In an odd twist of events,TNA Star Hulk Hogan,called Rob Van Dam earlier today in an attempt to talk business with him(ala convincing him to join TNA Wrestling),and unknowing to The Hulkster,he called Van Dam during an episode of RVD Radio,and ended up being a caller for his show,rather than just making a business call,though Hogan himself of course had no problem being a member on Van Dam's radio show.
Below is a transcript of the Hogan/RVD Radio show in it's entirety:
" Rob Van Dam: Hulkie, welcome to RVD Radio, brother! Thanks for calling in, dawg. I know that wasn't your original intention when you called and you were just trying to get a hold of me which I appreciate.
Hulk Hogan: It's all good, brother. I don't have a problem talking business with you in front of the whole world. I kinda like putting your ass on the spot.
RVD: Cool, man. What you got to say?
Hulk Hogan: Here's the deal, bro. We've got some serious momentum, the tide's rising, all the boats are starting to float, we're starting to pick up some speed and if I had RVD it would sure make things a lot easier, brother.
RVD: So I guess that means the budget's not used up in TNA?
Hulk Hogan: Well, you know what, we're working hard to strategically pull off a lot of stuff, you know, with the network and do some tricky things here.
RVD: Dude, you've got everybody talking and excited. I mean, eversince the big kick off on January 4th that's what everyone's talking about. I'm a little bit confused though and as long as you're here let me get the official word straight from the Hulkster's mouth. What's the deal with Monday nights? Obviously it's a progresive plan. First I heard quarterly, then I heard it might be going live every other week. Is that something you can shed some light on?
Hulk Hogan: Well, to tell you the truth I can tell you just a little bit of what's going on but it's going to happen definately sooner than later. We're definately gonna be in the trenches sooner than later. I'm mounting up my generals right now and that's why I'm calling you because we need your help, we want you on the team and I know it will happen if RVD is in the mix with TNA. It's moving quick, brother. This thing is gonna happen - there's no if's about it. It's not if, it's when. This thing is going down and it's really gonna blow up huge but if we have RVD it would sure be a lot easier.
RVD: Well, I must admit I feel a lot of love from the fans and I very often, like several times a day, get asked what my intentions are and what the future holds for RVD. I don't know what it holds but I did a lot of interviews last week to promote this WrestleReunion that I did here in Los Angeles on Saturday and I mentioned many times that as far as my interest before I was like "Ahh, I have no interest", then it changed to a "maybe" and now I'm definately interested in hearing what you've got to talk about. The time for me personally is way better now than before for several reasons. One, SVD is healthy. She's healthy, happy and doing terrific. And I am mentally healthy. My burn-out factor has really worn out a lot to where I can fly on a plane without getting a stress attack now. I just did a 4-week tour over in Europe. Lots of travel, lots of matches - we had like 17-18 matches on this tour. And at the end of the 4 weeks everybody was tapping - they couldn't wait to go home - and I said you know what? I can go for another two weeks. That means I was actually enjoying being in the ring so that tells me the timing is good, Hulk, so I'm glad you called.
Hulk Hogan: What's cool about this thing, bro, is you know the regimen up in WWE. You just become a name and a number and they just push and push and push. I'm not saying anything that anybody doesn't understand up there. The chain of command, the nepotism. The good thing about what we're doing is you know me and a lot of people don't get to know me until they sit down and hear where I'm coming from but at the end of the day it's a situation where everybody wants to be here. We're having fun, brother. I was on the phone with Jeff Hardy again last night and we were talking about some ideas. Dude, we had fun doing it. It's kinda like it used to be. I mean, I got to a point where when I knew I had to go to Monday Night RAW I was physically sick. I couldn't imagine going to the building at noon, sitting in a room and it's almost like a minute is an hour. And the games you had to play. I just couldn't do it anymore. We don't have that crap going on. We're having fun. I'm listening to everybody. I've got boys in my room all day. I'm stealing ideas from everybody. And a lot of the stuff is good, sometimes I have to add a little icing to the cake. Dude, this is what this business is all about. It's a bunch of friends that are having a good time doing business and coming up with all this creative input. We don't have a girl writing the show telling us what to say. I see some of the stuff that is written and I say "Don't even look at that. Let's just me and you rock, man". Like me and Abyss. They tried to hand us a script and I said "Put that crap down. Let's just rock this place. Let's do our thing". That's how it was with anybody I worked with on top. You know how it is, bro. You don't have to read some stupid ass script.
RVD: Right. So, my understanding is that most of the writing is coming from Vince Russo like before you and Bischoff came on board and now I guess the ideas are originated there and they go through you and Bischoff?
