Blog: Hulk Hogan Uncensored
Any reader of LocalBozo.com can tell you about our love affair with pro wrestling, a fiction-led sport that’s grown with us since our youth. The unquestioned king of the ring and one of the most widely recognized personalities in all of sports or entertainment is the iconic Hulk Hogan. And on Friday evening, with Wrestlemania 29 emanating right on our backyard in New Jersey, The Hulkster joined wrestling personality and television producer Eric Bischoff at the Beacon Theatre for an evening entitled “Hulk Hogan Uncensored.” The rare, two-hour event would be an introspective retrospective conversation that spans the wrestler-actor’s storied career in and out of the ring, giving fans the chance to see the man himself in a somewhat different light.
With a TNA Wrestling (Hogan’s current employer) show in nearby Westbury slated for earlier in the evening, “Uncensored” wouldn’t officially kickoff until 10pm. Meanwhile fans made the most of the late start time by loading up on booze, setting the stage for a rather rowdy collection of squared circle faithful. Inside the Beacon Theatre, the event was sparsely attended, but despite some empty seats in each tiered level, the audience was highly energetic anticipating the star’s arrival. Out first was former World Championship Wrestling ring announcer David Penzer who served as the evening’s makeshift emcee. He would then introduce Bischoff, who would express genuine excitement for the evening and for it to happen in New York City. Following a short video package on a massive screen overhead showing some of Hogan’s moments in Memphis and in the short-lived XWF, Hulk Hogan was introduced to the crowd to a standing ovation.
Although the evening indicated the conversation would be candid, there wasn’t much mentioned that was truly “Uncensored.” In fact, often times Hogan would stop himself mid-thought before speaking frankly, to the chagrin of many of the now drunk wrestling fans shouting toward the stage. The conversation was an interesting one however, with Bischoff an immensely talented orator keeping the dialogue flowing fluidly. Hogan at times tended to get a bit flustered by the sometimes merciless hecklers in the seats, trying to get a rise out of the fans around them. But his appreciation for his fans on this night was obvious as he and Bischoff historically documented much of his career and current standing.
For true fans, some of the nuggets discussed included Hogan discovering Sensational Sherri as a dancer inside of a Tennessee gentleman’s club, potential plans for turning into a bad guy long before his eventual ‘heel turn’ in 1996, and his current relationship with WWE head honcho Vince McMahon. The final thirty or so minutes were then turned over to a Q&A session for attendees, who were surprisingly respectful, asking a plethora of different questions that Bischoff failed to touch upon. Aside from an intrigued fan who asked about the Hogan children, the celebrity’s personal life was largely ignored during the event, which focused mainly on his rise to prominence during his WWE run and rumored stories about his backstage influence and events that may or may not have occurred. To his credit, Hogan’s recollections were relatively clear once reminded about dates and places which seemingly have run together over the years. Shortly before midnight, many of the fans still assembled in two lengthy lines were disappointed by the evening’s conclusion. But those of us lucky enough to have procured VIP tickets were given a chance for a meet and greet photo opportunity as the night ended. And even though some fans may have been dissatisfied by Hogan’s lack of salacious content and juicy nuggets of behind the scenes gossip, they surely gushed like little kids when shaking the legendary figure’s massive hand.
- Jane Van Arsdale