Hulk Hogan Admits He Only Wrestled The Rock To Get To Steve Austin
WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan has a career like no other and in 2002 he found he had another run left at the top of the business when he returned to WWE.
Flanked by the NWO pair of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall initially, Hogan could not stop the outpouring of fan support that came his way in his iconic match with The Rock at WrestleMania 18. But according to The Hulkster, that match only happened because he had another prize in mind.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Hulk Hogan left fans in no doubt that if he had his way and could wrestle one more match, it would be against Stone Cold Steve Austin and says returning to WWE in 2002 to face The Rock was a stepping stone for him to get to Austin:
“If he would get in the ring with me – the reason I went back to wrestle The Rock was to get in the ring with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Because me as a bad guy, as Hollywood Hogan, could have torn the place down with him because he was the ultimate good guy at the time but I think he was having some physical problems with his legs and nerve damage and he was about at the end of his run. So if I had one guy to get in there with, it’d be him.
“When I went up there (to WWE) that was when I talked to Vince, he asked me if I’d wrestle The Rock, I said yeah I’ll wrestle The Rock, I don’t mind putting him over, he was going to do the movies and stuff. […] So my whole thing was to move on to Steve but I had no idea that physically he was hurt.
“So I don’t know with all this time passing and both of us getting older and wiser if it would even make sense. You’d have to be crazy to get back in there at my age anyway and I just haven’t talked to him about anything like that ever. If he would get in the ring, he would be the guy.”
Just four months after Hulk Hogan returned to WWE in 2002, Stone Cold Steve Austin infamously walked out of the company after growing increasingly frustrated with his creative direction. A planned loss to a young Brock Lesnar in a King of the Ring qualifying match scheduled for Raw was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Austin went home, only to return to the company in early 2003.
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