During a recent interview with Pancakes & Powerslams Show, AWA legend Greg Gagne talked about WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan quitting AWA, Vince McMahon attempting to buy AWA, trying to solve John Cena’s problem and more.
Below are the highlights:
On Hulk Hogan Quitting AWA:
“We get to St. Paul Christmas night, and Hogan doesn’t show up. I called him up and said, ‘Hulkster, what’s going on?’ [Hulk said], “Well, imma go to New York.” He said, “Didn’t you get the telegram?” I said, ‘Verne thought it was from Eddie Graham. You had an agreement with us until February. You know what, here’s the deal. If you wanna go to New York, do what everybody has done in this profession from years past. Fulfill all your commitments, go through Christmas week, and if you want to go, then go.’ [Hulk said], “Well, Vince paid me more money not to show up to the matches.” That’s what he said to me. So, that was it.”
On Vince attempting to buy out AWA:
“[Vince, Jr.] had come to us way back in June [of 1983] and wanted to know if he could purchase Verne out, and [Verne] said, the problem with us is that we’ve got partners in every city … it’s not that easy, but it’ll take us some time. So, he came back in August, and we had talked to him in general about the direction of wrestling more, it would be ideal to have one organization, really, and have the whole country because then you can, instead of bartering your time with the TV stations, you can now be like major TV shows and get paid for TV. So we had a good thought there, and we’ve actually done the first pay per view ever in wrestling, we done it out of Milwaukee.
Just locally, but it was still a pay per view, so we told him how we did that. And then he came back in August, and Verne said, “You know, I think I can put it together, and this is the number.” Vince said okay, and we drove him to the airport, and as he got out and we dropped him off, he turned and he yelled out to us, “I don’t negotiate!” Verne said to me, “What did he say?” I said he said he doesn’t negotiate. [Verne] said, “What does he mean by that?” I said, ‘I don’t know.’ And we never heard from him again. That was in August, and everything hit the fan around Christmas time. That’s the real story of how it went down.”
A time John Cena was affected by crowd reaction:
“John Cena, when I was in Chicago one night with him, he said, “The people boo me out here.” And he couldn’t stand it. I said, ‘John. Why do they boo you out here?’ [John said], “I don’t know. They don’t like me.” I said, ‘Why don’t they like you?’ [He said], “I don’t know.” I said, ‘Go in tonight, and sell. Get the people feeling sorry for you. Fight, fight, fight, and sell. And then come back.’ Well, he tried that, and he changed the people over from booing. He said, “Oh my God!” But you see him now, and [WWE doesn’t] do it.”