The following is an excerpt from an interview with Hulk Hogan from IGN.com:
IGN TV: We’re closing in on January 4th now and with TNA Impact airing live against RAW. You’ve got a big night headed your way. Is TNA ready to go live?
Hulk Hogan: We’re going to find out, aren’t we? I’m going up against the monster, brother. I’m heading into the gun fight. I’m heading in and I’m bringing the biggest blow dart I can get. It’s going to be exciting.
IGN: Of course, we all remember the success you had when you joined in WCW in the mid-90s. What’s is TNA like right now compared to what WCW was like back in the day?
Hogan: Brother, that’s the brilliant question. And you know what – and I don’t mean this in tongue in cheek way – but it’s like deja vu. When I walked in to WCW they were producing wrestling on a little teeny sound stage at Disney, okay? I’m walking into TNA and their producing wrestling in a little teeny sound stage at Universal. When I walked in to WCW, the WWF was the monster. They were the monopoly. I’m walking into TNA and the WWE is the monster. The monopoly. There were no choices back when I did WCW. The fans didn’t have a choice. It’s the same way now. It’s almost like history is repeating itself and giving me another chance to do this and show the wrestling world what wrestling should be like. Not to make wrestling like it used to be, but to show that John Cena shouldn’t be the only guy with life and character. Thinking more about it – it’s exactly the same, man. It’s scary. It’s happening all over again. The only difference now I guess is that when I left before and went to WCW the fans were mad at me. "Oh, how could you leave the WWF?" The fans were kind of pissed at me. This time the vibe is that the fans are with me. They’re for me and they want to see this happen. They know that competition is good and that the best time in wrestling was the Monday Night Wars back in the day.
IGN: On this past WWE RAW, there was a fan in the crowd holding up a Hogan sign, basically calling out your TNA show on the 4th. Have you been feeling that that the fans are really behind you on this move?
Hogan: Yeah, they’re for me. It’s kind of weird. It’s a double edge sword. The fans know what’s happened to me over the past couple of years. I lost my family. I pretty much got devastated financially and the fans know that I’ve had some hard times – and that’s the nature of loyal fans. They want to see the people that they love and believe in get back on their feet. That’s part of it. And the other part of it is that the fans are sick of this monopoly. They’re sick of contrived programming. They’re sick of seeing Shawn Michaels and Triple H run around like a couple of degenerates and act goofy and, you know, doing the whole Hornswoggle thing. The fans are tired of that weak programming.
And then, as you saw, on RAW Shawn Michaels came out and broke character and he’s as serious as a heart attack and he did a great interview with Vince [McMahon] saying, "I can beat The Undertaker" and "I want a rematch for Wrestlemania." Which is great, you know, they’re promoting it way out ahead. And I’ll be really glad – wink wink wink – to see Bret Hart come back. You know, that’s the first thing that’s meant anything with Shawn Michaels in a long time since he wrestled Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam. And I’m glad to see it. And you know what? I’m already winning. Everybody said "Oh, we [TNA] can’t go to Monday nights." And I said "well, let’s ask the head of Spike TV." And guess what? He said "yes." So I won there. Now all of a sudden they had an emergency meeting up in Stamford, Connecticut last Thursday. Vince is panicking and scrambling.
I’m so happy to see Bret Hart come in to go against me because he hated the business. He was bitter. He hated Vince. And you’ve got to move on. Positively. I’m so happy to see Bret – and I’ve talked to some of Bret’s family members and he’s excited about coming. He’s excited about coming to RAW. I love Bret Hart to death. I’m excited for Bret to come back. And guess what? I already won again. Because Vince McMahon is now showing that he’s worried about Hulk Hogan going head to head. So Vince is going to do all he can to squash me on Monday night and I’m given the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s like a human being going up against a monster. The WWE is a monster and the fans are behind me and they want to see me give Vince a fight for his life. And if I get knocked down, I’ll just keep getting back up. And the head of Spike TV said. "You know, if wrestling stirs up some interest on Monday I might do this once a month." And then he continued to say that if Hulk Hogan and TNA does good on this Monday he wouldn’t be opposed to putting TNA on every Monday. That’s a dream for the wrestling fans. Now the fans have a choice. When I can get TNA up and running, the talent — like John Cena, Rey Mysterio, The Big Show and The Undertaker — all these guys will have a choice. It’s kind of like having the NFL and the AFL. There’s no choice right now for the talent or the fans.
Check out the complete interview, where Hogan also comments on whether or not he’ll be wrestling in the ring for TNA, at this link.
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