Source: Brian Fritz of FanHouse
It was just six weeks ago when Hulk Hogan signed on with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. However, his primary role with the company is not in front of the cameras. Sure, the Hulkster is still an on-air character, but he’s not putting on the wrestling boots and taking care of business with his signature big boot and leg drop. Instead, his main role is with management behind the scenes, working alongside TNA President Dixie Carter.
With Hogan on board, the company has gotten the go-ahead to take a big step forward. This past Monday, Hogan and TNA announced that its weekly Impact! television show on Spike TV is moving from Thursdays to Monday nights beginning on March 8 and will be live every other week. The show will air from 9-11PM ET, directly opposite of WWE Raw on the USA Network which has dominated cable ratings for years.
Following the press conference on Monday, FanHouse spoke with Hogan about his new role with TNA, the expectations of Impact! moving to Monday night, working directly with the company’s creative team and more.
Brian Fritz: You’ve been with TNA now for six weeks and the expectations jumped up a level or two once you came over here. Are you surprised that things have come together this quickly when it comes to getting on Monday nights?
Hulk Hogan: Yeah because I really don’t know what I’m doing. (laughs) I’ve never really done this before and with me everything is by instinct and feel. I was just saying a second ago to someone else that it’s actually taken me this long not to be overwhelmed because when I first came in here, everybody was going oh, they’re not going to like you, the young guys are not going to accept you. This whole negative veil of tears was thrown at me that wasn’t true. The company was very receptive; they gracefully accepted me with open arms. And then I got overwhelmed. There was so just so much good stuff going on but so many other little tweaks that kind of caught me off-guard ’cause I’m just a wrestler. I’m not someone who should be running a whole wrestling company. I know the feel for it. So it’s taken me this long to actually get all four of my claws on the ground or four feet on the ground and I feel comfortable. Now, I’m really focusing. Some things just kind of work out naturally with a couple little tweaks. Now I’m really starting to get a feel for exactly how to focus on the women’s division, on certain talent and how to make production, the things I know and are inherent from doing this so long that I always notice. When the hero shot is missing, the hard camera misses things, the physicalities aren’t caught at the right time or shots are missed. I know all this stuff but now academically I have to lay it out ahead of time. So, it was overwhelming but now I got it. I’m trying brother — I’m trying hard.
That has to be a tough transition considering that you’re someone who is used to being out in front of the camera as a performer and now your main focus is as someone calling the shots behind the scenes.
Yeah. Well, you have to realize — barbarically speaking — I used to lace my boots up, go out to the ring, make my money and go home if you can say it that way. Now, the network is asking for certain things and when things get successful you get input from people you never thought you would get input from that give you, kind of, suggestions that help you or almost kind of like demands of what they want that could not be what’s best for wrestling creatively. And so all of a sudden, all these monsters are coming at me and I’m wondering how to politically, gracefully massage them and make them work because sometimes I … I wear my feelings on my sleeve and I’m not real good at being political and graceful with finesse. I’m trying to get all that done because there’s a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff. But I get it now.
How difficult is that job since you have to deal with a lot of personalities and different egos to appease but at the same time you want to do what is best for business? Someone has to be the boss and tell people no at different times.
Well, if you let the wrestling kind of run the show it would be chaos. It’s not that difficult because the only thing I don’t have a hard time with is looking at someone and telling them the truth. Over the years, I’ve told half-truths or I’ve avoided the truth. Now that I’ve learned after all these years, if you’ve got something to say, say it to somebody honestly and it either fixes it or moves it forward or it ends it. So whenever there is a situation like that, I just approach it that way and things are getting fixed really quickly around here on that creative level and ego level and all that stuff.
How tough do you think this battle will be on Monday nights especially right off the bat?
Read the full interview here: http://www.fanhouse.com/2010/02/17/hulk-hogan-plugged-in-with-new-role-at-tna-wrestling/
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Hulk Hogan Interview – On the New Monday Night Wars
Source: Brian Fritz of FanHouse