Hulk Hogan has always been one of wrestling's most famous faces. But, in breaking with what is considered to be wrestling tradition, Hulk Hogan was never succesfully able to 'pass the torch' to the next big superstar before his departure from WWE the first time round.
In a recent interview with WWE UK, the WWE Hall of Famer discussed why crowning his successor in the company was so difficult, citing a lack of credible talent who would be ready and able to take up the daunting position:
"I think it's [passing the torch] the most important thing in this business, to maintain the artform, and to make sure that the next generation, the next decade of wrestlers, is ready," said Hogan [h/t/ Inside the Ropes]. "There was a time I was red hot in the 80s and all of a sudden the '90s came and it was time to pass the torch but, it didn't happen that way. I mean they didn't have enough guys ready to lead at that time so, you know, we skipped a generation."
While there were some big names in the mix to become Hulk Hogan's eventual successor, including megastars like The Ultimate Warrior, WWE tried and failed with numerous stars to find someone with the same audience pull as the Hulkster:
"It took time to pass that torch, which should have been passed at the end of the '80s," said Hogan. "I mean we tried with a couple of guys, putting the belts on them and stuff, but they weren't ready to run. They weren't ready like John Cena, they weren't ready like The Rock, they weren't ready like Stone Cold."
Hulk Hogan believes there is a correct way to pass the torch
He may never have been able to fully commit to passing the torch how he wished, but Hulk Hogan is fimly of the belief that the decision and the action must be made in the right way, and not rushed:
"It's very, very important that the torch is passed in the correct way and the guys that have all this experience don't just walk away. They stay there long enough to build the storylines, build the talent, and then pass the torch in the correct way. It's very, very important."
It's clear Hulk Hogan has infinite respect for the business he helped turn into a global phenomenon.
You can catch Hulk Hogan, among a host of other legends, on the upcoming WWE RAW Legends Night this coming Monday.Published 01 Jan 2021, 18:36 IST