With WWE Network rolling out new episodes of their (so far excellent) original documentary series Monday Night War on Tuesday nights and the impending release of WCW Nitro to the archives, the public relations and marketing folks have found something else for Hulk Hogan to do.
The Hulkster is making the rounds to talk up his centerpiece role in the historic rivalry between Vince McMahon's WWF/E and Ted Turner's WCW from the 90s. Yesterday, he spoke to Nick Schwartz of USA Today's "For the Win" blog - and the results were characteristically interesting and egomaniacal.
Asked if there was ever a point during WCW's 84 week streak of winning the Monday night ratings battle that Hogan thought WWE might have to fold, he gives an answer that might sound like it was designed to please his current paymasters, but really makes sense from the wrestler's perspective:
I was praying to God that wouldn't happen. I prayed to God that we would become the No. 1 wrestling show, and that WWE would thrive and stay the monster that they were. WCW might become a little bit [of a] bigger monster. I never wanted anybody to go away. I wanted two different companies so talent could have a choice where they could work and make big, big money.
Despite his obviously right on point about how having competition would be better for workers, he doesn't really think it's a possibility:
It would be tough. It would have to be a monster player, a Rupert Murdoch or somebody like that. Other than that I couldn't see it happening.
While he says there was no specific moment when he realized that the tide was turning back to Raw, or that WCW would be the company to go under, Hogan says he saw the signs. And, of course, the demise of the company was something that the Hulkster had nothing to do with, brother:
No, I just know that internally [in the WCW] things just started to fall apart. People got overconfident. I wasn't [always] there.... When I was there every Monday, I had a really good feel for the direction and what [then WCW executive vice president] Eric [Bischoff] was doing, what the writers were doing. We got to the point where, I wasn't part-time but I was there like every other Monday, and when I'd come back from being away for a week it was almost like the lunatics were running the asylum. The whole thing changed. There was a bunch of chiefs, and there should have been just one chief. I kind of saw things starting to lose direction.
Things were fine when he was there, but when he stopped being there all the time, everything fell apart. Don't ever change, Hulk.
No worries on that front, though. Asked to book a dream match between any two wrestlers ever, the ever humble Hulkamanic-in-Chief puts himself into three possible scenarios. One is another round with Andre the Giant. The other two fit right into his angling for more matches under his current WWE deal, even at 61 years old:
...the match everybody missed that we owe everybody is Stone Cold and Hogan. The match I would like to have would be against Cena. It depends on how you look at this thing, there's a lot of interesting stuff that could happen.
Check out the full article for his thoughts on the formation of the NWO, Hollywood vs. Classic Hulk, and how he watches his old matches on the Network like he's Randy the Ram.