WWE WrestleMania IX remains quite memorable because it’s a controversial event. After Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart in the main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the new WWF Champion in 22 seconds to win the gold.
In a recent appearance on WWE After The Bell, Hogan shared the story of how, before the show, he shattered his orbital socket during a jet ski accident. As it turns out, “The Hulkster” nearly missed this WrestleMania entirely.
“I get home to Clearwater, nobody’s home, so what do I do?” said Hogan. “‘Hey guys, come on over.’ You know. Ellis Edwards, and Brutus [Beefcake] and [Randy Savage], so here we go. I used to keep four Sea-Doos behind my house, and there’s a crazy storm coming in, and here we go, taking out on those jet skis. Now I had these Sea-Doos, and all the sudden, I switched from one of my jet skis to this other guy’s jet ski that he had. I don’t remember what kind it was, but it was a quicker jet ski, and it had trim tabs on it, so you could make the front end come up, or the front end go down.
“And as we’re going through the Clearwater pass, we’re jumping these crazy waves in this storm. And Brutus takes off, going straight ahead, Macho [Man] takes off going straight ahead, and Ellis is kinda sticking with me. And so as I jump this wave, I get thrown over the front of the ski. And I got a life jacket on, so as I go into the water, I try to duck down underwater, but that damn life jacket brought me back up. And the jet ski hit me in the face.”
Hogan recalled how Edwards saved his life by pulling him onto his jet ski. “The Hulkster” then described how he badly injured his eye, so he had to get surgery.
My whole eye is just blasted open, my orbital socket is broken because that 600-pound jet ski hit me right in the face,” said Hogan. I get to the emergency room, I get all stitched up, I have this two-hour operation trying to fix my orbital socket. Jimmy Hart comes over, ‘Oh my god, oh my god, baby, baby, oh my god, Vince is gonna kill you.'”
The WWE Hall of Famer shared how Vince McMahon reacted to this serious injury and how, of course, “The Hulkster” persevered.
“I go to [Las] Vegas, Vince sees me and he goes, ‘You’re not wrestling, that’s it,'” said Hogan. “And I said, ‘BS, if I pass a physical, I’m gonna wrestle.’ So I actually wrestled, my eye socket was completely shattered. I wrestled the tag match with I.R.S. and Ted [DiBiase], they didn’t touch my face, and then I got to wrestle Yokozuna.”
The full episode is available here: