Hulk Hogan Speaks Out About His Surgeries, Cannabis Use, His Biopic, And More

(Photo Credit: WWE)

WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan recently appeared as a guest on INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling. During the discussion, Hogan discussed his biopic starring Chris Hemsworth:

“It was a situation where, business-wise, Netflix kind of missed the date, you know, as far as a business situation, and so I had the choice at that time to switch gears. Scott Silver wrote the script. You know, he wrote The Joker and a bunch of different movies, and of course, Todd Phillips has done The Joker, Wolf of Wall Street, and you know, whatever, all the crazy stuff that he did. But yeah, the script came back. It was amazing. I mean, because my favorite movies are Scarface, The Godfather, and True Romance. It was there. It was there and I just thought, whoa, but all of a sudden there was a business glitch, you know, and then they tried to fix it a few days later and I’d already decided to move on. So, my life rights and stuff are somewhere else now and there are a lot of things that are getting ready to happen. Hopefully, Todd Phillips and Chris Hemsworth will still want to play, but there’s still a huge opportunity there.”

On Chris Hemsworth being the choice to play Hulk Hogan:

“Well, Chris was the one I always (wanted to play me), even before we got into this. I said, ‘If anybody ever played Hulk Hogan, I want it to be Chris Hemsworth.’ His birthday is the same day as mine. So we talked, I think once about the whole situation. He was all excited, because he told me he’d never played a real person before. He said, ‘Oh, my gosh. Your life is so interesting. This is so crazy. This could be the biggest thing I’ve ever done’, and Scott Silver, the writer who wrote The Joker goes, ‘This is the most amazing script I’ve ever written.’ So it’s powerful, it’s in a different place, but there will be an opportunity for everybody to regroup.”

On his surgeries and cannabis use:

“Well, I mean, you know, I’ve been down that road with the pain pills. You know, in the last 12 years, I’ve had 25 surgeries. So I mean, you know, the knees, the hips, 10 back surgeries, a couple of shoulder surgeries, abdominal surgeries, orbital socket surgeries, so I know what it’s like when the doctor goes, “Here’s a prescription.’ I mean, sometimes when you’re in such pain after 7,8,9,10 back surgeries, you’d rather just jump off a cliff than live another day. So it’s really easy to fall into that situation. A lot of other wrestlers that have passed away have fallen into that situation and then there’s a lot of people that have been deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait that, you know, have serious issues. So it’s just like a more natural way to walk things back, a more natural way to get on track and get back to normal so it makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.”

On WrestleMania X8:

Well, to get there, there’s a huge backstory. Okay. The backstory is working for Ted Turner for 9 or 10 years, trying to put Vince out of business. You know, basically trying to beat him in the ratings to do whatever we could to be competitive because when I did leave the WWF at the time, Vince pretty much told me my run was over and the red and yellow was done. After the Warrior beat me, there were a couple of years actually, after the Warrior beat me that night, ‘I said well, I go down and do the three three stooges, slowly I turned. I want to be Triple H Hollywood Hulk Hogan. ‘Oh, you can’t do that. You can’t be a heel.’ I said, ‘Brother, your dad brought me in as a heel. Of course, I can do it.’ So a couple years later as I kept floundering around there, Vince pretty much told me my run was over and I said, ‘Really?’

“So I went and did Thunder in Paradise and when I got bored with doing that craziness, went to WCW and did what I did there. It was a situation where I was in a hotel room in New York, called the Parker Meridien and I was actually sitting on a toilet doing number two, right? My phone rang and I saw it was Triple H on the phone. That’s interesting. So I picked the phone up and I go, ‘What’s up, brother?’ He goes, ‘How are you doing? So we heard your contract is done’, this, that and whatever the verbiage was.’ He said, ‘Vince would like to talk to you.’ I said, ‘Cool’, so one thing led to another and before I get to WrestleMania 18, the backstory was, the verbiage with me and Vince was things have changed up here, which I kind of knew that The Rock and Stone were the two guys that they cater to because before during the day when they’d go out to the ring of it would be Hulk Hogan, ‘This is what we’re doing, that’s what we’re doing.’ Now, I knew it wasn’t my time but it was the new guy. So I already knew that, but Vince went, ‘Oh no. If you’re coming up here then you got to really bring it.’ I was like, okay, I mean, I got to run faster, jump higher? What do you mean really bring it? I knew what he meant the work rate was quicker and faster and stuff which to me doesn’t mean anything. You know, my thought, and I didn’t say it, but if you want me to bring it, you’re going to ask me to take it back because I, but I would never do anything to hurt the boys or hurt Rock.”

