STAMFORD, CT — World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced today that it will meet former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s demands upon his entry into the upcoming Hall of Fame ceremony following WrestleMania 21 on April 3, 2005.
Hogan, who is best known for his WWE run in the mid and late 1980s, is the biggest money draw WWE has ever had, with the possible exception of 1990s icon “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. His entry into the Hall of Fame had been years overdue, insiders say, causing the Hall of Fame concept to become somewhat of a laughing stock inside the industry.
The most notable demand from Hogan is that fellow WWE legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper be un-invited to the Hall of Fame ceremony. Piper, who briefly feuded with Hogan in 1984 and 1985 in WWE, has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Hogan both in and out of the ring. The demand also means that Piper’s scheduled guest at WrestleMania, Steve Austin, is also off the show.
“This is typical Hogan insecurity,” said former WWE grappler and ex-Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura. “Anytime anyone succeeds more than Hogan in any area of business, he gets insanely jealous and insecure. After I won Governor, he was on Leno weeks later announcing his run for Presidency. It’s ridiculous.”
The second demand from Hogan’s camp is that the Rock not be re-signed by WWE for at least the next 20 years. Rock, whose real name is Dwayne Johnson, wrestled successfully for WWE before venturing full-time into movies. His WWE contract quietly expired several weeks ago, and rumors circulated of recent negotiations for a new deal.
But with Hogan’s demands having been met, all negotiations with Rock are out the window until the year 2025. Hogan also starred in a several films, but didn’t have the box office power Rock’s films did. Sources close to the situation said this fact has privately eaten away at Hogan, and could be the reason for his demand.
The third demand will lead to a change in WWE corporate hierarchy. Current CEO Linda McMahon will step down from her position on April 1, 2005, to be replaced by Edward Leslie, who previously wrestled for WWE under the name Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Leslie, who has no prior management experience, will spend the month of March shadowing Linda at the office, in order to transition him to take over her job duties the following month.
As part of the handover to Leslie, WWE will waive its usual background screening and drug testing, which is company policy for all new hires in management positions.
The fourth demand will include the demotion of McMahon’s children, Shane and Stephanie. The children, who have worked with the company in various capacities since their teen years, play substantial roles in WWE both behind and in front of the cameras. Shane and Stephanie McMahon will transition their duties to Jerry Sags and Brian Knobs, respectively.
Knobs and Sags, who wrestled as the “Nasty Boys” tag team for years, are childhood friends and close associates of Hogan. Stephanie’s current position, in charge of WWE’s creative division, has been the subject of much debate over the past for years. This division will now be headed by Knobs.
Like Leslie, both Knobs and Sags also have no prior management experience.
The fifth demand will fill cause major waves down in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), which trains WWE developmental wrestlers for future stardom. Jim Cornette, who helps run the territory, will be replaced by Hogan’s real life manager, Jimmy Hart. Hart, like Cornette, is best known for his work in the 1980s as a ringside manager.
In addition, as part of Hogan’s demands, approximately 95% of the OVW roster will be released. Instead, the territory will revolve around new hire Horace Hogan, Hulk’s real life nephew. While the group will mainly be built around Horace as the top star, new talent will be brought in to fill out the depleted roster. Newcomers will include Edward Leslie (who will double as the CEO) and Hogan’s son Nicholas, who is currently attending junior high school.
Concerns about Leslie’s ability to handle both positions were put to rest by Hogan’s manager, Jimmy Hart. “Beefcake, what can I say about him? Here’s a guy who was top dog at his previous job as a toll booth collector. With that kind of resume, how could we possibly say No? He’s got all the tools both to run WWE and wrestle as one of OVW’s top stars. Plus, the younger talent gets to benefit from his years of experience as one of the top performers in the industry, bar none.”
The final demand from Hogan will affect WWE’s famed “divas.” The company has received criticism for its hiring of talents like Joy Giovanni and Christy Hemme, who critics say have little to offer other than their looks. Those two divas, along with all the others, will be phased down and eventually out of WWE, according to the demands. Replacing them will be Hogan’s daughter, Brooke, and Hogan’s wife, Linda.
“She’s a total MILF,” said Hart regarding Linda. “You know, a ‘Mom I’d Like to F*ck.’ As for baby Brooke, well I better not say what I want to or else I’ll be arrested (laughs)!”
At that point, WWE color commentator Jerry Lawler chimed in. “Hell, I ain’t got nothing to lose… she’s HOT! Oh man oh man, I can’t wait to get my greasy hands all over Brooke!”
Lawler earned fame in the Memphis territory, where he ironically drew huge crowds in the early 1980s feuding with Hart. The two remain close friends to this day.
Vince McMahon, who is the head honcho behind WWE, remained eerily quiet as the story broke. Sources say his children, Shane and Stephanie, stormed into the hospital (where Vince is recovering from two torn quads) and started beating him senseless once they found out Hogan’s demands had been met.
Stephanie in particular has been quite the topic of discussion of late. Sources close to her indicate she plans to file divorce papers next week. Stephanie is currently married to WWE champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley (HHH).
As for HHH, he was seen at the Knicks game last night with Brooke Hogan on his arm. HHH, who many say intentionally courted Stephanie as a means to dominate the company, is rumored to have expressed interest in Brooke immediately after the ink dried on the contract that officially validated Hogan’s demands.