Hulkamania was coming to an end in WWF in 1993 as Hulk Hogan began transitioning even more so to acting while Vince McMahon was eagerly ushering in The New Generation. Hogan’s last WWF match came at the King of the Ring when he dropped the heavyweight title to Yokozuna and he then began filming Thunder in Paradise just down the street from where WCW filmed a number of their TV shows.
Bruce Prichard was a writer with WWF at this time and he described the tense relationship between Hogan and McMahon right before he ended up signing with WCW.
“I don’t think there was much of a relationship at that point,” Prichard said on his podcast. “I think the end of 1993 when Vince McMahon had resigned himself that Hogan wanted to go off and do Thunder in Paradise. The fact that Hulk was using talent from WCW that was doing tapings I believe in Disney in Orlando, Florida, that was kind of a statement by Hulk Hogan. He didn’t reach out from anybody at the WWF side to say that he would like to use some of our guys to get some exposure from the show, so the writing was on the wall pretty much and that relationship between Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan was strained.”
Prichard said that Hogan and McMahon always had a love/hate relationship and this period was certainly the “hate” part.
“This was a time that he had distanced himself, and Hulk saw the opportunity with Thunder in Paradise to go off and become a David Hasselhoff in the syndication world, so he saw bigger and better things. If he was going to do wrestling maybe he was going to do good for a different billionaire, even though Vince wasn’t a billionaire at the time,” stated Prichard.
“You are waiting for the call from Hulk Hogan saying that he believes he is going to sign with WCW unless we can convince him to stay with the WWF, so, that always happened,” said Prichard. “Plus, you always went through that breakup period where at first you are sad, and then you get to the angry stage. But I think it ran its course with Hulk where he was going off and doing other things, to, well, that son of a b**** is now flirting with WCW and is using their talents, and is not even calling us for our talents.
“So, I think there were hurt feelings, probably on both sides that made it, okay, we will show him, or from his perspective he will show us. It went both ways.”
Hogan last appeared on WWF TV in June 1993 and then wrestled a handful of dates for New Japan. He then officially signed with WCW in June 1994 and made his wrestling debut one month later at Clash of the Champions where he defeated Ric Flair for the WCW Heavyweight Title.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Someting to Wrestle with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.