“I just kept my mouth shut and the backstory still was, I think they didn’t think I could pull it off, or I think they thought that maybe I wasn’t up to snuff to be Hulk Hogan so they wanted me to go down to Miami to rehearse the match, which I’ve never done in my life. So I went down there and Rocky Johnson was there, my boy, and Pat Patterson was there and there was this ring in a warehouse and it was 100 degrees plus. The Rock told me everything he wanted to do and walk around and go here and there and spit his fist and me go over the top rope, go through all this stuff. That match was pretty much laid out. Rocky Johnson said, ‘Dwyane, listen to Hogan.’ Rocky was just like, cheering for me which was kind of funny because he was a good friend of mine the whole time when in the WWF, and then Pat Patterson said, ‘Ok Terry, let’s go to the mat. ‘I went, ‘Are you kidding me? If I fall down in here, I’m gonna get hurt. I can’t wrestle with no people here.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, Vince wants to go through the match.’ ‘I can’t do it.’ I said, ‘Believe me, when we get in front of 20, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80,000 people, I’ll be fine.’”

“I was kind of wondering if this whole thing is planned out, what if you start doing this and the people fart at it? Are you going to keep doing what you planned out? So I really didn’t say much. Then we were in the dressing room and Rock and I were actually in the same dressing room that night. Not a lot of conversation, but Rocky Johnson was in there. ‘Dwyane, listen to Hogan.’ So we get out there and I fully expected them to boo me out of the building after hitting him with a hammer, putting him in the ambulance, and running him over with a semi. Yeah, I did everything I could to get heat.”

Why Hulk Hogan returned to WWE:

“My whole reason for going up there was of course to wrestle The Rock, you know and of course, heels are meant to be beat. ‘It was a fluke. I slipped on a banana peel. He could ever do it again’, whatever, I could have kept my heat because my intention was to have a two-year run with Stone Cold because he was red hot at the time I was dying to get in his shorts, man, and make some money, you know, and so it was kind of like, you know, because I know Steve had some physical issues and stuff with his nerves and his legs and stuff, so I was just like, the air was let out of the balloon when I didn’t get a chance to run with him because that would have been crazy.”

On joining the NWO:

“Well, first off, we didn’t tell anybody. Hall and Nash didn’t know if I was coming or not. Well, there was a possibility (they knew) because Eric had been out selling a movie out in LA. and Eric had approached me about turning heel. I said, ‘No brother. It doesn’t work for me right now.’ I was making really good money there, you know, guaranteed money and I just want to keep things going the way they were even though the red and yellow thing was starting to lose a little bit of luster and it was getting old. I saw Scott come out I’m like, ‘This looks like a shoot’, and I’m watching this from LA. Then big Kev came out and powerbombed Eric through the table. I called Eric and said, ‘I’m your third man.’ He said, ‘Oh thank God because we were gonna go with Sting.’ I said, ‘Bro, you can’t go with Sting. He’s not WWF from head to toe. It’s in my blood. I mean, I’m the guy.’ So Eric didn’t want to tell anybody you know. So up until the time I went to the ring. Eric goes, ‘Hogan is not here yet’, which of course I was outside hanging out. ‘Hogan is not here yet, and if he doesn’t come up, we’re sending Sting.’ So Scott and Kevin went out not knowing if I was coming, right? So it’s really weird because when I look back at the tape, I know Eric was talking about, ‘Yeah, well, we spent time outside and we discussed the promo and stuff’, and I don’t remember any of that because I just went out when Mean Gene came out, it was like, ‘Let me tell you something Mean Gene’, and I just rolled with my normal crap you know, ‘I was sold out the world when you guys were pumping gas to get high school.’ I just rolled with one of my heel promos, you know, and it was I never think about what I’m gonna say until I get out there. So you know, everything was really cool, and all of a sudden I felt that cold, white heat where it got sour from it and they started throwing stuff. I told Mean Gene, I said, ‘You need to go bro. You need to get out. We may have a riot in here’ and then his nose was bleeding. He got hit with something and he kept his head down. He was scared. I said, ‘Bro, you need to run because if we start lighting this place up, we could have a riot here’, because it was that type of heat I hadn’t felt for a long time.”

