Hulk Hogan Says He Had Doubts About Turning Heel, Joining The nWo


During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan commented on his heel turn and having doubts about it, joining the nWo, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On not being sure about joining the nWo at first: “I knew I could work as a heel because I’d watched so much of Ray Stevens and Pat Patterson and ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham and The Great Malenko. They’d chop, kick and beat the crap out of you, but then they’d backpedal, cross their heart, and drop to their knees the moment the babyface would make his comeback. For me, the problem was the timing. I didn’t know if that was the right timing to do it….It wasn’t as intense as it was from ’89 to ’91, but there were still people who loved me as a babyface. I was so focused during that stretch with doing movies, and I still wanted to come back in the red and yellow. Eric had mentioned the idea to me, and I thought I could be a really intense heel. But turning, after all we’d been through to reach that point, it really concerned me.”

On being worried about coming out in cowboy boots and not wrestling boots: “I immediately worried it was going to be an angle alert. I was thinking that as soon as I was headed to the ring, telling myself I was an idiot for doing it. Those boots were really slippery, too, and I think you’ll see me grab the rope before I take a step and hit those leg drops on Randy. Had I been wearing my wrestling boots, it would have been a much bigger production. It was such a rookie move on my part.”

On the reaction to the turn: “We needed a certain kind of heat. I was someone they had loved and believed in, so in order for this to work, there needed to be the right reaction. That’s what we got when people in the crowd started throwing water bottles, trash, and everything else at us in the ring. That’s what we needed, and we got it.”

On the Outsiders adding years to his career: “Going into this, I didn’t know Kevin and Scott, but they ended up changing my entire career. I had a certain way of doing interviews, but I remember Kevin and Scott saying, ‘You don’t need to get every word in’ and ‘Just be cool.’ That changed everything. I was still in that machine-gun cadence of doing the Hulk Hogan promos, and they changed the way I delivered interviews.”

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