America’s Last Great Circus Set Hulk Up to Fail

Way before 25 women were pretending to fall in love with the same man on TV or a pack of vapid 20-somethings were running around LA starting mean rumors and getting wasted at star-studded events, we grew up suspicious of the “reality” or lack thereof in another kind of TV — pro-wrestling that came into our homes courtesy of Vince McMahon’s WWE

A juicy post by Time’s Michael Scherer on Swampland reveals that we were right to be wary — particularly of Hulk Hogan — thanks to new info dug up by Rep. Henry Waxman in his quest to rid the sport of steroid abuse.

“Like magic, pro-wrestling is about illusion. You never want to reveal more than the trick demands. But Waxman has now laid these details bare, in testimony to Congress, where lies are prosecutable offenses. We learn that the WWE, for instance, employs about 10 writers to develop story lines for the wrestlers. In addition to the writers, a group of ‘producers,’ mostly former wrestlers, travel on the road to help the performers with rough choreography of each match. (Each match needs a beginning, middle and end.) The performers can make anywhere from a few thousand to many hundred thousand dollars, depending on the event.”

His favorite gem that Waxman uncovered in his lengthy investigation — and we’d have to agree — comes via a quote from Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter.

“Hulk Hogan was a terrible wrestler, and he still is…I am sure he would disagree with that. I forget this is all public. But, you know, he was. He was a terrible wrestler. But what an incredible psychologist and what an incredible charismatic person. There is no denying Hulk Hogan is one of the biggest stars in the history of our business and will always be perceived as such. But he was not a great wrestler, not a great technician.” Zing!

A few commenters rushed to his defense explaining that an arduous schedule, too much bulk, and unrealistic audience expectations are to blame for Hulk’s rather average technical performances. A few were also horrified that Scherer deigned to discuss something as lowbrow as wrassling on their beloved blog.

For us, it’s kind of like finding out that Mr. Rogers wasn’t really all that friendly.