Few wrestlers can brag about being top stars in not just WWE and WCW, but also TNA. But Hulk Hogan can.
Hulk Hogan joined TNA in 2009, promoted as the biggest signing in the company’s history.
His arrival marked a huge change in the fortunes of TNA (and not for the better). They moved to Monday nights, to compete with WWE, ditched the six-sided ring and brought in all of Hogan’s old friends, in prominent positions on the card.
This turned the company into a mockery, and cost them a huge chunk of their loyal fanbase. Millions eventually tuned out, and the signing was deemed as a huge failure.
However, Hulk Hogan nearly joined TNA in 2003, and even planned a match with Jeff Jarrett following a huge attack in Japan.
Hulk Hogan Was Attacked By Jeff Jarrett In Japan
Jeff Jarrett attacked Hulk Hogan at the post-match press conference after NJPW’s Ultimate Crush II event.
Hulk Hogan had signed the deal for the match being released from the WWE in March 2003, following his controversial Mr America gimmick.
The former WWE Champion disagreed with his booking in the company, and after a fallout with many talents, including the boss Vince McMahon, his contract was terminated and he was once again a free agent.
After main eventing the Tokyo Dome against Masahiro Chono, Hogan went backstage to take part in a press conference – a common tradition in Japanese wrestling.
In it, he offered a rematch to Chono, but made it clear that the championship was his goal. Not just the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but also one title he had never won, in the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship.
This belt was held by AJ Styles at the time, but would switch to Jeff Jarrett just two weeks later.
Jeff Jarrett interrupted Hogan as he mentioned the NWA title, hitting him in the head with a guitar and knocking him to the ground, in a shocking scene.
“Now, I want to tell Mr Chono if he wants to have a rematch, I’ll have a rematch with him. But, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is my goal.
I want to become IWGP Champion, NWA Champion (the main title in TNA at the tme)”Hulk Hogan, moments before eating a guitar shot from Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett also brawled with Masahiro Chono during the attack.
Hulk Hogan Almost Signed To TNA In 2003
This attack is constantly referred to as one of the best moments in TNA history, although it led literally nowhere.
On the next TNA show, Jarrett revealed that he attacked Hulk Hogan due to him hearing rumours that Hogan is signing for TNA, and didn’t want him getting a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
The commentators in TNA even discussed Hulk Hogan joining the company live on air, despite not having signed a deal with the WWE Hall of Famer yet.
They held up newspapers, showing Hogan wrestling against Masahiro Chono in New Japan, in his first your of Japan after leaving the WWE that year.
They constantly hyped up the debut of Hulk Hogan, even calling Jimmy Hart before the main event. Jimmy Hart even confirmed that Hulk Hogan would be in the impact zone, and later appeared in Imapct himself. In an interview, Hart then actually said that Hogan had signed for TNA, and would be appearing at Bound for Glory.
TNA hyped up Hulk Hogan, even literally saying he had signed for the company, despite the fact that he had not signed for the company. Jarrett even beat up Hart whilst mocking Hogan, taunting Hogan to come and make the save.
I cannot stress enough how Hulk Hogan did not sign for TNA. At no point did he sign a deal, yet they kept promoting him as wrestling for the company soon.
Eventually, the first ever Bound for Glory pay per view that was cancelled, and would not be mentioned ever again. Hulk Hogan never appeared, and would not appear on camera in TNA for another 7 years.
He Used TNA As A Bargaining Chip
It has been said that Hulk Hogan used TNA as leverage for a new WWE contract, while he recovered from a long-term knee injury.
The Hulkster was never serious about signing for the company, allegedly asking for an eye-watering amount of money to wrestle for the company.
His deal would have likely only been for one match against Jeff Jarrett, as it’s hard to see him agreeing to multiple appearances just to put over stars like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe.
The WWE Hall of Famer signed back with the WWE in 2005, following him recovering from his knee injury.
TNA Eventually Signed Hogan, Nearly Killing The Company
Hulk Hogan actually signed with TNA in 2009, being announced as the business partner of Dixie Carter.
He quickly brought Eric Bischoff, as well as some of his friends from WCW, like the Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and the Nasty Boys, to much apathy for the TNA faithful.
Hogan wrestled a handful of matches in TNA, including one final match against Sting which was surprisingly good for the two men with a combined ago of around 450.
Hulk Hogan’s actually wrestled his last match ever on a TNA show in London, England on February 21, 2013. Hulk Hogan teamed with former rival Sting and TNA star Bully Ray to take on the team of Aces & Eights Members D.O.C, Devon, and Mr Anderson.
Hulk Hogan took very little part in the match. Hogan was 58 at the time of the match, and in awful shape. He had a number back, neck and hip surgeries and his mobility was very poor.
Nearly 4 decades of hitting his atomic leg drop had taken it’s toll on his body, and he had no place wrestling inside the ring at his age. He was kidnapped and beaten down before the match began, and played no part in the in ring action at all.
Hulk Hogan is currently 68 and is barely mobile, according to many sources. Hulk Hogan is retired and will never wrestle again, with this match being a sad end to such a legendary wrestling career for the Hulkster.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.