Bischoff Explains Why Hulk Hogan Did Not Work WCW’s North Korea Show

Apr 30, 2019 - by James Walsh

In the latest 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff looked back at the 1995 WCW North Korea show and recalled trying unsuccessfully to convince Hulk Hogan to appear at the show. Highlights are below:

On Hulk Hogan refusing to appear: “Contractually, Hulk wasn’t obligated to do any international live events. There were a couple that he wanted to do, because he felt, we felt that it would be very profitable and would move a lot of merchandise. And obviously, he was very vested and had a great stake in merchandise sales. So he went over to Germany and things like that. But going over North Korea or going over to Japan, those were carveouts [secondary agreements]. Not North Korea specifically, but Japan was a carveout. So in order to get him to do it, I had to get him to volunteer to do it. Particularly because there was going to be no licensing or merchandising opportunities in North Korea, it was a long trip, no doubt about it. And the fact that he just didn’t really want to travel that extensively. So in terms of where did I go? I was down in Florida, and I had spent a lot of time in Florida. Between shooting shows at Disney/MGM Studios and dealing with Hulk and Randy, and a lot of talent was already down there. And it was often times easier for me to go down to where they were in a more relaxed environment than to have creative meetings and discussions inside the CNN Center. It always seemed too formal. So I was down in Florida, I was at his home, and I said, ‘Look, this is gonna be a hell of an opportunity.’ By that time, Muhammed Ali was already on board, he was excited to do it. And I did my best, you know. I can be a pretty decent salesperson when I have to be. And I put on my salesman shoes and I was dancing, I was doing all kind of, you know, my best salesman moves. And the way I described it in the book is pretty accurate. Hulk just looked at me, and he let me get my pitch out, and I was just full of energy and enthusiasm and excitement. And he stroked his Fu Manchu and said, ‘Nah, sorry. Can’t make that one, brother.’ ”

On Antonio Inoki wanting Hogan there: “I pretty much expected it. It wasn’t that I wanted Hulk to go over, as much as it was Antonio Inoki really wanted Hulk Hogan. I think from Antonio’s point of view, to be able to bring Muhammed Ali, who was such an amazing, respected world figure even at that time. To be able to bring Muhammed Ali and Hulk Hogan over to Korea, I think, would have been absolutely the best thing that could have happened for Antonio from a political point of view. But Hulk just was not interested, and he wasn’t obligated.”

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