The two legends wrestled at WrestleMania X8, in one of the best WrestleMania matches of all time.
However, the bout did not go as planned, based on the crowd reaction for the crowd in Toronto.
The Rock was the biggest babyface in the WWE at the time, while Hulk Hogan was the villainous leader of the legendary New World Order.
Both men, and the WWE, expected the crowd to boo Hogan and cheer Rock, but the opposite was true. They cheered Hogan louder than ever, and the two men flipped the script and put on one of the best WrestleMania matches ever.
Speaking with Theo Von on the This Past Weekend Podcast, Hulk Hogan revealed how his match with The Rock was the first one he ever planned beforehand – and it all went horribly wrong.
“I’d never talked to anybody about having a match before, and when I went back, Vince was worried. Well, things have changed, monster. You know, if you’re gonna come back here, you gotta really bring it.”
“I didn’t say anything, but in my mind, I’m saying if I bring it, you’re gonna ask me to take it back, you know because I can still go. And so I didn’t say anything, and then all of a sudden I get a call from Vince.”
“You know, we’d really feel comfortable if you go down to Miami and rehearse the match. I’ve never rehearsed a match in my life, what do we even talk about? Yeah, I don’t know what I’m going to do until I listen to the people, you know, this with my ear and my heart. I don’t, yeah, you know.”
“So we, I got out of respect, Vince asked me to go down there. So I go down there, and Rocky Johnson’s there’s Dad, oh yeah, he played football at Miami, didn’t he? Yeah, and it’s hot as a, in this Warehouse, it had the middle of summer, and this other guy named Pat Patterson, who knows a lot about wrestling and kind of helped me when I first started.”
“So I get in the ring with The Rock, and he kind of told me what he wanted to do, you know, and kind of walk me through what he wanted to do, and I was thinking, man, if the crowd doesn’t like what we’re doing, are we just gonna keep doing this, you know, out of respect, I listened to him, you know, because it was dad and him and the family. “
“I listened to everything I want to do, and then Pat Patterson goes, ‘Okay, let’s go through the match.’ I said, ‘Are you crazy? So if I fall down here, I’m gonna get hurt.’ Yeah, I need 80,000 people, bro, you know, I mean, I’m a one-time around the block guy, yeah, me too, dude, a lot of times.”
“I said, ‘Look, just, we’re cool,’ and Dwayne’s fault. I mean, Rock’s father’s going, ‘Dwayne, listen to Hogan,’ he’s just yelling at him from outside, ‘Just listen to Hogan, you know.'”
“So we get up to Toronto, right, and you know everybody thinks I’m gonna get booed out of the building and they’re going to cheer him because he’s been the number one Babyface guy there forever. “
“So we’re in the dressing room, and The Rock starts going over what we kind of plan. I’m listening and listening, okay, brother, ‘Sure, we’ll do it if it’s there, we’ll do it if it’s there, we’ll do it,’ and his dad’s going, ‘Dwayne, listen to Logan.'”
“So we get out there, bro, and it was booing him and cheering me. I said, ‘Ah, this ain’t gonna work.’ So we kind of flipped things around in the ring, and he was so good in the ring, bro, he’s like an audible man, he’s like that second generation third-generation wrestler Instinct man, he was there.”
“So it was fun, but it took me about 10 minutes to get things turned around.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please give a H/T to Atletifo for the transcription.
Hulk Hogan vs The Rock when on to be a fantastic wrestling match. It is among the best WrestleMania matches of all time, relying on the crowd reaction to tell a story.
However, as we must state on every story told by Hulk Hogan – take it with a grain of salt.
He is a notorious liar, as we proved in this collection of Hulk Hogan’s biggest and most outrageous lies.
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.