Credit: Shawn Valentino and Prowrestling.net
1. The Beacon Theater venue was a beautiful, classy setting for this event. It reminded me of some of the really well done Hall of Fame events at the smaller theaters.
2. The crowd was about 2/3 full, which is fairly decent given people are paying about 30 to 300 dollars essentially to hear two people talk.
3. I was never a Hogan fan as a child, but I have to admit that even after all these years, he still has that magical connection with the audience. I have met him numerous times and he, along with Tom Cruise, is possibly the most fan-friendly celebrity I have seen.
4. Other wrestlers should watch and learn from the way Hogan talks to the people. He always uses words like “we” and how “all of us” have been on a “journey” with him. It makes the crowd feel connected to him, and he really does have a special bond with the audience. Guys like Triple H, Shawn Michaels and CM Punk just do not have it, and that is why there is such a huge separation from them and guys like Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock.
5. I was partially there for the unintentional comedy and it didn’t disappoint. From statements to how Hiro Matsuda broke his leg in his first match to 30 Japanese people coming after him, there were some ridiculous overstatements. Hogan discussed how he was in the hospital and suddenly Macho Man showed up and they settled their differences, and a few weeks later Randy died. I do not know about you guys, but for me, it is tough to believe that Hogan and Savage both happened to be in the same hospital at the same time by chance.
6. Wrestling fans are, to put it nicely, an interesting lot so you had a strange crowd of social misfits and you are reminded why major advertisers do not want to put their commercials on WWE programming despite great ratings.
7. One of the funnier moments was when a fan asked an out-of-shape Bischoff when his baby was due. The crowd booed the fan and Bischoff no-sold it, but Hogan sat there with a smirk on his face.
8. Nobody asked about the sex-tape amazingly, but when a fan screamed that Hulk should never have gotten married, Hogan said “Amen!” Hulk also seemed to have an affinity for the late Sensational Sherri, and emphasized that he was single when he first saw her at a strip club.
9. Hogan said his favorite wrestler to work with was Randy Savage.
10. He said that he is with TNA because it is cool to be with a growing company. He and Bischoff compared it to when WCW was a struggling company that nobody thought could compete and they were eventually able to topple WWF for over a year.
11. A fan asked if Hogan liked playing Hollywood or the red and yellow better, and he replied that they were both so fun that he could not decide.
12. Hogan and Bischoff stated that Vince McMahon was a genius and the reason wrestling has become worldwide is because of his vision.
13. Unfortunately, it ended on a frustrating note because after standing in line for about a half-hour, questioning was cut off and many of us were not able to ask questions. Unfortunately, most of the people that asked questions were not exactly making the most insightful inquiries. In the end, it was a really badly organized event because there should have been a better system for the Q&A that guaranteed fans that stood in line for so long at least one question. Nonetheless, it is always fascinating to hear two of the most influential people in the history of wrestling onstage speaking in a fairly intimate atmosphere.