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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Volume 1, Issue 58
October 9, 1996

Can Hulk Hogan Turn Back?

Hogan does have a movie coming out...

Many of my correspondents have been asking me: Can Hogan make an effective face turn in time for his Christmas movie release? This question was also put up as the latest "Topic of the Week" over at the Bagpipe Report. Others question whether he should even try. Still other (quite a few on the Internet actually) don't care...but I've received enough queries on the subject to justify an article.

Back when the heel turned happened (at the "Bash at the Beach" PPV) I would have made book that this phase of the Hulkster's career had all the staying power of a 95 year old gigilo. Surely, he would turn out to be a WCW spy sent in to destroy the Outsiders from the inside...

As the weeks stretched into months it became obvious that that initial accessment was incorrect. But still I maintained my confidence that Hogan would have to change back to a face personna by Thanksgiving in order to get back into the good graces of the little kids he would be depending on to make his movie a box-office success.

His recent action toward the Macho Man and especially, Elizabeth, have now put that conclusion very much in doubt. The menacing, harrassing, manhandling and spray-painting of one of pro-wrestling most endearing figures (even since she turned heel herself last year) has taken Hollywood Hogan's heel personna to a new (low) level of evil intent.

At this moment I would be very surprised if he would be able to recover his original fan base anytime soon ...as a face. But then the question is: does he need to?

One phenomenum that has arisen of late (much to the supposed chagrin of the WCW brass), is growing fan support for the NWO. In fact it could be argued that Hulk Hogan has enjoyed his greatest surge of popularity in years since he became a heel! I regularly receive e-mail messages and Readers' Forum entries from Internet denizens saying they like Hogan better this way. Some "Hogan Haters" even claim to have changed their minds about him.

So it comes down to whether Hogan wants to return to the face personna of old (if that is even possible)...or does he want to continue to have a robust wrestling career?

My information is that he has most of a multi-million dollar, two-year contract still in front of him with WCW (his contract was apparently extended after he agreed to turn heel at Bash at the Beach). That fact argues for him remaining in the wrestling game in some capacity. His value to the promotion is as a performing athlete, not as a front office bigwig. You don't get the big bucks to create storylines and perform other off-camera duties (unless you're Vince McMahon). The MGM Grand Hotel was only made available as a venue for Halloween Havoc because they were guaranteed a Hogan/Savage match - clearly he will remain a wrestler for the forseeable future.

There has been some speculation that the Halloween Havoc main event will be a retirement match for one or both of the participants. Savage is at the end of his contract and it remains unclear whether he will be re-signed (or whether he wants to be). Hogan is obstensively at the beginning of his...I don't look for him to retire just yet. My guess is that he will stay with the NWO for a while. He might get kicked out by the other members and even try to make a face turn eventually...but not before Christmas.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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