Renowned wrestling personalities Jim Ross and Hulk Hogan never had the chance to work together in an extended capacity, with their paths intersecting only intermittently. During Hogan's meteoric rise in WWE, Ross was part of Mid-South Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, and WCW.
When Hogan switched to WCW in 1994, Ross had already moved on to WWE. Fast forward to the early 2000s, when Ross took the helm as WWE's Head of Talent Relations, Hogan was on hiatus, waiting for his WCW/Turner contract to expire, and didn't return to WWE until 2002.
At that point, Ross had shifted focus to nurturing younger talent. In a recent episode of "Grilling Jr.," Ross reminisced about the King of the Ring 1993, a pivotal moment in wrestling history. Hogan was exiting WWE, and Ross was announcing his inaugural WWE pay-per-view.
That evening he offered Ross a firsthand glimpse into the world of Hogan, which turned out to be a revelation.
"Hogan's High-Maintenance Backstage Demands"
Ross stated, "Working with Hogan was intriguing. He demanded attention and special treatment, typical of a superstar.
His prolonged discussions with Vince McMahon about the climax of his match were baffling. However, if it made Hogan content, so be it. Witnessing the conduct of business backstage was quite enlightening." He was referring to Hogan relinquishing the WWE Championship to Yokozuna in his last WWE telecast match for close to nine years, after which Hogan left for WCW.
During his limited interaction with Hogan in 1993, Ross picked up on the chatter about Hogan's resistance to losing to specific wrestlers. In his 2008 autobiography, Bret Hart claimed Hogan was to surrender the WWE Championship to him at SummerSlam 1993 before Hogan's departure to WCW.
However, Hogan lost to Yokozuna instead. Refuting the argument that Hogan may have been unwilling to lose to a "lesser" wrestler, Ross defended, "Bret Hart was far from a weak successor. Hogan's refusal to lose to Bret was baffling and against wrestling logic." Ross also brought up an instance when Hogan downplayed the WWE Championship after a match in NJPW, referring to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as superior, a comment that ruffled Vince McMahon's feathers.
Ross criticized Hogan's attitude, stating, "McMahon turned Hogan into a millionaire and a global phenomenon, with WWE orbiting around him. His unprofessional behavior towards the business that made him was disheartening." In Ross's opinion, Hogan's derogatory remarks were unnecessary and indicative of insecurity.
In conclusion, Ross expressed that Hogan's misconception about avoiding overexposure by not working full time, reflected in current champions like Roman Reigns and MJF, was misguided. Ross revealed that McMahon had grown weary of Hogan's antics by 1993 and felt almost liberated when Hogan left WWE.