The story of Hiro Matsuda breaking your leg on your first day of training is legendary. How has wrestling instruction advanced since the time you broke in, especially with the advent of the WWE Performance Center?
“I think the barbaric mentality has fallen by the wayside. I think instead of hurting people to see if they’re good enough to be a wrestler, the mentality now is helping them to see if they’re good enough to be a wrestler. The Performance Center raises the bar times a million, a billion or times a trillion, compared to the very barbaric entrance I had into this business. And it’s proven. It’s proven with people who are in the main event today, like Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. It’s proven with girls like Paige that have risen to the top immediately after leaving the Performance Center. So it does work. And if someone would have told me that 15, 20 years ago, I would’ve said, “You’re crazy.” But Triple H proved me wrong, and the way they train these kids, condition them, educate them and bring them up to speed is amazing.
What would 20-year-old Hulk Hogan think of an opportunity like WWE Tough Enough?
A 20-year-old Hulk Hogan would’ve been all over this. If I would’ve had Tough Enough as a vehicle, if I would’ve had the opportunity to win Tough Enough and use all the social platforms, the vehicles that the WWE Universe has, I cannot imagine what Hulkamania would’ve been. I built my house one brick at a time. We didn’t even have cell phones back in the day when Hulkamania was born. I never had Twitter, social media, Facebook, any of that stuff, and I built this ‘maniac house one brick at a time. I cannot even imagine what Hulkamania would’ve been like if I had an opportunity to do Tough Enough and win and use the vehicles that WWE offers.