Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff Comments On Verne Gagne Coming Up With The Hulk Hogan Character, More


During the latest episode of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff commented on Verne Gagne coming up with the Hulk Hogan character, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On Verne Gagne’s impact on his career: “Had it not been for Verne Gagne and the opportunity to learn the business from the ground up – one of the advantages of going to work for Verne was I was a young guy and I had no fear. I loved the television industry, and I had never had the opportunity to be in it. This was my first opportunity to work in such an amazing industry. But working for Verne – he didn’t have a lot of money. He couldn’t afford to have the best of the best on his staff, so I guess that’s one of the reasons he hired me is because I was cheap (laughs).

“From my perspective, I also had the opportunity to learn on the job areas of the television business – I would’ve never got some of those opportunities if it wasn’t for Verne. I got to learn about television production in my spare time in the AWA. I got to learn about promotion, I got to learn about advertising and ratings and demographics and all that areas I needed to know to learn about television syndication, So, as a result, in working for the AWA, I had an understanding that was better than most. I’m forever grateful to Verne Gagne.”

On Gagne pitching Brock Lesnar to him: “I remember one of the last conversations I had with Verne – this will put a time frame on it – was Verne calling me and pitching this guy named Brock Lesnar. Whatever year that was when Brock was graduating or shortly thereafter – Verne was so close to the University of Minnesota wrestling team. He was really close with the coach there. Obviously, Brock was a big star there, and Verne thought for sure that Brock could be a huge star.”

On Gagne creating the Hulk Hogan character and his legacy in wrestling: “Unfortunately, he’s never going to be recognized as being as influential as he should. If you catch Hulk Hogan in a private moment and you hear him talk about where Hulk Hogan really came from – don’t get me wrong, Hulk will give plenty of credit to Vince McMahon Sr. for creating the name. But in terms of creating the character and what made Hulk famous and helped Hulk understand psychology to the extent where he didn’t need to do Frank Gotch kind of wrestling – he’ll give credit to Verne Gagne. He created the Hulk Hogan character. Those are not my words, those are Hulk Hogan’s words.

“I think to a degree, the same could be said for Gene Okerlund. The same could be said for Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, and the Road Warriors to a lesser degree. The same should be said about Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura and so many other names that we all recognize as being some of the biggest names in the wrestling business. But guess where they learned their shit? They learned it from Verne. He created that talent, and he shared that knowledge. He shared that insight and instinct and helped some people develop it within themselves. I would like Verne, because he deserves it, to have more recognition in terms of his contributions to the industry.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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