Hulk Hogan has faced off against some giant-sized competitors in his storied career, but his biggest challenge might come from some little people.
The legendary grappler is hosting “Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling,” in which he helps guide this up-and-coming federation composed of small people.
amNewYork spoke with the Hulkster, 58, about the show.
How did you get involved with the MCW? The Reader’s Digest version is Johnny Greene ... was in a bind [financially] — he needed a new truck to drive the team around. So I said, “Bro, I can’t just throw you money. What do you got going on?” He showed me what he had going, with all the little guys wrestling. I said, “Oh my God, dude! You’ve got a lottery ticket here.”
What really hooked you on MCW? The big thing that really won me over was the performance in the ring — [but] the moment they step out of the ring, to turn a doorknob is impossible. These guys and girls have little teeny bodies, but they get normal ... problems. That’s what really hooked me: what’s going on with these people 24/7.
You’re a big guy. Do you have similar problems, but in reverse? Nahhh, I’m 6-foot-5, I can pretty much get in and out of a lot of places. I’m not on the other end of the spectrum like my boy Andre [the Giant], who could never find a chair or a bed. This is Andre in reverse: Everything is a challenge for these little guys and little girls. And they gracefully take on the whole world and show you how big their hearts are.
How is the camaraderie at MCW? As a team, they bonded and ended up being a support system for each other. I thought there’d be a lot of jealousy like in locker rooms I’ve been in. It was totally opposite with them.
Little people in pro wrestling have a long history. Who was your favorite? I think Cowboy Lang was my favorite small wrestler. You could put him in matches with Andre the Giant or mixed tags, or you could put him in matches with people his own size, and he’d rule the roost.
Will we get to see you in action? I get in and out of the ring to school Brian Knobbs a couple of times, but I’m not the star of the show — the little guys are.
Are you excited to be on the same network as another pro wrestler, Jesse Ventura? I’m going to have to hold my tongue and basically live gracefully, because Jesse made a career of trying to undermine me. It’s going to be a test to see if I can make the higher choice and stay positive around him.
If you ran into him at a TruTV event, would you wrestle him? Oh God, no! Ventura’s scared of his own shadow. Are you kidding me?
On TV: “Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling” debuts on TruTV tonight at 10.
Follow our Entertainment Editor, Scott Rosenberg on Twitter: @RosenbergScottA