The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a new Q&A online with Hulk Hogan. Below are the highlights:
Why he chose to come to TNA Wrestling:
I talked to Dixie Carter (president of TNA Wrestling) a couple of times. A lot of it was timing. I lot of it was I could live without the wrestling business but pursuing other projects, trying to reshift gears and move in a different direction business-wise, I realized no matter what I did, I was always thinking about wrestling.
It’s kinda like when you get addicted to chocolate or cigarettes or something, you gotta have your fix. It’s almost like wrestling is in your blood. … I got to the point where I got hooked on watching the TNA show.
I finally called Dixie back and told her I understand where I fit in. It was being addicted to being around the business. I thought I could shake it, but I’m still addicted to it. I just love being here. And the choice was made because I finally figured out that I could add to the mix, I could contribute and I could wrestle on a limited basis because I’m in the twilight of my so-called wresting career.
I knew I could bring my brand and bring awareness to the company and then behind the scenes, creatively, I could contribute and basically keep the art form alive with the timing, instinct and help the young guys.
Obstacles he encountered when he first came to TNA:
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.
How much creative control he has:
I do not control creative at all. I’m kind of like the last pass before we go out in front of the cameras. I will be here during the day listening to ideas and contributing, but at the end of the day, the decision lays in the hands of the writers and Spike TV because they have equal say in direction.
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.
If Rampage Jackson & Tito Ortiz have increased TV ratings & live event attendance:
I think they’re intriguing. Some people watch wrestling and want to see wrestlers. Some people watch MMA and only want to see MMA. These guys have a chance to cross over like Brock Lesnar did. They have a chance to bring a new demographic to Bellator and bring a new demo to Impact Wrestling.
I talked to Tito (over 10 years ago) about wanting to be in the wrestling business. He’s been a fan. He’s had the passion for such a long time. And “Rampage” has national sneakers ads and the movies he’s done and his exposure, I think it brings a lot to the table because these guys are passionate about the business.
I think it translates into a different demo into a larger audience. I think it makes the ratings shift. At the end of the day, it’s not an overnight process. I think the more “Rampage” and Tito train in the ring for professional wrestling, I think the more interested the fans will get. We are going to have them hooking horns here soon.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.