Hulk Hogan on Verne Gagne Bribing Iron Sheik to Break His Leg
WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin interviewed fellow WWE Hall of Famer and wrestling legend Hulk Hogan on a recent edition of the Steve Austin Show. During the interview, Hulk Hogan addressed a conflict he had with Bob Backlund in the 1980s, where Backlund seemingly attempted to get the title switch for Iron Sheik to get moved to him over Hogan in January 1984. Hogan makes it out as if Backlund tried to talk Vince McMahon Sr. and Vince McMahon Jr. out of the decision, saying Hogan shouldn’t win the title because he’s “not a real athlete.” Also, Hogan stated that Verne Gagne had offered Iron Sheik $100,000 to break Hogan’s leg during the title match.
Hulk Hogan on Bob Backlund trying to talk the McMahons out of putting the world title onto Hogan: “I went to Madison Square Garden, and I was supposed to win the belt that night. But before that happened, I made some TVs, and I went out there with Backlund, and we had a tag match agains the Wild Samoans. And after that, Backlund went up to Vince Sr. and said, ‘I don’t want to work with Hulk anymore.’ And he drew a line in the sand. He didn’t want to be my partner. He didn’t want to be around me. And Vince Jr. goes, ‘Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. Bob’s just in shock because he doesn’t have the belt. He thinks it’s a shoot,’ ya know? And so, the night at Madison Square Garden, you know, I’m in the Garden standing in the Hallway. And Vince has those kind of glasses down on his nose. He’s clicking the quarters together looking at me. Vince is here. Vince Sr.’s here. I’m here, and Bob Backlund’s standing right here, and he’s covered with hives. He’s covered head-to-toe with hives because he thought he was going to win the belt back from the Sheik, but plans had changed after I had made the deal with Vince.”
“So, all the sudden we’re talking, and Vince Sr. is looking at me, and Bob Backlund speaks up, and he says, ‘I don’t think anybody should win the title that’s not a real athlete.’ I looked at Backlund. I had been training with him in Japan, on tours with him. I’m the only one who will run the steps with him. I’m the only one who will do that crazy workout that he was doing. And he shot that angle on the spot that he didn’t think I should win the belt because I’m not a real athlete. And Vince Sr. goes, ‘Well, Terry. We really should think this thing through, and I think maybe in about six months from now, it might be about a good time to put the belt on you.’ I go, ‘Vince Sr., all due respect, that’s not the deal I made with your son. But I just burnt a huge bridge in Minnesota. So, I’m going to go out. I’m going to put the Sheik over tonight. But then, I’m going right back, and I’m going to rebuild that bridge that I burnt down, and then I’m outta here.’ And Vince Jr. goes, “Aw. Let’s talk. Let’s talk.’ Vince took me in the back room and says, ‘I’ll be back in a few minutes.’ So, I guess he went to his dad, and he fixed it.”
Hogan on Verne Gagne attempting to bribe Iron Sheik to break his leg: “So, the finish was on where I was still going to go over. There was a moment there where in the Garden — and I was cool. I was going to do the job, but I was gone. And Junior came back and said, ‘Things are on plan,’ and this, that and the other. I went out — and Iron Sheik did the job for me. Little did I know, Verne [Gagne] had contacted the Sheik and said, ‘I’ll give you $100,000 if you break Hogan’s leg,’ you know? (Austin says, ‘Shoot.’) Shoot, yeah. And so after that, Khos [Iron Sheik] goes, ‘I can’t believe it, but I did the best thing. Verne wanted me to break your leg!’ Because Khos broke in with Verne. They were tight. I got through it all on a whim and a wish.”