Hulk Hogan starring in a new reality show?
Say it ain’t so, Brother!
While The Hulkster and reality sounds like a really good oxymoron, there’s talk of Hogan having a role in an international reality show called “British Boot Camp.”
Not to worry, though, since this show isn’t expected to feature any dysfunctional families or aspiring pop stars.
The six-part series, scheduled to begin airing in December, will feature four aspiring British wrestlers competing for a contract with TNA. The winner of the competition will earn a place on the company’s roster.
To earn the contract, however, they have to impress Hogan and TNA boss Dixie Carter.
Is Hogan a good evaluator of talent? One would certainly think so, but keep in mind that he once tabbed Abyss to be the next John Cena and said Garrett Bischoff was the future of wrestling.
Hogan, of course, is no stranger to reality television. His “Hogan Knows Best” was a major hit on VH1 for several seasons.
The flip side of the show’s commercial success was that it also played a major role in the breakup of Hogan’s 23-year marriage.
Hogan rarely fails to entertain, and if nothing else, the show will offer him yet another opportunity to perpetuate the Hogan legend — and myth.
Make no mistake about it. Hulk Hogan is a certified superstar and possibly the most well-known name in sports entertainment history. He was a transformational figure in pro wrestling’s national expansion in the mid-’80s and inspired a new generation of fans. He also is to be admired for the work he has done for Make-A-Wish and other charitable organizations.
But the man behind “Hulkamania” has a well-known penchant for embellishingthe truth. While hyperbole is not a foreign concept to the wrestling game, Hogan has elevated it to an art form.
Prone to exaggeration, Hogan’s grandiose claims and tall tales could easily fill a book. Like those proverbial fish tales, the whoppers seem to get bigger with each re-telling.
According to “Hollywood Hulk Hogan,” his first autobiography, Elvis Presley would often come down to the local Memphis arena to watch the Hulkster wrestle. Unless the conspiracy theorists were correct, and Elvis is still alive, that connection would have been a tough one to pull off.
Hogan (then known as Terry “The Hulk” Boulder) didn’t start wrestling in Memphis until 1979 —two years after “Big E” passed away from a drug overdose.
Hogan also told the story about selling out Wembley Stadium at Summer Slam ‘92 — despite not actually being there.
And then there’s the tale, which gets literally bigger over time, that Andre The Giant was 800 pounds and 7-4 when Hogan, tearing every muscle in his back, body-slammed him at Wrestlemania 3, becoming the first human to ever do so.
That would be true if not for the fact that scores of much smaller wrestlers, ranging from Harley Race to Jimmy Snuka to Ronnie Garvin, performed the same feat over the years.
And wouldn’t the fact that Andre was a little shy of seven feet tall and around 500 pounds be impressive enough? But why let facts get in the way of some impressive fuzzy math?
Hogan, never one to leave good enough alone, would further add that Andre died shortly after the 1987 Wrestlemania epic, forgetting the fact that Andre died six years later in 1993.
And, by the way, Andre grew to eight feet tall in Hogan accounts following his death.
Had Hogan not achieved superstar status in the wrestling business, he has claimed on more than one occasion, he could have been bass player for the mega-rock group Metallica. Only problem was, he says, is that the band never answered his calls.
The larger-than-life hero also told “Good Morning America” that he wasted “hundreds of millions” of dollars due to his lavish lifestyle. Millions perhaps, but hundreds of millions, quite unlikely. Mick Jagger he’s not.
Speaking of whom, Hogan once told a London newspaper, he could have possibly been a bandmate of the rock and roll superstar.
Perhaps confusing his dreams with reality, Hogan related, “Jerry Hall (Jagger’s longtime girlfriend) asked Mick Jagger if I could play bass with The Rolling Stones. Mick never got back to me.”
Tough break for The Stones.
One of his more public untruths was when he told talk show host Arsenio Hall in 1991 that he had taken a synthetic hormone three times in his career, but just to get over a shoulder injury. Incredulous that anyone might question his integrity, he took out a picture of himself as a 12-year-old Little Leaguer. “I trained 20 years, two hours a day to look like I do, Arsenio,” he said. “I am not a steroids abuser and I do not use steroids.”
The truth about his steroid use was made public during the Vince McMahon steroid trial in 2004. Hogan was subpoenaed to testify against his employer and admitted, under the penalty of perjury, to using anabolic steroids.
He would later admit in his first autobiography to taking steroids for decades beginning in 1975.
The pro wrestling icon acknowledged in “Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring” that his trademark advice to fans was hypocritical.
Wrote Hogan: “It’s also weird to think about the fact that I was doing all of this — and the steroids — while telling all of my young fans week after week, ‘Train, say your prayers and take your vitamins.’ That line was like my own Bob Barker catchphrase. I threw that sentiment out into the world day after day.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that message. It’s a great message. It was just a little bit hypocritical that my activities behind the scenes didn’t match the role-model persona I was putting out there.”
Blame it on a warped memory, self-aggrandizement or shameless self-promotion, Hogan does more than just blur the lines between fantasy and reality.
Pro wrestling is, after all, a suspension of disbelief.
Here are some little-known facts (thanks to Twitter) that many fans may not know about The Immortal One:
— NIKE was going to offer Hulk Hogan a huge shoe deal but he missed their call, so they offered it to Michael Jordan instead.
— Hulk Hogan almost killed Osama Bin Laden with a leg drop, but decided to “pass the torch” to SEAL Team 6.
— Hulk Hogan was almost the first Intercontinental champ, but he missed his flight to Rio.
—Andre the Giant weighed one ton, brother!
— If an asteroid is ever hurtling towards Earth, NASA’s plan is to send Hulk Hogan into space to destroy it with The Big Boot.
— Hulk Hogan once turned water into wine.
— Hulk Hogan uses Rogaine to grow The Mustache.
— Hulk Hogan can remove his handlebar stache and use it as a boomerang.
— Hulk Hogan almost killed WCW ... No, wait, he did that.
— Hulk Hogan invented the wheel.
— Hulk Hogan was offered the lead role in Titanic but he turned it down because he didn’t want to job to the ship.
— Hulk Hogan was supposed to be the fifth Beatle.
— Hulk Hogan ended communism at a house show in Poughkeepsie.
— Hulk Hogan officially ended Operation Desert Storm when he pinned Sgt. Slaughter.
— Hulk Hogan taught Tim Tebow how to “Tebow.”
— Hulk Hogan’s arms are actual pythons.
— Hulk Hogan’s pythons were originally garden snakes.
— Hulk Hogan created the color yellow.
— Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake were originally set to be Milli Vanilli, but they refused to lip sync.
— Hulk Hogan was offered a Cabinet position by President Obama but declined so he could keep his focus on TNA.
— Hulk Hogan invented Twitter.
— A comet didn’t kill the dinosaurs; Hulk Hogan did.
— Hulk Hogan told Steve Jobs that he should get into the phone business.
— Hulk Hogan nearly won an Emmy for Thunder in Paradise, but the voters got their eyesight back in time.
— Hulk Hogan was supposed to be the original Walker Texas Ranger.
— Hulk Hogan was on the grassy knoll.
— Hulk Hogan was offered a contract with the Chicago Bulls, but Dennis Rodman warned him that MJ didn’t like being shown up.
Reach Mike Mooneyham at 843-937-5517 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @ByMike Mooneyham and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MikeMooneyham.