Hulk Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bollea) has ‘written’ two books, and by far, the better one on the market is his first book, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, published by WWE/Pocketbooks in 2002. In that book, you’ll find Hogan’s thoughts about other wrestlers and numerous wrestling anecdotes, including one time in Japan when Andre the Giant took a shit on top of a pile of newspapers on a bed in a Japanese hotel, because the toilet and bathtub weren’t big enough.
‘My Life Outside the Ring’ accurately describes what this book is all about. Aside from several references to wrestling, this book describes Hogan’s life growing up, his marriage to Linda, the birth of his children and what it was like being away from his family while touring the globe for the WWF/WCW/WWE.
Some people may naturally think that it would be more interesting to read about what it’s like to be Hulk Hogan outside of the ring. It is interesting to read in-depth about Hogan’s upbringing and about his destructive older brother’s life (and death) at the hands of drugs. However, the problems with this book are twofold; the bullshit meter is off the chart (what else would one expect from Hogan), and the last 1/3 of the book is, well, just boring!
Hogan has been known to embellish the truth, or, at times, flat out lie. I don’t doubt that Hogan has suffered numerous injuries as a result of wrestling for over 30 years. My problem is when Hogan claims for the first time that certain injuries occurred in specific matches, when it’s clearly bullshit. Hogan claims that in his 1984 match against the Iron Shiek, where Hogan won the world title, that his kneecap exploded during the match when he gave the Shiek a kneedrop. Hogan claims that he was in tremendous pain, but that he knew he couldn’t derail his and Vince McMahon’s plans for the explosion of Hulkamania, so he gutted through the match on adrenaline and wrestled for months with this ‘injury,’ without ever telling Vince what happened.
I watched this match with the Iron Shiek about 10 times after reading the book; Hogan doesn’t even flinch when he drops a knee on the Shiek. Additionally, Hogan runs around the ring without limping, and celebrates after the match without problems. Furthermore, Hogan never mentioned this injury in his prior book. Combining all of these factors, there’s no way in hell that Hogan exploded his kneecap during this match.
Hogan also discusses an injury that he suffered during his 1991 "Survivor Series" match with the Undertaker, when he was tombstoned onto a chair that Ric Flair slid into the ring. Hogan claims that the majority of his body went numb instantly, and that he wound up in the hospital for days, constantly pressing the morphine button to dull the pain. If that was really the case, then Hogan really is Superman, because he was able to wrestle again a mere 6 days later in a rematch with the Undertaker at the "Tuesday in Texas" PPV!
It’s interesting to read about Hogan’s drug use, from steroids and testosterone to marijuana and cocaine. Hogan admits that he didn’t set a good example for his children, and that he regrets dabbling with cocaine. It’s interesting to read that Hogan and his wife (now ex-wife) Linda made an agreement that he would stop taking steroids when they were trying to conceive, yet Linda reneged by not taking birth control when she became pregnant with Nick, telling a concerned Hogan that she didn’t think it was a big deal. One only has to see how Nick turned out to see how well that little decision turned out!
Hogan talks in-depth about his marriage to Linda; her problems with alcohol, her reckless spending and how she is a person who lives off of negative energy. Again, this is Hogan that we’re talking about, but if Hulk’s assertion that Linda’s response every night at bedtime to Hogan’s ‘Goodnight’ wish was to say ‘Fuck You Terry,’ then Linda is many light years more bat-shit crazy that Hogan (and that’s obviously saying something).
One key point in the book is Hogan’s discussion of Nick’s driving accident, including the events that happened earlier in the day leading up to the accident, as well as all of the fallout and legal issues that resulted from Nick’s reckless operation and his jail sentence. Another key point is Hogan talking about the slow but steady dissolution of his marriage to Linda, including the shock of finding out that Linda filed divorce papers right before he was set to start filming the first episode of American Gladiators. Hogan also writes about the night that he almost committed suicide, sticking the barrel of a gun in his mouth, only to stop when he received a phone call from Muhammed Ali’s daughter, Laila, asking him how he was doing.
The first two thirds of the book really aren’t that bad, they’re just kind of there. The last third of the book primarily discusses Hogan’s faith and spiritual redemption by following ‘the laws of attraction,’ a religious-like following based on the book The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. Hogan writes in detail about how this following saved him, and made him a better person. As a Hulkamaniac, I’m glad that Hogan found some inner peace via the laws of attraction, but as far as making for an exciting story, it sucks.
Hogan claims that WWE censored part of his first book when it was published in 2002; if so, they knew what they were doing! Containing very little in the way of wrestling anecdotes (and several bullshit ones), numerous digs at his ex-wife and incessant defending of how Nick wasn’t driving reckless when he crashed Hogan’s car and paralyzed Nick’s friend, the book appears to be very self-serving, even for Hogan. If you must get the book, make sure to read it with a jar of salt, instead of just a grain.
2 out of 5 Hulkamania fingers
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