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Eric Bischoff On Indie Companies Trying to Book Hulk Hogan, How Hulkamania Australia Tour Came Together

May 2, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
Hulk Hogan Snoop Dogg Image Credit: WWE

On a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussed the Australia wrestling tour involving Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in 2009. Bischoff talked about if there were ever any serious conversations with networks to work with Hogan, independent promotions attempting to book Hogan, and how the Hulkamania Australia Tour came together. Some highlights are below.

On if he and Hogan ever had serious conversations with a TV network about doing something: “I had separately, not with Hulk, I had a couple of conversations, but nothing serious. There was never a serious offer or serious discussion on the table. I think Hulk and I took a couple of different meetings. We did meet with FOX at one point. But, even that was probably the only meetings Hulk and I took together. I think David Hill was the guy. I think David Hill, at that point, was the head of FOX Sports. I can’t remember it was a long time ago. But, even that meeting was more social than it was real. There was always a conversation, there was always people speculating, but there was never anything real or tangible.”

On if independent promotions attempted to book Hogan through Bischoff: “It happened pretty frequently, but I was also handling a lot of Hulk’s business not just wrestling business, but I was also handling a lot of his licensing, merchandising and different opportunities. I would get a call probably once, twice a year on average from somebody interested in possibly bringing Hulk in or creating a tour, but out of those one or two a year very few of them were serious or really had the resources to pull it off.”

On how the Hulkamania Australia Tour came together: “The pitch came from I think it’s Rikishi’s cousin, Reno. I think he wrestled as Black Swan. Super guy, by the way. Reno had been working with a promoter, actually two of them father and son can’t remember their name either. Michael was the son’s name. That was the guy I dealt with the most. Reno had been working with this promoter in Australia previously. I think they had sone some shows in Australia, smaller shows with this promoter. Reno wanted to try and see if Hulk would be available as well as Ric and some of the other bigger names that we could put together. I didn’t know Reno and he reached out to be through the William Morris agency. I was repped by William Morris, at the time. Reno knew that so he reached out through my agent. I took a meeting and I liked Reno a lot seemed a really bright guy and had his s*** together. I ran it by Hulk and Hulk got excited about it. Australia was always that market that I think Hulk and other felt like man if we could just do one big tour in Australia. Because, it was a hot market and Hulk hadn’t spent a lot of time in Australia. I’m not even sure he had been there before. — I think the idea of going to a market where Hulk had never been before in a big market — to go there for the very first time without the WWE was really attractive to Hulk.

So, when I met with Reno I did a little research with the promoters and had a couple conversations with Michael. But, I had a couple conversations with the promoters, and by the way they also booked the Rolling Stones. They were rock and roll promoters primarily. — So clearly they had their s*** together and knew what they were doing. Had the relationships with venues and all the other things that you really need to have to be a successful promoter. So, they were credible and I ran it by Hulk and he got excited about it. Hulk wanted Ric on the card. That was a big concern. Hulk was in really, really bad physical shape at that point and also knew he had to be in there with somebody that he could really trust and depend on that could help him overcome some of the limitations that he had physically because he was in really bad shape.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Bob Colling