JR Reacts to Hulk Hogan Winning the World Title at WrestleMania IX
On the latest Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed the infamous Hulk Hogan WWE Title win at WrestleMania 9 and how soon he knew about it. Hogan won the title at the end of the night after Yokozuna claimed it from Bret Hart, a move that was panned (and still is) by many who saw it as WWE pushing Hogan back to the top at the cost of Hart’s main event status. Hart wrote about the change in his book, noting that he found out the night before the show and felt blindsided by the “bulls**t finish.” You can see highlights from JR’s comments below, along with the full podcast:
On if he knew about the title change to Hogan beforehand: “I knew that the plans were for Hogan to leave the show as the champion. That he wasn’t even in a match. So to tell you I knew what was going to happen would be a lie; I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I knew in general terms that by the end of the night when the sun set on WrestleMania IX that Hogan would be leaving as the ‘cham-peen.’ But I didn’t know the fortuitous route that we were gonna take to get there. So no, I didn’t know. Didn’t need to know. I just needed to be able to get the sun to go down a little bit more so I could see my monitor and call what we saw.”
On Hart suggesting that Hogan knew about the title change all along: “You think Hogan’s gonna come back not knowing he’d be be the champion? Come on. This is that self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course the deal was done before Bret found out about it. I don’t know that, but I’d bet money on it.”
On when he first heard about the change and his reaction: “The day of the show, that’s all. ‘You know what we’re doing, don’t you?’ ‘No.’ ‘Well, Hogan’s gonna get the belt.’ That’s what I heard. Hogan’s gonna leave as the champion. Again, that suited my needs perfectly. I believe in my instincts, I believe in my product knowledge and my love of the game still, to this very God-damned day. The love of the game has not left me. And it had not left me at WrestleMania IX. If you put it on the monitor, I think I can describe it and add a narrative that is respectful to what the image that we’re seeing.
“So that’s where I was. All I knew was, it was gonna be a Wild West show, little extemporaneous stuff gonna be going on. But as it was explained to me, maybe even by Bruce [Prichard], ‘But Jim, it’s not that much different than a mid-South show.’ Because that’s what Watts would do, things like that. You know? Switch a belt on the first part of the hour and lose it again in the last part of the hour to the person he wanted it on to begin with. So it was just information I didn’t need to be overridden with. Because it was very political in nature. And Hogan had not endeared himself to many of the guys that were against this particular creative happening. And that’s neither here nor there; that was before I got here, the whole nine yards. Hogan had issues with some of the guys that felt like Bret was deserving of a better deal.”