Hulk Hogan on American Gladiators
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
American Gladiators: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is easily qualified to host American Gladiators. His Americana wrestling persona made him an American gladiator before even the original show. But Hulkamaniacs would really like to see Hogan take on the Joust or climb the Pyramid. They'll be happy to know that he tried.
Hogan Hosts American Gladiators
"When nobody was around before the first rehearsal day, I was in there with a couple of the grips and the electricians when they were just finishing up the big set up there, the big rigging," Hogan revealed. "I made an attempt to climb to the top of the pyramid with my fake knee and my fake hip. I did get to the top, but I kind of crawled up slowly. Once I got to the top, I was sweating like a dog. It made me realize that the gladiators on top of the pyramid and the contestants running up and being thrown down over and over, and over, and over again, that when I was interviewing them, I knew in the back of my mind that if that would have been me, I wouldn’t even have been able to top it. It just kind of like brought me back to the real world because sometimes if you don’t physically attempt something, you don’t realize how sick to your stomach or how hard it is. I actually made an attempt to go up the pyramid when nobody was looking and I failed miserably."
Having suffered such injuries in his wrestling career, Hogan knows the risks these contestants are taking. "Wrestling, even though it’s an exhibition and the end of the match is predetermined, the physicalities of what actually happens during the match, whether you talk about it or script it like some of the young guys do or whether you just wing it from your hip like I do, you get hurt every night roughly, somehow or another. Even though it’s so-called predetermined or some people say it’s fake, the injuries aren’t fake. I think the injuries, when they happen in the gladiator arena, because it’s a real competition, from what I’ve seen so far they’re bigger injuries and they’re more traumatic than the type of oops well I should have landed correctly in the ring and I pulled my back out or I broke my wrist. I think some of the injuries I’ve seen so far because it is a real competition in the gladiators, they’re more traumatic."
Handling the male competitors while Laila Ali interviews the women, Hogan knows how to bring out the best in the athletes as a host. "I think that we both bring a couple dimensions and change the parameters of the show. We’ve both been in the combat zone in one form or another and wherever these gladiators or contestants are going as far as competition or physicalities, we both have already been. I think Laila is a constant. She is a professional. I think she’s like very, very grounded and she’s always on track, and knows right where she wants to be in the groove. That kind of gives me the artistic liberty to be Hulk Hogan or not be Hulk Hogan, or bounce all over the place. She kind of like keeps me in line and I kind of like have a chance to bounce all over the place because I know she’s always going to be there and always going to be on track, and always right on the money."
After winning wrestling championships for decades and having a popular reality show, Hogan still pushes himself. American Gladiators is another achievement in his growing resume. "It means a lot. Sometimes you get in situations career-wise where you get to invent yourself or sometimes you get in situations career-wise where you run into a dead end. Sometimes everything in your life kind of keeps going and or it comes to a dead stop or it’s like you have highs and you ride them. You have lows and you survive them. Just out of nowhere, when the show popped up it made sense because it was kind of like a logical extension of what Hulk Hogan should do for his next move. It’s not like just riding off into the sunset but it’s kind of like Hulk Hogan’s going to be part of the media on the big screen or the little screen, or print advertising. This is just like a huge, logical extension after the reality show to keep myself alive, to reinvent myself, to be part of network programming. It makes a lot of sense so it fits perfectly in with the continuing of the Hulk Hogan career when I really didn’t know if I was going to start a business or get into broadcast, media business or eventually retire. This just kind of like led me into realizing there’s a long life span left."
American Gladiators airs Sundays and Mondays.
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