Hulk Hogan’s Close Friend Speaks on Hulk’s 2002 WWE Return, Linda Hogan’s Mood Swings, and More
- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently interviewed Chris Sader, the number one fan of Hulk Hogan and close family friend. Sader is now the subject of the independent wrestling film, Sadermania. Below are some highlights from the interview:
Sader on his favorite career highlight for Hogan: “Sader: I’d have to say March 17, 2002, in Toronto, which was his return to WrestleMania against The Rock. It stands out for numerous reasons. One, it was cool because I was there with his family as a guest. I got escorted to ringside by WWE security along with his son, Nick Hogan, to watch the match which was cool. The real reason it stands out for me is the year before Hulk Hogan was written off of wrestling. He had this big thing with Vince Russo and his finish with Jeff Jarrett. After he left the building, Vince Russo cursed him out, everybody wrote Hulk Hogan off and said you wouldn’t see him again in wrestling. Then, here he comes back, returns to WWE a year later as a heel. Starts getting cheered as they build to WrestleMania. Week by week, louder and louder. Being in the Skydome, the crowd just erupted for Hulk. All the wrestlers, all the fans still talk about that match to this day. The electricity that night in the arena for Hulk was unlike anything I’ve ever seen for anything in this business. I was in tears. It was just awesome to see my idol come back the way he did, steal the show and be the number one guy again. It was one of those stories you only see in movies.”
Sader on being a friend of the Hogan family and dealing with the negative headlines that come out: “The irony about it is when people talk about Hulk sometimes when I’m around, they forget he’s not just a celebrity. They forget, to me he’s like my second dad. Brooke’s like my sister. Nick’s like my brother. So, when you hear all that stuff, there’s a lot of people who would say things and don’t know all of the facts.
“It was a really tough time seeing them go through stuff and not being able to do much about it. I remember when Nick had his accident in the summer of 2007. That was unreal. Brooke was calling me to see how he was because she couldn’t get through to her dad. They flew me out two days later, and it was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed in my life. The media circus in Clearwater was non-stop on a daily basis. I remember after that, it was one thing after another. Linda filed for divorce which was the best thing. I got to know Linda real well. The thing about Linda is I saw the best in her, but I saw the worst in her. She threw me out of the house a couple times just because.”
Sader on why Linda threw him out of the house: “There was never a valid reason. … She would just go off and say I’m sick of seeing you. Hulk would be out of the house, and she would be in one of her moods. Those were the type of things that happened and Hulk would smooth things over. When the divorce was happening, people would say Hulk did this or did that, I would just laugh and so would my mom and dad because they got to see how Linda was. Back then, there are very few people in my life I’ve met that I was afraid of. I would walk on egg shells around her.”
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