my nose in there every once in a while.
Hogan on Aces and Eights reveal: I’m not behind it, I’ll tell you that much. Everyone keeps saying I’m behind it. Aces and Eights is huge man. We are trying not to copy the NWO, we’re trying to be consistent, and we’re trying to really raise the bar on this thing. We were in the trenches a couple weeks ago there was supposed to be a quick reveal and it was just going so good that we delayed the reveal. It should be big; we are really onto to something with this one.
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