Hulk Hogan: Eric's in the middle and then everything comes my way. Then at the end of the day I'll listen to it and if it makes good wrestling sense, if it sounds like money, if I smell blood, if it creatively gives me goosebumps.. if not I shut it down, bro. I told Dixie "Just imagine", and I have to use his name, "if Vince McMahon came to TNA. He would make sure he checked everything out from the beginning to the end". But I'm looking at it as one of the boys. I'm not making decisions on who's family or who my best friend is. First thing everybody thought I would is bring Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and put the belt on him. Everybody thought I would do all this stuff. The Nasty Boys - I love them because I think they can give Team 3D a run. And we're judging everybody week by week and seeing how they're performing. I get the final say on this thing, bro, so that's where it's at.
RVD: That's awesome. I don't think anybody knows more about what the business is than you, Hulk. There's a lot of haters out there and I'm always saying that in my opinion I think you're the most recognized man on the planet, Hulk. I mean that is an incredible amount of power, an incredible amount of value - having that many people know who you are, following you, watching your moves. So I think it's great for TNA to have you with them and, like I said, you've got everybody talking. I'm very curious to see exactly what happens with it and how far it reaches and I'm also very curious if RVD could play a part in it. Sounds definately interesting, sounds like we should do some talking off the air probably too.
Hulk Hogan: Yeah, no doubt, brother. You know all that recognizable crap and everybody knowing who I am that works for us because it helps move us towards Mondays quicker and helps us open doors with Spike and things we want to do but at the end of the day the good thing about me having the final say on this thing is I don't have an agenda, bro. A lot of people that get to know me..You know, my God, I was ribbing Russo the other day. People have said "Hulk if he was wrestling he would have his own agenda and if he was wrestling he'd be doing this". And I said "Yeah, Russo, kinda like when I did the job 4 weeks in a row for Billy Kidman, and did the job for Triple H, Undertaker..." and I can go on and on and on. It doesn't matter anymore. All that "he said, she said" crap I could care less, bro. I just sit back and do my thing.
RVD: All that was proving that you would, that's not the right thing for business.
Hulk Hogan: Well, if it was the right thing for business or not, you know, I've been in both situations. Everybody thought I was gonna be the guy to put the final nail in the coffin and put Vince in federal prison because "Oh my gosh, Hulk Hogan's like this and he's gonna do this". I'm one of the boys. Vince didn't do anything that we didn't do. He shouldn't go to jail, end of story. Everybody had me branded back in the day as an opportunist, egomaniac, he won't do a job, etc. So when it was time to go to federal court "Ooh, Hulk's gonna put Vince in federal prison". I went in there and told the truth, brother. And at the end of the day I knew what the feds wanted me to say but I wasn't gonna say it. So through this whole thing, if you ever get to know me like a lot of the guys have, they know I may have not been the greatest physical worker in the business, I never jumped off the top rope like you did, I never dropkicked like a lot of guys did but you know there's a bunch of ways to view this - some guys are great physical workers, some guys say the best workers are the ones who make the most money, there's a lot of opinions on what a good worker is - but at the end of the day when I think wrestling I think what puts butts in seats and what moves all the talent up the ladder. I think that when one guy gets in the ring with another guy if they can't do a finish or have a match that elevates both guys higher then something's wrong. That's been my whole strategy in this business. Whether they did a job for me or I did a job for them after the match both talent should move up the ladder so that's where I'm coming from, brother. I want this thing to work. We did this thing one time before with Turner. Now it's kinda like history repeating itself. Vince has gone PG and we've got the edge, bro. We're moving and shaking. We've got everybody talking. And we need RVD.
RVD: That's a hell of a pitch, man.
Hulk Hogan: It ain't no pitch, brother. That's a shoot. We need you and we aren't playing games. If we come to terms and you come to TNA that will make all the tides rise and all the boats float in this company. It's not if, it's when. This company is gonna even the score and then we're gonna start spanking people consistently. This is going to be the number one company 'cause we're thinking wrestling. We don't have any other agendas, brother. We don't have families writing the shows, we don't have brothers-in-law holding the Titles. This is a straight shoot. It's the first time that you got one of the boys running the business now, with no agenda. I'm fired up. Dude, and if you got a better idea than we've got then let's roll with your idea. This is easy. Whoever has the best ideas we'll use them. We don't care if it comes from the cab driver. We'll take the best wrestling idea there is.
RVD: Let me ask you to get a little better understanding. When you say "We're gonna be number one" obviously the standard you're gonna use to measure this by is gonna be in the people's eyes. Are the plans to eventually beat WWE at their own game or...?
