The following can be found at MondayNightMayhem.com.
Hulk started off his return appearance on the MNM airwaves by commenting on the eighth-year anniversary of the program. "You guys sound like you’re at a damn funeral. You guys are making history, I mean c’mon…eight years? Surviving in this business, you guys are making history; you’re trendsetters, you’re paving the way. Now you’re gonna’ be part of history, because no matter how you cut it, no matter how you like it when you talk to me, you’re part of the vibe. You’re part of ‘Team Hogan,’ and you also get the heat that comes along with it…so saddle up along for the ride brother!"
We are one month removed from the beginning of the "Hogan/Bischoff" Era in TNA Wrestling, and the company has never seen better ratings and publicity. Hulk was asked about the last month and how it’s been being in TNA. "It’s been a wild ride. Whenever I got into this thing, I was going ‘Oh my god, how am I going to pull this thing off’ without climbing in the ring and wrestling?,’ because that’s always been my safety net…no matter what people say about my work, no matter what thinks following my career, at the end of the day, whether you love me or hate me, I could always reach into the bag of tricks and put on the old yellow boots and pick a number.
"I’ve been doing this thing not having any idea how it was going to shake down, and from the moment I got there, there’s been this energy brother…there’s been this vibe…that’s all I can tell you. It’s translated across the board from Dixie Carter being excited, to all the young guys in the dressing room being excited, to the network generating numbers, to people thinking that wrestling is gonna’ go back to the way it used to be. It’s generated this energy of ‘Oh my gosh, the only person that ever could give Vince a run for his money was Hogan and Eric. This is an exciting time, it’s game on brother. I’m just now starting to realize that wrestling is a war. I’m just getting smartened up to this thing. And to all those ‘smart marks’ that think they’re smart, they’re not smart, because I’m just starting to figure this crap out right now."
"The Hulkster" was asked about his and Eric Bischoff’s time in WCW and what has he taken out of that experience of going head-to-head against the WWE the first time to where he stands today. "It’s not a cookie-cutter thing…you just lock down like you did when you ran against Vince with Ted Turner. I thought that would work just to work it in and make a crack, but things are different than they two-three months ago because of the economy. When you figure in the networks and the head of Viacom, and they’re watching the minute by minute numbers for 18-34, it’s not like you could just plug in the old NWO and do it like we did when we punked Vince out.
"It’s ever-changing moving parts, so we did learn from our mistakes; like when you get successful sometimes, you can get too full of yourself. Believe me, we are so grateful to be working with Dixie, we are so grateful to be with TNA, such a young company that’s got ‘more moves than a bowl of Jello.’ It’s not a public company where you gotta’ sit down with people to talk about votes and what we aren’t going to do. We don’t have a bunch of people that don’t know the wrestling business running the company. We have learned from our mistakes, and we are learning, almost like on the job training, because some of the stuff that worked two weeks ago, didn’t work last week, so we’re digging in and have our ears and eyes to the ground."
Blade asked the "Million Dollar Question" everyone has been wanted to know the answer to over the past several weeks: How close is TNA to going to Monday Nights permanently? "All week we have been getting good news, and we are pushing hard in that direction. There’s stuff that’s already been scheduled, there’s budgeting issues, there’s shows for the new season, so it’s not like ‘Ok, let’s go live on Monday nights.’ Nothing is that easy. A lot of the fans, a lot of the ‘smart marks’ are saying we should go live Monday nights.
"They have no idea what it entails, I’m just now having people set me down after 30 years of wrestling and go ‘Guy, you know what it’s all about.’ Now you’re dealing with the network and the way the audience flips and changes…it’s almost like that metal that comes out of ‘The Terminator.’ Right when you think you have it figured out, it starts to mold, and manipulate, and shape. Pushing hard for Mondays, trying to get there, a lot of variables, but it looks much better than it did yesterday."
"Wild" Bill Brown asked Hogan about him getting the ring in TNA and if that is a strong possibility for his future with the company, or if is he content with his current job status as it stands right now. "I learned one thing in Australia, and that was I shouldn’t be in the ring anymore. The way my body is beat up, I was definitely on a wing and a prayer in Australia. I just needed to air my shorts out after the crazy divorce and legal stuff. If you could imagine jumping out of a plane without a parachute and know hopefully that you are going to land safely and being naked…that’s how it was in Australia.
"I needed to get out of the house, get back in the ring, and feel that love and that crazy vibe even if I was dragging a leg or limping around. I found out in Australia that me wrestling in a ring in not the place to be, so if I was to wrestle in TNA, the hardest part of my night is walking down that ramp and staying straight-faced, because my back, and my hips, and legs hurt so much. If you watch closely, I’m doing a bit of a shuffle out there, so if I was crazy enough to wrestle in that ring, they might be using a broom and a dustpan to sweep out the ring at the end of the match, so not anticipating going in the ring."
This past week, WWE’s John Cena was asked about the chance to go one-on-one with "The Hulkster" in the future, and he was quoted in an online chat saying that Hogan was "wasting his time," referring to Hulk current position in TNA. Hogan was asked about the comment and what he thought about it. "John’s doing what he’s gonna’ do take care of his family, true to his paycheck. We see John Cena all the time at the (Tampa Bay) Rays games with me and Brian Knobbs when we’re up in the box. He’s just doing what he has to do to cover his ass brother. You never know, one day John Cena may be working for me. Vince McMahon could be working for me…who knows?"
With change in a corporate structure, comes change inside the corporation…and professional wrestling is no different. With Hogan and Bischoff at the helm, things are to bound to change, so The Big Mosh asked Hogan about some of those changes within the company, along with the likelihood of bringing in more new talent to TNA. "Oh good god brother, telephone, telegraph, tell a wrestler! My phone has been ringing off the hook. I’ve got all kinds of people from the WWE calling me, wanting to hang out, wanting to talk, wanting to fell me out. This thing is really going down. I mean whether you like it or not, I’m not looking for the players like back in the day.
"When I was running, we had these crazy big contracts, these big money contracts, but times have changed. At the end of the day, I’m looking for these guys who want to help me build a company. I’m looking for these guys that invest their hearts and their souls like Samoa Joe said…’whatever it takes.’ Like AJ Styles said, ‘whatever it takes, with no limitations.’ Those are the type of guys I’m looking for to build this company and step in. Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, if (John) Cena wants to play that game down the road, he can get real. I’m looking for guys who can get real with me and not a bunch of posers."
TNA writer, Vince Russo, was on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network last week (promoting the release of his new book "Rope Opera: How WCW Killed Vince Russo), and said that Hogan was in on the now infamous WCW Bash At The Beach angle from years past, and that it was all simply miscommunication. Hogan was asked for his side of the story to put this piece of wrestling lure to bed and if anything needed to be added to the story.
"My mother told me if you can’t say something good, don’t say nothing at all. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture, and sometimes if things get real nasty, you don’t want to step in shiznit, you want to step over it. Because I’m getting along with TNA right now, I’m not saying I get along with Vince Russo. I’m not saying I get along with everybody, but the big picture is for me to make a left-handed, back handed comment about this situation right now, I haven’t read his book, and I didn’t hear the radio interview. But all I know is if you’re gonna’ tell the truth, you gotta’ tell all the truth, not just part of it, and that’s all I’m gonna say."
More is contained in this exclusive interview with "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan as part of Monday Night Mayhem’s eight-year anniversary special, including what he believes are the strengths and weaknesses that currently exist in TNA, why he does not want his daughter getting into TNA/the wrestling industry, what he’s trying to do with TNA’s current World Heavyweight Champion ("The Phenomenal" AJ Styles) in order to make him a star, and his candid thoughts on creating a union for wrestlers in the forthcoming months/years ahead. Mayhem Nation: You cannot afford to miss the return of "The Hulkster" on the award-winning "Your Home Of Wrestling Radio." While celebrating the anniversary of all things Mayhem, find out how to score yourself the ultimate Hulk Hogan prize pack: a copy of Hulk’s new book, "My Life Outside The Ring," plus the all-new TNA "Hulkamania" T-Shirt (courtesy: http://www.TicketRelief.com) simply by listening to his exclusive interview on MNM!