Oh, Hulk. I'm so glad that you exist.
As a little mark, I said my prayers and took my vitamins, watched your cartoon and cheered as you rock and wrestlinged your way through Piper and Orndorff, Bundy and Giant. As a middle-aged smark, I get giddy when I see you've granted another interview, anxious to giggle and roll my eyes at whatever reinterpretation of history you're selling to us and yourself now.
Maybe it's that you're a throwback to the business' carnival roots. A showman who can't for a second stop promoting himself and everything he's involved in, while making sure that it's clear that whatever parts of the spectacle we aren't enjoying aren't your fault. Your brand of hucksterism, completely untethered from the publicly traded gags that just brought down your fellow legend Ric Flair, is a dying art. When everyone is hoping to one day work (or work again) for WWE, nobody can shoot the bull quite like the one and only Hulk Hogan.
So, fresh off a couple of weeks away from his current employer (where he may or may not have been cutting licensing deals for himself and inquiring about future opportunities that would result in a paycheck from Stamford, CT), Hogan is back - ostensibly in his role as TNA spokesman and promoter-in-chief. But we all know who he's really looking out for, right?
In a length interview with the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, the General Manager of Impact Wrestling sat down to talk about the upcoming No Surrender event tapings that will be happening in Missouri. He seems sincere in his love for the business and inability to keep himself away from it. But the real fun starts when he talks about TNA, his role and it's future.
On the problems when he and good buddy Eric Bischoff got there in 2009:
Communication was tough. The creative people were kind of a wild card. It was a situation where we all sat in a meetings and agree on creative directions. ... We would agree on stuff, then I would sit back and watch the show and it was completely different than what we talked about earlier in the production meetings. ... Those were the biggest hurdles I had in the beginning was why this perfect little unit wasn't functioning as planned. The biggest obstacle was keeping people from going into business for themselves.
The emphasis is mine, not that you needed it. That's just too freaking rich.
When asked "Which TNA young talent has the most star potential?", he answers Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles. Both men are 36 years old. Hardy in particular peaked several years back and in a way that he shined brighter than Impact will ever allow him to. I guess that's a kind of potential.
At least he didn't say Sting. Or himself.
On his role in TNA creative:
Creatively I'm not involved. I cannot even begin to tell you the direction of a story six months from now backwards. But I do, on a weekly basis, get very involved with development and make sure 'OK you guys, you have to mention that Chris Sabin is having personal problems and he is not here this week' and mention that Rampage Jackson wasn't supposed to touch Tito Ortiz this week. I make sure that we stay within the parameters of that we've drawn for ourselves.
Not involved. Except to micro-manage from gorilla position. Good thing they cleared up those communication issues from a few years back.
And when the question of TNA's wave of roster cuts come up, he follows Easy E's lead:
That's a Dixie Carter question. I'm not involved in any talent development or talent leaving or coming, but it's the nature of the business.
Snark aside, check out the whole thing on the Post-Dispatch site. He addresses his relationships with Carter, Bischoff and Vince McMahon, Darren Young's coming out and a lot more.
Love him, hate him or really hate him, there's only one Hulk Hogan.