WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan has opened up on his short-lived ‘Mr. America’ character, saying he thought it would have lasted for years.
Towards the end of Hulk Hogan’s run in WWE in 2002-2003, he was part of a storyline which saw Vince McMahon force him to “sit out” the rest of his contract. Instead of taking it lying down, Hogan made a triumphant return to the company under a mask.
Calling himself ‘Mr. America’, Hulk Hogan barely hid his identity, going so far as using his classic ‘Real American’ theme music and using all of his signature moves and gestures during matches.
His feud with the increasingly exasperated McMahon continued and included matches against Roddy Piper and Sean O’Haire. His last match saw him on the losing side of a 6-Man Tag where he teamed with Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle to take on The Big Show and Team Angle’s Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas.
The storyline came to an abrupt end when Hogan legitimately quit WWE in July 2003. To finish it up onscreen, a video aired of him unmasking which McMahon used as justification to “fire” him.
Despite the way things ended, Hulk Hogan recently spoke about the gimmick on Ringside Collectibles’ YouTube channel, saying he thought it would go for years before the tag team loss.
“I thought that Mr. America was going to kind of do like, the Midnight Rider thing that Dusty Rhodes did in Florida, be around for two, three years, mess up all the main events.”
“When I got there, we had a six-man tag and of course, I thought Mr. America was going to rock on and be a huge angle and they said, ‘Hey, brother, you’re doing the job tonight.’ And I went, ‘Hmm, I guess this isn’t going very far’
“I just figured they didn’t like the gimmick, so, at the end of the match, I kind of pulled the mask up if you guys remembered and showed everybody it was me.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.