Hulk Hogan’s jump to WCW was a significant move in 1994 as a Hall of Famer looks back on what it was like.
After ten years of being a top guy in WWE and leading the Hulkamania movement, Hulk Hogan was focused on other things like his movie career and the television show Thunder in Paradise. All of that also led to Hogan leaving WWE to join WCW in early 1994, which was 30 years ago.
The Hulkster officially joined WCW in June 1994 and won the World Heavyweight Title from Ric Flair in his first match at Bash at the Beach 1994 in July.
Arn Anderson is a WWE Hall of Famer who was a veteran wrestler in WCW when Hulk Hogan signed with the company. While speaking on The Arn Show podcast, Anderson recalled the time in March 1994 when WCW mentioned Hogan on their shows even though he wasn’t under contract yet.
“For that time, that just was unheard of. I mean, you know, first right of refusal, is that a real thing? I think that’s what WWF had. I just remember that term, you know, first right of refusal which means, ‘Okay, his contract ran out. They can make him an offer.’ But it’s like, there can be a bidding war now, right? Because his contract ran out.”
That led to Arn talking about Vince McMahon choosing to let the two-time WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan walk away from the company.
“He [Vince McMahon] decided he was going to go with the youth movement. And it’s, like when you commit to letting Hogan go to the opposition, and various other guys eventually that were his friends and his comrades move over — you know, change companies, it must have been an, ‘Okay for damn sure, we’re gonna go with a different slant here. We’re gonna go with a youth movement.’ And he was already committed, 100%.”
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As he continued, Arn Anderson talked about Hulk Hogan’s immediate impact in WCW and the Hogan rivalry with Ric Flair that started as soon as The Hulkster joined World Championship Wrestling.
“Well, just the kind of thoughts that I would think would be going through my mind, being a guy that saw how you built a match. Like, a guy in a business that was working for a company, ‘How do you build a match? How do you build a character? How do you build a show,’ for that matter? How do you do all that and do it the proper way?”
“And the wrestler in me that I had been taught up to that point is going, ‘Well, if you give them Flair and Hogan right away, how do you stop that?’”
“But I also understand that that’s something that nobody expected to see. You go, ‘Holy Ghost!’ right out of the gate. Hogan-Flair. So it was one of those things that you kind of just go, ‘I know what I’ve been taught.’ I don’t know what you do after that, unless — there’s ways to do it. And none of those would involve Hogan winning.”