I have been a regular listener of podcasts for close to a decade, and within the past two years, more than a dozen worthwhile wrestling-related podcasts have popped up. If you were an important figure in the Monday Night Wars, and you aren’t subject to a gag order, odds are that you have a podcast or regularly appear on podcasts. Thus, when I discovered a few weeks back that Eric Bischoff has a podcast — as titled Bischoff On Wrestling — I was not surprised.
So far Bischoff On Wrestling has unveiled six episodes of the podcast. The first episode focused on current headlines within the wrestling industry. The next two episodes featured an interview with Nick “Magnus” Aldis in addition to some analysis of news. The following two episodes had the same sort of format, this time with Alundra Blayze (a.k.a. Madusa) being interviewed. This week’s episode also included Bischoff and co-host Nick Hausman giving their take on wrestling developments — mostly about this year’s Summerslam — but also Part 1 of an interview with Hulk Hogan.
Understandably, Hogan has been quiet as of late. His landmark victory over Gawker was not much of a victory due to it dragging his name through the mud and leading to WWE minimizing his legacy. Sure, he pops in a headline or social media coverage every now and then, but it has been a while since we have seen Hulk Hogan on wrestling television. Regardless of how you feel about what he said privately close to a decade ago, this is one of the most important people in the history of the wrestling business.
Eric Bischoff is known to be one of Hogan’s closest friends within the wrestling world, so obviously this was not meant to be a hard-hitting or confrontational interview. However, it was a worthwhile listen for any fan that enjoys the history of wrestling. Some of the highlights:
– Mr. Fuji – Hogan talked about how much he had respected Mr. Fuji, and how he often referred him behind the scenes as “Uncle Harry.” Fuji was known for his behind-the-scenes pranks — out of respect for the business, I don’t call them “ribs” — which Hogan discussed. But he mostly focuses on his important Fuji was.
– Curt Hennig – Hogan talked about how great of a worker Hennig was and how Hennig was his motivation to work with the short-lived XWF. He spoke about how Hennig carried him through matches, talking about how underrated he was as an in-ring performer.
– Kevin Owens – Hogan’s praise of Kevin Owens made the rounds social media earlier this week following Owens’ winning of WWE’s Universal Championship. Hogan talked about being an early fan of Owens in his WWE tenure, telling Triple H that he had what it took to be a top guy.
– Summerslam Finish – Hogan admittedly did not watch the whole “Summerslam,” or even the whole match with Brock Lesnar, but he and Bischoff discussed the finish. He added some insight and also talked about Randy Orton as an excellent in-ring technician. If Hogan is to be believed, he not only wrestling Orton and his father, but also Orton’s grandfather.
– Politics – Hogan addressed the often-statement comments that he is a “politician,” and said that while he could be one, that ideology is also essential for long-term success. Furthermore, almost all of the top talent you can think of can be called “politicians,” and that most people using that term are “haters.”
Altogether, Hulk Hogan came across as a humble person. This was not a person looking to make himself sound great, especially as he did not promote any specific events, products, or websites. This was simply a person answering questions and offering answers that reflected what was being asked of him. There was a “brother” or two, sure, but there was undeniable humility coming across. When his cell phone started ringing and Bischoff made fun of the embarrassing ringtone, there was laughter. Hogan’s errors were not edited out, specifically when he referred to “WWE Divas.”
While Hulk Hogan wrestling one more match is up for debate, there is no doubt that he would make for a great long-term ambassador for WWE. He is recognizable to almost everyone, wrestling fan or not. He has the sort of celebrity that could get him on a major network talk show, yet also have him be cool enough to throw out a first pitch at a baseball game. He is knowledgeable about what is going on in wrestling today and who the key players are. He has also worked with many of these key players, in addition to working with some of their relatives from prior generations. New merchandise with his name and likeness on it will sell.
Hopefully Part 2 of Bischoff On Wrestling will continue to bring more insight from Hulk Hogan that shows him as a changed person, someone who is eager to make others look great. Nobody’s perfect — after all, some of the crimes committed by WWE Hall Of Fame inductees are far worse than anything Hogan said — so maybe it’s time for Hulk Hogan to get another chance after a little more than a year away from the WWE.