Interviews EXCLUSIVE: Why was a whole chapter removed from Hulk Hogan's first autobiography in 2002?
Dec 29, 2012 - 3:55:15 PM
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Ten years ago this week, Hulk Hogan revealed details on why an entire chapter on the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage was removed from his first autobiography, "Hollywood Hulk Hogan," published in 2002. The following is an excerpt from an exclusive Torch Talk with Hogan conducted by PWTorch editor Wade Keller in late 2002.
Wade Keller: Once the manuscript of your book was written by Michael Friedman, how involved were you in terms of the wording or the pacing or the direction of how the book was written? Or did you kind of trust him because he had done stuff like this before?
Hogan: When I first got the book, every other word was f---, every other word was sh--. I mean every paragraph had the F-word in it, and I don't talk that way. I mean, I cuss once in a while and sometimes I get on a roll, but I don't talk for three hundred pages with five F-words on every page. The first time I read it I was like, "What is this guy trying to do?" I called him and he said, "Well, we want an edge." I said: "Brother, this is not me. It's not how I talk or how I act or how I think." The first thing we did was try to eliminate the ridiculous amount of cussing that this guy put in the book. Then he started putting some weird twists on storylines and stuff I didn't say, stuff like Jesse Ventura stuff that related to drugs and accusations, things I didn't say. So I had to get him off of that and derail that train of thought. And then once we kind of got the book where it felt comfortable, I zipped it out for my attorney to look at, just because I've never done this before and I don't want to make a few bucks on the book and then have to fight ten lawsuits for $20 million each for the next ten years.
I sent the book to him and he got on the same page and tried to fix a lot of the stuff I said that was over the top or wasn't politically correct. Once that was fixed, we asked the Simon & Schuster people and Vince McMahon if they had any questions. Apparently Simon & Schuster sent about a 150 different questionable items to WWE, which I should have had a couple months before but for some reason were not forwarded on to me. And there were like 150 different things that they wanted to be indemnified for, which meant that if I said them, they didn't want to get sued for it. And then, all of a sudden when we got that, we found out that the WWF, I mean the WWE wanted a bunch of things okayed that they wouldn't be responsible for. So I said, "Well, wait a minute, why did we even write this book?" We have to change things and everybody is afraid to get sued. I don't want to be sued, Simon & Schuster doesn't want to be sued, Vince doesn't want to be sued, but they want an edgy book. I went, "Okay, well who is going to be responsible for all of this?" Apparently it would be me, so basically we had to manipulate and try not to compromise the book too much.
But there was a whole chapter on the Macho Man that I had to take out, a whole chapter, and just stuff like that. I said: "Wow, I didn't know I couldn't say that. It's the the truth, why can't I say it?" "Well, then there's going to be legal recourse, this, that, and the other." I said, "Okay, whatever." He's not part of my life and he's not important to me anyway, so we'll take it out. I just thought the wrestling fans would want to know my spin on what I thought of the guy.
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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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