When asked why Hulk Hogan has such a bad reputation with ‘Internet wrestling fans’, Bruce Prichard said on a recent episode of Something to Wrestle, fan backlash at Hogan occurred mostly because he was more successful than other stars.
Hogan has had his share of issues inside and outside the wrestling industry. Between backstage politics, controversial comments and a storied history of stealing the spotlight from other, perhaps more deserving stars, Hogan has given fans plenty of reasons to turn on him. Still, Prichard claims the biggest reason fans didn't like Hogan was because he was the best and most successful wrestler for over a decade.
“Because he was successful. He was the most successful. He was the most over and he was the man. It’s en vogue to hate people that are successful, I think," Prichard said.
Calling Hogan "the man" is an understatement if there ever was one. Between 1985 and the late 90's, Hogan was the biggest star in wrestling. He elevated WWE into a national phenomenon and when he left for WCW, helped boost that company to the point where they competed toe-to-toe with WWE. He made the wrestling industry hundreds of millions of dollars, all while doing quite well for himself financially.
Among the top sellers in merchandise history, helped sell out arenas, and he did so much of the time without the benefit of Internet sales, smarter policies for on-site merchandise and things simply didn't work the way they did today. So too, during a time when the Internet was taking off and Stone Cold Steve Austin was among the more popular of stars, it was easy to see why those who were growing with the Internet chose a star who was popular as the Internet boomed.
Clearly, Hogan gave people reason to boo and criticize his behavior. But, today, more and more wrestling fans are remembering what Hogan meant to the business and recent news he might return as part of the NWO has people interested in seeing what he does next.