Hulk Hogan signed a full-time contract with TNA in late 2009, and made his first appearance with the company in January of 2010. Shortly into his run with the company, Hogan ditched the famous Red and Yellow attire he wore with WWE early in the 80s for the WCW Hollywood persona to join a faction called ‘Immortal’.
During the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff talked about Hulk Hogan in TNA switching to Hollywood Hogan and creating the Immortal faction. Bischoff also talked about Hogan being instrumental in bringing in Ric Flair and Jeff Hardy into TNA when he signed.
“That was Hulk’s idea, as well as creating this faction called Immortal,” Bischoff said. “Hulk was a huge, huge fan of Jeff Hardy. In fact, when Hulk and I first started talking about going into TNA and actually signing with them, it was one of the first things Hulk started talking about was, ‘man, we got to get Jeff Hardy back.’ A close second to that was Ric Flair.”
Bischoff also talked about knowing the risks of being in TNA before he signed his deal with the company. He said that his experiences with WCW taught him a lot and made it clear to him he didn’t want most, if not all, of the responsibilities he had with WCW in TNA.
“One of the things I knew going into TNA is, I knew what most of the risk was going to be,” Bischoff said. “Based on the perception of me in WCW– I made it abundantly clear to everybody that I wanted nothing to do with hiring or firing talent, or their money, or schedule; I wanted nothing to do with that. Those conversations took place in TNA’s office and I was never a part of any of those conversations.”
Bischoff continued to talk about Dixie Carter, the president of TNA at the time, not being the real person behind TNA and their financial decisions. He also said that the Carter family would try and get him involved in meetings and financial conversations all the time, and that he would continuously decline and not get involved.
“Dixie Carter set up a conference call with her mother, Janice, who was really controlling the money,” Bischoff mentioned. “The perception was that Dixie was calling the shots, but reality was the complete opposite. It was Janice Carter who was calling the shots when it came to money. Dixie had set up a conference call and wanted me to be a part of it, and I said, ‘no, I’m not doing it. I don’t even want to listen to it.’ And that got me a lot of heat with Janice Carter.
“It was a calculated decision on my part, but I figured that the heat I would get with the Carter family would be less significant than the problems that would be caused if all of a sudden, somebody thought Eric Bischoff was coming in and calling financial shots.”
Bischoff also talked about Jeff Hardy coming into TNA as one of the biggest babyfaces in the WWE before he left, and switching to a heel when he arrived. He also said Jeff and Dixie had a fantastic business and personal relationship, which meant nothing Hardy would have done would have to go through Dixie.
“Possibly because he had run his course as a babyface in the minds of a lot of people in TNA,” Bischoff said. “I say possibly because I didn’t talk to Jeff about it. Possibly because that’s what Jeff wanted to do. Jeff had a very very good relationship with Dixie. Dixie really, really loved Jeff as a person, and Jeff had Dixie’s ear. Nothing that ever happened with Jeff on T.V. wasn’t supported or endorsed by Dixie.
“If this was something Jeff wanted to do, it was going to be done. Jeff had a lot of crazy ideas; he’s a different cat, he’s a different dude. I think he had this vision in his head that he wanted to do, and we all worked together to make as much sense out of it as we possibly could.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.