We have to wait a while until the next episode of Undertaker: The Last Ride is released on WWE Network (June 14). But we’re here with a dose of Mark Calaway for ya.
Taker was on ESPN’s Cheap Heat with Peter Rosenberg last week. During their conversation, Hulk Hogan came up a couple times. The Dead Man doesn’t disparage the Hall of Famer, but it’s pretty easy to tell he’s not a Hulkamaniac.
This mostly comes up when Rosenberg asks about Taker’s brief WWF title reign in 1991 (a clip of this part of the interview is embedded above). He beat Hogan for the belt at Survivor Series, but dropped it back to him a couple days later at This Tuesday in Texas. Why?
“It started out bad and just progressively got worse. Hogan claims that I hurt him on the Tombstone during the pay-per-view. So I’m thinking to myself, like I didn’t find out until Tuesday. I knew there was going to be another pay-per-view, but I didn’t know that I was gonna drop the belt back and what was going on. I mean that came up out of nowhere. But I kind of figured like, ‘Oh, okay, maybe it’s cause he’s telling everyone that I hurt him.’ Hulk was still the golden goose at the time. So I’m thinking ‘okay, they’re going to take this [the title] off of me cause they can’t trust me,’ or whatnot. It really wasn’t explained to me what the reasoning was behind it...
“I was devastated [as a young guy hearing he’d hurt Hulk].
“It was a set-up from the get-go. Back then, we would show up around noon, Hogan would roll up around 4 or 5. I remember getting there at noon and Hogan was already there. He goes, ‘Hey kid, can I talk to you?’ We go to the shower — that’s where business was settled — and he goes, ‘I’ve got this neck injury. I’m nervous about taking your finish.’ I said, ‘Hulk, believe me, I will protect you. I pride myself on not hurting people. I promise you, I will have you so tight that there’s no way you will hurt your neck.’ We went about our business. Every point I would pass him during the hall he would be like, ‘Remember my neck.’ That’s all I got, all day. We go to the finish, [Ric] Flair slides the chair in, I pick him up — when I tell you I had the brother secured, he was secure — I give him the Tombstone. As soon as my knees hit, I hear, ‘Oh, you got me, brother.’ I’m like, ‘How?’ I’m 24 and I just crushed Hulk Hogan. That’s what’s going through my head. They gave me this opportunity and I just hurt the golden goose. I’m mortified.
“I go backstage and am like, ‘Where is Hulk at?’ ‘Oh, he’s laying on Vince [McMahon]’s office floor.’ I go in to check on him and here come the paramedics. So, I go behind a wall with Shane [McMahon]. I listen to them check him out and I hear, ‘Somebody get my wife and kids on the phone.’ I don’t know what the hell is going on other than the fact that I hurt the golden goose. Shane tells me, ‘Mark, his head wasn’t close to touching the mat.’ I’m like, ‘No, I hurt him.’ We didn’t have access back then to watch things back like we do now, so I didn’t see it until Tuesday in Texas. A lot of boys came up to me and were like, ‘his head never got close to the mat.’ If you watch it back, you can tell his head never touched.
“I got to San Antonio and was like, ‘Terry, I watched it back, your head never hit.’
“‘Oh brother, what it was, you had me so tight that when I came down, I had nowhere to move and that’s what jammed my neck, I couldn’t move at all.’
“At that point, I was like, ‘Okay.’ Then I knew what he was all about.”
It’s a story that jibes with Hogan’s reputation as a politicker, with the particularly delicious added element of Hulk playing it up to Vince by asking to speak to his wife and kids. I imagine it as an entire Fred Sanford, “This is the big one!” routine.
The other quote I’m taking as evidence Taker doesn’t like Hogan might not really be an indictment of the Hulkster. It could just mean The Phenom has decent tastes in movies.
But I’ve seen Suburban Commando - which starred Hogan and features Calaway in small part - and it’s not that bad. Can we really call anything with Doc Brown and Wendy Torrance the worst movie ever? Taker can. And does:
“They called me and said, ‘Hogan is doing this movie in LA, we want you to read for it.’ I read for the movie, got the part. Worst movie ever. It was awful. Truly, truly awful. But, that kept me busy for a while.”
Throw in the fact that Calaway is most known for his loyalty to Vince while Hulk jumped to WCW and went Hollywood, and I stand by my take on Taker’s opinion of Hogan.
Mostly because it probably means he really enjoyed this...