Hulk Hogan: I don't wanna compete with them, brother, because I do not wanna do what they're doing. I don't wanna be anywhere near what they're doing. If we end up doing what they're doing I'll definately put a gun to my head...again [laughs]. I want to put out a better product. I definately don't wanna do what they're doing. You know, we've got the best talent. I love all the guys but for some reason TNA has the best stack of talent. Kudos to The Undertaker, kudos to Cena, Orton, Jericho, all those guys working their butts off but, brother, the numbers are stacked in our favor. We've got guys that are unbelievable. So I'm flipping out. I walked into a put of gold. Oh my God, we've got all this talent, all these wrestlers. Me and Jeff Hardy are on the phone coming up with some of the most whacked ideas in the world and I guarantee you they're gonna work.
RVD: Jeff and I are very like-minded. In the WWE arenas it was always he and I that were backstepping one step at a time trying to distance ourself from the egomaniacs that are having a political battle of trying to put a match together 'cause we didn't wanna be around that shit. Anyway, let me ask you this: was it your call to get rid of the six-sided ring?
Hulk Hogan: Oh God, are you kidding me?! Come on, bro! Wrestling was meant to be done in a squared circle. Not in an octagon, not in a six-sided ring, not in a God darn play-pen, you know. It's the squared circle, brother, come on. You knew that was the first thing I was gonna do when I got there.
RVD: A lot of people were telling me "Oh, man. It was cool, it was different". I get that. They wanted you to see the six-sided ring and go "Ooo, that's TNA", kinda like it is with the octagon and UFC, but in my opinion it didn't work and it held them back eventually.
Hulk Hogan: Yeah, you're right. It was cool and it only got them so far. Ok? Ok, if it only gets you so far guess what? That's not good enough. We're going back to the basics, we're going back to what works, we're going back to the wrestling business theory, the psychology, the art form and I guarantee you - watch what happens. This thing is gonna go to the roof. I guarantee it. I got the vibe. We're all in this thing together, man, and we're all vibing together. That's what's cool.
RVD: So far Dixie Carter, Eric Bischoff, yourself and everybody that's involved is happy with how things have been going this year?
Hulk Hogan: Yeah, brother. But we've been doing this only for 4 weeks, brother, and look what's going on after only 4 weeks.
RVD: Awesome. Hulk, listen, do you by any chance wanna answer some caller questions?
Hulk Hogan: Sure, brother. But call me back in 10 minutes because I got my criminal attorney with me here and we need to take care of some stuff.
RVD: Ok, you got it. Talk to you then. We're gonna talk about you in the mean time.
Hulk Hogan: Whatever, man. Do your thing.
RVD: Thanks, Hulk.
(Hulk hangs up)
RVD: Sabu, what did you think of the Hulkster?
Sabu: I thought it was pretty good.
RVD: Yeah. I didn't expect him to call. Anyway, Sabu and I have been talking and we think it might be cool if we went back there together, huh?
(10 minutes later, Hogan comes back on)
Female caller: Mr. Hogan, it is an honor.
Hulk Hogan: Thank you so much. It's very nice of you to say that.
Female caller: Mr. Hogan I have a question for you. I've tried to watch TNA since you came there. You talk about how you're doing the show toward the boys, you're doing this to establish TNA. The question I have is this. Every time I've watched the show I see more of you, and Bischoff, and The Nasty Boys, and Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman. This is WCW 2000 to me. I want to see what the excitement is all about. Can you give me a little bit more?
RVD: I like to hear his input on that too 'cause actually that's what a lot of critics are saying, obviously.
Hulk Hogan: Well, what we're doing is - and we've been at it about a month now - we're trying to make a transition. I didn't want to come in as the red and yellow Hulk Hogan doing the clown act, you know, and I didn't want to rehash the whole "I'm with all the nWo guys 4 life" deal. What I've tried to do is basically bump the numbers so we're watching the show minute-by-minute. What we do is we see when AJ Styles comes on where it jams, when Scott Hall comes on where it jams, we see when the number spikes when Hulk Hogan's on. So what we're doing is we're going through a learning process now. But what we need to do with all these young guys like Abyss and AJ is breathe life into their characters, you know. And I came at AJ with this crazy idea of putting him with Flair and him not just turning into a heel but changing - I can't even tell you what the name of the character is - and he's going through a little transition right now to become this character that we talked about. And what we're trying to do is breathe life into each one of these characters just like Abyss. We want to breathe a bunch of life into him because, just like the six-sided ring, it only got him so far. They were banging a less than 1 number or a .8, .7 for the last 3 or 4 years so AJ Styles the way he was, Abyss the way he was, the six-sided ring the way it was it banged a certain number and that was it. So what we're doing is we're throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall, seeing what spikes the needle minute-by-minute and we're learning as we go along that some guys still have life after death, some guys have life after life, some guys have no life at all, some guys have a lot of life. We're only 4 weeks into this thing and we're already maneuvering all the players around and we're seeing. You're gonna see who we're going with more than others. You're gonna see who we're giving the super rocket up their rear end. And just keep watching because we're only 4 weeks into this thing and we're still trying to find the gauge. If I'm on the TV too much I'm pulling myself off. I don't need to try to walk my crippled ass up that ramp every time. The hardest thing for me is walking down that damn ramp. I barely get down to the ring. So, you know, I'm not all about being on TV. But for some reason the last 4 weeks when I've been on TV coming out there and trying to do the transition stuff with Kevin Nash as partner and all these other guys the needle spiked a little bit. But I'm trying to get AJ and he's doing great. We're starting to get a crazy spike on Abyss. That wrestler Young that Kevin Nash is partnered with things are going good with him. So you're gonna see things being moved around but right now we're just trying to find the bridge and make that transition.
