The Return of the Native

Mark Madden

Hulk HoganThe scene: A boardroom at WWE HQ in Stamford, Conn. Hulk Hogan, dressed in his usual red-and-yellow shtick, sits. He’s been waiting for over an hour and anxiously glances at his watch every few minutes. Paul Levesque walks in.

Hogan: Triple H, brother, where ya been, dude?

Levesque: Mr. Levesque, Terry. It’s Mr. Levesque. Forgive my tardiness. The meetings with some of the top talent ran long. In the future, please…dress more formally. The WWE dress code applies here, just like on the road. This isn’t a gym.

Hogan: Wait a second, brother…

Levesque: Terry, please…enough with the “brother.” It’s Mr. Levesque.

Hogan (exasperated): All right, “Mr. Levesque.”  Where’s Vince?

Levesque: If you mean Mr. McMahon, Terry, dad only takes meetings with the top talent. He sends his regards. Have you ever heard of Tom Cassielo?

Hogan: No, bro…I mean, no, “Mr. Levesque.”

Levesque: Well, he’s never heard of you, either. But give the kid a break. He’s not even 40. But listen, he’s real creative. Maybe the best writer out of everybody on our junior staff. Tom wrote on “The Young and the Restless,” and he came up with some good stuff for Victor Newman, one of their main characters. Victor stuck around too long at the party, but he wouldn’t die, so Tom…

Hogan: Wait a second, bro…I mean, what? Wouldn’t die? What’s that supposed to mean? Junior staff? What does Vince…I mean, “Mr. McMahon” have in mind?

Levesque: Terry, this isn’t 1987. Dad is trying to figure out a main event for WrestleMania 30.

Hogan: Now you’re talking, bro…uh, “Mr. Levesque.”

Levesque: Uh…yeah. Now, looking ahead to WrestleMania 30…

Hogan: Here’s what I’m thinking, du…"Mr. Levesque." You dress up The Big Show like Andre, and we re-enact WrestleMania 3. The Hulkamaniacs will go nuts when I hulk up one more time and bodyslam that big, nasty, sweaty, smelly…

Levesque: What we have in mind is the pre-show.

Hogan: Uh…what? The pre-show?

Levesque: What we need is a friendly face, somebody people kind of remember. Have you seen that movie, “Bad Grandpa”? The one that guy from “Jackass” does?

Hogan: “Bad Grandpa?” What the hell are you talking about, bro…I mean, “sir”?

Levesque: Terry, please…no bad language. We’ve got a corporate environment. If Mrs. McMahon-Levesque was here, she might notify HR. Tom Cassielo’s idea is, we make you up to look like “Bad Grandpa,” which won’t be much of a stretch. But we don’t go the whole nine yards. The WWE Universe will still know it’s you. Just in case, we put your name on a graphic across the bottom of the screen.

Hogan: But what about the Hulkamaniacs, bro…uh, what about the Hulkamaniacs?

Levesque: Terry, stop living in the past. We want the younger demographic. We’ve got a new TV deal to negotiate. We’re trying to take people away from Monday Night Football, not re-runs of M*A*S*H. So what we want is, Hornswoggle runs in on a divas match, he starts slapping them on the ass, and you come to ring as “Bad Grandpa,” using a walker, and you chase him around the ring until you fall over. Then Santino Marella grabs Hornswoggle and spanks him. You throw up.

Hogan: Now wait a minute, brother, I’m not going to let you…

Levesque: Terry, I’m going to overlook you calling me “brother.” This time. Like I said, this isn’t 1987. Or 1997. Or even 2007.  You don’t have creative control. I’m not interested in your suggestions, and neither is dad. You have a very limited appeal. We’re doing you a favor. You should be thanking me. This is what we feel is best for business. (Snorts with laughter.) See what I did there?

Hogan: But I made this company. If it wasn’t for me…

Levesque: I know. I watched. I was 12. Our family is grateful. But you got paid for that. That was then. This is now. This is all we have for you. And about the money…

Hogan: You’ve got to talk to my agent about that, “Mr. Levesque.”

Levesque: No, I’m going to talk to you about it. We’re going to pay you what we feel like. I won’t insult your intelligence by saying revenue this and percentage that. You’re going to get what Justin Gabriel makes. (Speaks into intercom) Miss Jones, remind me to fire Justin Gabriel. (Turns back to Hogan) Welcome back to World Wrestling Entertainment…and to the bottom of the totem pole. But, Terry, I do have some exciting news. On our Christmas edition of Raw, you’re going to be reprising your role in “Santa with Muscles.” Meet your elves!

Daniel Bryan and Austin Aries walk into the boardroom dressed as elves. Aries is glaring at Bryan.

Bryan (to Aries): Hey, don’t look at me. I told you this might happen.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX

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