I had the opportunity to sit down with wrestling legend Hulk Hogan this past week, just after his return to WWE. He’s bringing Hulkamania back to Madison Square Garden this Saturday just after his appearance with Steiner Sports the Roosevelt Field Mall!
Listen to our interview below where we talked about his comeback, the training that he’s put into it, the Garden, his community service work, the future of wrestling, his take on football, Vince McMahon and even a story about his lucky red underwear! And, read through some the highlights from our conversation, as well:
BS: I just happened to notice that you're coming back. Why?
HH: Well brother instead of “why?” it’s “why not?” When you talk about my career and how it started and who started all this craziness…I started with Vince McMahon Sr. back in the day in 1978. Hulk Hogan was born in 1984. We built the empire that is the WWE. Why not? Why not go back home? Biggest buzz in the wrestling business in the last 50 years!
BS: (on Hulk’s comeback) Are you a little nervous? Just between us…and everybody listening. You haven’t been in the ring in a while, are you a little nervous?
HH: Well, I was. I was a nervous wreck before Monday before I walked out in Green Bay. It’s a three hour show and I figured I’d be out in the middle of the show somewhere and all day long I started second-guessing myself. “Oh, my gosh, things have changed, I haven’t been on this vehicle, this TV for so long. How are the fans going to react?” I was a little nervous, then about an hour before show time Vince McMahon kicked my dressing room door in and he gave me a bear-hug that almost broke all my ribs, and he goes, “Get out there and have fun!” Man that was all I needed. And he goes, “You’re the first up, you’re the first one as soon as we go on the air. No pyro, no nothing. We’re just hitting your music and you’re the first one out there.”
I said, “Thank you, that’s what I need.” I like that walking on the edge stuff. I like being the first one kicked out of the airplane at 50,000 feet. He gave me exactly what I wanted and when I walked out there and came around the corner and when the audience saw me it felt like I was standing behind a 747 jet with all four engines blasting in my face. The volume and the energy that came out of those people once I felt it stopped me in my tracks and it stopped me in my tracks and I thought, “Okay, this is going to be fun.” So I get out there and I did what I need to do and now that I got that first one behind me I’m not nervous anymore.
BS: Madison Square Garden—really my favorite arena; the most famous arena. What’s it mean to perform there?
HH: Some religions have sacred ground; Bethlehem, Jerusalem. Madison Square Garden is sacred ground for sports. It’s the epitome; it’s the pinnacle of sports, performing and entertainment.
To be there in the Garden; there consistently for many years—a lot of people said that this is the House that Hogan Built after 20 years of selling the place out! I look forward to going back there. It’s a magical building. The people that run Madison Square Garden, the top employees all the way down to the guys that bust their butts cleaning the building; they’re all fans; they’re all friends. I look forward to going back, I really do.
Hulk Hogan will be appearing with Jimmy Hart at a signing at the Steiner Sports Store in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY on Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 2-4pm.