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WRESTLING COLUMNS

JJS': Pro Wrestling Viewpoint: The Hulk Hogan Issue
Tuesday, August, 12, 2003 by Jimmy Seals


Welcome the first edition of JJS ' Pro Wrestling Viewpoint my first column was about the late "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning. I didn't title it "JJS' Pro Wrestling Viewpoint", because I wanted it to be only about Curt. Hopefully my work will get better as time goes on like a fine bottle of wine. I know I am not going to be a Dave Meltzer anytime soon, but I will continue to be on top on things and be as informative and bring you the reader. A great sense of the sometimes wacky, wild, weird, and outlandish sport of professional wrestling in my eyes and I will be sometimes critical of a story line, or a gimmick. And I will entertain you the reader that is the introduction now let's get to the real deal.

When Hulk Hogan came back in the WWE in February 2002 many wrestling fans were outraged because of Hulk Hogan's political drive in the business. Many felt that Hogan would be campaigning against wrestlers like Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Chris "Y2J" Jericho. Age was also a factor many felt that his time was up also his wrestling style was outdated. If you watch a match of Hogan's when he was younger he moved around like he dose now in the ring. Hulk even said in his book New York Times bestseller "Hollywood Hulk Hogan" that he was not the most athletic kid growing up and even when he started wrestling he said he wasn't very athletic. Hogan in my mind was begin judged too quickly by fans can Hogan fly around the ring like a Rey Mysterio Jr., or a Billy Kidman no, can he go for 20 to 30 minutes in a match like Chris Benoit, or Kurt Angle no. Hogan doses have one thing and that is a legacy that will continue to a platform for the very existence of the WWE. Hulk Hogan is a wrestling institution many people recognize Hulk Hogan as wrestling itself, mostly because they are non-fans or casual fans would say Hogan made wrestling.

The dirt sheet wrestling reports on the Internet are probably the harshest critics that Hogan has aside from Randy Savage. I do agree with them Hulk Hogan is too political backstage the main reason he quit is due that. Vince McMahon supposedly treated him like any other WWE Superstar. He cried due to the fact that he was paid $30,000 for his match with Vince at WrestleMania 19. Was Hulk justified for doing what he did? No because at that time Vince just signed Bill Goldberg to a big money deal The Rock was working at that time, and also there will a lot of new stars coming in as well. Hogan got paid the same amount of money as Austin, Rock, Triple H or a Booker T Hogan's main problem is in his past. When Vince McMahon took over the company when Vince's father passed away. Vince had a vision to have one wrestling federation to take over the traditional territories he demolished many wrestling organizations all over the US. Vince needed a superstar to be the WWF'S front man that man was Hulk Hogan. Hogan was the first to get a major push in the WWF now known as the WWE. Bob Backlund and the Iron Sheik was World Heavyweight Champions before Hogan, but that was in the time that pro wrestling was not seen as a major outlet for the Entertainment Industry heck I would bet that the Hollywood Industry. Looked down on the pro wrestling business as nothing more than a joke. Vince would change that however in the form of Hulk-A-Mania Hogan looked like a million bucks he had the look. Hogan also had charisma. Even thou Backlund and the Iron Sheik was great mat technical wrestlers they never had a great deal of popularity Hogan would be the opposite of it Hogan had the look. The wrestling skills that he had back then were okay, but judging from today's standers of wrestling, Hogan's wrestling style was not that good. Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik at Madison Square Garden, Hogan and the WWE would embark on an inventor that the wrestling world had never seen before. The mixing pro wrestling with the best of the sporting world and the best of Hollywood, Hogan was the centerfold of the WWE. Vince McMahon was the genius behind the Hulk Hogan phenomenon Hogan gained popularity outside of the wrestling ring. Television was his first major celebrity platform Hogan stared in Movies he hosted Saturday Night Live, he was a guest star on the A-Team. With his WrestleMania I tag team partner Mr. T. Hogan was everywhere I think this spotlight fueled Hogan's greed in that he thought he was the only person in the WWE that was important Hogan was getting a major ego already. Don't get me wrong I like Hogan, but I don't like his ego.

It's a classic case of creation of something backfires on the creator when Hulk Hogan left Vince McMahon in 1993. Hogan and Vince's business and friendship relationship was in turmoil. Hogan did not testify against McMahon as the video package stated Hogan did lie however about using steroids but it kept Vince from going to prison. Hulk was on the rocks with Vince in the 90s unlike during the 80s Vince and Hogan didn't see eye to eye. Hogan left the WWE in 1993 after the King of the Ring he would then join Vince McMahon's arch nemesis Ted Turner's WCW (World Championship Wrestling). Hogan was WCW'S main man too as he was in the WWE; Hogan's biggest success with WCW is that of the New World Order alongside former WWE alumni Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Hogan would also bring that "I am not jobbing to this guy because he is not in my league" type of attitude. Hogan would learn out the hard way in 2000 when he was handed an embarrassing promo by Vince Russo talking about he held a lot of people in the past. Vince was right Hogan he did hold a lot of people down he held Billy Kidman down.

Something changed thou in Hogan when he made is return in the WWE in 2002 he jobbed for younger guys like Kurt Angle, The Rock, Christian, and Lance Storm. Hogan seemed like he was changing but in 2003 he went back to his old ways he wanted more and more money. Of course Hogan dissevered money but he was going back to its all about Hulk Hogan and that's it. Hogan's main problem is his ego, but I also think wrestling fans should give him some credit he did something. That Frank Gotch, Lou Thezs, Burno Sammartino, and George Hackenschmidt never did and that was put pro wrestling on the major multi media map as Hulk and Vince did.

Hogan is probably the greatest wrestler to ever grace a federation due to his popularity, even thou he may not be great in the ring. Hogan is also a businessman when it comes to the backstage, he is an opportunist. In this cutthroat industry Hulk Hogan is making a major profit out of it. Yes Hogan doses have an ego, many fans and wrestlers do not like that. But when you are Hulk Hogan I guess you can have an ego. What makes me mad thou is when people trashes him, as a fellow Hulk-a-Maniac I say to the Internet. Hogan is a major symbol of pro wrestling in America and all over the world. Could Vince have made the WWE a major federation without Hogan? I don't know he probably could have, but Hulk Hogan was the man that Vince gave the torch too first.

This is JJS, and that is my Viewpoint


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