On if he was close to working WrestleMania 39 with Shane McMahon:

“Shane called me and he sent me a picture from Madison Square Garden. I guess they have a Hall of Fame walk in there. Piper’s boots are in there and some of my stuff is there, so Shane sent me a picture of him standing in front of my stuff saying, ‘Hey old-times. Do you still have one left in you?’ I’m like, ‘Okay, what are you thinking?’ He said, ‘Well, I didn’t know if you had one left in your or maybe a surrogate such as Nick’, my son. We started talking and I said the only way I could do anything was if I was in the middle of the ring and you came to me because I can’t run. I can’t hit the ropes. I have a hard time walking distance. Taking a bump, if I got up, I would have to roll to my left. I can’t roll to my right. The only way I can get up is if I roll to my left to get up for some reason, so it would be a stretch.”

“Nick, who was in Rikishi’s school for a couple years, he was in there with Rusev and all those guys, and I would go out to California and watch him. Nick had it figured out and then he blew both of his shoulders out. I said, ‘I don’t know. There’s a possibility of doing something, whatever the storyline is, whether Nick is a heel and, ‘You destroyed my father’s career so I’m going to destroy your personal life.’ I don’t know. There’s a million ways to do it, but then a couple weeks later, Shane got hurt or something with his quad. (Chris Van Vliet pointed out that it was at WrestleMania). So anyway, that whole idea, I just never heard from them again, so that was pretty much it.”

On having one last match:

“I would have loved to have had that last match., but now it’s completely out of the picture. You know, I’m just too beat up from the surgeries. I think if I took a couple of bumps, you probably would have to cut up me again. But no, I really wanted to have that last match. I wasn’t sure, I think it was WrestleMania 25 in Orlando.”

“Vince had me all hooked up with Cena and I said I’d do it. Vince and I were talking every week and we were putting the plans together, you know, like the old days where I was in the office every day, him and I were talking every day, and all of a sudden I’m on the phone with Vince I was like, ‘Oh my God. Oh, my back.’ My back went out when I was talking to Vince on the phone. I just had back surgery number three or four at that time and I had to go right in immediately and get cut on. So that was it for that, but I thought that was going to be my last match then you know, but that never happened and then it just kind of faded away.”

Hulk Hogan’s Mount Rushmore list:

“Well, that’s a tough one, you know, because Andre has to be there. There’s no doubt about it. Andre has to be there and there’s just not enough headspace there because up there, you know, it would have to be Ric Flair. You know, I tell Ric Flair you’re the greatest wrestler that ever lived and I’ve had other people tell me other things, you know, but as far as I’m concerned with him loving this business and being a complete sellout, he gave up everything, family, friends, his own health, everything to be in his business. That’s kind of a crazy type of dedication, way more than I could give. You know, and he did it because he loved this business and plus, he was a top guy like forever, you know, so it had to be Andre. It has to be Flair. I’m just going with the older guys, you know, because there are some new guys like Seth Rollins, who I really admire. You know, Kevin Owens caught my eye really early when a lot of people didn’t believe in him and I saw him down there and said, ‘Oh my God. That brother has got it figured out.’ I’m all over the place with it, but for me, the quick fix would be Andre, Flair, Rock and Austin. That’s a quick fix for me. Those four guys deserve to be up there.”

On if he deserves to be on the Mount Rushmore list:

“You can put me behind those guys. I just want to be able to draw money with each one of them because I look at everybody with a dollar sign on their chest.”

On still being with WWE:

“You know, I still work with the WWE all the time. I just renewed my deal with them.”

You can check out the complete interview below:

(h/t to for the transcription)