Hulk Hogan says the young guys have nothing to worry about, he’s not trying to make another comeback.
Hogan spoke with ESPN to promote WWE RAW Legends night and was asked about the backstage vibe when he’s there. Hogan said it’s often mixed, noting that some are welcoming but some newer talent turn a cold shoulder to him.
“It’s a mixed bag. Some people I get a really warm reception from. Some of the younger guys are really cold to me, like I’m coming to steal the main event. And I’m like, ‘I can’t do this anymore, guys! I’m not a threat!’
“Going back with all the legends will be a lot of fun. When I’ve gone back before by myself, there have been certain wrestlers, like Edge and Seth Rollins, that have told me to my face that the only reason they got into this business was because of me. The newer kids … I don’t think they know who I am all the way?”
“The wake-up call that really got me was with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. We weren’t really close at all, but over the last few years have become good friends. It caught me off guard when he called me one day, and we’re chatting about cars or something and all of a sudden he goes, ‘Damn, Hogan. I was on the internet the other day and I can’t believe all the stuff you did in your career!’ When Stone Cold didn’t realize that I did “The Love Boat” and Johnny Carson, then I understood why the young people didn’t know.”
Hogan continued, agreeing that it’s a similar situation as when Michael Jordan’s level of fame is misconstrued among newer stars. Hogan says it’s hard to recapture the stardom he had, but it’s not going to stop Vince McMahon from looking for the next big star.
“That’s because for 20 years, there wasn’t a Stone Cold or a Rock or a John Cena. It was just me, every day, and sometimes twice on Saturday. I’d wrestle 400 times a year. It was crazy. The timing was so perfect for me because of how hot wrestling was. The cover of Sports Illustrated. The craziness of [the first] WrestleMania. It all just took off like a rocket.”
“It’s hard to recapture that. We blazed such a trail that it’s hard for the young guys to follow that trail. It’s like what Vince McMahon always says [does Vince impression]: ‘Hogan, I’m always looking for an attraction.’ That’s because we branded something in Vince’s mind where he’s always looking for that next big thing, that hood ornament.”