In a candid conversation on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the wrestling world was provided with a rare glimpse into the grueling toll that a professional wrestling career can take on the human body. Hulk Hogan, an iconic figure in the industry and a WWE Hall of Famer, disclosed that he has undergone a staggering 25 surgeries over the past decade due to the physical rigors of his wrestling days. This revelation serves as a stark reminder that behind the flamboyant personas and scripted storylines, professional wrestlers endure real and often debilitating injuries for the sake of entertaining their fans.
Hogan, who enjoyed immense popularity as a six-time WWE Champion and two-time Hall of Famer, passionately debunked the notion that wrestling is entirely staged and devoid of physicality. Addressing the longstanding belief that wrestling is “fake,” the 70-year-old legend vehemently defended the authenticity of the physical challenges that wrestlers face within the ring.
While the outcomes of matches are indeed predetermined by figures like the former WWE CEO Vince McMahon, Hogan underscored that the physical pain and toll are very real. He fervently asserted,
“I’ve had 25 surgeries in the last 10 years. So when people say, ‘Hey, you know, the wrestling is fake’, it goes right up my a** because at the end of the day, it’s predetermined. If you and I were wrestling, Vince is gonna tell us who’s gonna win or lose, but all that stuff that happens in the middle, it hurts,” Hogan said.
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Beyond sharing his personal experiences, Hogan also offered a fascinating glimpse into the dynamics of the wrestling world. He recounted an intriguing encounter involving WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, who returned to wrestling from the UFC. Hogan revealed that upon Lesnar’s comeback, McMahon had plans for the two legends to collaborate in the ring. Despite Hogan winding down his active wrestling career at the time, McMahon wanted him to work with Lesnar. Hogan recollected,
“I got him first when he came back from the UFC. I was kind of winding down putting guys over and doing my thing and Vince goes, ‘I want you to work with Brock.’ I went, ‘Okay,”
Hogan’s remarks serve as a testament to the often-overlooked physical toll endured by professional wrestlers, dispelling misconceptions about the scripted nature of the sport. His legacy and enduring popularity ensure that his insights continue to resonate with fans, fostering a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who step into the squared circle.