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Hogan ready for war with Michaels
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


With a few wags of the finger, a couple of shakes of the head, a couple of blocked punches, a boot to the face and a leg drop, Hulk Hogan could finally shut Shawn Michaels up at WWE's Summerslam pay-per-view tonight.

The question is: Will WWE allow a 52-year-old legend to defeat a 40-year-old icon?

There's no love lost between the two, that's for sure.

"Shawn doesn't drink ... he's found The Lord," says Hogan. "Truth be told, he still has that demon inside him. Everybody always said it was jealousy, but I'm starting to believe he really doesn't like me."

Hogan says he was a bit surprised that Michaels ripped into him recently.

"I had an idea where Shawn was going, but he went way off the script," says Hogan. "The hair raised up on the back of my neck. I thought, 'This guy really wants to get to me.'

"I really always knew he wasn't my friend, but I didn't want to believe it."

There's no question Hogan has cemented his place in wrestling history. His involvement in the early WWF days helped bring the company to where it is today. He says it's been a great ride.

Says Hogan: "It's been a great year for Hulk Hogan, but I'd give $20 million to get 20 years back."

Hogan has been accused of wielding too much influence on the outcome of his matches. But he says he's a team player, so much so that he went along with scripts even though he knew they were bad ideas.

"My first match against Ultimate Warrior ... I was on a major roll, then the decision came down for the Ultimate Warrior to beat me. I never said no, but in my heart, I knew it was wrong. I went to do a movie and when I came back, they were begging me to take the belt back.

"In WCW, Vince Russo was trying to prove a point with the new blood taking over from the old blood. So three weeks in a row, Billy Kidman beat me. It could have been a major disaster."

Hogan, who spent some of his WCW time as bad-guy Hollywood Hogan, likes to be the fan favourite.

"I always wanted to be the good guy," he says. "Being the bad guy was fun to stir the pot, but outside of the ring, as we would drive away it was tough to explain to my kids why everybody was yelling: 'Hogan, you suck!' "

Hogan says his early influences in the business included Superstar Billy Graham ("he had the body"), Dusty Rhodes ("he had the gift of gab") and Austin Idol ("he had the whole wrestling aura"). "I just mixed and matched everything and came up with this Hulk Hogan mainstream character," says Hogan, who says he grew up with Babe Ruth and John Wayne as his heroes.

RELATED LINKS

  • More on Hulk Hogan

    - Here's the rest of tonight's Summerslam: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho; Batista vs. JBL; Edge vs. Matt Hardy; Randy Orton vs. Undertaker; Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio; and Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit.

    - Ashley was crowned the 2005 Diva Search winner and will be at Summerslam. Don't be surprised if she's rudely interrupted by Trish Stratus, who returned at Ontario live events last week.

    - Michaels delivered an awesome opening segment during Monday's RAW in Montreal. Fans were even teased with Bret Hart's intro music. I don't know if Vince McMahon pursued it, but even at a big pricetag, a Hart appearance would have been electric ... and it would have sold a ton of tickets to Summerslam. During RAW, Kurt Angle ripped on Montreal, saying he would have "screwed Bret, too."

    - With several of RAW's top stars absent, the Corel Centre show still drew about 5,000 people. Cena pulled out of the Ottawa and Kingston shows. He was appearing at the Teen Choice awards in Hollywood. I understand that Cena's presence in Hollywood was important in the big scheme of things... and I know WWE has the right to change a card, but Cena would have given the local cards a big boost.

    - Chris Tolos, a wrestling legend of the 1950-70s, died of cancer last week in Hamilton.

    Rhino, Sabu boost Ottawa show: As far as the independent wrestling circuit goes, you won't see many main events better than the Rhino vs. Sabu match Universal Wrestling Alliance has Aug. 25 at the Super Ex in Ottawa in the Civic Centre Salons.

    Chaos in the Capital also features another great bout with Bobby Roode and Petey Williams vs. Abyss and a mystery partner. There are other top matches. The next night, at the Brockville Memorial Centre, the main event features Mr. Class A1 vs. Abyss vs. Roode. Sabu is also on the card. Bell time for both shows is 8 p.m. Check out universalwrestlingalliance.com for more details.


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  • Pre-order the WWE SummerSlam 2005 DVD