Tuesday, May 7, 2019

BOOK REVIEW - Hollywood Hulk Hogan (2002)

In 2002, Hollywood Hulk Hogan has returned to WWF for the first time in 1993. He got a big match with the Rock at Wrestlamnia X-8 that saw the Toronto crowd turn on the People's Champ to cheer Hogan on like the returning hero - Hogan was a heel at the time. Long story short, the next night, Hogan was officially made into a babyface, slowly returned to his red and yellow colors (but still kept the Hollywood moniker, five-o-clock shadow, feather boas, and Voodoo Child entrance theme - which I'd argue is a better theme for Hogan than Real American), and eventually beat Triple for the Undisputed WWF Title where business tanked... but we don't talk about that part.

Anyway, Hogan got to write a book... or rather, he talked while somebody else (in this case, Michael Jan Friedman, who typically writes good stuff) wrote his words to paper with some embellishments. And embellishment is the key word here because if you ever wanted Hulk Hogan hyper hyperbole written on the printed page, then this is the book for you.

It's an old joke, right? Every time Hogan tells the same story over the years, he adds more embellishments. One year, he slammed the 400 pound Andre The Giant at the Silverdome - the next year, he slammed the 400 tonne Andre. A lot of the time, it's hard to tell which stories are genuine, which ones are Hogan bullshit, and which stories are WWE inserts to turn this into whatever fluff piece they're trying to pull at the time.

That said, the book does provide a good look at Hogan's life before the fame, it does touch on some of his more questionable periods such as the steroid trials and his troubles with Vince, but it doesn't quite get its hands as dirty as some would hope. Like I said, there's a bunch of stuff here that feels embellished for the sake of making this a feel good fluff piece. And if that's all you're looking for, then that's what you'll get.

There is some informative bits here and trying to read this in Hulk's voice is kinda funny, so at the very least, there's some entertainment value out of this. A few years later, Hogan got to write another autobiography - My Life Outside The Ring - and apparently that's a little more honest. I haven't read that one, though. So I wouldn't know.

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