The fabulism of Hulk Hogan

Stuart Millard on the demented fantasy world of Hulk Hogan. [Frantic Planet via Charles Wheeler]

Old wrestlers come from a world where there’s no such thing as a lie, just a “work,” where the faces and heels would change in separate dressing rooms, and onscreen personas had to be maintained on the street, to keep up the illusion and protect the business. Consequently they live entirely in fantasy kingdoms of their own making, where the truth is whatever version of the facts is coming out of their mouth at that given moment, repainting incidents from the past like dinosaur hunters crushing prehistoric butterflies beneath their heel


  1. For folks who don’t click through onto my tweet, Mr. Millard’s Twitter handle is @franticplanet, and he’s much funnier and more interesting on Twitter than I am.

  2. In some alternate universe, Hogan is telling Mean Gene that the Bradbury fella he’s about to wrestle at Wrestlemania 3 better eat his vitamins if he wants to steal Hogan’s sound of thunder.

  3. And in other news the sky is blue and it’s dark at night…
    I grew up behind a TV station in the early 60s that aired a live “Big Time Wrestling” and as soon as they were out the door the guys dropped their on-camera characters and would tailgate party in the parking lot.  It’s always been a fantasy world.

  4. I remember an incident where the Iron Sheik and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got caught in a limo in Jersey smoking pot.  The scandal wasn’t so much that they were smoking pot or even that Duggan was the son of a police chief, but that the two were supposed to be mortal enemies and were sharing a joint.

    Of course I’m recalling this from 20+ year old memories, so it could all be fantasy bullshit as well.

    1. I have always assumed wrestlers who were ‘mortal enemies’ onstage would often tend to be good friends offstage since they are together so often and need to ‘read’ one another like dance partners if they want to pull off the more bombastic moves safely. 

    2. Mr Mole , I’ve never really been a Wrastlin fan  but I do remember what you are speaking of ….. was it hacksaw or SGT. Slaughter? Whomever, I do remember the shared joint incident and thought then HMMM they are on to something ……..

    1.  they always have those fantastic  stories to tell……know one myself , love how they actually believe the lies they spin are well …. reality .

  5. I have been really stunned the WWE  survived the Chris Benoit’s killing his family due to steroid rage.

    1.  If you have a source that conclusively, exclusively links that incident to “steroid rage”, please do share with the rest of the class.

    2. It’s possible that their key demographic is people who fantasize about killing their own families.

    3. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

      Steroid use was possibly involved, but that was not the entire story.  CTE has recently led to the deaths of Ray Easterling, Dave Duerson, Andre Waters and possibly Junior Seau.  Duerson shot himself in the chest, indicating (via text) his brain was to be donated to Boston University School of Medicine.

  6. Next thing they’ll tell me is that Andy Kaufman wasn’t even a real wrestler

    1. Except that clip is from the mid-to-late 70s. You’ve been hanging out with the Hulkster too much brother! ;)

    2. I’ve just never put two and two together on it… but motherfucker sounds EXACTLY like Rick Flair.

  7. I trained as a babyface back in the day.  The heels were usually nicer to work with, less vain and more generous with gags, not to mention gentler. Trouble was I had a face’s body but a heel’s face. It was a bad  fit — so I went off to college and became an English teacher and a poet.

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