RVD: I would also like to point out something. The fans like that female caller that are "smart marks" they're on top of everything. They read the Internet and all that. They have the highest standards, like the crowd I used to work in front of back in the original ECW. They just waited for you to slip so that they can chant "You fucked up" at you. They have higher standards and are very, very, very opinionated. Those are obviously my people but also they have to realise that when you're dealing with the entire planet or the mass population most people aren't that extreme. Extreme does mean above and beyond average and you gotta get the average too. And what a lot fans don't realise is that people are excited about seeing the celebrity in somebody, they want to see someone they grew up with, someone they've seen on TV and that has a lot of value to them where as the smart fans they wanna see someone that's very good wrestler, that can carry on a perfect 20-minute match with all these highspots. I remember back when I was in All Japan Pro-Wrestling getting off the bus one time at a truck stop and I was the only one in All Japan doing moonsaults and backflips off the guardrail. I was the only one in the company to go over the top rope to the floor. They thought I was crazy back in All Japan. But we got off the bus and who would the fans be excited about and want to see? Dory Funk Jr., Abdullah The Butcher and Stan Hansen.
Hulk Hogan: The thing is all these people that you call the "smart marks"..I've been in the business 30 years and I'm still a mark. I'm not smartened up yet, brother, because all of a sudden everybody's going "But why are you doing this? Why are you doing that?". Do the marks know about the network - what Kevin Kay, Brian Diamond and everybody at Spike's asking and what they're demanding - and what the PPV companies' rules are, and what standards and practicies want? There's a whole another world out there that all these people have an opinion about - who should be on TV too much, who's not on TV enough. They don't know what is happening with the network so we have to deal on that end. I'm on a whole another arena where I'm dealing with more than just a finish or putting RVD on TV. The whole network might have a different opinion about RVD. They may want him on TV less, they may want him on TV more, they might want RVD on TV all the time or maybe they don't want RVD on TV at all. I mean, this is a whole another animal just dealing with the network. So there's a lot of things that are going on that I'm having to deal with that I've never dealt with in the past. All I used to worry about was a legdrop, a finish and making sure the building was sold out. Now there's a lot more to this.
RVD: You gotta have the proper balance of all those factors, huh?
Hulk Hogan: Yeah. I've been in it 4 weeks. I've never done this job before. I'm getting like on-the-job training. I got a lot of people around me throwing fastballs at my head and I'm dodging a lot of them but at least I've got enough theory and I've got enough of the art form that I know that the good guys put their fists up and go forward and the bad guys put their hands up and back up. I mean, that's all it is. And if you make it any more than that and you read too much into it and you live by the dirt sheets and all this other crap then you're missing the point. It's a big universe out there and I'm listening to everybody. I'm listening to her and she makes a very valid point. Believe me, I don't wanna be on TV all the time. I like to sit in the back and think about the stuff and listen to everybody's ideas. I'm having fun, you know. I think if I was to drop a leg on somebody I probably would never get back up again knowing how my back is. I'm learning as we go.
Caller: Why not bring Backlund in and put him with some of the newer guys?
Hulk Hogan: Bob Backlund?! Backlund didn't draw a number back in the day. Back in the day when Vince Sr. was pushing him everybody, all the agents - Strongbow, King Kong Mosca, Freddie Blassie - everybody was telling Vince "Jesus Christ, Vince, you're destroying our company trying to push this kid". He couldn't draw unless he had a full card of support underneath him. Why would we bring him in now?
Hulk Hogan also CONFIRMED that Jeff Hardy is infact signed with TNA Wrestling(and not a minute to soon,the bs Jeff Hardy WWE Return/Hasn't Signed With TNA rumors we're just ridiculous),and said that he spoke to Hardy on the phone again about plans for his re-debut,and stated that a RVD/Hardy feud is in the works should Van Dam come in to TNA.
Van Dam also stated that he'd be more than happy to talk about signing with TNA after the show,during the call as well. So now it seems there's an 80%-90% chance that Van Dam will infact sign with TNA Wrestling,and debut shortly.
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